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Once Upon a Time Challenge IV Wrap-Up

July 23, 2010

The OUaT Challenge was one of the very first I participated in as a baby book blogger, and so it holds a special place in my heart. :) I haven’t missed out on any of the years, and as always this fourth round was simply delightful! Thanks Carl, for being a wonderful host. While my wrap-up is a month late, I did finish on time, completing my final book on June 21.

My reads this year, linked to reviews (I haven’t reviewed Fire and Hemlock yet because I’m waiting to participate in Jenny’s Diana Wynne Jones week):

The best book: The Hakawati. Till We Have Faces was really good, and really important, but for sure reading pleasure, Hakawati will probably end up as one of my favourites of the year.
Any new authors? Yep: Rabih Alameddine and Diana Wynne Jones (whose name I find terribly difficult to spell). I’ll definitely be reading more Alameddine, and I’m sure that during Diana Wynne Jones week I’ll be adding to my TBR list. ;)
Any books that were tough going? Nope! OUaT is pretty much pure pleasure for me; I’ve been reading and adoring the fantasy genre since I first picked up books. That being said, I didn’t end up abandoning a book I’d hoped to read for the challenge (Zahrah the Windseeker). The writing style was just making me want to grab a red pen every couple of pages, so around page 100 or so I called it quits.
What did I learn from this challenge? I feel like I say this every year, but I really need to prioritise fantasy books more! They tend to make me very happy and relaxed (comfort reading, really), so I need a OUaT Challenge every season. ;) If I were a new-to-fantasy reader, I think I’d be struck by the sure variety…too often any kind of ‘genre’ reading gets pigeon holed, but these four books were all so different they show the breadth of fantastical books.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2010 5:25 pm

    You are the challenge queen! Way to go!

  2. July 23, 2010 6:41 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about Fire and Hemlock! It’s my second-favorite DWJ book.

  3. July 23, 2010 6:57 pm

    I am legitimately excited to read your review of Fire and Hemlock, except I fear it will make me long to read it again myself, and I don’t have my copy with me here.

    • July 24, 2010 9:21 am

      lol! I’m sure your reviews will have me rushing to my library catalogue. :p

  4. July 23, 2010 7:00 pm

    This was my first year to participate in this challenge, and I was only able to finish reading one book :( – but I am hoping that next year will afford me more time and perhaps I can complete 4 books in the challenge time period.

    This genre of literature has not been on of favorites in the past, but with challenges like this one – and reading reviews of those who really enjoy it – I am sure to change my mind over time.

    • July 24, 2010 9:21 am

      Well one book is enough for one of the choices! :) That’s neat that you’re willing to explore new-to-you genres: I have yet to convince myself to give Westerns a try!

  5. July 23, 2010 7:43 pm

    I love fantasy. It has always been my comfort genre.

    I’m glad you seem to have enjoyed Diana Wynne Jones. I really want to participate in that week, but I’m not sure if I want to stray too far from my own challenge. I am certainly planning on reading all the post however. If you want another rec, I STRONGLY suggest the Chrestomanci tales. They are….amazing and fun.

    • July 24, 2010 9:22 am

      Yay! Another fantasy lover. ;) Thanks for recommending where I should go next: she has such a backlist it’s a bit intimidating!

  6. Kathleen permalink
    July 23, 2010 11:22 pm

    I need to prioritize the fantasy genre for my future reading selections too!

  7. July 23, 2010 11:28 pm

    ‘The Hakawati’ sounds like a wonderful book, from your description, Eva. I haven’t heard of Rabih Alameddine before (I love his name – looks quite complex to spell!). I will look for this book. Thanks for writing about it. I am also hoping to read ‘Till we have faces’ soon.

    • July 24, 2010 9:23 am

      I think you’d love The Hakawati! And he does have quite a name, doesn’t he?

  8. July 24, 2010 12:52 pm

    I found The Hakawati read much more quickly than I’d expected based on its size, and I absolutely loved some of the tales, one of which simply demanded to be read aloud (a couple of others being tremendously tempting on that score as well).

    Disappointed to hear that Zahrah wasn’t all you were hoping; I haven’t found another of Nnedi Okorafor’s since I so enjoyed The Shadow Speaker, but that one is still solidly rooted on my list of favourite reads for this reading year.

    • July 25, 2010 1:38 am

      Some of the tales were just perfect, weren’t they?! I do want to give Okorafor another try w/ Shadow Speaker, so I hope my library gets it.

  9. July 24, 2010 6:10 pm

    My first favorite is Dogsbody. I’ve never read another that quite matches up to it (in DWJ) – but then, I haven’t read a lot her yet, either. Going to remedy that soon!

  10. July 30, 2010 7:31 am

    The Hakawati was definitely a stand-out book. Alameddine is a natural storyteller and the book was just packed with stories, so it was a pleasure every time I picked it up.

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