2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-in #6

yalsa morris nonfiction sealsNot signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. If you’re finished, fill out the form at the bottom of this post to let us know!

I have to be honest: I’m not doing so hot on the challenge this year.  Last year I blazed through both lists and really enjoyed the diversity, the new authors, the experience of reading outside my comfort zone.  I have no doubt at all that the nominated titles this year have just as much to offer, but everything seems to be conspiring against me.  I still haven’t managed to round up copies up of all the books, and interview-centric reading has kicked into high gear again.  Plus, like many of you, I suspect, there’s that pile of books I received over the holidays, so new and shiny and enticing…

In the Shadow of BlackbirdsThat said, I did finish Elizabeth Ross’ Belle Epoque and The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb, both of which were wonderful and an excellent reminder of why this challenge is so great.  And I’ve got a copy of In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters and a whole weekend ahead of me so I’m certainly not giving up!

What about you?  What does your weekend hold?


–Julie Bartel, who will be reading In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, as soon as I finish these last 30 pages…


22 thoughts on “2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-in #6”

  1. I just finished Imprisoned, my fourth non-fiction title. One more to go! I look forward to The Nazi Hunters as I am in love with the movie Inglorious Basterds. I will have to make a dedicated effort to finish it in a week though!!

  2. I finished! Woohoo! This weekend finished The President Has Been Shot (loved) and Belle Epoque (really enjoyed). My personal favorite for Morris was In the Shadow of Blackbirds, but I’m predicting Sex & Violence will take the award. For non-fiction, I loved all except for Imprisoned, which was only okay for me. I’m hoping Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design will win.

  3. I finished yesterday, having read Sex & Violence and Belle Epoque this week. My two favorites were The Nazi Hunters and Sex and Violence. At the start I would;t have predicted that Sex & Violence would have been my favorite, but they story has stayed with me and I keep thinking about it. As for my predictions, I think that Imprisoned or Courage Has No Color will win the Nonfiction Award. I think Sex & Violence might win the Morris.

  4. Finished Dr. Bird’s Advice to Sad Poets. Very realistic with believable characters. Kind of hard to get through, though; I know a lot of people, young and old who are dealing with issues like those of James and Jorie. Many teens will be comforted to know that they are not alone.

  5. Fifty pages left of Dr. Bird’s Advice to Sad Poets and really want work to finish up so I can keep reading. I am pleasantly surprised about this book and as of right now it is my favorite. It seems I need to get back to reading Sex and Violence. :)
    Only have Nazi Hunters left to read for the Non-Fiction challenge. My least favorite is Imprisoned. Go: a Kidd’s Guide… and The President Has…. are my favorites so far.

  6. This week I finished IMPRISONED, COURAGE HAS NO COLOR, and THE NAZI HUNTERS. I’m about halfway through DR. BIRD’S. It seems unlikely I’ll finish – the other two non-fiction titles are currently just on order at my library and it’s a very slim chance they’ll arrive before I leave for Philadelphia on Friday. Similarly, my library does not own BELLE EPOQUE (not even on order) and, as I mentioned previously, I’d read SEX & VIOLENCE before the challenge started. I’m still planning on finishing DR. BIRD’S, as well as reading IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLACKBIRDS.

  7. This week I read Imprisoned and “The President Has Been Shot” which leaves me with just Go and Courage Has No Color for the Non-fiction finalists. I also have all of the remaining Morris finalists checked out from the library (I only read Sex & Violence so far) so I will be spending my day off tomorrow reading through as much as I can!

  8. I finished the last of the nonfiction titles this week. GO is my favorite! I have read 2 1/2 of the Morris titles. If I have a really good week, maybe I can get the rest of those finished before next Monday!

    Belle Epoque: Absolutely loved it!
    Charm & Strange: Didn’t like it. I guess I wasn’t emotionally prepared for this one!
    In the Shadow of Blackbirds: halfway through, and I am very intrigued!!

