Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

February 20, 2007 Categories: Books | 9 Comments  


When I joined the Winter Reading Challenge, my goal was to finish these in progress books:

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
Redemption by Leon Uris
Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour
The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson
Proverbs and Sayings of Ireland Edited by Sean Gaffney & Seamus Cashman
Bibliotopia: Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts And Curiosities Compiled by Steven Gilbar

I know February isn’t officially over, but here’s how I did:

Reading Like a Writer
Education of a Wandering Man
Proverbs and Sayings of Ireland
Bibliotopia: Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts And Curiosities

Still Reading
The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson

I am about 2/3 of the way through Redemption and it has finally grabbed me, so I fully expect to have it finished before the end of the month. The Emily Dickinson poems will probably take another month or so. I’m enjoying them – but some of them are fairly obscure and hard to understand. (Maybe it’s just me.) Still, I will push on.

I also wanted to read five books off of the top portion of this list, the top portion being books that I own and have been waiting on my shelves – some for a long time!

The only book that qualifies for this portion of the challenge is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston, which I hated. I truly intended to read more books off my shelves, but… Here, let me explain.

At the beginning of the year, Michelle and I were talking about how much she loves Chekhov’s short stories and then we both read Reading Like a Writer in which the author truly gushes over Chekhov. So Michelle loaned me her copy of The Duel, which I devoured. One book read, not on my list – or my shelves.

After reading The Thirteenth Tale, I wanted very much to read Jane Eyre. I started reading it through DailyLit, but got tired of pushing the “send next fragment immediately” button several times a day, so Michelle loaned me her copy. One more book read, not on my list – or my shelves.

I saw a preview for the movie version of The Children of Men, knew I wanted to see it, but wanted to read the book first, so I checked out the library’s copy. Another book read, not on my list – or my shelves.

When I returned Children of Men to the library, I wandered over to the “New Books” shelves, “just to browse.” Knowing that we were leaving for the weekend and I would have lots of time to read, I checked out Famous Writers School. (Which wasn’t very good, by the way.) Yet one more book read that wasn’t on my list or my shelves.

When we were away on our weekend, we made our mandatory two-hour trip to Barnes & Noble, and I picked up a copy of The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction. Another book read…. You know the drill.

So, did I meet my challenge? No. But, honestly, I did better than I thought! For some reason I had it in my head that my goal had been 18 books off of my to-be-read shelves. 18! So when I saw that I had actually been wise and made a much more reachable goal, I was pretty pleased with myself. Next up will be the Spring Reading Challenge – I’ll post more details as Janie does. And my goal will probably be to stay out of the library, stop borrowing books, and stop shopping for books!


  1. Michelle

    That’s impressive, my reading time has been pretty low lately. I’m too busy writing and reading other blogs. I’m always interested though to see what others are reading.

  2. Lisa

    My challenge was only three books. I haven’t made it through one yet! *Blush*

  3. carrie

    Michelle – I have been forfeiting sleep lately just to get time to read. And I’ve been blogging less, too.

    Lisa – you’ve made it through a bunch of Little House books, though!

  4. Carol in Oregon

    This is my story too! We are doing a bedroom switch which means moving books. I pick up a pile to dust and return to the shelf and wonder why I haven’t read this one that I’ve been meaning to read for, oh…, five years.

    I read your blog and others and am swept away by the desire to read the book reviewed.

    Right now I’m two books behind my 15 yr old for school. I need to find time to read the Song of Roland and History of the Kings of Britain before too many days past me by so we can discuss them. And I have three or four borrowed books which I’ve had too long.

    I’ve been reading Trollope (which is candy to me) and some children’s lit (which is fast) – so I’m trying to buckle down and tackle some of the weightier tomes on my list. I got two chapters of a college history text. You know how the first chapters are usually boring setting the stage, etc? I’m hoping that I get into some good meat…and soon!

    It’s invigorating to have a shelf of good books waiting for me, though.

    All this to say: Carrie, keep writing about books. I love it!

  5. carrie

    Carol – thanks for your sweet comment! I’ve been loving your posts on Trollope, and he is on my list to get to – sooner or later. ;)

  6. Lawanda

    LOL Carrie, you are cute.

    I only wish I could read as much!! On my shelves or from the library, either one!

    Because of your blog I have been reading more variety, rather than re-reading my old faves. I just finished Louis L’Amour Education of a Wondering Man…AWESOME book. Very. TY! :)

  7. carrie

    Lawanda – I’m glad you enjoyed the L’Amour book – it’s been one of my favorite reads this year. Have a great weekend!

  8. Mommy Brain » Spring Reading Challenge

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