2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #6

Hub Reading Challenge logoNot signed up for YALSA’s 2014 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!

Yesterday, I spotted three robins on my neighbor’s lawn. Spring is coming, everyone! After the neverending winter, this is very good news. Especially since sitting on a bench outside my library and reading is now a viable option for my lunch break. That will help with the challenge. Although I don’t feel like I’m doing too badly; I’ve read or listened twelve books from the list. Almost halfway there!

Perhaps with warmer temperatures and more light at the end of the workday, you can get in some extra reading time as well. There’s no need to rush or worry about it. You have until 11:59PM EST on June 22nd to finish all 25 books. Just be sure to keep track of your progress. We’ll be posting these check-in posts each week so you can talk about what you’ve read or listened to that week. Don’t forget to share your thoughts on social media using the #hubchallenge hashtag, or join the 2014 Hub Challenge group on Goodreads. I’ve just joined Goodreads and am finding it a terrific resource. Perhaps you’ll join me? Take a look at some of tweets people posted about the challenge and where they stand.

If you have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response, and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles

35 thoughts on “2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #6”

  1. I didn’t finish any this week. I couldn’t pick up a book for many days after finishing All the Truth That’s In Me. So my total is still 14. Not bad! I hope to have at least one finished for next week!

  2. A ten-day vacation helped me get more titles completed. I’m up to 17 3/4! (Just a few more hours of “Scowler” to listen to!)

    Midwinterblood left me scratching my head, but I loved Rose Under Fire. Wm Shakespeare’s Star Wars was a perfect (and hilarious) lead-in to our visit to the Star Wars exhibit in San Jose. Zombie Baseball was fun, and I’ve never met a Marcus Zuzak book I didn’t like.

    On deck: Navigating Early.

  3. This week I finished Swim the Fly which I quite liked, and Adventures of Superhero Girl which I LOVED! I also started listening to Eleanor and Park on audio. I adored it in print, and the audio is breaking my heart already!

  4. Thanks to some graphic novels, I added 11 titles to my completed list this week.

    Beautiful Music for Ugly Children – realistic fiction about a young trans man who uses music to help those around him understand who he is. Excellent.
    The Nazi Hunters – interesting story, but I didn’t love the writing.
    Help for the Haunted – Paranormal mystery. I found it suspenseful.
    Strobe Edge 1-6 – Ugh. She loves him, he loves someone else. Repeat for six books.
    Boxers and Saints – The story of the Chinese Boxer Rebellion told from two different perspectives. Depressing and bloody, but very well done.

    1. Thank you SO much for saying what you did about Strobe Edge. I still can’t understand why this one won any awards. The first book was kind of meh, okay, but the rest of them just repeated everything ad nauseum, with an emphasis on the nauseum.

      1. I completely agree with both of you. Did not enjoy any of them. Glad they only wasted less than 6 hours of my time.

  5. CompletedBetter Nate Than Ever (Odyssey finalist) and loved it. The author, Tim Federle, read this production and did a fine job. Made me homesick for NYC. Also completed The Boy on the Wooden Box (Amazing Audiobooks). I really didn’t know anything much about this one and am so happy to have learned about Leon Leyson and his story.

    I’m on a spring break of sorts this coming week, so I’m hoping to get a couple of graphic novels read as well as Chip Kidd’s book (which I am so looking forward to). I’m close to finishing Midwinterblood and very interested to see how it concludes. More next week…

  6. I’ve fallen behind my intended pace with some crazy extracurricular scheduling at work, so it’s been 2 weeks since I updated because all my reading had been non-Challenge material. But, this week I got back on track, finishing The Sea of Tranquility, which I read in one, fevered, late-night tear (very melodramatic, but in a satisfying way, striking that urgent, teenage emotional pitch with mostly believable plotting and relationship-building, and well-drawn characters whose angst was justified by their varied traumatic backgrounds), The Adventures of Superhero Girl (immensely likable and funny; I want to see longer plot arcs someday with this character!), and Max Barry’s Lexicon, which read like a great, sci-fi blockbuster.
    That brings my total completed for the challenge so far to 9; lots of reading still to do!

  7. Read Strobe Edge 1-6, Rose Under Fire, If You Could Be Mine, and 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents. Really was impressed with Rose Under Fire and If You Could Be Mine. 100 Questions was read by two of my teen volunteers before it even made it to the shelves at the library.

