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2013 Hub Reading Challenge final check-in

reading challenge logoHappy Saturday, everyone! 83 titles. 13 lists and awards. 20 weeks. And now, the Reading Challenge comes to an end. You ahve until 11:59pm EDT tonight to wrap up the last of your reading and listening, and you have until 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, June 23 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 recent YA lit! (If the winner is a teacher or librarian or something similar, he or she will also receive a professional development title.) We’ll also send everyone their finisher badges and extend invitations to all challenge finishers to submit a reader response that we’ll publish 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 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.

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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #19

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!

This is our penultimate check-in! With just one week left, do you think you can finish the challenge? Or have you already gone above and beyond? Is there anyone out there who’s read the whole list (or come close)? If you’re not going to finish the challenge, what got in your way — and was it still a worthwhile experience? Have you learned something about yourself as a reader?

Our final check-in post will go up next Saturday, June 22nd, and you’ll have until 11:59pm that night to finish reading. If you complete the challenge by reading 25 books, make sure you’ve filled out the form by 11:59pm on Sunday, June 23rd. On Monday the 24th, we’ll select our winner, send out the final set of challenge finisher badges, and invite everyone who finished the challenge to submit a reader response to their favorite (or least favorite!) title they read.

Keep up the good work as we enter the home stretch!

If you’ve 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!

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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check in #18

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!

With two weeks and two days to spare, I finally finished book number 25 for the Hub Reading Challenge and I’m feeling pretty pleased. Not only did I actually complete the challenge (which is, sadly, not a thing I do all that often) but I also read some really great books, many that I would definitely have missed were I not reading from the challenge list. Lucky #25 was Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star, a book I somehow just never caught up with when it first came out, so I ended on a real high note.

code name verity elizabeth wein coverraven boysRoundHouseOf the books I read specifically for this challenge, I think The Raven Boys, Code Name Verity, and The Round House were my favorites, which doesn’t surprise me. But I also feel like I read a lot further afield than I normally do, exploring unfamiliar authors and passed-over genres. I read a lot more nonfiction than I normally do, and picked up some titles that I would probably have avoided, were I not actively trying to stretch. I still feel like I could have pushed my own comfort zone a bit more, and I’ll keep working on that, but overall I really enjoyed this challenge.

What about you? Are you close? Have you finished? Do you feel like you learned anything about your own preferences or reading habits? I know I did!

If you’ve 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!

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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check in #17

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!

This is my last check in before the challenge is over and I am still failing. I haven’t been reading as much for many reasons, but mainly because of hockey playoffs, summer reading program preparation, and shiny new books that just keep coming into my library.

Even though I totally “bombed” this challenge, I do plan on reading all the Alex Award winners at some point. Are any of you lacking in the “good intentions department” like me? Or did you all finish months ago? Let me know 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 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!

24 Comments

2013 Hub Reading Challenge check in #16

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!

Boy21For some reason, despite all of the great feedback I was hearing, I dragged my feet a bit in reading Boy 21 by Matthew Quick. People on listservs were RAVING about how good it was. Boy 21 was even on YALSA’s 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults List. So even though it didn’t really seem like a book that would normally appeal to me, I purposefully checked it out of the library and took it home. I would periodically stare at the cover, consider it for a moment or two, and then time and again put it back on my gigantic “to read” pile while I grabbed another more appealing title. But over this past weekend, I felt the call of Boy 21, so I finally cracked that cover and began reading…

…and I didn’t stop until I had finished the very last sentence! And then I wished it would go on even longer. (And then, if I’m being completely honest, I hugged it a bit before placing it lovingly and regretfully on my “to be returned” pile of library books.)

