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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check-in #4

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!

Well… I hope you are doing better than I am with the reading challenge.  There’s no time like spring for being busy.  I’ve managed two measly books, and I am starting on my third.  I find myself at this time of the year constantly saying, “as soon as I finish X things will slow down, and I can get some reading done.”  The only problem is once I finish X some other X or Y takes its place.

I have to say that I really liked Zahra’s Paradise.  If it wasn’t on your list of things that you were going to read for the challenge; make room for it.  It’s a graphic novel, so it’s one you can knock out in no time.  The other one that I read, actually re-read, was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.  Fantastic!  Again!  I really love this book.  I might read it a third time after the challenge.

Maybe as soon as I’m done writing this I’ll have time to go get some reading done.  Oh yeah, I’ve got to fold that load of towels in the dryer.  Oh well.  Maybe next week.


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.

— Joel Bruns currently reading Nothing by Janne Taller and Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson


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Joel Bruns

I am a librarian who lives and works in Indiana. I love all outdoor activities (running, cycling, skiing, kayaking...).

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  1. Library.Lil Library.Lil

    I finished three this week, bringing my total to 7. This week I finished:

    Paper Covers Rock–had planned to read because the author lives in my area. Didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it.
    Here Lies Bridget–hadn’t heard of before this challenge. Thought it was just okay.
    Ring of Solomon–had planned to listen to as I’ve listened to all the other Bartimaeus books. Liked it a lot.

  2. Cindy S Cindy S

    I am very very behind. I have only read five. I am trying to read the ones from the lists that I have not already read. I have read all the Morris books and Printz books from this year.
    The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Aronson, Marc
    Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal
    A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

  3. Wow! It’s hard to believe that it is Week 4 already. Where did April go? I finished three more titles this week, bringing my total so far to 12. I also checked off two more lists, leaving just two from which I have yet to read a book – the Alex Awards and the Printz Award. The titles I finished are:
    The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – SO glad I finally got around to reading this. Loved it!
    Brain Jack by Brian Falkner – fast-paced and enjoyable. I found the premise scarily believable.
    Listened to The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud, read by Simon Jones. I absolutely love Jones’ Bartimaeus!
    Full reflection and mini-reviews from this week on my blog:

    Zahra’s Paradise is on my list for next week. My husband read it within a day of my brining it in the house and he is raving about it.

  4. I’m feeling better at this week’s check-in-now up to a total of 6 books read. This week I finished Wandering Son (graphic novel),The Influencing Machine (non-fiction graphic novel ), and Leverage (bfya). The challenge is definitely getting me reading some things I might not have otherwise. Although I like graphic novels I wouldn’t have chosen Wandering Son, as it’s manga. I’ve had The Influencing Machine on my to-read list for a long time (gave it to my husband for Christmas) and finally took this opportunity to read it. Leverage was super intense and although I like realistic fiction I find books featuring bullying athletes much too painful to read and tend to avoid them. I’m glad I did read this book, though, so thanks reading challenge!
    I’m looking at reading more graphic novels this week, balanced with Jane.

  5. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I finished four books this week putting me at a total of 12. Whoogles (very weird things that are Googled-got really boring after the third poop entry), Carter’s Big Break (very entertaining to listen too!), Where Things Come Back (took me forever to read and I wasn’t that impressed), and How They Croaked (very informational and entertaining).

    I look foward to my future adventures!!

  6. Amanda Z Amanda Z

    I finished 7 and I’m within pages of finishing #8. I had a hard time finding a lot of the ones I knew I wanted to read, either because we didn’t have them or there was a huge reserves list, so most of my list are books I’d never heard of & outside my reading comfort zone. I finished the graphic novels (my favorites) pretty quickly but I’m noticing a slow down in my reading pace with the non-comfort zone books. I’m glad I finally got an excuse to read “Ghostopolis,” “Anya’s Ghost,” and “A Bride’s Story” though because they were all fantastic.

