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Reading Challenges 2018 > Week 19 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

Hope your reading has been going well!

I had a busy week last week with my husband's birthday prep and birthday weekend. (Which is why last week's post was so late.) So don't have a lot going this week.

I finished: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power since I'd accidentally read vol 2 first, I came back and read vol 1. It's such a fun comic!

Sex Criminals, Vol. 4: Fourgy! - love this comic too. On the surface it's all about sex and sex jokes, but under all that it's about relationships and mental illness and how they affect each other, as well as a look at roles sex plays in society etc.

Song of Solomon - I drug my feet a lot on this, but finally finished. It's my Read Harder Oprah Book Club pick. It wasn't really my thing. I found I didn't relate to any of the characters or care about any of the plot lines. I really liked Beloved, so I'd hoped I would enjoy this too, was kind of disappointed. Oh well.

Currently reading: Purple Hibiscus - this will be my popsugar book with my favorite color in the title. Hopefully it marches along a bit faster.

also currently reading The Death of Captain Marvel which is the original storyline where Carol Danvers gets her powers and becomes Ms Marvel. Figure I should read it, looks like the movie's going to mesh that origin with her Captain Marvel origins, skipping over the whole "Ms Marvel" part. Which is probably for the best since she was also Warbird and Binary, too much history to go through for this late in the MCU.

Has anyone ever met an author? Did you enjoy it, or were they not what you expected?

I met Cherie Priest a while back, she was super sweet. I'd only read a couple books by her at that point, but she signed three books for me! She also personalized it with "To the Sheri who spells her name more sensibly" which I thought was funny. I also met Danielle Corsetto who writes and draws Girls WIth Slingshots, amongst other things. She's really awesome, and something of an art hero of mine. I'd like to meet more, but a lot of times the tours seem to hit Michigan mid week, and often in Detroit or Ann Arbor which are harder to get to after work, i have to REALLY want to meet them to make it work.

message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Hello All,

I'm still working on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I've finished part one, which FINALLY introduced the major crime in the book. If I hadn't visited Savannah and heard more about the history of this book before I picked it up, I might have abandoned it before this. I'm hoping things will now pick up and I can zoom through it to the end.

I forgot to mention another book that I read last week. Well, I read it as an audio book while walking to work and doing a few longer trips in the car. What Happened by Hilary Clinton. I thought this book would focus more on the election, but it has a lot of really insightful other material on what it's generally like to be a woman in power and politics as well as the role media plays in democratic practices. I was a bit skeptical about reading this book, but I really, really liked it. Regardless of any political leaning I may or may not have, I have to say that Clinton showed herself to be one smart, though cookie in this book with her finger firmly on the pulse of a lot of what's happening in America both in the past and present. This book didn't count toward any challenge.

I haven't met any authors in person, but my Husband did once wait in a line for four hours to get a book signed for me by Diana Gabaldon. She wrote a lovely note, and I have the picture of them standing together to prove it, haha.

message 3: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod

That's so sweet of him to do! My husband waited in line with me for Danielle Corsetto, and it was i think 2.5 hours and I think he was regretting saying he'd come by the end haha. But he did get to eat at Jolly Pumpkin after, so I think all was forgiven.

message 4: by Susan (last edited May 11, 2018 10:47AM) (new)

Susan LoVerso | 322 comments I only commented a couple days ago. So I only have a little bit to add. (ETA: I guess I had more to say than I originally thought!)

I finished Accidental Brothers: The Story of Twins Exchanged at Birth and the Power of Nature and Nurture. It is a fascinating story about the switched identical twin brothers in Colombia who find their twins at age 25. I recommend it for some non-fiction reading.

I'm still plodding along through Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness. I still haven't made up my mind on this one. As non-fiction it is neither pulling me in nor turning me off. The material is moderately interesting but not as compelling as the other (also non-fiction) books I have to read.

Today I just picked up and started An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. It is by Col Chris Hadfield, someone I admire and respect. I've only read his answers to his most FAQ at the back. I think I'm really going to like this.

Although I don't know when I'm going to get to it, at the library today I also picked up Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. It is clearly in the historical genre of Alexander Hamilton and is probably benefiting from the current surge of interest in that time period. It looks like it can be interesting.

