Thursday, June 21, 2012

That Spring Thing ~ March 20 to June 20 challenge

Spring Reading Thing 2012 was brought to us by Katrina @ Callapidder Days, who has a Mister Linky for all our closing posts.  My original book list had thirteen books for thirteen weeks — and I more than doubled my list.  Here are the 28 books I finished, divided into categories, and how I rated each one.  (Those marked library book are explained below.)

FICTION (16 books)

1.  The Age of Grief ~ by Jane Smiley, fiction, 7/10
2.  Ashfall ~ by Mike Mullin, 2011, YA fiction (Iowa, Illinois), 9/10, (library book)
3.  Before I Go to Sleep ~ by S. J. Watson, 2011, fiction, 9/10, (library book)
4.  The Beginner's Goodbye ~ by Anne Tyler, 2012, fiction (Maryland), 8/10, (library book)
Best of the Bunch #1
5.  The Breath of God ~ by Jeffrey Small, 2011, fiction (Bhutan, India, USA), 9.5/10
6.  Catalyst ~ by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2002, YA fiction, 9/10
7.  Close to Famous ~ by Joan Bauer, 2011, YA fiction (West Virginia), 8/10, (library book)
8.  Dead Asleep ~ by Jennifer B. White, 2011, fiction (Massachusetts), 9/10
9.  Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant ~ by Anne Tyler, 1982, fiction (Maryland), 8/10
10.  The Happy Room ~ by Catherine Palmer, 2002, fiction (Missouri, Kenya), 8/10, (library book)
11.  The Lady and the Unicorn ~ by Tracy Chevalier, 2004, fiction (France and Belgium), 9/10
Best of the Bunch #2
12.  Lone Wolf ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2012, fiction, 10/10
13.  Mary, Bloody Mary ~ by Carolyn Meyer, 1999, YA fiction (England), 9/10
14.  Murder and the First Lady ~ by Elliott Roosevelt, 1984, mystery (District of Columbia), 8/10
15.  Nop's Trials ~ by Donald McCaig, 1984, fiction (Virginia), 9/10
16.  Patience, Princess Catherine ~ by Carolyn Meyer, 2004, YA fiction (England), 9/10

HISTORY (2 books)

17.  The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed  the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels ~ by Thomas Cahill, 1998, history (Middle East), 9/10
18.  The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade ~ by Ann Fessler, 2006, history. 9/10, (library book)

MEMOIR (4 books)

19.  Girl Meets God ~ by Lauren F. Winner, 2002, memoir, 8/10, (library book)
20.  Into the Tangle of Friendship: A Memoir of the Things That Matter ~ by Beth Kephart, 2000, memoir, 8/10, (library book)
21.  Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis ~ by Lauren F. Winner, 2012, memoir, 8/10
22.  Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story ~ by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor, 2009, memoir (Greece, Turkey, South Carolina, France), 9/10


23.  Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is the New Fifty ~ by Tracey Jackson, 2011, psychology/aging, 7/10

RELIGION (4 books)

24.  God Is No Laughing Matter: An Artist's Observations and Objections on the Spiritual Path ~ by Julia Cameron, 2000, religion, 8/10
25.  Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings ~ edited by Marcus Borg, 1997, religion, 7/10, (library book)
26.  Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived ~ by Rob Bell, 2011, religion, 9/10, (library book)
27.  One Hand Clapping: Zen Stories for All Ages ~ by Rafe Martin, illustrated by Junko Morimoto, 1995, YA religion, 9/10, (library book)

WRITING (1 book)

28.  I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory ~ by Patricia Hampl, 1999, memoir writing, 8/10, (library book)


I'm in the middle of two other books that were on the list, but since each is nonfiction (religion) and I'm studying them, I decided I wouldn't hurry just to complete them "on time" for this Spring Reading Thing challenge.  I haven't been writing reviews for many of the books I've been reading, and these two will require some thought before I post anything.  The first one was on the original list, and I added this second one after reading Breath of God by Jeffrey Small.  Both of these are excellent:
29.  Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus ~ by Robin R. Meyers, 2009, religion

30.  Living Buddha, Living Christ ~ by Thích Nhất Hạnh, introduction by Elaine Pagels, 1995, religion
Books read and original goals:
16 of 4 fiction
1 of 1 psychology
1 of 1 writing
4 of 3 memoir
4 of 3 religion
2 of 1 history
28 of 13 books 
Ratio of my books read to library books read:
My goal was to read at least two of my books for every library book, which explains why I made note of them above.
16 of my books
12 library books
16/12 ratio, which means I didn't make it 
Summary of books removed:My goal was to "get rid of a lot of books," and this isn't really a lot.  At least I got rid of some of them.  This will probably be a never-ending job.
4 to friends
30 to used book store
3 to the senior center
37 books total 


Beth said...

Wow, Bonnie...quite an accomplishment to read that many books in such a short time! Some good choices there. I'm a big Anne Tyler fan and have read almost everything she wrote. Did you like Beginner's Goodbye?

Kristin said...

You were certainly productive during this reading challenge. My original list was composed of review books and books from my bookshelves. Of course, I also added in quite a few library books that I had reserved that came in during this time.

Have a great summer and if you get a chance, come check out my Spring Thing Wrap Up post.

Helen's Book Blog said...

What an impressive list of books, most of which you really seem to have enjoyed! Now that it's summer I thought I'd get more reading done, but I seem to be doing a lot of computer work. Must. Walk. Away.

Bonnie Jacobs said...


I went back and linked The Beginner's Goodbye to what I posted earlier about it, here: The book was good, but not my favorite. I like these novels by Anne Tyler better:

Ladder of Years (1995)
A Patchwork Planet (1998)
Digging to America (2006)

Have you read these?

Beth said...

Thanks, Bonnie. That was so interesting about the Luke Tull connection---did he turn out to be a major character in the new book?

Yes, I read all three of those and liked them very much.

Bonnie Jacobs said...


No, Luke Tull was NOT a major part of this book at all. I wouldn't have noticed the mention, if I hadn't also been reading the other book at the same time.

Nise' said...

Great job doubling your Spring goal. I wanted to read more off my stack as well, but so many other books distracted me! ;o)

Jan said...

I agree about "Breath of God"! I'll have to look at some of your other recommendations. Thanks.