Jun 17, 2008

Two Challenges Completed! (and Pecans, Books, Cats and Interviews)

(Yes, I stole the title from Trish. But it's true, too.)

The first is the Once Upon A Time Challenge. I managed to complete my original list (with one substitution, though) and slip in some extras.

Books Read:
Extras:My favourites were Shannon Hale's Bayern Trilogy, Zel, Tigerheart, The Ice Queen, The Ladies of Grace Adieu, Tales from Watership Down and Mirror Mirror on the Wall. My least favourite was very definitely The Helmet of Horror. New authors discovered include Alice Hoffman, Anne Sexton, Eudora Welty, John Lawson, Donna Jo Napoli, C.J. Cherryh, and last but definitely not least, Shannon Hale. I plan on reading them all again. (Victor Pelvin was new to me too, but I'm not exactly inclined to read more of his books.) Like last year, I had a great time with this challenge. Thank you, Carl!

The second is the Themed Reading Challenge. The theme I picked for this challenge was WWII.

Books Read:
Each and every one of these books was, in its way, a powerful and memorable read. I'm not sure if I could rank them, but I think that perhaps the one that had a greatest impact on me was Maus. All of the authors were new to me, and I'd definitely like to continue to read them. Thank you for this great challenge, Wendy.

Look what I got in the mail today!

Pecans! In a pretty box! And a new book! Courtesy of Maggie and Bethany, the lovely hostesses of the Southern and Orbis Terrarum Challenges. Thank you so much! These packages totally made my day.

And since he was so popular last time, I thought I'd share another picture of my cat, this time awake. Well, half-awake. He was about to doze off again.

I know a lot of you might have seen this, since Neil Gaiman linked to it, but I have to mention it anyway: Here's him interviewing Terry Pratchett. It's a great interview, even with the odd little edits and rewrites.

I love them both to bits. And I'm SO excited about Nation. If someone kidnapped me and pointed a gun to my head and said I was absolutely forced to choose which one I'm looking forward to the most, The Graveyard Book or Nation, I think I'd burst crying, because I really wouldn't be able to choose.

Anyway. It really is a great interview. Neil sums up why I love Terry so much very well: because he's "a genuine satirist, willing to tackle real issues - war and prejudice and what it means to be human." Yes. What it means to be human. He also points out all the reasons why I don't recommend that new Discworld readers start with The Colour of Magic.

Go read the interview. You know you want to.


  1. I really hope you enjoy that book!! It looks like you'll need to teach that cat to read soon.

  2. Congrats on finishing the challenge!

  3. That was a moving and funny interview. I already had The Graveyard Book on my list of wants, and now Nation _ which I didn't know was coming out _ is on there too.
    I started the Discworld novels last year, and I'm an orderly sort, so I started at the beginning. Next up is Sourcery. :)

  4. Ha ha--well congrats on finishing TWO challenges! What a great list of books--I was sorry that I missed the themed reading challenge this year and you picked such a great topic.

    And congrats on the pecans--yummy!!

  5. I wish you could have just heard the squeal of delight in this room when I called Max in here. "Pedreeeez! Hi Pedrez! Hi kitty!"

    Congrats on finishing up not one, but two challenges! WooHoo! And what a pile of books you knocked out for OUaT...wow, you put me to shame! (I haven't actually even finished yet, but hopefully will.) And your Themed Reading list sure did a number on my wish list...actually more than just my wish list as I already bought Night and picked up Maus from the library.

    And more congrats on your wonderful prizes!

  6. Congratulations on finishing BOTH challenges! Looks like you read some fabulous books for the Themed challenge - glad you enjoyed them all!

  7. Congratulations on finishing both challenges! And your cat looks simply adorable...

  8. Congrats on completing the two challenges, Nymeth! Pecans and a new book sounds good! :) I hope you'll post more pics of your cat; he's so adorable. ;)

  9. I have to say, I love the fairy logo at the top of your pages! I'm adding most of the books you read for this challenge to my list, except The Goose Girl which I read a few years ago and enjoyed.

  10. You are so hard-core with your OUaT challenge! I just finished up my fifth book (I subbed in Odd and the Frost Giants) on Sunday, and while I have all my reviews typed up, I'm desperately trying to get them published before Friday, lol.

  11. Congrats on completing two challenges. I'm so impressed with your OUaT challenge reads! I thought I was going to finish it this year but no such luck.
    I hope you enjoy The History of Love. I thought it was quite wonderful.

