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Reading Challenges 2018 > Week 20 Check in

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

Hope your reading is going well!

This week I read :

Purple Hibiscus - Book with favorite color in title. This was a really good book, I just was not in the mood for it at all. Read too much darker/serious stuff all back to back and it was really dragging my mood down. I did enjoy it, and it was interesting reading it right after Song of Solomon, there were a lot of parallels. I liked this one much better though, felt the characters were more relatable.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Book taking place in a bookstore or library. I really liked it, nice and short and a fun sort of mystery to it. I also am using it for ATY book involving a secret. Also, being a designer, I appreciated all the font nerdery in it.

Injection, Vol. 3 - Just needed a break with a nice quick read. Newest volume in the ongoing story, I really enjoy it. Computer virus that is breaking into the real world and causing supernatural occurrences.

Currently reading:

The Golem and the Jinni - This will be for my favorite previous popsugar prompt, book from a nonhuman perspective. Fudging it a little bit, since 100% of the book isn't from the Golem and Jinni's perspective, it shifts around to other involved characters to. I'm still counting it though, because those perspectives are generally focused on their reactions and interactions with the nonhuman characters. It's really interesting so far, about half way through.

Branching off from last week, does your opinion of the author of a book affect your opinion of a book itself? Or your likelyhood of reading something? For example, if you found out something really unsavory about an author, do you still read and enjoy their work, or does it taint it? Or if you find out they're really lovely people, do you enjoy it more, or make more of a point to support them?

For me, I sometimes have trouble separating my feelings about an author and their works. I read Enders Game before I found out that Orson Scott Card is something of a jerk, super homophobic etc. That made me more reluctant to read more of his work, even though I enjoyed Ender's Game. I did see the movie made from the book, but I waited until I could stream it as part of an already paid subscription, rather than spending money to go see it. I don't know if that really makes logical sense, but it makes me feel conflicted. I met Cherie Priest, like I mentioned, and I did enjoy her work already. But her stuff isn't super re-readable for me, so normally I wouldn't buy a lot of it, I'd just check it out from the library. But I really like her as a person, so I do tend to actually buy her work, at least if I can get it at a decent price, just to support her.

message 2: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 170 comments I finished two books this week. Unfortunately, neither fits a Popsugar prompt, so I'm still at 23/40 + 4/10.

Finishes were Voodoo Planet and 2 B R 0 2 B. The first is a sequel to Plague Ship, which I enjoyed significantly more. The second is a Vonnegut short story, nice and bleak and compact.

Also made a good dent in The Satanic Verses. Down to the last 100 pages or so, and I'm still having a hard time with the overarching story, even though it is brilliantly written.

I, too, have significant trouble separating an author from his work. I have a hard time bringing myself to financially support people with strongly divergent values. So they usually get relegated to library/Overdrive reads. Conversely, I own several books to support the author on principle, despite my opinion on their writing.

message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Daniele, I give you full props for making it through The Satanic Verses (well, I assume you're going to make it if you only have 100 pages left!). I really like Rushdie as an author (I even have two of his books on my Popsugar challenge this year), but I've DNF Satanic Verses about 3 times since it first came out. You're my hero!

This week, I finished reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Dune Messiah. I was part way through Garden last week, and I have to say, while I enjoyed it, I didn't really like it. Does that make sense? I enjoyed it because it brought back memories of my honeymoon in Savannah, and also because the characters were very interesting, but as a novel, it was technically a fail for me. It seemed more like a series of short stories than a novel, and I never really got that into it except for the parts around the main trial that happens in the book, since that seemed to be the thread that tied some of the book together. I suppose the main character is really Savannah itself, which is why I can say I enjoyed the book, but didn't appreciate it from a writing perspective. At any rate, check off my prompt for a book with a time of day in the title.

Dune Messiah filled the sequel prompt for me. This is a re-read, but I last read it at least 15 years ago, so I only remembered the biggest plot points. I did not enjoy this book. While it was a short, quick read, I found it too convoluted and I strongly suspect that Herbert was doing a lot of "thinking" about LSD when he was writing about Paul and Alia. Too much exposition mascaraing as literature going on for my taste here, combined with some major plot points that were never fully justified. At least it was a quick read.

Later today, I'll be starting Turtles All the Way Down, which is the Popsugar group's choice for the May read. To tell the truth, I'm kind of in the mood for some lighter reading after the last few books, so I'm not sure how this is going to go, since this is the prompt for a book about mental health. I'm curious if anyone else has read it and what their thought are.

