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Tag: best of the best

2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #9

Not 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!

reading challenge logoSince my last check-in, I have read all of … one book. Ooops. To be fair, I have been on vacation for the last three weeks or so. I did keep with my goal of reading the Alex Award Winners and LOVED Where’d You Go Bernadette. I’m recommending it to everyone. Loved it. Next on my list (after sneaking in my teen book club book) is Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

Have your reading challenge goals changed since you started? Are you reading more or less than you wanted too? How many of you have read or listened to your 25? Let me know what’s going on in the comments!

If you’ve completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list, let us know by filling out the form (which actually works now!) 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!

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Reading Partners and Different Perspectives: Reflections on the Best of the Best Reading Challenge

Woo hoo! I finished the Best of the Best Reading Challenge! Midway through I wasn’t sure I’d make it, but I kept going and managed to finish even a few days ahead of time. Along the way I found it encouraging to read others’ comments on the Saturday check-in, but the best encouragement I got was from my friend, Megan. When I told Megan about the challenge, she decided to join me in it, much to my delight. Having a partner in this reading adventure gave me someone to talk to in person about the books I was reading, someone to share books with (we use different library systems, which was very handy when one library didn’t carry a title but the other did), and someone to help me keep going.

But a big reason I was especially delighted is because Megan is neither a teenager nor a young adult librarian: she’s a thirtysomething mom of four. I knew she was open to reading graphic novels and occasional YA fantasy or dystopian novels, but this would mean reading a whole lot of different types of young adult fiction and non-fiction. I was pretty excited to have someone outside my usual YA reading world discover and enjoy these lists.

After finishing our 25th books we sat down (virtually) to chat about the experience. Below is a transcript of our chat:

Sarah: Hi Megan, Thanks for chatting with me today. So, first of all, what made you want to try this reading challenge?

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Final 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge Check-In

Happy Saturday, everyone! This Saturday is a particularly special Saturday because it’s the day that YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge concludes! You have until 11:59pm EST tonight to wrap up the last of your reading and listening, and you have until 11:59pm EST on Monday, July 2 to let us know if you’ve finished (or conquered?!) the challenge. At that point, we’ll do our drawing to determine our grand prize winner, who will receive a YALSA tote bag full of 2011 and 2012 YA lit! (If the winner is a teacher or librarian or something similar, he or she will also receive some professional development titles.) We’ll also send everyone their finisher badges and extend invitations to all challenge finishers to submit a reader response that’ll be published on The Hub.

We’re also interested in knowing what you thought of the challenge! Leave us a comment and tell us what your favorite book was, what you enjoyed most about participating, what you’d like us to change for our next reading challenge, or anything else you want us to know. Want to share your thoughts more privately? Email us.

If you’ve finished the challenge by reading 25 books, click through and 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.

— Gretchen Kolderup, who’s in between reads again

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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check in #11

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, this is the best week I have had since we started … and I finished one book. But it was a good one in How to Save a Life. I’ve read five books and if I am being honest that is probably as far as I am going to go. Annual is next week and I know I will be tempted with lots of shiny new books! I can’t help it.

Also hindering my process is my summer reading program. I launched the first ever teen summer reading program this past week and it has been more time intensive than I thought. I’ve having a lot of fun, but by the time I get home I just want to sit and zone out. Am I the only one?

I’m currently behind on everything since coming back from vacation so I may have missed this by has anyone read all 80 titles? How many of you have finished 25? Let me know how you are doing!

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.

— Faythe Arredondo, back to reading Purity by Jackson Pearce

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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check in #10

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’m still struggling a little with finding a good balance between reading for the challenge–which I really do want to complete–and reading what I like, when I like. I got sidetracked by Bitterblue last week, which I was simply unable to resist, and then by a possibly-not-entirely-necessary-but-completely-enjoyable re-read of Princess Academy in preparation for the sequel, Palace of Stone (which I realize doesn’t come out for over two months, but I was sooo in the mood!). Oh yeah, and even before Bitterblue I tore through Charles de Lint’s new YA title Under My Skin (but this edition, with the awesome cover); I get a pass on that though, since a new de Lint pretty much always supplants whatever else I’m reading at the time.

That said, I did enjoy Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (though overall I found it a bit uneven, as I often do with anthologies) and Thor Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (wonderful!) and Why We Broke Up, which I probably would never have read if not for this challenge. Thanks, Best of the Best 2012!

That brings my total to six titles read (though I can’t help revising that number in my head to 18, in order to include the other 12 titles I finished pre-April). I’m starting Everybody See the Ants tonight and have The Curse of the Wendigo and How to Save a Life on tap.

