Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shelf Discovery Challenge

Yes, I am failing miserably on my challenges this year and yet I am still going to sign up for another one. Julie at Booking Mama is hosting a challenge based on Lizzie Skurnick's book Shelf Discovery. And since it involves choosing 6 books, almost all of which are middle grade or YA, from the over 70 listed in the book, I think I can probably handle this one. It's also nice that it runs Nov. 1 through Apr. 30 so the timing overlaps but doesn't conflict with so many other challenges. Maybe I'll get R. to read along with me! For more information, go to the challenge rules and join up with me. I want to read six books I didn't read as a girl-child and that limits me substantially here since Lizzie Skurnick and I seem to have been reading from the same section of the library (and I love that the covers of the books pictured in Shelf Discovery are in actual fact the covers on the books I read--and in some cases still have!).

Here are my six tentative books:

1. All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
2. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
3. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
4. Understood Betsy byDorothy Canfield Fisher
5. My Darling, My Hamburger by Paul Zindel
6. An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

As I leafed through Shelf Discovery thinking of the books I read and loved as a girl, I thought also of some of the books I still have that would probably never make it into a book like this or even on anyone else's list. But I know that I still have a copy of at least one of my childhood's sentimental favorites and I plan to read that one too in honor of this challenge, even if it isn't listed in the book and doesn't fit the challenge parameters. So The Witch's Buttons by Ruth Chew, long out of print but still on my bookshelf, where sadly, none of my children have been tempted by the delights inside it, will also join the chosen six as my only re-read.


  1. I went and checked out the table of contents of "Shelf Discovery", expecting that I wouldn't have read any of the books. I didn't read many books aimed at kids when I was a kid (I thought I was grown!). As it turns out, I've read three of the books: "Summer of My German Soldier" was a school assignment, "Flowers in the Attic" was given to me by my boyfriend when I was about 16-17, and "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" was a book on my daughter's reading list. Many of the other titles on the list are familiar to me because my friends read them or they were made into movies. So I don't think I would feel much nostalgia if I joined this challenge.

    As for books I did read as a teen, I don't own many of them. Ever since elementary school, the vast majority of books I've read have come from the library. There weren't many books I had in my possession long enough to reread them, so I don't really remember a lot of what I read. I just remember always having my nose in a book.

  2. This does look like a neat challenge; I'll have to paw through my book and see what I like. As it happens, I did read all six of your selections. I love Aiken, and chew up her kid books which led me to her books for adults. Cheaper by the Dozen and All-of-a-Kind Family are both comfort books for me; I like big family books. I liked the Alcott, thought the Zindel was OK but probably won't reread him as an adult, and liked the Fisher book because I like period books, but it isn't a strong memory.

    Have fun!

  3. I haven't read any of the six you picked!!! Thanks so much for joining the challenge. I hope you daughter reads some of them with you too!

    I was thinking about hosting (or having someone host) a mini-challenge about: what book do you think is missing from this list?

  4. Of the books you chose I've only read the one from Paul Zindel which I think was required reading from one of my English classes. I am currently reading Little House on the Prairie with my 8 year-old daughter. Loving it!

  5. I have read 29 of the books on the challenge (though it seems there are some repeats on there and a few additional titles on the ToC) and 32 on the ToC. It is so cool to see books I'd completely forgotten about like Sister of the Bride and Lovers Lake and Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade! Man, I Loooooved The Girl With the Silver Eyes. I have In Summer Light and Domestic Arrangements if you'd like to borrow. This is a very cool challenge!

  6. I just picked this book up at the library and am in the midst of shuffling through it to see what books I may want to read for this challenge.

  7. omg, Ruth Chew! You are the first person I have ever came across that mentioned her ever! I loved her when I was at a certain age. I have a huge stack of her books...

  8. I picked three I hadn't read and three I had. I also picked My Darling, My Hamburger b/c in the movie Dangerous Minds Michelle Pfeiffer's character was horrifed that they read that in an English class! I'm reading Deenie first. Never read it.


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