Saturday, July 2, 2011

Challenge COMPLETE!

I finished the 12 in 12 challenge by my goal...ALMOST. I actually finished at 12:09 AM on July 1st, but I think that is pretty good. I wanted to finish before July, but missed it by only minutes. I'll take it!

I really LOVED Payback Time by Carl Deuker. I chose the book simply because it had a football helmet on the cover (yes, again judging books by the cover). I LOVE football and when football season is over I tend to grab at least one football book to read in order to make it through until the next season. With the way this year is panning out, I might be reading a lot of football books! Anyway, this was a wonderful book that had football in it, but was really more about the journalistic writings of a high school newspaper sports writer. Football and the players played an important role in this book, but if I say too much it will ruin the story. I have to say, I was very surprised with the twist in this book. I will say, being the football fan that I am, the Philadelphia references were difficult for me to read (I really can't stand the eagles - yes I know that is their name, but not so important to me!) and made a lot more sense at the end of the book.

The Weird Sisters
by Eleanor Brown

The second to the last category on the challenge was an adult bestseller. Well, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you will see that a number of the books I read are adult bestsellers. I guess as one of the readers I have contributed to this status. I haven't simply chosen the book because of it's placement on the New York Times Bestsellers List, I read them because the book intrigues me or because it is written by an author I have been reading for years. So when it came to this area I had to do some research. I went back to the beginning of the year to see titles of books on the NYTBL starting in January. When I got to the end of the month, I spotted The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Now, I am not sure if this quote was actually in the description provided on the NYTBL, but it is one of the reasons I was HAD to read this book, "There is no problem that a library card can't solve." This quote, and a number of others including, "Because despite his money and his looks and all the good-on-paper attributes he possessed, he was not a reader, and, well, let’s just say that is the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put" were simply too goo not to record and remember. I am not a Shakespearian scholar by any means (in fact if it weren't for my son's invovlement in a Shakespearian theater group I wouldn't know half this much) but I was surprised how many of the quotes used throughout the book I have heard or knew from other references. This books was not a typical book I would have chosen to read if it had not had the reading / book references. I usually find suspense, thrillers, mysteries, romance, comedy more to my liking, but this book grabbed me from the very beginning. I loved the book's voice. While reading I almost felt there were four sisters and the narrating sister was never invovled in the story just an ever seeing presence. This is a book I will remember for a long time because of the growth of the sisters through the book and their love of family, books, and reading.

Grave Secret
by Charlaine Harris

The last book on the challenge was my personal choice. Now, all of the books on the challenge were my personal choice just in specified categories. So, I chose the fourth (and hopefully not last book) in the Harper Connelly series written by Charlaine Harris, Grave Secret. I recently read the third book in the series and really wanted to see what Harper and Tolliver were going to do in the next book. I love reading series books, it just really bothers me when they end, or worse yet when the author simply stops writing about the characters in the series. Now, it is my understanding this series has been picked up to be a new television series on CBS called Grave Site. I will give the show a chance, but I would much rather read more books about this twenty-something who has the ability to locate the dead after being struck by lightning.

Since the challenge is complete I guess you thought I would stop reading. After all that was the point right, to get through all of the books needed in order to finish the challenge? Not at all, the point of finishing the challenge was so I could read all of the books I have been accumulating since last summer. I save books to read during the summer so I can immerse myself in the story and the characters. I have a book next to my chair that I have wanted to read since I saw it on display in the library. The fourth book in a series I have enjoyed since I fell across the first a few years ago. It is a scrapbooking series. Actually it is the second scrapbooking series I have discovered and I really enjoy reading them because they give me inspiration to create my own special treasures. I carried this fourth book with me yesterday with all intentions to read this book. I was going to have a lot of quiet time in order to read and I thought I could make it through at least a fourth of the book. This was not the case because since I was spending my time in a library (one of my very favorite places,  in my very favorite chair) I found a few new books I wanted to read. When you let me loose in a library, it is like giving a shopaholic a free, unlimited shopping spree in the Mall of America! I couldn't NOT look just in case the book I have been waiting for FOREVER is right here on the shelf calling my name.

Miles to Go
by Richard Paul Evans
That is exactly what happened! I found the second book to a series I started reading at the exact same point, place, and time last year. I discovered Richard Paul Evans' The Walk last year and fell in love with the journey of a man walking across the United States from Washington to Key West, Florida. The first book takes Alan Christoffersen barely across Washington and ends in a very surprising manner. The second book picks up right where the first left off. It was like finding an old friend. I sat down and read almost half the book during this quiet time alone in my favorite chair. I finished the book this morning and feel like my friend Alan is a long away from me now because I have to wait until next April to see where his journey will take him on his quest for Florida.

So now I have finished yet another book so I better go back to the book I intended to read yesterday. Let's see if I can finish this book before I find another one that starts calling to me.