Saturday, April 26, 2014

READATHON (Spring 2014): Hour 6 Mini-Challenge

Lisa, over at Lisa's World of Books, is getting people talking about some of their favorites of the year with her Hour 6 Mini-Challenge. Since I haven't read much this year to really "blow my socks off", I'm going to stretch it out to cover books I've read in the last 12 or so months...

Best Book of My Reading Year

I ended 2013 with two favorites: A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon and Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Both books followed a small cast of characters over a period of time.  

Rules of Civility took place mostly in the '30s, and showed some of the challenges for women in the '30s, as well as the effects of The Great Depression.  

A Dual Inheritance spans nearly five decades, beginning in 1962. I just really fell in love with this book! I loved the writing and the characters, and could feel the air of the '60s.

Best "Unexpected" Favorite of My Reading Year (and Favorite Cover)

A Far Piece to Canaan by Sam Halpern. Why would a book be an "unexpected" favorite? Well, it was written by Sam Halpern, and most people probably wouldn't realize that Sam is best known as the oft' quoted father of Sh*t My Dad Says! Who would have thought that such a hysterically critical and ornery character could author such a sweet and tender and Stand By Me-ish type of story?

Best Fictional Story Inspired By a Real Person

Burial Rites, written by Hannah Kent, is a beautiful yet tragic debut about Agnes Magnusdottir, who was condemned to die by beheading for the murders of two men in 1828 in Iceland. The book is fiction based on legends and stories passed down over the years, as well as historical documents, telling Agnes' story. As I said in my review:

This was one of those gentle reads, at times so entrancing it is almost hypnotic, like being rocked to sleep. Affective and sensitive, it moved me. I would consider this novel to be rare and extraordinary, and it will carry you along to the bitter end, if you allow it, with tears streaming down your face as you take those final steps. But you aren't alone. Agnes is with you.

Favorite Passage of my Reading Year

Last year I began reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This is a collection of the entire series in one. I read the first one, and in it I found one of my favorite passages ever. It just tickles me everytime I read it. It's outrageous and silly and preposterous and clever...

Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled My Favorite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leaped straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.
 See? It just made me smile again!

So those are some of my favorites of the year. How about you?


Words for Worms said...

You are doing fantastic, you Readathon rockstar! I too loved Burial Rites, I just recently tackled it after waiting far too long. So beautiful!

Vasilly said...

I love that Hitchhiker quote! I haven't read Burial Rites but it's on my shelves. I hope you're enjoying your day.

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

I'm here to cheer!

Great list of books for this mini-challenge. You're doing great with the read-a-thon! Have fun with the rest of your day.