Posted in Jobe Update, Reading Challenge, Reviews

Reading Challenges Progress Report

With the end of June our 2017 reading year is officially half over! I’ve read 18 books so far this year, with piles of TBR and just bought stacking up everywhere (of course).

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge Full List

No. 4 An audiobook Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
No. 10 cat on cover Abarat by Clive Barker
No. 11 pseudonym The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey
No. 15 subtitle Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker (Abarat book 2)
No. 17 mythical creature Tithe by Holly Black
No. 39 first book in series you haven’t read yet Divergent by Veronica Roth
No. 35 set in a hotel Lost Girls by Alan Moore, illustrated by Melinda Gebbie
No. 29 unreliable narrator Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book 7)
No. 28 a novel set during war time Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent book 2)
No. 13 a book by or about a person who has a disability Cinder by Marissa Meyer
No. 14 a book involving travel Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent book 3)
No. 47 a book with an eccentric character Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book 8)
No. 51 a book about a difficult topic Autonomy and Rigid Character by David Shapiro
No. 17 mythical creature White Night (Dresden Files book 9)
No. 46 genre you’ve never heard of (“men’s adventure”) The Destroyer #46: Next of Kin by Warren Murphy
No. 16 book published in 2017 Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
No. 27 a book with a title that’s a character’s name Ash by Malinda Lo
No. 52 a book based on mythology Small Favor by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book 10)


Challenge Completed Status
PopSugar 18 45% main
35% advanced
Audiobooks 7 70% Byte
28% Megabyte
Pages 6,920 58% Bonsai
29% Shrub
Colors 9 of 9 100% completed!
Reread 2 50% Déjà Vu
25% Feeling Nostalgic
TBR 6 50% Pike’s Peak
25% Mount Blanc
Rock My TBR 6 50% completed
Diversity 6 50% completed
Full House 18 72% completed
Books You Buy 8 35% Making Inroads
Memoirs 0 of 25 Dropping out
What’s in a Name 3 50% completed

Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobooks 7 books
Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read 6,920 pgs

My Reader’s Block Colors & Read it again, Sam Colors Challenge is completed. 2 of my books count as re-reads.
My Reader’s Block TBR Pile 6 books, half way to Pike’s Peak.

The YA Book Traveler Rock My TBR #ROCKMYTBR   6 books

Diverse Reads from Read Sleep Repeat and Chasing Faerytales #DiverseReads2017   6 of 12, right on schedule.

Book Date Full House 18 of 25

Non Fiction On TBR for 2+ years: Divergent by Veronica Roth More than 500 pages: Allegiant by Veronica Roth Page Turner: The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey Middle Grade book: Ash by Malinda Lo
2017 published: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan Published pre 2000: Autonomy and Rigid Character by David Shapiro UK/European author: Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker Back List book from fav author: White Night by Jim Butcher book 9 Dresden Files Book from a list: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Award Winner: Abarat by Clive Barker Books about books Size word in title: Small Favor by Jim Butcher book 10 Dresden Files Two Word Title: Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher book 8 Dresden Files Debut book: Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Food on cover or title Cozy Mystery: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, book 7 in the Dresden Files Book from childhood Diversity book: Lost Girls by Alan Moore, illustrated by Melinda Gebbie Australian/NZ author
Western USA/Canadian author: Insurgent by Veronica Roth Not really for you: The Destroyer #46 Next of Kin by Warren Murphy Attractive cover: Tithe by Holly Black Borrowed

Book Date Read What You Buy 8 of 23 or 35%, which keeps me in the Making Inroads category. This is the hardest challenge to make progress on because I can’t stop buying books, so even when I’m reading books I’ve bought I’m still just keeping afloat in the lowest categories. I decided that if I buy a book after I’ve read it—but in the same year—then I can count it as bought and read. That’s fair, right? Possibly the most fun aside from buying the books and reading them has been organizing all my purchases with a shelf on

The Cutest Blog on the Block Memoirs ZERO! I agreed that if I hadn’t read any memoirs by the midway point then I would drop this challenge. Sad to say goodbye but I wasn’t doing it justice. Memoirs just wasn’t in the cards for me this year.

