Book Challenge by Erin 7.0

I've been wanting to join Erin's book challenge for a while, and am really excited to catch it this time. I love this challenge because it makes me pick some books that are not my usual genre. I have less time to read now that I'm back at work, but the challenge is pretty relaxed and I'm going to do my best. 


Rules:

·     First and foremost, have fun. Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.


·     The challenge will run from JULY 1, 2017 to OCTOBER 31, 2017. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on October 31 will count.  (We live in different time zones – follow this according to your own time zone.)


·     Each book must be at least 200 pages long.   Audio books are fine too.


·     A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book, or change the book you originally chose, no worries. 

·      You can read your books in any order you choose.

·      Rereads can be used only once.  If a book you love fits into a category, go ahead and visit it again. Read it in its entirety.  But, only do this once for the challenge.

·     There will be a photo album for each category with links to books chosen.  Please comment on the photo for each of your books when you finish reading them.  A comment can include a review, a rating, a recommendation…other readers want to hear what you thought of your choice.  (if you need help with this, let me know…or there is a file attached to our group explaining what to do.)

·     There will be 10 book categories with a possibility of earning 200 points.   That’s 10 books in four months.  For some of you, this will be a BIG challenge; for others it will be easy peasy.  It’s all for fun, remember!

·      Book categories will be posted June 1st to give you time to gather books in preparation. 

·     After the categories are posted, please post a preliminary list with books of your choice according to their categories on the facebook group page by June 15th (if possible).  If you need help with a particular category or want a book suggestion, we as a community of reading enthusiasts can help each other.  (Late entries will still be accepted.)

·     The first three people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge. The following will get a small prize from me (1st to complete 1st round; 1st to complete both rounds; most points accumulated; and WILD CARD random draw – all who finish the 10 book challenge will qualify as an entry)!  Plus, everyone who completes the challenge will gets all sorts of recognition and support!

·    Lastly, have fun.  Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.  Wait, I’ve read that somewhere before…Good luck!

My picks:

· 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I've heard so many good things about this one and can't wait to read it.

· 10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Same here - I've heard lots of good things and I am excited to get into it. I haven't read anything from this author before and have several of his books on my TBR list.

· 10 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover
Slade House by David Mitchell
I haven't read a ghost story in a long time so this is unusual for me. I'm excited/scared.

· 15 points: Read a book that has a picture of an animal on the cover
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
I admit half the reason I want to read this one is because the author has an amazing name, but the story sounds fascinating, as well.

· 20 points: Read a book that was published in 2017
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I love books with a little bit of fairy tale and mythology in them.

· 20 points: Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title
East by Edith Pattou
This sounds very similar to Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, which I really enjoyed. I guess I love stories about anthropomorphic polar bears.

· 25 points: The ALA’s “Banned Books Week” occurs while our challenge is happening. Read a book from this list of the most commonly banned books in America: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_most_commonly_challenged…
Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
I've never read a Chuck Palahnuik book so this will be different for me. I'm a fan of the movie, but not sure if I'll like Palahnuik's writing.

· 30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
I loved this movie and I hope I love the book as much or more.

· 30 points: Read a book with a non-human main character; i.e. animals, elves, gods, robots, merpeople, etc..
Watership Down by Richard Adams
I read this when I was a teenager and it was one of my favorite books. It's a reread for me but it's been so long, I barely remember what happens.

· 35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
I wanted to reread Cinder since I wasn't a huge fan for the first time and thought I'd give it another try, but I'm already doing one reread for the challenge, so I'm trying something new. It was hard to find a Disney-related book over 200 pages. I love Beauty and the Beast, which is why this ended up being my pick. Let's see how it goes.

I'm excited for this challenge and need to start gathering my books once we're closer to July. Are you thinking of joining Erin's challenge?

What I've Been Reading

I have been in a reading hiatus for a week or two because some weeks I just want to watch Big Little Lies, Westworld, AND American Gods. I'm caught up on all of them. Those are the only shows I've watched, lately. Also, I just started a new job this week, so bye bye TV time. I did a lot of reading before my reading break.



Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris - 3.5 stars

This was a decent thriller featuring a fairly messed up character. I liked it, although sometimes I get tired of crazy husbands/stalkers/male characters. I think I've read enough 'woman must get away from bad guy' books for now and need a break 'cause it makes me want to berate everyone in the book.

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown - 3.5 stars

I have never read a book by Sandra Brown and I was surprised by how much romance there was right in the middle of the mystery. I did enjoy it and it was a good mystery/thriller.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - 4 stars

I liked the format of this book; it skipped between characters but you never got too far into one character that you felt tugged away from them when it switched to another, and they were bound together in the same scenario. There was one character which obviously I did not enjoy reading as much - if you've read it, you'll know which one.

I had never read about this tragedy before and it's shocking. The author did a good job describing it in a fictional story. It made me feel upset and horrified and it's an indescribably sad event. The characters were very easy to want to follow along with and I was hoping the whole way that things would somehow go well for them. I will not spoil whether they did or not.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskins - 2 stars

I'd always wanted to read this and thought I would like it, but it wasn't for me. There were red herrings and lots of characters. I couldn't keep up with who was who and didn't get attached to any of them. I used to love Agatha Christie when I was in school but this style of mystery didn't grab me.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente - 4 stars

This was a fun traipse around Fairyland. Every part was imaginative, and the ending was perfect. It was a little slow for me in the beginning, but I got into it in the second half and the ending sealed it. There's another book or two after this I would not mind checking out.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah - 4 stars

I didn't know much about Trevor Noah going into this (apart from that he hosts The Daily Show), and it was a fascinating read for me. There are lots of stories about apartheid, his mother, and growing up - almost nothing about his career, and the stories are entertaining and heartbreaking. I recommend it even if you don't know much about him, yet.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - 4 stars

This was an easy read - it read a little like a YA Me Before You style book, but I enjoyed it more. I'm not sure if I felt that one part of it was totally necessary - I can accept it since it wasn't really a heavy read before getting to that part, which made it a little more twisty. The drawings and things in between were cute, although a little distracting. Overall, it didn't make me feel all fangirly over it, which is okay, because I'm not exactly the target audience.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - 4 stars

A book for book lovers - reminds me of everything I love about reading. It also has a great story and sweet characters and was easy to pick up even when I was sort of in a book funk.
Currently reading:

I'm linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books. You can find me right here on Goodreads.

Currently... May


Eating:
This pizza we Frankenstein'd together using a Minimalist Baker recipe. We used her vegan pesto breadsticks recipe with Publix pizza dough and actual parmesan because we were out of nutritional yeast, and we added some crumbled tofu with olive oil and seasonings on top. I think I could eat this pizza every day of the week.

Reading:
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I don't watch the Daily Show regularly, but he is smart and funny and the book is about his childhood growing up in South Africa during apartheid. It is disturbing reading about apartheid, but it's also from his childhood memories and he has some great stories.


Also, if you haven't added me on Goodreads yet, please do so I can stalk you. I am in a Goodreads stalking mood.

Wearing:
Just kidding. I don't buy clothes anymore. I bought myself some Old Navy shorts and those are on rotation all summer. I bought Ellie some leg warmers from Amazon so that she can crawl around without getting carpet burn. I like them because they are big enough that she should be able to wear them for a long time and snug enough on her legs not to fall off.

That is also a TARDIS cloth diaper we got from The Fluffy Penguin Company since I am trying to get back on track with cloth diapering part time. The cuter they are, the more likely I am to continue using them. Same rule applies to gym clothes.

Watching:
I still don't watch TV much, but we started Game of Thrones from the beginning last night, so I hope we can continue that. I forgot almost everything that happened in the first episode. It is extremely sad seeing the Starks so happy before all the shit went down.

Tyrion remains my favorite character.

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend! We are filling ours with Chick-Fil-A and hopefully a bookstore visit, because I can never get enough books even though I am backed up with my library holds.