Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday Break Reading Challenge 2012!

Julie & Karin of the Edifying & Edgy website are at it again! This was a blast last year -- I just loved all the creative bookie challenges they put out for us young adult book lovers.  And I love the chance to win free books! Here we go again!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY TWENTY CHALLENGE
So this really is the last day of the HBRC. For today's challenge, we have to create a book trailer for our favorite book of the year. Between Shades of Gray was my favorite book of the year, so here's my trailer short:

Try our slideshow creator at Animoto. 

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY NINETEEN CHALLENGE
For today's challenge, we had to identify the covers of eight books (I think there were eight). I managed to pull off five -- then shortly after I sent them, I figured out two more.  Ah well. That stuff drives me CRAZY. I MUST KNOW THE NAME OF THE 8TH BOOK! Stay tuned and I'll post my answers.

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY EIGHTEEN CHALLENGE
Well, I thought that HBRC was over after day 17, but a new one showed up! Thank goodness I saw the Facebook feed, or I would have been denied closure! Ha!
For today's challenge, we are to do a book collage of all the books we read in 2012. I was lazy and instead of compiling it myself, I used Goodreads, who'd already done the work for me.  Pretty snappy! It's funny -- I felt like I read so many books, but to see them here it looks kinda lame for a whole year's worth of reading.  Maybe if I had added in my textbooks from class that would have beefed up the look! Nahhh.


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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY SEVENTEEN CHALLENGE
 For today's challenge, I am supposed to discuss my reading goals for 2013.  Last year was the first time I had set any kind of reading goal, and I started by using Goodreads and taking part in the 2012 Reading Challenge.  I set my goal at 60 books, and I reached that goal in early November.  I then changed my goal to 70 books, which I reached the first part of December.  It was about that time that someone told me that you're not supposed to "up" the goal, so I put it back down to 60 and have to say I enjoyed Goodreads showing me that I'd met 120% of my goal with 73 books for the year.

What I realized about the time I hit 60 is that I mostly read novels this past year and was missing out on the graphic novel genre.  I joined NetGalley and downloaded five or six graphic novels, enjoying some and not so much enjoying others.  

So, for 2013, I am going to increase my goal to 100 books -- a significant increase, but I figure since last year I was in grad school for 7 of 12 months and managed my goal, I should be able to take on the additional books.  I am also going to increase my reading picks to more graphic novels for two reasons: 1) it allows me to give Reader's Advisory to a group of kids I'm missing, and 2) I can get my fifteen-year-old reluctant reader son to read them and we discuss! Related to Goodreads, I need to figure out how to get the 2013 Reading Challenge widget on my blog.

Another reading goal for 2013 is to add-in more adult novels.  Although I find plenty of satisfaction in reading mostly YA books, I miss being able to talk to my adult friends about books we like and are reading.  So, I'm going to try aim for at least one adult book per month, and I will probably go for popular adult books (starting Gone Girl today!) so I have common ground with friends. 

Finally, for 2013, I want to be better at staying on top of writing my reviews.  I find that if I let more than a couple of days go by after completing a book, I lose the strong feelings I had at the end. I sometimes even have to read other people's reviews to remind myself of details! I currently have about 8 backlogged book reviews, so I will knock those out this week and try my best to stay on top of it from there.  Related to my book reviews, I need to figure out how to increase traffic to my blog. . . I spend a lot of time working on it and have very few followers. 

So there you have it! Lots of aspirations for my bookish life.  (these seem waaaay more fun than trying to lose weight or run more miles in 2013.)Meet you back here at the end of the year to see how it went!
Happy new year!!


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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY SIXTEEN CHALLENGE
For today's challenge, I am supposed to list my top 12 books I read in 2012. THIS is a challenge, as I read 72 books and gave 17 of them 5 stars.  The interesting thing is that of those seventeen, only three actually came out in 2012.  I have a huge YA book curve to beat.
12
11
10
9
8

 





7
6
5
4
3
2
1

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY FIFTEEN CHALLENGE
Today I am to share my favorite YA series or books from when I was actually a young adult! My choice, Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews.
It wasn't good writing, and the stories were pretty twisted. It was actually banned from many schools and libraries, making it all the more attractive to teens.  Some things haven't changed! I was hooked on V.C. Andrews's five book series that started with Flowers in the Attic. The grandmother and mother were WICKED, awful people -- oh, how I wanted them to get theirs!

I don't think I ever read the fifth book. Flowers came out in 1979 and the final book in 1987, when I was well into my college years, which is probably why I never read it.  Also, the fifth and final book was ghostwritten, since Virginia Andrews died in 1986, and a prequel to Flowers, so maybe I just wasn't interested.

I don't know where the first two books are, but I easily found my childhood copies of three and four on a shelf in my house (pictured below), with my name carefully penciled into the inside cover, of course! 



