A bookish post

Books I’ve read since last I wrote anything about books:

The Legend series by Marie Lu – #2: a “classic” romance

Boy and girl meet in dystopian society, blah blah blah. I’m not sure it’s a classic love story, but it sure feels like most books these days… I am not a fan.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – #3: a book that became a movie

High ratings on Goodreads made me do it. I skimmed through the book that is basically a fairytale, but with annoying characters. Everyone who loves the book seem to base it on the movie which I’ve come to understand is cult, but I haven’t seen the movie and I absolutely don’t want to after reading the book.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold – #4: a book published this year

Schizophrenic girl who’s not on medication goes to find dying mother and finds the love and friendships she never had. Better than expected, actually. Found the main character pretty annoying in the beginning, but she grew on me.

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta – #15: a popular author’s first book

I saved this one, knowing I’d love it, because it seems I’ve come to love everything Marchetta. I don’t know how popular Marchetta is, but she’s popular with me, so she fits into this category. A book about a teenage girl growing as a person. Perfect for a 37 year old like me. Heh.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – #18: a Pulitzer Prize-winning book

Someone said that this is a book for all those who loved Harry Potter, not because of the magic but because of the friendships. I don’t agree. How can you compare what Theo and Boris have with anything HP? Still, however much I despise Boris (because I do not like him, at all) I still enjoyed this book very much. I had planned to read something by Tartt, someday, and finding out that The Goldfinch was a Pulitzer Prize winning book was just perfect!

This is Where I Am by Karen Campbell – #20: a book at the bottom of you to read-list

Borrowed the book from my boss ab it against my will (you know when someone gives you a book and say they really want you to read it? – turns me off so bad), hated the cover which made me want to read it even less, so it lay on my nightstand for several months. Then I decided to read it because I wanted to give it back before the move, and it fit in this category too, so I read it in a couple of days. And enjoyed it. Who knew!

3 books (Rapsbaggarna, Stenhimlen, Sirila Gentlemän sökes) by Karin Brunk Holmqvist – #21: a book your mom loves

I want to modify the category somewhat, and change “mom” for “grandmother”, because I don’t think my mother has read these, but I know my grandma has. These are nice books about odd persons living in rural Skåne (the southern part of Sweden, where I live) and the lives they lead. They are quick and cute but perhaps not great literature. That’s why three of them pass under the same category. Reading one of them was what got me out of my latest reading funk, it got me going again by being nice and not leaving too much emotions behind.

Yarden by Kristian Lundberg – #26: a memoir

Not the memoir I had planned on reading, but it came my way and so I read it. A bit too poetic and hopeless for my taste. I don’t like hopeless people, they frustrate me.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan – #41: a book by an author you haven’t read before

I liked this book about a woman taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s, getting to know her and her early life in China before she emigrated to the U.S., through the story she had written down before she got sick. 

Gömstället by Mårten Sandén – #43: a book that takes place in your hometown

I read this book to my son because I needed a book about my hometown and I remembered this one being talked about a few years back. No masterpiece, for sure, and the name dropping of different places in town didn’t add anything to the story, but my son liked it and we had some nice conversations about where the kids in the book were at different points in the story.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami – #44: a book that was originally written in another language

Like all big fans of The Hunger Games, I read Battle Royale with the hopes of finding another favorite. It is obvious that Collins was inspired to write HG after reading BR, but it is also obvious that she did a far better job! In bits I really thought BR sucked because of bad language and really meaningless conversation, but I’m thankful it was written in the first place so Collins could do it better.

Turns out it was a long time since I posted anything about books I’ve read, which makes the list seem long. The thing is I am failing miserably at my Book Challenge, which was to read 52 books during a year, that also fit under different categories. I still have 15 books to read and there’s only five weeks to go before next year starts, so I’ve kind of come to terms with the fact that I won’t make it. I blame my dry spells. I’ve had two periods this year when I haven’t read anything at all, both of them stretching over five weeks, and since I usually read one book per week, that means I’ve “lost” ten books.

Now I could feel bad about this, and I do, a little, because I rarely finish anything I start when it comes to challenges – I just don’t like competing, not even with myself. So that’s bad. But on the other hand, I really gave it a try this time, and I committed for the whole year and didn’t stop trying even though I could have given up when my first dry spell hit. 2015 isn’t over yet, and I haven’t given up, even though I realize that finding books that’ll fit some of the categories will be really difficult.

What I find interesting with a reading challenge like this is that not only do I challenge myself by reading books I didn’t think I’d read, but it also shows me that having weeks of not reading tells me something about myself. I feel good when I read, but when I for some reason feel bad I don’t read at all, and that makes me feel even worse, so it gets even harder to start reading again. I often feel depressed when I don’t have a book to lean on. It’s a vicious cycle. Putting your habits in the spotlight and writing them down does make for some interesting analyzes,  so even though I probably won’t be able to finish this challenge the way I wanted, it doesn’t feel like I failed it at all.

Also, it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings, and I am quite frankly a real bad singer, so I won’t sing just yet…


About thereseastrom

A wife, mother of two, teacher and new, but firm, believer in minimalism. Trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
This entry was posted in Book Challenge 2015, books, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A bookish post

  1. Pingback: Looking back at the books – Moving forward

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