I really didn't think that I was going to get this challenge finished, which would have been embarrassing, since it was my challenge. But then, suddenly, it was done. I did read one of my alternates and I have put the one book that I didn't read on my list for next year.
Since these are books that my friends recommended, I'm going to do a quick review of them. The good news is that several of them are among the best books that I read this year and there isn't a single one that was a waste of time or that I wish that I hadn't read.
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset: This was a really, really good book. Well, really it's three books, but they are really, really good. It is one of the best works of historical fiction that I have read and I have read a lot. It also made me want to learn more--or actually SOMETHING--about Norwegian history. This one is worth the effort. I will very likely read it again. (Five stars.)
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery: I enjoyed Emily; I gave it four stars when I finished it, but eleven months later I really don't remember the book.
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok: I will definitely read this again. I gave it five stars. What a lovely book.
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean: I felt like this book was far longer than it needed to be. I loved the underlying story, but got bored waiting for it to be told. Three stars.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: This was an entertaining read. I just wish I'd read it when I was a kid, but it wasn't written yet. Four stars.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor: This is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for years, and I'm really glad that I finally did. This goes on my books-you-should-read list. Four stars.
Middlemarch by George Eliot: Another book that I am glad that I finally got around to reading. I enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the story. Four stars here, too.
My Antonia by Willa Cather: This book has been floating around my house for years. I finally read it for this challenge and am glad I did. I won't read it again, and it didn't especially make me want to read more Cather, but it was good. Four stars.
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny: Can I say how glad I am that I picked this book, which I'd never heard of before, to read for this challenge? In fact, I've read three more in the series, and will read the rest this coming year. Four stars.
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander : This was an enjoyable quick read, with some pretty obvious LOTR parallels. I will read the others in the series. Four stars.
I am really looking forward to this year's books. If they're as good as this year's I'm in for a treat!