Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2016 Weekly checkins > Week 29: 7/15-7/21

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message 1: by Juanita (new)

Juanita (juanitav) | 723 comments Happy Thursday check-in!

Thursdays are always a good day and even more so when I have progress to report! I finished Americanah for my "book about a culture you are unfamiliar with." This was my book club's pick for the month. I didn't finish it before our discussion, which was last Thursday. I finished it over the weekend. It was a real chore for me to read this one, which surprised me. As I mentioned last week, I wasn't a real fan of the lead character. She didn't really treat the people in her life well and that offended me. But I did like the male lead character so that was something.

This brings me to 33/41. I think I'll be taking a break from challenge books for a few weeks (unless one of the books I've requested from the library comes available.)

Bonus group read for August: I've opened up a thread for you to nominate a road trip book for an August group read. Our monthly challenge prompt is "haven't read since high school." Since that will be unique for each of us, it's not conducive to a group read. Also, since I don't have a book picked for "road trip", I'm planning on mining each of you for ideas. :)
Please nominate a book by Sunday, July 24. Then I'll open a poll for voting.

Question of the week: Which format/media do you read? Which do you prefer?

I pose this question because I borrowed an actual paper copy of Americanah from a friend. And I really slogged through it as if it were a chore. I was #13 in the request queue for the e-book at my library and I needed to read it for book club. On Thursday, my e-book was released to me and I just tore through the last 200 pages of the book at a very quick pace. I think I'm really conditioned to read on e-books now.

However, having said that, and in answer to my own question, I read e-books primarily but have also read a fair amount of paper copies this year. And I've snuck five audio books into the mix as well.


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy Check-In Day reading buddies!

I have no progress to report. Life has just been super busy lately leaving me less time to read.

I am about 3/4 through The Marvelous Land of Oz (Books of Wonder) and hope to finish soon. I really wanted to read Ozma of Oz but felt I should read book #2 before moving on to book #3. It has also put me in the mood to watch Return to Oz which I will pick up from the library today.

After months of waiting I finally got a copy of Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World which may be my book set in Europe. I've been reading another nonfiction for that prompt, but I have stalled out on it.

Question of the Week: I switch formats a lot. I still prefer a paper book most of the time, but the flexibility of an ebook can be nice. With some books I find that I read faster with the ebook.

When my daughter was younger, and I had to sit in her room while she went to sleep, I found ebooks much easier. I could read on my tablet with the screen brightness turned all the way down instead of fiddling with a book light. Fortunately I don't have to do that anymore so reading a paper book works just fine.

Audiobooks have always been my go-to for work or when I'm walking or driving. Lately I've spent more time listening to podcasts or Hamilton so not doing much audio reading.


Thegirlintheafternoon Happy Thursday, everyone! Always a delight to check in with y'all :)

I finished one book this week to put me at 32/41 tasks completed. I read Dinner for "a book translated to English." It was very odd but not unenjoyable.

I'm in-progress on 3 other books, but none for this challenge. Hoping to knock a couple of them out today and tomorrow!

QOTW: I read primarily in hard copy or on audiobook. I just bought a Kindle Fire, so I may get more into e-books because of that. But since both of my jobs involve a lot of computer work, I try to rest my eyes from that blue-light glow when possible!


message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments I'm up to 28/41 - I checked off two prompts during the week and I also read two other "books" and I almost finished a third...

First for the challenge books:

- I finished Perfect Days for my book translated to English. This was suggested by Literary Marie from this group - so thanks for the recommendation! I actually liked this book, it reminded me a lot of You which I also enjoyed.

- I finished my book set in my home set Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I read this in one day - so yes, I liked this one.

My other two "books" read were Never Never and Never Never: Part Two - goodreads counts these as two books so I guess I will too but with both books hoovering around 100 pages it feels like cheating... Oh well :) I am so close to finishing The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I'll probably finish that on my lunch break today. None of these fit any challenge prompts for me - just reading them because I want to!

