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Reading Challenges 2018 > Week 32 Check in

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 876 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

Hope everyone's reading is going well!

This week I finished:

The Surgeon - ATY's medical thriller. I liked this alright, it moved pretty swiftly. I think I mentioned some of the issues I had with it last week, but overall it was an entertaining read.

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins - My husband loves the Adventure Zone podcast, so wanted me to read this since I like comics. I kind of hate the podcast, he thought I might like it in a written form. I think I disappointed him, haha. I thought it was ok, but i didn't love it. It still read like listening to someone else's D& D story, which I generally don't enjoy. I like playing D&D, I don't want to know about someone else's games.

The Staff of Serapis - this is a short story that mashes the Greek storyline with the Egyptians. I liked it, wished it was longer. It'd be cool if there was a whole book with the two sides working together.

The Knife of Never Letting Go - ATY book with a clue weapon in the title/cover. This was a weird one for me. It was a pretty easy read in terms of moving through it quickly, being hard to put down. But I didn't find myself liking the narrator, and I was bothered by the deliberate misspellings. I get that the main character is illiterate, and I could see putting come dialect type speech in the dialogue, but i didn't think it was necessary to do it within the general text, even if it was first person. Also I was peeved by the ending being a cliffhanger. I wasn't super interested in continuing the series, but now I have no closure from this book so I have to decide if I want to read more just to figure out what comes next.

Dark Alchemy - Book riot's western. I might be stretching it a little with this, seeing as it's an urban fantasy western. But I don't really like westerns, and it did come up under the western tag on overdrive. Also there were a LOT of romances set on ranches under the western tag, so whatever. If those count, this does too. I liked it, it was a fun read. Will probably continue the series, eventually.

All Systems Red - Nice short book, ATY's Book you expect to make you laugh. It sounded pretty funny from the description. It didn't actually make me laugh out loud, but I was amused by it so whatever. It was about a Murderbot that just wanted to be left alone to watch a bunch of trashy tv.

Currently reading: Kushiel's Chosen for ATY's book about one of the seven deadly sins. The main character is a courtesan, i figure that covers lust pretty well. There's also a lot of power struggles and politics so I'm sure pride and greed come into play as well.

I was going to read Dark Tales: Collected Gothic Novels and Stories (Illustrated): The House of the Seven Gables, The Minister’s Black Veil, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, Birthmark, ... of the Three Hills, Rappaccini's Daughter… because I wanted to read Rappaccini's daughter. but they packed in SO MUCH biographical/introductory material I had to put it down. there were two chapters worth at the start of it, and then when I skipped ahead there was another two chapters of it in front of the first story. I threw my hands up in a fit and moved on. I don't need to know the life history of an author before reading their work, I can google later if I care. Or at least put it at the end where it's easier to skip. Maybe I'll look up the specific short story as a solo entry later.

QOTW:

Where did you get your love of reading? Was it in school, at home, a friend who got you into books?

I'd say my mom got me into reading. She reads a lot, and also was an elementary school teacher. I think she partially instilled a love of reading in me, so I'd read quietly and let her read, haha. But I remember her reading picture books with me every night, and as I got older we'd sometimes read chapter books together. In second grade I had a teacher who loved Clifford. She had a contest that anyone who read all of Clifford's books could take the giant stuffed Clifford home for the night. I was the first kid to take him home, my mom sat down and read about 5 Clifford book with s a night until I got through them all. I think I'm glad I got the love of reading early, since once I got to middle school/high school it seemed like the forced reading in school was more designed to make kids not want to read at all. Even I had a hard time getting through some of the books selected.


message 2: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Klinich | 140 comments I've been trying to read books I've had for years, and get rid of them if I don't think I'll ever read them again. I'm reading a Helen MacInnes book written in the 1940s that I read in high school set in Poland at the start of WW2. I like it but the writing style is slow compared to more current books. Two of the things I noticed is that she hyphenates to-day and to-morrow, and refers to 'phoning.

I've always been a huge reader, probably instilled by my mom. When I was a kid, I was only allowed to read one book a day in the summer. I generally read for fun, and rarely read non-fiction or classics. I can't think of any book I "had" to read for school that I have chosen to read again later.


message 3: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 164 comments Skipped last week's check-in, so this is a recap of the last 15 days.

