March was a month of firsts for me. It was the first month I could participate in Monday Mailings (that was fun!!); it was the first month that I received a book from an author to read and review (and not just one author but two — that was fun!!); it was the first month that I read more than a book a week from my personal “want to read” list; AND I completed my first reading challenge ever! Additionally, March also afforded me the opportunity to play around with HTML code to try to improve my blog site – and while that was most definitely a first and I felt a certain sense of pride and satisfaction when I was done, I must confess that I would not label that activity as “fun”
The books read this month (with links to my reviews) include:
- Firmin by Sam Savage
- We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
- School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
- The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
- Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
Of all the books listed, I would say that I enjoyed The Help the most (such a great storyline and beautiful character development); I found the Yellow-Lighted Bookshop to be the most inspiring (I like to dream of owning a bookstore someday – although I know realistically the chances are slim); and I found We Need to Talk about Kevin to be the most disturbing/thought-provoking. I am somewhat fascinated by this topic, however and have read two other books that deal with it as well: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. I truly enjoyed the latter book, and if you are a fan of Jodi, then you absolutely must head over to Maw Books – Natasha is giving away 7 autographed Jodi Picoult books!!! But you better hurry – the contest ends Friday, April 10.
The challenge I completed was Just For the Love of it Reading Challenge 2009 – and I must confess I had a lot of fun working on this one (and I am very glad it was my first challenge). Most of the books listed above counted for this challenge (thank you, Sheri). As posted yesterday, this euphoric feeling of success has now gone to my head and for some reason I felt inspired to sign up for a new challenge – the Cozy Mystery Challenge (I’m not sure why — I still have several challenges in which I am not making much progress). I have just started reading mysteries as my “default” genre when I want to read but not sure what I want to read. While I know I enjoy the police procedural category of mysteries, I think the cozies will fit in well with this time of the year: I will have lots of work to do prior to the end of the school year — and than an intense 6 weeks studying in Asheville. I am thinking that my brain will not be able to absorb much more material in my “free” time than what a cozy will offer.
All in all I must say that the book blog community has definitely helped me increase my productivity as a reader during the first quarter of 2009. While I have added a new distraction to my life (reading book blogs – which is fairly “all encompassing”) I know I have read far more than I would have otherwise. This community has also inspired me to write my own book reviews – something I have never pursued in the past – but now wonder why it took me so long. I regret not having accurate reading records prior to 2009, but I will rejoice in the fact that I am learning great systems for the future — and reading will always be a part of my future.