2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #12

Hub Reading Challenge logoNot signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Remember, anything you’ve read since February 3 counts, and since the challenge doesn’t end until 11:59PM EST on June 22nd you’ve still got plenty of time.  Sign up now!

Week 13!  How are you all doing?  I’m closing in on 20 eligible books read and I’m feeling pretty good about my progress.  More than that, though, I’ve read some really great titles that I would have almost certainly missed.  Gene Yuen Lang’s Boxers & Saints was just as amazing as everyone said, and I loved Max Barry’s Lexicon, one of those books that wasn’t on my radar before the Alex Awards.  Thanks, Hub Reading Challenge!

I’m also really enjoying the check-in comments, as well as the conversations taking place over social media at the Goodreads 2014 Hub Challenge Group and on Twitter (#hubchallenge hashtag.)  Check out the tweets we’ve collected from participants and join the discussion if you haven’t already!

What about you?  Have you read anything you might have missed if it weren’t for the Reading Challenge?  What are you loving this week?  How are you feeling about your progress?  Keep reading, and don’t forget to track your titles by checking in here each Sunday to let us know how you’re doing and to find out what your fellow participants have to say.

If you are 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. 

25 thoughts on “2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #12”

  1. I finished listening to Eleanor & Park and fell in love again with the story! They better not destroy it when they make the movie! I also whipped right through Freakboy. It filled the void I’ve been having with not being drawn into a book (I have 3 partially started books for challenge I keep picking up and putting down).

    So that puts me at 21 with 4 to go! There are so many more I want to read but I am also feeling the pull towards the newly published book and want to read some of my local state book award selections coming out soon too.

  2. Like Sara Ray, I finished listening to Eleanor & Park and loved it. I really like the way it ended. I will also read the print version. I actually listened to Maggot Moon not knowing anything at all about it and found it very engaging. I will read the print version for the challenge. I found it fast-paced and especially liked that the ending was unexpected.

    I’m up to 18 or 19 with a few more titles already started. I want to attempt a couple of other Alex Award winners. I had to put down Death of Bees because it was due but also because I didn’t want to read the content anymore. Hope I can get to a few more Morris titles as well in the remaining weeks.

  3. I’m off to a slow start with just two completed titles to my name so far. I began with The Nazi Hunters which was a new angle on books about the Holocaust. Then I read Navigating Early which I heard about but only now had real motivation to read. Now I’ve started Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II. While these are all books I might have picked to read on my own, especially because of my interest in non-fiction history, finding them sooner and having more motivation to read them is a big benefit to me of the Hub Challenge.

  4. I finished Title #25 this week! WooHoo! Here are my ratings:

    5 stars:
    Better Nate Than Ever audiobook
    Maggot Moon

    4 stars:
    Fighting Ruben Wolfe
    Getting the Girl
    Boy on the Wooden Box audiobook
    Navigating Early
    Scowler audiobook
    Rose Under Fire
    Wm Shakespeare’s Star Wars audiobook
    Eleanor & Park audiobook
    In the Shadow of Blackbirds
    Belle Epoque
    The President had been shot
    Nazi Hunters

    3 stars:
    March Vol. 1
    Zombie Baseball Beatdown audiobook
    Dr. Bird’s Advice
    Courage Has No Color

    2 stars:
    Etiquette & Espionage audiobook

    1 star:
    Charm & Strange

    Obviously I really enjoyed most of the titles I read. I really appreciate this challenge every year. It encourages me to pick up books I otherwise might not take the time for. Looking forward to next year’s challenge!!

  5. This week I read Midwinterblood and The Testing. I’ve had my doubts about Printz winners before, but I really enjoyed Midwinterblood. I like it so much I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

  6. This week I listened to:

    Zombie Baseball Beatdown: not something I would have picked up originally because I am so not a fan of zombies or baseball, but I thought this one was fun and had surprising depth. I also really liked the narrator (there are not many narrators that can pull off teen boys without sounding condescending).

    and read:

    Will and Whit: I actually really liked it. I agree with some of the critiques of it that said it resolved too quickly, but I still really liked the character and especially how they all had really unique passions (making lamps, puppetry, very cool!) I also love Charlottesville, VA and so loved the setting.

    So I am currently up to 9 titles.

  7. Up to 76. I will finish the whole challenge this time. Thought I would not as my library does not get audiobooks, but have used the resources of other counties nearby. Here is this
    past week’s completions:

    Freakboy – 2.5/5 – It was okay; liked the format
    If You Could be Mine – 3.5/5 – Read well w/ good character voices; okay story
    Midwinterblood – 4/5 – The stories all connected so interestingly
    Mother, Mother – 3/5 – Very creepy/controlling mother

    Listening to Etiquette & Espionage now.

  8. I finished Winger by Andrew Smith. I really liked this book, found myself laughing hysterically at times, but also quieted by the ending and thought the characters handled it in a real way. Great character development, and where I had no interest and was upset by the language the way it was used in Audrey, Wait!, I did not get offended or feel like the use of language in this book was self-absorbed or useless. Weird for me. Really recommend this one!!!!

    1. Finished How to Speak Dog last night. This book did not strike me as having too much information that was eye-opening or not anything you haven’t heard before. Started Death of Bees and am not sure what I’m going to think of it as I don’t like the content so far, but will push through and try to keep an open mind.

  9. I’ve read 5 since I last checked in bringing my total to 20.

    #16 Branded by the pink triangle—good information on a topic not frequently covered.

