Sunday, February 5, 2017

Reading Challenge Updates

It's February and I am trucking along on my 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge!  I'm making very good progress, being ahead of where I need to be on track at this point in the year.  I have six completed books this time around, and hope to be getting through some more soon.  I think that picking books I already have, for the most part, has really helped me stay on track.

-A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long.  As planned, I read Enchanted for this.  It turned out that I actually owned this book for heavens only knows how long, and never knew it.  While I actually wasn't expecting a ton out of this (I thought it would probably end up being rather juvenile), it ended up being absolutely charming, and I really enjoyed it.

-A book with a subtitle.  I took on a book I've had for a while here, Frozen in Time, which has a subtitle of "An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II".  I thought the book was enjoyable for the historical parts, but the contemporary sections were misleading and tried to skew how the author made some not-great decisions regarding that part of the book and trying to get it written.

-A book set in a hotel.  For me, the obvious choice here was A Gentleman in Moscow, which is about a Russian noble confined to the Hotel Metropol during the Soviet Republic.  It's definitely a character-driven novel more than a plot-driven one, but watching how the people of the hotel, the hotel itself, and the USSR as a whole change, without ever leaving the hotel's confines.

-A book with an eccentric character.  On a hung that it would fit this category, I picked Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.  I was right; basically every character in this book is eccentric in some way or another.  It was such a charming read, a modern mystery but not a menacing one (like, no murders), and a love letter to both books and technology.  Wonderful.

-A book you bought on a trip.  I had a copy of The Night Circus on my shelf that I'd bought over the summer while visiting my hometown, so this seemed like a good opportunity to get to it.  I know many people who absolutely loved The Night Circus, and I can see the appeal.  There's a sense of wonder and whimsy in it that's truly, well, magical.  That said, the plot that it professed to have isn't really prevalent, and the magic seems to have few if any rules.  Still, I liked this, and can see why so many people have loved it even if it's not as action-packed as I might have expected.

-A book about an interesting woman.  The clear choice here was Notorious RBG, about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The book was very surface-level and the structuring wasn't great, but it had some insights that really bring RBG down to a human level and also offer some surprising insights into her legal thought, like how she supports a woman's right to bodily autonomy but doesn't like Roe v. Wade because she feels it doesn't handle the matter in the right way and is too easy to chip away at.  Please oh please let her live through this presidency... We need her so badly.

Still to Come
-A book of letters.  The Color Purple, Alice Walker

-An audiobook.  The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

-A book by a person of color.  The Stone Sky, N. K. Jemisin

-A book with one of the four seasons in the titleDevil in Spring, Lisa Kleypas

-A book that is a story within a story.  Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld

-A book with multiple authors.  Mutiny on the Bounty, Charles Nordhoff and James Hall

-A book by an author who uses a pseudonym.  Seven Minutes in Heaven, Eloisa James (Mary Bly)

-A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read.  Carrie, Steven King

-A book by or about a person who has a disability.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeT, Mark Haddon

-A book involving travel.  SEAsoned, Victoria Allman

-A book that's published in 2017.  Given to the Sea, Mindy McGinnis

-A book involving a mythical creature.  Nice Dragons Finish Last, Rachel Aaron

-A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile.  Cress, Marissa Meyer

-A book about food.  In the Devil's Garden, Stewart Lee Allen

-A book with career advice.  Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl

-A book from a nonhuman perspective.

-A steampunk novel.  Boneshaker, Cherie Priest

-A book set in the wilderness.

-A book you loved as a child.  Squire, Tamora Pierce

-A book by an author from a country you've never visited.  Mornings in Jenin, Susan Abulhawa (Palestine)

-A novel set during wartime.  Atonement, Ian McEwan

-A book with an unreliable narrator.

-A book with pictures.  No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain

-A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you.  A Disobedient Girl, Ru Freeman

-A book with a month or day of the week in the title.  A June of Ordinary Murders, Conor Brady

-A book written by someone you admire.  A Court of Wings and Ruin, S. J. Maas

-A book that's becoming a movie in 2017Beauty and the Beast, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

-A book set around a holiday other than Christmas.

-The first book in a series you haven't read before.  Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo

-A book recommended by an author you love.  The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry (rec'd by Tamora Pierce)

-A bestseller from 2016.  Magic, Danielle Steel

-A book with a family-member term in the title.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor

-A book that takes place over a character's life span.  The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan

-A book about an immigrant or refugee.  Stealing Buddha's Dinner, Bich Minh Nguyen

-A book from a genre/subgenre you've never heard of.  The Six-Gun Tarot, R. S. Belcher (Weird West)

-A book that's more than 800 pages.  Voyager, Diana Galbadon

-A book you got from a used book sale.  Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen

-A book that's been mentioned in another book.  Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift (mentioned as Gullible's Travels in Marissa Meyer's Heartless)

-A book about a difficult topic.  Rape is Rape, Jody Raphael

-A book based on mythology.  Olympos, Dan Simmons

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