I think I've only met one author in person. It was Michael Pollan, someone whose books I've really enjoyed. We went to a screening at our PBS station of his show based on his book. He and a co-writer on the PBS movie then did a Q&A in the theater and then there was a mingle-reception after. It was very enjoyable. He was a very personable guy who is passionate about his work.

message 5: by Jessie (last edited May 10, 2018 08:03PM) (new)

Jessie (jessie_ellen) | 2 comments Hi, all, I'm new! Somebody on the Fans of EPBOT fb page told me you were a thing and I couldn't wait to join! My goal this year is to read 30 books. I just finished Captains Courageous and now I'm working through Matchmaking for Beginners, which isn't really my genre but it's keeping me reading instead of just binging Netflix.

I have met a lot of authors. When I was in middle school I attended book fairs with my aunt; most notably I met Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted), but I was disappointed that she wasn't as warm in real life as she comes across in her books. Five years ago my husband and I met Brandon Sanderson, but he was too busy to chat. :(

message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Welcome Jessie! Thanks for joining :)

Sorry your author experiences weren't all amazing!

message 7: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 170 comments I'm another who posted only days ago, so I have nothing to report, except I've passed the 400-page mark on The Satanic Verses. Again, looooove his writing but still unsure of the story itself.

I've also lined up a few new books for my road trip next weekend, including The Wind in the Willows, which will fit the "weather element in the title" prompt.

QOTW: Excluding comic book artists, I haven't met any writer authors (i.e. people whose main thing is writing). I have met Jane Goodall and Mick Foley, both geniuses in their respective fields and who have written wonderful books. Both were as lovely as expected.

message 8: by Kristi (last edited May 11, 2018 11:26PM) (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments Stephanie wrote: "Hello All,

I'm still working on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Did you know they also made a movie of this? I saw it with my mom when it first came out - I knew *nothing* of the story, or anything more than the title, and came away utterly enchanted. It probably didn't hurt that Clint Eastwood directed it :) I think I got a lot more out of the book having seen the movie first. That way I knew the main crime and the general players, and could let the narrative meander (as it does!) without waiting for it to get to the point. I have the author's The City of Falling Angels on my TBR pile, and am hoping to get to it soon.

message 9: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments I've been lurking for the past few months - reading and enjoying everyone's posts, but never at my computer long enough to post an update. Here's a quick one. I'm currently working through a pile of graphic novels before their library due dates. Also in the stack is A Wizard of Earthsea. I read this over a decade ago and didn't really enjoy it, but after LeGuin's passing, and all the accolades in the press, I figured I needed to give it another shot. I'm really enjoying it this time around. I'm also reading The Golem and the Jinni. I adore it! It reminds me a lot of The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay in that it's kind of the same time period, and sorta-kinda explores some of the same themes. I love how the author introduces a character and then takes a deep dive into his or her life for a few pages. It's like walking around with a documentary camera crew and selectively following people around, then moving on to other people. So much fun to watch it all unfold. I'm only about a third of the way in, so plenty more to go.

On meeting authors...I've met heaps of authors (the joys of working for a book editing company + being super involved with NaNoWriMo for several years), and most of time time they were really great experiences. John Scalzi, Janni Lee Simner, Lorelai Brown (a local indie author), and Timothy Zahn come to mind. The one I was most excited to meet was Jane Lindskold. Her book, Changer made a huge impression on me. Unfortunately, she came off as really stiff and professorial in person. I met her at the Tucson Festival of Books and she didn't have much patience for panels that went off topic, or things that didn't fit her perception of how they should be. I didn't even bother to get my book signed. :( It's kind of soured me on her, tho I still love the book. I've been putting off a re-read for fear that what I know now will affect my enjoyment of the words.

message 10: by Stephanie (last edited May 14, 2018 06:26PM) (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod

Did you know they also made a movie of this? I saw it with my mom when it first came out "

Hi Kristi! I did know there was a movie, but I haven't seen it yet. I was reading some of the later parts of the book in the car while my husband was driving, and I was gasping at some of the developments. He wanted to know what was happening, but I wouldn't tell him because we're going to watch it now that I've finished the book, and I don't want to give him spoilers! I'm glad to hear that the movie is not as rambling as the book. :-)

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