    Dr. Bird and Sex/Violence are sitting on my bed table. Will I get them finished??????

  9. You guys are rocking this challenge! I’m reading Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, which I love, and still pining away for Go, which I suspect is not going to arrive at my library in time to complete the Nonfiction portion of the challenge. Alas! But the reading I’ve done so far has been so, so good.

  10. I finally got hold of a copy of Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, the last book I need to read for the Challenges. I wish I could say I’m loving it. But I’m having trouble getting into it. Part of it is just a gut reaction of “Not another book with such a dark theme.” To be fair, James has a completely different voice than the narrators of Charm & Strange and Sex & Violence. In fact, it’s pretty amazing how different in tone the three books are. If it weren’t for the deadline, I might put Dr. Bird aside and plan to come back to it later when I am in a better state of mind to appreciate it. Who am I kidding? If I did put it aside, odds are I would never get back to it.

  11. This weekend I worked on Belle Epoque. I am almost finished. It took me a bit to get into the book but once I did, I really started liking it! I still have In the Shadow of Blackbirds and Sex and Violence to compelete. I feel like I could probably complete all the Morris nominees but I don’t think Sex and Violence will come to my library soon enough! I’m having to ILL it.

  12. So I read all of the Morris nominees and I really wasn’t that impressed by any of them. Now I’m stuck on the Nonfiction, since I’m not really the biggest fan of nonfic. I did read Nazi Hunters which was well written, and an interesting perspective-especially since most of it didn’t take place in Europe. People forget that the Holocaust affected so much more than Europe.

    So Now I’ve got Imprisoned and The President Has Been Shot, and I think I’m just going to flip through them and assess them best I can. I don’t have time before the awards and I know they will take me twice as long to read as a fiction title. Oh well, small time fail.

  13. I finished Imprisoned last week! I’m half way through Courage and should pick up Go today at my library! I really like how The Nazi Hunters, Imprisoned, and Courage each dealt with a different aspect and gave different perception of WWII.

  14. This week I read Sex & Violence for the Morris and The Nazi Hunters for the Nonfiction. Starting Belle Epoque today, which is my last read for both lists.

    Having finished the nonfiction books, I will bandwagon it and say Go was my favorite, though it may have stood out as being the only nonhistorical title. Least favorite nonfiction would probably be Courage Has No Color.

  15. This week I finished “Go” and “The President has been Shot!” I am part way through “Belle Epoque” which is my last fiction title. I think I have two non-fictions to read and I do have both of them in hand, so that should not be an issue.

  16. well looks like I am not going to get done in time, but that’s ok because I have a headstart on the big challenge! If only there were more hours in a day, or I could function on less sleep!

  17. Woohoo! Finished both lists this past week! My favorites were In The Shadows of Blackbirds from the Morris list and Go from the Non-Fiction list. Thanks again for running this!

  18. I neglected to check in last weeks, but just finished all of the Morris books today. I read Charm & Strange. I didn’t understand where it was going for a while, but really liked it at the end.

  19. I’m done with the Morris award! I just finished the last book, Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets. :)
    I enjoyed reading most of the books. Some really drew out strong emotions out of me, where if I had a choice I wouldn’t continue reading. Now that I think about it, I’m glad I kept reading.

    My personal favorite was In the Shadow of Blackbirds and Belle Epoque. I’m not very good at judging writing styles, but if I had to judge simply for the style and not the story I would choose Charm and Strange. It took me a little bit of reading to realize that he was going past and present, which I thought was interesting. Sex and Violence, Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, and Charm and Strange were good reads, but these drew way too intense disturbing feelings out of me. This could have been the goal of the authors, but it just personally wasn’t my taste.

    I’m glad I did this challenge. It encouraged me to read books I would not have personally chosen to read. This was my first time doing this challenge. Maybe next year I’ll go for both Morris and Nonfiction. :)

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