The Worm Hole What’s In a Name #whatsinaname2017   3 of 6
Halfway through the year and halfway through the challenge. Pretty good since I have yet to choose a title based on one of these categories specifically (which I imagine I will have to do before the year is up.) Are you having better luck than I am?

Readers Forever,



Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

April, May reads in review

The diversity challenge for the month of April was “mental health,” and though it took me a little into May to finish it, I’m counting it for April. I chose a book that had been recommended by many friends in my Facebook group for OCPD, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. The easiest oversimplication for OCPD I could come up with that gives people a good general starting point is, “It’s like OCD, except I think I’m right about everything.” Of course it’s (much) more complicated than that, and if you’re interested in learning more about it, you should check out my friend Darryl’s youtube channel on the subject.

The book I chose was Autonomy and Rigid Character by David Shapiro. The first thing I would say about this book is that it is very “science-y.” If you’re looking for an easy read, this slim volume is not it. Shapiro writes as a scientist, presumably to other scientists. There’s no dumbing it down for the masses. I’m pretty smart, and I encountered several instances where I needed to go over a single sentence more than once to catch its meaning. I also read parts of the book aloud, which seemed to increase my reading comprehension for difficult sections. Another way this book differs from some of the softer science feel-good books popular today (and I enjoy those too, don’t get me wrong) is that it doesn’t really buffer or bracket the ideas presented. By that I mean, they are sectioned, but there isn’t really an introduction chapter, and there’s definitely no closing to review. The section ends a particular subject and without warning, the book is over, just like that.

I chose this book because I suspected some of its content might resonate for me, but there’s plenty in it that would be useful to anyone interested in trying to understand different kinds of people and different ways of thinking.

So here’s the basic premise. “The rigid person, it appears, continues to emulate and to identify himself with images of superior authority derived from the child’s image of the superior authority of the adult… The aims and purposes that rigid individuals impose on themselves, and live under (‘I should accomplish more.’ ‘I should move.’) have precisely the character of established authoritative rules or imperatives” (74, 75-76).

People with OCPD have experienced a very strong authority figure in childhood, and as adults police themselves with a strong sense of “should.” What they should or shouldn’t want, what they should or shouldn’t do. This concept also extends to how others should or shouldn’t act, though what is “just common courtesy” to one person might be an arbitrary determination for another. In the Facebook group, for example, we had a discussion about how late is too late to call another person’s phone, and while we all agreed that there was a certain lateness after which it was definitely rude, the specific time could not be agreed upon. People with OCPD take the way they were raised, and the ways they’ve determined as the best ways, and treat these somewhat arbitrary methods as the only right way to do things. You can see how this might lead to conflict with others.

“Duties and responsibilities, values that the compulsive individual imposes on himself, values whose authority he regards as superior to his own… They have, therefore, the status of rules and regulations… His awareness of such duties and responsibilities is to one degree or another oppressive, and this oppresive tension gives rise to a special kind of motivation, the motivation to seek relief… The urgent tone typical of these declarations, their language of will and resolve…They are reminders of duty—directives, admonitions, or reproaches in the manner of a superior addressing a subordinate… The experience of ‘I should’ is oppresive” (80-81).

Shapiro goes on to explain that ritual action, “is not aimed at altering the relationship of the individual to his environment” but is instead is aimed “at achieving peace of mind, merely by the performance of the act itself” (97). So ritual actions are actions that we feel compelled to complete. Adjusting objects slightly askew, checking that the door is locked several times, and so on. “These concerns and procedures are driven by a conscientiousness that will not be lastingly satisfied” so rituals end up being condensed “for the sake of economy,” which is why, “rituals frequently involve doing something a perscribed number of times, obviating the threat of an indefinite progression” (99).

I found all that insight extremely interesting! There’s a lot more in this book that others may find interesting: discussions of sadism and masochism both inside and outside the bedroom; a case study from around 1900 where a man feared he was being “turned into” a woman; and an explanation of paranoid thinking. So if you’re looking for a highly scientific exploration of thought processes, this might be the book for you. I’m definitely curious to pick up another of Shapiro’s volumes.



Reading Challenges
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