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Thread: The 2017 AW Reading Challenge! A "Pick 12" Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. #176
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    And I'm finally getting back to this. Just picked and started my Western title: The Haunted Mesa by Louis L'Amour. It was something of a random pick, though I'd been meaning to try the author for a while. I'm only one chapter in, but so far it's readable. And I have my last book, Golden Son, on deck - I just need to pick it up and start reading, but I keep getting distracted from physical books.

    Updated list:
    1. A translation. The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin. DONE
    2. A book with a color in the title.
    The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan. DONE
    3.An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever). The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, edited by John Joseph Adams.
    DONE
    4. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
    Golden Son, by Pierce Brown.
    5. A book with a non-human (animal or fantastic creature) main character.
    The Hunt for Elsewhere, by Beatrice Vine. DONE
    6. A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. DONE
    7. A book about a PoC, any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
    Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler. DONE
    8.
    A children's book (middle grade or lower). Pax, by Sarah Pennypacker. DONE
    9. Steady there, cowboy: A western. The Haunted Mesa, by Louis L'Amour. STARTED
    10. A book more than 600 pages.
    11/22/63, by Stephen King. DONE
    11. A graphic novel or comic book.
    Monster on the Hill, by Rob Harrell. DONE
    12. A book by someone who’s more famous for doing something else.
    Holy Cow, by David Duchovny. DONE
    Last edited by Brightdreamer; 06-06-2017 at 11:01 PM.
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
    - from The Daily Humorscope

  2. #177
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Finished The Aviary Gate. In conclusion, very English. Not so much of a Romance, it was more of a Historical Intrigue, sandwiched between a tale of a modern-day PhD hopeful getting over a bad affair with one of her teachers. I was expecting more of the stereotypical American romance with manly 6-packs, a feisty heroine, and their back-and-forth. Oh well, I enjoyed it. The author had a background in travel writing and historical writing, and IMO, it showed. A pleasant read even if the character's dialogue occasionally threw me out -- it was just too contemporary, and some of the characters were stereotyped -- the awesome, supportive Best Friend, for one, and the ne'er do well, cheeky sidekick of the hero. I haven't read a novel in third person omniscient for a while, and that was a minor jar, but it worked, even though at times it made the book feel like a story about a story, rather than just a story. But all in all, a pleasant surprise.


    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon) FINISHED ***
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (anywhere in Asia; Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Indonesia) (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See) FINISHED *****
    3. What you read: A book you loved as a child. (The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling)
    4. Loose ends: A book you started last year and havenít yet finished. (Cinder by Marissa Meyer)
    5. No hablo: A translation. (The King of the Fields, Isaac Bashevis Singer)
    6. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut. (Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor) FINISHED **
    7. Huh, I never knew that: A book in a new-to-you genre. (The Aviary Gate, by Katie Hickman. It's Historical Romance.) FINISHED ***
    8. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title. (Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief, an Autobiography told to Michael Oren Fitzgerald)
    9. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about. (The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, by Jack Weatherford)
    10. Godís mansion has many rooms: A book based in a religion not your own. (Harm, by Brian W. Aldiss)
    11. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1700. (Gilgamesh.) FINISHED ***
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon) FINISHED *****

  3. #178
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    I love the early chapters of the book; I was less enamored of the second half. Interested to hear what you think when you're done.
    I finished The Color Purple today. I must say, I was quite impressed. Having only seen part of the movie over 20 years ago, I thought I knew what to expect and was very happily surprised. I didn't think I would dislike the book, but it delved into a lot more issues more deeply than I expected. I thought Celie's sexuality played out in a very heartfelt way without making it what the book was about, and Albert's change of heart and redemption towards the end was heartening and believable, even if we don't get to see much of how he experienced it. The very ending was the only overdone part, I thought. I would probably read this book again at some point. There were a lot of parts I could tell where representing something very poignant, but I couldn't quite nail it down. I figure I would on a second reading.

