2017 Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge Log

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popsugar-logo-pink The main list is 40 prompts long. Most participants read one book for each prompt but the challenge is up to each individual so some people will use the same book to fulfill multiple prompts.

1. A book recommended by a librarian
2. A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook
5. A book by a person of color
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espionage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read
13. A book by or about a person who has a disability
14. A book involving travel
15. A book with a subtitle
16. A book that’s published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you’ve read before that never fails to make you smile
19. A book about food
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steam punk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited
27. A book with a title that’s a character’s name
28. A novel set during wartime
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel
36. A book written by someone you admire
37. A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven’t read before
40. A book you bought on a trip

For those who want to try to read 52 books in the year, there is an advanced category with an additional 12 prompts.

Advanced
1. A book recommended by an author you love
2. A bestseller from 2016
3. A book with a family member term in the title
4. A book that takes place over a character’s life span
5. A book about an immigrant or refugee
6. A book from a genre/subgenre you’ve never heard of
7. A book with an eccentric character
8. A book that’s more than 800 pages
9. A book you got from a used book sale
10. A book that’s been mentioned in another book
11. A book about a difficult topic
12. A book based on mythology

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To Count or Not To Count

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I’ve seen a few different blog posts and articles over the past few days that question whether or not one should set a yearly reading goal  so I thought I’d weigh in with my two cents. Or maybe four cents depending on how long-winded I decide to be.

I admit it, I’m a big fan of Goodreads. I’ve been a member since 2007 and I have shelved every book I’ve read since then by the year I read it. I’ve also participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge every year since 2012 by setting a goal of how many books I want to try to read. I also participate in other reading challenges such as the Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge which sets out parameters for books to read. For example, in the 2017 Popsugar challenge, I am supposed to read a book with a red spine, listen to an audiobook, and read a book written by more than one author, among other things.

My goals vary from year to year and sometimes I even change them throughout the year. Some years, if I’m particularly busy or going through a depression that causes me to be unable to focus on reading, I read far fewer books than in other years. If Goodreads lets me know that I’m behind in my goal reading, I don’t let it bother me. If I catch up, great. If I don’t, maybe I need to lower my goal.

In 2016 my original goal was 100 books. I haven’t read that many books in the past couple of years and I wanted to read more this year. When I hit 100 books, I upped my goal. No stress. Some books I read in a day or two. Some books I read in a week. Some books I’ve started months ago and not finished yet. I’ll pick them back up later. Reading is my relief from stress not a source of stress!

I’m sure there are other people out there who feel pressured by the goal but for me it’s just fun for myself. Sure, I can always use how many books I’ve read in a meeting where we’re forced to tell some ice breaking fact about ourselves and, yes, it’s always fun to see the look on people’s faces when I say I’ve read 317 books so far this year, but the fact is, I read for my own personal enjoyment so I track what I read for my own personal enjoyment too.

I also don’t stress out about the length of the books I read or the seriousness of the topic or whether or not I read only classics or great literature. I read mass market paperbacks and I’m proud of it! I even occasionally buy books at the grocery store or the drug store. (I’ll post more on book snobs at a later date.)

I like to try to read more this year than I read last year. I like to read a variety of different genres. I like to read about different topics, people, events. I just flat-out like to read. I read paperback books, hardback books, and e-books. I read YA books, kids books, adult books, novels, anthologies, short stories, books published by major publishing houses, and self published kindle books. I read good books, average books, amazing books, terrible books, and books I don’t finish (because life is too short to read a book you hate).

If setting a goal stresses you out and making reading less enjoyable for you, don’t set a goal. But if you can set a goal and have fun with it, do it. Just read!

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Cindy has
completed her goal of reading
300 books in
2016!
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Gone Girl

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Read Jan 4, 2013 – Apr 1, 2013
One Star
DNF

 

I want to love this book. Everyone I know that has read this book loves it. I however, cannot get through it to save my life.

 

I just don’t like either of the main characters. Therefore, I don’t really care what happens to either of them.

 

In the beginning of the story, I was hooked. It was exciting. Kind of like the relationship between the main characters. (I can’t even remember their names right now and I was just reading this a few days ago) Anyway, it was exciting, like their relationship was. Then, it died. Again, like their relationship.

 

The husband gripes and complains and resents the wife and then the wife gripes and complains and resents the husband and in the end, I just end up resenting them both.

 

I’ve read it about halfway through and I do hope to pick it up one day and finish it… but, it won’t be any time soon.

 

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Push by Sapphire

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Push by Sapphire


I had only two words to say when I finished this book at four this morning… holy crap! (Okay, so those aren’t exactly the two words that I said but one of my most loyal blog followers is only 10 so edited myself a tad bit. Hi, Erik!)


Clarieece Precious Jones was only 12 years old when she gave birth to her first child.


At 16, Precious, she hates to be called Clarieece, is still in middle school and pregnant with her second child. Despite the fact that she can’t read, she goes to school every day and gets decent grades. Math is her favorite class. She’s been held back a few times but eventually the teachers pass her on to the next grade. But now, she is suspended from school for being pregnant.


Precious is an extremely lonely girl. She has been raised to believe that she is nothing. She has endured horrific abuse at the hands of both of her parents. She has no friends, no family to care for her, no one to love her. Sometimes she prays that she won’t wake up in the morning.


After being kicked out of school, she is accepted into an alternative pre-GED program where she finally has the courage to tell her teacher that every page in the book looks the same. Under the guidance of a caring teacher and the friendship of the other troubled girls in her class, Precious begins a difficult journey to freedom, as fleeting as it may be.


I bought this book a few years ago, right after the movie was released. And in that time it has lived on the bookcase in my bedroom. Every time I go to the shelf to pick a new book I passed over this one, the red spine staring out at me. So, when I had to choose a book that started with the letter P for my April reading challenge, I decided that I would finally get around to reading Push.


Last night, or this morning since it was 2am, I was getting ready for bed, and I decided to read the first few pages to see how I liked it. Big mistake.


Two hours later I was finished, it was 4am, and I was wide awake thinking about what I had just read.


Push is horrifying and amazing, heartbreaking and hopeful, all at the same time. Sapphire allows Precious to tell her own story, in her own words. As I read, I found that I was hearing the voice of Precious telling me the story. I forgot that Sapphire existed. I forgot that Precious was a figment of her imagination; that the entire story was make-believe. To me, that is the mark of an excellent story-teller.


At less than 200 pages, it’s a fast read, even for people who don’t read quite as quickly as I do. *wink*


It isn’t an easy story to read simply due to the subject matter. And it’s certainly not a happy story. Precious endures horrific abuse which made my heart hurt for her as I read. I will admit that I cried once or twice. But in the end, it was worth it.


Before reading the book I did want to see the movie. And while I can typically separate books from their cinematic counterparts, I’m not sure I want to see it anymore. Not just because of the abuse and violence that must be depicted in the film, but because I’m just not sure that a film could do the simplicity of the book the justice that it deserves.


5 stars