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Reading Challenges 2018 > Week 12 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 883 comments Mod
Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone's doing well, and having fun reading!

I don't have a whole lot to report this week, I spent the weekend plowing through all the comic titles I follow. The only thing that counts towards even my reading goal is Aquaman, Volume 1: The Trench. Everything else was single issues of various ongoing titles I follow.

So the only book I finished was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which i my microhistory. It was a good read, but sad and made me very mad at the medical industry. It seems like so much progress comes from exploiting the vulnerable.

Up next is Palimpsest, which I think will count for ATY's book with a map. I think the prompt technically meant one of the books that has a map in the beginning, but this one involves maps so I think i'm counting it anyhow.

I'm at 25/50 for popsugar, so halfway, woo! 22/52 for ATY and 6/24 for read harder.

What books do you turn to when you just need to read something you love? Whether you need a mental break, or had a bad day, or you just are in a slump and need something to get you jump started again. It can be a genre, or particular books.

Science fiction and fantasy are my go-to genres, but fantasy in particular. Mercedes Lackey books are often my comfort reads/breaks. Particularly her fairytale retelling books. Also my Argeneu vampire romances because they are silly, easy to read, and everything generally comes out ok in the end.


message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

I was delinquent last week. I finished my old job and have a bit of time off before I start my new one, so I've lost my sense of routine as I do some work from home for the next bit. However, it means more time for reading, too!

I finished my audiobook, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, earlier this week. I really, really enjoyed listening to this story and revisiting it from my youth. It's a great story and a real eye opener in terms of understanding racial inequality. I'm currently without an audiobook as I'm working from home. When I start walking back into my new job (same location, different part of the university) I'll likely start listening to something again. I'm struck by how many of my choices so far this year have focused on black history and/or the lives of African Americans: This book, The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks (see below), Binti, Kindred, and March. I didn't consciously do this, but I feel that the breadth of these choices have given me a fairly rich reading experience during the first three months of 2018, particularly when I combine it with books like The Handmaid's Tale and Wenjack. I recently just heard about a book called The Marrow Thieves and it's now on the top of my list of books I need to get in to this year's challenge. Clearly I'm a person who enjoys exploring themes of oppression and inequality through well-crafted literature. And then heads to a bunker for some good old fashioned escape reading when it gets to be overwhelming.

I finished The Handmaid's Tale and loved it just as much--perhaps even more--then I did when I was my 20-ish year old self. Gah--what a good book! I also read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which I purposely choose to read as a compliment to The Handmaid's Tale. There was nothing in this book that didn't surprise me in terms of medical ethics and the way that much of medical discovery has come about through exploitation of the poor and disenfranchised (or worse, as in Nazi Germany), but that didn't make it any less upsetting, particularly since the author did such an amazing job of humanizing the effects of scientists on the Lacks family. This was my micro-history choice, but it could have been my choice for book seen in a public place. There must be a few professors who assign this book as course reading at my university, because I've seen more than one student reading it or heard them talking about it over the last few months. I also watched the HBO movie of the book (produced and starring Oprah) last night. It was okay, but not nearly as powerful as the book.

Finally, I'm now reading The Bear and the Nightingale as my book I meant to read last year but didn't get around to. I'm about 70% through and quite liking it, although it does seem to be really slow-paced. Not that I mind that, but I keep waiting for The Big Thing to happen that the author keeps alluding to. I'm enjoying learning more about Russian fairytales and (loosely) history.

Great question this week, Sheri! I tend to go to old favourites that I've read many times and that won't take me too long to get through. Anything Tolkien, books I loved as a child, but really just anything I've read a few times before because I know it won't let me down, I know how it's going to make me feel, and I can revisit old friends.

How is everyone else's reading going? If anyone has read The Marrow Thieves, I'd love to hear suggestions for which prompt you think it might fit!


message 3: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Klinich | 141 comments Elizabeth Peters is my goto comfort read. Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss feel like old friends.


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara | 55 comments This week I finished Climbing High: A Woman's Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy. For the last year or so I've been on an Everest kick. Every 3rd or 4th book I pick up seems to be an account of climbing Mount Everest. This account of the May 1996 tragedy was very different than all the others I've read. Rather than focusing on telling a comprehensive story with all the climbers, Lene focused solely on her experiences. It reads like exerpts from her diary.

For me, when I get into a reading funk, I first wander around my book cases to see if anything jumps out at me. If not, then I tend to go back to murder mysteries - Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, maybe James Patterson.


message 5: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 165 comments A complete wash in terms of book challenges. But I did listen to Myths and Legends of Alaska and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on my long drive. Also started Uncle Tom's Cabin, which seems quite promising.

QOTW: I tend to revisit old friends in well-developed worlds, like David Eddings' books or the Harry Potter universe. Or comic books and graphic novels. And sometimes, just sometimes, I'll indulge in trashy fanfic when my brain just want to switch completely off.


message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 883 comments Mod
I love hearing what everyone comfort-reads! Such a variety too.


message 7: by Kate (new)

Kate | 2 comments I also finished Jekyll & Hyde this week, daniele! although I was reading it on serial reader.

I just started the audio book for Good Omens. I've not read any Pratchett or Gaiman before. I am enjoying it so far! I'm also working on The Night Circus, plus a couple of serials (Treasure Island and The Mysterious Island) and a book for professional development on gamification (well researched and interesting info, but appallingly bad writing so it is a hard slog).

My go-to comfort reads are Harry Potter, Maisie Dobbs, and some scattered Star Trek novels :-) definitely always stuff I've read before that has good storylines and writing but is a bit removed from reality.


message 8: by Sara (new)

Sara | 55 comments Kate wrote: "I also finished Jekyll & Hyde this week, daniele! although I was reading it on serial reader.

I just started the audio book for Good Omens. I've not read any Pratchett or Gaiman before. I am enjo..."


Which app(s) do you use for your serial books? I've just recently learned about these and want to try, but not sure where to start! Thanks!


message 9: by Kate (new)

Kate | 2 comments I am using Serial Reader. it was actually recommended by another FoE! It has mostly classics/public domain stuff and a nice gamification element.


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