  7. My semester just ended, so now I finally have time to get started on this! I’m currently reading “Why We Broke Up”… I like it and I think it’s really creative and all, but when I’m not reading it, I don’t really think about it or have any desire to pick it up. I’m listening to “Chime” and even though I’m not that far, I’m totally sucked into the story. Also, the narrator is great. I just checked out “Ghostopolis” which looks really great, so I’m excited to get to that one tonight or tomorrow.

  8. Phew, this is a hefty challenge. So far I’ve read:

    The Lover’s Dictionary
    How To Save a Life
    Jasper Jones (local to me; I thought this book was brilliant.)
    The Night Circus (loved it loved it loved it!)
    Where Things Come Back
    Between Shades of Grey
    Why We Broke Up
    Beauty Queens
    Anya’s Ghost
    Everybody Sees The Ants
    and the first four Dark is Rising (re-reads)

    so that’s a total of 14.

  9. Lily Lily

    I finished 5 books this week for a total of 16, month-to-date. I didn’t love any of the books, but Big Girl Small was probably best of the lot, and Chain Reaction the worst.

    Chain Reaction – Simone Elkeles
    Big Girl Small – Rachel DeWoskin
    Beauty Queens (audiobook) – Libba Bray, read by Libba Bray
    Axe Cop Volume 1 – Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle
    Music Was IT: Young Leonard Bernstein – Susan Goldman Rubin
    Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition – Karen Blumenthal

  10. Well, I read two more, bringing me up to three:

    Thor, the Avenger (hey, this was two books — how do I count that?)

    And I’m halfway through Ghetto Cowboy on audio. I got a bunch from the library, so if I concentrate I can get through some more, but I’m clearly not on track to finish. I did make a big list of everything, because I accidentally got two books in print that should have been in audio.

    • Since the Avenger titles are listed as one entry on the list, they only count as one book even though they’re two volumes.

      • Library.Lil Library.Lil

        Do you need to read both volumes, or does reading one volume count?

  11. I still didn’t manage to finish anything more this week. I started out strong but have been falling behind!

  12. Robin Robin

    In the midst of reading _The Influencing Machine_ and listening to _Fever Crumb_. I’m behind, but am optimistic about this week.

  13. Emily Calkins Emily Calkins

    I blew through Between Shades of Grey and Girl of Fire and Thorns this week. I liked Between Shades of Grey, although I thought it a touch heavy-handed at times, and I LOVED Girl of Fire and Thorns. I’ve got a big stack of graphic novels waiting for me on the nightstand.

    I finished seven titles this month:
    Axe Cop
    Between Shades of Grey
    Girl of Fire and Thorns
    Jasper Jones (my favorite so far)
    Zahra’s Paradise

    I’m still listening to Beauty Queens and struggling through Robopocalypse. I’m counting on the graphic novels to keep me on track! I hoped to get through a few more this month, but I think I can make up for it in May and June.

  14. Well I just found out about the challenge today and I am bummed because I have already read three of the books on the list just not in April :(
    Oh well more room for new great books. Very excited about the stories and worlds I am about to get absorbed in.

  15. amy amy

    Finished three more this week, bringing the total to 8.
    -Zahra’s Paradise: very moving, and I’m looking forward to giving it to the kids who connect to Persepolis
    -Jasper Jones: I think I’m in the minority here because I wasn’t wowed by it. Part of it may have been all the cricket talk.
    -Young Fredle on audio: I was totally unimpressed when it started and eventually fell in love. The narration made it.

    I also read Sold, which I know isn’t on the list, but holy wow. What a moving book.

    Just picked up Rotters on audio, can’t wait to get into it. And I’m going to dive back into Jane. I had started it a while ago, but put it aside.

  16. Wendy Daughdrill Wendy Daughdrill

    This week I finally finished the Scorpio Races, which I loved. I am now almost done with Where Things Came Back, which has been a pleasant surprise. Hey, which list is Beauty Queens on? I really want to read that one but did not see it.

