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Reading Challenges 2018 > Week 34 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 914 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

Sorry I'm late again, it's certainly been a week.

This week I finished:

Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake - true crime for both popsugar and Read Harder. I liked this alright, it was a quick and easy read. I'd wanted something non-murdery for the prompt, and waited FOREVER for it. THe movie and musical both made Frank much more likeable. I found him rather smarmy and all too pleased with his own cleverness.

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - Anthology of essays for Read Harder. This is hard to decide how I feel about it. The essays were all well written, but the subject matter was so hard. it's hard to say I "enjoyed" reading it, or I appreciated it or anything. it was more something I made myself to read, because someone needs to hear people's stories and accept how often these things happen.

Circle of Fire - Around the year book involving fire. This was just a quick paranormal romance, nothing spectacular.

Currently reading:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - listening to the audio book. It'll either be ATY's book that intimates/scares me or gothic novel. It's alright so far, kind of wish my library had it in print. Having trouble following it in audio.

Kushiel's Avatar - ATY's book you have high hopes/expectations for. I really like this author and series, so I expect it to be as good as the rest I've read.

The Mysteries of Udolpho - ATY's gothic novel. I am really not feeling it, and it's very long. I'm not sure I'll continue. Will give it another week or so.

This puts me at FINISHED with both Read Harder and Popsugar! Just a few more prompts for ATY and then I'm done with challenges for the year! Looking forward to it, I'm itching to read a bunch of stuff that isn't prompt related. But I worry if i go too much on a non-prompt binge I'll just lose track of time and fail to finish at all.

QOTW:

Have your reading habits changed since you joined Fans of Epbot? I know there's lots of book recommendation threads over there, have they encouraged you to try new authors or genres?

To some degree yes, I have read some books by FoE authors, and I read the books I got from book flood which i'd never have picked out on my own. There is a pretty good skew of fantasy/sci fi within the group, which is what I read usually anyhow. But I have still gotten some good recommendations within those genres that I haven't tried before.


message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Is it just you and I this week, Sheri? :-) And I don't even have that much to check in with!

Last week I finished The Essex Serpent, which I really, really enjoyed. And I also finished A Scanner Darkly, which I appreciate more than I actually enjoyed it. I forgot to mention that it was narrated by Paul Giamatti, so that was good!

This week, I've started listening to Watership Down, which is my book that I saw a stranger reading in public. I was walking to work one day, and this lovely girl that I often pass as she's walking to school (she looks like she is in about Grade 9) was full on walking up the hill with her nose stuck in the physical copy of this book. In other words, this was me when I was in Grade 9, haha. I've read Watership Down before, but I really liked it and was happy to have an excuse to read it again. I decided to go for the audio version as I'm super busy right now and figured I could work on a physical book and this at the same time. Also, my favourite genres for audiobooks are YA or fairy tale, and this checks those boxes. It's a great listen. I'm about 1/2 way through it.

Moving much more slowly is my prompt for a book set at sea Moby-Dick or, The Whale. I've been wanting to read this for a long time, and I managed to pick up a used copy at a bookstore a while ago for $4. It's interesting, but, well, as I said to Sheri in a conversation earlier in the week, I feel like the narrator puts the "dick" in Moby Dick. He's a bit of a know-it-all annoying guy, TBH. And he tends to go off on a lot of tangents. Definitely a book that's not focused on moving the plot along! However, it's a good, challenging read for me, and I'm glad I'm tackling it, at least form an academic perspective, heh. You'll be hearing about this one for weeks to come, as I'm sure it's going to take me a while to get through it.

QoTW: I have absolutely changed my reading habits since joining this group and popsugar in particular. Or rather, I've changed them back. I joined popsugar to get back to branching out across a variety of literature, but I joined this group bc (1) I love FoEs and (2) the popsugar group was too large and I find that the people there don't really talk to each other--they just make their posts. I want to have conversations about books! This thread has been good for that, particularly chats with Sheri, Susan, and Daniele. I'm all for the chat, with anyone, really!


message 3: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 914 comments Mod
Glad you enjoy the group Stephanie!

Yeah I post over in popsugar, but the number of people and posts, combined with the lack of nested comment threads makes it really hard to follow a conversation. They do happen, but a lot of times I see the conversation but can’t find the post that prompted it.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 334 comments I am currently reading a fluff romance novel, Harbor Lights. After I'm done, which should be soon, I'm going to
go back to Artemis.

