Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 TBR Reading Challenge Wrap Up - Done!

I completed my 2010 TBR Challenge! There were times when I was remiss and didn't get to any for a while, but eventually I got with the program and finished it up - in the nick of time!  I had to select 12 books that had been on my reading list for at least six months and then I had twelve alternates.   I read seven books from the main list and read 5 alternates.  Scottish Highlander romances seemed to dominate my TBR list this year - surprise, surprise!  But, since Scottish highlanders are what started me on romances in the first place, it's not unusual that they're the ones that have been on my TBR list the longest.  Ironically, I was disappointed with most of them, although I really enjoyed On a Highland Shore by the late Kathleen Givens quite a bit.  If I had a favorite overall of all the TBR books, I'd have to say two romances took the prize, Stolen Charms by Adele Ashworth, and Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas were great.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, a non-romance audiobook was a favorite as well.  I vetoed two of my original list, I just knew I wasn't going to read them, not that I won't ever, but I just didn't think I'd be able to get into them.  I put off When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro (who I love as an author!)  but I just never seemed to be in the right mood to read it.  Same with John Fowles, The Collector.  One of the alternates I had to put down because it was so bad was What Do You Say to a Naked Elf? by Cheryl Sterling.  Just the title alone should have warned me!  I never made it to a couple of classics I've been meaning to read by Fitzgerald and Hemingway - one of these days I will get to them.

Overall, I'd say my TBR list this year was a bit of a disappointment.  My average rating for the entire list wound up being a middling 3.5 stars.

Below are all the books I read for my challenge. All are reviewed, you can check the tags to find it.  I'm definitely doing this challenge again for 2011, and I'll post the books later this week that I'll choose for the challenge.

My List of Completed TBR Books for 2010

1. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - on audio, I adored this story that takes place in a grand house during the Edwardian Era and 1920's.  Flashhbacks of a young servant's life, great book!  4.5/5

2. The Scottish Thistle by Cindy Vallar - Dull.  Scottish highlander tale leading up to the Battle of Culloden.  Nothing like Outlander, big disappointment.  One of those books that had been on my TBR list forever! 2.5/5

3. If You Dare by Kresley Cole - first in her Scottish brothers historical series.  Not bad, not great.  Nothing like her Immortals After Dark Series, which is much better.  4/5

4. Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman - this was a slog to get through, although I love this type of historical fiction.  I adored her previous book on Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Time and Chance, but this final book in her Henry/Eleanor trilogy was sad and depressing.  It came across as rather choppy as well.  All the mistakes made by everyone made it an overall downer of a book, as much as I love this author.  4/5

5. The Stone Maiden by Susan King - dullish Scottish highlander romance, forgettable.  3.5/5

6. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - Vampire inspired novel of search for the real Dracula in Eastern Europe. Way too long, but glad I finally got to it.  On audio.  2.5/5

7. The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney - not a page turner, but evocative of the wintry Canadian setting of the 1860's.  3.5/5

8. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati - overall a disappointment.  I couldn't help but compare it to Outlander, to it's detriment.  Now at least I've read it and I will not be reading the sequels.  On audio.  3.5/5

9. Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas - loved this, one of my favorites of the year!  Historical romance of author swept off her feet by wealthy publisher that won't take no for an answer.  They embark upon an affair to remember.  Jack Devlin is a memorable hero. La sigh.  4.5/5

10. Stolen Charms by Adele Ashworth - loved, loved, loved this historical!  My favorite on my TBR list.  Crazy, unbelievable plot, but set that aside and this was an adorable story.  Entertaining plot line, emotional and thoughtful - and poignant. By the time they declare their love for one another, I was nearly in tears. Great, great!  5/5

11. On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens - loved it, not so much for the romance of the story but more about the action and how it opened my eyes up to how the Vikings raided the Scottish isles during medieval times and the aftermath.  4.5/5

12. Intimate Enemies by Shana Abe - So so Scottish medieval romance.  Another one about Vikings invading a Scottish isle, but this one just didn't keep my interest, despite the Romeo and Juliet romance.  3/5


Joanne said...

Another year, another challenge down -- yay! I'm glad you enjoyed The House at Riverton as I have it coming up soon. I loved The Distant Hours.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I have the Distant Hours on audio, coming up for 2011! I listened to the Forgotten Garden as well, but House at Riverton was my favorite of the two.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

We seem to have a similar taste in books so your top choices are going on my to buy list. I had the same problem with Into the Wilderness. I expected to love it. I had to set it aside, which really surprised me.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Julia, ITW was lacking in so many respects, I'm amazed it has such a following, particularly from Outlander enthusiasts, for in comparison, that was the reason it was such a let down. Gabaldon is just so much richer and detailed and just plain good! I hope you enjoy my top picks!

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