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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check-in #3

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since April 1 counts, so sign up now!

Hey everyone!  How are challenges going?  I’m struggling a bit, but that could be because of the hockey playoffs!  I’ve finished 4 books and am reading my 5th and listening to a 6th.  Now sure if I’ll get all 25.  I noticed right away that I had read a lot on the list already, so I am not sure I can find 25 new titles that will catch my eye.  Debating if I should re-read some.  Thoughts?  Are any of you done?  Are you going to be able to finish them all?  Leave a comment and let us know what you’ve read this week and what you thought of it!

If you’ve finished the challenge by reading 25 books, fill out the following form to let us know. (The information you provide is what we’ll use to send you your Challenge Finisher badge, contact you about your reader’s response, and notify you if you win our grand prize drawing, so pick an email address you actually use!) Do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.

We’ll check in with you again next Saturday. Until then, happy reading!

— Faythe Arredondo, currently reading Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman and listening to Beauty Queens as read by Libba Bray

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Faythe Arredondo

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  1. Penny Johnson Penny Johnson

    I had a good week! I have finished seven books so far (two audiobooks, 5 books). If I can keep up this pace I will meet the challenge! I’m taking several audiobooks on a 2000 mile road trip this week. That will be a boost.

  2. Library.Lil Library.Lil

    I finished 4 books this week, and since I hadn’t finished any prior to last Saturday, I’ve finished 4 books total!

    I read:
    Why We Broke Up (had planned to read, wasn’t crazy about)
    Music Was IT: Young Leonard Bernstein (had planned to read, really liked)
    Ghetto Cowboy: (had planned to read, listened instead, enjoyed it)
    Zodiac Killer (picked for challenge, true crime is not normally my thing, learned something)

    I also gave up on an audiobook, Young Fredle. It wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t in the mood for the young mouse discovers a whole big world beyond his nest story. I may go back and finish it.

  3. Robin Robin

    This week I finished _I Love Him to Pieces ( My Boyfriend Is a Monster #01 )_, which was too corny for my liking, but I could see how the romance could appeal to some. I took the rest of the week to read some more adult books for variety.

  4. I had a good week this week, too!

    This week, I finished Leverage, Carter’s Big Break (audiobook), The Influencing Machine, The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Between Shades of Gray, and Anya’s Ghost.

    That brings my total to ten! I’m currently reading The Talk-Funny Girl and enjoying it so far.

    I’m feeling pretty good about the challenge this week!

  5. Maria Kramer Maria Kramer

    I fell slightly behind this week due to reading too mach Game of Thrones fanfiction. :-(

    But since I was slightly ahead in the beginning it should all work out.

    I finished “Enclave” — and was not particularly impressed. Now I am 2/3 of the way through “Between Shades of Gray.” I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it, but it is a very well-crafted book, and a great look at an underexplored part of the WW2 experience.

  6. Jennie Evans Jennie Evans

    Wow, compared to everyone else, I haven’t gotten anything read at all!

    I’ve started Rotters on audio. I’m having a hard time getting into it, but I’m only a third of a way through the 13 discs. Kirby Heybone’s narration is excellent–I have a feeling the novel’s style just isn’t what I’m wanting right now, but I’m going to power through. =)

    I’m just barely into The Girl of Fire and Thorns. So far I’m intrigued, but I’m really just barely into it.

    Here’s hoping I can pick up the pace! Happy reading!

  7. It’s been a pretty good week for me. I’ve finished five more books: Beauty Queens (audio), My Boyfriend is a Monster #1, Sugar Changed the World, Robopocalypse, and Fever Crumb (audio), which brings my total to eight. I’ve started the audio of Okay for Now, and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. I have a handful of the list titles though, so I have lots of options for continued reading.

    Of those listed, I only read four titles before the start of the challenge. It leaves me a lot to choose from, but I’m also using the challenge to try out titles I might not normally pick up, primarily graphic novels. I think anything is worth a try, and it’s a lot easier to do keeping in mind that you can always put it down if you don’t like it.

