So as far as meeting challenges and ‘winning’ at Booktubeathon, I did not make it. However I got a lot of reading done! I’m actually really happy with how much I got done and just the content overall. I didn’t meet all the reading challenges but I’m alright with that. As always on these you can listen as opposed to read – the channel is linked on the side bar!
The first book in finished, this one for the ‘Read a Book with A Person on the Cover’ was The Phantom TollBooth by Norton Jester. This is a children’s classic I had never read before, in fact I hadn’t even really heard of it till very recently. This was super enjoyable and I can see why this is a children’s classic. I loved the world Norton Jester created and the morals and quips he put in were done so cleverly and not heavy handed like so many children’s books can be. I’m really happy I finally read this and it’s one I’ll definitely be picking up for my niece in the future.
The next book I completed for ‘Read a Hyped Book’ I’m cheating on. This book wasn’t hyped when I finished it but the day after I finished it, it showed up on the Man Booker Longlist and all the hype has happened. So I’m counting it now, retroactively. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund is a quiet and thought provoking Literary Fiction novel. It’s the reflections of an older woman looking back to the summer she spent entangled with a family that moves across the lake from her and her parents, the last of a commune that had set up there. I can’t tell you what happens but the story revolves, in a subtle way, around victimization and how people can and are victimized in different ways by different people. This is one of those books you can get a lot of different things out of, that’s what I got. It’s also one I really do not recommend if you don’t like literary fiction – but if you do, go for it. I’m still wavering on my final thoughts, I can’t decide if I loved it or just thought it was ‘ehhhh’.
I also completed Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell – however I did a review for this and it’s sequel on a previous post! Go back one post and you’ll find it in my ‘Weekly Wrap-up (Not BTAT Books)’ post!
For the ‘Finish a Book in One Day’ challenge I got in The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi. This follows a woman returning to her family in India after being gone for years. She’s gotten engaged to an American and she has to break this to her very traditional family. This is a short and a fast read, but it wasn’t entirely successfully for me because it spent so much time in the past. The character continually tells her story in flashbacks and histories. While I think that was how it was intended, and I might not have been the target reading audience for that style, I still think it was jarring. I felt like I was on a roller-coaster being jerked back and forth. The history dumps of memories would be 3 and 4 pages and would happen every 4 or 5 pages it seemed. Not a solid winner but one that might be interesting if you like that frequent and heavy memory roller-coaster. I have to say I did really enjoy the cultural aspect of this one.
Those were the only ‘challenges’ I think I finished. After that I finished two more books. The first of which was So Much I Want to Tell You by Anna Akana. Anna Akana is a Youtube celebrity/comedian/actor that I’ve been a follower and a fan of for years. I find her work funny and insightful and I got this book as soon as it came out. I tend to really enjoy this memoir type reads. However this one felt so short to me that it lost all impact it could have had. She talked about things I enjoy but I didn’t really get the meat of those things. I wasn’t able to sink into it unfortunately, it did clock only 176 pages so it was a very short read.
The last think I finished was Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I am impressed, and you should be too, I’m nearly 30 and have never been spoiled for this book. I saw the new trailer for the film and thought – it’s about damn time I get to that so I slipped it in this past week. I really loved it too. I’m so glad I read it. I can see the same strengths this had as And Then There Were None, which I read last year. I loved Hercule and the closed room mystery aspect. I won’t talk about it much as I’m sure you’ve heard about it, and if you haven’t I don’t want to spoil it. My final thought is that I wasn’t happy about Johnny Depp being in this but now knowing who he’s playing I’m actually pleased. He’ll fit that great.
But that is it! I got quite a bit done, I do think, and I’m happy with it. How did everyone else do? Did anyone else meet any challenges? Let me know!