Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1st Quarter Book Report

If you recall and documented here, I am doing a Reading Challenge this year, and in the spirit of documenting and being open with my New Year's Resolutions, and not wanting to overwhelm you at the end of the year, I thought I would split my updates into quarterly reports...

So here is my 1st.

#8 A funny book

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris  

I had never read him before and it will not be the last time.  At times, laugh out loud funny and at times, heartbreakingly sad, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

#11 A book with a one word title

Motherlunge by Kristin Scott

I read this one for my book club, and it snuck up on me how much I ended up enjoying it.  It deals with some pretty serious subjects, yet retains a real sense of humor that isn't fake.

#12 A book of short stories

The Turning by Tim Winton

I can not tell you how much I loved these stories.  Characters reappear in multiple stories in wonderful ways and in the end, all the stories are woven together...  A great recommendation by a friend.

#17  A book a friend recommended

Walking Home, A Poet's Journey by Simon Armitage

Someone recommended this to me, but not who I thought, so if it was you, Thank you....

I enjoyed this adventure of a completely unprepared man attempting a hike the Penine Way in Great Britain.  The ending, however, to this day, DRIVES ME INSANE!!!  I won't spoil it for you, but GRRRRRRRRR!!!

#18  A Pulitzer Prize winning book.

Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Read about my adventure here, because I just can't go back.....

#21 A book your mom loves

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

This book robbed me of sleep.  I could not inhale it fast enough.  I now love this book about coming of age.

#26 A memoir

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

I had no clue what this book was about when I started it in mid February.  A memoir of grief.  I had a hard time with it, because her approach to grief was almost the polar opposite of mine.  I appreciated some of the information and enjoyed her writing style, but ultimately I really did not enjoy it.

#27 A book you can read in a day

The Major's Daughter by JP Francis

An enjoyable read that blends real life and fiction about a part of our U.S. history that I had no clue about.  Did you know that there was a POW camp in New Hampshire during World War II for German soldiers?  I didn't....  

#31 A book with bad reviews

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

I should start off by saying that this book was popular enough that it is now a series and I believe being adapted into a movie.  I, however, will not be continuing or seeing the movie.  It didn't start off so bad, but about half way through the book I just got tired of it.  I got tired of him telling me what Jane Austen really meant to say and of the half hearted attempt to keep it serious.  Embrace the camp if you are going there.  Take a minor character that shows up periodically and when they are not in the book have them off killing zombies--that I would of loved....  This debacle, however, I did not.

#34  A book with a love triangle

Embers by Sandor Marai

Not your traditional love triangle as most of the book is one man's soliloquy on the relationships and the moment that changed everything.  It is so richly written that you savor every word....

#40  A graphic novel

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley

I didn't get it.  Maybe I'm too old (I really hope not), but hopefully this is just one of those things that does not fall into my wheelhouse.  This challenge is meant to introduce me to styles of books and authors I had never read before and that is how I am approaching this one.  I tried it, and now I can say, "No thank you..."

#43  A book that takes place in your hometown

The FireEaters by David Almond

If you recall, I chose a book from the area I was born in England.  I wrote a review on goodreads that went like this, "Brave yet scared.  Strong yet tender.  Knowing and also a bit confused.  This book summed up a coming of age in a turbulent time. (It is set during the Cuban Missile crisis)"  My only complaint with this book is that it took me almost half the book to get used to the Keely Bay slang, but it would not be as authentic if the author had changed the language, so it is a complaint I can live with.

#44  A book originally written in another language

Night by Elie Wiesel

If you are like I was I and have not read this book, please go find it immediately and read it now.

It is heartbreaking and hard to read at times, not due to poor writing, but the content, but in the end it is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.  As soon as I have reading time, I am going to read the entire trilogy.

#46  A book written by an author with your initials

Lost Laysen by Margaret Mitchell

This novella was written when Margaret was just 18 and you can tell.....  It was not bad, but it did not have her maturity shown in Gone With the Wind.  The accompanying information that was included in the version I read about Ms. Mitchell's life was far more interesting than the actual story.  

#48  A banned book

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

This was actually the first book I read in starting this challenge.  It is an interesting read, especially with everything going on with women's reproductive rights going on now.  It will offend some, but I found it a fascinating and well written book.

#49  A book turned into a TV show

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

This has actually been turned into a movie, as well, that I have seen and enjoyed.   And for the first time, I prefer the movie.  I have not seen the TV show, so I can't give an opinion about it.  In the book,  I really did not like a lot of the characters that I found charming in the movie.  It became really weird when some of the dialogue in the movie is a direct quote from the book, yet one of the major plot lines is changed.  I had never read Nick Hornby before and I'm going to read another of his books before I form an opinion about his writing...

As you can see, I am a bit ahead of schedule.  The plan was to read a book a week, and by the end of March, my total should of been 12 and I'm at 16.  I had some weeks that I did not read at all, and others where I would read 3 books on the list.

My next update, at the end of June, is going to be a bit different.  Instead of waiting at the end of the quarter and writing from memory and losing my immediate reaction, I am going to have an unpublished post that I update as I finish a book.  The result of this will be that the numbers will not be in order, I hope it will be ok.....

I hope you've enjoyed a good book lately...

1 comment:

  1. An honorable challenge bravely met. Interesting.


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