Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fall Reading Challenge - Post Game Show

So I've officially "completed" the Fall 2010 Reading Challenge. And when I say "completed", I mean I read 26 books and earned a paltry 335 total points. Total points one could earn in said challenge was an astounding 890 points. How anyone manages to swerve near this level is beyond me. I think the only way I'd come close would be if I quit my job and refused to speak to anyone for 3 months, and I just don't think that would be very enjoyable. I like participating in these challenges for the sheer fun of finding books that work for the various tasks, and I am a-ok knowing there is no fricking way I will ever come close to completing 100% of them. I used to think I was insanely brillz when I'd read 26 books in a YEAR, so knowing that I have consumed that many literary treats in 3 months is something I'm pretty proud of. A special thank you goes to Jason for not getting annoyed with the amount of time these crazy ass things take and all the reading that I do. You are a man blessed with extreme kindness for actually encouraging these shenanigans. I love you! The Winter Challenge, or "Winter Classic" as I like to call it because I'm a hockey nerd, begins December 1st and I can't wait to see what tasks these crazy folks are about to unleash on the group!


Favorite Book Overall: A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker. Just a hilarious and delightful read, perfect for lifting your spirits and making you chuckle. Notable quote with regard to the main character's observation about a certain cheerleader's penchant for shiny lip gloss: "It looks like she just finished frenching a tub of margarine." I contacted the author through to let her know how much I enjoyed it and she actually wrote me back with a very humorous and kind response. I love it when authors reach out to readers that way!
Favorite Suspenseful Book: Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag. This book was AWESOME! I was riveted and found myself highlighting many colorful phrases. The author managed to balance scalp crinkling chills with just the right amount of witty repartee. LOVED IT! Some of my favorite quotes from this book were:
"Jesus, you're just the cat's ass, aren't you?"
"This is gonna get uglier than my aunt Selma, and she has a face that could make a bulldog puke."
"Sleep? I gave that up. It was taking the edge off my paranoia."
"I've already had the chief and Lieutenant Fowler on me like a couple of trick riders this morning."

Honorable Mentions: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. WAYYY ahead of it's time! This was published in 1962 and the author gets into some amazing time travel/science fiction that I can't imagine were commonplace ideas back then.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. What an incredibly sweet and charming story filled with wonderful people. This is a great book for children as it teaches them the importance of not judging people based on appearance or what other people say. I wish everyone had to read this one at some point in their life.
The House of Night series by P.C. Cast. This series is definitely intended for 15 year old girls, but I am having a great time reading them any way! They definitely have some negatives (the dialogue can get annoying) but the imaginative new spin the author has put on the tried/tired and true teen vamp saga outweighs the bad.

3 Least Favorite Books Overall: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicholson by Louise Rennison. Ughhhhhh. I have no trouble checking out, and usually thoroughly enjoying, young adult books, but this one was crapola on a platter. Nothing remotely of interest happens and the main character is obnoxious and not interesting. The only upshot was that I picked up a few new British slang terms.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells. This book was cornbread crumbs of cheese balls. SLOW to the point of tedium. I love the Ya-Ya series but this "work" just felt like someone else had penned it. The author seemed to amp up every character from "charmingly eccentric" to "utterly ridiculous".
Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern. What. The. Hell. What the hell, Cammie McGovern? You wrote one of my top 3 favorite books of 2009 ("Eye Contact"). I added that book to my "fave books ever" shelf and recommended it to several people. I was so excited to read "Neighborhood Watch" but it was just a long, stumbly stroll to nowheresville. I have not stopped thinking "what the hell?" since I finished reading it, and not in a good "I'm still pondering it!" sort of way. I posted it for trade on and someone claimed it today. Before I sealed up the mailer, I gave serious consideration to slipping the recipient a personal note that said "Good luck with this".

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