Friday, June 20, 2008

Once Upon A Time II Wrap Up

Well I completed my first challenge and it was fun but also stressful. I read American Gods which I have owned since it first came out, The Stolen Child which is one of the best books that I have read in the past year, Storm Front which will be a fun new series to explore when I am looking for something light, Harsh Cry of the Heron, book four in the Tales of Otori and Gracious Plenty. I wouldn’t have finished the challenge but for the fact that I read Gracious Plenty for my book club and discovered it was fantasy and so could count. I also read Midsummer Night’s Dream and watched the Hoffman movie which was wonderful.

I had really hoped to read Gormanghast by Mervyn Peake as the first book, Titus Groan, is one of my all time favorite books and I have no doubt that Gormanghast will be as good but it was simply too long. I had also hoped to read Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell which I have had since it came out (I buy books much faster than I can read them), but alas it was also too long. I am currently in the middle of two books that I intended for this challenge, Gods Behaving Badly in audio and Perdido Street Station. I didn’t get very far into Gods but am really enjoying Perdido Street and will post a review when I am done.

All in all I enjoyed the challenge. I enjoyed reading the reviews (465 when I last checked), adding to my wish list and discovering new blogs along the way. The only thing I didn’t like was feeling the pressure to read these five books under the deadline. I felt a little resentful that I needed to move onto the next book that needed to be read instead of going with my whimsey and selecting what I am in the mood for. For me five books, plus my book club obligations, in two months is simply too much of a commitment as it doesn’t leave me any time for outside reading. Will I do a challenge again? I will probably at some point but right now I am looking forward to reading according to my mood. Before I embarked on this endeavor I was reading Borges: the Collected Fictions, just one short story with breakfast in the morning, and I am looking forward to returning to that. I am also craving some science fiction and some classic horror - H.P. Lovecraft perhaps. And after that - who knows, whatever beckons the most beguilingly from my bookshelf.

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