So easy: everything I read qualifies. But this is all about numbers. I pledged to read a hundred and one books. I am up to seventeen.
Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014:
I nominated books for this when I signed up. Do you think it is cheating to change them if it means I can say I have read more? I'm a purist, so at only halfway, I am saying no. Closer to the end of the year I may change that—The Handmaid's Tale is a Governor General and Authur C Clark Award winner after all! Puristically though, I have read one book in this challenge: Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door.
Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge 2014 (SCSBC14):
5 Points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long—Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire (372 pages, 4 stars)
20 Points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014—Divergent, Veronica Roth (487 pages, 5 stars)
Around The World in Twelve Books Challenge:
I am forty-two per cent of the way through book one. Do I make that sound impressive? See the bar for how un-impressive that is. I am currently reading Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor, set in Nigeria. Short stories. Magical realism. More about that when I finish.
Tournament of Books (ToB):
Mmm. This is all about newish books: all the books in the tournament are selected from those published in 2013. I only own one at the minute but because it is a real book and my pile is a teetering injury risk, I am popping off right now to buy an e-book so I can start working this list. Okay, I am back from my shopping expedition. I chose via the lowest common denominator—money. Is that awful? I am trying to buy a book room with a house attached to it remember! Next on my TBR e-book pile is Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things.
While I have you (because face it, if you are still reading then you may have a little bit of an interest in books), and (can you tell I am hurt by the fact my best friend won't read blogs I write about books), but while I have you, here is a tweet-sized run down of what I have finished lately. All in one place. Concise. Quick.
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters; Mark Dunn; 4 stars
Ultimate fun equals playing with language. Epistolary novel that literally loses a letter each time a tile falls from the statue of Nevin Nollop, author of 'The quick brown fox jumps over the laxy dog'. Until someone makes a new pangram.
Airframe; Michael Crichton; 4 stars
Politics, espionage and capitalistic greed don't make good partners with airplane maintenance and media representation for the average passenger. Don't read before flying.
Highland Surrender; Tracy Brogan; 3 stars
Typical girl's-brothers-make-her-marry-a-boy-from-warring-clan, girl-hates-boy, boy-is-perplexed-because-he's-basically-nice-despite-his-clan-alliances, girl-comes-round, brothers-get-it-in-the-end. Don't usually read them. Didn't mind it.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Gregory Maguire; 4 stars
Recycle, upcycle, refashion, retell. Cinderella rewritten from a stepsister's p.o.v. Explores what beauty means. Timely in a society where it means 'selfie'.
23 Shades of Black; KJA Wishnia; 4 stars
Female, Latina. It's a struggle being a cop in NYC. But at least your author makes you appear both vunerable and superhuman. Punk, art, toxic waste skew the crime genre norm, but not believably.
Divergent; Veronica Roth; 5 stars
Can't help picturing Jennifer Lawrence. Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. To see the ideal in human traits is to ignore their downfalls. It's sure to fall apart. Loved it despite its issues—see a literary criticism class near to you for further.
Case Histories; Kate Atkinson; 4 stars
Flawed but charming detective; check. Multiple interwoven plots and intrigues; check. Quiet, small, powerful writing packed into character filled vignettes; not expecting that. New favourite author. One of.
The Handmaid's Tale; Margaret Atwood; 5 stars
Dystopia without fight scenes that require special effects budget and stuntmen. Explores both the frivolity of human nature in the late twentieth century, and our right to have it.
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