2022 ONTD Reading Challenge discussion

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message 1: by Lea (new)

Lea | 327 comments Mod
It's time for the January wrap-up! Let us know how your reading went this month, if you had trouble completing this month's task, if you enjoyed the book you read and whether you'd recommend it!


message 2: by Lea (last edited Jan 31, 2017 05:45AM) (new)

Lea | 327 comments Mod
I'll go first: this month I picked Big Little Lies and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It really gave my reading a boost! (If I pick up a bad book it always puts me in such a slump, but once I find a good book I really get on a roll - I read 7 books this month!).

I would definitely recommend the book and can't wait to see the adaptation ;)

I still want to read The Handmaid's Tale this year, but given the depressing subject matter, I'm kinda procrastinating on that...


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Bea (gekrepten) | 327 comments Mod
I read (well, listened to) Psycho which before recently I never even knew existed as a novel before the iconic film was made. I really liked the book and found it truly frightening -- the narrator did a CREEPILY excellent job as Norman. I need to catch up on Bates Motel; I haven't watched anything since mid season 2 and this year is the final season. Curious to know what parts of the book were used, if any, for the show.

I also read The Terror which was a monster of a book but every page was worth it. One of the books strengths was having so many differeent characters offering various perspectives on the expedition. I'm so excited to see how the hell they are going to adapt this as a miniseries -- it's supposed to come out this year but I haven't seen any promos for it!

I FINALLY got my copy of Annihilation and was able to start it today, so hopefully by tonight or tomorrow that will be done, too. It's really short and moves quickly. I'm SO excited about the film adaptation and seeing the tower/tunnel translated into visuals!!!


message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (vehiclesshockme) | 78 comments All of my regrets for the month of January are the book that I chose to read, The Mountain Between Us. It was a pretty short book but it took me what felt like forever to read it because I just could not get engaged or then something that had me rolling my eyes would happen (this was a frequent occurrence) and I would put it down and have to work myself back up to finishing it. To call it Nicholas Sparks trash would actually seem like an insult ton Nicholas Sparks and his mediocre scholastic book club for kids writing. I feel like I was tricked into reading this nonsense with the promise of a page turning thriller that was also a romance (spoiler alert it was neither of these things). I'm trying to wrap my mind around how someone bought the rights to this book and how a studio decided it would be a great film to make and that they got big names to be part of it. The only way it would work to me is if it was made a horror film... which honestly would take very little change, probably just a pov shift.

Do not read this book and do not see the movie when it comes out unless you're in your mid-seventies and are on a church group outing.

I ended up reading five books this month. Currently wrapping up a true crime one that I'm not really feeling so that I can start my February pick in the next few days. I've actually heard from multiple people that the book I've chosen for February is a good one so fingers crossed there's no repeat of this month.


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim | 65 comments I picked The Breadwinner and I enjoyed it overall. I may skip the rest of the series idk. There was a blurb in the back of my copy that kind of spoiled everything :(

It's being made into an animated film this year.

The subject (young girl's life in Afghanistan) is pretty poignant right now :(


message 6: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (brittunculi) | 7 comments I cheated a bit and read the Bell Jar, which I just finished (cutting it fine!) because I bought it thinking (for some reason) the film was out this year. If that means I have failed then I have failed!

I was going to read a Monster Calls too, but I never got round to it :(

Really loved the Bell jar though. It's short but it took me a while to get through.


message 7: by Eve (new)

Eve (eveofrevolution) | 123 comments I read two books this month that fit the theme: It by Stephen King and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

It by Stephen King

It - 3.5 stars - I started reading this back in October, but about 1/3 of the way through, I got sick of all the bouncing around so I put it down for a couple months. Decided to pick it back up for the reading challenge because otherwise I wasn't sure I'd ever finish it! Some parts are amazing and well-written, other parts are confusing and jump around too much for my liking. There were also some unnecessary bits, like (view spoiler) and (view spoiler), and really a lot of the exposition around Beverly that the other characters didn't have. He frequently describes what Beverly is wearing, how her shirt fits her boobs, etc., while the only other person who had anywhere near as much focus on their body was Ben, who was "the fat one" in the group. So that was pretty gross to me.

I am a huge fan of Stephen King ordinarily, and despite my complaints, this is still a great book. King sometimes struggles with wrapping up his stories, but I don't think he had that problem here. It had a proper ending that left me fairly satisfied. I think what I liked best about this book was the normal kid interactions and camaraderie shown. The overall story is really fantastic as well, so I did really enjoy reading it (when I could keep up with who's who and what year we were in!) Also, the book never really SCARED me, but I did have a nightmare Friday night that I was in the sewers and It made an appearance, so I suppose it did its job well :)

Hidden Figures The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures - 4 stars - I just finished this book today! I will say that having watched the movie, I didn't enjoy the book as much as I would have liked. Hollywood did what Hollywood does and definitely oversimplified some things while totally exaggerating other things, making the movie much more dramatic than the book. Also, the movie showed all three women going through their independent struggles at the same time, whereas the book gave totally different timelines for each woman, and the women didn't interact much at all in the book. The women's goals were achieved without much fanfare in the book as well, because in general the book seemed to view Langley's segregation policies as more progressive than expected. The movie basically tied the story up in a nice neat little package with plenty of adverse action to overcome, whereas the book was a meandering timeline that didn't always flow well.

