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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #2

2013 February 16

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reading challenge logoNot signed up for YALSA’s 2013 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 3 counts, so sign up now!

Happy Saturday! How’s everyone doing with the reading challenge now that we’re two weeks in? Have you discovered something you’ve really enjoyed? Are you knocking out titles you’ve always meant to read, or are there some things you’ve tried that have been totally new to you? Any covers especially catch your eye? Are you doing the challenge with friends or coworkers? Do you think you’re going to be able to finish the challenge by the deadline? Leave a comment and let us know what you’ve read this week and what you thought of it!

If you’re a super-fast reader and have completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list, let us know by filling out the form below. (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 be sure to use an email address you actually check!) Do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.

If you’re not done yet, keep up the good work! Tweet your reviews and progress with the #hubchallenge tag, and we’ll see you at next week’s check-in!

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53 Responses
  1. February 16, 2013

    Once again, only knocked out one book this week… another graphic novel. I’ve been so distracted by other books! I have a pile growing of hub books though so I should be getting to some of them soon before they’re due back. Anyway, this week I read Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1 and I loved it so much I went and read Vol. 2 & 3 right away after.

    I’m doing the hub challenge with my YALSA Mentor, so even though we aren’t reading all the same books, it’s fun to discuss what we read and what we thought.

  2. Sara Ray permalink
    February 16, 2013

    Since the last check-in, I have finished Love and Other Perishable Items and Annie Sullivan and the Helen Keller Trials. With the pre-challenge, that puts my total to 7. I am also in the middle of a novel, gn, and audio. I have lots and lots of things checked out and am going with whatever I’m in the mood for at the time of picking a new book. Hopefully I don’t pick all the longest novels and make it on time for the challenge!

    I loved Love and Other… it reminded me of all the crushes I had as a teen… the last crush resulted in my current marriage so I always root for it to work out! I hope there is a sequel!

    Although I know the Annie Sullivan/Helen Keller story, I love graphic novels and wanted to read this version. It is a different style than I’m used to with super-small pics and lots of information but very enjoyable.

    Can’t wait to see what I can finish for next week!

  3. February 16, 2013

    I only finished 2 books this week.The first was Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am, which I liked a lot more than I expected to. It really shows the impact of war injuries on the entire family and gave me deeper insight into the damage a traumatic brain injury can do. I also finished Friends with Boys. This was a very sweet, realistic (in spite of the ghost) portrayal of the difficulty of finding your place in high school. Brought back some memories for me. I had a popular, athletic twin sister who seemed to fit in right I away. I was the shy nerdy twin & had to work a little harder to find my niche.

    I’m still working on The Miseducation of Cameron Post. With a long weekend here, I plan to finish it by Monday. I’m still listening to Inheritance in the car and passed the halfway mark yesterday. If these are the only 2 I finish next week I will be happy.

  4. February 16, 2013

    I’ve had a slow start to the challenge because I had to finish up some other books first. However, I did read my first challenge book a couple days ago-Every Day by David Levithan. I loved it.
    Looking forward to hitting some of the graphic novels this week.

  5. Anna permalink
    February 16, 2013

    Another three this week, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and Titanic: Voices from the the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson. I really enjoyed the Pierce book, my favorite of the Alanna series so far. The Raven Boys was pretty much amazing, though I kind of wish a little more got resolved as it’s clear there has to be a sequel. Not that I won’t love reading it! Last, the Titanic book was hard to put down, which says something as I’ve read about it before and knew most of the information, but the voices in it were so strong I just kept reading.

  6. Shanna permalink
    February 16, 2013

    I finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and I LOVED it. Also finished New Kids by Brooke Hauser. Am also about to finish Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, which is great, but it’s making me anxious because I feel like something bad is going to happen towards the end! It’s keeping me in such suspense, I guess because I’ve really grown attached to Carlos already. Will probably take an hour today to finish it up.

  7. February 16, 2013

    I have read three books this week. Heist Society- Ally Carter, Girlchild- Tupelo Hassman, and The Diviners- Libbra Bray. I really enjoyed Girlchild. I don’t think I would have read it if it hadn’t started this challenge. I think I should be able to finish the challenge by the deadline.