    What was it about the second half that left you wanting? I admit I got bored with the Africa side trip, and couldn't see the relevance (especially amid all the detail) to the main story beyond the revelations about Celie's father and kids. It seems Nettie didn't need to live in Africa for 30 years for that to happen. I think it would have made a smashing book on its own. I'm open to considering that it paralleled Celie's American experience in some way, and maybe that's one of the things I'll pick up on when I read it again.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  4. #179
    figuring it all out foxesfairytales's Avatar
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    Finished my first book and started two others.

    Quote Originally Posted by foxesfairytales View Post

    [] 8. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
    Warrior: a collection of short stories by Antonica Jones (ed.) [CURRENTLY READING]

    [] 21. Loose ends: A book you started last year and havenít yet finished.
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    [] 24. Crossing the (color) lines: A book about a PoC, any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
    The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

    [] 29. Where is that, again?: A book about a place you know little about.
    A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe

    [] 31. What you will read to your grandchildren: A children's book (middle grade or lower).
    Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans

    [] 34. Wow. Nice: A book with a one-word title.
    Timekeeper by Tara Sim

    [] 36. Holy moly some authors like to use lots of words: A book whose title is more than six words long.
    The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist & the Psychic Thief by Lisa Tuttle

    [] 40. He did drone on a bit: A book more than 600 pages.
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    [X] 41. What the Greatest Generation to Post-Millennials read: A book published since 1942.
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood [5/5]

    [] 43. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut.
    Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

    [] 46. Support the home team: A book by a fellow Awer
    The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines or A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

    [] 48. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book.
    Joyride, Volume 1 by Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly [CURRENTLY READING]

  5. #180
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I got started on my Ye Olde Book Shoppe title (published before 1700): The Romance of Tristan and Iseult by M. Joseph Bedier. So far, the style feels like one of the Old Testament histories in that it's very straightforward: This person went here, then did this and afterward went there and did that. It makes sense that the Bible stories would have inspired writers when few other written works were around.

    That's another vote for The Handmaid's Tale. I think my extra credit might be to pick a book from someone else's list. It might have to be this one.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  6. #181
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Finished my Western pick. Not my cup of cocoa, to say the least...Intriguing idea, that brushed against the plot of a favorite short story ("The Ship That Turned Aside" by G. Peyton Wertenbaker, one of the most interesting takes on parallel worlds I've read), but overall squandered itself and wasted space in repetitious contemplation by the MC. There was also a whiff of white mansplaining of native culture (both whitesplaining and mansplaining - more than once, the macho male MC refers to the intelligent, respected woman leader of a native group as "honey" while dismissing her notion of leadership. And she's totally okay with her judgement being brushed aside.) I know L'Amour's a big name in Westerns; I suspect this title was a past-prime work.

    I have a paperback I need to finish before getting to my last title, but it's watching me from the top of the TBR pile. (Well, one of the piles... too many books to be read for a single pile anymore.)

    Updated list:
    1. A translation. The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin. DONE
    2. A book with a color in the title.
    The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan. DONE
    3.An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever). The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, edited by John Joseph Adams.
    DONE
    4. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
    Golden Son, by Pierce Brown. <- STARTING SOON
    5. A book with a non-human (animal or fantastic creature) main character.
    The Hunt for Elsewhere, by Beatrice Vine. DONE
    6. A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. DONE
    7. A book about a PoC, any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
    Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler. DONE
    8.
    A children's book (middle grade or lower). Pax, by Sarah Pennypacker. DONE
    9. A western. The Haunted Mesa, by Louis L'Amour.DONE
    10. A book more than 600 pages.
    11/22/63, by Stephen King. DONE
    11. A graphic novel or comic book.
    Monster on the Hill, by Rob Harrell. DONE
    12. A book by someone who’s more famous for doing something else.
    Holy Cow, by David Duchovny. DONE
    Last edited by Brightdreamer; 06-18-2017 at 04:07 AM.
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
    - from The Daily Humorscope

  7. #182
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finished THUNDERSTRUCK, my Ripped from the headlines choice. I always enjoy how author Erik Larson juxtaposes an event with some scientific advance: in this case, the Crippen murder with Marconi's work on wireless telegraphy. I wanted a little more Crippen and a little less Marconi in this book, as I felt the trial was given very short shrift. Still, an enjoyable read.

