Monday, May 30, 2016

Reading Challenge: What I Read in May



2016 Reading Challenge

1.  A book published this year
2.  A book you should have read in school, but didn't
3.  A  book you have been meaning to read
4.  A book with an interesting cover
5.  A book you own but haven't read
6.  A book that received bad reviews
7.  A book with water on the cover
8.  A book in a genre you have never read
9.  A favorite book from your childhood
10.  A book by an author you have never read before
11.  A book that deals with an issue close to your heart
12.  A book "everyone" has read but you
13.  A book about the decade you were born in
14.  A book based on a true story
15.  A book set in the summer
16.  A book set in a country you wish to visit
17.  A Young Adult best seller
18.  A book that's longer than 500 pages
19.  A book that makes you smarter
20.  A book you can finish in a day
21.  A NY Times best seller
22.  A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
23.  A book with an apocalyptic theme
24. A book set during Christmas time
25.  A funny book
26.  A book with a one word title
27.  A popular author's first book
28.  A cookbook
29.  A book by someone with the same first name as you
30.   A book of your choosing


What I Read This Month:

22.  A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Maybe using this for my #22 is cheating a little bit since I have already read The Kite Runner, but this book is so completely different as it focuses on women in Afghanistan.  It tells the stories of two women in particular, Mariam and Laila, who are forced together by circumstances out of their control.  Truly it is a heartbreaking read and I'm not ashamed to admit that I had nightmares for a few days after I finished reading it.  A complete five out of five stars for me!




Additional Books:

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
I really wanted to love this book and I was hoping for a HUGE return for the time I did invest into reading it.  Sadly, that didn't happen for me.  I think someone who is just starting out figuring budgets, schedules, and the like could be able to glean more information that I was.  Also, some of her advice was very redundant and almost Dave Ramsey verbatim.  I think my biggest pet peeve was the ever returning theme of religion.  Almost every page had "pray this" "God that".  I'm sorry if that sounds harsh (and by the way, although I don't talk about it, I DO believe in God), but I find this sort of writing preachy and, quite frankly, it detracts from what is supposed to be the message of the book.  I'm just not a fan at all.  I can only give this book one out of five stars.

Manic by Terri Cheney
When I read about this book on my daily Book Bub email I was pretty excited.  I have a close friend AND a family member with bipolar disorder (one is diagnosed with it and the other doesn't have the "official" diagnosis but we all know what is happening).  So, naturally, this book intrigued me and I took the plunge of buying the ebook edition for 99 cents.  Like the Crystal Paine book, I had high expectations and really was hoping to love it.  And like the Crystal Paine book, I was disappointed.  Other reviews complained that she didn't write the book chronologically - that didn't bother me since I understood she was trying to portray the way her brain functions with the disorder.  I even loved the beginning few chapters of the book.  After that though, I don't know.  It fell apart for me.  Possibly there was too much focus on the men/relationships in her life - although to be fair to the author, this WAS a primary focus when she was manic.  Also I feel that the ending chapter scenario's truth may have been stretched a tad and turned into the happy-sappy ending of a Disney movie.  I am giving this book a one out of five stars.

Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum
This is the second memoir I read this month.  And, the second to disappoint me.  While I enjoyed reliving some of the '80's nostalgia thrown into the mix, I just couldn't get into this book.  I realize memoirs aren't always tied up with a bow at the end, but this one left too many pieces unraveled.  The author brings us on a journey through his past - growing up as a teenager in the 80's, his drug and alcohol addiction, his time in a mental ward, his unrequited love for his best friend, and the "Little Girl in the Blue Dress" apparition who plagued him in dreams and real life.  Sadly, I wasn't a fan.  I rate this book two out of five stars.


Four books this month and I only truly like one!?!?!  Obviously May was not a good book month here!  Hopefully that will change for June!  My next book up will fulfill #1's "book this year" requirement and I can't wait to start!


Happy reading!


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