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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #6

2013 March 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!

How’s everyone’s challenge coming along? We’re nearly a third of the way through — have you finished around seven or eight books? If so, you’re right on track to complete the challenge! (Or are you aiming to read every title? Is there anyone out there that ambitious and fast at reading?)

You’ve talked in previous comments about your favorite (and least favorite) books, but what about the experience of the challenge itself? What’s been the best part of participating? The sheer joy of checking titles off a list? Being better at recommending great books to other readers? Discovering titles you wouldn’t have otherwise? Connecting with other challenge participants? Let us know!

In the mean time, keep up the great reading, and good luck in the coming week!

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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39 Responses
  1. Sara Ray permalink
    March 16, 2013

    This week I am still not reading novels for the challenge but did finish Stargazing Dog, a very touching story I had to share with the hubby after! And Ghost Knight, I was so not into this one. Audios are hard if the right place, voice, story isn’t at the right time. So that puts me at 14.

    Although I do enjoy the joy of checking things off a list (what’s up with that? I thought I was the only one!), my fav part of this challenge is discovering things I would have probably never read. For instance, I thought Aristotle & Dante was a fantasy/mythological novel from reading the title and I was going to try it but probably not like it, but not only was it contemporary lit, my fav, but one of the best books I have ever read!! For that, I’ll never miss a Hub challenge ;)

  2. March 16, 2013

    I only managed to finish Seraphina this week, which brings me to 20 books. I started off very ambitious and read Challenge books almost exclusively.Then, I realized it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so I’ve slowed down. I think part of me doesn’t want to get to 25 and be done. I plan to keep reading any others I can get even after I’ve reached 25. I don’t think I’ll conquer the entire list, even though part of me wants to. This has really let me find some new things I wouldn’t have picked up. I don’t especially like graphic novels and I’ve read more in these 2 months than I did all last year.

  3. Rose permalink
    March 16, 2013

    This week I finished Heist Society. I found it a little hard to get into at first because it was hard to connect the characters and figure out what was going on. Once the action kicked into gear and characters stopped being introduced it was a lot easier to follow. I did see how nicely it was set up for many more books in the series,
    What I enjoy most about the challenge is the fact that I always feel like I want to read the best if the best books out there and once I get started on a list a new one comes out to distract me. In this case since the reading is done from several lists so I don’t feel like I am missing out on something else I should be reading. So far I have recommend nearly every title I have read to another friend or student. Sharing a great book with someone else really makes it worth it!

  4. Shanna permalink
    March 16, 2013

    I think the best part of the challenge for me has been discovering new books I wouldn’t ordinarily read, including some real gems, and being able to suggest new and more varied titles to my students.

  5. Elizabeth permalink
    March 16, 2013

    I missed last week, so it’s two weeks since my last checkin. In that time, I’ve slowed down a little.

    This week I listened to Wonder by R. J. Palacio, and enjoyed it although I feel it’s more MG than YA and the narrator for August’s voice grated on me. I thoroughly enjoyed Jack’s portion, Via’s portion, and had to go find some Zydeco to listen to after hearing Justin’s section.

    Also in the last two weeks: The Night She Disappeared, Code Name Verity (Audio, LOVED!!), One Shot at Forever, and Ultimate Spiderman 1 (My first Spiderman EVER).

    Total read so far: 16.

    Currently Reading: Seraphina–first read on my new-to-me Kindle Fire

    On Deck: Watch that Ends the Night Audio, Pure, and Titanic by Hopkinson.

  6. March 16, 2013

    Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg (Popular Paperbacks) – cute modernization of Pride and Prejudice

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, read by Ramon de Ocampo (Amazing Audios) – delightful – I would recommend this for a family car trip as it could be enjoyed by parents as well as their kids

    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (Morris, Best Fiction) – I may have been too distracted to fully appreciate the major world building of this fantasy featuring my favorite creature, the dragon

  7. h.vert permalink
    March 16, 2013

    I finished up Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks this week. Loved the artwork, the dialogue, and the plot development, and may even buy myself a copy.

    I’m only 2 books into the challenge, so need to read a little faster. I think the fact that I have a reading goal is the hardest part. There’s something about knowing I have books to read that somehow makes me not want to read the books on the list. :)

  8. Anna permalink
    March 16, 2013

    This week I listened to Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama. The narration is great, which is good because I wasn’t terribly drawn into the story at first. But I was totally invested by the end. I also read The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, which was definitely fun. I’m excited to see the sequel just came out.

