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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #5

2013 March 9
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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!

I felt pretty good about my odds this year, given that I did well on the Morris/Nonfiction Challenge and can (thankfully!) count those titles towards my goal.  But then my BFF came home from ALA’s Midwinter Conference with advanced reading copies of the two books I was most dying to read, and all progress stopped short as I dove headfirst into 2009 Printz Award Winner Melina Marchetta’s Quintana of Charyn and Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox (author of the 2008 Printz Honor book Dreamquake). I have to say, I feel quite good about that decision, too, since both of those books were unbelievably excellent.

Mortal Fire came to an end last night, despite my best attempt to make it last forever, so today I’m back on the Reading Challenge bandwagon, which means it’s time to take stock.

So far I’ve read Wonder Show, Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, Love and Other Perishable Items, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Seraphina, Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95, Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, and The Fault in Our Stars (the first book I read post-Feb 3 and the only challenge-approved book I read before my detour into ARCs). I’ve read a handful of other titles on the list, like Drama and Code Name Verity and all the Tamora Pierce titles, but I read them all last year — or earlier — so of course I can’t count them (which is just fine — they were all great reads, after all!)

Which leaves me with nine titles down, 16 to go, and that seems totally doable. Reasonable, even.  I’ve got Dodger, The Raven Boys, Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, and Enchanted sitting on my bedside table (or, to be slightly more honest, in a stack on the floor beside the bedside table) and have placed holds on half a dozen more titles at my local library.

dodgerraven boysartemis fowl last guardianenchanted

What about you? Do you have a detailed attack plan or are you meandering through the list of eligible titles [pdf], picking at random? Do you have any personal goals you’re trying to accomplish, like reading all the titles from a particular list, or reading a title from every list? What books have you loved (or not) so far?

If you’ve already 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, happy reading and keep us posted on your progress! Tweet your reviews and progress with the #hubchallenge tag, and we’ll see you at next week’s check-in!

2013 Hub Reading Challenge

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48 Responses
  1. h.vert permalink
    March 9, 2013

    Finished up First Test by Tamora Pierce this week. I had read it before, but during this re-read I found myself incensed by the fact that Keladry was denied equal treatment by the adminstrator. So in that respect, well done, T. Pierce.
    I did wonder about the way she spoke, especially due to her age.

    • Karl G. Siewert permalink
      March 10, 2013

      I’m reading First Test to my daughter as bedtime reading. She loved the spidren fight!

      • h.vert permalink
        March 16, 2013

        The spidren fight was pretty intense! That’s cool that your daughter liked it!

  2. March 9, 2013

    My original plan was to alternate reading all the Printz books and the Great Graphic Novels, then, when I finished with those, to start on alternating the Quick Picks and Alex Awards, then move on to the rest of the lists. I’ve MOSTLY been following that plan, although I’ve been jumping ahead here and there. (Also I glanced through Stargazing Dog and decided I really did not want to read that one…)
    So far I’ve read:
    Friends with Boys
    In Darkness
    Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
    My Friend Dahmer
    Aristotle and Dante
    The White Bicycle
    I am somewhere in the middle of:
    The Night She Disappeared
    The Round House
    I’ve got all the rest of the GGN checked out, it’s just a question of sitting down and reading them! Finally got my hands on Dodger, so that will be my next regular novel.

    • Elaine Fultz permalink
      March 11, 2013

      The plan was to read all the Stonewalls, then pick lovingly through the others of greatest interest to me. But the library books didn’t trickle in that way so I’m meandering wildly through the list and enjoying every day of reading (intended). Done are: Every Day, Trinity, Disreputable History, October Mourning, Wonder, Raven Boys, Drama, Beneath a Meth Moon. In carrying bag for lunchtime and home reading: In Darkness, spinning in car CD player: Seraphina. Figure I’d better grab Bomb next while Trinity is fresh in mind to compare them and to get the atomic immersion done before Spring’s optimism makes the history of weaponry even more difficult to fathom.

  3. March 9, 2013

    A light reading week here, but very busy with lots of other things. I finished Lioness Rampant and read Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller.

    I started Seraphina and I am really enjoying it. For some reason, it has me thinking about Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, which I haven’t read in decades. I might have to get a copy to see why.

    • Debbie permalink
      March 10, 2013

      I read Seraphina this week. It’s a bit of a slow-starter with all of the world-building, but the ending is wonderful!

