Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mixing-It-Up Reading Challenge for 2012

My official, update-as-I-make-progress, Mixing-It-Up-Reading-Challenge-for-2012 Post!

The link to the actual challenge is here:

I plan on doing the "Mixing Bowl" level - one book from 9-12 categories. While I want to read a book from ALL categories, I don't know that I will and I don't want to set myself up to fail.

Here are links to the reviews of the books I have read this year (another reading goal of mine is to write at least a little bit about the book, maybe just why I did or didn't like the book, rather than just give it a ___/5 rating and move on with my day):

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin falls under the Modern Fiction category of the challenge. It could also be a Crime & Mystery, but I think I am going to hunt for something a little more mysterious than this particular book to meet that quota.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher gets my credit for the Children's & Young Adult category of this challenge.

Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies meets the History category of the challenge.

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is another book for the Modern Fiction category. I guess I could throw it under Romance but I really didn't feel like it was a romantic book so much as a book about Love, actually.

We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee doesn't fall under ANY category! How crazy is that!? Either way, it is a memoir. It could possibly fall under the Journalism & Humor category since Benjamin Mee is originally a DIY author for a magazine and this soo-purchasing experience was an Animal Planet special, but I won't use it for that category unless I need to.

The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery is going to hit my Journalism & Humor list. While it is kind of a memoir, Ms. Montgomery is a frequent writer for many magazines/documentaries and Christopher Hogwood has come up in those writings. Bam!

Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers can actually qualify as Journalism & Humor since it is found in the Humor part of a bookstore. I think I only laughed out loud a handful of times, which means either I have gotten more mature or Tucker Max has gotten less mature. (Don't worry, Tucker. It's me, not you.)

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is my favorite book I've read so far and the third to go under Modern Fiction.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta is another Modern Fiction read. Man, I'm getting quite a few under that category! I need to space it out!

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf is another Modern Fiction book. Don't worry, the next few I have been reading aren't, so I'm trying to cover some more ground. Also, I'm a little behind with how many books I've wanted to read at this point - so I kind of need to pick up my pace!

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steve Dublanica is a memoir, so I guess I can count it as a Biography. I was pretty bummed out about this book. I felt it had the potential to be so good... so disappointed.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghase can plop down under the Modern Fiction category. I thought I would take a break from Modern Fiction for a bit, but that doesn't seem like it's happening! I am switching it up now though!

Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong by Rod L. Evans is a collection of trivial knowledge. Somehow doesn't fall under a category. Bummer, dude.

The Only Girl in the Car by Kathy Dobie is a memoir that gets tucked into the Biography category. One of the first memoirs I wasn't a big fan of, maybe because I wanted to grab 14-year old Kathy by the shoulders and shake some sense into her.

Singing Over Me by Danielle Stammer is a brief accounting of one woman's (and her family's) experience before, during and after the tragic Joplin, Missouri tornado that occurred in May 2011. I have had the opportunity to get to know Danielle Stammer's husband, Andrew, through work. Being able to read about their experience was great and I think it is awesome that Danielle was not only able to write about it, but have her writing published to be shared with the world.

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris, the 7th book in the Southern Vampire Series (aka the Sookie Stackhouse books aka True Blood) has been sitting on my bookcase for literally two years and I am just now reading it. Not only am I cranking out a book that has been waiting to be read for years, but I knock out the Science Fiction & Fantasy category. AND this is my 4th non-fiction read in a row. Breakin' that streak, baby!


Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern can get tossed under the Journalism & Humor category. Definitely my favorite under that category, Sh*t is a quick read (finished it over the course of an afternoon) and made me laugh out loud a couple times. I also enjoy shit like this, so if you don't, then you probably won't like it.

The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe is another (historical) Modern Fiction read for the year. I wish I could differentiate between historial modern fiction and non-historical modern fiction, but alas, I cannot do that for this challenge.

Employee of the Month and Other Big Deals by Mary Jo Pehl is a memoir tossed in the Biography category - although it was also funny, so it could go under Journalism & Humor too.

I Suck At Girls by Justin Halpern is another Journalism & Humor book to go w/ the last Justin Halpern read (see above). I liked this book more than Shit My Dad Says.

The Likeness by Tana French is my Crime & Mystery read for the year! There might be another one or two, but holy hell. It took me nine months to getting around to finishing this book. I LOVED Tana French's first book, In the Woods but I dreaded reading The Likeness, which is why it took me nine months to finish it.

1 Dead In Attic by Chris Rose is the second History book I've read. It doesn't seem very historical, since Hurricane Katrina spit out her wrath only 7 years ago, but I think it goes down in history as a bitch of a storm.

Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten is my second Crime & Mystery read for the year - about a mother and son who are being accused of the murder of a mentally handicapped teenager (whom Max has a history of disliking). I saw the "twist" from a mile away, but it was still a quick page-turner!

Harry Potter: Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley doesn't really fall under any category. But a kick ass book nonetheless!

(holy crap, i slacked in July. Big time!)

Heft by Liz Moore is another Modern Fiction book we read for book club.

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas is another Biography read. She even writes about when she told her Iranian parents she was writing a book and specified it was a memoir and they asked what it would be about. Pretty cute.


  1. Hi Rachel, and welcome to MiU 2012! I can't believe how many people have already tackled three or four of the categories! I was raring to go in December, but I've actually spent most of January on a music kick and barely read a thing, oops. Oh well, lots of time to catch up, right? Happy reading!

  2. Hello! Just checking in to say hi now we've hit the quarter-way point... Jeez, how time flies. You've read some great stuff already, some of which are waiting on my shelves - maybe I should give them a little boost up Mount TBR, hmmm. Do you want to use 'We Bought a Zoo' for your biography category, by the way? I totally would if it were me, but perhaps you have something else in mind and I should just BE QUIET AND WAIT. Never my strong suit. :D

  3. I might toss We Bought A Zoo under there - I will probably read a memoir or two this year, I guess those count a biographies? Right?

    I've read some good ones - a couple duds, but nothing I've hated!