Spring Reading Thing: Amazon.com Gift Certificate Winner

And now for the winner of the $10 Amazon.com gift certificate:

Congrats, devildogwife, and thanks for participating in the Spring Reading Thing!

Spring Reading Thing — Time to Wrap it Up!

Believe it or not, today is the first day of summer. So put down your pencils books, pick up your computer mouse, and type up a post letting us know how the Spring Reading Thing went for you!

A week ago, I listed some suggested questions that you might want to answer in your wrap-up post, so feel free to check those out and use them as an outline for your post. Or just write whatever you’d like, as long as you share your experience and results. Once your post is up, come here and sign up on the Mr. Linky below. Don’t forget — include the URL to your wrap-up post, not just your general blog web address, to make it easy for people to find your post.

Also, if you have any final book reviews you’d like to post, I’ll leave the Mr. Linky on the Spring Reading Thing reviews post up for a few more days. (And if you haven’t been by that post lately, check it out. There are a ton of book reviews — you’re sure to find some books to add to your own to-read-soon list!) I’ll also be picking the winner of the book How Reading Changed My Life tonight, chosen from those who have posted at least one book review from their Spring Reading Thing list (and told me about it).

And…there’s still a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate up for grabs. All you have to do is post your wrap-up post (and put it on the Mr. Linky) by midnight on June 24th to get your name in the drawing.

To everyone who participated in the Spring Reading Thing — Thank you so much! You are the ones that made this challenge a success!

Okay, enough of my blabbing. Here’s Mr. Linky. I can’t wait to read everyone’s wrap-ups!

1. Katrina (Callapidder Days)
2. Deborah
3. Joyful Days
4. Jennifer, Snapshot
5. Stephanie
6. Lauren@Baseballs&Bows
7. Laura (Musings)
8. Shalee
9. liz@smithical
10. Dianne (Unfinished Work)
11. Shauna
12. Ellen B
13. Lisa writes…
14. Lynne
15. Lana G!
16. Debi
17. Christi @ Jealous Hands
18. corinne (in the mirror)
19. Marcia, take charge coach
20. Heidi @ GGIP
21. Becky L. (Becky’s Book Reviews)
22. Rachel (AGoG)
23. Karen (Four Kids and a Dog)
24. Jean
25. Jen
26. Heather
27. Wendy
28. nicole (4andcounting)
29. Leslie
30. Literary Feline (Musings of a Bookish Kitty)
31. Barbara H.
32. Tammy (Family Doin’s)
33. Malady
34. Julie (The Peapod Four)
35. raidergirl3
36. Kristin
37. stephanie
38. Jane (Much Ado)
39. Alisia (Book Haven)
40. Amanda (A Patchwork of Books)
41. Susanne~Living2Tell
42. Janelle
43. CeeCee@booksplurge
44. Susan Helene Gottfried
45. confesions of a Literary Presuasion
46. Kailana
47. Thea @ I’m a Drama Mama
48. Heidijane
49. Jana (sidetrack’d)
50. Devildogwife
51. Kapachino
53. Karen W
54. Rachel Langston
55. Allison (reviews included)
56. Literalicious
57. Annie (age 10)
58. Alyssa @ The Shady Glade
59. So Many Books.. So Little Time
60. Beth/Mom2TwoVikings
61. Karlene (Inksplasher)
62. Nise’
63. Sally906 (Books and Musings from Downunder)
64. Jenny-home is where
65. alisonwonderland
66. e-Mom (Chrysalis)
67. twiga (Caught Between Worlds)
68. Bookfool
69. Dana
70. ~Ley
71. John (Grasping for the Wind)
72. Emily (Laundry and Lullabies)
73. boliyou
74. Jenni
75. Cmommy
76. krin (Enough to Read)
77. tricia
78. Lindsay (The Ink Spot)
79. Gail
80. TaunaLen
81. Rel
82. Alice Teh
83. Mark (links to reviews included)
84. Cheri
85. escapades unlimited
86. RhiGirl
87. Rebecca LuElla Miller
88. Boltbabe
89. Comfy Denim
90. Jocelyn (Homemaker In Progress)
91. Robinznest
92. not-so-deep Denise
93. Deena @ The Bookshelf
94. Irene (The Green Greek)

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

Spring Reading Thing Wrap-Up

I started in March with a list consisting of five fiction and six non-fiction books. As I oh-so-accurately predicted, I zipped through all the fiction books and added at least five more (I lost count, and was not diligent to write down the additional ones I read). As for the non-fiction? Well…

I’m glad I was doing a challenge, because I really need the mental kick-in-the-pants that a challenge gives me in order to get through non-fiction books. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m really good at starting non-fiction books (and, of course, buying them), but not so good at finishing them. This time around, I had read four, and had just barely started the other two, as of a week ago. But because I have a highly slightly competitive spirit, I really pushed this last week, finished another one of them, and got part-way through the final one (My Heart’s in the Lowlands). Whew! That feels better.

So overall, I read 10-and-a-chunk out of my 11 original books, read a bunch more fiction, and finished the book that C. and I had been reading together.