The writing was a bit technical and confusing at times, and Shetterly tended to switch gears from storytelling to historical context quite abruptly. I feel like the book could have been better laid out, as the chapter designations didn't always correlate with what was contained in them.

That said, I loved reading about the background to each of the three ladies and being introduced to so many other women who worked at Langley. I really appreciated the details Shetterly provided for the backgrounds of each of the women, and how they crossed paths (or almost did) before working at Langley. It also went far beyond Glenn's orbit into the moon landing and beyond, which I appreciated. Overall, the book was not what I expected after seeing the movie, but I learned a lot from it and I would recommend it to anyone interested, whether they've seen the movie or not.


message 8: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid (cucubano) | 11 comments I read three books for this month's challenge. There are many books related to this month's challenge that I'd love to read, but I'm already focusing on finishing my current reads to make room for February's reading list.

Big Little Lies was enjoyable despite a rocky start. Once I connected with the book and realized that it wasn't a murder mystery but a character profile, it became something I liked to read. I can't wait to see the adaptation because I think the casting is spot-on.

Everything, Everything was cute; your typical YA book where the main character is that naive teenager that experiences love for the first time and who likes to blow money like crazy, probably because she doesn't have to work for it (still bitter about the price for those plain t-shirts she bought in every color, tbh!). I really liked that the book had sketches and tidbits that showed the main character's personality

Murder on the Orient Express was my last read and much to my surprise, it wasn't as enjoyable as I thought it would be. Once the plot started to get ridiculous as Poirot unveiled the connections, I zoned out. My other experience with Agatha Christie has been with And Then There Were None, which I love, but I couldn't connect with 'Murder'. I think the writing style seemed dry in a lot of parts and it was told in a limited way, so to speak. It could've benefited from different POVs that made people look shady but that didn't give away details, if that makes sense.


message 9: by Sam (new)

Sam (samjunipero) | 41 comments I read The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story this month. It was an interesting read and I did enjoy most of it, but it did feel lacking. I felt like the storyline was a little unfocused which is unfortunate for a true story. The author would sometimes go on tangents that weren't always connected to the story of Antonina and Jan and their zoo. I just wish there a little more to this book but I still liked it. I feel like it will make a better movie, but I can't really say I'd recommend it.


message 10: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha (chigangrel) | 9 comments I enjoyed The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon well enough, though after reading it I'm not surprised I was the only one who chose it lol Here's my review if anyone's interested in it: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

After reading it though I am curious what the movie adaptation is going to be like. Like, will it go back and forth between the present and the past? Exactly what period of time is it going to take place in (cause they got a dude in his mid-30s playing a guy who died when he almost 60 lmao)?

I think I would've like Hidden Figures better! That was my second choice... I'm still gonna read it though.


message 11: by Sasha (new)

Sasha | 104 comments I ended up reading 3 books that met this month's challenge.

I've been excited for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race and watched the movie before I read the book, which was definitely the right choice. I enjoyed learning more on the back story, but at the same time, during all the NACA bits, I was ready for NASA. The author was great at contextualizing what was happening at Langley vs. what was happening in the country at the time. Still, I skimmed through all the technical parts as well.

Annihilation and A Monster Calls were two that I read while I was waiting for Hidden Figures and ended up enjoying both! hey were quick reads and I'm not sure if I would have read either if it wasn't for the challenge. Maybe Annihilation, but I don't know...

I wish Annihilation went with a less is more approach to the ending, but I do want to read the rest in the series. In hindsight, I can see that this has a Wayward Pines vibe.

A Monster Calls made me cry and while I haven't had the life experience the protagonist had, I certainly empathized. It makes me want to peruse the middle grade reading more and see what else is out there.


message 12: by jayympea (new)

jayympea (lyricalharmony) | 4 comments I am still trying to finish up reading Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race I was doing so well but got kind of sidetracked. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it these next couple of days. I do like it, but as others have mentioned before, it does get a bit technical at some points which makes it harder to stay engaged.


message 13: by Despina (new)

Despina Karras (despinakarras) | 13 comments I read Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race and really loved it. The first half was a bit technical, but the book was fascinating and inspiring nonetheless. I can't wait to see the movie.

