2021 & 2022 Reading Challenge discussion

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ARCHIVE 2018 > Lindsay's Corner 2018

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message 1: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments My overall goal for the year is 36 books, but I'm going to try to pick away at a few other challenges and recommendations from friends. I'd like to broaden my genre horizons this year.


message 2: by Lindsay (last edited Dec 29, 2017 08:10AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I'm going to try the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge!

I've picked out 5 categories that caught my eye and picked a few contenders for each category. I hope someone can use these suggestions! I'll update when I make a final choice in a category.

1) A book involving a heist
- The Great Train Robbery (I love Crichton and was so excited to see this title)
- The Lock Artist

2) A book turned into a stage play / musical
- The Bridges of Madison County (Normally this is not something I would reach for, but I'm trying to broaden my scope)
- Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (I feel like I'm the only person who hasn't read this yet!)

3) Nordic noir - I didn't know what this was, then realized it's all in the vein of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," but instead of going straight for that I wanted to find some lesser known options
- The Bat
- Faceless Killers

4) Book set in a country that fascinates you - I would absolutely love to visit India. I've been to Sri Lanka but was unable to get India into that trip. So these three books are all set in India, and two are written by Indians.
- The God of Small Things
- The White Tiger

5) True Crime - I tend to shy away from true crime because I'm a very empathetic person and I find them upsetting, so for this category I went with two choices set in early 1900s to maybe tamper that effect a bit.
- Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
- Mrs. Sherlock Holmes


message 3: by Lindsay (last edited Dec 29, 2017 08:07AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Popsugar reading challenge -

Actually started in a totally different category because I discovered that one of my TBR books is written by a Pennsylvania author. So right now I'm reading The Mermaid's Sister as my book by a local author.


message 4: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 15, 2018 12:09PM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Podcast Recommendation!

I've recently started listening to the podcast Backlisted. John Mitchinson and Andy Miller (the author of The Year of Reading Dangerously). Their tagline is "Bringing old books back to the surface". The episodes run around an hour and guest novelists join John and Andy to discuss what they are currently reading, as well as the main topic book of the podcast. I'm finding that their recommendations are intriguing and their analysis is delightful, all dealt with a side of humor.

I'm developing a list of books that I'm adding to my TBR that are discussed on this podcast. I'll update as I get more podcast suggestions and as I read through the list.

So here's my Backlist podcast TBR as of today!

1) Kindred
2) Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
3) The World My Wilderness
4) The Gallows Pole
5) We Have Always Lived in the Castle

UPDATE 1/15/18
On the episode focused on A rebours de J.-K. Huysmans, there was much discussion first of Eve Babitz, and read selections from a few of her works. So I'm going to make sure to introduce myself to her, the read selections were very funny.

Also on the episode focused on Fire and Hemlock, they read a very interesting section of The Journey Home and Other Stories. And the discussion of Fire and Hemlock was very interesting also so both of those are now on my list.


message 5: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I started The Mermaid’s Sister this morning, got hooked, then got an u expected half day off work and finished it! It’s a quick, easy fantasy read. I don’t know if it’s “cheating,” but I’m going to count in as my first 2018 book since I selected it for 2018 and simply lucked out on an unexpected reading day!

So, 1/36 overall goal; 1/20 PopSugar challenge (book by a local author)


message 6: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments So far really loving The Great Train Robbery, by Michael Crichton. He’s one of my favorite authors and I love the way he combines the historically accurate pieces, especially the trial transcript, and blends in the fictional details. Made me interested enough to do a bit of research on my own about that train robbery and exactly how that cutting edge technology of the time was circumvented. Particularly, though, Crichton does a great job of also bringing the readers attention to the Victorian societal forces and cultural norms that made the heist planning possible (spinster daughters, ratting dogs, STDs!).


message 7: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I was just doing some cleaning and organizing and started scanning some of my books ..... my physical TBR bookshelf is 20 titles! When did that happen?!

A couple of them are romances that were gifts because I have a grandmother who suddenly thought I was into romance (I am not). But, one of my goals was to step out of my usual genres so I’ll try them.

