28 Dec 2010

IT'S A HOLIDAY READING CHALLENGE 2010 WRAP-UP.

The third reading challenge I have taken part in - you can see my other challenges by clicking on the Challenge Page at the top of this page - and I have to say that despite suitable reading material being hard to find at our local library it has been my favourite challenge so far. Whether this was because I have grown more in confidence or because I felt I  had really challenged myself by reading some books that I wasn't too sure about I don't know.

My third challenge this might have been but it's my first warp-up post and, despite having read several others, I'm still not sure exactly sure what it is I want/am expected to say so perhaps I'll let the books speak for themselves.

  • THE XMAS FILES by Patrick Harding. The only non-fiction book I read this year. A fascinating read full of wonderful facts written in a truly accessible way. I only wish I'd taken up the suggestion that I add one of these every day throughout December.
  • HOGFATHER by Terry Pratchett. This I found the hardest to review as I was so cautious of spoilers. There were so many times I wrote something only to re-read it and discover that it didn't make sense unless you had actually read the book OR been told what was happening. Combine this with Hogfather being one of Husband dearest's favourite books and I felt an even greater need to be able to justify what I wrote - be it good or bad.
  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens. I don't know which was the hardest, reading or reviewing this book. Always wary that I was in danger of comparing it to the various adaptations and knowing how much the story was loved by so many I found myself worrying that my honesty may upset people and that I may even be judged as a result of my thoughts. Thankfully something I need not have worried about.
  • THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED DICKENS CHRISTMAS BOOKS by Charles Dickens. I was totally surprised to find myself reading this - firstly because it was a selection of short stories and I'm not a fan of these (somehow I always end up feeling unfulfilled and left wanting more) and more obviously because it was Charles Dickens and as I had just discovered this equalled hard-going as far as I was concerned.. That said, olde-English aside I did actually find myself (sort of) enjoying some of the stories because of their inherent humour.
  • HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS by Agatha Christie. I started reading this with the belief that surely I must be the only book blogger in blogosphere who hadn't read Agatha Christie - wrong, I was not alone, there were others out there. Spelling and other printing mistakes aside, I could see how some might have thought this book charming but, as I commented in my review, I personally like my crime novels to be a bit more gritty and, preferably, solved by forensics rather than a dapper little Austrian men with great observational skills.
  • Not happy with five books, I found myself actually buying a sixth. A SEASON TO REMEMBER by Sheila O'Flanagan. Though I consider myself a fairly eclectic reader, I only rarely find myself reading anything so 'pink and, well, fluffy' and I was worried that I really wasn't going to enjoy this. Not as sickeningly sweet as I had feared, I found myself quite liking it if only for the characters, most of whom I could identify with on one level or another.
So that's it for another year. I'm already planning for next years holiday reading challenge and have a huge list of suitable material thanks to the wonderful bloggers who have participated this year. PLUS I already have one book, tucked away on the shelves, that I have only just discovered, sadly not in time for this years challenge though, so that just leaves me wishing you and yours my best wishes. See you next year .......

18 comments:

Misha said...

I will participate next year , I think! I didn't have any holiday related book this year.I now have some additions to my TBR thanks to your list.

Melissa Gill said...

Great job on the challenge Tracy! I read The Cricket on the Hearth- your recomendation- and loved it. But I love Dickens. I still haven't read A Christmas Carol if you can believe it. I just don't have time for much reading in December and I have to read what comes up on my library list.

That means I read "The Tower The Zoo and The Tortoise" -also your recomendation- I LOVED IT! It was so well written, and even though I was a bit distracted by the absurd idea that The Queen would move her zoo from an acredited facitily, in such a short time...(I'm a zoo insider), I still found the story so charming and the humor so engaging that I didn't even care.

Great suggestion! Thanks!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I only did four books for this challenge, but like you, I'm not into saccharine stories and neat little cozy mysteries too much, so I found myself surprised by some that I did enjoy!

Nina said...

Great job! You've done great with this challenge. Happy New Year! :)

Dorte H said...

Great to hear that you are busy planning next year´s reading. So am I, and I just joined my fourth challenge (I have five of the six books ready on my shelf).

I do read Hercule Poirot now and then, but he is no favourite of mine either. Miss Marple is better, perhaps because she isn´t so full of herself.

GMR said...

Great job on the wrap up and on the challenge itself! It was loads of fun seeing what holiday reads you discovered (and would rather have not in some cases). Happy holidays.... ^_^

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Aha! Six books! Not only did you accomplish the challenge, you beat it by a landslide!

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

I agree with what Oddyoddyo said.
Great challenge!

You're a great reader!

Big hugs!
B xx

susan s. said...

I would rather watch David Suchet play the Belgian detective than read a book about Poirot's ego!

The Golden Eagle said...

Great job on the challenge!

Suko said...

Great job on the reading challenge--and you are already planning for next year's holiday challenge! I am such a slouch when it comes to reading challenges. So I do not join many of them.

Su said...

I still haven't read Hogfather... I desperately need to augment my Pratchett collection!

naida said...

you did great with the challenge!
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Kelly said...

Congratulations on completing your challenge!!

I'm already planning my reading for next year, too. I've signed up for two challenges and know I'll do two others that don't start until later in the year. That should keep me busy!

Happy New Year to you!!

chitra said...

You are a wonder PW, reading so much, always taking up challenges. Keep reading.all the best.

Gina @ My Precious said...

For someone who wasn't sure of how to attack a wrap up, you really did a great job!

Congrats on completing the challenge!

brandileigh2003 said...

I can usually not get into holiday books if they are that exclusively. I read a bunch of childrens to my lil girl, but I am sure that doesn't count ;)

dr.antony said...

That seems to be a good collection.Always a fan of Dickens.I think he has written most about Christmas.
I was away for a while.
Happy New Year.