This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fall Into Reading Wrap-Up

It seems very strange to be tying up a "fall" reading challenge with the Christmas tree up and carols on the CD player. But the Fall Into Reading Challenge has ended. I had thirteen books on the list. I actually read fourteen books. But were they all on the list? And that has been an issue for me before.

My list was comprised of:

1. Nutcracker Nation by Jennifer Fisher
2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
3. Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
4. Guardian of the Veil by Gregory Spencer
5. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
6. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
7. The Shunning by Beverly Lewis (Book 1 in the Heritage of Lancaster County Series)
8. A Hideous Beauty by Jack Cavenaugh
9. The Brink of Death by Brandilyn Collins (sent to me by my friend Coach Jenny)
10. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
11. The Divine Appointment by Jerome Teel
12. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (Book 1 in the Earthsea Cycle)
13. The Reckoning by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Book 15 of a series of 30 books that comprise the Morland Dynasty)

Katrina at Callapidder Days, our hostess for the challenge, has offered us some questions to consider as we wrap this up. She asks:

* Tell us how you did. Did you finish all the books you had on your original list? If not, why not? Did you get distracted by other books? Were you too busy to read as much as you would have liked? And if you did finish them all, did you read more?

Well, no, as I mentioned I did NOT finish all the books on my list. I didn't even start: Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (Book 1 in the Earthsea Cycle), Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, Guardian of the Veil by Gregory Spencer, and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon.

I definitely got distracted with other books. I became very enamored with Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' The Morland Dynasty series early this year and have been struggling not to read just that to the exclusion of all else. I will have to devote an entire post to that sometime after the new year. I was distracted enough from the Morland Dynasty and from my original list to read some books that I received that I had not counted on when the challenge began.

And, yes, life got in the way a little and considering the time of year I guess it is not surprising. Life continues on even when we have our noses buried in books and being the mother of two energetic and busy young men kept me away from some reading time. But that is a good thing to have, no complaints about that.

* Tell us what you thought. What book did you like most? Least? Did you try a new author that you now love? Have you written off an author as "I'll never read anything by him/her again!"?

Memoir of a Geisha was fabulous. It was not an uplifting book, but was fascinating. I think it was my favorite book from the challenge. Arthur Golden created memorable characters that imbedded themselves on my imagination, and I highly recommend it as a "must read."

Nutcracker Nation was my least favorite book, but I slogged through it so I could discuss it with my friend. I am not one to finish unsatisfying books, but I did it. It read like a thesis paper more than a book and I felt a lot of interesting avenues were left unexplored or ignored totally.

* Tell us what you learned. Maybe you learned something about yourself, your interests, your reading patterns. Maybe you learned that you love/hate a particular genre. Maybe you learned some fabulous little nugget of truth from one of the books you read.

I learned that historical fiction has become a definite favorite. I've been surprised and extremely pleased with the quality of the Christian fiction that I've read. That has been a fantastic blessing. I learned I can live without fantasy for a little while, although I will be back to reading it again. Some might consider A Hideous Beauty fantasy, but I don't think it is although it might loosely be called Christian fantasy.

I didn't review every book I read, but these are all the reviews I did post.

What I did read:

The Other Boleyn Girl--Phillipa Gregory
Memoirs of a Geisha--Arthur Golden
The Brink of Death --Brandilyn Collins
The Reckoning--Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
The Devil's Horse--Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Kingdom Wars I: A Hideous Beauty--Jack Cavanaugh
The Divine Appointment--Jerome Teel
The Heritage of Lancaster County: The Shunning--Beverly Lewis
The Heritage of Lancaster County: The Confession--Beverly Lewis
The Poison Tree--Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
The Sovreign's Daughter--Susan May Warren and Susan K. Downs
Nutcracker Nation--Jennifer Fisher
The Abyss--Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
The Hidden Shore--Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

As you can see, five of the fourteen are by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Those are the Morland Dynasty series. I plan on reading the third in the Heritage of Lancaster County: The Reckoning. I will be searching out other books from most of the authors I read.

I really thought the Spring Reading Thing was easier for me, so I will need to evaluate my fall reading expectations in the year to come. What my plans are for reading in 2008 are? I am working on weeding down a burgeoning list and will have some thought in a week or two.

Looking forward to checking in with all the Fall Into Reading participants. Because you know there are never too many books.


Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts said...

I've not heard of the Morland Dynasty. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts about it. I did read both the Beverly Lewis books you mentioned -- not for this challenge but some time back. I enjoy Beverly a lot.

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

DebD said...

I've not heard of the Morland Dynasty before coming here. I read the EarthSea trilogy many years ago. I liked the first 2 but never really understood the last one. Perhaps someday I'll return to it. I also read her book Left Hand of Darkness. That was a seriously weird book, but I liked it! ;)

tanabata said...

"never too many books"
Oh such true words! You did well though even though you didn't entirely stick to your list. I've been thinking I'd like to read the Morland Dynasty series for a little while but the fact that there are so many of them makes me hesitate to start. I'm not exactly the fastest reader! Glad to hear you're liking it. So many book series, so little time! ;)

ellen b. said...

Well I'm impressed that you read so many books. I need to look into a couple of the authors you mention. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Heidi @ GGIP said...

I really like Geisha too. You did read a lot even if you didn't finish all the books on the list. That is one thing with a challenge that is long term like this. You just never know what your reading mood will be.

Good job!

Nise' said...

Great job. I am a fan of historical fiction too! Started the Geisha but could not get into it. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Spring Reading challenge was easier as well. Having Christmas in the mix is tough!

I am going to have to read Memoirs of a Geisha. Thanks for the suggestions!

alisonwonderland said...

i had a similar reaction to Memoirs of a Geisha when i read it last year. it's an amazing book, but i couldn't get myself to "like" it (if that makes sense). definitely a "must read" though!