27 March 2012


Life as a Reading Challenge, Chapter 8

Remember those 2011 reading challenges I signed up for and then seemed to forget before we were halfway done with the year? Yeah, well, it didn't actually happen that way . . .

The year got off to a great start: I had a great time reading a Victorian classic and serendipitiously stumbled upon an 80s YA novel that seemed to match up to it perfectly. I had every confidence that I could replicate the experience with the next book on the Victorian list and the 80s/90s partner I would inevitably find for it . . . but it was not to be.

Victorian Literature Challenge

King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
Reading Diary (and a late Locus Focus)

After nearly a month of reading the same chapters of Bram Stoker's Dracula over and over again, because I couldn't seem "to take root" in them properly, I set the book aside. And I told myself I'd pick it up again when I found Monster Blood from R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series to read along with it. (What? You've got a better idea?) But since then, I've run into only Monster Blood II--and learned to my Child of the 80s chagrin that Bunnicula actually came out in the 1970s and was therefore ineligible as an alternative.

YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge
YA of the 80s and 90s Challenge

So You Want to Be a Wizard? by Diane Duane
Character Connection

So that explains why the first two challenges on my list are as frozen in time as I am.

The main reason I signed up for the other two was that they reminded me of books I saw at the used bookstore and wanted an excuse to add to my collection. So, of course, the day I finally went back for them, they were both gone . . .

Foodie's Reading Challenge

Banana Heart Summer by Merlinda Bobis
Reading Diary and Character Connection 29

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
Not inspiring enough for any sort of post.

. . . only to pop back again before the end of the year, saying, "Don't be angry, Enbrethiliel! We were only joking." (What? Books don't talk to you? Now that's just weird.) And I swear that I read both Everything on a Waffle and The Rumpelstiltskin Problem before 11:59 PM on 31 December 2011--which means that they count!

Retold Faerie Tales and Enchanted Cousins Challenge

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde
Character Connection

Not that their counting matters, when I didn't complete the challenges I read them for. =P But I'm kind of happy--in a totally pathetic way, of course--that I read at least one book per challenge.

Young Detectives Reading Project

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator, et. al. by Jennifer Allison
A is for Allison

The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull by John Bellairs
B is for Bellairs

Room One by Andrew Clements
C is for Clements

It just figures that the challenge that got the most reading done for it was my own . . . and that it wasn't even a "challenge" but a "project." (Semantics are everything, apparently.) I think what I like about it is that it doubled as a scavenger hunt: I had to find the books (and find them in alphabetical order) before I even knew I would read them.

Since this is not a 2011 Challenge, I will keep looking for books with Young Detectives and keep writing open letters to their authors. I already know what my D book is, and will have a post up on it before the end of April. =)

And since the Victorian Literature Challenge was also the Extraordinarily Cheddary Steampunk Challenge, which is tied to this blog rather than to a specific calendar year, I want to continue it as well.

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