In any event, I’m going to shoot for at least 3 of my books this year being physical books on my TBR list.


message 8: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 04, 2018 11:40AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 2/36 overall goal
2/20 PopSugar challenge

Just finished The Great Train Robbery. Really enjoyed it!


message 9: by WVrambler (new)

WVrambler | 50 comments I’m taking the Popsugar Challenge too! Have fun with your goals!


message 10: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 04, 2018 11:40AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Starting a new book! The Whiskey Sea. Fits the Popsugar challenge category of a book set at sea. It sounds like it has a great female protagonist, so I’m excited.


message 11: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11915 comments Good luck with all your reading goals this year!


message 12: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments WVrambler wrote: "I’m taking the Popsugar Challenge too! Have fun with your goals!"

Thank you, same to you!


message 13: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Blagica wrote: "Good luck with all your reading goals this year!"

Thank you, luck to you as well!


message 14: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Just finished The Bridges of Madison County
It was frustrating because the first 90 or so pages I really enjoyed. Then the characters had sex and suddenly it felt like a different author took over and the rest of it was just awful.

But, 3/36 for the year, 3/20 for the PopSugar challenge


message 15: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I'm having a hard time with The Whiskey Sea. It isn't bad, but it isn't great, either. Not a lot happening. I don't dislike the main character, but I don't like her enough to really root for her, either. I just can't get into the story. I'll give it a bit longer but I feel like I'm slogging.


message 16: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished The Whiskey Sea, by Ann Howard Creel
4/20 PopSugar challenge, 4/36 total
Didn’t like it. Very slow the first half, picked up for a bit, then crashed into an extremely dissatisfying ending.


message 17: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished ‘Salem’s Lot
5/36
This was a reread but it was better he second time around, I think :) this is one of King’s best, I think


message 18: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I’ve never tracked my reading before, so 36 books was kind of a shot in the dark. I’m thinking it’s going to be much more than 36 but I don’t really want to change my goal yet, thinking I may slow down in spring when the weather gets warmer, maybe.


message 19: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I'm reading two very "heavy" non-fictions right now, and I'm fighting the urge to speed through them just to get them done. Not that I don't enjoy the process of reading, but sometimes I get the urge to skim through those heavy books instead of take my time to actually absorb them in a meaningful way. So I'm trying to pace myself on those and pick at them in more manageable chunks.


message 20: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished “The S&M Feminist,” by Clarisse Thorn. Very heavy, but very insightful and enlightening.
5/20 for PopSugar Challenge, 6/36 total!


message 21: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 7/36
Finished Milk and Honey, an amazing book of poetry by Rupi Kaur. I’d recommend it to all women.


message 22: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished In the Waning Light. Not great, not bad.
8/36


message 23: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments It took me a while to get into Women of Will, but I’m glad I stuck through the first quarter if it. Now the book is digging into the historical context of Shakespeare’s works and drawing some great parallels. I’m learning a lot from it.


message 24: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished “Cozy in Kansas,” an anthology of the first three books in the Ivy Tower mystery series.

6/20 PopSugar challenge (book set in / about a bookstore)

9/36 overall


message 25: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I’m curious about how many pages I’ve read. Would be interesting to keep track. I know there’s s yearly challenge for that but I’ll just tally every few months and note it here for my own interest.


message 26: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments About 2,997 pages in January


message 27: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished 10/36 - The Woman Who Smashed Codes, by Jason Fagone. It’s the biography of Elizebeth Friedman, the genius cryptologist who played an essential role in the victory over Nazis. Fascinating, moving, and educating.


message 28: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Just finished Infernal Magic
7/20 PopSugar Challenge - a book by two authors. C.N. Crawford is actually the writing duo Christine and Nick.
11/36 overall

C.N. Crawford books are short and fun. Not serious reading, by any stretch, but who wants their reading to be heavy and serious all the time? I reach for a C.N. Crawford book when I want pure escapism.


message 29: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 8/20 PopSugar challenge, 12/36 total
Finished Nocturnal Magic, next in that series by CN Crawford. Chewed right through it and already onto the third and final in the series. Now I want to fly on a giant bat :)


message 30: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 13/36 total. Finished Primeval Magic.


message 31: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Only to find out that the fourth book in the series isn’t coming out until March! Darn it!


message 32: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I’m going to increase my goal. At this rate I’ll blow by 36 pretty early. As I mentioned before, I’ve never tracked my reading before, so 36 books was just a random guess. But I also feel more motivated to read because of this website and the popsugar challenge, so it’s a win!

