One of my favorite parts of reading challenges is when you get to find the books you’re going to read. It is like going on a treasure hunt in some ways! This past weekend, I decided it was time to finish picking out the rest of my books for the Take A Chance Challenge 3. Here is what I ended up with … and some of how I got there.
1. Staff Member Choice: Since the button below fits me perfectly, I decided not to chance actually visiting a bookstore as Mr. Jenners has accused me of being “too spendy” lately. So I went onto Amazon (like that is safe!!!) and looked at the Amazon Editor’s choices for best books from 2010. I ended up picking The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I then downloaded it from Audible and started listening to it this week. So far, I’m entranced and intrigued.
2. Loved One’s Choice: This was the challenge that scared me most of all as I chose Mr. Jenners to pick a book for me. As long-time readers know, Mr. Jenners is NOT a big reader so I was really really taking a chance with this. In fact, he tends to pick out books to read based on the recommendations of the Howard Stern Show. (I know!!!! What was I thinking!!!!???) So, I nervously asked him to pick a book for me, praying the whole time “Please not They Call Me Baba Booey. Please not They Call Me Baba Booey.” I will confess that I had a moment of pure panic when he started looking for his copy of Howard Stern’s autobiography Private Parts and was just about to withdraw my request when he decided on Steve Martin’s book Born Standing Up, which Mr. Jenners thought “was pretty good.” (High praise from him.) I decided I could live with that … plus we already have a copy here at the house.
3: Blogger’s Choice. There were so many ways I could have gone with this but I ultimately decided to go with Rhapsody In Book’s year-end list, which includes three books by the same author. This author? Jennifer Donnelly. When a blogger I respect picks three books by the same author to go on her 10 best books of the year list, I can’t ignore that. So my choice for this part of the challenge is Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.
4: Critic’s Choice. After doing some Googling for book critics, I decided to go with Maureen Corrigan, the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. I know NOTHING about Ms. Corrigan so I went into this fairly blindly. I looked at her choices for the best books in 2010 and ended up picking Lionel Shriver’s So Much For That. (Full disclosure: I loved Shriver’s books The Post-Birthday World and We Need To Talk About Kevin so I was a teeny tiny bit biased to pick this book but hey, you gotta take what you can get!)
5: Blurb Book: The day I decided to finish picking my books for this challenge, I finished reading Carolyn Parkhurst’s wonderful book The Nobodies Album (review forthcoming). Since I liked it so much and it was sitting on my desk, I looked to see if there was a blurb by an author on the back and there was: John Searles. I’ve never heard of Mr. Searles but for this part of the challenge, I’ll be reading his book Strange But True.
6: Book Seer: When I went to this book-picking site, I decided I would enter Tana French’s The Likeness, which I just adored (and, again, review is forthcoming … I’m a bit behind on my reviews). Being very unimaginative, Book Seer recommended Tana French’s A Faithful Place (as well as her book In The Woods). Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth (a phrase I don’t actually understand), I decided to take this advice as I’m dying to read A Faithful Place anyway.
7: What Should I Read Next?: Curious what this book picking site would pick, I also entered The Likeness by Tana French. This site gave me some more options than Book Seer, one of which was Nancy Pickard’s The Virgin of Small Plains. This title seemed familiar and, sure enough, when I checked my bookshelves I found that I already had a copy that I’d requested from Paperback Swap at one point. This seemed like a sign so The Virgin of Small Plains is my choice for this part of the challenge.
8: Which Book: Which Book is such a fun book picking site that I strongly encourage you to check out if you haven’t already. There are all kinds of ways to have it find a book for you. I chose to pick three characteristics: unpredictable, funny and disturbing. One of the choice was Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist, which I’ve read some positive reviews for so it was a no-brainer to pick it. I’m so curious to find out if it meets that description!
9: LibraryThing Pick: When I reviewed the list of the most reviewed books on LibraryThing, there were only one or two I hadn’t read—The Help by Kathyrn Stockett was one of them. I’ve had this on my shelf FOREVER and keep promising to read it but then never doing it so I just up and read it and loved it. (Review forthcoming!)
10. Random Bestseller: Random.org gave me the year 1995. When looking at the bestsellers for the week that has my birthday, I was HORRIFIED! It was like a nightmare; the top-sellers were all books by authors like Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon. I chose the least horrible book that I could find so I’ll be reading Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner, which I vaguely remember hearing about but never read.
So there you have it … my rather strange and eclectic reading list courtesy of the Take A Chance Challenge 3. I’m fairly excited about some of them and a bit wary of others so we’ll see how it goes.