Saturday, January 17, 2009

(bump) Challenge Complete!

I'm bumping this up because all participants of the New Classic Book Challenge are supposed to write a wrap-up post, including which of six books that they read is their favorite. Someone from the challenge is going to get a prize...and I love prizes! :)

The books that I read: The Liars Club, Nickel and Dimed, The House on Mango Street,The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Angela's Ashes and The Stone Diaries.

Of the six, I really enjoyed The Liar's Club, Nickel and Dimed, Oscar Wao and the Stone Diaries. Angela's Ashes, though I enjoyed it, was just so sad that it's tough to call it "enjoyment." And I didn't like The House on Mango Street at all, it was just tough to follow and I didn't like the style.

A favorite?? Well, I got an extra kick out of Oscar Wao since I speak Spanish. I LOVED the author's style, with the footnotes and the Dominican history, and I really felt the character of Oscar. So I think that this one was definitely my favorite!
I did it, I stuck it through and finished the New Classics Book Challenge! The rule was that you had to read six books from Entertainment Weekly's List of New Classics by January 31st. I didn't think I'd make it in time but I did, and even a little early!

Book #6 is "The Stone Diaries" by Carol Shields. It took me a little while to get into it, but there was a point where it got really interesting! It's about the life of Daisy Goodwill, who loses her mother during her birth, and all about her life from then on. It starts in the year 1905 in rural Canada, where her mother dies during her birth. Then the neighbor leaves her husband and takes Baby Daisy with her to move in with her son in Ottawa. The neighbor ("Aunt" Clarentine) is struck and killed by a bicyclist when Daisy is eleven, and Clarentine's son Barker makes arrangements for Daisy to return to her father's care, but he never forgets her in a romantic sense and sort of pines for her. (Which is a little tapped, since she's eleven!) Her father, a mason, has now moved to Bloomington, Indiana, and the part that sucked me into finishing the book was about Daisy's first marriage in 1927 ending with her husband's death on their honeymoon in Paris. (I won't give anything else away.) Daisy's life was ordinarily extraordinary, and I enjoyed the story. In fact, I would've thought that Daisy was a real person judging by the photos in the center of the book, until I read the disclaimer at the beginning of the book. ("This is a work of fiction...blahblahblah)

I've enjoyed this challenge. While I may not have agreed with the choices of the "100 best books of the past 25 years" it exposed me to new authors and different genres. Usually my choices tend to navigate towards fiction, mostly chick-lit. I definitely would join another challenge again, to force myself out of my reading comfort zone.


asplashofsunshine said...

The last book I read was Marley and Me a few years ago. Easiest book on earth. You are so good!

joanna said...

Make sure you do a wrap-up post and choose a favorite to qualify for the contest!