    I’ve got Dodger, Pure, and The Round House in progress. :)

    Total books so far: 15
    So far so good!

  9. March 16, 2013

    I finished Girlchild finally. That was a tough read, and it never got easier. Then I finished Tell the Wolves I’m Home which was another tough read, but not as bad. After those two, I needed something light, so I read Alanna. I can always count on Tamora Pierce. I have 12 more after this, and I’m going to try to get as much read as I can in the next three weeks before He-Who-Rearranges-My-Organs is due.

  10. March 16, 2013

    Finished 3 this week:
    The Night She Disappeared
    Flight of Angels
    Daredevil vol. 1

    Daredevil was my favorite. So much fun! The other two were just ok.

    Currently in the midst of:
    Every Day
    The Round House

    My favorite thing about this challenge is the community. It’s so much fun to read the same books as a group of fellow YA fans and to see what they think about them!

  11. March 16, 2013

    This week I read “Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore” – a thoroughly awesome romp!

  12. March 16, 2013

    Once again, I have only managed to finish a single book this past week. But this coming week I expect at least two. Anyhow my favorite part of the challenge is the discovery of new books.

  13. March 16, 2013

    I am up to 5 titles for the challenge so far – unfortunately I had already read 10 from the list + 2 print versions of audio listed before the challenge started :(
    This week I read Drama by Telgemeier, which was quick & satisfying, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Andrews, which was hilarious although pretty vulgar at times, and We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Levinson, which I thought was a great treatment of this moment in the civil rights movement and would recommend to anyone.
    I am currently reading In Darkness by Nick Lake, which is very interesting so far. I do not know much about Haiti or Haitian history, so I am enjoying this new perspective. I thought the alternating between past and present characters would be confusing, but it is working for me so far. I started listening to Inheritance on audio, but my commute is so short & I don’t think I can successfully listen to a book while reading another that I will probably give up on it.
    The thing I like about the challenge is mostly kind of forcing myself to read outside of my standard genres. Although I already try to read a lot of award winners & best list titles, I tend towards scifi/fantasy & some contemporary. Since I already read The Diviners, The Fault in Our Stars, Seraphina, Every Day, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, I Hunt Killers, Wonder, Dodger, Boy 21, The Raven Boys, Code Name Verity, and the Isle of Blood and don’t really enjoy re-reading anything, sticking to the list will force me to read more widely than I might normally choose to on my own. And of course the crossing off of items on the list is always satisfying for me :)
    Here’s my Goodreads shelf for the challenge again:

  14. Amy permalink
    March 16, 2013

    I’ve read 8 books so far. I had a good week though I read three which all made me teary eyed-Wonder which I absolutely loved. I didn’t listen to it on audio b/c my library didn’t have it but I really wished I could have. I just love Summer in the story.

    Stargazing Dog-I loved loved loved it! I was bawling my eyes though.

    The Watch that Ends the Night-I listened to this one and really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize that the characters were actual people on the ship for a while and before I finished I had to look up what happened to them.

    I have Seraphina checked out to listen to and think I’ll start Prom and Prejudice because it sounds cute.

  15. March 16, 2013

    I’ve added three more books completed this past week for a total of ten read so far. I feel like I could reply to almost all the posts preceding me with an “uh huh, me too.” And that’s probably one of my favorite things about this contest–reading everyone’s comments and recommendations and tailoring some of my future picks based on what’s been said so far. I’m still waiting for Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore and can’t wait to start it based on so much favorable response here. I finished Drama by Raina Telgemeier and Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. I liked the artwork in Friends With Boys and the storyline in Drama. I, too, am reading more graphic novels than last year because of this challenge. Next up is My Friend Dahmer, In Darkness, and Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. I may also have to put Stargazing Dog on interlibrary loan.

  16. MindyE permalink
    March 17, 2013

    This week I read… The Night She Disappeared, Friends with Boys, and Daredevil! Today.. I finished Stargazing Dog! Even though I’m almost done with the 25, I’m going to keep reading from this until the end of the challenge!

  17. March 17, 2013

    I’m working on books 13 and 14 for the challenge. I’ve been listening to Monstrous Beauty. So far, my least favorite that I’ve read/listened to this year. Perhaps something will happen in the last disc to redeem it, but I don’t think so.

    Barnes and Noble had The Miseducation of Cameron Post for $1.99 this week so I bought myself a copy (I hate the business model of ebooks so I usually just go for downloads from the library, but will make exceptions for books costing less than $3). I am very much enjoying this one.