  4. Joanna permalink
    March 9, 2013

    I’ve slowed down a bit in my reading pace — but feel okay about it! This week I’m listening to Diviners by Libba Bray and am reading Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb.

    Also, I blog for Public Libraries Online — check out my post about The Hub’s Reading Challenge here: And, that is just Part 1…soon there will be more! It’s turning into a trilogy :)

  5. Anna permalink
    March 9, 2013

    I finished listening to the Diviners – just as good as the first time, and the performance is excellent! I also read Page by Tamora Pierce (very fun!) and just finished Every Day by David Levithan, a strange (but good) read indeed. So far so good!

  6. March 9, 2013

    Eight down so far and you can now track my reacing on GoodReads. Have a happy week everyone!

  7. Cheyenne permalink
    March 9, 2013

    I only got through one book this week, since I’ve been exploring the local library and keep finding all sorts of other books that I’ve been wanting to read. So Pure has been checked off my list, which brings me to 12 books read, 13 to go. Hopefully I’ll get at least one or two more checked off by next Saturday…

  8. March 9, 2013

    This week, I hadn’t finished much again, just the epic completely true blue, (almost) holy quest of Debbie Sparks. Which might I add, was grand-tacular!
    I really don’t have a game plan anymore, instead I have decided to read whatever my eyes land on first in the list. Which I guess could be considered a game plan. I am hoping to read a few more books than one over the course of this next week.

  9. March 9, 2013

    Since the challenge started, I’ve only read 5 eligible titles, and I didn’t read anything this week. :( I am still somewhere in the middle of After the Snow and just started <Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore this morning.

  10. Sara Ray permalink
    March 9, 2013

    Due to my strong start and decision to read off-challenge, I only read October Mourning this week. Making my total 12. This was incredibly well done (I actually understood the prose more than most) and as everyone knows, very sad.

    My game plan all along has been to read whichever novels strike my fancy that I have checked out and then try to read graphic/short books in between when I have an afternoon or two to whip through them. So far, so good. I have many books I am still really, really looking forward too! I think I may go over the 25 if I keep at a good pace so that I can read more of the books on the lists because they are so hard to choose which to read.

    Happy reading everyone :)

  11. Rose permalink
    March 9, 2013

    I finished reading Every Day this week. I really enjoyed it. It is one of those books that makes you question the strange feelings you sometime get in life. Overall a great book!
    I also finished The Pregnancy Project. I thought it would be a great book for teens to read in a health class. It had a very quick pace with the potential to engage high school students in important discussions about teen pregnancy.

  12. March 10, 2013

    I’m glad I did the morris/ non-fiction challenge because without those 10 books I don’t know if I’d finish since I keep getting distracted by other books (Out of the Easy was WONDERFUL). Since I’ve last checked in, I’ve read three more titles for the challenge:
    Enchanted -LOVED this one. I will pick up book 2 as soon as it’s released.
    A Flight of Angels
    October Mourning

  13. March 10, 2013

    This week’s progress: 3 print books and 1 audio, bringing my total since February 3 to 19 books. If I count my Nonfiction and Morris titles from the Winter Challenge, I hit 28 this week. I’m trying to read at least one title from each list. I did two more lists this week leaving only the Popular Paperbacks to go.

    Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, read by Ramon de Ocampo. This series doesn’t appeal much to me, though the audio did make it easier for me to connect with the story. I’d definitely recommend that fans of the books listen to the audio.

    First Test by Tamora Pierce. I think I like Keladry even more than Alanna. She doesn’t hide who she is to achieve her goals. In fact, she makes a point of wearing dresses to remind them she is a girl and girls can do it too!

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. My first book from the Alex Awards list. I enjoyed it, though it seemed to get off to a slow start. But after several false starts, I finally started to make progress in the story and found I couldn’t put it down.

    Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis. This is a short, quick book but with a lot to say. I liked the descriptions of the effects of traumatic brain injury. Personally, I would have liked a bit more depth to the story.

    This week I have 2 books I must finish – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Girlchild – because I won’t be able to renew them. Then, since I am making excellent progress, I’m going to pause and try to catch up on some of my other reading. Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide has been staring at me from my shelf for too long, and it looks like it will be a fun book.

