Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2016 Weekly checkins > Week 22: 5/27-June 2

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message 1: by Juanita (new)

Juanita (juanitav) | 723 comments Very short message today as I've got to head out to chaperone my daughter's field trip.

I've opened a thread to nominate a summer book for the July group read. Please post your suggestion there.

I don't have any progress to report myself as I'm hooked on this Outlander series and have not completed any prompts in the last week.

Question of the week: Which genre has surprised you most during this challenge? By which I mean, what genre have you read due to this challenge that you normally wouldn't read?

For me it is definitely sci-fi, which I never read before last year's PopSugar and find that I like a lot of it!

Happy reading everyone!


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Outlander is addictive :)

I finished one book this week, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which is supposed to be my book becoming a movie, but that remains to be seen. They do not have a release date for it right now.

I am still working through some non-challenge rereads:

Dragonfly in Amber - keeping pace (or a little ahead of) the show.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - reading with my daughter. Last night we reached one of my most favorite lines from the whole series:

Hermione to Ron: “Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have.”

I think I love that line even better in the movie :)

I am also starting My Friend Flicka which will be my book that takes place in summer.

Question of the week: I think non-fiction as a whole has been the genre I have been most surprised by. I'm still not a big NF reader, but with enough digging I have found some really great reads. The pop sugar challenge has definitely motivated me to stretch a little.


message 3: by Megan (last edited Jun 02, 2016 08:18AM) (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments 18/41

I finished two books this week but only one counts for the challenge. I can't figure out where to put After You so I'm not counting it in the challenge but it'll still go towards my yearly reading goal. By the way, wasn't a fan of this book. I feel like it dragged on and on and there was no real purpose.

I read my satire book - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Definitely not my cup of tea but I know a lot of people like it.

Right now I'm just reading The Crown. Maybe it'll make it on the YA Best seller list. If not I'm just reading it because I want to.

Question of the week: Which genre has surprised you most during this challenge? I'm going to go with graphic novels since it was a repeat from last years challenge too. I read Saga, Volume 1 and thought to my self that I'd like to continue on with the series. That surprised me that I would want to dedicate myself to graphic novels!

PS. Sara, You make me want to re-read Harry Potter right this instant!


message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia This week I finished reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story (highly recommend). I read Lone Star Noir for a book set in Texas (my home state). It was well-written, but the graphic violence was not to my taste. I balanced that out by reading, for the first time, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone which I thoroughly enjoyed--cleansed the violence out of my head so I could sleep at night!

Question of the Week: The genre that I am enjoying much more than I thought I would is non-fiction. I've always liked historical fiction, but now I seem to be seeking out and reading more historical non-fiction.


message 5: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Weber | 264 comments I have made no progress this week. I'm struggling to get into Challenger Deep, which is my National Book Award winner. It's so disjointed that I have trouble focusing on it but I'm going to try to push through.

QOTW: I was surprised I ended up liking The Girl on the Train because I don't read a lot of murder mysteries and I was really annoyed with the characters at the beginning of the book but once the book hit its stride, I was along for the ride.


message 6: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Megan wrote: "Sara, You make me want to re-read Harry Potter right this instant!"

There's always room in one's reading schedule for a little HP ;)


message 7: by Christophe (last edited Jun 03, 2016 01:12AM) (new)

Christophe Bonnet | 212 comments Three books read this week (none the week before: I was at a trade union convention, didn't leave much time for reading).

Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth ✅✅2. A National Book Award winner (2): Philip Roth, Sabbath's Theater , Houghton Mifflin, 1995 (NBA, 1995).

Probably not the best Philip Roth novel. In theory, a book about the derelict old age of a sex-crazed puppeteer should suit me just fine, but it was somehow disappointing - partly because the sexual content was sort of flat, a porn checklist more than anything else (Erje Aden's Crazy Green of Second Avenue, also depainting a sex-crazed character, was much, much more better in that respect). Plus, the rambling prose, even though it's a trademark, ends up being a bit tiresome. So, in short: been there, done that, end of story.

