Spring Reading Thing: Wrap Up

spring reading thing @ callapidder daysSummer is officially upon us and that means that the Spring Reading Thing hosted by Kat @ Callapidder Days is over. This Spring I challenged myself to read 6 books, which to be fair wasn’t a terribly taxing challenge since I typically read about 2 books a month, but since I found myself chasing the clock to finish my 6th book before the clock struck twelve last night, I’d say that I challenged myself just the right amount. Here are the six books I read this Spring:

  1. Bossypants by Tina Fey – finished March 27, 2012 – I really enjoyed this book. I had been excited to read it since it came out, but I have to say it even exceeded my expectations. Fey is a terrifically funny writer and she includes stories about so many different aspects of her life from her time writing for SNL to going through puberty or planning her daughter’s Peter Pan birthday party. I got so much out of this book and constantly wanted to quote bits out loud to my husband but after awhile I stopped because I noticed I was practically just reading the book out loud to him and he’s perfectly capable of reading it himself when I’m done!
  2. Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres – Finished April 8, 2012 – I really enjoyed this – it was very funny. Probably her best book to date.
  3. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (April Book Club Pick) – Finished April 26, 2012 – There were some things I really liked about this book – the writing itself was beautiful and very well done, but the format of the book, which has a different narrator for each chapter, kept me from loving it. There were parts of the story that I would have loved to have read more about and other parts that I felt were verging on pointless that never connected back to anything – those chapters could have been used to lengthen and develop the major stories. I’m sure this was the author’s intention but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! – full review –
  4. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – Finished May 8, 2012 – I loved this book even more than I was expecting to (picture me three weeks ago hassling the mail man and my husband about why the book wasn’t here yet already minus the hassling the mail man part because I only did that in my head). This memoir is not only laugh out loud (seriously) hysterical in a way that had me shaking the bed at night while my husband was trying to sleep and occasionally wanting to wake him up on purpose so I could read sections outloud… it was also insightful and touching in all the ways that Jenny’s blog posts often are. If you are a fan of her blog or even if you’re not… read this. But be forewarned, there will be a lot of dead animals. – full review –
  5. Matched by Allie Condie (May Book Club Pick) – finished May 21, 2012 – I’m a fan of a good dystopian YA novel and this book definitely fit the bill. A compelling love story, a fascinating futuristic society that will make you think, a cast of well written characters that all get more interesting as the story progresses. I’m looking forward to reading book two! – full review –
  6. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (June Book Club Pick) – finished June 20, 2012 – I really enjoyed this book – more so than I even expected. It was really masterfully written in my opinion, unweaving more of each character’s stories as you read – each character bringing a new dynamic and a new angle to the whole book. I truly just loved it.

These were not all originally in my challenge – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson was thrown in spur of the moment simply because when it arrived on my doorstep I knew there was no chance I’d wait until the challenge was over to devour it. Coincidentally I was absolutely dragging my way through Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich and welcomed the excuse to put it down. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Stephanie Plum series but I think the last few books just haven’t been as stellar as the previous – and honestly with this many books to the series, that’s not too surprising.

Then I had every intention of reading Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde before reading my book club’s June pick, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, until someone pointed out how massive the book was. I knew I’d need longer than my usual two weeks to finish it so I set aside Shades of Grey and that was clearly a wise decision as it took me a month to finish The Dovekeepers despite the fact that I absolutely adored the whole book. But aside from that I did stick to my original list and I’m so thrilled to report that I was able to finish reading The Dovekeepers last night and completed my original challenge to read 6 books this Spring!

Here are my answers to some questions from Kat about the challenge:

  • What was your favorite book that you read this spring? I am torn between Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson and  The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman – both were incredible for entirely different reasons and I recommend both.
  • Least favorite? So, I have to say that all the books I read in this challenge were very good in very different ways. Aside from Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich, which you’ll note I didn’t even both to finish reading. Of the books I finished, if I had to pick I’d say that Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann was my least favorite of the bunch. His constant changing of narrators just didn’t work for me the way that the changing narrators in The Dovekeepers did, either because of the sheer volume of narrators or the way that each story didn’t necessarily relate to previous ones. But that’s just a personal preference, because otherwise I’d say it was a very good book that has stayed with me since reading it.
  • Did you discover a new author or genre this spring? Did you love them? Not love them? A lot of new authors actually! I’ve discovered that I adore Alice Hoffman’s writing and would love to read more of her work. Colum McCann is very talented but I don’t think I’d read his other work. Jenny Lawson and Tina Fey could write literally anything and I think I would read it. Allie Condie’s book was good enough that I downloaded the sequel within minutes of finishing Matched. The only author I’d already read before was Ellen Degeneres (and Janet Evanovich also I suppose).

Did you participate in the Spring Reading Thing? How did you do?