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 Jobe Update, Reviews

Dystopian Futures (Turned Political Rant)

It was a strange experience to read the Divergent trilogy at the same time as watching The 100 at the same time as listening to the audiobook Cinder. All three give far-future versions of earth, and there are disturbing similarities.

Every future earth has divisions of people: people who are judged better or worse than each other, people who are categorized as equal or inferior. In the Divergent trilogy, the Erudite faction criminalizes the Abnegation faction; then the Factions faceoff with the Factionless; then people are separated into Divergent and Non-Divergent, and judged on their genetic material.

In The 100, there are people on the council and people who are not; people who are allowed to live, and people who get floated. The 100 is a group of criminal youth who get jettisoned to earth while the rest of the population is still orbiting in space. Once The 100 start getting a feel for the planet, they come up against Grounders, Reapers, and later, Mountain Men. The Mountain Men call Grounders “savages,” and the tone is very reticent of WASPy comparisons like “heathens” versus the “civilized” western folks who are bent on colonizing and erasing anyone who doesn’t share their “civilized” western culture. (That’s mainly my take on Britain and America, the colonization part isn’t in the show so much.) But even from the first episode, Octavia and Bellamy are seen as Other because they are siblings in a time when strict population control means no one is allowed to have more than one child.

In season two (the season I just finished) Clarke faces a group who seem friendly enough on the surface, but she suspects they’re hiding dark secrets. Meanwhile, the adults from the space stations are trying to treat The 100 like kids again, even though The 100 are the ones who know the most about how to live on the surface.

And then there’s Cinder. Our main character is reviled for being cyborg, or part machine. She’s also poor instead of rich, and tomboyish (mechanic with grease stains) instead of aspiring to be more princess-like (silk gowns and pearls and such). There’s a planetwide prejudice of Earthens harboring hatred for Lunars. And there’s a class difference between Cinder as a member of the kingdom and Kai (her love interest) as a member of the royalty.

If you’re interested in dystopian futures, check out this cool blog post that talks about Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and more. And, of course, watch the new Mad Max movie. Because it is fucking awesome.

So. Our modern literature and our modern media (all aimed at teens, in the above cases) teach us that difference doesn’t make us less-than, and prejudice is wrong and stupid. In fact, we’ve really been saying it since forever (in literature and media that goes way back). Judging people based on the color of their skin or the customs of their culture is ignorant, short-sighted, and only leads to suffering. It feels like Everybody should know this by now. So how the fuck do we end up with a guy like Drumpf as our president, who literally embodies everything wrong and evil and gross in our country? We The People are (supposed to be) better than this mess. I wish we’d start acting like it.


Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

February Reads in Review

Didn’t think I’d make it through one more book before the month was out but I did!

Book No. 6
My sixth finished book was Divergent by Veronica Roth. This was one of those books and then movies that was all the rage and I kept meaning to but never picked up until now. OMG I finally understand why people got so excited about it! It’s a thrilling read! The main character and her crew are brave and good, and we as readers can admire and sometimes imagine ourselves as like them. The bad guys are pretty obviously bad guys, but it doesn’t really spoil the fun. Things keep getting crazier and crazier and you’re surrounded by all-out pandemonium and insanity. I could not put this book down. I tried to make an argument against grocery shopping so that I could keep reading instead. DANG. This book was so fast-paced and I’m left with my mind reeling wondering, if this much happens in a single book, what on earth will the next two be like!? I even forgave the author for the one thing that bugged me, naming her five factions with different parts of speech: why would she make Erudite and Dauntless adjectives while the others, Amity, Candor, and Abnegation are nouns! But yeah, I got over it, because the book is that good.

Reading Challenges
And now, the reading challenges. For the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge I marked this one for No. 39, the first book in a series you haven’t read before. For the Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge this one was not an audiobook, so I remain at 2 of 10 for the Byte level (don’t worry, I do have an audiobook in process). For the Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge, this 487 pgs puts me at 2,569 pgs of 12k pgs on the Bonsai level. For My Reader’s Block Color Coded challenge this cover is multi-colored and doesn’t really fit any of the requirements so I’m still at 4 of 9 completed. This is not a re-read, so for Read It Again, Sam I’m still at 1 of 4 at the Déjà vu level. For My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) this was definitely on my tbr list for a long while, putting me at 3 of 12 for the Pike’s Peak level, and Rock My TBR challenge at 3 of 12 too. For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) I didn’t really think of this book as diverse; there are characters of different skin colors but it’s so nominal it’s hard to even remember which are the non-white characters. However, the main character is constantly facing very dangerous situations, so I’ll be interested to see if the author explores physical disability in the series. For The Book Date Full House challenge I marked this book for being on my TBR list for more than 2 years. It came out in 2011 and the movie came out in 2014, so it’s been in the back of my brain for a long while. For The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge it doesn’t count because my mom gave me my copy. For the Whatever I Think Of Memoir Bingo challenge it doesn’t count because it is not a memoir. For The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge, it doesn’t fit any of the categories so I’m still at 2 of 6 completed. Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them.


I hope your February reading and writing has been absolutely fantastic and you can’t wait to see what March brings. Write strong, Read strong.