    The thing I like best about this challenge is reaching out of my comfort zone. I’m not a graphic novel person…I appreciate them, and buy them for my collection, but I don’t always enjoy reading them. Starting with Ghostopolis last year, I’m finding a new appreciation for the form. I probably would not have picked up many of the non-ficiton books without this challenge. Even some of the fantasy books I may have passed over. I definitely don’t think I would have read Seaphina, which I loved, or Monstrous Beauty, which I loathe.

    Another piece of this challenge that I appreciate is that it encompasses a wide variety of books. The Alex books give me a chance to get some adult reads in. Popular Paperbacks usually provide a quick read and a chance to revisit some books I missed when they first came out. The non-fiction list satisfies my need to learn something. The addition this year of the Stonewall and Schneider Awards opens up some new issuse (and since I work with students with disabilities, I’m very excited about the Schneider book).

  18. March 17, 2013

    Total so far: 9.

    Since my last check-in: Girlchild, My Friend Dahmer, Stargazing Dog, Beneath a Meth Moon.
    For my thoughts on these: go to my hub challenge goodreads shelf

    Next up: Drama, After the Snow, Bomb, Every Day

  19. March 17, 2013

    I finished Heist Society by Ally Carter this week. I’ve now completed seven titles. I’ve been listening to The Diviners and am going to start First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants. I have done better this challenge than when I tried last year.

  20. Richard Thornley permalink
    March 17, 2013

    Slowed even more this week, only finishing one: After The Snow. Starts slow but once you get used to the protagonist’s way of speaking it moves along nicely. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge so far– for exposing me to books that I otherwise might never have read– this will benefit me professionally (and also personally). I’m also an inveterate list-maker so have enjoyed just the challenge of getting through the list and checking stuff off. Next read? Every Day. I must admit I’m not enthused about this one but perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised as I have been several times already during the challenge! Have a good week, everyone. :)

  21. Debbie permalink
    March 17, 2013

    I only finished two books this week (they were both slow reads), bringing my total to 15.

    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – first in a new series. I liked it, but I always have trouble judging series books until I’ve read them all.

    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – Very well-written historical fiction. The beginning is slow going because of past/present/first person/third person narration that takes a while to get used to, plus lots of detail about planes and engine repair that didn’t interest me much. Once I got going, though, I loved it. A marvelous story of friendship set during WWII.

    Next up: Beneath a Meth Moon

  22. March 18, 2013

    Finally finished THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT – excellent audio production. About to start SERAPHINA which I feel like I’ve been waiting for forever. I am not going nearly as fast as I’d hoped in this challenge – I need to pick up the pace!

  23. March 18, 2013

    I started the reading challenge late, so I am only up to book 4! In fact, I am still reading it : One Shot at Forever, by Chris Ballard. I am really enjoying it, even though it’s not a title I would have normally chosen on my own. It’s non-fiction and about a small town HS baseball team with an unusal coach that defies the odds to make it to state championships. I’m about 60% complete, according to my Kindle. I’m thinking of putting it on the 11th grade summer reading list. With Common Core’s emphasis on non-fiction, it would be a good addition. It reads like a exciting/suspenseful/sports/drama novel in many ways, and the backdrop of the 1970’s, hippies, and the vietnam war juxtaposed with insulated, rural, farming community life makes for an interesting time capsule.
    Our HS Library was hit by a tree during Hurricane Sandy, and we have significant damage that has separated our library into pieces. The hub challenge is a positive force that is helping me refocus on other important things, like good literature, and making me do it!

  24. Robin Brandt permalink
    March 18, 2013

    Read this week: Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie (Adams); Boy 21 (Quick), This Is Not a Test (Summers), The Running Dream (Van Draanen), and Caring Is Creepy (Zimmerman). I loved Sparks and Boy 21. Running Dream acquired a weird vibe what with Oscar Pistorious in the news. Didn’t care for This Is Not a Test or Caring Is Creepy.

    This brings my total to 21 books.

  25. March 18, 2013

    My total is now 7-I know I’m slow, but I’m also doing two other challenges which the HUB list doesn’t cover those books-DARN!

    I just finished The Name of the Star (Johnson)-an excellent book! (Wish the second installment was on the list. I’m going to read that one for one of my other challenges.)

    My list is located at

  26. Katie permalink
    March 18, 2013

    There are a number of titles that I’ve had my eye on and this challenge has given me the excuse to finally pick them up and discover some great new titles, as well! Since the last check-in, I’ve finished CRUSHER and THE NAME OF THE STAR, both of which I loved, but I’d have to say THE NAME OF THE STAR has been my favorite so far. I’m up to 7 titles and just started STARGAZING DOG, so that’ll be a quick read.