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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY FOURTEEN CHALLENGE
Today we are supposed to share a favorite book turned into a favorite movie.  My choice is The Body, from Stephen King's Different Seasons, which was made into the movie Stand By Me. This is one of the very few books-to-movies I know of that is very literal to the book.  I guess it helps that The Body was a novella, so it was easy to include everything in a movie adaptation.  The other thing is that many of Stephen King's books are awesome, but few make the transition to film very well, in my opinion. 
Original publication

novella adaptation

Movie Poster
 


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On dial-up today, so we'll see how this goes.  Today's challenge is an easy one -- make a bookmark! I decided to take the packaging scraps from my six-year-old niece's "Moondust Friends" set she got for Christmas, and give it to her to use with her new books.  Recycling!

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY TWELVE CHALLENGE
Had to take-off today because I was without a connection, but the challenge was to do a picture synopsis of the book we are currently reading. Just finished a book last night, so I'm in between anyhow. ******************************************************************************** 
CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY ELEVEN CHALLENGE
Today we are supposed to go to the 26th page of the book we're reading and quote the 26th line of that page. I'm reading Marie Lu's Legend, and the 26th page is start of a chapter, so there aren't 26 lines.  I posted the 26th line of the 27th page, but it made no sense at all!

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY TEN CHALLENGE
Today we are supposed to post about a book we've given as a gift. Though I did give quite a few books as gifts this year, I'm going to tell you about a FAIL.  My husband is an avid NPR fan -- actually, that's all he listens to on the radio, and he loves the website and the articles.  So, a year or two ago, clever me, I thought I'd SCORE by getting him This is NPR: The First Forty Years. It even had an audio CD of six classic NPR broadcasts!!  Here is our copy:
Snappy, huh? Well, he was appropriately thankful on Christmas day.  I noticed him reading all the other books he got for Christmas, then his birthday, then Father's Day (you get the picture), and finally, clever me, I reminded him of this fabulous book.  He looked uncomfortable for a minute, then told me he probably wouldn't read it. Why? Because he'd already heard the broadcasts/read the stories.  Silly me. 
By the way, ***NEW*** copy of This is NPR, paid $30 will sell for best offer plus shipping!
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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY NINE CHALLENGE
Today we are supposed to post about a favorite holiday book. 


Nancy and Plum, by Betty MacDonald 
There is NO doubt which book this is for me, and I have thought about it every year since 5th grade, when Mrs. Brewster read it to our class. My sweet husband hunted down a copy of it a few years back, and I have read it every December since. The original copyright was 1952, and this is a picture of my copy. (Betty MacDonald also wrote the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, if you know them.)



I guess the only new book I read this year that was vaguely Christmas-y, was Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick, which of course was spectacular.  I think some of it was set at Christmas, wasn't it?? That's just the sense I have, but sadly, I don't own this one so I can't flip back and see if my recollection is correct.  



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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY EIGHT CHALLENGE -- We're halfway through already!
Today we are to show a book we read this year that was a "Hit" and one that was a "Miss."  Here are my choices:
HIT:  Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys
NOT to be confused with another similarly titled book, poorly written and over-marketed, Between Shades of Gray was phenomenal.  I had avoided it for some time because the cover bored me, and I thought I wasn't interested in a historical fiction novel.  I was so wrong (and after reading, the cover is perfect).  This book moved and informed me more than any other I've read in a very long time. It opened my eyes to Stalin's Reign of Terror, but despite the atrocities there was still a message of hope.  The supplemental materials on the author's website made the book even more important to me.  I cannot recommend this book enough. Click the title above for my review and links.


MISS: A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness
This may seem like a cheat because it's not a YA book, but honestly, there wasn't a "meh" YA book I read this entire year! There were some I liked less than others, but nothing that was just a huge disappointment. I guess in part that is due to the fact that I frequently read YA books without knowing a thing about them. When you don't have any real expectations, it's hard to be disappointed.
Anyhow, there had been much brouhaha about A Discovery of Witches, which I didn't hear about until there was a sequel.  I read reviews and thought it sounded great, but honestly, it just bored me much of the time.  I also didn't like how the main character went from being this fabulously strong, intelligent, and independent woman to a needy, subserviant one. UGH. And the cheese factor of the romance was just too much for me.  So, yeah, I won't be reading the sequel.  You can see my full review in GoodReads.
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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY SEVEN CHALLENGE:
Today we are to list seven YA authors we follow on Twitter. Here's my list, though I follow A BUNCH more authors than just these seven; I find it very interesting that for the most part, authors are just regular ol' people -- but with a juicier bank account.