  17. Penny Johnson Penny Johnson

    Okay, here is my finished list for the first four weeks:

    Beauty Queens (so glad I listened to this, even though I had already read the book. Libba was fabuous!)
    Carter’s Big Break (Lots of chuckles with this one!)
    Okay for Now (loved, loved, loved)

    Graphic Novels:
    Anya’s Ghost (meh)
    Daybreak (unique reader perspective)
    The Influencing Media (should be a must-read during every election year!)

    Between Shades of Grey (very depressing)
    The Returning (did not enjoy…)
    Jasper Jones (Actually, I’m just 3/4 of the way through this one.)
    A Monster Calls (am I hard-hearted because I didn’t like this one?)

    So the count is 9 3/4 titles finished. I think I am on schedule!!

    • Penny Johnson Penny Johnson

      Oops! Forgot to count “Sugar Changed the World.” So my count is really 10 3/4 books! Hurray for Goodreads to help me keep track of my reading history!!

  18. Kate Carlson Kate Carlson

    A few pages from completing my first! :)

    Now that my 2 graduate classes are completed, I am hoping to be able to quickly add to my “books read” list…which currently stands at ZERO! :(

  19. Sarah Sarah

    It was a busy week this week, but I did manage to knock two titles read off of my list. Why We Broke Up and Wheels of Change were both fantastic, and I’m in the middle of Where Things Come Back. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read some of these. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Jennifer Hitchcock Jennifer Hitchcock

    I finished 5 this week which brings my total to 8. They are:

    Graphic Novels:

    A Bride’s story- I loved this! It was so interesting to learn about a culture that I didn’t know that much about through this medium.

    Ghostopolis-I liked it and thought it was a pretty interesting story.


    Okay for now-I truly loved this. It started out a little slow but once I got into it, I thought it was dynamic and beautiful. I loved how all the characters went through transformations you never thought they would.

    Fever crumb- I thought this was ok. I didn’t feel like there was much character development and the plot was choppy. The audio was read by the author and he did a good job, though.

    The marbury lens- I did not like this book at all even though the narrator did a good job. I think the concept was good and had a lot of potential but there was so much repetition and really bad language (I don’t usually care, but I’d say half of the book is f-bombs. The characters were also not very likable. It just wasn’t my thing.

  21. Cheryl Gladfelter Cheryl Gladfelter

    Picking up a little bit of speed this week. I finished Bootleg. I really enjoyed it–I hadn’t known that much about Prohibition and how it started. I’m in the middle of listening to Chime. My initial love for it is wearing off a bit–I know everyone who has read it has LOVED it so I’m hoping it picks back up for me.

    I also just started Music Was It. So far I am loving it! I think that’s my favorite so far. Simply fantastic.

    I think I might read a little less this week because The Fault in Our Stars just came in and I can’t wait to get started!

  22. Tiffany Bronzan Tiffany Bronzan

    This week I finished “Wheels of Change”, which I enjoyed a lot and recommended to my co-workers and friend.

    I have completed 3 books so far.

    I’m in the middle of listening to Scorpio Races which I’m enjoying and I’m almost finished reading Shine, which is also good.

    I tried reading “Big Girl Small” and couldn’t get into it. I might go back to it if I get desperate to finish my numbers.

  23. Charles J. Charles J.

    This week I finished 4, bringing my total to 16:

    Sugar Changed the World (Okay, but a little disorganized – maybe having the teacher’s edition helps?)

    Ghetto Cowboy (Fairly predictable, seemed for a younger audience minus the language)

    How They Croaked (A fun tour of the strange lives and deaths of the famous, but I think the book adds a lot with its illustrations)

    Zahra’s Paradise (For a fictionalized account, I think this could have been a more straightforward read. I kept looking to the back for the glossary and appendices for help that I could not find)

    I am halfway through Young Fredle and Brain Jack, but fear I will slow ths week, due to my grubby hands finally closing around Bitterblue….

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