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

purch
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 50bookpledge.ca.

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,

Jobe

 

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Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

March Reads in Review

cinder-by-marissa-meyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

This book, which I experienced via audiobook, led me in several directions. For the first full disk (1 of 8) I didn’t like the writing style or the voice acting. I thought it was subpar, and I wasn’t sure if the book would be worth my time to finish. Somewhere in the second disk, I either stopped being so judgy, or the book hit its stride, or both. By disk 5 I was loving it, the writing and the voice acting. (Especially all the accents in a particular scene with people from different parts of the world.) Disk 8 ended too soon. I did not think of this book as having a “twist” ending (as some have said) because I thought the turns of the book were fairly predictable. I liked the new spin on the old tale, and the author did a good job breathing new innovation into a well-worn story. But the book only works as the first of a series (which it is) because the book as a stand-alone does not resolve any of the major story line issues, and I think that it should. I can’t even think of this as a cliff-hanger ending, because we have enough information, we just haven’t arrived to the scenes that (imho) should have been contained in this first book. So! I had really mixed feelings. At the beginning I didn’t know if I’d like it, by the end I liked it but didn’t feel like the author had given us enough to finish the book out. Which makes me unsure if I want to read the rest of the series, because I don’t want to be made to feel like I have to keep reading to learn anything new, especially when the big payoffs aren’t worth the wait.

One of the reasons I chose this book was because I’ve been seeing it everywhere, so I know it’s one of those YA novels that “everyone” is reading. The other reason I picked it is because the March Diversity mini reading challenge was to read a book by or about someone differently-abled. (My first thought was to pick up a memoir by Peter Dinklage, most recently known for his role as Tyrion Lannister, but alas, he hasn’t written anything.) In Meyer’s book, Cinder is a “cyborg,” a human whose life was rescued by surgeries and the use of synthetic metal parts in place of the organic ones that were too badly damaged to fix. Though she had no choice in the matter, and didn’t do anything wrong to deserve it, becoming a cyborg puts her in a lower class than regular humans. She is looked down on and treated poorly, and it was easy to imagine her as a regular teen in the real world with prosthetic limbs trying to make her way through physical and social difficulties. If I were a person with prosthetic limbs or had a child with issues similar to Cinder, I could see reading this book as encouraging, because they are certainly an under-represented group in contemporary fiction (or cannon literature at all) and Cinder is a strong character who’s will overcomes her physical disadvantages and situational predicaments. She also demonstrates that such a person can, of course, be attractive, intelligent, useful, resourceful, and so on. There’s a scene where Cinder doesn’t have her prosthetic foot and she has to walk all the way home on crutches. This scene is powerful because it shows how excruciating life can be, and yet how determination can rise to meet it. In these ways, Cinder is an admirable representation of a differently-abled protagonist.

cinder-and-kaiOne final note: when I was looking for art related to this book, I found this post from Maggie’s Towering Pile of Books. I really appreciated the Asian representation in this fan-made image. Meyer doesn’t go to great lengths to mention if her characters have Asiatic features or not (if she says so, I missed it), only saying that they live in that part of the world (New Beijing) in a far-future where I imagined the crowds as all mixed up as far as heritage goes. If this book becomes a movie made in good ole Hollywood, it’d be really cool to see some Asian-American actors and actresses in the main roles. (And now I’m also wondering how the lunars would be portrayed?)

Reading Challenges
Here are the reading challenge updates:

#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Thanks for reading.
Love,

Jobe