& Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. Young Reader Fiction. Publisher: HarperCollins

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. Young Reader Fiction. Publisher: HarperCollins

The Book Itself: I love this cover. The colors, the art style, the way the title is illustrated. Very talented illustrator here.

My Review: With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

Y’all, I read a Kid’s book. And it was pretty dang good.

I was always drawn to TSFGAE‘s well-illustrated cover. It looks like Harry Potter, but with girls!

And in a way, it is. The people of Agatha and Sophie’s village try to disguise their children every year to avoid them being taken away. When it’s Agatha and Sophie’s turn, they are deposited in the opposite school either one of them (or their friends/family) would think. They spend an irritating amount of time trying to convince themselves and their classmates that they’re in the wrong school. (Seriously, you want to shake these girls and just say “everything is telling you you’re in the right place! Just deal with it!”)

But it’s the personal, coming-of-age factor that builds the journey of this story. You get the sense that both characters start to come into their own, but still have a lot of growing to do (that’s what the next two books are for!)

My biggest confusion with this book is it’s…tone? I’m not even sure what to call it. The book is a nice, playful take on fairy tales. Graduates of Good school go on to become Heroes and Princesses. Snow White? Cinderella? Top of their year in Good school. Other Good graduates become sidekicks. Others are transfigured into animals, enchanted objects. Villains come from Evil School. Maleficent and every bad witch in the books graduated from Evil. It pokes fun at the tropes and stock characters seen in tales. But the parody is injected even into Agatha and Sophie’s characters and narration. Sophie is over-the-top 100% of the time. She exclaims things. All she gushes about is her appearance and she screams at anyone who listens that she belongs in Good, she swears! Agatha is moody and melodramatic and, until a fairy godmother crosses her path, convinced in every line that she’s hideous. I wished the girls were taken a little more seriously, so it didn’t feel like I was reading a parody of a story about fairy tale schools. I couldn’t take either girl seriously, and I wanted to.

It tried to fit a little too much into one book. There are conspiracies, classes, mysterious passages and tricks abound in this school. The chapters are short, and each one feels like it tries to deal with something new.

That said! It’s a ton of fun. It’s a fun read, and exactly what a Kid’s book should be like. I can’t put it on par with Potter, but when the next book comes out in paperback, I’ll be picking it up to continue with the girls’ story 🙂

My Grade: B

& Fridays: Book Fashion, Part 2

Welcome back! I didn’t even get to touch on regular clothes or jewelry in the last Book Fashion post, so I figured I needed another post to cover everything!

Do you have book-lounging clothes? I mean, I go with yoga pants and an enormous sweatshirt in general when I’m having a lazy day or afternoon, but I think it’d be pretty sweet to have book-themed stuff to throw on when you’re deep in a good book.

Awesome-ly true sweatshirt by Human. Found here.

Awesome-ly true sweatshirt by Human. Found here.

<<- That sweatshirt is me to a T.

I’m a party girl. A party-er (partier? That spelling looks fancier).

And by party girl, I mean that I read books with a fanaticism and a fervor that lots of people put into dancing at clubs and drinking.

My bookshelves far surpass some wine cellars (look forward to an upcoming post on my bookshelf makeover!)

 

Harry Potter sweatshirt. I might need this. From this lovely etsy seller.

Harry Potter sweatshirt. I might need this. From this lovely etsy seller.

 

And having a sweatshirt from one of your favorite series?! Perfect! (I still need to reread HP this year…)

In case you haven’t been able to tell, I peruse etsy a lot for my book-related things. And it’s a great tool for gift buying. I usually just type in the interests of the person I’m buying a gift for and hundreds of options pop up – clothing, jewelry, ties and bowties, even stationary.

Heck, there’s even a Tardis candle, folks.

Anyway, there are many versions of the “Hogwarts Alumni sweatshirt” out there. They come in all the colors of the Hogwarts houses, they come with the crest on the front, or a couple of crossed broomsticks. It may or may not be on a wishlist…

SHINY THINGS! Okay, book jewelry. There’s a lot out there if you look for it, and of all different kinds.

Book necklace by this lovely etsy seller

Book necklace by this lovely etsy seller

You can get necklaces with miniaturized versions of your favorite novels, your favorite quotes stamped on silver or gold lockets, teeny tiny books with real pages, etc. etc.

<<- That one right there has a little silver book and the quote “Sleep is good books are better” right behind it.

Although I do appreciate a good sleep…especially when I have to open in the morning…

Well, I’m sure this won’t be the last Book Fashion post I ever do, but thanks for sticking around for two weeks to read some of it!

And Happy Friday!!

Coffee Table Corner: Color Me Impressed

Hello all! Here’s the second ever Coffee Table Corner! Yay!

One of our number one requests at the store right now? Adult coloring books.

Yep. You read it right. At least five people a day (on a slow day) ask about them. I’m not sure what it is about the season or this time of year that have people feeling artistic or creative, but it’s definitely influenced the stock in the store. We have tables, endcaps, whole shelves full to bursting with “Zen Doodles,” “Earth Mandalas,” and “Color Me Happy” coloring books.

Man, I love me some sweet, sweet geometric designs. Dover coloring book found here.

Man, I love me some sweet, sweet geometric designs. Dover coloring book found here.

And, not to be a hipster or anything, but I was totally on this bandwagon before it was cool. My mom and I used to get those cheap, super intricate geometrical coloring books you find in Hallmark or even grocery stores. That and some cheap-o crayola markers or colored pencils, and we were set for vacation.

And anyone remember “stained glass” coloring books. Oh boy. Loved ’em.