Now onto the questions:

What was the best book you read this spring?
I’m really bad at picking “favorites,” but I think the book that was the most pleasant surprise for me this spring was Me, Myself, and Bob . Written by Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, this book takes a look at the rise (and eventual fall) of Big Idea, Inc. Before I read it, I already knew I’d be interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look at the company that has helped stock our DVD shelf so well. What I didn’t know what what an engaging read this would be. Honestly, it read much like a good fiction novel, with the end of each chapter making it hard to put the book down. Not to mention the humor — anyone who’s watched a Veggie Tales video knows that those guys know how to write funny, and that humor shines through this book as well. Chad actually read it before I did, and ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning one night to finish it. Great read.

What book could you have done without?
Hm… another hard question. Who wrote these questions, anyway? I guess I’d have to say Writer Mama. Although it’s a good book, with lots of information and encouragement for moms who are looking to write for publication, I just didn’t have my heart in it this spring. With everything that’s been going on, writing for publication has been extremely low on my priority list. I’ll be shelving it for future reference, though.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?
I did — I read Wicked by Gregory Maguire. While I loved the idea behind the book, and I thought he did a magnificent job creating an interesting backstory for the Wicked Witch of the West (and other assorted characters from Oz), I was pretty disappointed in the unnecessary crudity scattered throughout the book. For me, it took what could have been an amazing book, and made it mediocre. I’m not sure yet if I’ll read any of his other books… I still love the idea of the “story behind the fairy tale,” but I don’t really want the other junk.

If there were books you didn’t finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren’t worth it?
Just one. I’d say it’s because I ran out of time, but the fact that I read at least five fiction books that weren’t on my list rules out that excuese. The truth is, I just stink at getting through non-fiction, and I ran out steam.

Did you come across a book or two on other participants’ lists that you’re planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?
I saw Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes on tons of lists, and I plan to add that to my pile soon.

What did you learn — about anything – through this challenge?
I learned that I’m not good at posting reviews of what I read. I also learned that I am capable of reading non-fiction before bed, but I still also need to read some fiction before I can fall asleep. Weird, huh?

What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing?
Reading all the lists and reviews!

Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall?
Well, yes, but I have to be since I’m hosting it. :) Check back in September if you want to be part of it!

Spring Reading Thing — One Week Left!

Believe it or not, the start of summer is only one week away. Here at our house, it already feels like summer. School’s out, the schedule (schedule? what schedule?) is more relaxed, and the temperatures are soaring. But when it comes to the “official” start of the summer season, that’s still one week away. And with the start of summer, as you know, comes the end of spring…and the Spring Reading Thing.

So what does that mean? It means you still have one week to see how far you can get with your goals (that is, for those of us who haven’t finished — I know a whole bunch of you already completed your books!), and it means you have a week to think about what you’ll write in your wrap-up post.

Basically, I’d like your recap post to be just that — a post letting us all know how the Spring Reading Thing went for you. But because I’m sure everyone would like to know a bit more than “It went great,” here are some questions for you to consider answering as part of your post:

  • What was the best book you read this spring?
  • What book could you have done without?
  • Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?
  • If there were books you didn’t finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren’t worth it?
  • Did you come across a book or two on other participants’ lists that you’re planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?
  • What did you learn — about anything – through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share!
  • What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing?
  • Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall?
  • Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments.

Post your wrap-up post on your blog next Thursday, June 21st, and then come by here to sign up on the Mr. Linky that I’ll put up that morning.

I won’t be hosting a summer reading challenge, but I do plan to come back in the fall with another one. Twice a year for hosting challenges feels just about right for me, and to be honest, I enjoy having a little unstructured break in between challenges. However, I know there are always reading challenges going on in the blog-world, so if any of you are hosting one this summer, feel free to tell us about it in the comments — for all of those who are ready to jump into another one!

Well, I better get back to my book. :)

Spring Reading Thing — in the home stretch

So, I just realized that today is June 1st. Which means we have about 3 weeks left in the Spring Reading Thing. How are you all doing?

I have to admit, I fear that there are two nonfiction books that just aren’t going to get finished this time around. Oh, I’ll still read them — I’ve started both of them — but I just don’t think I’m going to complete them. We’ll see, though…there’s still time! All my fiction is done, of course, and has been for quite some time. Now, if I were truly disciplined, I wouldn’t allow myself to read any more fiction until I finish the nonfiction on my list. But I just can’t do that. I need my fiction fix before I go to sleep, so I continue to read fiction, despite my lack of nonfiction-completion.

I see from some emails I’ve received and from comments on the starting Spring Reading Thing post and the post where people can post their reviews that a number of you have completed all the books you set out to read. Great job! That really is fantastic!

As for the rest of us, we have three more weeks to keep plugging away before the end of the challenge. Don’t forget, somewhere around June 21st, please put up a recap post, telling us how you did, and link up to the Mr. Linky I’ll put here on the 21st.

Oh — several people have asked me if I’ll be doing a Summer Reading Challenge. The answer to that is… no. I need a break to regroup, relax and read without goals. :) As of now, I plan on doing another challenge in the fall, so stay tuned. In the meantime, De’Etta over at Choosing Joy is hosting a summer challenge, so if you are looking for book-lovers to hang out with this summer, head on over there and check it out.