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Reading Challenges 2018 > Week 26 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Hi everyone! Bit late today, lost track of time.

It's back to being hot and sunny after a bunch of rain, so I'm happy.

This week I finished:

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy - This is for Read Harder's book of social science. This was probably one of the most challenging books I've read, it just made me so depressed. However I really think every American, especially every white American, should really read it. It's one thing to acknowledge abstractly that racism is heavy in our society, and really sobering to have it broken down just how much it's built into every aspect of our society, from the perspective of someone who's experienced it.

Grave Peril - not for challenge, just needed to break up the other book. I really like James Marster's narration. using these to get used to listening to audio books, since I've read them before so I at least kind of remember how the story went.

The Complete Girls with Slingshots - Also not for a challenge. I just got my big shiny hardcovers that are all pretty and embossed, it was fun to re-read the whole series in color and such a lovely book.

The Prince and the Dressmaker - Counting this for Read Harder's comic written and illustrated by the same person. this was so lovely! The story was sweet, the art was beautiful. I really enjoyed it.

Currently Reading:

Tea from an Empty Cup - this will be my cyberpunk prompt. I was going to save it for last, so I could end the challenge on one of my favorite genres, but I just am in full on "reading books I like" mode right now.

I think I've got a book selected for all the challenges I have left, so looking forward to wrapping it up! 9 left!


What is your reading guilty pleasure? I know I don't love that term, but I'm sure we all have books that we love, even while being a little embarrassed that we do.

I'll rip the bandaid off and admit I enjoyed Twilight. I know the writing is not great, the relationships are problematic etc. But whatever, I enjoyed it when I read it. I was an awkward teenage girl who felt invisible and terrible at anything athletic. I get the appeal of suddenly gaining the attention of the popular guy no one else can touch, and finding a way to gain powers that make you NOT awkward and weak and let you be the strong one etc.

I also have a weakness for cheesy vampire stuff in general. I love some vampire smut. Don't care if the stories are repetitive, I'll still read them.

message 2: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 170 comments I got through the audiobook of In Cold Blood for my true crime prompt. I found it horribly depressing. I suppose I prefer my crimes to be masterminded, then foiled by brilliant investigators. This was so... random.

I also started Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on audiobook. So far so good. Also continuing Neverwhere.

That puts me at 28/40 + 6/10 on the Popsugar challenge. I'd say about half of my remaining prompts have books already assigned. Since I tried to read the most difficult/uninspiring prompts first, that shouldn't be a problem. Once those are done, I plan to move on to complete Modern Mrs. Darcy and Book Riot prompts.

QOTW: My guilty pleasure is fanfiction. There, I said it LOL

message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara | 55 comments Lately I've finished Deadly Decisions and The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately and was surprised how fast the fiction read went compared to the non-fictions. Deadly Decisions was a quick read - I like how Brennan's character is developing.

The Ghost Map was difficult to get through - constantly repeating the main points and adding a bunch of extraneous information. It felt like they were trying hard to make the book 250 pages. It should have been about 100. That said, the information related directly to the cholera epidemic and how the source was discovered is pretty interesting.

QOTW: My guilty pleasure is rom-coms like the Shopaholic books, Bridget Jones's Diary, etc. :-)

message 4: by Kristi (last edited Jun 30, 2018 09:44PM) (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments Sara wrote: "Lately I've finished Deadly Decisions and The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. I've b..."

I read The Ghost Map a few months ago (well, listened to the audiobook), and I agree. It was excruciatingly boring as an audiobook, and the narrator's style was, as one reviewer put it, "soporific." What a yawn :( I think it would have made a great short-form essay.

message 5: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments Thanks to a few slow days at work, I've had a tremendous boost in my reading time, so I'm flying through books much faster than my usual pace.
Currently reading:
Body Check, a light hockey-themed romance. I'm not a big romance fan, but I wrote a hockey-themed slightly romantic book for my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel, and I was curious to read a similar story that had made it to print. So far, so good.

