**The contest has ended. Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments. The winner of the 10 books is Angie from SevEn cLoWn CirCuS. Congrats!!**
I am a voracious reader. Voracious. Book a day voracious. Until last year. February to be exact. Because that is when I started blogging. And went from a book a day. To a book or so a week.
Which is actually rather ironic because right after I started blogging I took up the 888 challenge. The challenge was rather simple in concept. To read 8 books in 8 categories in '08. 64 books. Easy peasy for a voracious reader like me. Except I had not counted on the distraction. (My complete list with categories is over on my left side bar)
If you look over my original list for the books I planned to read you'll see that I dreamed big. One of the big things I wanted to do was to read Jane Austen. I wanted to read Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility. Northanger Abbey. And those two others that I cannot think of. I tried to read them. Really. I did. My eyes glazed over. I yawned. And then I couldn't remember what I actually read. I read more of Sense and Sensibility. Because it was one of my book club books. But not all of it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
I wanted to read award winning books. To see what sets them apart from others. What makes something a Pulitzer? A Newberry? A National Book award winner? And what I discovered is that these particular award winners are really good. Eye opening. And even entertaining. I sort of felt like I cheated though. As the year began to wane...I found my list a little too ambitious. So I replaced some titles with Newberry winners so that I could finish my list. And actually here is where you will find one of my worst books of the year. The one where I am not sure why it won an award: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. Yuck.
I wanted to read books that I actually had bought that were sitting on my shelf. Books that I had not started because I set them aside for library books. Because those have a due date. Rationalizing that the books I had on my shelf I could read anytime. But don't. This is the category where I really cheated. Of the books that I read here...I think that only one was there at the beginning of the challenge. The rest were on my shelf. But just because I brought them home from the library and stuck them there. Or because Rhea mailed them to me. (And just an aside. Ummm. Rhea. I giggled at you. Because you forgot that you mailed books to me. Like "The Hunger Games." And then lamented about your missing copy in the comments of Lula's blog. I am still giggling. Sorry. *snort*)
Another category was non-fiction. Which I like. Sometimes. Like "Devil in the White City." Fabulous. But his other book - "Isaac's Storm." Not so much. Or I was caught up in the title. Like "Sin in the Second City." A book about madams. Sex. Politics. Intriguing, no? Sort of. It had its moments. And I had my own copy that I read in the pool while at the beach over the summer. It is rather water logged. Still. And then there is Tucker Max. I think that I still need some brain bleach to get some of those stories out of my head.
And then. My high brow category. To read the classics. Note. No Jane Austen's on this completed list. But I was quite pleasantly surprised with my list. Dracula. Fabulous. Orwell? Genius. Brave New World? Amazingly ahead of it's time. Lost Horizon? If you are a LOST fan...this is a MUST read. The only book I had issues with is "Little Women." So freakin' saccharine sweet, I think I fell into a diabetic coma.
And for the rest. Well...the rest is all part of my usual repertoire. Because I love to read. For me, reading is about pleasure. Escape. Entertainment. I don't want to struggle with a book just because I should read it. I want to read it. Enjoy it. For it's own sake. I want to be lost in a story. I want to be so engrossed that I stay up all night. And neglect everything that I am supposed to be doing. Those are the signs of a good book.
In honor of SITS and their Spring Fling...I am giving away 10 of the books I read for the challenge. It's a mixed bag because I get most of my books from the library. So what you are getting are well read...slightly water logged...books.
Included are: Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris (the first of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries - and the inspiration behind HBO's "True Blood"); Lost Horizon by James Hilton; The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn (fabulous, sexy, funny Regency romance); How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean (a very intelligent and witty chick lit book); Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott (quite water logged. Didn't quite fulfill it's potential. Still. Rather interesting.); Interpreter of the Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (FABULOUS Pulitzer Prize winner - and if you haven't read her other novel - The Namesake - you need to add it to your to be read pile!); Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (wonderful, lyrical. Read it and email me. I want to know your impressions of the ending.) Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips (fun romp with the Greek Gods in modern London. Could have been better); Austenland by Shannon Hale; and The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs (a hysterical look at a man trying to live EXACTLY as the Bible dictates).
So...what do you need to do to win? Simply leave me a comment. Have you ever done a reading challenge? What kinds of books do you like to read? What are you reading right now?
I'll do a random drawing and announce the winner on Thursday.