Orbis Terrarum wrap-up

This was my first time participating in Orbis Terrarum, and I loved being a part of this fascinating and diverse challenge!  I’m thrilled to say that I’ve finished the challenge in only eight months instead of ten.  Here is the final list:

1.  Slave – Mende Nazar and Damien Lewis (Sudan) review

2.  Sonata for Miriam – Linda Olsson (Sweden) review

3.  Everything Asian – Sung J. Woo (South Korea) review

4.  The Good Women of China – Xinran (China) review

5.  The Complete Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi (Iran) review

6.  Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta (Australia) review

7.  Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria) review

8.  Blindness – Jose Saramago (Portugal) review

9.  A Disobedient Girl – Ru Freeman (Sri Lanka) review

10.  Haunting Bombay – Shilpa Agarwal (India) review

The best book: Hmm… Blindness takes the cake on this one, I think.  With The Complete Persepolis a close second.
Any new authors? All of them, actually!  I’ve been reading quite a few new authors this year, which I love!
Least favorite of the bunch: Jellicoe Road.  I just did not get this book at all.
What did I learn from this challenge? I should be reading more literature from around the world, because what I read, I usually end up loving.  It’s always good to expand my reading horizons, so I definitely appreciate that this challenge allowed me to do that!

RIP Challenge wrap-up

R.I.P. IV was every bit as awesome as I was expecting it to be.  I surprised myself by reading six books instead of the two I had planned on reading.  Here’s my completed list:

1. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins review

2.  Blindness – Jose Saramago review

3.  In the Woods – Tana French review

4. Sworn to Silence – Linda Castillo review

5.  Haunting Bombay – Shilpa Agarwal review

6.  The Likeness – Tana French

I haven’t exactly finished The Likeness yet, but I’m going to go ahead and count it since I only have 50 pages left and I plan to finish it before midnight tonight.  So it counts. :)

The best book: They were almost all amazing, but I think if I had to choose I’d say Blindness.  It truly blew me away, to a degree that none of the others were able to do.
Any new authors? Yes, they were all new-to-me authors, obviously except for the second book by Tana French. :)
Least favorite of the bunch: Haunting Bombay.  I liked it, came nowhere near loving it.
What did I learn from this challenge? I like these genres more than I thought!  And I have plenty more on my TBR list where these came from, which excites me. :)

A small apology (and I’m back!)

Well, a week has come and gone since I last posted and let me tell you, it’s been a long week.  As most of you know, I was in Los Angeles since the 21st for work.  I had really high hopes of reading a ton of books poolside, and staying up late every night to blog about them for all of you.  Well…. let’s just say I had to spend more hours working than I had anticipated.  A LOT more hours.  AND I ended up visiting with two family members who both moved out to L.A. within the past few years (separately, they are opposite sides of the family).

In addition, the “free” Wi-Fi in my hotel was complete crap.  Was it free?  Yes.  Did it actually connect me to the internet?  Most of the time, no it did not.  So generally speaking, I wasn’t able to read your blogs, I wasn’t able to catch up on twitter, I could only check my email on my Blackberry, and I certainly wasn’t able to do any blogging.

Grrr.  So I’m unhappy about the week I spent away from all of you, and I apologize for my absence.  That being said, I’m glad to be back and I have several posts I need to write this week, as well as TONS of reading to catch up on, so expect to see lots more of me soon!

Oh, and one more thing, I really wanted to get together with some book bloggers, and I spoke specifically to Amy about a time we could meet up, so I do need to sincerely apologize for not being able to make that happen.  I simply did not have the time I expected to have to do anything besides work and the small amount of time I did have with family.  I’m so very sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet any of you, and to Amy especially – so sorry I basically flaked on you!  The trip just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to!