This is my personal wrap-up and summary post for the challenge. A giveaway is coming on December 30, open to everyone (participants can earn extra entries, though). Please watch for it, and do link up your own posts in the meantime!
Well, this has been quite a year in many ways. One thing that made it special — in a much more pleasurable way than some others — was the Reading New England challenge, which I launched twelve months ago in order to explore the literature of the region where I live, in company with anyone else who might be interested. I’m by no means done with reading from the New England Book List, but here is what I read this year (with links to reviews, where applicable):
- January: New Hampshire – A Separate Peace (also read: A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Gathering of Days, Amos Fortune, Free Man, Roses and Rot)
- February: Fiction – Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House
- March: Maine – The Country of the Pointed Firs (Also read: Olive Kitteridge)
- April: Poetry and Drama – Galvanized; Our Town
- May: Vermont – Hidden View (Also read: The Inn at Lake Devine, Idyll Banter, Soup, Understood Betsy, Pollyanna, Life Among the Savages, Raising Demons, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living)
- June: Nonfiction – New England Bound
- July: Massachusetts – Ethan Frome (Also read: Delivering the Truth, The Fires Beneath the Sea, The Shimmers in the Night)
- August: Children’s and YA – Johnny Tremain and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
- September: Rhode Island – Swim That Rock
- October: Speculative Fiction and Mystery – The Witches of Eastwick; The Evil Wizard Smallbone
- November: Connecticut – Three Plays by Eugene O’Neill; The Children (Also read: Worlds Afire)
- December: Readalong or free choice – Mayflower
I particularly enjoyed putting together various features and guest posts that focused on New England publishers, authors, literary sites, and more:
- Witch Week interview with author Kat Howard
- Bookstores of New England
- A Visit to Amesbury with author Edith Maxwell
- New England Book Blogger Meetup
- Publisher Spotlights: Tilbury House, Candlewick Press, Green Writers Press
- A visit to Yankee Publishing
- Emily Dickinson’s House
Thanks to all who have stayed with me through the challenge, making it much more fun than it would have been on my own, and to all who posted and linked their own reviews. A few more were added this month:
- We Were Liars, set on an exclusive private island, enthralled Penni of Penni’s Perceptions.
- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward was an intriguing RI fantasy/horror/mystery story for Laurie from Relevant Obscurity. She also enjoyed a Connecticut novel with some classic connections, The Three Weissmanns of Westport.
- Mark of Carstairs Considers found the NH cozy mystery Live Free or Die to have a strong central premise and characters, but a weak ending.
If you haven’t already, please be sure to link your reviews on the Genre Post or State Post pages. As mentioned above, on December 30, there will be a chance to enter a giveaway, and linking up will earn you chances to win extra books!
If you achieved your challenge goals, congratulations! If not, there are still a few days left in 2016… Do let me know how you’re doing, and what you still want to read, either this year or in the future. Though I won’t be running this challenge again in 2017, we can all still enjoy reading and discussing the many-faceted literature of New England.