  8. #8 – Finished All the Truth that’s in Me Saturday morning. It’s definitely at the top of my list so far. Judith is such a wonderful character with an intense and honest voice. All of the subtext about speaking and listening, hearing and being heard was very powerful for me. I will definitely be recommending this one to many people.

    Should finish Beauty Queens soon!

  9. This was graphic novel week.
    Strobe Edge 1-6 (1/5) I agree, Debbie. Ugh!
    Relish (3/5) Cute for younger girls
    Adventures of Super Girl (1/5)
    March 1 (2/5) At least I learned something
    Nothing Can Possible Go Wrong (1/5) Cheerleaders, spare me!!
    100 Questions (2/5) Not a substitute for a parent/close adult
    Branded by the Pink Triangle (3/5) Again, at least I learned something
    Dodger (4.5/5) Very funny, enjoyed it in the car.
    Rose Under Fire (4/5) Very good book. Glad she got to reunite with some of the others at
    the end.

    That’s 47. Just started Killer of Enemies today (ANOTHER snow day). It’s going to be hard to finish. 50 pages in and I do not like it at all. But, I finished the GNs so will finish this.

    1. Very funny doesn’t quite describe Dodger. Thought I would not like it, but looked forward to getting in the car. Even tho it was fiction, it had so many historical figures in the story, you kept saying, “Hey, he/she was real”. My favorite quote from this book was a piece of advice, “If you’re going to be an urchin, you need to learn how to urch first.” The reader had a wide variety of voices to undertake – all with an English accent – and did it admirably.

  10. I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish any books this week, but lo and behold, I happily did! I read March Book 1 and Midwinterblood. I really liked them both, especially Midwinterblood which I thought was a really interesting style of writing and structure for the book. Very excited to recommend it to my students. I think this puts my total up to 11 titles. I am currently listening to If You Could Be Mine.

  11. I guess my strategy is slow and steady wins the race. I have only been able to finish an average of one book a week (my current total is 5). Since my last check in, I finished Beautiful Music for Ugly Children (which I couldn’t put down, so compelling) and Relish: my life in the kitchen. I loved Relish but tried a recipe to utter disaster. I liked looking at the recipes, but they weren’t the easiest to cook with.

  12. This week’s titles:

    Farizan–If You Could Be Mine


    Roskos–Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

    Sepetys–Between Shades of Gray

    This brings my total to 19.

  13. This week I only finished Audrey, Wait!, which was okay. I think I would have liked it more when I was a teenager. Were I the author, I don’t think I would have included song lyrics; it seems a surefire way to date your book in a flash.

    I’ve gotten distracted by more Marcus Sedgwick books, but plan to get in at least one more Challenge book this week.

  14. I finally read more than one in a week – 7 total!

    Well, the graphic novels make that easier .. I read all 6 of the Strobe Edge books – couldn’t put them down! Really enjoyed the feel of emotions, the innocence captured of those extreme confusing emotions at that age and the sidebars .. will definitely be reading more as this series continues!

    And I read Dogs of War .. made me really depressed at the end; still having trouble with dogs being left as “equipment”; made me appreciate again how lucky I am to have such trivial matters to deal with everyday.

    So, 11 total for me .. moving on to Swim the Fly because I need something light and funny!

    I do enjoy this challenge, but I have to say that I am the book type to like to savor and enjoy and let the characters and thoughts and emotions that occupy my brain for the duration of the book to linger for as long as they need to after .. so having to read so many in (what for me is) a short amount of time, doesn’t allow for this escape to truly take hold and the extended enjoyment is not allowed .. my only complaint to the challenge .. however, I am one for re-reading, so perhaps I’ll pick up my favorites again, after the challenge and let that happen!

  15. Spring break, beautiful weather = only 2 books this week.

    Fighting Ruben Wolfe 4/5
    Strobe Edge v. 5 3/5

    31 total so far, which is 10 shy of my count for last year. More than confident I’ll pass that last year, what with the Morris/Nonfiction challenge boost, plethora of graphics, and strange access to almost all titles (previous years have been more difficult).

  16. I finished two books this week: The Advntures of Superhero Girl which was quite enjoyable and Dr. Bird’s Advice to Sad Poets which was more of the typical angst filled YA book.