  8. February 16, 2013

    I finished Dodger by Terry Pratchett (finally!) and Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron. I really struggled through Dodger. I kept wishing it would get back to the mystery because there was soooo much world-building, and I didn’t feel like the plot was advancing. Struts and Frets was great. If you have a teen who’s really into music, this is definitely the book for them. One thing I really liked was it mixed obscure bands with ones more recognizable. I’ve started Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, and it’s reading just like a fairy tale. I’m adoring it.

  9. MindyE permalink
    February 16, 2013

    I’m finishing Dodger today… then for some fun, The Ultimate Spiderman! I’ve also have The Diviners, The Watch that Ends the Night, and Inheritance on playaways so I can listen while I do my daily walking!

  10. Gage Lawson permalink
    February 16, 2013

    dropped by the library and read First Test… Great characters.

  11. February 16, 2013

    Finished In Darkness and The Trials of Helen Keller this week. Loved them both! Am now in the midst of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and My Friend Dahmer. I think both are FANTASTIC books and ones I probably wouldn’t have read if it weren’t for the awards and this challenge.

  12. February 16, 2013

    I finished one book for the challenge this week. Actually, I started it last night and finished it this afternoon! THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson is really good and I look forward to reading the next one in the series. I’ve had this on my to read list for a while and actually got a signed copy when Maureen was at the Texas Book Festival this last October. It is fast-paced with lots of suspense.

  13. February 16, 2013

    This week I read SERAPHINA (wonderful!) and PROM AND PREJUDICE. I am deep into BOMB now and enjoying it very much. Cheers and happy reading to everyone!

  14. Amanda Cone permalink
    February 16, 2013

    I finished Alanna by Tamora Pierce and I’m halfway through In the Hand of the Goddess also by Tamora Pierce.

  15. February 17, 2013

    I finished The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and I loved it. Starting another book now and I hope to get through more than one book this week!

  16. Emily Calkins permalink
    February 17, 2013

    I read First Test by Tamora Pierce and Boy21 by Matthew Quick this week. They couldn’t have been more different, but I enjoyed both of them. The challenge is so great for increasing the breadth of my reading!

  17. February 17, 2013

    This week I finished three books, and I can safely say that I would probably not have read any of them if not for the challenge. I began the week by finishing In Darkness by Nick Lake, which I had begun the week before. Wow! It is quite dark, but well worth reading. Then it was on to another graphic novel, this time from the Nonfiction section of the Top 10 list, Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert. This one had me asking myself yet again, “Why do I not read more graphic novels?” Finally, I ended the week with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, a book I had managed to miss completely before the announcement of the Youth Media Awards. Thank you for ensuring that I read this book! I suspect that this book will be one of my favorite finds from the challenge.

    I managed to talk 5 of my co-workers into taking the challenge with me. I suspect that most of them will not check in here. But when we see each other, the conversation always turns to what we’re reading for the challenge. Surprisingly, this week several of us read Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller. We didn’t plan it that way. But we’d see each other and gush, “Have you read this yet? You have to read this!” We all loved the way Lambert illustrated Helen’s point of view and her move from isolated darkness to greater contact with the world through Annie’s teaching. We were all glad to learn more about Annie Sullivan’s story, too. If you haven’t read this book yet, you must.

    So, five down, twenty to go, since I’m not counting my Morris and Nonfiction reading for the winter challenge. I’m currently reading Dodger and listening to The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve posted a full Week 2 Update on my blog. I am also posting my progress as a public list on Bibliocommons: The Hub 2013 Reading Challenge.

  18. February 17, 2013

    What I’ve finished since the last check in:
    Enchanted
    A bit disappointing–I never felt grounded in the main relationship and for me it lacked focus and was a bit too much of a fairy-tale hodgepodge; however, some of the leaps and connections were quite clever. Unfortunately, I was much more interested in some of the secondary characters than Sunday and Rumbold. 3 Stars.

    Boy21
    Very unique and wonderfully written, though the resolution was a bit sudden for me. 3.5 Stars.

    Code name Verity
    Awesome concept–I love unreliable narrators–and compelling narration and setting, but for some reason I couldn’t get especially emotionally invested. Also, I found Maddie’s decision to keep a journal a bit contrived. 4 Stars.

    Currently Reading: After the Snow and The Raven Boys.