QOTW: I definitely prefer e-books because 99.9% of the time have my iPad with me wherever I go which has my Overdrive app on it. Additionally, I have the app on my phone so I read books on there too. I like physical books for when I am outside by the pool and the sun glare makes it almost impossible to read on iPad screens.


message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike | 443 comments No progress to report. I'm working my way through The Art of Happiness, suggested to me by my sister-in-law. However, I'm finding much of my free time taken up by Pokémon Go! My nine-year-old son loves to play it with me, and I have to admit it's addicting!

Still at 30/41.

I much prefer reading e-books on my phone via the Overdrive app. If this format is not available, I'll go with a paper version but I'm finding this more and more annoying lately. I could never listen to an audiobook because they just don't keep my attention.


message 6: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6886 comments Mod
I finished four book last week, including my final Popsugar Challenge book, so I'm finished! 41/41. I think I will continue to annoy all of you w my weekly check ins though, because I love this group and I'm not willing to let go of the beloved Thursday check-in.

My final Challenge book was "book recommended by someone you just met," which was The Sculptor, recommended by Mike! This was a well crafted graphic novel with art that flows so wonderfully on the page that I became completely immersed. It was very good but I didn't love it because I felt like the women in the story were all mere objects, they didn't have any agency.

I read (well, I listened to) Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein, which was the July pick for Emma Watson's "Our Shared Shelf" group. I was a Sleater-Kinney fan so I was excited to read this, but unfortunately I did not enjoy it.

I read Relish: My Life in the Kitchen for the "food memoir" category in the BookRiot reading challenge. This was a fun graphic novel about food, but it kept the reader at a distance - it was more about the food, not really about the person eating the food. It also made me really hungry!! (There are recipes!)

And I finished NK Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which goes to my personal goals to read more women science fiction authors and to read more authors of color. This was my first book by Jemisin. I enjoyed this and I'll be reading more by this author.

QoTW: I read all the formats!! My four books finished last week include two paper books, one audiobook, and one ebook. I don't prefer any one format, but I do prefer certain types of books for each format.


message 7: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments Few progress here. I finished the prompt that was guaranteed to make me happy (or something like that) with Vingt milles lieues sous les mers. We listen to it while en route for the zoo. I like Jules Verne a lot and hearing my oldest son having fun was a bonus for me.

QOTW: I like both paper books and e-reader. It's easier to bring my reader with me but I have a big purse, so big books fit it also.

I am not a fan of audiobook though.


message 8: by Tatra (new)

Tatra | 103 comments I'm up to 26/41 for the challenge! I finally got out of the YA section of the library and discovered the nonfiction section, where I then found a book by a comedian that reminded me I really should get back to my challenge books...

In any case, I read Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres in the space of a couple of hours. Ellen is one of those comedians that I respect and her book was random and great fun. (Though, I also had remembered that Steve Harvey was a comedian, but I didn't find one of his books before Ellen's.)

I also read The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis as the second half of a book and its prequel. And I firmly believe that this book works the best as a prequel and not the first in the series. It doesn't have the same wonder of introduction as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and has a much darker tone as well. (As dark as Narnia gets.)

I also finished off the Chronicles by staying up to read The Last Battle. :)

Qotw: I much prefer paper books to anything else. I like the feel and the scent of paper books. There's also the fact that I don't have an ebook reader, so I haven't quite discovered the charm of that. The only audio book that I really read was when I listened to Neil Gaiman read The Graveyard Book on youtube. That was awesome, but I find audio easier to turn into background noise...


message 9: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Tatra wrote: "I also read The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis as the second half of a book and its prequel. And I firmly believe that this book works the best as a prequel and not the first in the series. It doesn't have the same wonder of introduction as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and has a much darker tone as well. (As dark as Narnia gets.)
..."


I absolutely agree. I know there are a lot of people on both sides of this debate, but I think you worded it well. The "wonder of introduction" when the Pevensie children first arrive is the best entry into the world of Narnia!


message 10: by Kathy (last edited Jul 21, 2016 12:21PM) (new)

Kathy I just started in this group although I've been doing the challenge on my own. So far I'm at 9/41, so I'm not sure I'll finish.

I've just started reading Rebecca for a book I haven't read since high school. Two chapters in and I'm loving it as I did then.

I'm almost finished reading Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote for a book I can finish in a day. Excellent!

