January Winter Book Challenge Update

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Since I last checked in, I have read several books. I also have most of the remainder of the categories figured out.

5 points: Read a book by an author that you have never read before. DONE

The Coincidence of Kallie & Cayden – Jessica Sorensen

Coincidence1

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5 points: Read a book you have at home but haven’t gotten around to yet.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

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10 points: Read a book written in the decade you were born. IN PROGRESS

The Color of Magic – Terry Pratchett

Color of Magic

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10 points: Read a book that takes place in the state/province where you were born.

This one I cannot figure out. All the books that take place in Illinois that sound entertaining, I have already read. I have a couple possibilities, but any suggestions would be great!

15 points: Read a book titled The _______‘s Daughter or The _______’s Wife. DONE

The Bonesetter’s Daughter – Amy Tan

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15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a book other than English DONE

The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

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Image via Goodreads

20 points: Read a book with a number in the title. DONE

The Twelve – Justin Cronin

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Image via Goodreads

20 points: Read a book set during Christmas or another winter holiday. DONE

My Kind of Christmas – Robyn Carr

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20 points: Read a book written by an author who shares your initials.

Amy and Isabelle – Elizabeth Strout

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25 points: Read a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist for fiction

Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout

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25 points: Re-read a book.

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

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30 points: Read three books from three different genres (e.g. romance, historical fiction, horror, biography, etc.). IN PROGRESS

Historical fiction/Romance: Song for Sophia – Moriah Densley

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Post-Apocalyptic: WOOL Books 1-5 – Hugh Howey

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POINT TOTALS

Completed: 75 points

In Progress: 40 points

Not Complete: 85 points

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2 books down

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I just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. And I am incredibly conflicted. First I should say that I struggled through the entire book, however I think the blame lays entirely at my door. I don’t think I am smart enough to enjoy the book. The book is basically written as a series of essays written by either Renee, a middle-aged concierge or Paloma, a twelve-year-old girl. I was interested in the events of the book, however a majority of the essays had nothing to do with the actual storyline. These were often far above my head (and/or interest level). I don’t like to admit it, but I never would have finished the  whole thing if it weren’t for the reading challenge. And I am glad I finished it; there were portions that I thoroughly enjoyed. I actually laughed out loud at one point… On the train… In front of a lot of people.

One of my major complaints is the length of the sentences. I know, this sounds ridiculous, but look at the following sentence!

When we westerners walk, our culture dictates that we must, through the continuity of a movement we envision as smooth and seamless, try to restore what we take to be the very essence of life: efficiency without obstacles, a fluid performance that , being free of interruption, will represent the vital élan thanks to which all will be realized.

I had to read the above sentence several times before fully comprehending what the author was trying to express. Anyone else?

Also, not a complaint, but just a heads up: there is a lot of philosophy (and phenomonology) talk. Of which I have little to no interest in.

In short, I personally did not really enjoy the book. But I think that was merely because it was not what I was looking for. The fact that I didn’t enjoy the book does not mean that it wasn’t well written or that someone else wouldn’t enjoy it. I am going to rate it two stars. But don’t let that deter you! If you like philosophy and boring essays, then this might be a perfect book for you.

With the completion of The Elegance of the Hedgehog – I earn 5 points.

 

 

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Book # -1

So if I read a book in November and didn’t realize that the Winter Book Challenge had started, it still counts right?!?! So, according to Amazon, I bought The Twelve on November 19, so definitely within the time frame. It is the second book in Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy. It is a post-apocalyptic series, that reminded me of the style of Stephen King’s The Stand. I am not going to write a detailed review, however, I really enjoyed the book. It was the type of book that I read as quickly as I could so that I could find out what happens next ASAP! I am pretty sure I missed a lot of the intricacies. No worries though! I will re-read the first two books before the third one comes out. In the attempt to determine when the third book will be released (no luck, so apparently a long time from now) I discovered that they are planning on making movies based on the trilogy. I am not sure any movie will be able to do the books justice.

I am going to count The Twelve under the category “Read a book with a number in the title” 20 points!

So my running total is 25 points! Progress is slow…

Winter Book Challenge

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I am planning on reading along with Megan from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life on her Winter Book Challenge.

Rules:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2012, to January 31, 2013. (I know this should technically be the Semi-Charmed Winter 2012-2013 Book Challenge, but that is just too long and doesn’t make as nice of ahashtag.) No books that are started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on January 31 will count.
  • No re-reads (unless specifically stated)! I want you to experience new books with this challenge.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks are fine, as long as the print versions meet the page requirements.
  • A book can only be used for one category. If you want to switch the category later, that’s fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will win a featured/guest post on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life. Good luck!

The Challenge:

5 points: Read a book written by an author you have never read before.
5: Read a book you already have at home but haven’t gotten around to yet (from the library, from a bookstore, borrowed from a friend, on your e-reader, whatever).
10: Read a book written in the decade that you were born.
10: Read a book that takes place in the state/province where you were born. If you were born outside the U.S. and Canada, read a book that takes place in the country you were born.
15: Read a book titled The _______’s Daughter or The _______’s Wife.
15:  Read a book that was originally written in a language other than English.
20: Read a book with a number in the title. This could be an actual digit or a number like “hundred” or “thousand.” No arbitrary numbers are allowed (e.g. several, few, many, couple).
20:  Read a book set during Christmas or another winter holiday.
20: Read a book written by an author who shares your initials.
25: Read a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist for fiction.
25:  Re-read a book.
30: Read three books from three different genres (e.g. romance, historical fiction, horror, biography, etc.). Remember, the books used for this category cannot count for any other category.

I often have a lot of trouble deciding what to read next, so I thought this would work out great for me. I am starting a month late, so chances are I will not finish by January 31. The first category I chose was to read a book that you haven’t gotten to, and the first book is…

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barber

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I bought the book several years ago after one of my friends recommended it. I got a couple pages in and completely gave up. So I decided to make a second attempt. And… I understand why I gave up the first time around. I am really struggling to get through it. I am about 110 pages in (of just over 300). The first 50 pages or so were really difficult to get through, and it is slowly getting more interesting, but at this point I would have no trouble putting the book down and walking away. Forever. It got 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads, so it must get better right? I read a couple reviews, and apparently there is a main character that has not yet been introduced. Hopefully once “Ozu” joins the story line  it will really start picking up.

Has anyone read The Elegance of the Hedgehog? What did you think?

Any book suggestions for the other categories?