The Island at the Top of the World  by Ian Cameron ✅✅4. A book you haven't read since high school (2): Ian Cameron, The Island at the Top of the World , Pan Books, 1974 (1st ed. 1967).

That's a book I read in French (obviously: I barely knew a few words of English back then) when I was in Junior High, I think. Since I try to have one book in French and one in English for each category, it sounded like a good idea to get it in English to complete that prompt. I purchased it second hand from Amazon, and it's got a delightfully kitsch cover, see above - which strangely enough is not fully related to the novel, in which there is neither a volcanic eruption nor a falling zeppelin. Apparently there was a movie adaptation of this book; maybe it does feature a zeppelin and a volcano? Anyway, this is a nice instance of an adventure/exploration novel, intended for early teen boys: I remember circling that island on the family atlas... Reading the book again was a rather pleasing experience.

Le Chevalier Silence Une Aventure Des Temps Aventureux by Jacques Roubaud ✅✅1. A book based on a fairy tale (2): Jacques Roubaud, Le chevalier Silence, une aventure des temps aventureux , Gallimard, 1997.

This book goes again most of the extra rules I imposed on myself this year. The two books for this prompt are in French (admittedly I've got too English-language books for the NBA prompt); plus, I read a book by the same author for the 2015 challenge, which I decided not to do. So, maybe I'll change it eventually. Or not.

I've now read 42 books; 9 prompts are complete with two books, 28 have a single book, 5 are still empty.


message 8: by Kaci (new)

Kaci | 67 comments Only finished one this week- I'm behind again. It was Shopgirl by Steve Martin. I love that this book is by him- such an unexpected talent. I liked it- a little quirky but I found his perspective very interesting.

I too am almost surprised when I find a nonfiction I like, but it's been happening a lot with this challenge. Dystopian is the category I thought I'd least like and I was right haha.


message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 623 comments I read just one for this challenge in the past week. I read my graphic novel, which was In Real Life. Currently at 18/41 items completed.


message 10: by Miz (last edited Jun 03, 2016 06:55AM) (new)

Miz (twiggyunderworld) Finished Glitches, The Little Android and Cinder which were read for the challenge, and The Queen's Army which was not.

It surprised me how addicting this was and am now stuck in half of the series because of novellas. I am generally surprised with sci-fi because I am not too fond of robots and stories that take place in space. Somehow I'm reminded of Isaac Asimov and his Foundation and Robots though I haven't read it at all. Overall I think I am still not going to read true sci-fi. It seems boring and too boyish and scientifical for me.

Done 24 prompts, 2 still empty.


message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Holbrook (jessicalh08) | 110 comments I'm 18/41. So close to half way!

I finished The Martian this week for my science fiction novel. Loved the humor in it!

The non-fiction prompts have definitely surprised me. I typically run away from non-fiction as fast as I can, but being forced to read it I've been able to find some good books. I love that this challenge is taking me outside of reading comfort zone! =)


message 12: by Lindi (new)

Lindi (lindimarie) I just finished Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for A book that's becoming a movie this year. A really quick enjoying read. It was in encyclopedia format, so not a story, but I think that's why I'm so excited for the movie. A completely original story!

I've been working on some non-prompt books. I've been wanting to start the Outlander series but I know I will get hooked and not focus on anything else!

Question of the week: I like this challenge as it has forced me out of my comfort zone. I put down a lot of classics I've never read (and some re-reads) and some have surprised me (Animal Farm), some disappointed me (The Old Man and the Sea).


message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 623 comments Sorry, I only just noticed the question of the week. It's a tough one, because the genres that I didn't enjoy (non-fiction, mostly) were the ones that I expected not to enjoy. Aside from that, I've mostly been reading new books from genres that I typically read, like YA, historical fiction, and contemporary. So no real surprises, yet.


message 14: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jun 03, 2016 06:40PM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6333 comments Mod
Yet again this week, I finished NO books for this Challenge! so I'm still at 37/41. I did read a bunch of books, however, some of them for the BookRiot Read Harder challenge, and some of them would fit into tasks in this challenge, so I'll mention them:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - this would fit Dystopian, Blue Cover, or Science Fiction. It's a vampire book, but the vampires are open in society, quarantined in "coldtowns" and the way you become a vampire is a little different. At first I was excited by this fresh take on the vampire novel, but eventually this kind of fell flat for me.