  19. alison permalink
    February 17, 2013

    Having trouble getting ahold of some of the books. Didn’t read any challenge books this week. Starting Heist Society today. Hopefully will finish a few books during the long weekend.

  20. February 17, 2013

    This week I procured Juvenile in Justice and I’m afraid to say that I was terribly disappointed in it. Not that it was self-published (more power to you, Mr. Ross) but that it needed better editing and it was completely one-sided. Juvenile detention facilities BAD! No information about well-run programs or suggestions for alternatives. I found The Diviners at my library on a Playaway and listened to about 4 of the 18.5 hours already.

  21. Karl G. Siewert permalink
    February 17, 2013

    I’ve been plugging away. You can see the nine books I’ve read at http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1723673?shelf=hubchallenge2013. In the last few days I’ve become distracted by some comics (Shade the Changing Man) that came in through ILL.

    I think my best surprises so far have been Trinity and the Steve Jobs biography. I had no idea that Jobs was such a complex and troubled (troublesome?) man. I was blown away by the art in Trinity. It really brought the story to life. I’m anxious now to read Bomb and see how it differs.

  22. February 17, 2013

    finished two this week – In Darkness and The Name of the Star. both were very interesting, though i enjoyed johnson’s book more. have started Dodger – it’s very British. i hope i’ll be able to finish the challenge by the deadline – though only 3 in the first two weeks seems like a slow start!

  23. charlene.librarian permalink
    February 17, 2013

    I bombed out this week on reading a Challenge book but listened to Leverage and found it to be a thoroughly satisfying book. I will need to write some more in a proper review, but I was completely entranced by the narrative.

    I’ve started Every Day by Levithan and fascinated by the premise of the story.

  24. Sharon Amastae permalink
    February 17, 2013

    I finished Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby this week–I liked the multiple narrators especially. Last night I finished reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Ben Saenz, a book I wish I had had for years to give to students to read. Besides the almost universal story I loved the details of the community of El Paso. This book certainly deserved all the awards it has won. Continuing this local focus, next up is Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, which was tested in New Mexico, just to the north.

  25. Richard permalink
    February 18, 2013

    Finished Pure and Anne Sullivan And The Trials Of Helen Keller today, both excellent! I’m six books in to the challenge and have enjoyed every one. Wonder Show is up next!

  26. February 18, 2013

    Just finished my second book Steve Jobs: The Man who Thought Different. Thought it was very well written and although I’ve never thought I liked nonfiction, I may have been inspired to read more of it. Karen Blumenthal did an amazing job.

  27. February 18, 2013

    Polished off 2 Saturday (when I could just read and read and read). Levithan’s Every Day, and Hicks’ Friends with Boys. Great books.

    I reviewed Every Day back in pre-pub form, and I think I loved it more this time. around.

    http://www.meanoldlibraryteacher.net/2012/08/every-day-by-david-levithan.html

  28. February 18, 2013

    This weekend I read ‘My Friend Dahmer’, which I really enjoyed. Last week I read ‘Prom and Prejudice’ and didn’t realize it was on the list! I’m in the middle of ‘Every Day’ now, so that should be done later tonight. Hoping to start a few others soon – so many are rereads that I just need to remember to reread!

  29. Beth permalink
    February 18, 2013

    Just finding a moment to get caught up on my progress. I’ve read 3 so far, the last of which I just finished yesterday:

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I loved! It deserves all of the accolades that it has earned. I thought Augustus and Hazel were some of the most charming characters I have met recently in teen lit.

    Moonbird: a Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose – I’m a major bird lover so this was right up my alley. I think it could be a perfect hook for just the right student to get majorly into the environment or ornothology, though I don’t know if it would appeal to those not inclined toward such subjects.

    Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks – I loved the art and the sentiments encapsulated in the story, but I must admit, I feel that the ghost element of the story was a bit unresolved. The tension between the other characters was eased appropriately and preditably, but the ghost character simply remained a mystery. Perhaps that was the point, and I just missed it?

    3 down, 22 to go!

  30. Elaine Fultz permalink
    February 18, 2013

    I was 1/2 way through Cameron Post on my Kindle when it was yanked away by the public library’s ebook system, darn it. Will continue with that, and the other Stonewall winners, this week.

  31. Morgan permalink
    February 18, 2013

    I did read this week unfortunately non of it was Yalsa challenge related. I do have Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am checked out and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore audio book downloaded so hopefully I’ll get to them this week.

