Jul 21, 2015

#LiteraryLadies - 1 Month Check In

I'm not exactly powering through this challenge, but I did read a couple of things.  Even better, I managed to talk about them without spoilers!

A Handmaid's Tale - ♥♥♥♥♥

For some reason, I thought this was a classic drama, or something more in the style of Charles Dickens.  So when I went through my list and saw that it was dystopia, I resolved to make it a must-read in this challenge.  I love dystopia anyway, but this one was fascinating!  The story jumps around, between different points in the main character's history.  It's a little confusing at first, but gradually the pieces come together and you start to figure out what the hell happened on this earth and how things became so entirely screwed up.  I think the feeling of figuring out the puzzle is part of what kept me intrigued, but I also like how the author didn't spoon feed it to you.  It wasn't like a YA book, where everything is spelled out.  It was more true to how someone who actually experienced all this would talk about it, and a lot of things are left wide open for interpretation, just like real life.

Yes Please - ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (infinite hearts)

THIS WAS FANTASTIC!  After reading a couple of other humor/memoir type books, I really wasn't feeling this genre too much.  I enjoyed Bossypants (Tina Fey) and Let's Pretend This Never Happened (The Bloggess), but other than a couple notable quotes, I found that they jumped around quite a bit and didn't follow much of a streamlined narrative.  With Bossypants, I was particularly disappointed because Tina Fey is so awesome and successful and I thought there'd be some kind of tips or business woman wisdom in there.  A good book, but not what I was hoping for.

Yes Please, on the other hand, was exactly what I'd been hoping for when I read the other books.  Even better, I wasn't expecting it, so it caught me completely by surprise.  I have no idea what the experience would be like reading it, but I listened to it as an audio book (my first-ever audio book, are you proud?), and it was amazing.  There are parts where it feels like Poehler is talking directly to you and advising you on how to handle the ups and downs life throws at us all.  There are other parts that are just funny, but honestly, I was amazed at the amount of wisdom and common sense she packed into this book.  I'm definitely going to listen again, and probably take notes this time.

2 down, 8 to go.  (Update: although I'm about halfway through The Selection, so really 2.5.)  Here's the categories and my other book picks.

1. YA Book - The Selection, Kiera Cass (336 pages)

2. Non US Author - The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Victor Hugo (614 pages) (France) (I really liked Les Miserables, so when I realized this is the same author it was a no-brainer.)

3. Recommended by Another Blogger - One Thousand White Women, Jim Fergus (302 pages) (Recommended by Megan)

4. A Longstanding (1+ Years) TBR List Item - The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (311 pages) - ♥♥♥♥♥

5. Kickass Female Character - Magic Shifts, Ilona Andrews (400 pages) (This is #8 in the series, but I love the main character and she is perfect for this category.  Even better, it comes out just in time to read before the challenge ends!)

6. Has or Will Be Made Into a Movie - Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (509 pages)

7. Written by a Comedian - Yes Please, Amy Poehler (329 pages) - ♥♥♥♥♥

8. One Word Title - Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman (390 pages)

9. Suspenseful Book - A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess (212 pages) (Crime and dystopia, that's close enough, right?)

10. Something About Summer! - A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare (204 pages)

Linking up with the Literary LadiesKayKari, and Kristin.

Are you doing any challenges this summer?  Have you read or listened to Yes Please and did you love it or did you love it?

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  1. I am participating in 2 summer reading challenges at the moment. I am on track to finish one (Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge) by August 1 and I hope to finish the Literary Ladies challenge by August 21. I go back to work in mid-August and I know my reading will take a nose dive for a few weeks until I get acclimated to being back in the daily grind... Anyway, I am glad to read your thoughts on Yes Please b/c that book keeps popping up in my life every time I turn around. I am very curious about it.

    1. I was iffy on it, but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise! I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone, so I hope you check it out. :)

  2. I loved Yes Please! It wasn't what I was expecting either. I read the paper book and I felt like her voice came through and I could tell it was her and not some ghost writer.

  3. hahahaha infinite hearts - love it! i had no idea what a handmaid's tale was about, but it's on my list. you've just made me want to read it even more!

  4. That's awesome you read all 10 already. I think I have 3 more categories to finish up. 2 if I decide to use the book club to eliminate one. :)

  5. I still have books on my kindle I need to read, but haven't had time to. I wanted to read Yes Please then forgot about it. You've made me want to read it again.

  6. I read Yes, Please and loved it! The Handmaid's Tale is on my TBR list, but not my challenge list, but I will read it some day!

  7. I really enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale once I got used to the writing (the lack of quotes for dialogue kept throwing me off!). I too loved how nothing was spoon fed and you slowly learn about the world as you go. I also love that kind of dystopian, where it's rather creepy in the way that I could actually see our world heading down that road someday!

    1. Yes to all of that! Most dystopia strikes me as a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) warning about what to watch out for in our own future. It's very easy to give up our freedoms in the name of safety, but the stories show the danger in that and how difficult it might be to get them back again.

  8. I loved Yes, Please!! I haven't heard of the rest of the books on your list...I need to check them out! So sorry I haven't been commenting. Freaking Bloglovin man. Oh how it irks me!!!!

  9. I'm not a huge fan of Amy, not because of any reason other than I really don't know much about her but it seems like people really LOVE her book. I am going to have to give this book a chance..


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