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Non-Fiction Five Challenge Completed

>> Thursday, July 17, 2008

Now that I’ve finished Queen Victoria, I can move another challenge to the completed category. My friend Joy hosted the Non-Fiction Five challenge for 2008 and once again I had almost as much fun making the list as I did reading the books.

The rules were simple:
1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May - September, 2008
2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

I opted to ignore rule #2 because I hate self help books, and my initial list of 6 (one extra in case of a dud) was:

Then Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Queen Victoria: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven by Susan Richards Shreve
Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope by Don Van Ryn

The list of books I actually ended up reading for this challenge was slightly different due to a couple of library holds that became available during the challenge time frame and a non-fiction book I decided to read for the Southern Reading Challenge. Here is the list of what I really did read – and yes I ended up reading 6 after all (links are to my blog posts).

Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope by Don and Susie Van Ryn, et al. – this one was a fascinating story and an interesting, but not great book.
Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein – this could have and should have been a fascinating story, but the book turned out to be a disappointment.
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip into the Heart of Fan Mania by Warren St. John – I needed a middle of the off-season football fix and this provided it. It was a fun look at college football fandom.
Then Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson – I laughed my way through this one and then passed it on to The Hubster, who did the exact same thing.
American Eve by Paula Uruburu – Celebrity obsession is not a new phenomenon. This story was fascinating and sad all at the same time.
Queen Victoria: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert – a very interesting book about a very interesting person.

I enjoyed the last four much more than the first two and liked the combination of humor and biography that I ended up with in those. As for the three that were on my initial list that I didn’t read, well, they’re still on my TBR list for someday.

Thanks Joy – once again I had fun with this challenge.


Mary 7/18/2008 3:24 AM  

The Bryson looks like something my husband and I would like. I'll have to look for it. Great post and reviews!

Joy 7/19/2008 1:50 AM  

Congratulations, Suzi! I'm glad this was a successful challenge for you. I read my first Bryson this year and plan on reading another one of his for sure. :)

Bookfool 7/19/2008 6:25 PM  

I've got to get to that Bryson. I keep looking at it longingly, but I just haven't picked it up.

My eldest read Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (did I get that right?) and loved it.

Bookfool 7/19/2008 6:26 PM  

Forgot to say congrats on completing the challenge! I love it that you didn't read exactly from your list. I cannot stick to a list for all I'm worth.

Teddy Rose 7/19/2008 11:03 PM  

Congrats on finishing the challenge Suzie!

SuziQoregon 7/23/2008 8:30 AM  

Mary: I really enjoyed that one. Even though he's writing about 1950s Midwest, I found a lot of what he talked about I experienced in 1960s Oregon as a kid.

Joy: I have enjoyed and overachieved a bit with both of your NF5 challenges.

Bookfool: My Husband is planning on reading Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer next month to get himself ready for football season - glad your son enjoyed it. I thought it was a fun book.

TeddyRose: thanks!

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