    #17 Zombie Baseball Beatdown (audio)— I’m not a big zombie fan, but I liked it. Especially like the commentary on immigration.

    #18 Winger—didn’t love it; I had a hard time figuring out who Ryan Dean was. I have to admit, the cover grosses me out and since the back is the same in cartoon version, I taped a blank sheet of paper over the cover. My coworkers were really wondering what I was reading that I felt I had to cover it up!

    #19 Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong—liked it a lot! Totally thought the twins on the robot team were girls until we learn their names at the end.

    #20 Midwinterblood—interesting concept and framework. Not sure I’d go so far as to say I liked it, but I appreciated it.

  10. This past week I read the enjoyable and instructive Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design and MIND MGMT #1 which was a violent and intriguing graphic novel. This brings my total to 21.

  11. Read this past week: The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Extence (bullied teen with temporal lobe epilepsy and his relationship with an American widower with his own serious health problems) and Golden Boy by Tarttelin (an intersex teen is betrayed by a friend, with serious consequences). I liked both, but didn’t love them. I also didn’t like Max in the Tarttelin book, never telling anyone but the doctor who did this to him. Argh.

    This week: my holds for Navigating Early and Winger just came in.

  12. I just finished “Golden Boy” by Abigail Tarttelin. It’s a tough read at the beginning due to a pretty graphic rape scene. Beautifully and brutally honestly written. This makes book #24 for me, so I’m pretty excited that I’m so close to finishing the challenge.

  13. Finished Mind MGMT last week, very weird. Reread Boy Nobody over the weekend and loved it just as much the second time around. This puts me at 18. So close yet so far away…

  14. I finished Ash, Maggot Moon and Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. I did not like Ash very much and I don’t really know why. I did not expect to like Maggot Moon and I really did. I also enjoyed Beautiful Music. I especially liked the relationship between Gabe and John. I am listening to Better Nate than Ever (I just started it) and reading Fighting Reuben Wolfe. My total is 47 right now.

  15. Finished Etiquette & Espionage on audio and enjoyed it so much that I’m listening to Curtsies & Conspiracies now (which means my listening for the challenge in on hold, but the Finishing School books are just so much more fun for me than Scowler – which is good, just not really very fun).

    Also finished Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets – thought this was good and that Roskos has a major accomplishment here with the creation of James’ voice and the depth of all the supporting characters, but agree with the Morris Committee’s decision to give the Award to Charm & Strange so far – although I still have to read Sex & Violence and In the Shadow of Blackbirds so that could change.

    Finally (for this week), read the first volume of Mind MGMT and was very surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This is more violent than I would usually prefer in my comics (I tried Preacher once and discovered that is most certainly not for me), but the mystery and world building has sucked me in. I love the multiple narratives and the concept as a whole. Working on Volume 2 now (which also is not for the challenge). If I’m counting correctly I believe I’m up to 13 read. With 2 months to go, my hopes are high that I can reach 25!

    Goodreads shelf here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/66673-jennifer?shelf=2014hubchallenge

  16. Two more for the week – only 7 to go!!

    #17 – Far Far Away – This has been one of my favorites so far. I love mystical realism. Anything that’s 90% possible and 10% magical is right up my alley. Far Far Away was beautifully written. It had interesting characters and that touch of magic. Also, though I appreciate that reality doesn’t always end happily, I’m still a sucker for a happy ending, which was not only a plot point, but a theme of the whole novel. Definitely a winner.

    #18 – The Book Thief – This was a re-read for me, but my student book club happened to choose it this month so I gladly re-read it. And I love it just as much if not more this time. Everyone should read The Book Thief. It should be a life requirement.

  17. I got to 14 this week! I finally finished the audio of Etiquette & Espionage. I enjoyed it well enough, but agree with another comment that it was too much fluff and not enough substance. I’m glad I listened to it though.

    I also read I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I was impressed. I loved The Book Thief, but this was very different. Like The Book Thief, it didn’t feel much like a young adult novel but I think teens will get a lot out of it, but adults will too. It was a very thoughtful book and has been on my mind since I finished it.

    On we go! I have 11 left. We’ll see if I make it.

  18. I’m entering this here as not sure who all will see it on the “Spine Label Poetry” forum.
    Wish we had known at the beginning of this great/fun contest (especially since April is National Poetry Month). By the time it was posted, I had returned the books I could have used. Since most of them were borrowed from other libraries, getting them back & taking the pics was not possible. Next year, could it be announced at the beginning of the Hub Challenge?

  19. I have read 10 so far and my favorite is Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets. I literally cannot stop talking about it to anyone that will listen to my 30 second book talk on it.

    I had to stop listening to Scowler because it was too disturbing. Not sure if I’ll pick it up again.

    Excited to read Rose Under Fire and Two Boys Kissing next!

  20. This week I finished and loved Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. I can’t remember if I finished Maggot Moon in time to talk about last week, but there is that one too! 17 read!

  21. I finished Dodger and Maggot Moon this week.

    Dodger was well read/acted, but I just didn’t care for the story.

    Maggot Moon was a complete surprise – I was not expected to be so engrossed by it!

  22. Haven’t posted for a few weeks, as I’ve been reading other stuff for a book project I’m doing with my 6th graders. I did finish one more from the list, Star Wars: Jedi Academy, which brings my total to 37. I just started All the Truth That’s in Me.

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