  32. Amy Jones permalink
    February 18, 2013

    I finished Every Day which I enjoyed, I’m almost done with Love and Other Perishable Items. I started listening to Code Name Verity and have Bomb checked out but haven’t started it yet.

  33. Donna permalink
    February 18, 2013

    I read four this week: The night she disappeared – I thought this was quite good and was very happy with the ending. I also read Somebody please tell me who I am. I liked this, the character development is good – I did think the ending was a bit simplistic, but it did little to detract from the story. I also read Daredevil, vol. 1. I hated it. This is why I don’t read graphic novels very often. It seemed like a bunch of short stories linked only by the lead character. I thought the drawings were strange – in one way (Daredevil’s partner for example – I can’t remember his name – that shows you how much I did not like it!) they looke like the characters are from the 1940s – in other ways (especially the women) it looks quite modern. The best book I read though, was October Mourning – A song for Matthew Shepard. I never expected to even like this book – it is a book of prose/poetry – meant to be read in order as they tell the tale of the death of Matthew. The poems were poignant, touching, sad, and evoked a wide variety of emotions as they were read. I highly recommend this title.

    • Jenn C permalink
      February 19, 2013

      I also hated Daredevil. The shift in artists was distracting and Daredevil as a character is dull dull dull! Don’t let this keep you from trying other graphic novels, though. This one was just lame.

  34. February 18, 2013

    I just finished After the Snow by S.D. Crockett, and I really enjoyed it. If you enjoy survival or dystopian fiction, this one is a cut-above the mass amounts now out there.

    Next up: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo. Why? Because it was directly under After the Snow in my epic to-read pile, and because I need a break from dark dystopias. -Kelley

  35. Lois permalink
    February 18, 2013

    Finished:
    Wonder Show
    Putting Makeup on the Fat boy
    Prom and Prejudice
    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

    I’m so glad to have an excuse to read these books. Enjoyed all 4. I’m listening to The Diviners.

  36. Allison M permalink
    February 18, 2013

    This is going slower than I wanted because I’m also working on a personal challenge to read all the Printz Winners from previous years! haha, yes so lots of reading! I missed the last check-in but so far I have only read 2 books. And loved both of them. Love and Other Perishable Items was fantastic and I loved the discussions of feminism. And The Ultimate Spider-Man. My goodness, I LOVED that comic. I’m so happy they went this direction and I think the character of Miles Morales is the best thing that has happened in comics in a long, long time.

  37. Priya permalink
    February 18, 2013

    I’m off to a rather slow start- I’ve only finished 2 books so far!
    Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up the pace and catch up with the others.

  38. Debbie permalink
    February 18, 2013

    This week I reread The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants. I have also been listening to the Inheritance series–I couldn’t skip right to the last book! So far, I have finished Eragon and Eldest.

    I’m currently listening to Brisingr and reading After the Snow.

  39. Cheryl Gladfelter permalink
    February 18, 2013

    I’ve started two books–Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever on audio and Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. I was hooked on Titanic right from the beginning, I just didn’t want to put it down.

    It’s interesting listening to Cabin Fever when the Wimpy Kid books are so visual. The narrator does a really great job bringing the story to life.

  40. February 19, 2013

    This week, I read “One Shot at Forever” by Chris Ballard. It follows the story of an unlikely coach, Lynn Sweet and his successful high school baseball program in 1970′s Macon, Illinois. I typically don’t read sports-themed books, so I’m glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

  41. February 19, 2013

    This week I read “Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore” and “Friends With Boys.” Enjoyed them both!

  42. Robin Brandt permalink
    February 19, 2013

    This week I read:

    The Night She Disappeared (April Henry), Friends with Boys (Faith Erin Hicks), Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am (Harry Mazer), Never Fall Down (Patricia McCormick), and reread Beneath a Meth Moon (Jacqueline Woodson). That brings my total to 7.

  43. Jenn C permalink
    February 19, 2013

    Forgot to check in last week. Since the challenge began I’ve read:

    Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
    Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Daredevil Vol. 1 by Mark Waid

    I’m currently reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and listening to The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf.

