Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Score, a Fail and a Sputter

I'm talking about three of my 2010 reading challenges. As you may surmise from the title of this post, I have completed one of them, I'm quitting another and I am trying to rise to the occasion and dive into a third.


I recently completed "The Mini" Support Your Library Challenge having borrowed and read 25 books since January 1, 2010. I've probably read much more if I included the cookbooks and gardening books I've borrowed over the months, too, but I don't always read those cover to cover, so I chose to only apply my fiction books toward the challenge. Here's the list of fiction books I've currently read since January 1, 2010.

1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
2. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
3. Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
4. Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris
5. A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh
6. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
7. The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech
8. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
9. Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris
10. Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris
11. Shakespeare's Counselor by Charlaine Harris
12. Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
13. Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder
14. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
15. Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart
16. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
17. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
18. Beastly by Alex Flinn
19. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
20. My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
21. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
22. Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
23. Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
24. Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield
25. A Fantasy Medley edited by Yanni Kuznia;
stories by Robin Hobb, Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murphy and Kate Elliott

26. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
27. Looking for Alaska by John Green
. . . .

I'll continue to maintain a list of the fiction I borrow and read from my library HERE for the remainder of the year.

FAIL! :(

At the other end of my reading challenge success--or failure as the case may be, I have decided to give up on the Lynsay Sands Argeneau Family Series Reading Challenge hosted by Amy J of My Overstuffed Bookshelves. I read the first two or three books in this series a couple of years ago, having borrowed the first seven or more books from my friend Tracy and joined this challenge with hopes of picking up the rest and catching up in the series once and for all. But unfortunately, this series just isn't calling to me with as much verve as other series I have on the leaning tower of TBR. If I had more time and was a faster reader, I'd definitely stick it out, but I have a hard enough time keeping up with the series I'm passionate about, let alone the ones I simply like well enough. So I've decided to admit defeat and bid the Argeneau Family goodbye.


In the meantime, I am gearing up to tackle my Big Book for my 2010 Big Book Challenge hosted by my dear friend orannia. The challenge is to read ONE novel over 500 pages that you have been putting off purely because of its inhibitive length. Curiously, I have read three books over 500 pages already in 2010, but not the one I challenged myself with. :/

Big Books read:

1. Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl .... 554 pages
2. Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward .... 642 pages
3. Lover Mine by J.R. Ward .... 528 pages

My personal Big Book Challenge, however, is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling as it has been sitting on my nightstand for nearly two years. Now... it is time. I promised my 11 year old daughter that I would read it this month. I will read it this month. I will.

Have you been keeping up with your reading challenges?

Have you given up on any?

Have you read a big book (500+ pages) lately?


  1. I'm reading Middlemarch right now (over 700 pages). I have been reading more and more Big books lately. I don't look at page numbers so much but they can be daunting!
    If you like HP then the book will fly by. I love engrossing myself in HP so reading one of them takes me a few days. Enjoy!

  2. Linda, I have read the later HP books within a week, too... I don't know what it is about this last one that feels so daunting.

    Maybe my issue more because it's the last one and not because of the length.

    I'm hoping once I get going it will fly! ... then I'll be kicking myself for putting it off for so long.

  3. I only took on 2 challenges this year: the InDeath and the Historical Reading challenge at KMont's. So far, I *think* I'm up to date on the historicals (I KNOW I've read more than necessary, but haven't reviewed too many more than that).

    And as for the InDeath... well... I've *read* more than 7 books, but haven't reviewed at least one each separate months. So I guess the question is, am I passing that challenge, or have I failed? (or sputtered).

  4. I'm smiling at your "sputter" result, because that's about where I am with the same challenge. I've read 8 big books so far this year and I've almost finished a ninth. But I still haven't faced up to the one I chose for the challenge. I will read it before the year is up. I will. I will. I will. (I hope.)

  5. Hmmm, I signed up for three challenges this year: the DIK, the TBR 2010 and the re-read 2010... I've completely given up on the DIK and missed entries in both the other 2 ^_^; Yeah, not doing so great challenge-wise this year, sigh.

    You did good though, completing one :)

    Big book... Hmmm, The Search by Nora Roberts was near, 485 pages... and The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, 510 pages.