  17. This week I finished listening to book #11 – Zombie Baseball Beatdown and read book #12 – Maggot Moon.

  18. I guess I’m also in the slow and steady camp :) I finished listening to Etiquette and Espionage (cute but I probably won’t bother with the sequel), which brings me to four completed. I am currently reading In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which is unique if a smidge melodramatic. Next up is All the Truth That’s in Me. I have a Spring Break staycation next week, so I’m hoping to knock out a few more.

  19. I picked The Book Thief back up this week and finished it…wonderful book! Now I can’t wait to see the movie. I am painting my living room, and got a lot done, along with listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown…it was okay,funny, but not really my normal cup of tea.

  20. I have completed 29 books so far and I’m keeping track of my completed titles on Goodreads.

    I am currently reading Far, Far Away (which I am enjoying).

    I just finished A Kingdom of Little Wounds (which was very good).

    I am listening to Scowler (which is good so far).

  21. Sorry I am only just updating my tally of books read! Here’s what I’ve gotten through so far:

    Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (Printz)

    Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley (Alex)

    Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool (Printz)

    Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi, narrated by Sunil Malhotra (Amazing Audiobooks)

    Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, narrated by Moira Quirk (Amazing Audiobooks)

    Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (Printz)

    So, only 6 so far, but I’m working on Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross, and am about to start Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn.

  22. Finished Boxers & Saints this week, bringing me to 5 titles so far! I’m in the middle of Will & Whit, so I’ll be at 6 soon enough. Then, it’s a break to read Freakling for a teen book club. I’m enjoying all of the titles I’ve read/listened to, especially widening my horizons toward graphic novels.

  23. I got three done last week (and because I am late, one for this week):
    Zombie Baseball Beatdown – as I said last week not my cup of tea – I’m too old for this and I found the narrator’s voice very affected and annoying. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass was very good – a scary insight into high school bullying. I forgot a week or two ago to list Navigating Early (I think). I really enjoyed that book. Set before Aspberger’s was a known ailment, it featured Early a young boy who would receive that diagnosis today, but in that time period (right after WWII) was just considered odd. For next week I finished MidwinterBlood, which I liked. I actually enjoyed the individual stories more before the final portion of the book clearly united them. This brings my total to 31.

  24. It seems like last week was a slow week for me. I read Strobe Edge Vol. 6 which was a quick read one evening.

    I finished listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown on my way to and from work. This was cute and I think kids who like David Lubar will probably enjoy this book as well.

    I’ve been working on Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin since last week and should finish it this week. Both my co-workers loved this book but I’m having a harder time getting through it. I am enjoying it overall though.

    I also started listening to the audio version of Better Nate Than Ever.

    This week I read Boxers and plan to read Saints later this week. I thought Boxers was extremely powerful.

    My total read is 29 books (this includes the 10 titles I read for the Morris/Non-Fiction Challenge. I’m keeping track of my books and reviews on Goodreads.


  25. This week I managed to read “Ash” which I enjoyed. It was not the GREATEST Cinderella re-telling (I kept thinking of the wonder of “Ella Enchanted”) but I think the author has a great imagination and a lovely, lyrical voice.

  26. I read Nazi Hunters and Boxers and I’m listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown (which I’m not loving). I’ve completed 12 in the challenge so far. Not too bad :)

  27. Finished listening to Scowler by Daniel Kraus this week, which I didn’t exactly like. It didn’t actually scare me at all, and I found the main character’s descent too abrupt, so I honestly just wanted him to die already after he suddenly started being horrible to his mother and sister. But it is beautifully written, and I can see why it would really scare/disturb other people.

    I also read All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry, which was very good. I like the emphasis on hearing and communication and the way it kept you guessing, even with Judith’s honest voice. The thing that threw me is that I really thought it was set in modern times from the cover and blurb, so I was very confused for awhile.

    I’m alllllmost done listening to the Boy on the Wooden Box (about 45 minutes to go), but I’ll put it on next week’s tally. :) So, I’ve got 10 done (20 if you count the Morris/Nonfiction). Getting there!

  28. I’ve missed a few check-ins, but this is what I have to report:

    Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
    The Testing

  29. Late check-in because I was in sunny beautiful Orlando on vacation, but it also allowed me to read Rose Under Fire, bringing my total to 13. Not quite the light vacation read, but it was powerful and I liked the connection to Code Name Verity. Now onto 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents!

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