Friday, December 21, 2007

Fall Into Reading 2007 Wrap Up

Well today is the final day and the big wrap up for the Fall into Reading 2007 Challenge. As always I have thoroughly enjoyed participating and thank Katrina from Callipider Days for doing all the organizing and prize giveaways.

Alas, I did not finish all the books on my original list. My original list is here. I was asked to do a couple of book reviews so those sort of bumped the books originally on the list farther down. And then I completely fizzled out at the end of November. I hate to admit I have not even picked up a book since December 1. While finishing up 8 books, only 5 of those are on the original list of eleven. Another was a carry over from the spring challenge, one was a review, one was read at the request of our pastor. You can read reviews for the ones I did finish and others from the year at this link.

Which book did I like the most? I would have to say it was "Idol Eyes" by Mandissa. My kids and I are big fans of American and Canadian Idol and I loved reading about the behind the scenes experiences of American Idol. I found Mandissa's honesty about her feelings, struggles and faith in the Lord refreshing and engaging.

The book I liked the least? I would have to say "23 Minutes in Hell". While not a bad book or badly written it is just not the type of book I would pick up on my own. My pastor requested we read it, so I did.

Alton Gansky was a new author for me this time around and I will read more of his books in the future.

What have I learned? Hmmm, that is sort of hard to answer. First directly from a book, I learned alot from the Many Loves of Marriage which was my carry over from the spring. There were so many nuggets in that book that I bought a journal just to write them all down. And there also many insights from Idol Eyes that touched me. But the one that really taught me a lot of things even though it was fiction, things that have stuck with me, was from "A Vow to Cherish". I learned so much about the devasting disease of Alzhiemer's and I also learned the heart rending effects of it upon the family. I learned what it might be like to have the marriage vows of "in sickness and in health" and "until death do us part" tested, what taking God at His word in a horrendous situation and literally wipe away all excuses and rationalizations and doing what was right and the struggle and victory that come with it must feel like in this situation. It was a very impacting book.
I also learned that I find it hard to force myself to read when I am just not into it. I read voraciously. It's my favorite hobby and I can tend to lay other things aside to read, especially if it's a book that is totally capturing my attention. But when I fizzle out, I really fizzle out. It's like I need a little break. And that's ok too! At least I got some Christmas baking done. :v)

So that's it for the Fall Reading Challenge 2007. I'll have to bump a few of the books into the new year and my list of To Be Read books has once again grown exponentially as I've gone through your lists. I'm looking forward to getting back into reading as I have a whole week off from work. I picture myself in jammies and housecoat curled up on the couch, coffee with Southern Butter Pecan Creamer within close reach, and book in hand. The picture is looking mighty fine.


Katherine@Raising Five said...

You did great! I purposely did not participate in the challenge this year because it's just too depressing. I like to be pleasantly surprised if I finish a book or two, rather than discouraged because I'm not reading college-level classics like some do, or because I couldn't meet my goal! This is just a very busy season. And baking is REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT.

The alzheimer's book sounds very interesting - we have some family friends (my parents' age) who are dealing with this, and it is tough.

You've been on my heart and I've been lurking - just not commenting. Hope all's back to "normal" again and that you can enter the holidays with JOY!

Lots of love,

Barbara H. said...

I would love to read A Vow To Cherish. I saw part of a film version of it. Though heartbreaking, I appreciated the love and commitment depicted. Young people need to know that that's what real love is.

I also want to read The Many Loves of Marriage. In fact -- I better go write these down right now...

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

ellen b. said...

Well done Susanne! I had to bump a few of mine into Winter and Spring. Blessings...

Tammy said...

When I first saw your post here I thought...Uh OH.
I forgot to wrap up my fall's SO hard to do that right before Christmas! You are to be commended!
What a great job, and I loved reading several of your book reviews over the last few months. I want to sometime read "The many loves of Marriage"...and though I don't watch American Idol, the autobiography sounds mom would love it since at 80, she's a huge fan! :)

I guess I'll do my own wrap up after Christmas...(and no, I didn't finish my books either, of course!) ;)

Nise' said...

Great job! I see a few books I want to add to my to be read list. Merry Christmas.

Joyful Days said...

I am intrigued by many books on your lists. I will have to see what the library has. Great job.

Totally understand it being difficult to "force" oneself to read. When I read I do little else, but sometimes a break is necessary.

Merry Christmas!

Sandra said...

Wow you did great on your list....I failed miserable, as usual LOL

Merry Christmas to you and your Family!!!!


FlipFlop Mom said...

I think you did FAB and I LOVED reading your reviews!!! I read constantly.. but like you.. it seems I've been doing other things lately!!

Katrina said...

Looks like you read some great books, Susanne. And I really enjoyed reading about the things you learned.

I, too, found it hard to maintain reading momentum while working on Christmas plans, shopping, baking, etc. So I can relate the fizzling!

gail@more than a song said...

I think I've fizzled too! Maybe I can get my wrap up post done, am reading on what I think is the last book but I won't finish it soon....too much other going on.

Lisa writes... said...

I fizzled too...I would also describe myself as a voracious reader, but sometimes life just gets in the way, and sometimes you just can't find anything GOOD like REALLY GOOD to read, know what I mean?

Anyway, I enjoy reading your perspectives and reviews!

Jenny in Ca said...

Susanne- I still have not done my wrap-up, so kuddos to you for the books you finished and for doing your wrap-up!!