Finally for Popsugar, I'm reading aloud to my husband The Mysterious Affair at Styles, as my book from a library.

For the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, I finally finished The Name of the Rose for a book over 500 pages. I struggled through it and respected the book but it wasn't a favorite.

For the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge, I'm almost finished with Absent In The Spring as my book by an author who writes under another name. The book is by Mary Westmacott, otherwise widely known as Agatha Christie. It's very different from her mysteries, but well-written.

QOTW: I read both e-books and paper books. Usually I have books going with both types. I listen to audio books on long trips but don't really like them for day to day.


message 11: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) I finished 2 books in the past week:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement by Anthony Powell

Only GE qualified for the challenge: A book from Oprah's book club.

This brings me up to 68%.

Question of the Week:

I don't really have a preference. My preference is cheap (or free). Many times I use an audiobook because I like the narrator, the book seems like it would be better in audio, etc. Also, my library has an Overdrive site where I can check out Kindle as well as MP3 as well as the physical books. Sometimes the Kindle is too expensive, then I either use interlibrary loan or buy them used.


message 12: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Weber | 264 comments I am at 25/41. I finished 13 Little Blue Envelopes for my book with a blue cover. I liked the idea of the plot but the characters were so flat and boring. I felt like there was no growth. That said, I'll probably read the sequel out of sheer curiosity.

QOTW: I prefer physical books, although e-books are much better for me because I'm one of those dreaded readers who always takes a peek at the ending. It's a habit that I haven't been able to break, except when it comes to e-books. I will say, I have to have books in a series in the same format. I hate it when they change editions halfway through a series and then my books don't match (I'm looking at you Dark Tower series).


message 13: by Lindi (new)

Lindi (lindimarie) I only finished one book this week (but that actually puts me right on schedule to read one challenge book a week for the rest of the year!). Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein for A book of poetry. I'm not a big poetry buff, so I wanted to keep it simple and I'm glad I did. I don't remember reading this when I was younger, even though I probably did. I still found it really enjoyable and found myself laughing at quite a few parts.

Question of the week: Which format/media do you read? Which do you prefer?
Once I started having "less", I stopped buying physical copies of books (I only own 25-30 of my favorite hardcover books), so I get most of my books when I can from the library. I always prefer e-books. I can go from work reading on the kindle cloud on my computer, to reading on my phone while in a long line, to my kindle at home in bed! Love it because I don't have to tote a large book around, and the back light makes it great for when my boyfriend goes to bed before me, which is most nights.

However I still read paper/hardcover often as not every book is available in e-reader format. But I just cannot get into audio books. I really wish I could, as I have a 30 minute drive to and from work every day, I just can't pay attention as well and I get frustrated as I feel like I could be reading the book much faster than the narrator is speaking.


message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Holbrook (jessicalh08) | 133 comments 24/41

I finished The Wedding Dress for my book recommend by a family member (Sister-In-Law), which was a really sweet and fluffy read.

I also finished Yes Please for my book written by a comedian and really enjoyed it. It was smart, funny, and insightful.

I prefer the real thing when it comes to books, no better way to enjoy a book in my opinion. I still don't own an e-reader and if I read an e-book I read it on my phone. I've started trying to have a hard copy and e-book copy of the book I'm reading currently reading so I can pull the e-book out if I'm waiting or something like that. I like audiobooks a lot to, but only listen to those on long drives (which don't happen often) or while I'm at the gym. Almost all of my books (audio and e-books included) come from the library, and working there makes getting them all the more convenient!


message 15: by AF (new)

AF | 353 comments I am now at 36/41. I'm very excited about my progress because I never thought I'd finish this challenge in a year let alone in nine months!

I just finished another GREAT book, America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray. It was recommended by my mom, but I used it for the prompt 'published in 2016'. I highly recommend it. I kept going on Google to learn more about all the historical figures and events. Is it too late to change it to the prompt 'book that brings me joy?' (I have Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for that prompt. No way I'm changing it.)

Up next is The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. I loved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and this book has been on my tbr list for quite a while. Maybe I should make my goal, once I finish this challenge, to read the rest of her books? I'll decide once I finish this book. Anyways, this is for the prompt 'book with a blue cover'.