  12. Hey, congratulations on finishing those challenges! And what a lovely list of books indeed!

    The cat is just so cute with those sleepy, sleepy eyes. I'm sure he's been secretly reading your books but obviously can't discuss them with you unless you speak eh, cat?

  13. Congrats on finishing your two challenges Nymeth! That is some list for the Once Upon a Time Challenge! That's an incredible amount of books! I've really enjoyed the few that I've read.

    Congrats on the pecans :) They're one of my favorite foods and they make delicious candy! Love the tin and of course the cat picture! You should put the cat in every post, lol.

    Loved the Pratchett interview...it was great.

  14. Congrats on completing the challenge and doing so with so many wonderful books. Very cool that you stuck so closely to your original list. I just don't have that kind of self control! :)

    Thanks for the Neil/Pratchett link, I can't wait to check that out.

  15. Bethany: Not a bad idea :P

    Teddy Rose, thank you :)

    Maree: Yes, I thought it was funny and moving too. I'm actually an orderly sort as well. My first Discworld book was Wyrd Sisters, and then I went back and read the first 6 in order. I don't think there is anything wrong with reading them in order, I just worry that the first few books will scare new readers away because they are very different of what Discworld was to become. Sourcery - that means you've read Mort! That's when the series really started to get good for me :D

    Trish: Maybe next year? It was a great challenge, and already I find myself thinking what theme I'd pick next if Wendy were to host it again.

    Debi: yay :D I did post it with Max in mind :P And there's nothing to be ashamed of as long as you're having fun with the challenges, which I know you are!

    Wendy: I really did :) Thanks for hosting!

    Alessandra, thank you :)

    Melody: I promise I will!

    Andrea, thank you :) It's a detail of an Arthur Rackman painting.

    Eva: I can't wait to read your review of Odd! The OUaT is easy for me because a great percentage of what I normally read is fantasy anyway. I'd do OUaT all year long if I could :P

    Iliana: I think I will enjoy it - it's nice to know you did!

    Lightheaded: You know what, he probably is. Those sneaky cats :P

    Chris: I knew you'd love the interview. I'd never had pecans or pecan candy before, but I love it :D And that's a tempting idea...maybe I should make my cat the blog's official mascot :P

    Carl: This time it was harder for me to stick to my list than usual, actually, because I'd read a book and it would make me want to read others (the two Shannon Hale extras, for example). I think that for RIP I'll just list some possibilities and go where the mood takes me. Thanks for hosting once again!

  16. Good job on completing not one but TWO challenges - thanks for adding (on a massive scale!)to my TBR pile!

  17. Ken, you're welcome :P You and the other challenge participants have done the same to me!

  18. Excellent interview, thanks for the link! And congrats on completing your challenges.

  19. The Gaiman-Pratchett interview is fab. I love this bit:

    "I tell him I had noticed that. 'And I bet you were quite impressed by it,' says Terry. 'I stopped being impressed by your accurate use of words about 22½ years ago,' I reply."

    Made me chuckle.

    Well done on completing the challenges! Am going to have a wander back through your review posts in a bit. :)

    Awesome cat!

  20. Cath, glad you enjoyed it :)

    Quixotic: lol, that bit made me cuckle too. They are the best. And thanks on behalf of my cat :P

  21. Aww, he does look a bit sleepy.
    Well done on the challenges. You read a lot of good books and several of them got added to my wishlist after reading your reviews! :)

  22. Tanabata: I hope you enjoy them when you get them :)And he's always sleepy...I suspect he's half sloth :P

  23. Two challenges! And completely different, so no cross-over books! *hangs head* and i was so proud to finish one! I still am, and if I ever get enough time to read The House of Spirits (almost halfway through)I'll get another challenge done, so not too shabby. Still, your list is so impressive, and you know I've enjoyed all your reviews and you reminded me of several books I've been meaning to read.

    I still think I should come over someday and look at your bookshelves so I can just go out and buy my own copies so when you post about them, I can start reading mine!!!! lol with a few exceptions (E. Nesbitt, stand up....)!!!!

    It's been so fun reading all your fantasy reviews, Nymeth. you did a wonderful reviews with the challenge.

    still working on the mythopoeic button, time-challenged as I am!!!

  24. I like the whole idea of a pool of books to choose from vs. a list people feel obligated to stick to. I am so much of a whim reader that this is the only way I can do it.

  25. Congrats on your two challenges, they are two great lists of books. Of the ones I have read I loved them all and I think I want to read all of the others on your lists that I haven't read yet! Yay for surprise packages as well. I just took a photo of Merlin sleeping on his back with his back legs in the air. Bless cats ^_^


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