    As usual, I’ve posted a full update on my blog: Week 5 Challenge Update

  14. alison permalink
    March 10, 2013

    Finished The Name of the Star this week. I’ve read three books for the challenge so far. I’m having some getting a copy of some of the titles. Looks like my spring break will be busy.

  15. Gage Lawson permalink
    March 10, 2013

    This week I read The Miseducation of Cameron Post. I am currently waiting for several books to arrive at the library.

  16. March 10, 2013

    I finished listening to The Diviners. I will definitely go back and read this book. I think I missed a couple of parts and it’s a riveting story in any case.

    I also read Prom and Prejudice which was a fast retelling of the Austen story taking place in a fancy girl’s school. It was cute.

    • Debbie permalink
      March 10, 2013

      I read The Diviners last week and loved it. It’s so complex that I’m glad I read the print version first. I just got the audiobook as well and am looking forward to revisiting the story after I read a few other books on my list!

  17. MindyE permalink
    March 10, 2013

    This week I read I Hunt Killers and I can’t wait for the next Jasper Dent book! I also read The Silence of our Friends! very powerful!

  18. Karl G. Siewert permalink
    March 10, 2013

    I’ve been plugging away. Have currently read 14 titles, and you can see my list here:

    So far I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything, except for In Darkness. I haven’t written a complete review, but for now I’ll say that I feel Nick Lake is appropriating a culture not his own, and displaying some racist attitudes in the process.

    I’m not reading challenge books exclusively, and I made the mistake of grabbing the wrong Artemis Fowl audiobook and getting hooked on it, so I don’t expect to complete the challenge this week. I’ll be on vacation during spring break, though, so there’s a good chance I’ll hit my 25 by the end of April.

  19. Jennie Evans permalink
    March 10, 2013

    I’m giving myself a big pat on the back because already I’ve finished more books than I attempted last year. :) Here’s what I’ve finished:

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (audio). I found it entertaining and had some laugh out loud moments towards the end, but I’m really surprised that it made the top of the Amazing list.

    Heist Society by Ally Carter (a reread). I am SO GLAD this book was part of the challenge because the other night I had a dream that REALLY made me want to read the book again. Nice, cute, fun read.

    Every day by David Levithan. A nice change of pace from what I’ve been reading. I enjoyed it.

    Wonder by R.J. Palacio (audio). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I do however, have some issues with the ending which I hope to explore in some depth in a review one day.

    I’ve just barely started Ten by Gretchen McNeil. I hope to start Diviners by Libba Bray on audio next week.

    I’m loving this challenge so far because it really got me out of a reading rut. Happy reading, all!

  20. March 10, 2013

    Just one more to add to the list this week. I finally finished In Darkness, which I liked. So, I’m at 12 now. I picked up Monstrous Beauty on CD yesterday, so that will be my commuting book this week. And Mr. Penumbra arrived in the mail yesterday, so I’ll probably start that this week, but first I have to read The Holy or the Broken…not a Best of the Best book, but a Valentine’s gift from my husband that I’ve been dying to delve into.

  21. Debbie permalink
    March 10, 2013

    This week I checked off four books from the list, bringing my total so far to 13. This week’s books:

    Heist Society (audiobook)
    Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
    Wonder (audiobook)

    Heist Society was very fluffy YA, but fun. The series would make great beach reading. I liked it better than The Gallagher Girls, which I read a couple of years ago. Trinity wasn’t really my genre, but it was interesting and the author did a nice job of breaking down complex concepts. My husband read it, too. He loved it.It took me a while to get hooked, but I ended up enjoying Seraphina very much. I’ll certainly be looking for more from Rachel Hartman. And then there is Wonder. WOW! Definitely my favorite of the challenge so far.

  22. March 10, 2013

    Terrible week for me, challenge-wise. I didn’t read anything. I’ve been trying to finish off the SLJ BoB books that I was missing, in addition to reading for the challenge, trying to manage the ARCs I’ve got and being determined to finally finish the latest Michael Chabon title (it is slow-going for me). I don’t have a plan for how I read the books for the challenge, just whatever strikes me at the moment. I have SERAPHINA, BOMB, and MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE waiting in the wings once I finish the Chabon. And I’m almost done listening to THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT so I’ll pick up another audio once I finish that one. Hope I pick up the pace soon!