Sheri, that's a great question! I haven't yet come across books where I'm aware that the author has done something that might make me not want to read it. In current times, that would keep me from buying or reading a book; however, if it was a book published over 80 years ago, I would likely still read it. I also do think that it's important to read nonfiction books that are highly influential/controversial that may contain views that I'm opposed to or are generally unacceptable so that I can better understand the position from which that person or groups makes their argument. This helps me better prepare for any "discussions" that might come up!

message 4: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Stephanie, I read Turtles All The Way Down, and I did really enjoy it. I couldn't put it down, I think I read it in less than 24 hours. However at the same time it really threw my mood for a swing, made me more self conscious about my own anxieties and I had to take a break and read several comics before attempting anything else. So....it could go either way? If nothing else, it does help in terms of empathy. The main character KNOWS when her thoughts are spiraling and when they are getting unhealthy, she can't STOP the thoughts though, and that's the problem. And it deals with the struggles of trying to be a teenager and maintain friendships and date while also battling all these thoughts.

message 5: by travelgirlut (last edited May 18, 2018 10:14AM) (new)

travelgirlut | 9 comments So I've been really bad about checking in. Haven't done it since week 5! I also haven't finished a book since March. I'm in a major reading slump. Though I did just pick one up, so we'll see. I'm just going to list my completions with very minor notes so as to not make this post a book in itself.

The Library at Mount Char - 2 stars, lots of abuse in this
Guns of the Dawn - 3 stars, had the feel of a Jane Austen heroine plopped in the middle of the Revolutionary/Civil/WWI but with wizards, interesting but not perfect
Provenance - 3 stars, not what I was expecting from Ann Leckie
Qualify - 2 stars, this needed an editor, big time! It was from my FOE book exchange, otherwise I probably wouldn't have read it.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - 3 stars, expected more adventure, but this is a book about people and their relationships
A Darker Shade of Magic - 2 stars, just ok.
The Icarus Hunt - 3 stars, fun mystery set in space
The Gameshouse series - all 4 stars, gamblers who play with the real world and live for a long time. I love Claire North and her aliases and will read anything she writes.
A Closed and Common Orbit - 3 stars, sequel to Small Angry Planet. Again, more about people than the sci-fi.
Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen - all 3 stars, great middle grade and older series that doesn't talk down to kids
Terminal Alliance - 4 stars, janitors, zombies, and aliens, a fun combination!!
All Systems Red - 4 stars, murderous android with a conscious. Didn't know it was a novella and it ended too soon!
The Atrocity Archives - 3 stars, enjoyed it well enough, though probably won't read more in the series.
Six of Crows - 2 stars, don't understand the hype about this one.
The Neon Court - 3 stars, see above note about Claire North. Sorcerer in modern London who uses electricity to power his magic. It's good stuff!

I am definitely affected by my like/dislike of an author. And what's funny, is the one author I absolutely refuse to read is also Orson Scott Card. I read one of his books once that was just a retelling of The Book of Mormon, with complete sections being direct quotes, and that rubbed me the wrong way, since a good author should be able to come up with their own stories. Then I met his son when I was in college, and ask him a bit about his dad, and just didn't like what I heard, and I really didn't like the son, who kind of went stalker on me.

On the other hand, I know Brandon Sanderson (met him on a blind date, and he's my brother-in-law's best friend), and he's an awesome guy, so I always read his books no matter what. It doesn't hurt that he writes good books.

And as a fun side note, Sheri, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore has the coolest cover ever, at least on the harcover. It glows in the dark!!! I found that out after reading right before bed and turning off the lights. I though that was pretty neat

message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Travelgirl - haha i discovered that too! I was reading at night and my phone light fell over, leaving the room in darkness and I was all "hey! my book glows!" Which is a better surprise than when I was wearing nail wraps from the shining that had the carpet pattern on them, and i discovered at night in bed that they glowed in the dark to say "REDRUM" all over XD

message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 322 comments I had to travel for work this week so I didn't complete anything but made some just-before-bed progress on two books.

I'm reading An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth which I am enjoying. I really respect Chris Hadfield and loved his final-day video covering David Bowie.

I'm alternating it with Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness which is getting a bit better. I'm alternating with the other book just based on what I'm in the mood for any given night.

My opinions are very similar to Daniele's in that I would have a very hard time financially supporting someone if I had issues with them. I'd also likely avoid their work if possible. I don't have any examples off the top of my head for myself.

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