Friday, September 2, 2011

Off The Shelves Update

So, remember that time I went to Borders’ closing sale and didn’t buy anything, and then I went again and barely bought anything, and then I went again and finally bought a bunch of books even though I don’t have the shelf space or extra money to do so? Yeah. And remember how I said or at least implied that it would be my last trip to Borders ever? Yeah. Um, well, how do I say this…

(And yes, my shelves at home are also dominated by a mix of drama criticism and YA fantasy/sci-fi. Is that weird?)
See, they dropped the prices again, and we were in the neighborhood anyway, and, and... Yeah.

But it’s okay, because I'm officially halfway through my list for the Off the Shelves Book Challenge, where I vowed to read at least 50 of the books collecting dust on my shelves by the end of the year. Woohoo!

(We’ll ignore the fact that I should have been halfway through the challenge by the end of June. [I blame the fact that I read at least 15 books this year that were not on the OTS list. Oops.] We’ll also ignore the fact that I loved more of these books than expected and will hardly be getting rid of any of them, so the shelf space problem still applies. Shhhh.)

ANYWAY, on to the updated lists! 

1.         Sapphique – Fisher
2.        The Children of Men – James
3.        Flatland – Abbot
4.        The Man in the High Castle – Dick
5.        Looking for Alaska – Green
6.        Restoring Harmony – Anthony
7.        The Other Side of the Island – Goodman
8.        Educating Waverly – Kalpakian
9.        Hula – Shea
10.      The Wishing Box – Slater
11.       The Unauthorized Autobiography – Lemony Snicket
12.      The Immortals – Hickman
13.      Writing Articles from the Heart – Holmes 
14.      The Magic Christian – Southern
15.      Ordinary Men – Browning
16.      Child 44 – Smith
17.      The Secret Agent – Conrad
18.      Will Grayson, Will Grayson – Green and Levithan
19.      Zombies VS Unicorns – Black and Larbalestier
20.     Writing for Children and Teenagers – Wyndham
21.      The Replacement – Yovanoff
22.     A Tale Dark and Grimm – Gidwitz
23.     The Mysterious Benedict Society – Stewart
24.     The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil – Zimbardo
25.     On Being a Writer – various

The Best-Of List So Far: 
  • Best NonFiction: Ordinary Men and The Lucifer Effect (equally amazing and disturbing)
  • Best Fiction: Impossible to choose. I broke it down by category and still had trouble:
  • Funniest: A Tale Dark and Grimm and the Zombie vs. Unicorn stories of Naomi Novik and Maureen Johnson. I should also give props to Green's and Levithan's humor-in-the-midst-of-angst-and-darkness.
  • Most stunning prose and imagery: The Wishing Box and Hula
  • Most interesting characters: The Replacement
  • Best inspiration for my writing: Zombies vs. Unicorns
  • Most frustrating: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket, who is both my favorite storyteller (for voice and humor) and my least favorite (because his schtick involves NEVER PROVIDING ANSWERS OR CLOSURE. Agggg!).
  • Most Surprising (translation: books I expected to end up selling that blew me away instead): Educating Waverly, Hulu, Children of Men, and The Wishing Box.

Still Unread
  1. Battle Royale – Takami
  2. Island - Huxley
  3. Ape and Essence - Huxley
  4. Divided Kingdom – Thomson
  5. Paper Towns – Green
  6. Everything’s Illuminated – Foer
  7. Dangerous Laughter – Millhauser
  8. The Year of the Flood – Atwood
  9. Cat’s Eye – Atwood
  10. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Nafisi
  11. Eragon – Paolini
  12. The Book of Lost Things – Connolly
  13. To Say Nothing of the Dog – Willis
  14. The Worthing Saga – Card
  15. Ender in Exile – Card
  16. The Gatekeepers – Steinberg
  17. Adam’s Navel – Sims
  18. Eats, Shoots & Leaves – Truss
  19. Just Open a Vein: Writers on Writing – various
  20. Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog – Florey
  21. Heavy Words Lightly Thrown – Roberts
  22. Reading the OED - Shea
  23. All the Sad Young Literary Men – Gessen
  24. All Tomorrow’s Parties – Gibson
  25. Darwin’s Children – Bear
I’m most looking forward to: Ender in Exile, Adam’s Navel, and The Book of Lost Things.

Anyone else doing a reading challenge? How's it going? 

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