Fall into Reading ’11: Wrapping it up.

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Fall into Reading @ Callapidder DaysWell it is December 22nd and the Fall into Reading Challenge at Callapidder Days is officially closed. I am currently halfway through reading Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, which brings my total tally for completed books to : 6 which is actually the number I predicted I’d read from the beginning, though my goal had been 8 books.

I will say, that I’d originally guessed that I’d be just squeezing in that last book this week so the fact that I’m well into what would have been book number 7 is some small consolation and really regardless of the outcome I’ve had a terrific time and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge once again. It’s always nice to occasionally organize your reading pile and really try to get through the chaos of books vying for your attention.

Here are the books that I read this fall:

  1. Finding Aster by Dina McQueen – Finished September 26, 2011 – I enjoyed this book which describes Dina’s experience adopting a little girl from Ethiopia – from the series of events that brought her to the decision to adopt, through to the actual process of international adoption. Though the story is filled with personal details, it reads a bit more like practical information that would be good to know if you were planning to adopt yourself. And though I have no plans for adoption, I still enjoyed this book and found it interesting.
  2. A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth – Finished October 8, 2011 – I’ve always been a fan of Kristin Chenoweth’s acting skills but knew basically nothing about her aside from what I’ve seen on screen. This memoir certainly took care of that! I loved this book and getting to know Kristin and her life and what led her from growing up in Oklahoma to gracing the sets of Glee and Pushing Daisies or the stages of Wicked which I’ve never seen but want to SO badly some day. This book is funny and thoughtful and entertaining and wonderful. Loved it.
  3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (October Book Club Pick) – finished October 22, 2011 – There were some things that I really liked about this book – the author’s descriptions of life at Hailsham and how he only reveals just so much information at a time, keeping you out of the dark about things until just the right moment. In some ways I’d say this book was remarkably well done and most of my minor complaints with the book are the type that can be commented away with, “but the author probably did it that way intentionally,” for better or for worse.
  4. The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent – finished November 14, 2011 – This book, though often slow going, was a truly fascinating story that I am sure will stay with me for a very long time. A perfect fall read, I’d recommend this to any lovers of historical fiction or those with interest in the Salem Witch Trials. Very good.
  5. Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster – Finished November 29, 2011 – I just loooooved this book and I’m so glad I finally read it. I adore Jen Lancaster’s writing style and humor and could relate to this humorous memoir on dieting a little too well! It was one of those books that I feel I read at exactly the right time and I’m now feeling extra motivated to start eating better and exercising! I highly recommend this one.
  6. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin – Finished December 10, 2011 – I thought the premise of this story was unique and interesting and I was impressed with how the characters were easy to relate to and root for, especially the main character, Rachel. Although at times I got irritated with her decisions and for awhile hoped for a different outcome altogether, I was happy in the end with the story and enjoyed reading it. Chick lit at it’s best.

Here are the books I attempted reading but chose not to finish:

  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (November Book Club Pick) – I feel kind of guilty abandoning this one but my heart just isn’t it, I can’t stand the main character and frankly I just want to read something else instead.
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave – I was utterly in love with the first chapter, but the second chapter was so horribly sad that I found I could not bring myself to pick it up and read chapter three. I may try it again another time.

And the books I haven’t gotten to yet:

And now for a little bit of fun:

Best Book of Fall 2011: Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster really does win by a landslide. It’s the book that I picked up when I put down Major Pettigrew and man am I glad I did! I’m surprised this book did not make it to my original FIR list as I’ve been trying to find time to read it for ages now.

Worst book: Well I suppose that would be Major Pettigrew as it annoyed me so badly in those first few chapters that I put it down and never looked back. I know some people who really liked this one, but I disliked the main character so much that it just got tedious – and it was boring.

Thanks for hosting the challenge again Katrina, it’s always a good time!

11 Replies to “Fall into Reading ’11: Wrapping it up.”

  1. Good job! I also really enjoyed your little recap of the books you read this fall.

    I saw Wicked in September, though not w/ Kristin C., of course. Amazing! I highly recommend seeing it if the opportunity presents itself!

    Thanks for being part of FIR ’11!

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  2. I’ve loved all of Jen Lancaster’s books except the Plaid one (I can’t even remember the name). It’s like one, long, seriously funny blog post. Which makes them sometimes hard to stay into but makes you snort with laughter so hard sometimes you have to close the book to protect the pages.

    I want to read Unbearable Lightness … maybe next year!

    I enjoyed Something Borrowed (light read) and I didn’t enjoy Never Let Me Go and only got about halfway through.

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  3. I tried watching the movie Major Pettigrew . . . at least I’m pretty sure it was that one.(That one WAS made into a movie, right?!) and I didn’t much care for it either so I haven’t gone near the book. Sounds like I probably wouldn’t care for that much either.

    Such a Pretty Fat does sound terribly interesting though!

    Good for you – hitting your goal! (Or your predicted goal?) Well, I’M impressed.

    Merry Christmas to you!

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  4. Great job on your list! I’m going to add a few books to my TBR list after checking out yours. I must say, though, that I enjoyed Major Pettigrew…just read it for book club and it was well liked by all. Sorry it wasn’t for you!

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  5. I really love the extra challenge too to read more organized. Then for the months in between fall and spring, I can enjoy the randomness of choosing books. 🙂

    I saw Wicked in November and loved it. Hope you get to see it someday!

    Good for you in putting down the tedious book. It’s hard for me to stop a book once I start, but it is SO good to be able to.

    Merry Christmas!

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