Spring snuck up on me. We had unusually warm weather in February and then an extremely cold couple weeks in March that have me all confused about how far we’ve actually made it into this year. At least that’s what I’m telling myself when it comes to turning around and being almost 1/3 through the year.
Despite lofty reading goals for 2017, I broke the first rule of any reading challenge: I failed to make a plan. So here we are in April and I’m still scrambling to figure out what in the world I’m going to read for some of the items on the two reading challenges I’d like to complete this year. I have done some good reading, however, and am working my way through the lists. I may be starting with the comfortable parts, but I feel no shame about anything that gets me through February. Here’s what I’ve read (and what I’ve thought) so far:
From the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge:
Three books by the same author: I Shall Wear Midnight, Making Money, and A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction by Terry Pratchett. The more I read from him, the more I want to read. I’m only halfway through A Slip of the Keyboard right now, but it might be my favorite thing I’ve read from Pratchett so far.
A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection: Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession. I enjoyed a few of the essays, but I was underwhelmed by the collection as a whole. I might feel differently if my hair was ever a huge source or pride or sorrow. I was very impressed with the scope of the collection. Just about every color, type, and style of hair makes an appearance somewhere.
A Pulitzer or National Book Award winner: I have read very few Pulitzer or National Book Award winners, yet I managed to read two in 2016. If only I’d saved one for January this year! As it is, I’ve narrowed down the options to March by Geraldine Brooks and The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. Any thoughts about which one I should read first?
Read a fantasy novel: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is my favorite fantasy novel of the year so far. The story has some really beautiful parts without taking itself too seriously. My full review is here.
Read a book about war: Bomb! The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin. This book came so highly recommended that I decided to give it a try even though I had next to no interest in the history of the atomic bomb. In the end, I ended up fascinated by the subject even though the writing itself fell a little flat for me. This is not to say that the book wasn’t written well (I was!), just that I’m not the target audience. I thought reading a middle-grade book about an unfamiliar subject would keep me from getting lost, but I just kept wishing for more information and detail.
Looking at my lists, I have plenty of reading to do this year. I’m trying to stretch myself to discover if there are other authors or genres I might love but have never tried. Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? If so, how’s it going?