QotW: I like both actual books and ebooks. I almost exclusively borrow from the public library. When I do, I put both the book and the ebook on hold and see which one comes available first. I share my Kindle with my tween daughter and she's currently reading through the Anne of Green Gables series (which warms my heart that she's reading and loving it just like I did when I was her age!) on the Kindle so I am sticking to real books for a while. Next question of the week should be: what book(s) did you read as a child that you remember loving, which may have turned you into a lifelong lover of books? Or something like that.


message 16: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jul 23, 2016 10:35AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6886 comments Mod
AF wrote: "... Maybe I should make my goal, once I finish this challenge, to read the rest of her books? ..."

Hah! I make that my goal pretty regularly, about a lot of different authors! The problem, of course, is that there are always more books I "need" to read first. So I've given up on being able to set aside time to read ALL of the books by any one author, instead I try to read at least ONE book by each of my "go-to" authors each year. Eventually I'll be all caught up with everything they've written. Maybe. (And if I never catch up, that's okay too, that just means I will always have great books to look forward to!)


message 17: by Christophe (new)

Christophe Bonnet | 212 comments No progress to report this week - I'm getting near the end of a book I've been fighting with for a few months now; and I started a rather heavy one. I'm now on vacation so I might have more time to read (or not).

QOTW: As of now, I'm strictly dead tree. I can't stand audio books; and, even though I'm mostly reading the news off the internet (and I'm reading lots of them), I can't seem to manage longer books on electronic formats. So: printed material only; mostly paperbacks. And I prefer buying them than borrowing them "in case I want to read them again"... My wife being an academic, our apartment is pretty much full of them anyway.


message 18: by Miz (new)

Miz (twiggyunderworld) Finished The Hunger Games but I'm stuck with Catching Fire. I was so eager to finally order Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories off Book Depository, but my bf always stops me from finalizing the checkout. Also I sent a job application and if I get the job, I might fail my reading challenges for this year since I am falling into book slumps more and more often.

QUOTW: I mostly choose Kindle/ .mobi or whatever the format. It gives me a larger choice of books to read. When you live in Eastern Europe in a country in which reading is considered "wrong" and "stupid", you don't have all the books you want to read at an arm's length. You can't buy a book unless it's a plagiarized version of 50 Shades, lame historical romance or a some book that speaks how living in the Yu was and is great (and we should stay a social country and ban "consumerism" which isn't even evident anywhere because we're so broke) and the translations are late 2 to 10 years (it really doesn't matter) and not necessarily good. So you're damned to online ordering and eventually antiquaries. I tried audio books but I often drift away and can't really focus on listening unless it's playing music. But what I hate about being stuck to Kindle is that my bf often takes it when I'm about to lie down and read, and I lose my spark and I get infuriated when I find out he's not been reading his blogs and whatever and has been on FB all the time. So for that reason I have to have a back up book which leads me to the never ending love of a good hardback book. It doesn't mean that I don't like paperback, paperback is the spine of my shelves, but it's rustic in comparison to hardback.

Sorry for the ranty answer.


message 19: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jul 25, 2016 03:40AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6886 comments Mod
Danira wrote: "... I was so eager to finally order Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories off Book Depository, but my bf always stops me from finalizing the checkout."

Why does your bf stop you?


message 20: by Katherine (last edited Jul 25, 2016 04:40PM) (new)

Katherine (kiik) | 158 comments Last week, I finally finished Super Sad True Love Story, which was aptly named. It was super sad. Although, they could have thrown in a couple more words, like frustrating and down-right depressing. A well-written satire, but not something I'll read again.

QOTW: I tend to lean toward e-books, because they're just so inconvenient, but I never buy them. If I'm gonna spend money on a book, I want it to be something pretty that I can put on my bookshelf. :)


message 21: by Miz (new)

Miz (twiggyunderworld) Nadine wrote: "Danira wrote: "... I was so eager to finally order Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories off Book Depository, but my bf always stops me from finalizing the checkout."

Wh..."


Because he thinks I'm spending too much on "fun", i.e. make-up or books or clothes. Common bookhauler issue. :)


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