  23. charlene.librarian permalink
    March 10, 2013

    I’m having another slow week of reading though I did finish Inheritance and loved it by the end. It was a bit verbose, so I’m interested to check on some reviews. I have only previously read Eragon, so I’m guessing that those who have been reading all along the series were pleased with this ending. I am having a hard time in The Diviners though I couldn’t put down Going Bovine. Not sure if I’m just not in the right mood to be listening to it. I have a pile of graphic novels waiting as well as October Mourning which will be a change of pace. Happy reading this week, everyone.

  24. Sharon Amastae permalink
    March 10, 2013

    Finally finished Seraphina–a good story, but I still sometimes find fantasy tedious–and The Name of the Star, which I enjoyed because it blended so many genres. Next up: We’ve got a Job. I’m reading books as the holds come in from my public library, a “strategy” that so far has provided a nice mix of books.

  25. Robin Brandt permalink
    March 11, 2013

    Read this week: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Andrews, loved it), Every Day (Levithan, a reread), Unchained (Tillit).

    Brings my total to 16

  26. Library.Lil permalink
    March 11, 2013

    I finished 4 books since my last check-in, bringing my total to 8. I’m hoping the slow and steady approach will work for me! It is nice having more time than last year.

    Since my last check in, I completed: Alanna: The First Adventure; In the Hands of the Goddess; The Woman Who Rides Like a Man; and Lioness Rampant. I read this series when I was a teenager (so like 20 years ago) and was really, really glad to have an excuse to reread them after all this time.

    I’ve “stolen” the sub-goal of reading at least one from each list from Angela, as I did last year. So far, I only have 3 different lists covered, not counting a book that covers more than one list (only gets counted for one, just don’t know which yet.) Beyond that, I’m reading whatever strikes my fancy that I can get my hands on.

  27. Beth permalink
    March 11, 2013

    Finished one more this week. I’ve got a slow pace going, but at least I’ve finished something each week. That should keep me on track for 25 by June.

    #6 – The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen – I loved the message, the characters, and the overall tone. A great, hopeful story, even if it ended an absolutely perfect, neat and tidy ending.

  28. Donna Siebold permalink
    March 11, 2013

    Pretty good week for me. I am reading titles in no particular order. I read First Test, Page, Squire and Lady Knight. It took me aback to realize that the Alanna series came before First Test and it made it harder for me to get started with the series. However, after I decided I was not going to wait to read Alanna’s story first I quite enjoyed the books. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Kel’s sense of honor and decency as she followed her path. I also read Boy21. I enjoyed this story but felt the ending was a bit rushed.

  29. March 11, 2013

    I finished Caring is Creepy over the weekend. OMG. So dark and sad. Just when you think there might be a silver lining, some sweet redeeming lesson, it gets sucked away. I needed to watch the Disney channel after that one. Probably not going on the summer reading list, but will pass it on to a few teachers first. So, instead of going with another Alex award, I went with a title that seemed lighter and Love and Other Perishable Items seemed like a safe bet. Sex, drugs, drinking, journal writing… But philosophical discussions on feminism, poverty and literature elevate this one, I liked it. I’m moving on to One Shot at Forever, its about baseball, that should be a nice change of pace, yes?

  30. Mary Beth permalink
    March 11, 2013

    Just chiming in with the two I have completed so far. Read Bomb by Steve Sheinkin and listened to Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama. Hope to get to a few others by the end of the month.

  31. Sandy permalink
    March 11, 2013

    Checking in. I finished two books this week:

    My Friend Dahmer – Creepy and slightly not what I expected. Kinda rubbed me the wrong way how the author put a lot of the blame for his behavior on the (lack of) adults taking notice.

    The Fault in Our Stars Over – A tear-fest, beautiful language, tears, cancer, sadness, tears, pain. Too many metaphors, though. Did I mention tears?

  32. Becky permalink
    March 11, 2013

    After going one week without reading anything from list, last week I bounced back slightly and read Mr. Penumbra’s 25-Hour Bookstore. I have several others out and in my TBR pile, but find it hard to juggle them with newer books that I want to read and books for book clubs. Anyway, right now I’ve read 5 since the challenge started.