What makes this book so wonderful? As always, I struggle a bit trying to describe the magic of a really special book. Boy 21 is a book with fantastic male characters who are both typical and atypical for their geographic locations and experiences. It’s about basketball and astronomy, and about discovering there’s more to both then just playing the game or seeing bright lights in the sky. It’s about that one special friend who both embraces you as you are and also helps you to become more. It’s about learning to care about someone else’s life and, well, being more than your own. And it’s about discovering and valuing the things that are most important to you. In short, it’s just a really special book that I think just about any reader would enjoy.

Have any of you made a really special discovery during the reading challenge thus far?

— Nicole Dolat, currently reading Curses! Foiled Again by Jane Yolen

If you’ve 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!

23 Comments

2013 Hub Reading Challenge check in #15

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!

enchanteddodgerI did it! I finally read both Enchanted and Dodger and returned the books to my local library. That brought my total to 17, and then I took that momentum and went whizzing through Heist Society (how have I never read this?!), Friends with Boys, and This Is Not a Test. All in all, a pretty good couple weeks as far as reading in general and this challenge in particular. I’ve got five books to go, and five weeks left — I may actually make it this year!

What about you? Are you going to complete the Hub Reading Challenge this year? Did you set any personal goals (like reading an entire list, or something from each list) and if so, how are you faring? Have you discovered anything about your reading habits or preferences during the past couple months? Has your reading produced any great insights or burning questions?

Think about it, because on Wednesday, May 22, from 2 to 3pm EDT, we’ll be hosting a Reading Challenge chat on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook, and we hope you’ll join us on whichever platform you prefer.

If you’ve 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!

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2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #14

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 is everyone’s reading coming along? I can’t believe there are just six weeks left in the challenge! Are you on track to finish in time?

Which list or award have you enjoyed reading from the most? What new gems have you discovered that you’ll be keeping a closer eye on in the future — interesting formats, new authors, new genres?

On May 22 from 2 to 3pm EDT, we’ll be hosting a Reading Challenge chat on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook, so plan to join us on whichever platform you prefer!

If you’ve 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!

25 Comments

2013 Hub Reading Challenge check-in #12

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!

Twelve weeks down, eight to go! A big welcome to all of our participants who are joining us after reading about the challenge in the most recent issue of YALS — remember that anything you’ve read since the challenge started in February can count toward your total, even if you didn’t know about the challenge!

For those of you who are reading outside of your comfort zones, how have you enjoyed trying a genre or format you don’t normally read? Any surprisingly delightful finds? Any awards or selected lists you’ll be following more closely from here on out?

How are you choosing your books? I’m sure some of it depends on availability at your library or bookstore, but are you using Goodreads reviews, recommendations from friends, or comments other participants leave on these check-in posts? Or are you maybe just drawn to certain covers?

What’s been your favorite book so far? What are you most looking forward to reading before the challenge ends?

Keep up the good work!

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!

33 Comments

2013 Hub Reading Challenge check in #11

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!

51BVlp-PrNL._SL175_How is everyone doing with the challenge? I have to say, I’ve let myself slip a bit with some easy reading distractions (*hangs head in shame*). I finally had a chance to listen to the audio book for The Diviners. I feel like I’m in the minority when I say that I have not (personally) enjoyed any of Libba Bray’s previous books. (I tried, honestly I tried…) I had high hopes for The Diviners because so many people have raved — even people who report to not being huge fans of her other books, just like me. And I have to say, there was definitely a lot about this book I enjoyed. Sadly, our heroine Evie was not among them. And there’s always something about the way Bray tells a story that loses me — I find myself connecting to the story in fits and starts, but never being thoroughly engaged throughout. But I loved a lot of the support characters she created (Theta and Henry high among them). And the audio book was performed exceptionally well by January LaVoy, who created an immense number of entirely unique characters and moods through her voice. I really felt transported back to the 1920’s. So even if you’re not a fan of Bray’s works (like me), the audio book experience (thanks to January LaVoy) was a real treat.

What kinds of books (paper or audio) are you loving … or not loving so much?

— Nicole Dolat, currently listening to Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (finally!)

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!

26 Comments