Monday 2 July 2012

Half of the year is Gaaaaawn!

Apparently, it's July. I have literally no idea where the time has gone. It seems like about five minutes ago it was January and I was finding out about the imminent person I'm growing and freezing my feet off on the way to work and making all my many resolutions for the year... 

Now it's July, I'm a lot fatter, I have a small person (who so far likes to kick me; early in the morning, late at night, whenever there is tennis/athletics/football on, and during musicals...) in my stomach, and.... it's still quite cold. Summer doesn't seem to have really reached us here yet, but ah well. I've not done as much reading as I'd have liked, but I've done more than I really should have what with all the life-changing insanity. of both positive and negative kinds, that has been taking place. There's only one challenge I signed up for that I've yet to read anything for, so I'm fairly proud of myself!

Lots of people have been doing half way through the year wrap up type posts, but I was particularly reading this one (by Laura from Devouring Texts) today and it inspired me to do a little round-up of all my challenge progress with my favourite and least favourite reads from each. This is probably going to be one of those posts that nobody will read but me but I feel the need to write it in order to sort my thoughts out, so here goes!!

I updated on the Mount TBR Challenge the other day, and haven't made much progress since then. I did finish One Day though, which I really enjoyed. Eventually I'll get around to writing a review of it. I've also (just barely) started North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell this week, which will bring my total up to 11 of 25 books. 

For the 50 States Reading Challenge I've currently read 7 (eek) of 50 books. Favourite so far has probably got to be The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings. I never got to writing a review of it, but I expected absolutely nothing from it and so it was hugely better than expected. Most disappointing was Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky, which I didn't finish purely because it had to go back to the library and I couldn't work up the required motivation to finish it in time. I don't know why - it wasn't particularly bad, it just wasn't very good, either. 

Last year I failed so epically at the Back to the Classics Challenge so this year A Classics Challenge instead, for which I need to read 7 books. Currently I've read 2, the best of which was The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, but The Awakening was also really interesting, so no disappointment from this one so far!

The New Author Challenge has probably been the easiest challenge to participate in - I've read a fair amount of new authors without trying very hard - 17 of 25 for this challenge already, so I'm definitely on track to complete this one which makes me all kinds of happy! I've also reviewed 6 titles, so not great, but better than none! Most unexpected was The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, which came from the library totally on spec and which was brilliant and really gripping! Most disappointing was The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson which was just kind of meh....

The Mixing It Up Challenge is probably one of my favourite challenges of 2012. I've pretty much done the easy reading and now I'm really having to break out of my comfort zone for the rest! I'm standing at 6 of a hopeful 15 now, having only reviewed one (eek). I'm excited to read Danny Wallace's Yes Man next, because he is truly hilarious. 

I wrote a post about my obsession with libraries lately, so my participation in the Support Your Local LIbrary challenge shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone! I just want to defend myself before I reveal my stats for this one; our library has been being refurbished since February, and was entirely closed until the beginning of April, and has only been less than half open since then, so that's my excuse for why I've only read 9 books of an intended 37. The best of these is actually probably Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller was Dad and Life was a Catch 22 by Erica Heller, the first book I read for the challenge, but I've just started This Isn't the Sort of the Thing That Happens to Someone Like You by Jon McGregor, who is one of my favourite authors ever, so we'll see...

I should mention the challenge I'm hosting - The Telling Tales Challenge. I am enjoying hosting this so much, and this is actually the month that I've done the most reading. So far I've read 11 out of 15 books for this challenge, which is amazing :-) But I've only reviewed  5, so I really need to get a move on with that. The best thing I've read is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, although I don't think it can count as a best because it was a re-read, but there we go. Nothing at all has been bad. 

The Graphic Novels Challenge is the only challenge I completed last year, and I look set to do the same this year! So far I've read 9 of 12, and reviewed 4 so overall it's been great. The best read for this was The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, which was just beautiful and inspiring. Also, you should see the film because it's pretty brilliant. 

The last thing I'm even vaguely succeeding at is The Classics Club. Not a year long challenge, but I've only started recently and have already read two books from my list and am currently collecting some of the series so I can read them back to back. 

Everything else I signed up for I'm pretty much failing at, and I don't want to depress myself rehashing how badly I'm doing. If I end this post here then I'll feel really positive about my reading despite the fact that my reviewing generally sucks this year. I'll be writing some mini reviews soon to try to catch up! 

So there we go, sorry if I've bored you to tears, and if you've actually read the whole post you have my eternal gratitude!! 


  1. Oooh, I'm an inspiration! Feels good! I keep seeing that people are doing the 50 states challenge recently, and I'm like WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS EARLIER?!?! Hopefully the host/someone else will do the same challenge next year so I can join in, cause I loves me some America :)

    1. It's been really fun actually, although it still totally terrifies me! I think it has been run the past couple of years so hopefully they'll keep it up for next year! And yes, you're totally an inspiration! :-p

  2. These posts aren't boring! I love these kind of wrap-ups - part personal, part bookish, what's not to love!?

    The 50 States Challenge is really, really ambitious! I saw it back in December, but then shuffled off whimpering at the sheer thought of it. I don't think seven books is ANYTHING to be ashamed of!