The Silkworm - this would fit Murder Mystery, and I read it for the "an audiobook that won an Audie" task in the Read Harder challenge. Personally, I'm working on having some sort of love affair with Cormoran Strike, or maybe just the guy who reads the book (Robert Glenister), so I really enjoyed this. ymmv.

The Beast of Clan Kincaid - I won this in the FirstReads giveaway program so I "had" to read it, and, unless you are a hardcore highlander romance person, you can skip it. It's in Scotland, so it would fit "set in Europe" or "takes place on an island" ...

Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling - this would fit "graphic novel" task, also "set in Europe" - this is the second book in the fantastic Delilah Dirk series by Tony Cliff, and it is even better than the first. If you have any interest at all, check it out, 5 stars from me.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - this was for the "book published the decade you were born" task in the Read Harder challenge, it would also work for "dystopian," "science fiction," and "classic from the 20th century" (also "a book made into a movie" task in the Read Harder challenge) To my surprise and delight, I LOVED this book! 5 stars! It was different from the movie (Blade Runner) but equally awesome. It really delved into a lot of themes about society the way the best sci-fi can: what does it mean to be human? should some humans be valued more than others? what is the difference between fact and fiction? can you tell? and so on ...

Right now I'm reading three books for the Read Harder challenge: Snow Crash for the "dystopian" task, What Lies Between Us which I might use for "author from southeast Asia" and The Well of Ascension for "more than 500 pages." And Fellside just came in on hold for me at the library, so I'll have to drop everything and read that next!

QotW: this is tough for me because I don't think I was really "surprised" by any categories this year. Let's see ... I was surprised by how much I hated my Oprah pick (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), but I never did think I would like an Oprah pick (I did think I would like Carson McCullers though after so many good things I'd read about her). I was surprised by how much I loved my first Cormoran Strike book (The Cuckoo's Calling) but I've always enjoyed mysteries so the task itself didn't surprise me. I was surprised by how good the graphic novel my daughter recommended to me was (Roller Girl), and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my "translated" book (Nemesis), and I was surprised at how modern my 20th century classic was (The Talented Mr. Ripley).

So ... to sum up the surprises: my family members give good recommendations (this surprised me last year too with book my mom loved), books translated into English can be really good and I should read more of them, and "classics" aren't always dry and stuffy.

I'm trying to read more books that have been translated, but so far I've been so busy reading all the OTHER books that I haven't added any more this year.


message 15: by AF (new)

AF | 347 comments I finished two books this week. First, I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins for my book becoming a movie. I could not put it down. I ended up reading it in one day. I thought I'd start it for the monthly challenge and read a little bit at a time, but before I knew it, I was done. I haven't done that in a long time. I was wondering it I'd love it or hate it, and I definitely loved it. Now I'm not so sure I want to see the movie. I don't like who they picked for Rachel.

While I'm waiting for Outlander from the library, I read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson for my book about a road trip. I planned on using a different book for this prompt. I read that book, then realized it wasn't about a road trip. (I kept waiting for the road trip to start! lol) So I quickly read through lots of lists in this group and found Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. It is YA and a pretty light read, which was perfect. I liked this book, too.

QotW: From this challenge I discovered I like graphic novels. They are a nice change of pace and I'll definitely read others. (The book I read thinking it had a road trip in it, but didn't, was a graphic novel.) In the last few years, however, I have discovered I really like YA books (Divergent first, then Hunger Games). They seem to be less stressful for me to read. I like good story lines and they have not failed me yet. I've inserted several into my reading challenge this year.


message 16: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Week 22. I'm at 66% -- 27 out of 41 books done. I finished 5 books since my last checkin, 3 of which were on the list.

a book recommended by someone you just met
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Wow. Just wow. When I finished this book, I had an urge to start it all over again. I am so glad this book had been recommended to me.

a dystopian novel
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
Excellent space adventure. I consider this a dystopia since apparently it takes place in a future where corporations are even more in control than they are now.

a National Book Award winner
The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
If you don't read much history (and you should, just don't read BAD history), this is a good one. It is written in clear, easy language and it describes the start of WWI which led to most of the problems we have now.