I can say this, whether or not I actually make it through the challenge by the end of June, there are some really, really great books on this list and I’m thankful to have it as a guide.

— Julie, currently reading Everybody Sees the Ants (and re-reading de Lint’s The Blue Girl … because I can.)

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.

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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check-in #9

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!

The end is near. Just one more month to finish your 25 books for the Best of the Best Reading Challenge. I hope things are going well for you. Or, at least, better than they are for me. I’ve given up hope of earning my badge, but I haven’t given up on reading more of the books. I just finished the Okay for Now audiobook. Amazing. If you haven’t listened to this one yet, make sure you do. It is really fantastic. I also really loved The Influencing Machine. I read it just after reading Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death for my book club and thought that it did a much better job of covering much of the same material.

My main issue is not been being distracted by other books like others have talked about in previous posts. My problem is time for reading period. I have a book that I’ve been working on for a month for my adult reading book club, and I’m still just over half finished. Audiobooks are easier, right now, because I can listen while I walk my dog or do other chores.

But hey, it’s summer and summer means more time for reading (I hope). I’m going to attack Anya’s Ghost and Brain Jack this week, and who knows, maybe I’ll come close to the magic 25 after all. A guy can be optimistic.

For those of you that need a bit more encouragement (like me) and for those who are well beyond the 25 books and are going strong, I offer a toast to your summer reading:

May your summer bring you long, hot days filled with cool drinks and good books.
May your stack of nightstand books shrink, and your “read” shelf on Goodreads expand.
May your books enrich your relationships, and your relationships inform your books.
May you find books to share with others who need to read them.
May your reading give you comfort that you are not alone.
Until we meet again: happy reading!

– Joel is currently reading The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht and listening to Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

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.

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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check in #8

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!

I have to say, I’m loving this challenge. Each year, I vow that I will read as many of the award winners and top picks that I can get my hands on … and then I get dragged into endless other directions as the lure of this or that book tempts me away from my goal. But with this challenge, I’m making some happy progress on the YALSA lists (even with my expected non-goal reading distractions :) ).

As of update #7, my total had grown to 14 titles. I’m still a little worried about at least hitting 25 titles by June 30th, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. As of this update, I’ve completed #15-18:

young fredle
My Boyfriend Is A Monster, vol. 1
Zahra's Paradise
Geektastic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • young fredle – Cynthia Voigt (audio). SO charming. I really loved it, from start to finish.
  • My Boyfriend is a Monster, vol. 1 – Evonne Tsung/Janina Gorrissen (graphic). What can I say? The start of a really sweet high school romance … interrupted by hords of zombies. Needless to say, I enjoyed it :)
  • Zahra’s Paradise – Amir & Khalil (graphic). A challenging read. I wanted to like this more than I actually did. I loved being exposed to fairly recent events in Iran, but I had trouble connecting with, or immersing myself in the culture described — I felt too far beyond my own sphere and there weren’t enough footnotes to help me with the language (endnotes never really serve the same purpose for me). I will say this: the list of victims names at the end of the book is CHILLING…
  • Geektastic – various (short story collection). I’m a geek through-and-through, so this book felt like coming home :)

I’ve also started in on the audio book for Rotters, which is VERY DEPRESSING, but still captivating, so I’m going to hang in there to the bitter end with Joey (whatever comes our way)…

What have all of you been liking/not liking?

–Nicole, currently listening to Rotters and reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone

 

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.

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2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge check in #7

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!

I swear when this reading challenge started, I had every intention of reading and finishing 25 books. The first week I did pretty well and read four books. Since then I have read one. Ooops. This is no reflection on the books or the lists.  I just have a rebellious nature.  Like Julie, the instant that I have to do something (or in this case read something), it is the last thing I want to do. I’m trying to overcome my “reading rebellion” but I see so many shiny new books that I keep reading those instead … or watching TV. Season finales and hockey playoffs are airing!

Not helping matters is the small fact that I have already read The Lover’s Dictionary, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Anya’s Ghost, Geektastic, Jane, Beauty Queens, and Axe Cop 1 (which I re-read). At this point I don’t think I’ll be finishing the reading challenge. I’m going to try, but there are a lot of new books coming out and who knows what I may pick up at ALA Annual in June! There is also the YA Lit Resolution I made back in December. I haven’t even started on that goal!

So, tell me: Are any of you struggling, like me, or are you all rock stars and close to finishing the challenge? What book (or books) from the list do you think I HAVE to read before July? I do have a long flight coming up.

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.

— Faythe Arredondo, currently reading Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

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