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finished challenges > Elaine's Oct - Dec 2008 Book Challenge

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message 1: by Elaine (last edited Oct 01, 2008 08:55AM) (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) Hi! I want to start a new challenge when 2009 rolls around, but I don't want to wait that long to start a challenge, so I'm going to set a goal of reading 10 books by the end of this year (starting October 1, 2008 and ending December 31, 2008). That's just one more than three books a month. It's a rather pathetic goal compared to those of you on here who started in September or so and are going through the end of the year (most of whom set a goal of 50 or more in that small time frame), but I just hope I can keep up with my goal. I'm going to count every book I finish (including all types of books as well as audio books) no matter how long I've been reading it, whether for months or for years (yes, I have some books I've been trying to get through for years), as long as I'm around only halfway done. That might be cheating, but...............................I'm going to do it anyway. :)

Wish me luck!!!

message 2: by DelGal (new)

DelGal | 92 comments Mod
Hey Elaine

You go girl! Whatever you can accomplish is cool and an accomplishment for you, don't worry about anyone else. Everyone has got different reading speed and more or less time for reading.

Good luck to you, and finish those books that are taking you years to complete! :)

message 3: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) Thanks VegasGal! Your kind encouragement is so nice and makes me feel better. Yes, I'm a rather slow reader and I have so many other hobbies that when I have free time I do not always choose to read.

I'm so excited to try and get more reading in so that I can achieve my goal. I love books!!!!!!!

message 4: by Elaine (last edited Oct 09, 2008 09:00PM) (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #1 Forever Liesl: A Memoir of The Sound of Music by Charmian Carr

Five Stars *****

This book was truly so much fun to read! It was so simple and fun and yet so intriguing and profound. I now have to watch the movie again...soon! :)

message 5: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #2 Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

Four Stars ****

I thought this was a very good biography. I really enjoyed all the pictures and thought that it has a good history of Lincoln's entire life - really is about Lincoln and not just the 16th president. I find it amazing that, when you read about a person whom you think you know and of whom you hear so much, you realize that you hardly know them at all. I learned a lot about Abraham Lincoln. His childhood, his wife and kids, his political career, his presidency, and his death. It was all written about, but without being overwhelming in size or speech. I also learned a lot about the Civil War and what Lincoln actually did to abolish slavery in America. Very well done.

message 6: by Elaine (last edited Nov 23, 2008 09:33PM) (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #3 Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Five Stars *****

A book has to have some flicker of interest if I find myself reading the last 150 pages (almost a third of the book) in one evening and into the early hours of the morning. Twilight went far beyond that, however, with extraordinary excitement, suspense, romance, humor, and heart break. I think I'm still in shock; breathless. For most books I'm able to say what I like about it and what I don't, it's pros and cons, but I can't seem to put my finger on what captured me so thoroughly about Twilight. Was it the writing, characters, plot, location, setting? The vampires? I don't know. I think it is all of that put together so perfectly that it pulls you in, whether you want to be or not, and refuses to let you go. I must have been in a sort of daze as I read it and I can't really remember my response other than that I was completely consumed. This book had the same effect on me that Edward has on Bella. All I'd have to do is think about it and I found it rather hard to breath and my heart fluttered dramatically. Here are just a few random thoughts concerning a few different aspects of Twilight:

The Writing: I was surprised that it was in first person, but it was perfect for the story. I did not only get to know Bella, but all the other characters as well. There's nothing else that I can say, but that it was captivating, unique, wonderful writing.

The Characters: When I read a book, I like to feel what the characters are feeling. And I could feel all the characters in this book, even the minor ones. The emotions are so real. I don't know how Meyer did it.

The Plot: The story itself is amazing. It never feels bizarre or out of place. It's crazy how the vampires don't seem just weird and impossible. Once again, I was like Bella and just accepted it and it seemed so real. The climax at the end wasn't unnaturally drawn out, so, that too, seemed possible (in a fictional way). Great.

The Locations: I loved the locations in this book! The were perfect. They added so much to the book and climaxes. And I felt like I knew where it was – I could visualize how it looked. It's as if, if I were to go to the locations, it would seem like I had already been there and could easily find my way around. It was so alive.

The Vampires: Well, they're the main point of the story, right? They were so neat (and not just Edward). They were like real people not monsters (even the bad ones). They weren't unnaturally super-heroish, even with they're “special powers”.

The only thing I didn't care for was a few chapters in the middle. I thought there might have been a bit too much physical contact between the main characters, but I guess it is a romance and that is to be expected. However I did feel it was unnecessary and I hope the rest of the series doesn't get much worse as far as that goes.

I'm trying to refrain from running to the library and getting the next book. There was a “sneak peek” of New Moon (the preface and first chapter) in the back of Twilight, which really didn't help matters. How are you suppose to be content when the last sentence you read is, “Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm – into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.”? How? But I'm trying to tell myself to savor Twilight first. And that way my impression of this book wouldn't be tainted be New Moon.
I'm hooked whether I want to be or not. And I love it! I can't wait until the movie comes out!

message 7: by Elaine (last edited Nov 29, 2008 12:33PM) (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #4 New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Five Stars *****

Wow. An amazing sequel to Twilight. This book does not disappoint! I'm not sure what to say about it other than it was great! The beginning was so sad! Poor Bella! Poor Edward too! (Even though I don't know how he thought that was going to help). Jacob is such a great friend to Bella, well, at least until...then it all gets more complicated. I loved the way he was always so happy, just what Bella needed. The ending was sooooo good! The climax was amazing and once again Meyers use of locations really effects the story! Her writing is so enjoyable and easy to read. I can't wait to read Eclipse! Yeah, my last attempt to wait to read the next book (then New Moon) didn't work out so well, so I'm not even going to try this time. I just went and saw the movie (Twilight) yesterday (it was awesome!!!), which has only made me more excited to continue the series! I felt that the middle chapters of Twilight drug on a little long and I thought that the middle of New Moon did as well – one minor flaw in an amazing story. My worries about the physical contact between Edward and Bella in New Moon were dispelled and for that reason was sort of “glad” in a way that Edward was not with Bella through some of the book. Those worries have now been transferred onto Eclipse, but I hope, once again, that they do not come true. Heart-breaking, exciting, romantic, funny......Wonderful!

message 8: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #5 Rosary Meditations From Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Mother Teresa

Four Stars****

Review coming soon.....

message 9: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) Half way to my goal!!!!! Yippee!!! :D

message 10: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #6 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Four Stars ****

A simple yet deep story. Creepy and sad, yet heart warming. It's A Christmas Carol. I think everyone knows what it's about. Everyone's heard of Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Dickens writing is very enjoyable and Scrooge is so happy in the end! An appropriate read to finish Christmas Eve as that was the beginning of all of Scrooge's troubles/blessings. :)

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One! (page 68)

message 11: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #7 The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

Five Stars *****

Review coming soon...

message 12: by Elaine (last edited Mar 03, 2009 08:57PM) (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) #8 Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Five Stars *****

Review coming soon...

((I know I'm posting this January 1, 2009, but I really did finish this yesturday (well, except the acknowledgments) so I belongs to 2008.))

message 13: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (caladhiel) And it's 2009! I fell 2 short of my challenge (and I'm so close to finishing those 2 too). :( I guess I shall have to try again this year.

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