    I'm sure you'll get to the J.K. Rowland... especially as the movie is coming out soon :)

  6. I tackled one challenge that you talked me into this year, my first ever btw. The YA book challenge. I've read nine so far and I think(?) I have to read 15? I have two on my nightstand now, so not too bad.

    As for the Lynsay Sands books, don't feel bad. I really liked the first four or five in the series and then they seemed to lose steam or something after that. They were cute and funny and sometimes sweet and had that bit of mystery and hint of danger and have gotten darker as time as gone on. She IS one of the few historical authors I read anymore, though, because they are funny.

    Your reasoning behind not finishing the HP book may be correct. Maybe you just don't want the series to end and know there are many BAD THINGS that will happen to your favorite characters in the book. Maybe. *g*

    Hope you're having a great day!

  7. Despite having promised myself that I would not read anymore of the BDB, I've read both Lover Ahvenged... erm Avenged and Lover Mine too--so that's over five hundred, correct?

    But I don't participate in challenges--too much pressure takes away some of the pleasure of reading, and I already to that with my self-imposed read/review deadlines.

    What's weird is that I enjoy seeing how you dedicated types do at them :grin:

  8. Lori, you are most definitely passing the InDeath Challenge. I didn't require reviews for this one, because I know that ends up being the hard part for me, too! For example, I, too, am beyond up to date with the reading for KMont's Historical Reading Challenge, but am behind by several reviews. Oops.

    Kerry, Sputterers Unite! LOL!
    I must confess that I am glad to have company in the Big Book Challenge sputtering department. I am thinking our issues with our selected big book is the book itself for some reason and not its length. What do you think?

    nath, you've missed entries in your own re-read 2010 challenge? ! Gasp!! LOL I'm teasing you. I have come close in missing my own, too. It's not so hard to miss.

    Oh, and the Support Your Library is actually my second challenge met. I completed the Once Upon A Time one in June. *is proud* ; )

    I am going to read Harry Potter in August. I AM!

    Brandy, Wooohooo for tackling the YA challenge! I'm not doing too badly in that one, too! I've read nine, too! And have one on my nightstand now.. oh wait! Two because I can count HP, right? Wow. We're on the exact same page with that one. And guess what? We only have to read 12. ; )

    I really wish I was a super duper fast reader like those who read 15-20 books every month. Then I could actually get to everything in a timely fashion. I average more like 6 books a month, I think. Oh well.

    Oh no. Now you are making me worry about the BAD THINGS that will happen to my favorite characters in HP. I know there's dramatic things ... my eldest cried buckets at least twice when she read it and now she and my youngest whisper and give each other THAT LOOK when they discuss it.

    azteclady, LOL! I'm in that same club. Vow to not read another BDB after the train wreck that was Lover Unbound and then go ahead and read them anyway. Freakin' crack.

    I think I enjoy the list keeping more than anything else with these challenges. LOL!

    I don't do so well with the ones that require reviews...

  9. Christine! Well... I finished the M/M Challenge. Yay!... I'm keeping up with the Historical and Re-Read Challenges so far. Yay!

    But, but... sputter... I've fallen behind on YOUR In-Death Challenge. *g* Fail! I'm stuck on this one book & can't seem to get going. :(

    AND, although I've read 1 book for the Big Book Challenge (that Harry Potter you need to read, lol), and I'm beginning The Red Pyramid 510 pgs, I still have not picked up my original choice. Fail! So you're not alone...

  10. I've read only one long book this year (and it was in January): Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon, 529 pages.

    My first ever reading challenge, that ID of yours, is going well I think. I have been able to read more books than I thought (11 so far if I remember correctly).

    Well, I haven't read any ID novels this month - yet. I've been trying to shorten my TBR pile of all those historical romance novels that have been staring at me for months. So maybe some Eve&Roarke at the end of the month... ;)

  11. Well done on finishing the Support your library challenge! I signed up to read 100 books from my library. I don't think I am going to make it, but I am still trying!

  12. Congrats on finishing the 2010 Support Your Local Library Challenge! *happy dance* I'm halfway through my library challenge and have completely my m/m challenge :)

    As for the Big Book Challenge - LOL! I still haven't tackled Kushiel's Dart yet...but I'm currently reading a 799-page fantasy novel! I am going to tackle Kushiel's Dart in October though :) Good luck with HP!

