2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #10

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!

May I make a confession to you all? I have fallen far behind in my reading progress on the Challenge. I have been “cheating” on the books on this list with Brian Jay Jones’ biography about Jim Henson and a collection of short stories about Dangerous Women edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois.  But I promise to get back to reading Maggot Moon and Etiquette & Espionage right away! And also Carter Finally Gets It. I would enjoy some humor.

That is why I love this challenge, there are so many genres on the list you can always find something to enjoy. Fantasy, realistic, romance, humor, adventure, historical – so many kinds of fiction (and some non fiction as well!).

The 2014 Hub Reading Challenge will run until 11:59PM EST on June 22nd, so you have a bit more than two months to finish all 25 books. Do keep a list of what you are listening to/reading. We’ll be posting these check-in posts every Sunday so you can share your thoughts about the book(s) you read/listened to that week and share links to any reviews you post online. As you read, please also share your thoughts on the social medi platform of your choice using the #hubchallenge hashtag, or join the 2014 Hub Challenge group on Goodreads.

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, 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/listening to 25 titles

27 thoughts on “2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #10”

  1. I have also been cheating. I find I have to strike a fine balance between reading for the Challenge and reading new things. And have a life. It is a relief, quite frankly to have hit 25. Now I am sure to read at least one Challenge book a week and then romp in the fields of new books.

    This week, though, I finished 2: The Universe Versus Alex Woods and Freak Boy. I liked them both, but I loved Alex. That brings me to 37 so far. my goal is to read as many as I can until the challenge is over.

  2. I neglected to check in last week and did no reading for the challenge this week. Well, that’s not entirely true. I started listening to Viva Jacquelina, but I couldn’t get into it. It’s the first of the series I’ve read and I just don’t have the investment in it, so I’m giving up. It’s clearly well done though.

    I wouldn’t call it cheating, but I also focused on adult books this week. My hold for Terry Pratchett’s Raising Steam came in and I chose to spend my week in Discworld instead.

    The prior week I listed to Better Nate than Ever (which I loved) and read Freak Boy, so I’m up to 22.

  3. This week I read:

    If You Could be Mine as a audiobook. Loved the narrator, love the story overall, was frustrated by several characters.
    Boxers & Saints not the kind of thing I would say that I enjoyed, because they were both so disturbing, but definitely well done graphic novels and I’m glad I experienced them.
    Better Nate Than Ever- it was hilarious. I absolutely loved it.

    So now I’m at 6 books total.

  4. I’ve completed 17 or 18 titles and eager for the pile I have waiting on my table. This past week, I only got through an audio production of Far Far Away which doesn’t count for the challenge, but I really enjoyed it. I will read through the print copy, so I can add it to my list. I think I need to do a special project on fairy tales and children’s/YA literature. Sound like something good for a thesis or dissertation?

    Happy reading…

  5. I finished Boxers & Saints this week. Curious to know if there is a preferred order for reading those two books.

    I am now done with 23 titles. WooHoo!

  6. Everyone is doing great! Thank you all for your support…I know it’s not technically “cheating” but it felt a little like that to read some non-YA stuff.
    Penny, I _think_ the reading order is Boxers, then Saints. But don’t quote me.
    Happy National Library Week everyone!

  7. I finished 3 since the last check in. Zombie Baseball Beatdown was a light read with interesting hints of awareness (as a vegetarian I found it interesting that they hit upon the quality of meat and what the cows are fed). Saints was interesting. He’s not my favorite graphic novelist but enjoyable. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children provided a wave of emotions for me. I was definitely rooting for Gabe and felt the character’s sense of self waver as he got picked on. I loved John by the way!

    18 down, 7 to go!

  8. I didn’t check in last week (spring break) and only completed one book, Midwinterblood. I liked it, but wasn’t taken with it, but would say it is a good read. That’s 15 total .. I’m on to The Book Thief which I find to be written from a very interesting angle .. up until now I had only seen previews for the movie and have had no preconceived notions going into it, so was surprised and interested in the writing style. Maybe that is why I found Midwinterblood just good and not great .. I was a huge Lost fan and loved the movie Memento, so I had thoughts of how the book was supposed to go and was maybe “looking for more” or flipping back and forth all during it to say “oh, yeah, here is the connection” but all the connections didn’t necessarily follow through. I think the one I liked the most was the burial of the adult/child and then knowing who they were later on and why the boy knew. Okay, so the HARE, is there more symbolism to it other then the obvious from the book and the thread it carries???

  9. I only finished one book this week. Swim the Fly and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I downloaded the next two books in the series and will probably read them this week. I always do other reading along with the challenge, but my primary focus is the challenge. Having said that, I have about five books on my table waiting to be read and I can’t seem to motivate myself to crack their covers. Mother, mother, Maggot Moon and the Lives of Tao are three of them. I started Dogs of War and love that, but I am a sap for animals, so I am reading that slowly.

