2015 Reading Challenge Update

2/16/2015 01:00:00 PM Lexie Dunne 1 Comments

So this year I am bound and determined to complete the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution. It’s just something different and new to try to knock me out of my comfort zone a little and broaden my reading horizon.

To keep myself honest, I’ve set up a page dedicated to my progress and I’ve been tracking books through Pinterest and Goodreads. I haven’t picked books for half the categories yet to give myself some freedom of choice. To nail myself down, though, the rules work this way: if a book changes category mid-read, that’s fine. For example, I read the entirety of The War of Art while sitting in Barnes & Noble, switching that from “Author I’ve never read before” to “Book I can finish in a day.” Once I have finished the book and determined its category, though, it’s locked in. That category is done.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

A book a friend recommended: Guards! Guards!

I kicked off with Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, as my friend Sabra has been trying to get me to try out Discworld for years and I already owned it. She’s not the first, either. Mama Dunne loves the Tiffany Aching books and a friend from high school was never far from a Pratchett book. I’ve tried to get into the series multiple times, but this is the first time it stuck. I MADE IT TO THE END. For the record, this is not easy. I enjoy Pratchett’s humor but for some reason his books trigger my mild ADD.

There were things about this book that had me in absolute stitches, and things I loved beyond all reason. Sam Vimes is a great character: the entire book is great when you just picture the escalating WTF faces he makes at the twists and turns the plot takes. The guards themselves all have some of the best dialogue I have ever read. I loved Lady Sybil and the descriptions of the various problems the dragons suffer.

Verdict: I enjoyed it and will probably return to read the rest of the Guards series.

A book your mom loves: Little Women

Every time I would mention I’d never read this book, my mom squawked at me. As hilarious as it was, I decided to bite the bullet and converted over the Gutenberg Project copy for my Kindle (nerd, party of one). How do I put this? I’m glad I read this, but it’ll be a few years before I tackle it again. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, I connected with Jo (I would love to see a modern take on this where Jo is Trans*, incidentally), though I felt like her character presented some oddities that I didn’t understand until I went and read some academic papers on the book and found out that it was basically Alcott writing a book to please her overbearing jerk of a father. She didn’t particularly like this book or others in the series: they were written to please publishers.

Boy do I understand that feeling.

Verdict: It gave me a lot to think about, but holy crap was it long.

A book set in a different country: Code Name Verity


Verdict: No strong feelings about this book at all.

A book you can finish in a day: The War of Art

I found this book in the self-improvement section of Barnes & Noble while I was stuck in Fenton the other day, waiting for my friend to get over to my area so we could watch a terrible action film (we ended up seeing Mockingjay Part I instead, and it’s okay, Code Name Verity already ripped out my heart. Otherwise Katniss’s thousand yard stare would have stomped the rest of it to pieces). War of Art pulls no punches. It is blunt to the point of rude at times, but it’s about the fight between Creativity and Resistance.

I recommend it to any and all friends pursuing any dream. It gave me a lot to think about, for sure. (The third part kind of reads like the author went out to the desert on a quest and peyote was involved, but the first two parts of the book are definitely worth reading)

Verdict: I’m glad to have read this, and it’s giving me a lot to chew on about the concept of Resistance, which is actually at work at present as I write this blog post instead of editing that troublesome bit in Chapter 5.

A book you already own but haven’t read yet: Bourne Identity

Confession: I LOVE the first Bourne movie (and The Bourne Legacy). It’s easily in my top ten (the second and third involve waaaaay too much shaky cam and fridged Marie). So the fact that it’s taken me this long to read this book is probably a travesty. That’s okay. It was a little slow going at the start, as Bourne doesn’t have his memories and is basically piecing things together. But after Marie joins him for real (let’s not even talk about her rape, okay, because I wanted to throw the book across the room), it definitely picks up both speed and in the narrative. I love the Marie of the movie, an aimless drifter who is emotionally intelligent and a good con artist, but I adore the Canadian finance officer Marie in the book.

Verdict: Enjoying it. Might reread it at some point in the future.

Books I have also completed, but not reviewed: Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle, Gravity by Tess Gerritsen, and The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead.

Categories that SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS is eligible for:

A book written by someone under 30 — I was 23 when I wrote and 29 when I handed it in for final production.
A funny book — I mean, I think it's hilarious, your mileage may vary.
A book by a female author — Trust me I am a lady. I AM A CLASSY LADY. *burps*
A popular author’s first book — Uh, this is the time travel category, I swear.
A book based entirely on its cover — Is it not the prettiest?
A book you can finish in a day — I mean, it might take you the whole day, but just commit.
A book with antonyms in the title — If people know you're a superhero, you're not exactly anonymous, are you?
A book that made you cry — Okay, it made ME cry multiple times, but that might not be what this category is going for.
A book with magic — I don't *call* it that, but c'mon, my main dude flies.
A book by an author you’ve never read before — I guarantee that unless you're my sister, Max, my parents, or my best friend, you have not read a book by me before.
A book written by an author with your same initials — Is your name Lionel Durham? Or perhaps Letitia Donovan? THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU.

* This book is such an interesting book, stylistically. It’s told with two protagonists and literally in their own words. One is writing a confession to the Gestapo as she’s being held and tortured in a prison (and the book does not shy away from this at all), and the other is writing in her flight logbook to keep herself from going crazy while in hiding. It’s a book where you’re racing to figure out what happens next and what’s truth and lie, and if Wein weren’t such a good writer, it would have felt gimmicky. I am going to have a lot of feelings about this book for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. When I no longer have small children demanding my attention, I want to do this challenge. :-) I'll have to see how many of your books qualify for the categories at that time!



Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.