Our Kind of Cruelty for published this year. I was intrigued by the blurb, and it turned out to be as infuriating as you'd expect. Which is a good thing, or at least a testament to the author's talent.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking as a past Goodreads Choice Winner. I'm a pretty deep yet loud introvert, and this made me make connections in behavior I hadn't noticed before.

That brings my Popsugar challenge total to 34/40 + 10/10.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything was a fun romp through the world of applied statistics. I appreciate it when professionals apply their passion and expertise to more unexpected or frivolous issues.

And I listened to the audiobook of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of my frequent re-reads.

QOTW: Oddly enough, I was having this very discussion with my boyfriend recently (while listening to the correlation between number of books in the house during childhood and school test scores).

Strangely, I don't have memories of being read to, but I have very clear memories of both my parents reading. I definitely learned by example. I was a faithful library patron from a young age, and other than school assignments, I had free reign to read whatever I wanted. I'd probably read every Stephen King novel the library had by the time I was 13.

I occasionally like to "revisit" assigned reading, just to see if my tastes have changed or if an older perspective alters my enjoyment of a book (in the same way I regularly check whether I still dislike certain foods).


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 292 comments I have little status this week. I am still reading As Bright as Heaven. I'm still enjoying it but life has made my reading slow lately. I'll give more information about it when I finish it.

QOTW: I definitely remember reading with my mother as a young child, pre-school age. I remember walking (2 miles maybe) to the library with her and the books I always wanted to read wer Curious George stories. Over and over and over again. That is the only book I have memory of having read to me.

My parents were always reading and they (late 60s, early 70s) subscribed to the Reader's Digest book series where they got a hardcover book, maybe 1.5 inches thick that contained abridged versions of 5-6 novels. I'm not sure how frequently.

I remember as a teen reading things like Papillon which was quite dense. I also remember reading the entire John Jakes Bicentennial series, The Bastard, etc. I also read his North and South series.


message 5: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Hello All,

This has been a slow reading week since I took an action-filled mini-vacation and also had a job interview to prep for. I've continued listening to A Scanner Darkly, and it's definitely growing on me, even if it is a little, well, dark. I still find bits of the plot confusing since I'm usually listening to it when I'm out running or walking to work and I sometimes get distracted, but I also suspect it's a slightly convoluted book to begin with given that it's about an addict living a double life in a futuristic 1990s setting (it was written in the 70s, I believe). Think Trainspotting meets some sort of M. Night Shamalan meets Priority Report meets Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Blade Runner. Anyway, it's a fairly chauvinist, male-centric book, so I'm not particularly enjoying that element of it, but I'm finding it interesting enough to stick with it. I think I forgot to mention last week that this is my Goodreads Cyberpunk novel.

Other than that, I'm still chipping away at Unicorn and Dragon and I'm not really enjoying it at all. If I wasn't so far in, I'd probably DNF this one. I'm still considering it as I have quite a lot of book left. I keep asking myself if I'd rather spend another 6-8 hours on this book (it would have to be a really long book) when I could be reading something else. That said, I have a really hard time walking away from a book when I'm in it past the first bit, so looks like I've got a hard decision to make.

I have no idea where I got my love of reading from. It came to light later in my life that my mom loves to read (and now that she's retired, she reads quite a bit); however, I didn't grow up in a "reading" household. Mom did read picture books to me, but I was an "advanced" reader from the start and just always wanted to be reading. *shrugs*


message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 876 comments Mod
Stephanie, are you reading the one i sent you, The Dragon and the Unicorn, or Unicorn and Dragon ?

I feel bad sending it if it's the case, haha. I thought you'd enjoy the Arthurian aspects, since you said you like that sort of thing. I liked it overall, when I finished, I liked the blending of mythologies. But if you're really hating it, no need to push through.


message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Hi Sheri--you're right, I meant The Dragon and the Unicorn. Oddly enough, I read Unicorn and Dragon when I was a teenager. That's probably why I linked to it instead--it looked familiar when I did the search. I actually really enjoyed that book. I owned a copy and read it a few times.

I finally decided to DNF The Unicorn and the Dragon. Now I've started reading The Essex Serpent for my book with an animal in the title. I'm enjoying it much more, and it's been on my TBR list for a while. I picked it up as an ebook on sale last year sometime. No regrets! I might get ambitious someday and return to The Dragon and The Unicorn, but with all the other things to read and do on my plate, I just didn't want to tough it out with something I wasn't truly enjoying at the moment.


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