It's getting to be that time of year again ... when news of challenges completed, abandoned, and planned for 2012 will start filling up our readers - if they haven't already, that is. I am woefully behind in my blog reading.)
I really enjoyed participating in the 2nds Challenge, which involved reading a second book by an author or the second in a series. I tend to read new (to me) authors as I see their new books on the library's shelves, but I rarely go back and seek out their previous work. That's changing, though, and this challenge made me more conscious of continuing to read those.
I went for the "A Few More Bites" level, which required me to read 6 books that met the terms of the challenge:
1. Innocence, by Jane Mendelsohn
Last year, I read (and loved) Mendelsohn's American Music so she was already an author who I wanted to read more of. Unfortunately, Innocence was a bit disappointing to me ... however, later in the year I read I Was Amelia Earhart and THAT one was wonderful. That has earned a spot on my "Best of the Year" list.
2. The Unnamed, by Joshua Ferris
Ferris's Then We Came to the End made it onto my "best of" lists last year. I'm still on the fence about The Unnamed as one that will make it on there even though I really liked it. It might make for a very high honorable mention. In my book, Joshua Ferris is 2 for 2.
3. The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff
Loved this one! Another one that is likely to show up on my "best of" list. I liked Lauren Groff's short story collection, Delicate Edible Birds, which made me seek out this one - the first novel I read on my Kindle. (Which qualifies it for the E-Reader Challenge, too.)
4. By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham
Ah, Michael Cunningham ... a name that has earned a spot onto my "favorite authors of all time" list. I know that his bestseller, The Hours, is one that many readers either love or hate. I fall into the former camp. It's one of my favorites. So is By Nightfall. (This is, for purposes of clarification, not quite the second Cunningham book I've read. I did read some of Specimen Days - and disliked it. For this challenge, I was only counting books that I finished.)
5. The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
It has been years (decades, really) since I read Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, so when a group read was announced as part of the R.I.P. Challenge, I was game. I liked this one. At first, I was listening to it on audio but that wasn't working out so well. The print edition is definitely the way to go.
6. Once Upon a Day, by Lisa Tucker I was fortunate to receive a copy of Tucker's latest novel (The Winters in Bloom) from NetGalley, and I enjoyed that one. My library had Once Upon a Day on audio ... and this one just struck me as OK. There were a few things I liked about it and many things that I didn't.
This was a fun (but somewhat challenging) challenge, one that I'm glad I participated in. If it is offered again in 2012, I'll be signing up!
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