    Penny – I’m pretty sure it is Boxers and then Saints as the main character from Saints is introduced in Boxers.

    I am also listening to the Impossible Knife of Memory – this is fantastic!

  10. I batted zero last week, but I finished three this week and am working on two more for next week. I’m determined to hit the goal of 25!

    #13 – If You Could Be Mine – I always love reading an international story. It’s a gift to step outside of the world you know and take for granted. I found the story interesting and the characters compelling, although I secretly wished that Sahar would tell Nasrin off and cut her out of her life. I think the actual ending was much more realistic and mostly satisfying. :-)

    #14 – Beautiful Music for Ugly Children – I really enjoyed this one. It was an interesting juxtaposition to read a story about a transgender male desperate to complete his physical transition right after reading If You Could Be Mine, where Sahar considers undergoing a female to male transition as a way to “legally” maintain her forbidden lesbian relationship. Beautiful Music was a fantastic story and all of the music references really made me geek out.

    #15 – Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass – I flew through this one. Such an accessible well-told story about the power and hold of a bully. I’m so glad I read it.

  11. RL has made a dent in my reading as well as outside reading but I did manage three graphic novels.
    My favorite was Dogs of War by Sheila Kennan & Nathan Fox. The last story in the book even brought a tear to my eye. I can definitely see boys checking this book out.
    I also read Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge and War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance .

    My total stands at 17 books completed.

  12. I finished one book this week. Charm & Strange. Wow I was not expecting to be that blown away by it. That is one powerful little book that had me sobbing by the end, even though I knew where it was going. My total is now 12, just about halfway there!

  13. Still working my way through Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, if only I didn’t have to work, this would be much easier to finish :) Going to try and finish today because I just got Mind MGMT on hold and it looks fun.

  14. Over the last two weeks I finished three more books, bringing my total to 21.

    Ash by Malinda Lo – I really enjoyed Huntress, so I was looking forward to reading this. I didn’t like Ash quite as much, but it was still very good.

    War Dogs – The first two stories were OK, but the third one is excellent. A good graphic novel for fans of action and animals.

    Mind MGMT – After very quickly skimming this one, I had my doubts and put it aside for a couple of weeks. Mistake! It’s a creepy, complex story with an unexpected twist at the end that has me eager to read vol. 2.

    I still haven’t finished my goal of reading from every category. I keep putting off Rose Under Fire, not because I don’t think it will be a good book. I know it’s going to be an emotional read, and I just haven’t felt ready to face that.

    I’m definitely in good shape for completing the Challenge. Being able to count each volume of Strobe Edge separately means that I will certainly finish early, probably in the next week or two.

  15. It’s been a while since I last checked in! Between new books that have been coming out and it being wedding season, I’ve been distracted. However, in the past few weeks I have read #14: In The Shadow of Blackbirds and #15&16: Boxers and Saints. This week I started listening to book #17: Eleanor & Park.

  16. This week I finally read Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. Liked it, didn’t love it.

  17. I’m finishing up The Testing this week. I was skeptical about it since it was getting so many comparisons to the Hunger Games, but I’m really enjoying it!

  18. I have been working on the challenge from the very beginning and forgot about the check-ins!!! I hope this doesn’t disqualify me. I’ve kept up with everything on my Goodreads Hub Challenge group/list.

  19. The check ins are for encouragement, no worries about keeping up with them. :-)

  20. I just joined the challenge today! I’ve read/listened to three books in the allotted time frame:
    #1 Etiquette & Espionage
    #2 Proxy (LOVED IT)
    #3 Viva Jacquelia! ( I’ve talked with one of our board members more about this series than library programs).

    Ten weeks, 22 books is manageable right?

  21. I finished Golden Boy (the Alex nominee) and Fat Angie this week. They were both excellent! This brings my total to 15.

  22. I missed last week’s check-in, but have finished two very slow reads since I last posted, bringing my total to 34. I enjoyed both, but can’t think of who I would recommend them to. Certainly not any of my current students, for whom attention span is an issue.

    Belle Epoque–historical fiction about a French agency that rents out plain women to rich women who want to look more beautiful by standing next to a beauty foil.

    The Kingdom of Little Wounds–painfully, graphically accurate historical fiction entwined with fairytale elements. The author describes it as “a fairy tale about syphilis.” Not for the squeamish.

  23. This week I read books 17 through 20. I loved all of them! Scowler by Daniel Kraus, Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang and Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd.

  24. I read Hold Me Closer, Necromancer this week, followed swiftly by the second one, Necromancing the Stone. I loved them both, Sam is absolutely hilarious! The second one expands a great deal on the passing mention of lawn gnomes in the first one, and I can never look at a garden gnome the same way again. What a riot!

    Looks like I’ll be swamped again for a bit – I have a t-shirt quilt I need to be working on for someone!

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