Patrick Ness@Patrick_Ness
R.L. Stine @RL_Stine
NealShusterman@NealShusterman
Marissa Meyer@marissa_meyer
Adam Mansbach @adammansbach
Libba Bray @libbabray
Maggie Stiefvater@mstiefvater 

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY SIX CHALLENGE:
 Today is the "Book Title Synonym" challenge -- thankfully, we get a little hint of where the pool of titles came from this year. I didn't do too wonderfully last year especially since I was a newbie to YA books.  Fun!
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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY FIVE CHALLENGE:
Here's my "randomly generated" YA novel, Submit. I had to laugh that my first picture of a person was a beefcake boy!  


Nate has never lost a fight, but Nate has never fought against Toro -- and of Toro's last three competitors, two are hospitalized and one is dead.
To win against Toro, Nate's going to have to take his training to a new level that can only be achieved under the tuition of Master Geddo, who breaks his students before building them to excellence. 
Will Nate's pride stop him or will he submit to Master Geddo and become a legend?

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY FOUR CHALLENGE:
Here's my newest YA blog discovery -- The Compulsive Reader 
I like the format of this site! Though it's hard to see from the screen shot, this site has a lot of interesting things going on as you scroll down. One is a widget of 2013 New Releases!  It has a search feature, a quick look at recent posts and most popular posts, a poll, and it's visually appealing.  Looks like she has contests from time to time, which I LOVE, but sadly nothing running right now.  And, a recent post included bookish gift ideas that weren't books.  One is the shirt that they ran out of at TLA this year -- $20 including shipping. (though STILL unhappy I didn't get it for free like I shoulda.).



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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY THREE CHALLENGE:
Here's my "Book Spine Sentence" I made from YA books on my shelf. (and one currently borrowed from the library!) This is fun and I could do this all day long. Would be fun to put some of these around the library to amuse the kids, and let them do some of their own. 
I was pleased that I only needed to add one word (and some punctuation) to make it a real sentence:
"The Iron Daughter, Cinder, altered the boyfriend list adaptation on the day I died [in] Border Town."

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY TWO CHALLENGE:
Here's a Word Cloud I made using www.tagxedo.com. It's cool except it pulls-in words that were mentioned and may be misleading in the word cloud.  For example, "sexual" and "adult" come up in the cloud, but they are misleading in reference to the book, Timeless (by Michelle Madow), which is very innocuous!
I like the look a lot though, so I will play with it a bit to see how I can get a more accurate result.
 

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CLICK HERE TO GO TO DAY ONE CHALLENGE

There were only two of us participating on the first day, so I'm going to feel like such a loser if I don't win. :-) Today was just an introduce yourself and your holiday book goals, so not too taxing.


19 comments:

  1. In Tagxedo you have the option of deleting words in the cloud. I think if you hover over the word you'll get an option to delete. I love the heart shape.

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  2. Love the heart shape! Very creative! Thanks for participating!

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  3. Great book spine sentence! What a great idea for a librarian to do for the kids! I actually never thought of that! Fun!

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  4. Love the heart shape. Great job on the sentence, too.

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  5. I think you have a great chance of winning with so few people right now! I had it marked in my calendar to start Friday...I have no idea where I got that from.

    Love your heart!

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  6. I just checked out all the "new blogs" that we all picked. There are so many great ones. I just wasted (not really) a couple hours when I could have been reading a book :).

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  7. Oh my gosh! I love it. That is really good! I wouldn't have known where to begin with that picture.

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  8. Great on the hit and miss books! Thanks for continuing to participate even though I'm having technical difficulties being computer/blogger ignorant!

    Julie(Edifying)

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  9. I liked A Discovery of Witches, though I felt the sequel was a better book. I haven't read Between Shades of Gray yet, but it's on my list of books I want to read. The book I have has a more interesting cover though!

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    1. Isn't it funny what a difference the cover can make? I am really bad about picking books on looks. . . guess I'm not alone given how much money the industry puts into those covers!

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  10. I would also pick the Flowers in the Attic books from my YA years. If my mom only knew what was in them...I would not have been allowed to read them.

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  11. Ha! I read 5 from your list and have 6 on my "to read" list, 5 of which are already waiting on my bookshelf or my Kindle. Great list!

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  12. I have read 6 of your top 12 books. I definitely agree with you on those!

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  13. I agree with you on the adult book issue! The only one I read was The Kitchen House (which was great)...oh, and A Discovery of Witches. I also have marked Gone Girls as the next one I want to read.

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  14. I think HBRC goes until the 4th.

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  15. Great trailer! I have this book on my literal bookshelf to read. Evidently, I need to get on it!

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  16. This book intrigues me! I hope to read it soon!

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    1. Melissa, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Such an eye-opener to a situation that history books barely touch. Before you read it, definitely watch the author's video where she explains her background and why she wrote the book. I cried! Link's on my blog with the originally posted review.

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  17. Congrats to the Grand Prize Winner!! Too fun! Enjoy...

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