I think that will be interesting because right now my husband and I are almost done watching the 3rd season of The Expanse and this is definitely in the same realm. It will be interesting to compare the two near-Earth future universes.

Then I'll be taking a look at my "want to read" list here to get some ideas. I do keep adding to that list as people here post interesting books. It seems a mostly increasing list, books get added at a faster rate than I read them and take them off.


message 5: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments I'm reading four books at the moment - I read multiples at a time because I listen to audiobooks, take my kindle with me to work and sometimes get paper books from the library if they aren't available in digital versions.

So, currently I'm listening to Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson on audio CD on my daily commute because that is the only audio version they had for that book and Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs on my nightly walks and during long chores like mowing the lawn because I can listen to that one on my phone.

I'm reading Saint's Blood by Sebastian de Castel on my kindle and The Infernal Battalion by Django Wexler at home as it is in hardback from the library.

So far, all are excellent though Saint's Blood and Infernal Battalion are a bit grim with their mains running a gauntlet of tribulations but still really good stories. Both Bands of Mourning and Silver Borne are re-reads for me - I first read the series all in book form but now I'm revisiting both series in audio and I love them. Both have serious themes and situations but also have moments of laugh out loud dialogue and proud snark.


message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 914 comments Mod
April, I really like the mercy Thompson books! :)


message 7: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments Stephanie wrote: Moving much more slowly is my prompt for a book set at sea Moby-Dick or, The Whale.

I had a college English professor who was obsessed (in a good way) with this book. He collected comic strips and newspaper clippings that referenced Moby Dick, and spent a lot of time explaining the nuances of Melville's craft to us. It gave me a much greater intellectual appreciation of the book, tho I haven't yet read it. It's definitely a treatise on All Things Whaling more than a story with a firm beginning, middle, and end. Since I'm from New England (and am a cultural anthropologist by training), I'm curious to learn about the more esoteric whaling and cultural history bits. Thankfully, my library has Moby Dick as an eBook, so I can skip around, take my time, and not have to haul a heavy paper book around :)


message 8: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments Sheri wrote: "April, I really like the mercy Thompson books! :)"

Ooh! Me too! I keep forgetting how many I've read (thankfully Goodreads keeps track of these things for me), but I think I'm up to #4 or 5. I read the first one after a glut of paranormals, so I was pretty burnt out on the genre and it didn't grab me. But, I kept reading, and now I'm quite enjoying the series. Just waiting on an ebook reserve at the library before I can dive back in.


message 9: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments Sheri wrote: "April, I really like the mercy Thompson books! :)"I love them too! And the Charles and Anna books as well.


message 10: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments Kristi wrote: "Sheri wrote: "April, I really like the mercy Thompson books! :)"

Ooh! Me too! I keep forgetting how many I've read (thankfully Goodreads keeps track of these things for me), but I think I'm up to ..."
You should try the spinoff series too, the Alpha & Omega series. I might even like them better. The Charles and Anna dynamic is great.


message 11: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments I guess I should sneak in an update before this week is up. I've unintentionally landed myself in a nonfiction binge. I'm kind of craving fiction, but I'm beholden to library deadlines at the moment.
Currently reading:
The Food of a Younger Land: The WPA's Portrait of Food in Pre-World War II America. This is a collection of WPA articles written about recipes and food-centered activities all over the country. It's alternately fascinating and terribly dry reading. The history and culture buff in me loves the peek into pre-War America, but the endless pages of recipes can get tedious.

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash. I'm only a couple of chapters into this, but loving it so far. It's one journalist's attempt to follow trash from source to disposal...with interesting detours along the way.

The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life. I love Richard Russo, and I'm in a writing slump lately, so this book is a nice slice of comfort food for my bedtime reading.

Since my local NPR station is doing pledge week, I had to scramble to find an audiobook for my work commute. Right now it's Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality. It's described as the hotel version of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. The author isn't nearly as interesting as Bourdain, but the comparison mostly holds up. I'm about a third of the way into it and liking it so far.


message 12: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 914 comments Mod
April,

It's on my list to check out, I think my library doesn't have it and I haven't found good deal on it yet. I should check my price alert to see if I have one set up for the first book.


message 13: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 54 comments Sheri wrote: "April,

It's on my list to check out, I think my library doesn't have it and I haven't found good deal on it yet. I should check my price alert to see if I have one set up for the first book."


