"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge - Completed!

I stumbled across the Popsugar Reading Challenge last year and thought that it looked like a fun way to read some things I might not otherwise seek out. I didn't really plan ahead too much, filling in categories with books I was reading anyway, but also keeping these categories in mind. Toward the end of the year, though, I took a good look at the categories that were left and found books on my shelves I hadn't read before and did some serious googling to find titles for a couple of the categories that weren't easily identifiable (like a book set in my home town or a book published the year I was born). I completed it and was pretty happy with the variety of books I read because of it.

Here are the categories and the books I read to fulfill them:

A book with more than 500 pages: The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination by Sandra M. Gilbert & Susan Gubar - I was wokring on this for a paper I'm writing and this gave me additional impetus to finish it.
A classic romance: Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte - I wasn't entirely sure what "classic romance" was, but I found some GoodReads chats where people were discussing what they read for this category. I'd had this book sitting on my eReader and kept meaning to get to it, and I'm so glad this challenge made me read it now because I fell in love with Anne Bronte's books.
A book that became a movie: Coraline by Neil Gaiman - I haven't seen the movie yet, I'd been putting it off until after I read the book, and now I can watch it. I'm curious as to how they adapted this dark fairy tale.
A book published this year: The Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester - I had quite a few I could have picked for this category, but I really enjoyed this book, so it made the list.
A book with a number in the title: 3:16 The Numbers of Hope by Max Lucado - Another book that had been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it. I'm a fan of Lucado's style.
A book written by someone under 30: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab - This category was hard to track down because most authors don't advertise their age. I basically looked at books I read and started googling authors that I knew were younger until I found one with an age listed.
A book with nonhuman characters: Squish: Brave New World by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm - Only the Holms could write such an engaging book about an amoeba. I love their writing style!
A funny book: Not That It Matters by A.A. Milne - I love Milne's work, especially his humorous essays, so when I discovered a stack of them at the library where I work I felt like I'd hit the mother lode. These are all just so fantastic.
A book by a female author: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George - I was a little annoyed at this category, like reading a book by a woman was a big deal or something. Pretty much just picked one of the many, many books written by a female author that I read but didn't use in any of the other categories. Also wanted to highlight this series because adorableness abounds and you should read it.
A mystery or thriller: The Third Twin by CJ Omololu - Didn't read too many mysteries or thrillers this year, but when Omololu held a Twitter chat to promote this book and the chat was really fun and engaging and the book sounded intriguing I decided to check it out. Interesting twist on the twins switching places trope.
A book with a one-word title: Landline by Rainbow Rowell - Enjoyed it, but this is probably my least favorite of Rowell's books.
A book of short stories: A Medicine for Melancholy by Ray Bradbury - Bradbury's short fiction has its ups and downs for me. I really enjoy some of it and others, well, not so much. But I'm not a fan of short stories, so I was glad to find one that I found pretty entertaining.
A book set in a different country: The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman - This was a cute book set in England.
A nonfiction book: The Word of God and the Word of Man by Karl Barth - I stumbled across this while fielding a research question and became intrigued. Really liked this series of essays.
A popular author’s first book: The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett - This was both his first book and not his first book as it was an edited and expanded version of his first book, but I counted it because it was so cute.
A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet: The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale - So very glad I got to this one. I loved this book a lot.
A book a friend recommended: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel - My sister really liked this book, so I was excited to read it. Also, Jon Klassen's illustrations are spot on as always.
A Pulitzer prize winning book: March by Geraldine Brooks - This has been on my TBR list for ages, so I was glad to have a reason to finally get to it. It wasn't a favorite, but it was interesting.
A book based on a true story: The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi - Picked this one up on audio from my local library. I found it a lot more intriguing and interesting than I anticipated.
A book at the bottom of your to-read list: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne - I read this as part of my through the alphabet quest even though I didn't really have any burning desire to read it. Now I kind of wish it had been in print so I could give the book away. Not a fan.
A book your mom loves: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - After our book club read a Terry Pratchett book my mom has been picking up his books left and right. She recommended this as another book club read and I finally got to it. Hilarious.
A book that scares you: The Key to Midnight by Dean Koontz - I don't really get scared by books often - the only one I can think of that really gave me the creepy, heart thumpy book scare was Koontz's What the Night Knows. I had this book waiting on my shelf so I read it and, though it wasn't a horror book it is all about brainwashing and identity and not knowing who you really are, all concepts that creep me out, so I kept it for this, even though it didn't really "scare" me.
