Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reading Challenges Wrap Up Post

Whew! I made it with just a few days left in the year to spare. For a second there I was afraid I might not make it. My final challenge of the year was the War Through the Generations: WWII Challenge hosted by Anna and Serena. I committed to reading 5 books for the challenge. My original list included four of the listed books. That's not bad considering how poorly I stuck to lists this year.

1. Zoo Station by David Downing
2. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
3. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
4. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The number of World War II related books out there is astronomical. I could probably devote an entire year to reading the books I own but have yet to read on the topic. Of all the wars, it is the one I seem to be the most drawn to. I liked all of the books I read for this challenge, some more than others. My only regret is that I didn't read more of a variety. My stand out favorite was The Book Thief which I nearly didn't read, except for the prompting of several fellow readers.

Thank you to Serena and Anny for hosting the War Through the Generations: WWII Challenge this year!

If a person drops out of a challenge but completes the challenge before the deadline, can that person claim a victory? I eagerly entered Annie's What's in a Name Challenge in January of this year, confident that I could read six books, each one fitting into a specific category. By September, however, I was feeling the pressure and decided to drop several challenges, including this one. Reviewing my reading list so far this year, I discovered that I have, in fact, read a book for each category (yes, being dead is a medical condition; it's just not one a person can be cured of. )

I read the following books for this challenge:
A book with a "profession" in its title - In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Scott Fuqua
A book with a "time of day" in its title - Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandell
A book with a "relative" in its title - Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
A book with a "body part" in its title - Probable Claws by Clea Simon
A book with a "building" in its title - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
A book with a "medical condition" in its title - Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn

I enjoyed each of the books I read for this challenge and would gladly read more by any of the authors. Many thanks to Annie for hosting the What's in a Name Challenge!

All together, I signed up for 16 challenges this year. Of those 15, I completed 7 with one continuing on into the next year. Alas, it was not a year for reading challenges.

Challenges Completed:
50 Books for Our Times Project
2009 Pub Challenge
ARC Challenge
Chunkster Challenge
New Authors Challenge
War Through the Generations: WWII Challenge
What's in a Name Challenge

Incomplete Challenges:
1st in a Series Challenge - 9/12
2nds Challenge - 8/12
Buy One Book and Read It Challenge 8/12
Classic Challenge 2009 - 0/4
Cozy Mystery Challenge - 4/6
Nonfiction Challenge - 1/5
TBR Challenge - 6/12
Themed Challenge 1/4

Continuing Challenge:
Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge - I have read all books in the series but a recently published short story collection

[edited to add 50 Books for Our Times Project. Thanks to Florinda for the reminder!]

© 2009, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Great post. I can understand feeling like you fell short, because you didn't finish a few challenges but I guess I look at challenges less as a challenge and more as a way to focus or organize one's reading. Because of this it seems I'm signing up for fewer & fewer of them each year but when I did a lot of them I felt like my reading lacked spontaneity.

    So sit back, relax, and appreciate all you've read this year. I think you've done really well!

  2. I was really cautious this year, because it was my first year of blogging and didn't want to overcommit. 2010, however, is a different story! I'll be lucky to complete them all, but oh well. You've done a good job of trying, and look at all the great books you've read!

  3. Good work on those challenges! :-) I never do them, and I admire those of you who do!

  4. You still did very well Wendy. I always feel bad when I don't finish a challenge I signed up for, but I love doing it as it provides great variety in my reading and motivations as well. Have a good reading year in 2010.

  5. Congratulations on your excellent work!!!!!!!!!!!
    You amaze me with your tenacity and will power. I seem to be unable to focus on the lists idea. I admire your work. Wisteria

  6. Congrats on finishing the WWII challenge! I haven't done my final tally, but I read a lot...and I still have tons of WWII books on my shelves.

    Glad you'll be joining us for the Vietnam challenge in 2010. I'm looking forward to seeing what books you choose.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. Congrats on finishing the challenges you did finish! I cannot wait to see what vietnam war books you select!

  8. You really did a pretty great job - so congrats on those you finished! I promised myself I wouldn't sign up for so many in 2010, but I think I've already broken that promise!

  9. I think it's awesome that you completed the ones you did! Congrats on finishing the War Through the Generations challenge. I did pretty bad on that one. Actually I didn't do so good on most of my challenges this year. I'm vowing that next year will be different.

  10. Laura - That's a good way to look at challenges. I certainly didn't have the focus to stick to them this year. :-) I did enjoy my reading though, and that's what matters most.

    Sandy - With so many tempting challenges out there, it's hard to resist. My biggest problem is that there are so many books I want to read and I just can't fit them all in at once. I need to accept that and read them as I can get to them.

    I wish you luck with your 2010 challenges. And above all, have fun!

    Marie - Thank you. I didn't do as poorly as I expected that I might.

    Diane - Thanks. No matter how often I tell myself that it's okay not to finish a challenge, there always is a little bit of disappointment when I don't.

    Wisteria - Thank you. I'm not sure how well I focused on my lists this year, but I did have fun with those I did manage to stick to. :-)

  11. Anna - Thank you! I had hoped to read more, but I'm at least glad I met my minimum commitment. I'm looking forward to the Vietnam Challenge.

    Serena - Thanks! My list for the Vietnam Challenge is up to two right now. I'll probably have to think for awhile on the others.

    Joy - Thank you. It's hard to resist, isn't it? As long as you have fun while trying, then it should count as a success.

    Dar - Thanks. I wish you luck this next year with your challenges. :-)

  12. I am committing to an insane number of challenges next year and going to do my darndest to make books overlap as many as I can. That said, I failed pretty dismally this year but I've made peace with that. ;-)

  13. You did great with your challenges this year! I wasn't going to sign up for any in 2010, but I did :)

  14. Wow, you accomplished alot with your challenges this year!

  15. Congrats on finishing your challenges and I say you have been doing well on your others!

    Isn't it amazing the amount of reading material for WWII? I wanted to join in the war through the generations challenge next year but I cannot even begin to think of any books with a Vietnam setting. Weird.

  16. I think I signed up for 12 challenges for the coming year but I have a bad feeling I'm going to end the year with looking about like this. I figure that at least it will push me.

  17. wow, you did join a LOT of challenges, you did really great though.

  18. Kristen - Overlapping challenge books is definitely the way to go. I wish you luck with all your challenges in 2010!

    Yvonne - Thank you! The challenges are hard to resist, aren't they? LOL Good luck to you in 2010.

    Kathleen - Thank you!

    Iliana - Thank you. I didn't do too badly in some of the others, but pretty awful in a few. I'm satisfied though. I did what I could and had fun doing it. :-)

    I'm having a difficult time with the Vietnam books too. I've read so many already and I don't have all that many on hand.

    Lisa - Hopefully you'll do much better than I did. :-) Good luck with your challenges in 2010.

    Violet - Yes, I'm the queen of overcommitment. LOL

  19. Wow! That's a lot of challenges. I signed up for one more than I wanted to in 2010 and am already regretting it a little :)

  20. Stacy - Oh no! Well, stay strong. You can do it. :-) Good luck with your challenges in 2010, Stacy!


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