    I've decided to swap out THE CATCHER IN THE RYE for my previous No Cliff Notes this time selection. Since I can't get it in an ebook, I'll either borrow it from the library or bite the bullet and buy a hard copy.

    Next up is my Revenge of the nerds choice: ATOMIC ACCIDENTS: A HISTORY OF NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS AND DISASTERS by James Mahaffey.


    [ ] 1. Coming to a theatre near you - THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN by John Fowles (and I've never seen the movie, so I'm coming to it with no expectations)
    [ ] 2. I remember that! - A TIME TO DIE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE KURSK TRAGEDY by Robert Moore
    [ ] 3. Bits & pieces - THE YEAR'S BEST DARK FANTASY AND HORROR 2016 edited by Paula Guran
    [x] 4. What you read - BEAUTIFUL JOE by Marshall Saunders
    [x] 5. I've met them! - THE WATERWORKS by E.L. Doctorow
    [ ] 6. No Cliff Notes this time - THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
    [ ] 7. Step by step - THE BACKYARD GOAT: AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE by Sue Weaver
    [x] 8. Ripped from the headlines - THUNDERSTRUCK by Erik Larson
    [x] 9. Wow. Nice. - SNUFF by Terry Pratchett
    [ ] 10. Revenge of the nerds - ATOMIC ACCIDENTS: A HISTORY OF NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS AND DISASTERS by James Mahaffey
    [ ] 11. Better known for... BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey
    [x] 12. Gramma would have loved this - TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST by Richard Henry Dana

    ChrisP, I've been trying to remember why I wasn't crazy about the latter part of THE COLOR PURPLE but it's been so long since I've read it that I can't remember the exact reason. It might have had to do with Shug becoming "tamed," so to speak, and losing her spark in that story, or it may have been with all the stuff about the pants business. Maybe it's time to re-read it.
    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing!
    FISKUR: Releasing November 2017 from Fiery Seas!



    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  8. #183
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    I just wrapped up seven pretty insane weeks of work so haven't read much of anything but the one that was ticking down on my library loan.

    Game of Thrones - A Song of Fire and Ice
    802 pages!

    I'll update my list soon after I get back on track this week lol
    2017 Goals
    Read 50 of these books
    Finish my first book
    My blog: http://planet-fiction.com

  9. #184
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I haven't chimed in in awhile. The one I'm working on now is long (more than 500 pages) and complex. I'm hoping to get it done before we go to CA for a wedding next month, but I may have to take it with me.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  10. #185
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    Updated list (and I've technically read 12 now!) :

    02. East Meets West - Kim by Rudyard Kipling - Done!
    03. What Your Parents Read - The Andromeda Strain by Michael Chrichton
    12. Tuesdays with Balaam's Ass - Animal Farm by George Orwell - Done!
    16. Counting Your Chickens - Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Done!
    18. You Really Shouldn't Have - Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
    19. What You Read - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis - Done!
    25. No Cliff Notes This Time - 1984 by George Orwell - Done!
    31. What You Will Read to Your Grandchildren - The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - Done!
    32. Steady There Cowboy - The Virginian by Owen Wister
    34. Wow. Nice! - Frankenstein by Mary Shelly - Done!
    40. He did drone on a bit - The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams - Done!
    41. What the Greatest Generation to Post-Millenials Read - Night Watch by Terry Pratchett Done!
    45. You Also Might Like - Starship Trooper by Robert Heinlan - Done!
    49. What Everyone Else Was Reading - Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen - Done!
    53. Ye Olde Booke Shop - Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

    *****

    XX. Game of Thrones - A Song of Fire and Ice by George RR Martin - Done!
    2017 Goals
    Read 50 of these books
    Finish my first book
    My blog: http://planet-fiction.com

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