  13. Let the record show ....


    I figure if I say it often enough and loud enough, I'll make it happen. My daughters are very excited that I'm reading it, which helps too because they will be very angry with me if they catch me with another book in my hands now. LOL!

    Hilcia : Congrats on completing the M/M challenge and for keeping up with Kenda's Historical challenge. I am caught up with the reading in that one, but not the reviews. They always hold me back. :(

    Sorry to hear you're stuck on an In Death book. :(
    I hope you're able to find the motivation to get through it. If not, what about skipping it and going to the next one?

    Isn't it funny how many of us in the Big Book Challenge are succeeding in reading big books OTHER THAN our challenge book? Makes me think it's not the length of our challenge book but something else....

    Maija : Did you like Born of Fire? I haven't read that Kenyon series. I've only read her Dark Hunter and Dream Hunter books--and I'm maybe 4 books behind in those.

    I'm glad you're doing well with the In Death Challenge. It's been fun reading these books together with a group, even if we're at different stages of the series.

    I haven't read this months book yet, either. I have to tackle HP first! I'm determined. ;)

    Marg : WOW! You're in the 100 Library Challenge? I don't even know if I'll get to my goal of 100 books TOTAL in 2010 at this point, let alone all library books! Go for it, Marg!!!

    orannia : Congrats for completing the M/M challenge! I bet you can complete your Library challenge, too! Good luck! :)

    I'm very intrigued by why we are all reading big books OTHER than our challenge book.... what is UP with that? LOL!

  14. yay! For Harry Potter!

    Reading Challenges...Heck, I'm just reading challenged right now :(. I'm lucky if I finish one book in a month.

    I don't know what happened...

  15. Christine,

    Initially I hesitated to try that League series by Kenyon, because I had had problems with her latest DH books. I used to love her books, but for some reason they no longer get me wild. They have been just ok. But -- that renewed old series is great. I recommend!

    At some point, I was against Harry Potter books. I liked the movies, but thought YA books aren't for me. But after reading Stephenie Meyer's books and noticing that YA books are good too, I have read several YA series (mostly paranormal romance/UF). I have read fantasy books in my youth (Eddings, Jordan etc), so perhaps I should give Potter a try in the future :)

  16. LOL! Amy! I'm sorry you're still plain old reading challenged at the moment. I hope you find the verve for reading again. I'm sure it has something to do with going to a paying job outside the home for the first time in a long time, so don't be so hard on yourself. It takes time to adjust to all those changes and usually something has to give. In your case, it's been the reading. :(

    Maija, I'm kind of in the same predicament with Kenyon's DH series. I have heard good things about the "Born" series.. and I'm glad that her older stuff has rekindled some interest.

    Speaking of YA, have you read her new YA series for Nick? The first book is titled Infinity, I think. I want to read it, but don't want to buy hardcover, so am waiting for either my library to get it or for it to come out in paperback.

    I've read some great YA books this year. I'm keeping a list of them in my YA Reading Challenge Post. I recently read and loved The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I don't know if I'd have the attention span to read the Harry Potter series from the beginning at this point in my reading career. If the last book is so daunting to me now... I can't imagine starting at book one. LOL. But honestly, the books are so much MORE than the movies. More drama and more emotion than the movies convey... especially regarding Harry's grief over his parents and his struggles with finding his way through life as a teen and a wizard.



  17. Christine,
    I've moved from buying her books to borrowing them (except that League series). So perhaps I'll read Infinity if it ever happens to come to our library. I'm still a bit hesitant to try it (not that interested in learning more about Nick), even though I've heard only good things about it. Well, I know I'd probably love it in the end... so perhaps perhaps ;)
    Ps. I noticed I had read another big book (Born of Fire AND Born of Night). Should get that third book Born of Ice from the bookstore, now that I remembered how I liked the first two books in January...

  18. Considering the 100+ Book Challenge I was SUPER excited about is only at 27 and its August I'm thinking mine are not going to go that well this year LOL.

    In fact next year I might take a break from them... of course I said that this year.


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