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. This is definitely worth getting as an audiobook. I'm about halfway and it's been a real treat. My mom was a huge fan of the Carol Burnett Show, so this is a trip down memory lane, and very fun to hear it narrated by Carol herself.

Notorious Nineteen. Yet another Stephanie Plum book. Not much more to say than that :)

Finished this week:
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. The first was a re-read to get me back up to speed, and the second I blazed through, mostly in one big binge read today. I'm enjoying it a LOT more the second time around.

Much Ado About Magic. This goes back to our earlier QotW about sticking with a series once it's no longer fun. I'm debating whether it's worth reading the last couple of books in the series. It started out fun, but this last one was a real slog.

Between the World and Me. A short, challenging read that's VERY timely and worth some thinking and reflection after reading.

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. I love Craig Ferguson, so this light biography was a fun way to pass my lunch breaks for a week.

and finally, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. This was my first Mary Roach book. I adore her writing, but the book felt a little thin to me. I wanted a lot more biology and a lot fewer detours. I don't feel I got a real impression of the science from mouth to tail, and the detours she took weren't particularly interesting to me (with a couple of exceptions).

Whew. That was a long list! It should slow back down a bit from here on out.

QotW: I've given up on being embarrassed by my interests, so don't have any particularly guilt-inducing preferences. The one I'd probably take the most flak for, though, is media tie-ins. I read a lot of movie and TV novels - Alias, Star Wars, Highlander, Babylon 5, Buffy: TVS, etc. Some are more successful than others, and you can definitely tell which ones are written by fans, and which are written by some author who is contracted to spin a story out of thin air. I once picked up a Farscape book, but tossed it across the room after 5 pages because the author was so clearly ignorant of the Farscape universe, characters, and terminology. He was writing a generic SF book that was probably ok, but it was most definitely NOT Farscape. My time is too precious to waste on ignorant media tie-ins :)

message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 895 comments Mod
Yeah whether the author cares or not is such a huge difference! I liked the first three Mass Effect novels. But they changed writers for the fourth and pretty much the entire mass effect fan base revolted. The author made a gay character straight, an autistic woman suddenly “grow out of it”, ignored major plot points from the established lore etc. someone actually went through the novel and marked it up with color codes. One for “this is so completely wrong, he should have been fired”, one for “this is mostly wrong and should have been corrected” wnd one for “this is wrong but not that big of a deal but since I’m doing this, might as well be thorough”. Pretty much every single page had corrections on it. (I didn’t actually read it, but I did skim through the error document to see how bad it was)

message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Hello All!

It's a long weekend here and hotter than heck! That let me get in a bunch of reading time yesterday because it was too hot to do anything outside.

Last week I finished reading the LGBQT+ protagonist prompt Middlesex. I loved this book. I loved it so hard!!! I was so sad when I finished it. Yeah, one of those books. I want to be friends with the narrator and find out how the rest of his life went. I am seriously missing him already. There's zero reason for the author to write a sequel, but I want one anyway so I can keep reading the lovely narrative voice, personal reflection, and insight. This one definitely went on my favourite shelf, and I'll be re-reading it more than once. It was such a wonderful novel!

After that, I moved on to Circe, which is actually the December group read for the book published in 2018 prompt, but I put it on hold with my library way back in January--before it was published and before the group read was picked--so I could be one of the first to read it when it came in. Well, it came in, so now is when I'm reading it, and I'm about 70% done. It's pretty good. I have not read The Song of Achilles, which I gather was quite a "blockbuster," so reading this author is a new experience for me. It reminds me a lot of The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley, which was a favourite of mine in high school. Not literary fiction, but well-researched and written with an informed and much needed female perspective on elements of Greek mythology. BTW, if you haven't read The Firebrand, I highly recommend it!

Kristi, thank you for bringing American on Purpose to my attention! Husbot and I LOVE Craig Ferguson--he was our favourite late night host and we've seen him live a few times now. I'll definitely be getting the audio version of that book for our next long car ride.

Guilty pleasures: that would have to be "bodice rippers" and "vampire smut." But there has to be a smut-to-bad writing ratio. As in, the worse the writing is, the smuttier is has be in order for it to keep my attention!

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