Nickel and Dimed - Barbara Ehrenreich (Economics)
The City of Falling Angels - John Berendt (Travelogue)
What I really liked about the Non-Fiction Five Challenge was that it nudged me into reading a genre I normally wouldn't touch unless assigned for school (and even then...?). The toughest book to slog through was definitely His Excellency; I honestly can't choose one that I liked the most--and not because I loved them all. Oh well!
The World According to Garp - John Irving (1970s)
What I really liked about this challenge is that I was able to read pieces of fiction from a timespan of about 115 years. The differences between the earlier pieces to the later pieces is remarkable, really highlighting how the novel has developed. My favorites would have to be Fall On Your Knees and The Blind Assassin; my least favorites were Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Howards End.
I've been wanting to read this collection for a while, but I ended up really struggling with getting it read! My favorite stories were "Pit and Pendulum" and "Tell-Tale Heart"; there were several other stories (e.g. The Gold-Bug) that didn't strike my particular fancy.
This was a fun challenge because it was so different and the books I chose were from a pool of selections from other bloggers. The only book on this list I didn't really like was Like Water for Chocolate. All the rest were books that I enjoyed a lot--The Thirteenth Tale and High Fidelity being two of my favorite reads for the year.
Once I started paying more attention to my reading habits, I was surprised at how many classics I read throughout the year. This challenge was easy to fulfill and I liked Frankenstein and The Scarlet Pimpernel a lot; Little Women did not live up to my re-reading expectations.
Armchair Traveler Challenge (6 books)
Travels with Charley - John Steinbeck (America)
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien (Vietnam)
One of the goals I have is to really reach outside of my boundary comfort zone. Most of the authors that I read are North American or British and while the locales differ from story to story, I haven't exposed myself a lot to writers from different countries. While I didn't do this except for maybe Snow, this challenge certainly raised my awareness. A Thousand Splendid Suns was my favorite of the bunch; Snow was my least favorite.
Thirteen Moons - Charles Frazier
Overall I enjoyed my second helping of these three authors, but none of them were as good as the first I read by the authors (Cold Mountain, The Hours, and Pride and Prejudice). But all three authors I would devour for a third helping!
Total Challenges: 7 (one challenge not listed: 07-08 Book Awards Reading Challenge)
Total Challenge Books: 35 (one cross-posted in two 2007 challenges)
New Authors: 22