A book more than 100 years old: The Art of War by Sun Tzu - I'd read excerpts before and I'm glad I read the whole thing, but it was just kind of an, oh yeah I read that, type of book for me.
A book based entirely on its cover: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse - I really liked the cover on this. The content of the cover didn't thrill me as much, though.
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: Hope Leslie by Catharine Maria Sedgwick - This was sitting on my Currently Reading shelf, so reading it completed this challenge and part of my personal challenge as well.
A memoir: Bossypants by Tina Fey - This was highly entertaining.
A book you can finish in a day: Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius - This popped up as one of the publisher's free reads on their website. It's a modern high school retelling of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn that I'd had on my TBR list. It was a Saturday and I had no plans, so I sat down and read the whole thing in a couple of hours. Entertaining.
A book with antonyms in the title: Always Never Sometimes by Adi Alsaid - I actually picked up this ARC at BEA specifically because it had antonyms in the title. It was all right, but not a favorite.
A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery - I reread this for the paper I'm working on that I will be presenting in PEI, so not only did I read it, but this year I finally get to visit this place!
A book that came out the year you were born: The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye - Not only did this come out the year I was born, but it's one of my favorite books of all time that I've really been wanting to reread. It's as wonderful as I remember it.
A book with bad reviews: We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler - This one had the lowest star rating out of the 400 odd books in my TBR GoodReads list. It's ... odd. Very Handler. Very ... weird.
A trilogy: The Arena Wars by Samantha Hoffman - I think I picked up the first book in this series as a free eBook and enjoyed it so much that I did what I rarely do and bought the second one. When I was looking at this list toward the end of the year I decided to buy the third book and finish off the trilogy.
A book from your childhood: The Giver by Lois Lowry - It's so interesting revisiting books you haven't read in years and years. I still liked it, but not as much as I remember liking it when I was younger.
A book with a love triangle: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle - I really like these books, even if the love triangle drove me a little batty.
A book set in the future: Armada by Ernest Cline - Love.
A book set in high school: Also Known As by Robin Benway - This book was so cute. Very happy I read it in my alphabetical challenge.
A book with a color in the title: The Blue Fairy Book edited by Andrew Lang - Collected fairy tales; what more could you want?
A book that made you cry: Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall - Man, this book made me sob my eyeballs out. And laugh. And *sigh* these books are just perfection.
A book with magic: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross - A really inventive fairy tale retelling. I'll be looking up the rest of the series.
A graphic novel: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud - I found this interesting, though I wasn't as big a fan as I wanted to be.
A book by an author you’ve never read before: Strawberry Acres by Grace S. Richmond - I had a collection of Richmond's books sitting on my eReader. They were sweet and light. A perfect old-fashioned delight.
A book you own but have never read: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross - This was another book good for both this list and my personal clearing out of my Currently Reading list
A book that takes place in your hometown: Susquehanna by Harriet Segal - I had such a hard time with this one. I had 3 hometowns to choose from and finally ended up with the area where I currently live in order to find a book I could actually get ahold of. I wouldn't have sought this book out otherwise, but I did enjoy it.
A book that was originally written in a different language: Poetics of Reverie by Gaston Bachelard - Oh Bachelard. I'm such a fan.
A book set during Christmas: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins - Collection of lovely holiday stories.
A book written by an author with your same initials: Space Cat by Ruthven Todd - Other than book set in my hometown, this was probably the category that caused me the most grief. In all of the books I own but haven't read (+2,000) and all the books on my GoodReads TBR list (+400) not a single one was written by someone with the initials RT. Not. A. Single. One. So I browsed the fiction and Juvenile section at the library where I work. Nada. YA section at the local library. 1 that really didn't look that interesting, though I kept it in mind in case I needed it. Finally found this one in the Young Readers section and I'm so glad I did because it's about a cat that goes to the moon and saves the astronaut. It was written before the moon missions and it's a really entertaining look at the speculation of what would be found on the moon as well as just an adorable story about a cat.
A play: Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare - Hate this play with a burning passion.
A banned book: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - Hit this in my alphabetical challenge and really enjoyed it.
A book based on or turned into a TV show: Naked Heat by Richard Castle - I've owned this for a while and just never got around to reading it. It's like reading a fanfic of the show, so it cracks me up.
A book you started but never finished: The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls by Wendy Delsol - Another one on my GoodReads Currently Reading list that I cleared out. It was interesting, but not my cup of tea.

And that's the lot. I'm looking forward to diving into their 2016 challenge this year!

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