    Now to get back to reading…

  8. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I’ve had a busy personal week and a slow reading week. I didn’t finish any since the last check in. I’m only about 30mins away from finishing an audio and about 20 pages left of a short book. I’m still in the middle of the book I started 2 weeks ago :( All of those will be included into next week’s check-in. So I’m still at a total of 8. It may be a challenge but I’m still excited about reading my 25!!

  9. I’ve decided that I will not re-read books. But since I’ve only read 8 books from these lists, not counting the Dark is Rising sequence, that’s not a hardship. I did bend that rule by listening to the audio of one book that I have read. I just couldn’t resist revisiting Young Fredle. I may also do the audio of Scorpio Races even though I’ve read the book. Again, loved it so much I’m not sure I can resist the temptation to enjoy it again. But I am trying to use this challenge as an opportunity to read things I would otherwise not have read. So far I’ve read, or listened to, 9 books in 7 of the categories. I will read at least one title from each list as my personal twist on the challenge.

    This week I finished Between Shades of Gray (amazing!), Enclave (okay), and Axe Cop (useful for Readers Advisory but definitely not a favorite), and listened to Young Fredle (I think perhaps that I can not resist cute animal stories – I love Fredle and the audio version was wonderful). I have finished 9 books and should easily finish the challenge early. There is no hope that I will read all of the books on the lists, but I intend to read as many as I can! My week 3 progress report, with mini-reviews, is available on my blog:

    I am now listening to The Ring of Solomon and my next book will probably be Brain Jack. But first, some reading just for me – I can’t resist C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner’s series, so I’m going to enjoy Intruder this weekend. Happy reading!

  10. Jennifer Hitchcock Jennifer Hitchcock

    I have finished 3 books: Anya’s Ghost (I loved it!), Wandering Son (It was ok. I had a hard time following what was going on because a lot of the characters looked similar.), and Chime (I had a really hard time getting into it and empathizing with the main character but I ended up liking it about half way through and the ending was really good The narrator was also really good.). I am currently listening to Okay for Now and reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

  11. I just joined, and so far I’ve only read one book, Between Shades of Gray. I’m listening to Ghetto Cowboy and a whole slew of books are waiting on the hold shelf at the local library. I’m probably not going to make it to the Finish, but I’ll give it my best shot.

  12. Cheryl Gladfelter Cheryl Gladfelter

    Slooooooowly continuing the challenge. I did go through and make a list of the 25 that I want to read so I’m hoping that will keep me focused on the goal (plus checking them off is fun). I finished the audio to How They Croaked. I had already read it, but I really liked the audio a lot! At first the narrator’s voice put me off a bit but I really got in to how he told the stories. His voice worked well for the disgusting bits. Still working on reading Geektastic. I think I’ll enjoy it overall but I find myself looking for other things to read instead of it.

    Started the audio for Chime today and I’m already hooked.

  13. I’ve finished several at this point: The Notorious Benedict Arnold, Hero, Here Lies Bridget, and Axe Cop. Doing my best to keep updated on GoodReads, and I totally know I’m going to finish if it kills me!!

  14. Amy Amy

    I’m so excited about these books. Things I would not have otherwise come across are now among my favorites.

    Finished four this week, bringing my total to five. I loved loved loved Scorpio Races (audio), which was a true surprise. I disliked Shiver immensely and had no desire to pick this up. But the narration was wonderful and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. And it was really interesting to follow this up with the audio of Ghetto Cowboy, which totally stole my heart.

    Graphic novels are also a stretch for me, but I’ve finished and loved The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone, who is a staple of my Sunday mornings in the kitchen. I really liked the history of politics and journalism.

    Anya’s Ghost was a great quick read. Lovely story. Reminded me of a sort of grown up Coraline.

    I’m working on Jasper Jones and Zahra’s Paradise (which I had to stop reading before bed, because it was messing with my dreams). And I’ll start listening to Young Fredle tomorrow. Also, just convinced my middle school head to consider The Dark Is Rising for summer reading. A bit selfish on my part, but totally fits what his requirements for a 7th grade read.

  15. Brenda Schwarz Brenda Schwarz

    I am slow going, I have read between shades of grey- loved this book!
    I listened to Chime and thought the narrator was awesome the way she could switch characters. I did have a hard time following the story line. not my particular favorite book.
    I am now going to listen to Fever crumb and I am reading Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the lawless years of prohibition. I am finding that book good as well as informative.
    I am slowly working my way through Brain Jack. Not going so well.