  27. Shelby permalink
    March 18, 2013

    This week I have read Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Running Dream. Planned to get a lot more done, but the flu stopped me in my tracks for the second time this winter. Not fun! I am hoping to catch up on my reading next week.

  28. Brenda Schwarz permalink
    March 18, 2013

    I’ve had a busy week and weekend with getting my daughters wedding ready so I was only able to work on one book which is I Hunt Killers. What I have read so far has been really good and I am looking forward to sitting and reading more of it. I do like having this in the fact that I usually drop everything I am reading and read books that are not my normal reading style. It has been really fun and I have read a few really good books this year and also recommended those books.

  29. March 18, 2013

    Spring break and being down with the sickness (cold) curbed my reading this week – I read 2 this week, bringing me to 17:

    Bomb… was a great companion to the Trinity… graphic, fleshing out the atomic bomb story with accounts of both KGB spying attempts on the U.S. atomic program and the sabotage of the German atomic program. It was well-written, well-researched, and made me despair that I didn’t read The Notorious Benedict Arnold last year (both are by the same author).

    Enchanted had a good story idea, but failed on the finished product. Lackluster characters and jumps in plot made it difficult to follow: it just didn’t engage me. I think a re-editing could have helped.

    Still listening to Code Name Verity and reading First Crossing, and have begun Ten as well (which so far is less than tasty). Also, a bundle of audiobooks just came in, so I can start those too.

    I appreciate reading other’s comments, both as a guide for myself on this challenge, and as use for reader’s advisory beyond what I choose to read. The challenge also definitely gifts me with books I would never strolled though myself. And it is true, conquering the list one highlighted title at a time brings me joy.

  30. Kefira Philippe permalink
    March 18, 2013

    I read Heist Society. Very cute and made me curious about the rest of the series. The plot had a bit more heft than I was expecting.

  31. j wells permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Just finished listening to Code Name Verity, the two voice actors really helped move the story along for me. I am at 6 books so far, I’ve got to get moving if I want to get them all done! The others I have read or listened to but only signed up today are Wonder Show, The Diviners, Heist Society (which I booktalk at middle schools and they love) The Fault in Our Stars (audio, I LOVED) and Aristotle and Dante. Glad we could backtrack, I just heard about this today!

    • j wells permalink
      March 21, 2013

      and when I say backtrack I mean to when this started in Feb. :)

  32. charlene.librarian permalink
    March 19, 2013

    I’m late for checking in this week. Hope that’s okay. I’m out of town for a month, so I’m checking at my mother’s public library of choice and looking forward to grabbing up Wonder (audio) and various other titles that I had to leave behind at my own library. I did complete The Raven Boys which I enjoyed immensely.

  33. Joanna permalink
    March 19, 2013

    This week I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Marie Semple.

  34. March 20, 2013

    I missed a couple of checkins because I was on vacation – which also means I didn’t read as much as I thought I would. Like others have said, my favorite part of the challenge is how it forces me to read outside my comfort zone and become familiar with a wide range of titles.

    Bringing me to a total of 9 titles read – I finished:
    Drama – fast read with interesting drawings

    Steve Jobs – fast moving biography. Who knew he was so abrasive from such a young age?

    Pure – Excellent writing, but it left me feeling sad. I read dystopias because I like to have a hope that things will get better even though the world seems to be falling apart. With Pure I ended the book with little good to hope for and the fear that I would have nightmeres featuring the characters and their fusings.

    I started Caring is Creepy and put it down – it was just too creepy for me.

    • March 20, 2013

      I missed a word there – the paragraph on Pure should read:

      Pure – Excellent writing, but it left me feeling sad. I read dystopias because I like to have a hope that things will get better even though the world seems to be falling apart. With Pure I ended the book with little good to hope for the future and the fear that I would have nightmeres featuring the characters and their fusings

  35. Sandy permalink
    March 21, 2013

    Super-busy last week. I only finished one book–Trinity. Wonderful non-fiction graphic novel.

  36. Tibby permalink
    March 21, 2013

    I haven’t checked in a in a couple weeks, but I’ve been busy reading. I like having the excuse to actually read these titles! And some of them have been fantastic. I have to say, though, I actually put one down after the first 50 pages. I almost never do that, but I just couldn’t get into Aristotle and Dante. Which isn’t to say that I don’t see value in it or know it has an audience, but I just couldn’t do it.

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