  33. Richard Thornley permalink
    March 11, 2013

    This week I polished off Trinity (a decent overview of the development of the atomic bomb) and Crusher (awesome teen mystery!!). I’m now into After The Snow which I didn’t like at first but am now enjoying a fair bit. I particularly like the setting in Snowdonia (the setting of many childhood camping trips for me). That’s eleven books so far. Waiting on a few holds at work and also got sidetracked by some Peter Bagge and Jacques Tardi books that crossed my path… :)

  34. March 12, 2013

    Read Aristotle and Dante, and Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie. Loved Aristotle and Dante, thought Sparks was just okay.

  35. March 12, 2013

    Finished The Name of the Star, and it left me wanting more. Here’s hoping for a sequel.

    I only got through one because I’ve been having some false starts. I started Trinity and stopped. Then I started Girlchild and stopped. Now I’m on Tell the Wolves I’m Home, and I think I’ll make it through this one this week and hopefully finish another.

  36. March 12, 2013

    I’m at 15 now, finishing 3 this past week:
    The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, which I enjoyed less than the previous two;
    Dodger, which is story light, but otherwise wonderful; and
    The Isle of Blood, which is visceral, creepy, and consistent with the Wendigo audiobook as far as production quality.

    I started Bomb… and First Crossing…, and will probably start listening to Code Name Verity this week.

  37. Katie permalink
    March 12, 2013

    I finished reading THE DIVINERS this week. I absolutely fell in love with the book – such rich characters and an enthralling story! I also read ANNIE SULLIVAN AND THE TRIALS OF HELEN KELLER. A quick read, but such a fascinating story and beautiful graphics. I am nearly finished listening to CRUSHER, which is making my drive to and from work all the more entertaining. That puts me at nearly six titles, so it’s been a slow start, but I’m getting there! =)

  38. Leah W permalink
    March 12, 2013

    I missed the last check-in due to vacation (so here’s a couple weeks’ worth,) but I’m up to five challenge-eligible titles: The Diviners, First Test, Page, Squire, & Lady Knight.

    I have been in love with Tamora Pierce’s books since childhood, and have read them all several times over. Re-reading the Protector of the Small series was fun, all the more so because I could take my time and savor the details, since I wasn’t worried about discovering the plot! I think any fan of Tamora Pierce’s worlds tends to compare her leading ladies, and I’m no exception. I thought about Alanna’s quick temper as I read about Keladry’s temper, which was no less fierce than that of the Lioness, but much deeper and less likely to show externally. I also enjoyed how Keladry represents a non-magician’s POV, in a universe where we mostly see magical POV characters.

    Diviners was awesome, although I had a little trouble with the 20s slang. Though I’m off to a slow start, I’m attempting to read and listen to all 83 titles by the deadline–so we’ll see how that goes!

  39. March 13, 2013

    This week I finished the book Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95. I have never thought of myself as a nonfiction reader. However, I think I may have to rethink that. I absolutely loved this book and think everyone should try it. I am currently reading
    Dodger and after that I might be tempted tom read another nonfiction. Thank you Phillip Yoose(author of Moonbird).

  40. Brenda Schwarz permalink
    March 13, 2013

    I have kind of had a slow start with doing a practicum, working full time and wedding plans. This is what I have read so far:
    Heist Society-fun light reading
    the night she disappeared-still reading but very good.
    friends with boy-not sure how I liked it??
    the silence of our friends-very interesting
    the Pregnancy Project-Awesome read about stereotypes
    The Running Dream-Also awesome book about overcoming obstacles

  41. Shelby permalink
    March 13, 2013

    This week I have read and finished Struts and Frets and Where’d You Go Bernadette. They are both pretty cool books and now I am in the middle of The Running Dream. It sounds like it is going to be a great book! Only seventy-six more books to read!

  42. March 15, 2013

    So since the last checkin it looks like I’ve read Friends with Boys, the Round House, My Friend Dahmer, and Struts and Frets. I really liked Friends with Boys, I thought it was cool the way the author mixed her own real life story with a supernatural twist. The Round House was way more powerful than I thought. I liked it a lot, but I don’t feel like this is a YA book for some reason. I do think teens might be into it though, and it does have a teen protagonist. Struts and Frets I wasn’t impressed by. My Friend Dahmer was just as good, but also as disturbing as I thought it might be. I’m still listening to the Diviners, which I’m SO glad I’m doing because the voices are wonderful! Keep up the good work everyone!

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