Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Year of Reading Dangerously wrap-up

I still have a couple of new challenges that I'm joining for 2009 that I need to post about but this is the last of the ones that ended this year.

The goal of the challenge was to read authors or genres that intimidate you either by reading the set list or your own choices. I set out to read a mix of the two and managed to read 9 out of those 12. So even though I didn't quite finish the challenge, I think I did fairly well. Especially since I did read some books that I'd been putting off for far too long.

Books read:
1. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
2. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. Surfacing - Margaret Atwood
4. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
5. Other Voices, Other Rooms - Truman Capote
6. Maus I & II - Art Spiegelman
7. Daisy Miller - Henry James
8. The Secret Lives of People in Love - Simon Van Booy
9. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Best book(s) I read for the challenge?
Maus I & II were certainly the most memorable. I also really enjoyed the stories in The Secret Lives of People in Love, and was pleasantly surprised that I liked The Great Gatsby as much as I did.

Book(s) I could have done without?
I could probably have done without Surfacing and Other Voices, Other Rooms since I just didn't really like either of them. I'm kind of glad I read the Capote though as the only other book of his I'd read before was In Cold Blood, and I will read more by him because as a person, he's so intriguing. Atwood always seems to be hit or miss with me and I will read more by her as well.

Any new authors? Will I read them again?
A few new authors: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, Art Spiegelman, Simon Van Booy, Emily Brontë. Emily Brontë and Sylvia Plath only have the one book each (and Plath's poems are still beyond me), but of the rest, I definitely hope to read them again. I predict that Simon Van Booy will be the author I read again first as I'm looking forward to his new collection of stories, Love Begins in Winter, to be published in 2009.

Best thing about the challenge? What did I learn?
It was great to finally read some of these books that had been sitting unread, some of them for years. It was also wonderful to realize that "dangerous"/intimidating reads can be good once I get past my unreasonable fear of them. I won't be joining the challenge again in 2009, because as I've mentioned before I'm just not cut out for challenges requiring me to read a lot of books, but I do hope that I'll read a few of the other "dangerous" books still on my shelves next year.

Thanks Andi and Heather for hosting!


  1. Nine out of 12 is very good, Nat! Especially since they were books that were not supposed to be easy picks for you.

    I hope you have a Happy New Year!

  2. Wendy - Thanks! I figure 9 out of 12 is still a passing grade. :)

    Thanks Kailana!

  3. Great job, Nat!!! I think you had one of the best turnouts of anyone that joined the challenge for 2008. I'm glad you found some goodies!

  4. Thanks Andi! It was a great idea for a challenge and thanks for the encouragement to finally read some of these. :)


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