    The order I read the challenge books is based largely on when I can get them from the library. My public library has almost all of the Alex winners, so I’m looking forward to catching up with those (my adult reading has been lacking the last few years). I’m especially excited to read Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore and Where Did You Go, Bernadette? Have heard amazing things about both.

  44. February 19, 2013

    I read/listened to 3 more this week, bringing my total to 6. A Flight of Angels was beautiful, with an okay story. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever was pale compared to the book, which was not phenomenal itself: also, like Young Fredle last year, I think this audio is one that should have been pared from the challenge as not being for this age group. Last, I read Tell the Wolves I’m Home, an amazing debut novel I would recommend to anybody who is in the thick of this challenge and has had a run of bad books (like I did) and needs a literary recharge. In my sights now are Alanna: The First Adventure and Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (both authors having been in a “to read” status, and now activated).

  45. Elizabeth permalink
    February 19, 2013

    I forgot that I get to count the ones I read for the Morris/Nonfiction challenge as already read. With this week’s two and last week’s three, plus the Morris and Nonfiction books, I’m up to eight titles completed with three in progress. This was the week to read books about serial killers. I finished both My Friend Dahmer and I Hunt Killers, and started The Diviners on audio–am now a little less than halfway through it. In my sights next: Trinity, First Test, and Seraphina. Loving this challenge!

    I am hoping for a sequel to I Hunt Killers very soon–that ending was…well, killer (pun intended).

  46. February 20, 2013

    I finished my first book – Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson. I finished the book on a bus going to a meeting downtown. Not a good plan. The ending got me a bit emotional, and I felt like the guys sitting across from me were looking at me in horrified fascination as I fought back the tears. This book should come with a warning – don’t read in public unless you feel comfortable with P.D.E. public displays of emotion.

    I’m getting a slow start, but I still think I can finish the challenge!

  47. Joanna Nelson permalink
    February 20, 2013

    This week I read Alanna by Tamora Pierce, Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright, and Prom and Prejudice by Eulberg Elizabeth.

    Having fun!

  48. Tibby permalink
    February 21, 2013

    I read through Wondershow and Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. They were both okay. If it wasn’t for the challenge I think I would have put Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl down in all honesty. On to The Diviners, which after two chapters I am totally hooked.
    I also put in a bunch of requests at the library for some of the more popular titles. It may lead to a backlog of books, but I thought I should probably get my name on the list before it’s too late.

  49. Becky permalink
    February 21, 2013

    Last week the only Hub Challenge book I got to was Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1, which I liked a lot. I’m a long-time fan of original Spider-Man, and I like how they used a similar origin story in a fresh way, including different spidy-powers, an awesome sidekick, and a boarding school.

  50. February 21, 2013

    My bad… I am a bad librarian and didn’t read the post all the way through, filled out the form. I’m sorry! I’m embarrassed. Anyway, last weekend I finished In Darkness by Nick Lake. What a book. It totally deserved to win.

    • February 21, 2013

      No worries! We can just delete your entry. Be sure to fill it out again once you’ve finished all 25 titles!

  51. Catherine Barnett permalink
    February 22, 2013

    I really enjoyed Friends with Boys, by Faith Erin Hicks. It’s interesting reading it just after having finished Drama, as both books have to do with school, family, friendships, and those who differ from the social norm; it even featured a school play involving some of the main characters. Friends with Boys avoids cliche; with the possible exception of the mean, self-centered jock, the characters who could potentially slip into stereotypes are given motives and background and personality.

    Having been homeschooled myself, I appreciated the “normalcy” and nuance that Hicks grants to the McKay family. Though my experience was somewhat different – we participated in a cooperative group, for instance, where I regularly interacted with a lot of other students – again, these characters differed from the “typical” homeschool kids one often meets in books not written by those who were taught at home (as Hicks was).

    I loved the interactions between the characters, especially the relationships among the McKay siblings. Not perfect (what relationships are?), but there was such care and loyalty and affection among them. I really admired the fact that Hicks didn’t feel she had to make their life one big ball of angst in order to create relatable characters. That said, there was sufficient tension and unknowns to keep me reading voraciously. Speaking of which, I loved Lucy and Alistair, too.

    The artwork is beautiful, and it fits the story well. Hicks does a good job of communicating nuance in her characters’ facial expressions and postures. Using Maggie’s annotated map of the school to mark the passage of time and show what she is observing and learning about her new environment is a nice touch, too.

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