Question of the week: Which genre has surprised you most during this challenge? By which I mean, what genre have you read due to this challenge that you normally wouldn't read?

Some surprises:

The Sound of Glass by Karen White (a book about a culture you're unfamiliar with); Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (a book recommended by someone you just met)

These are two books I normally would not have picked up. Angsty, domestic books usually invite my contempt. But these two books had me laughing and crying and they are also two books I've read this year that I think about long after I've finished them.

Penguin Island by Anatole France (a book that takes place on an island)

I discovered this satirical book written originally in French in 1908 in my hotel room in Seattle. I looked at the description and decided to read a few pages. Well, I got hooked! It was interesting, funny, ridiculous and quite an indictment of civilization.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (a book written by a comedian)

I checked this book out originally as it was part of the Goodreads Choice Awards challenge. I'd never really heard of the author as a comedian/celebrity as I don't watch much American tv. Plus I don't really like modern comedians as they're too crude. This book was funny, yes, very funny. But it was also educational. For someone who hasn't had a date since the Clinton Administration, it was eye-opening. I especially liked it when he showed some of the intricacies of dating in other countries.


message 17: by Linnie (new)

Linnie | 45 comments I finished one book last week! I read Brooklyn to fulfill the New York Times bestseller prompt. I enjoyed the story, but the author's writing really kind of bothered me. I thought he was really unnecessarily wordy. I have now finished 13 of 41 books.

QOTW: I think the genre that surprised me was the science fiction prompt. I read The Martian and absolutely loved it!


Thegirlintheafternoon Hello, all! Extremely belated update: I finished 1 book for this challenge this week, bringing me to 29/41. I read The Mayor of Casterbridge for the prompt "a book you haven't read since high school." I liked it a lot then, and I was surprised to find I still enjoyed it now! My taste in books is very different than it used to be, so that was a happy surprise.


message 19: by Judith (last edited Jun 07, 2016 07:52AM) (new)

Judith | 11 comments I finished the romance set in the future (number 7). I found it really difficult to find a book that would fit, but in the end I read Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. (https://vimeo.com/78915269 if you want to be inspired to read the book) I'm at 23/41.
I really liked the book. It was not especially romantic I think, and not exactly set in the future, but still a romance set in the future. The pace in the novel was very slow, and it takes untill the end before you really understand what's going on. I recommend it.


message 20: by Cthulhu (new)

Cthulhu Youth | 1 comments In an effort to get ahead with this challenge, I told myself I was only going to get prompt-friendly books from the library this week. Then of course I went ahead and grabbed a book that took most of the week and didn't satisfy any prompts.

I did finish Roadside Picnic which a bartender recommended (so my "book recommended by someone you just met" prompt). It's a Russian sci-fi used as the basis of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video games, and I thoroughly loved it even though I don't play video games. It's remarkably modern for a book published in 1972, although I did read a translation from 2012.


message 21: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6333 comments Mod
Rosey wrote: "I did finish Roadside Picnic which a bartender recommended (so my "book recommended by someone you just met" prompt). It's a Russian sci-fi used as the basis of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video games, and I thoroughly loved it even though I don't play video games. It's remarkably modern for a book published in 1972, although I did read a translation from 2012. ..."

Awesome to read this review! I've had this on my TBR list for a while now, part of my effort to read classic sci-fi that I missed when I was a kid. I'll look forward to reading this one now.


message 22: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (kiik) | 158 comments I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I finally finished The Crown (The Selection, #5) last week. Don't think it fits a prompt, but I'm just happy I'm reading again. As I've said in my other Goodreads group, it's been one hell of a month.


message 23: by Steven (new)

Steven Perry | 47 comments Futuristic Romance or the Oprah Book Club was the hardest for me


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