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Fall Into Reading 2008: Conclusions

Back in September I signed up for the Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge — a challenge to read a set list of books between September 22 and December 21.  Because I was busy, I only choose four books for my list: The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, Persepolis by Marijane Satrapi, and Villette by Charlotte Brontë.

Sadly, I didn’t do well with this challenge, only finishing two of the four books I chose.  I also only finished my review of The Gravedigger’s Daughter.  But, I still had fun and still have a few things to reflect on using the questions that Katrina at Callapidder Days, the challenge host, posted.

  • Did you finish reading all the books on your fall reading list? If not, why not?

No, I didn’t, I think because other books got in the way and I re-prioritized.  I also left Villette at home after Thanksgiving break and didn’t get a chance to read it again until I got home on December 21.

  • What was your favorite book that you read this fall? Least favorite? Why?

My favorite book from the fall, which was not on my list, was probably The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon because it was a really grand, fictionalized account of the origin of comic books, a genre I’m just starting to get into.  My least favorite was Niche Envy by Joseph Turow; it was just dry, and I wasn’t in the mood for it when I had to read it for class.

  • Did you discover a new author or genre this fall? Did you love them? Not love them?

I read a lot of literary journalism and new literary journalists to read.  One great example is Trevor Corson — I loved The Secret Life of Lobsters and recently read Corson’s second book, The Story of Sushi.

  • Did you learn something new because of the Fall Into Reading challenge — something about reading, or yourself, or a topic you read about?

I learned I’m not good at challenges because I like to just be able to read what fits my mood.  I might do better at a categories type challenge where I could pick books based on topic, but where I didn’t have to have a set list in advance so I could pick books that fit my mood at the time.  Overall though, I’m glad I did it because I loved reading about the other books people were going to read 🙂

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Andi December 29, 2008, 9:38 am

    I generally fail my challenges, but I’m still completely addicted. It’s so fun to try! As for Kavalier and Clay, I’ve had it on my shelves forever! I know I’ll love it if I’d just READ IT!!!

  • bkclubcare December 29, 2008, 10:16 am

    I, too, am much more excited about starting a challenge than finishing. I am heavily influenced by mood! But, I can also say that book blogging and challenges have broadened my tastes in books tremendously. Which is good.

  • Dawn December 29, 2008, 10:47 am

    I’ve signed up for several challenges for 2009 (inclyding your blog improvement challenge, which I’m lumping in with my reading challenges … looking forward to it!).

    Some of them are “easier” … reading a certain number of books with no theme, reading A-Z will fill in naturally, then I’ll look to plug holes around mid-year. The themed challenges (War Thru the Generations) probably fit my reading style best. We’ll see how I end up at the end of the year 🙂

  • Steph December 29, 2008, 12:37 pm

    I too think I would fail miserably at a reading challenge, because I never know what book I’ll want to read next! Sometimes it helps to have structure and deadlines, but I have been known to put down a book to read for a later date because now just wasn’t the right time. Personally, I like not knowing what my next book will be – it’s just one big adventure!

  • serena December 29, 2008, 3:58 pm

    I fudged my challenge reading list a couple of times…but I did ultimately read the 20 books I wanted to read, they just weren’t the same ones I listed in the first go around. LOL

  • bermudaonion December 29, 2008, 8:34 pm

    I didn’t complete this one either. I got distracted by new books that came into the house. I haven’t signed up for any new challenges because I’m not sure they’re for me.

  • Kim December 30, 2008, 2:55 pm

    Andi: See, failing at challenges sort of annoys me, I don’t like not winning 🙂 I think you’ll like Kavalier and Clay when you get to it!

    bkclubcare: That’s a good point; a lot of challenges ask you to read books you might not otherwise have considered. That’s a good reason to join some!

    Dawn: I like your strategy for the A-Z. That’s the sort of challenge I think I could handle because it would let books fit mood rather than set categories or reading lists.

    Steph: Yes, I love the adventure too. I love going into used bookstores and picking out books I don’t know anything about, which is a similar thing.

    Serena: I didn’t even think to fudge my list, but maybe that would have helped 🙂

    bermudaonion: Yes, I got distracted by new books, which is what always seems to happen!

  • benjaminwheeler December 31, 2008, 2:00 am

    I’m so glad you had a good experience with Kavalier and Clay. I love that book. As a fiction writer, it was kind of a revelation. A “whoa, this is what a novel can be” sort of feeling. Followed quickly by the “damn, I’ll never write anything this good” sort of feeling. But, we take the warm fuzzies that we can get, and I remember that book giving me quite a few.

  • Kim December 31, 2008, 3:42 pm

    Ben: Well put, it really is an impressive novel. I loved that I couldn’t really see where it was going, but that didn’t bother me at all.