So I’ll increase my goal to fifty!


message 33: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Lindsay wrote: "I’m going to increase my goal. At this rate I’ll blow by 36 pretty early. As I mentioned before, I’ve never tracked my reading before, so 36 books was just a random guess. But I also feel more moti..."

Cool!! Good luck Lindsay!!


message 34: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished Kindred
So, that's 14/50 total, 9/20 PopSugar Challenge, and the first off my list of books discussed in the podcast!

I was surprised at how short this book was and how quickly it moved, yet it still ripped my heart out and stomped on it.


message 35: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Had to give up on The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro. Got 130 pages in a just couldn’t do it. Terribly slow, and the perspective switched between person / time period so frequently that I felt like I was reading scraps of a few different books instead of one cohesive story. The author is too heavy handed with “hints” but doesn’t seem to move the action towards a goal.

This is the first book I’ve tanked this year but life’s too short to struggle through bad books!


message 36: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished Robinson Crusoe, which makes 10/20 PopSugar challenge, 15/50 total.
What an AWFUL book. Painfully long winded and boring. I fought through it because it’s a “classic,” but it never improved.


message 37: by Lindsay (last edited Feb 19, 2018 10:20AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments I've been trying to be cautious about how much money I spend on books the past year or so. As much as I just love a romp through a book store, my wallet doesn't, and with all the great titles I can get on Amazon Prime Reading, and being able to buy some great e book titles for kindle at less that $10 a pop, I just haven't been able to justify purchasing from an actual book store.

But yesterday my self control disintegrated and I did go on a romp through a book store. I looked at it as a treat to myself for some recent accomplishments. I walked in, flew into a tizzy over all the books I wanted to read that were right on the first display table, blacked out and came too at the register with two armfuls of books haha!

I got:
The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, which I've already started reading. It's fantastic so far. Very well researched but reads like fiction. Much quicker and more engrossing than any heavy historical book I've picked up so far. Love it!

Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink

The Lost Island

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, and

Outlander

So excited about my new pile!


message 38: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished “Women of Will: The remarkable evolution of Shakespeare’s female characters,” by Tina Packer

11/20 for the PopSugar challenge - a book with alliteration in the title
I think after I get one more popsugar challenger book done I’ll increase my goal. Maybe to 25?

16/50 total


message 39: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 12/20 PopSugar - book with an ugly cover
17/50 total

Finished Nine Dragons, by Michael Connelly. I was disappointed.


message 40: by Lindsay (last edited Feb 28, 2018 12:11PM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments UPDATED 2/28

I'm finding it hard to keep track of all my PopSugar challenge books since I don't like to keep re-pasting and editing this list every time i finish one more book for that challenge thread, so once in a while I'll do it here.


1. A book made into a movie you’ve already seen
2. True crime
3. The next book in a series you started - Nocturnal Magic
4. A book involving a heist - The Great Train Robbery
5. Nordic noir
6. A novel based on a real person - The Jekyll Revelation
7. A book set in a country that fascinates you
8. A book with a time of day in the title
9. A book about a villain or antihero - Fight Club
10. A book about death or grief
11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym
12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist
13. A book that is also a stage play or musical - The Bridges of Madison County
14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
15. A book about feminism - The S&M Feminist: Best of Clarisse Thorn
16. A book about mental health
17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift
18. A book by two authors - Infernal Magic
19. A book about or involving a sport
20. A book by a local author - The Mermaid's Sister
21. A book with your favorite color in the title
22. A book with alliteration in the title - Women of Will: The Remarkable Evolution of Shakespeare's Female Characters
23. A book about time travel - Kindred
24. A book with a weather element in the title - Storm Warrior
25. A book set at sea - The Whiskey Sea
26. A book with an animal in the title
27. A book set on a different planet
28. A book with song lyrics in the titles
29. A book about or set in Halloween
30. A book with characters who are twins - Dying to Tell
31. A book mentioned in another book - Robinson Crusoe
32. A book from a celebrity book club
33. A childhood classic you’ve never read
34. A book that’s published in 2018
35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
36. A book set in the decade you were born
37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to
38. A book with an ugly cover - Nine Dragons
39. A book that involves a bookstore or a library - Cozy in Kansas: In the Dead of Winter/Bye, Bye Bertie/For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, 2017 PopSugar Reading Challenges

Advanced
41. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school
42. A cyberpunk book
43. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place
44. A book tied to your ancestry
45. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title
46. An allegory
47. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you
48. A microhistory
49. A book about a problem facing society today
50. A book recommended by someone else taking the PopSugar Reading Challenge


message 41: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 13/30 Popsugar Challenge

A novel based on a real person - The Jekyll Revelation

It was a great book! Right up until the VERY end. I hate it when that happens. Not at all satisfied with the conclusion. I want a rewrite!

