YALSA Best of the Best 2012 Challenge Update #1

Robin

Number of titles read: 3 (of 25)
Titles read:

Comments: So, I fully intended to read Zahra’s Paradise again first, but…then Axe Cop arrived for me at my library.  I’d heard about Axe Cop, don’t get me wrong, but somehow I had not yet actually read it. IT IS BRILLIANT.  Uni-baby!  Wexter!  Ask Axe Cop!

Also, A Monster Calls packs such a punch.  I will always be a Patrick Ness fangirl, apparently.

Similarly, I’m enjoying A Girl of Fire and Thorns just as much as anyone who knows my reading habits could predict: interesting politics? Check.  Intelligent girl protagonist? Check.  Desert landscape and camels? Check (anyone who knows me knows that Lawrence of Arabia is one of my favorite movies of all time.) Extra bonus points for a girl who is in fact fat and is not trying to change that fact.

Not for me: none so far.

Up next: Zahra’s Paradise (still), The Influencing Machine, Daybreak, and Beauty Queens on audio

Emma

Number of titles read: 14 (of 25)
Titles read:

Comments: I’ve been reading like a fiend since I agreed to this challenge and have read ten books so far (although most of those are graphic novels). I’ve been updating on Goodreads.

Like Robin, I read Axe Cop and really wanted to like it.  It has gotten so much good press and sounds so funny.  Who wouldn’t like Uni-baby?  But it felt more like a one liner that has gone on too long.  Maybe having kids has caused me to overdose on that type of humor.  I don’t need to read Axe Cop, I can just wake my kids up.

My favorite so far has got to be The Girl of Fire and Thorns I which I adored! (It needed the exclamation point to convey my adoration). Gotta love a book which does NOT end with “And then she got married and never spoke again for the rest of her life.”  I can’t wait for book two.

Not for me: Shattered GlassAxe Cop

Up next: Sugar Changed the World

Snow

Number of titles read: 1 (of 25)
Titles read:

Comments: As I am a spreadsheet list making fiend, I have a spreadsheet where I am tracking what I had read before the challenge began: Chime, Geektastic, Anya’s Ghost, Dark is Rising series, The Influencing Machine, Sidescrollers, A Bride’s Story v. 1, Shine, Axe Cop v. 1, Wandering Son v. 1, Jasper Jones (finished on March 29, just before the challenge began, darn), Ghostopolis, and My Boyfriend is a Monster #1. I do not want to re-read if I can help it, but if I have to in order to be able to post a graphic novel mention here (since we are a graphic novel review site!), then I will.

I also marked the titles that I either can’t get because neither of the two library systems I use have them (and neither allow ILLs of audio/visual materials): Whoogles, How They Croaked, Leverage, Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?, Tripping, Curse of the Wendigo (this one I might break down and buy the audio; I helped give a Printz honor to the first book, so I’d really like to hear this one!). And I marked titles that I do not have any interest in reading (many of them because I haven’t read enough of the others in the series):  Super Human, A Stolen Life, Chain Reaction, Wake of the Lorelei, D.C. Comics:  The Ultimate Character Guide, Ring of Solomon, and Salvage the Bones.

Once I removed the already reads, the don’t wanna reads, and the can’t gets, I was left with 50 books. I picked half of those to start with, though I may read them all eventually. I’m tracking on my Goodreads page. I’ve added all the books I’m planning on reading to that shelf, whether I am “currently reading” them (meaning have them at home or checked out) or I am “to read” them (meaning don’t have right now.)

I can comment on A Bride’s Story vol. 1, since I did a rather quick re-read of it this week in preparation for reviewing vol. 3 for Booklist. What blows me away every time I pick up this series is Mori’s stunningly beautiful art. If you know someone who loves traditional crafts, but isn’t a huge graphic novel reader, recommend this one to them. Mori pays close attention to the tremendous amount of work that went into living along the Silk Road in the 19th century. Volume 1 has a long sequence about woodcarving, volume 2 celebrates needlework, and volume 3 left me hungry after its chapter focusing on food. Mori is truly a master of her craft and it is an honor to get to read her books.

Not for me: Why We Broke Up*

Up next: The Notorious Benedict Arnold

Abby

Number of titles read: 5 (of 25)
Titles read:

Comments: I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read so far.  Lover’s Dictionary had a really interesting set up, with each chapter being explained through a word and in alphabetical order, rather than time order.  It was a little too melancholy overall, but read like a real relationship.

Axe Cop was hilarious.  Not great for a straight read-through, I thought, because it can get a little tiresome in its plot development (or lack thereof), but I couldn’t stop laughing with each bit I read.

Bride’s Story and Wandering Son were really only set up for future volumes and so both started subtle and slow.  Both had lovely artwork and I loved both stories.  I can’t wait to see where they go.

Told as if the reader were actually fighting zombies, Daybreak is just awesome.  I loved the viewpoint, the story, the dark, dingy-looking, post-apocalyptic artwork, and the adorable dog that just keeps randomly showing up throughout.

I’m also keeping track on Goodreads.

Not for me: none so far.

Up next: How They Croaked, The Influencing Machine, A Girl of Fire and Thorns, Over Sea Under Stone

Sarah

Number of titles read: 1 (of 25)
Titles read:

Comments:

I finished The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which was interesting.  I found myself really liking him and wanting everything to turn out differently (until he turned traitor).  I have some comments on GoodReads, but that’s the gist of it.  I have been getting everything in from the library while I’ve been off at trainings, so I’m off to a slow start.  However, I think everything will pick up soon.

Not for me: none so far.

Up next: Anya’s Ghost

Has anyone given up on a book?

Emma: I have a question though: has anyone else taken a book off their list?  I had Shattered Glass on my list and read the first chapter and realized that this was not the book for me and took it off again.

SnowIn answer to your question, Emma, yes, I have given up on a book. (And, as I mentioned there are some I am just not interested in.) As I am not longer serving on a committee, I am embracing my right to put down a book if I don’t want to read it. I started Why We Broke Up twice. Both times I enjoyed it while I was reading it, liking the paintings and the free-flowing wordplay, but both times as soon as I put the book down I forgot about it. When I’d walk through the living room and pass the coffee table, I’d briefly remember that I should be reading it, but I never seemed to want to pick it back up. Finally, the second time I started it (having to go back to the beginning as I’d forgotten what happened), I gave it the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 and then gave up. Apparently it’s not for me.

Robin: I haven’t given up on a book yet, just picked one out of the stack over another.  As I said, I started Zahra’s Paradise and then got distracted by Axe Cop.  This is my usual mode of reading, and I’m also usually listening to something as well (hence I will be starting Beauty Queens– which I gave up on reading, but have been assured is engaging on audio.)Abby, I really loved the Chime audio — found it much easier to get into in that format.  I love the book, don’t get me wrong, but the audio was just more engaging somehow.

Updated 2:25pm April 17 to include more of Abby’s comments on her reading thus far.