Sunday, June 8, 2008

Book Awards Reading Challenge Wrap-up

When I finished A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, I also, finally, finished The Book Awards Reading Challenge. I say finally because I’ve had a lot of false starts with this challenge. The idea behind this challenge was to read 12 award winning books by June 30, 2008. And I’ve done that, but the final list is far from the beginning list ;>). I had twelve books on my list. Of these original twelve, I finished:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1982 Nobel Prize in Literature)

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2006 National Jewish Book Award Winner for Children and Young Adult Literature)

3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1962 Nobel Prize in Literature)

4. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (The Royal Society Science Prize)

5. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005 National Book Award)

6. The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994 Newbery Medal)

And I added:

(alt.)7. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott (1998 National Book Award)

(alt.)8. Paddy Clarke Ha, Ha, Ha by Roddy Doyle (Booker Prize 1993)

(alt.)9. Mariner's Compass by Earlene Fowler (1999 Agatha Award for Best Novel)

(alt) 10. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1990 Newbery, National Jewish Book Award)

(alt) 11. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Orange Broadband)

(alt) 12. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2007 Alex Award winner)

I started and could not finish:

1. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond – DNF (The Royal Society Science Prize)

2. Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould – DNF (The Royal Society Science Prize)

3. The Wisdom of Bones by Alan Walker – DNF (The Royal Society Science Prize)

4. The Language of the Genes by Steve Jones – DNF (The Royal Society Science Prize)

And since I didn't like Guns, Germs, and Steel, I decided not to even start The Third Chimpanzee by the same author.

Favorite book of the challenge: I actually ended up with a few favorites—A Short History of Nearly Everything, Number the Stars, and The Giver will end up on my all-time favorite list. I also really liked East of Eden, The Book Thief, Mariner's Compass, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Water for Elephants.

Least favorite book of the challenge: Of the books I finished, I really didn’t care for One Hundred Years of Solitude or Charming Billy. Obviously the books I couldn’t get past page 50 didn’t do much for me either ;>). Most of them were either too dry or too outdated for my taste.

What I learned: Always have an alternate list just in case the challenge books you picked aren't hitting the spot ;>).

Thanks for hosting this challenge, 3M! I enjoyed picking and reading books for it and I have my list ready for next year (more diversified than my initial list this year, plus an alternate list, just in case ;>)).

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