Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Spring Reading Thing

I think I did really well! I did not stick completely to my list, but I read a lot. I started books, I finished books, I read widely--all things that I don't always do when I get into a rut, so I'm calling it a success. I wanted to address one of Katrina's questions, and then you can just take a quick, or loooong look at the reviews etc that follow.

What did I learn through the challenge? I learned that I can read a LOT, if I choose it over other things. Perhaps I'll meet my goal of reading every book that I want to read if I keep this up (but wait, they keep publishing good books each month). I didn't count pages, but I know I read over 4000 in these 22 books.

One thing that sort of impeded my following the list was starting a new review column at 5 Minutes for Mom (check it out each Monday if you haven't already. Almost every week we do a book giveaway as well). These off-list books are linked to my reviews:

In spite of all of that off-list reading, I conquered most of the books on my list:

I knew that my fiction list was ambitious, but I still finished all but The Other Boleyn Girl. These that I read are linked to my reviews:
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--I didn't formally review this book. I did enjoy it. It was written a bit like a memoir, mostly of a girl's growing up years, but it's fiction. I was surprised to see it on so many of the SRT lists, so I'll be interested to read other reviews of it.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird--I enjoyed this book, and it seemed so familiar, even though it's been probably twenty years since I read it. It's not an all-time favorite like some, but it's a real classic for a reason.
  • Quaker Summer--I reviewed this at the Clean Reads website.
  • I did not enjoy Mercy as much as other Picoult books, but it was an okay suspenseful drama.
The writing books--well, I didn't read a bit in this category! So, if I want to study writing, I need to make that more of a priority. However, I'm not really beating myself up about not reading about writing, because between the new book column and an online writing course, I actually was writing.

Non-fiction--again I get a check plus! I didn't read Personality Plus, because it didn't really grab my interest and I've read a lot of books like that before, but I read all the others, including all the extras listed above, and also read Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World, which I will review on July 2 at 5 Minutes for Mom, and The Art of the Letter.
Kid Stuff:
  • Factory Girl--my review
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall--Amanda and I read and enjoyed this one.
  • Rickshaw Girl --this is by Mitali Perkins, the author of First Daughter (above), but for a younger 7 or 8 to 12 year old audience. We both liked this one, too.
  • Toys Go Out, is another great book, and another one that I put on the Read Together suggested list (it would be a great read if you had a wide age range, of 4 or 5 up to twelve or so).
I also hoped to jump right in on a book off someone else's list, and I did indeed read and review Friends for the Journey, from Katrina's list. Also, very coincidentally from Katrina's list, I ended up reading Wicked, after I saw and loved the musical so much (I compare the two in my review).

I slowed down on Audiobooks, but I did "read" The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeanette Walls. Wow. It was sort of tough to read, because it describes the kind of poverty that most of us don't want to know exists. Like most memoirs, as tough as they are to read, I am left feeling inspired by what people are able to overcome in their past. If you like memoir at all, I recommend this one.


Andrea said...

I hardly get time to listen to audio books, but I was wondering if you would recommend some that you like. I know you said that you like to listen to certain books on audio, for just the general way that you process them. So I am wondering some ones that you like.

You did very well with your challenge!
I have to update myself, too.

Joyful Days said...

I'm going to find some of the books you've listed that I haven't read for the fall challenge.

Glad you liked Sarah, Plain and Tall, it was a keeper here. The movies are pretty true to the story.

The Grace Based Parenting was a favorite of mine when I read it last year.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

My favorite listen--and one of my favorites in general--has been Every Mother is a Daughter
Eat, Pray, Love was good, too, but some people are bothered by her quest for "spirituality" and some frank discussion of other adult themes (though not explicit)

So, I'd say that either Glass Castle or Every Mother is a Daughter would be great to try in this medium. is a great deal with a 3 month trial for only 7.49 a month. You can listen to them on any mp3, or just through their site, I think. But that's how I make it work. I can listen on my ipod while I'm at home and still hear the kids and the doorbell and stuff.

Katrina said...

You really did read a LOT this spring... I kept thinking that as you came out with your reviews, but I didn't realize you'd read 22 books. That's awesome! Looking forward to your review of the respectful children book, as that is always something we're striving for here, but could use some help/guidance!

Corinne said...

Wow, I'm impressed and now feel further self-loathing for my inability to make much headway on my list. Oh well, thanks for your faithfulness in reviewing them so that the rest of know what to read! I think I'll put Grace-Based Parenting on my list for the future. For now, I'm in for the Read With Me program!

Marcia said...

Wowee, Jennifer - you did great!

Loved your review of Queen of the Castle - I'm busy with it now and I agree - it is wonderful and easy to read

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

That's an impressive list Jennifer! Several of your books are on my TBR list. I am enjoying your reviews at 5M4M as well!

Lisa writes... said...

Twenty two?! Wow!

Christi said...

Great job on your challenge!

I'm adding Grace Based Parenting to my list. I also enjoyed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I read it a couple of years ago. May have to pull that one out again!

Barbara H. said...

Great work! I read and reviewed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, too. I liked the part about Francie growing up -- I was amazed at the language and vulgar, bawdy situations. I just wasn't expecting that in an older classic. I LOVE Queen of the Castle and had an interview with the author, too.

Jess said...

Thanks for doing this, I think I may be joining you for the reading "things"... if not this summer (we're packing up to move back overseas), then perhaps in the Fall once things get settled.

Also- RE: Andrea's question about audiobooks, I HIGHLY recommend Randy Alcorn's fiction on audiobook. He gets the most amazing readers to read his stuff, and you'll FLY through his books. (Plus, his books are good enough, that you'd fly through them even on the printed page, but the voice talent that reads them are INCREDIBLE!).

Blessings & I hope to be back again soon- you seem like a kindred spirit.

Jess @ Making Home

Jean said...

Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to get started on the read with me. I think it's a great thing your doing for readers.

Tammy said...

Great job on the challenge, Jennifer! You did super!
I'll have to go read a couple of your reviews...and since I haven't been here in awhile, I want to look into the Read with Me you started...what a great idea! :)
Thanks for stopping by my place too...Blessings!

Julie said...

I like the ideas in your review of Love and Logic. Not only do they sound practical, they sound like fun!

HipWriterMama said...

Thanks for sharing your books. I failed miserably on this challenge. I'm too focused on the YA novels rather than the other genres I chose for the challenge. At least I'm still reading. Right? Sigh.

I've got Mr. Linky set up for people to link to their favorite posts. I'd be curious to find out what your favorite post is. Hope you stop by!

Literary Feline said...

You have a very nice blog here, Jennifer! You did great with the Spring Reading Thing.

Rel said...

Great looking blog, Jennifer. I too and interested in the Respectful Children book - sounds interesting :)

kardel said...

Where do you find the time? I can't imagine reading 22 books a year, much less in 3 months! You're awesome!

Cheri said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my reading list.

I still plan on working through what I didn't finish - maybe for the next reading challenge!

Shalee said...

You've made me want to pull out some old classics again, and I like Lisa Sampson, so I'll put Quaker Summer on my TBR list too.