  16. I didn’t finish anything this week, but I’m working on Why We Broke Up.

  17. Emily Emily

    I’m making OK progress. I read Zahra’s Paradise and Enclave this week. I think Zahra’s Paradise is well-done and would reading for high school current events classes; you need (or I needed, at least) some additional information about the situation in Iran for it really make sense. Enclave is a great fit for the Quick Picks list – it’s pretty short and nothing but action all the way through. Maybe because of this I found the chracterization and world-building a little lacking, but it’s nice to have another Hunger Games readalike on my list.

    I’m listening to Beauty Queens (about 1/3 of the way through) and really enjoying it, although the process of ripping it so I can get it on my iPod is a huge pain – no wonder our YA audiobooks don’t circulate!

    I’m also slogging through Robopocalypse, which I don’t like at all. If it weren’t for the challenge, I’d abandon it. But! I know the perfect teen to recommend it to, so I’m getting something out of it.

  18. I read 2 more this week, plus one that I couldn’t find in audio format (I know it doesn’t count)

    I read:
    Why We Broke Up: loved it
    Enclave: liked it, but I’m getting burned out on futuristic dystopias

    Curse of the Wendigo was the one I read since I can’t find it audio format, and I have to admit, it gave me nightmares.

  19. Charles J. Charles J.

    I read four this week, bringing my total up to twelve. I finished listening to Okay for Now (which was better than Dead End in Norvelt imo), read The Influencing Machine (which was great but I think would have been better as an illustrated than a graphic), read My Boyfriend is a Monster (not my cuppa, but know teens who would devour it), and flipped through D.C. Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide (it’s a DK encyclopedia, so it’s less reading than stat checking). I’ve been concentrating on graphics and quick picks while trying to tie up the non-challenge books I am reading. I am going to try to read all new books and stay away from the 10 I’ve already read, perhaps with the exception of listening to Chime, since I read the book, and format counts….

  20. I’ve got two in so far, Divergent and Blood Red Road.

  21. First Check in: Just completed book #10 for this challenge. Already started book 11 and 12… cannot wait to finish. I’m glad I’m participating, however my brain is on overload from SOO much reading! Until next time…

  22. Emma Louise Emma Louise

    I finished

    The Girl of Fire and Thorns- Rae Carson. I enjoyed the book for the most part. Though at times some of the main characters were not very likable.

    Wonderstruck- Brian Selznick. A happy quick read. Easy to get through with a good ending.

    Divergent- Veronica Roth. Fast paced and easy to get into. I enjoyed the characters and I am looking forward to the next in the series.

    Delirium- Lauren Oliver. I found myself constantly comparing this to Divergent. I liked Divergent more. This book had a slow pace and I was not a fan of the ending.

  23. Bethany Bethany

    I am off to a VERY slow start. I just started The Night Circus this week. It’s very unique, but I am a little doubtful that any of my high school students would be into it. Maybe my opinion will change as I get farther into it. It’s my turn to make the selection for a book club that I’m in with other teachers and friends. I’m considering choosing The Talk Funny Girl so that I can kill two birds with one stone. I know that I’m way behind where I should be, but I am hoping that I will be able to read a lot when summer vacation begins in June.

  24. I have finished nine titles so far:
    1. The Last Little Blue Envelope, Maureen Johnson
    2. Everybody Sees The Ants, A. S. King
    3. Sugar Changed The World, Marc Aronson & Marina Budhos
    4. Scarlet, Brian Michael Bendis
    5. Bootleg, Karen Blumenthal
    6. Wandering Son, Takako Shimura
    7. Thor, The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1, Roger Langridge
    8. Thor, The Mighty Avenger Vol. 2, Roger Langridge
    9. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

    Everything has been fun to read so far, although The Night Circus was massively overhyped, in my opinion.

    • Tiffany Bronzan Tiffany Bronzan

      I agree about The Night Circus. I read it when it first came out, I thought it was okay, I knew it wasn’t going to be the next “Harry Potter” as some reviewers thought.

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