Do you use paperbackswap.com? That's my go-to for books my library doesn't carry. Sure, I could find anything at Amazon, but PBS is cheaper and has a nice community :) (I have referral codes, if anyone is interested.)


message 14: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 914 comments Mod
I generally stick to kindle unless it’s a book I LOVE or find a really special edition of, or I have all the others in print and wish to continue. It’s a space issue, really. I’ve overflowed two 7ft tall bookshelves and it’ll be at least a year before our addition is complete and I can confer our old bedroom into a library haha.


message 15: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments Sheri wrote: "I generally stick to kindle unless it’s a book I LOVE or find a really special edition of, or I have all the others in print and wish to continue. It’s a space issue, really. I’ve overflowed two 7f..."
Sheri - I have a paperback copy of the collection of short stories where the Alpha & Omega spinoff series began. It was gifted to me though I've read it many times (the person who gave it to me didn't know that) and I'm not a fan of the other three stories in the book, the Alpha & Omega story is excellent. If you are interested, I'd be happy to send it to you for free if you promise to set it free afterward (either like a book drop or donate to the library or leave at a cafeteria kind of thing). I have shelf issues too so I tend to not purchase paper copies of books. Mostly the ones I have now are either sentimental or are special for one reason or another. Just PM me and I'll get it to you sometime soonish.


message 16: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments Kristi wrote: "I guess I should sneak in an update before this week is up. I've unintentionally landed myself in a nonfiction binge. I'm kind of craving fiction, but I'm beholden to library deadlines at the momen..."
That Heads in Beds book sounds really interesting. I'll have to see if my library has a copy. Thanks! I rarely read nonfiction mostly because I want a true escape from boring old real life! But, this one sounds like a good read. Thanks!


message 17: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 914 comments Mod
April,

So...it appears I bought books 1 & 2 of Alpha and Omega on a kindle deal in December, and then got busy and forgot to read them. XD So I guess I know what I'm reading, when I finish up the last few prompts for ATY!


message 18: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments Woot! Enjoy!


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 334 comments Thank you Kristi for your list of non-fiction. Some of those sound interesting and I often read non-fiction. Really I tend to oscillate between fiction and non-fiction periods for months. I'm starting to transition back to non-fiction soon.


message 20: by Sara (new)

Sara | 55 comments I'm not quite sure where the last of my summer went!

I've only finished one book lately - The President Is Missing. I'm not really sure why I added this to my library hold list, but I jumped from #182 to the front of the line when someone donated a copy to my local library. It was OK. Just OK. It was a super fast read with a moderately interesting story. It had the rhythm and feel of every other James Patterson book. I had low expectations going in and that was about right.

Currently I'm listening to The Lost Island. I'm 3/4 of the way through and really like it. It's an adventure story where a page from the Book of Kells is stolen and turns out to hold a treasure map. The main characters then set out to find the treasure. The story moves quickly and it's easy to listen to. I'll probably listen to more in the series if my library has them.

QOTW: Yes, my reading habits have definitely changed since finding FOE. I'm reading more and I'm reading a larger variety of books. Many of the additions to my TBR list come from this Goodreads group or book recommendation posts in the FOE FB page. I've uncovered many good books here. I really enjoy finding out what everyone else is reading and how they like it. So many books that I had no idea existed or that I wouldn't seek out otherwise!


message 21: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Klinich | 156 comments I just finished Artemis, which I chose based on so many FoE recommendations, and loved it. I am realizing I tend to like books with a dash of humor, whether it's scifi or mystery or fantasy. I definitely have expanded my science fiction and fantasy selections as a result of FoE.
I also finished a personal challenge this year, where I read a favorite series from beginning to end. I just finished the 20th Deborah Knott book Long Upon the Land. Margaret Maron writes great characters and really immerses you into her settings.


message 22: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 11 comments Kathy wrote: "I just finished Artemis, which I chose based on so many FoE recommendations, and loved it. I am realizing I tend to like books with a dash of humor, whether it's scifi or mystery or..."

I prefer my books to have humor as well - which is why so many of my favorite series' make me chuckle when I read them. Especially the audiobooks since I listen to them on my daily work commute. It is so much nicer to enjoy my time getting to and from work instead of being annoyed by traffic.


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