Jun 1, 2014

Book Challenge Update and Mini Reviews #SCSBC14

Book Challenge Mini Reviews 1 Month Check In

Remember this?  The reading challenge by Megan at Semi Charmed Kind of Life?  Well, here's an update: I have read 3 books for a total of 50 points.

Yep, only 3.  Which is a little sad for me (I'm usually a voracious reader anyway)... but The Count of Monte Cristo is awfully long!  And convoluted.  Here's this count who's been done wrong and he's back!  For revenge!  But first we have to hear about how extravagantly wealthy he is and exquisitely detailed elaboration of what he does with that wealth and how impressive it is to everyone else.  Then we have to hear the background story of every single one of the people that the Count uses in his multiple revenge plots.  I'm glad I made it through, and it was definitely more engaging than say, War and Peace, which I've been struggling with for about 6 months.  But... I'm also glad to be done.

Book cover for The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The 4th is also long but will be a snap because it's one that I've waited to come out for YEARS, and then, after I lost hope and stopped checking on it, was released this March.  Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.  I bought Way of Kings (the first in the series "The Stormlight Archive") as an "airport book" and absolutely loved it.  Unfortunately for me, Sanderson's been busy with someone else's series that he took over after the other author died.  Unfortunately for Sanderson, the fans of the other series don't seem to appreciate his writing like I do, so he should put it down and come back to his own series which is AMAZING!!!

I'm less than 300 pages into  I just finished the 2nd book, and I'm already quite pleased with how things are going.  Well, except for him killing off one of my favorite characters.  Though I can see why he did it.  Don't you hate that?!  Logically, your brain accepts that what happened is better for the story/moral/outcome/whatever, but the emotional and illogical part of you really just wants a tidy ending where all the good guys survive. I love it so much!  Sorry, I had to update this, since I tore through it in the 2 days since I wrote this post.  I honestly was trying to slow down, because I wasn't ready for it to be over, but it gets so exciting near the end that I couldn't.  If you've read Way of Kings, you'll be pleased to know that they flesh out a few other characters, so Kaladin isn't the only one you love by the end (though there's a bleak part in the middle where it feels like everyone's turned against him - just keep reading, you'll get through it!).  The end though, oh man, it was exciting and all these little pieces fell into place and I really hope Sanderson doesn't keep us waiting another 4 years for the next one.

Book cover for Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

The other completed books were The 5 Love Languages, which I'm going to reserve a whole post for, because I thought it was very insightful and useful, and Hyperbole and a Half, which is a book by Allie Brosh who blogs/entertains us over at, you guessed it, Hyperbole and a Half.  After reading, I actually put Hyperbole and a Half in with the bathroom books, because it's easy to pick up and put back down again.  (What?  Other people don't have bathroom books?  How do you ever get by in life?!  Also, it's not gross; there's hand sanitizer in there, and people are reading the books before they use their hands to do anything unsanitary with, ok? OK?!)  So, the funny thing about the book being in that location is that you can always tell when someone did pick it up, by the giggles coming out of the bathroom. (Think about it.  It's pretty rare to hear someone laughing in the bathroom.  It's serious business in there.)

Book cover for The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman Book cover for Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Full list and point system for the challenge:

Link to Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge Post

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
— Words of Radiance, Brandon Sanderson (1,087 pages - Finished! x a Million)

10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born.
— The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas (1,276 pages - Finished! ♥♥♥♥)

10 points: Finish reading a book you couldn't finish the first time around.
— Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut (341 pages)

Book cover for Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut

10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore.
— The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Gail Carson Levine (304 pages)

Book cover for The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times' Best Sellers List when you begin.
— The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman (208 pages - Finished! ♥♥♥♥)

15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
— Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden (434 pages)

Book cover for Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson (318 pages)

Book cover for Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title.
— Daughter of the Forest, Juliet Marillier (560 pages)

Book cover for Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014.
— Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (392 pages) - So sad that the Giver wasn't long enough to be considered for this challenge.  It's such a good book!  Also, a bit scared to see what they do to it...

25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.
— Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh (384 pages - Finished! ♥♥♥♥) [blog of the same name]

25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir.
— Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson (349 pages)

Book cover for Three Cups of Tea

30 points: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles.
— Beauty, Robin McKinley (256 pages) & God Don't Like Ugly, Mary Monroe (432 pages)

Book cover for Beauty by Robin McKinley Book cover for God Don't Like Ugly by Mary Monroe

What have you read recently and what books do you consider a must-read?