I also read The Circle. I really didn't know what to expect from it going in, and I still feel a little conflicted about it now. It's interesting, yet kind of terrifying because I could see some of the things happening in the future. I didn't connect with the main character though (honestly, I couldn't stand her), and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I did. I'm actually looking forward to the movie, though. I feel like it might be one of those rare instances when I enjoy the movie more than the book.


message 14: by K. (new)

K. (aoutranc3) Welp, I read 21 titles this month, but only Annihilation really fit the challenge. It was much more enjoyable than I had initially believed - there was an intense spooky vibe throughout because of the protagonist's intentionally vague narration. I look forward to seeing this on screen, even though I am very meh about the casting choices.


message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily (francienolans) | 20 comments I failed this month's challenge and didn't finish or get half way thru Hidden Figures. I don't know if I'm going to do well with this reading challenge but I'll try for February, however my reading challenge set for 2017 is going great because I've found a ton of books I want to read and audiobooks are godsend on days I'm at work.


message 16: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa (girlcomeundone) | 155 comments I read The Dinner for this month's challenge and it was meeeeh. i will check out the adaptation though, i'm curious to see how that plays out.


message 17: by sk (new)

sk I read Big Little Lies by Jane Moriarty and I loved it! I really got sucked into the mystery and I actually cared about the characters. So I'm really excited for the HBO show.


message 18: by Cait (new)

Cait | 5 comments I also read The Dinner and while I can say I liked it... I don't know how much, LOL. I unfortunately lost track of time and forgot to contribute to the discussion thread until it was too late so apologies to the OP for that. :(

Being that it's a European novel, I'm not sure how some of its recurring themes (the class issues frequently brought up throughout the novel, for example) will play out in what as far as I know is an American remake, or if they'll be included at all. I do think the story will lose something and become even shallower and more sensationalized without that aspect, so having read the book now, I don't know if I'm so interested in checking out the adaptation now. But that's half the fun of this challenge, so hey.


message 19: by Dessi (new)

Dessi | 15 comments I read American Gods for the challenge and i loved it! It was such a good way for me to read something outside my comfort zone. There was so much going on, i think it is one of those books that i should reread again in a while and i will be noticing so many new things.

I know not everyone loves it, but as someone who only ever reads drama/romance/non fiction, it was really refreshing and definitely got me out of a rut.


message 20: by Lea (new)

Lea | 327 comments Mod
If you weren't able to complete this month's task on time, don't worry! You can always go back to it later. All of the posts for this month, including the individual book discussions, will remain open for new comments :)


message 21: by Lea (new)

Lea | 327 comments Mod
I just finished We Have All Lived in the Castle, which I didn't even know was going to have an adaptation this year, so that was nice.

The book is excellent, I highly recommend it - but I think the adaptation is going to suck. The casting is very low budget and not at all like I imagined the characters. I don't think I'll be watching.


message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim | 65 comments Lea wrote: "I just finished We Have All Lived in the Castle, which I didn't even know was going to have an adaptation this year, so that was nice.

The book is excellent, I highly recommend it - but I think th..."


Yep, going to be so bad. Still one of my fave Jackson books. I recommend all of her work.


message 23: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (lapetite) | 58 comments I read Everything, Everything for my challenge. It was super easy to read, even if the story itself really did leave me hanging. I am looking forward to the adaptation because I need some fluffiness in my life ASAP.


message 24: by Cara (new)

Cara (hidingmyheart) | 35 comments I read The Mountain Between Us for the challenge and well, the less said about that the better. I didn't completely hate it but I didn't really like it, either.

I read 6 other books in January but the only other one that fit the category was Wonder. This one I loved! So sweet and really tugged on my heartstrings. I hope the movie does it justice.


message 25: by Cecil (new)

Cecil | 24 comments I read We Have Always Lived In The Castle for January's challenge. Sort of kicking myself for never picking it up sooner since I ended up reading it in like two sessions because it was just that good. ):


message 26: by Keri (new)

Keri (keri91) | 39 comments I read two books for this month's challenge, Big Little Lies and Murder On the Orient Express! I loved both. I didn't think I would like BLL but it ended up being really engaging and fun. I read 6 books total in January, which I hope to keep up with!


message 27: by Valerie (new)

Valerie (chnopf) | 4 comments I reread We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is still one of my favourite books. I was afraid I wouldn't like re-reading it since I already knew the twist, but I still very much enjoyed it!

Then I picked up The Handmaid's Tale, which was sooo good, but definitely not the right time to read that, misogynistic dystopia hits a bit too close rn.

Got trough 4 books in January, which is really good for me :)


message 28: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 10 comments I read two books for January:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness-- I liked this book for its message. I thought it was a bit predictable but that's okay, didn't detract from its message. I read this very fast, and the edition I read had beautiful illustrations.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman American Gods by Neil Gaiman-- A character-driven plot is my kind of plot. I do have an issue with any story that keeps a secret to the detriment of logic, and I feel that happened here. No one would do the stuff Shadow did without a solid explanation of what's going on. The secrecy was just for the reader, but it didn't make sense for the characters. Having said that, I found this an enjoyable and easy read. I am looking forward to seeing the TV series where some of the less-developed characters may be able to shine.


message 29: by Kimberly (last edited Feb 07, 2017 11:37AM) (new)

Kimberly Collins I read A Monster Calls and Jumanji. I read these two books because I had one in my classroom and our school library had the other one. I really enjoyed them both and will definitely watch the movies.


message 30: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 14 comments I finally finished Big Little Lies. It was really good! I really cared about all the main characters and the slow burn reveal of all the secrets and lies was really well done. I'm looking forward to the show (although I wish it were still set in Australia).


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