18/50 total


message 42: by Lindsay (last edited Feb 26, 2018 09:40AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 14/30 Popsugar - a book with main characters who are twins
Dying to Tell

This book started strong and then had an identity crisis. It couldn't decide if it wanted to be a romance, a thriller, or a paranormal mystery. So it ended up being a bad attempt at all of them. In the end, the "culprit" reveal ended up being too weird and unbelievable, and underdeveloped, to pay off.

19/50 total


message 43: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 15/30 - Popsugar challenge - a book with a weather element in the title - Storm Warrior

I liked this, I'm definitely going to read the next one in the series. But this was one of those books that I felt compelled to actually write a detailed review for because I think it COULD have been SO much better had the author actually followed through with some of the plot branches that she had set up. It could have been done without making the book too much longer and could have made it much more satisfying.

20/50 total


message 44: by Lindsay (last edited Mar 05, 2018 06:20AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Popsugar Challenge - 16/30
A book about a villain or antihero -
Fight Club

21/50 total

Great book. 4 Stars. Really wild ride. Actually write out a full review (which I don’t do often, but two in a row now!)


message 45: by Lindsay (last edited Mar 05, 2018 06:21AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 22/50
Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, the Flesh, and L.A.: Tales

This was a recommendation from Backlisted (podcast), and I'm so glad I gave it a try. Eve is a kindred spirit. The last segment feels a bit too self-aware, as she nears age 30 with fresh hopelessness. But her voice is so unapologetic and her observations so blunt, the book reads like you're gossiping with your best friend.


message 46: by Lindsay (last edited Mar 05, 2018 06:21AM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 17/30 Popsugar challenge
A book about mental health: Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

So interesting! Lays out the biological basis of several states of mental health, both positive and negative. Also great advice for small things that you can do during the day to “bias” your brain toward more positive experiences. It does NOT claim that mental illness isn’t “real” or that it can be “fixed” through positive thought. But what is DOES explain is how you are physiologically prone to certain ways of thinking, and how to positively influence those patterns.

23/50 total


message 47: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments So I've frolicked right through my friend's activity and the recommendations section lately, as well as gathering suggestions from Pinterest. And now my "to read" list is 330 books long 😳

Looking at my list is daunting but exciting! And shouldn't it be that way? That's 330 books worth of knowledge and emotional experience that I do not currently have. Even though I know my list will already take years to get through, I'll gleefully keep adding with the comforting though that I'll catch up when I'm retired (even though I'm only 28) 😄


message 48: by Lindsay (last edited Mar 12, 2018 01:18PM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments 24/50 total

Finished Your Brain on Sex: How Smarter Sex Can Change Your Life

This was a useful book but not a life changing book. Useful for anyone who is stuck in a rut or looking for some self-enlightenment.

I will admit that part of my feelings on this book have to do with me being a sexual assault survivor who is just recently wrangling with that portion of my life, and I am only recently not ashamed to make that admission. So if you are in that Survivor camp, this book is not particularly geared towards us. It's still helpful in identifying origins of sexual complexities separate from sexual assault, but only one small section of this book deals with the aftershocks of sexual violence. So my plan is to seek out content that is more specifically tailored towards that issue, but I still think this book was useful and provided a lot of practical advice regarding how to initiate meaningful and productive conversations with a partner.


message 49: by Lindsay (last edited Mar 12, 2018 01:19PM) (new)

Lindsay | 459 comments Finished The Winter People

18/30 Popsugar - A book about death or grief
25/50 total

Very frightening book, she certainly knows how to write horror. The base theme is coping with death of loved ones, and I have a hard time with that topic to begin with, so this book not only scared me but also ripped my heart out. So incredibly sad.


message 50: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Lindsay wrote: "Very frightening book, she certainly knows how to write horror. The base theme is coping with death of loved ones, and I have a hard time with that topic to begin with, so this book not only scared me but also ripped my heart out. So incredibly sad. "

Sounds good Lindsay! Another one added to my TBR!


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