Friday, August 30, 2013

30 in 30 Challenge Wrap-Up

Last Thursday marked the end of my 30 in 30 challenge. I didn’t quite reach 30 books, but I still read more than I ever have in a month! It was actually quite a fun challenge. Here is the final list of books that I read:
  1. French Milk by Lucy Knisley (graphic memoir)
  2. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (nonfiction, drama)
  3. So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away by Richard Brautigan (fiction)
  4. The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery (Children’s fiction)
  5. A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (poetry)
  6. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (graphic novel)
  7. Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue (short stories)
  8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (fiction)
  9. Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan (graphic novel)
  10. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (fiction)
  11. Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano (fiction)
  12. I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron (essays)
  13. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (fiction)
  14. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (fiction)
  15. Questions About Angels by Billy Collins (poetry)
  16. Austenland by Shannon Hale (fiction)
  17. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg (fiction)
  18. Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff (novel in verse)
  19. Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (graphic novel)
  20. I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (essays)
  21. Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnick (fiction)
  22. Revenge by Yoko Ogawa (short stories)
  23. The Boy Book by E. Lockhart (fiction)
  24. The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart (fiction)
  25. Crush by Richard Siken (poetry)
  26. Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart (fiction)
Favorite Reads:
  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (fiction)
  • The Ruby Oliver Quartet by E. Lockhart
  • Revenge by Yoko Ogawa
  • The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
  • I Remember Nothing and I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

I ended up reading a lot of YA books this month, including the Ruby Oliver Quartet (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Maps, and Real Live Boyfriends) by E. Lockhart. At first I was a little leery of the series because of the cutesy titles, but I loved E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks so I thought I’d give these a shot. I was very pleasantly surprised! Ruby Oliver is a witty and independent, though self-loathing, teenage girl navigating the ins and outs of friendship, family, and first loves. I found myself missing Ruby and her world as soon as I finished the final book in the series. 
I also read the first two volumes of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (and illustrated by Fiona Staples!) during this challenge. Holy CRAP, they are amazing! Saga is the story Alana and Marko, lovers who come from warring planets and escape together when Alana is assigned to guard Marko in a prison. Once their escape is discovered, everyone from royalty to bounty hunters want to destroy the couple and what they represent. Saga is narrated by Hazel, Marko and Alana’s daughter, who is born at the very beginning of the series. I’m a big Brian K. Vaughan fan, so I don’t know why I took so long to start reading this series. But now that I’m two volumes in, it’s going to be torture waiting a month between issues. 
What I Learned:
Reading a book every day for a month takes time, energy, and discipline. I read a lot of young adult books and short novels, but it still required setting a large chunk of time aside for readingevery single day. Unfortunately, even when you plan to read, you never know if work or family or friends or emergencies will eat into the time you meant to use for reading. Things happen. Some days I was a reading machine, finishing three books in a day. Other days, I could barely start a book with everything else that seemed to be going on in my life. Regardless of the struggles, I enjoyed this challenge. It was a way to push my boundaries and get myself to read almost constantly. I might even try again some day…maybe in a few years.

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