But I am equally loving the detail and artwork found in the coloring books coming into the store. Most of them are gorgeous even without color (although if I framed and hung a blank coloring page on my wall, it might be kind of weird…)

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford. Found here.

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford. Found here.

My favorite book right now is Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest. Basford is a crazy talented illustrator, and this book is one hot item right now. I managed to snag a copy before it completely blew up and everyone and their grandmother wanted one, so getting yours might be tough (B&N AND Amazon are sold out online!!) Her other coloring book, Secret Garden, is just as popular. But I liked the story the pictures seemed to tell in Enchanted Forest better.

Oh man, there is simply not enough room to share all the awesome coloring books there are! Mandala ones have been super popular, although I tend to find repeating patterns boring to color after a while.

Animal Kingdom my Millie Marotta. Found here.

Animal Kingdom my Millie Marotta. Found here.

Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta is another awesome one. Intricate line drawings of animals and plants/flowers that are endlessly pretty and come in a variety of detail (meaning you could color one on your fifteen minute break, or while away an hour at a landscape).

Posh Coloring Book. Found here.

Posh Coloring Book. Found here.

Posh Coloring Book: Art Therapy for Fun & Relaxation is another one of my favorites. This one has designs as well as animals, and what’s cool is that some of them have bands of color to serve as a kind of inspiration, or blank spaces for you to doodle your own drawings to color in.

I am personally partial to colored pencils. I was an Architecture major my first year in college, and had to buy all kinds of expensive model building and art equipment. I became an English major my second year, but Prismacolor brand colored pencils stayed with me. They come in gorgeous colors, the pencils themselves are super sturdy and don’t break easily, and the thing I like best is I don’t have to press down hard to get great color coverage.

But I also love those Crayola Twistable colored pencils, so what do I know.

Cool, Sarah, you might be saying, but what the heck does this have to do with coffee table books?!

Really awesome geometric coffee table. Found at Wayfair.

Really awesome “Delilah coffee table.” Found at Wayfair.

Imagine this: you’re at a party, you’ve staked out a great spot on the host’s comfy couch and don’t want to give it up, plus you’re digging the people you’re having a conversation with. You look down and BAM! There just happens to be cool, modern, grown-up coloring books in front of you with a pencil cup filled with art materials.

Awesome. Coffee table-wise, I’m thinking one with some storage, either drawers or baskets for the drawing and coloring materials when you don’t want them out and cluttering up space. Wayfair is another one of those websites I like to window shop and drool over. Maybe I design dream living rooms for fun in my mind, so what?!

Whaddya think? Am I cuckoo for still liking to color? Are you an adult coloring aficionado? Do you Zentangle? And happy Wednesday!

& Review: The Fold by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines. Science Fiction/Fantasy. Publisher: Crown.

The Fold by Peter Clines. Science Fiction/Fantasy. Publisher: Crown.

**I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

The Book Itself: The cover makes a lot of sense post-read. Both halves opening up on what they do…but pre-read it’s enough to understand that this is a book about something opening up to two different places. It’s a good color palette too. Very mysterious…

My Review: The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. And that’s just how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he’s chosen may not be much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but Mike is content with his quiet and peaceful existence.  

That is, until an old government friend presents him with an irresistible mystery–one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: it seems that a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device that could make teleportation a reality. But something is very wrong with the project. The personalities of the scientists who work on it are changing. People are dying. And reality itself seems to be…warping. 

Mike soon learns that the machine is not at all what it appears to be–and that its creators may have opened a doorway to something horrible that lurks just outside our world’s borders.

The first installment of Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes series has been sitting in my nook queue for a while now. And after reading this, it might need to be bumped to the top of the list! This story was so immersive, a mystery and thriller all in one.

It was all set up to be moody and atmospheric: a top secret lab manufacturing a mysterious project. A group of scientists and engineers who keep everything under wraps, even when it seems like they should be speaking up about the pitfalls of their potentially world-altering product. Enter Mike. Mike is compared looks-wise to a young Alan Rickman several times throughout the novel. He also has an eidetic memory and a super high IQ. So try getting the image of Severus Snape crossed with Sheldon Cooper out of your head.

You can’t. It’s tough, huh? Mike’s ability to remember anything he’s ever seen, to read at a fast rate, and memorize something in the time it takes a person to glance across the room makes him perfectly suited to solve the mystery of the Albuquerque Door (the name given to this super secret project).

The first half of the novel builds up in perfectly pitched eerie suspense. The people working on the Albuquerque Door shut Mike out and they’re all clearly hiding something. It’s a puzzle for the reader too. The project is too good to be true, yet small, horrific incidences keep occurring. The road to discovering what’s up with the project is wonderfully layered. Each time you think you get a clue, Clines leads you somewhere else.

Of course, Mike figures out what’s going on. And when he does? The plot really picks up the pace. Things with the project start to go downhill at an alarming rate, at the same time that the whole team ramps up to stop something horrible from happening. Something horrible that will, in time, encompass the world, but not in the way they were all hoping for.

The book kept me up nights, and didn’t let me just stop at the end of a chapter. It was always just one more! I have to figure it out! And then later: how on earth are they going to stop this? 

Mike is a great character, and his character quirks and struggles are made to seem very realistic. It sounds like an awesome superpower: remembering everything, ever. But remembering the loss of a loved one, as if it happened to you yesterday? Constantly struggling to relate and interact with people who don’t understand or appreciate your memory? Kinda sucks. The memory thing is described as “ants” let loose in his mind, bringing him information, formatting it so he can absorb it all. In fact, this “ants” thing is used so frequently that it gets a little old. I’d say it gets used upwards of five times every chapter. It’s a nice vehicle for describing his ability, but other metaphors could have been used sporadically to change it up a bit.

And once Mike figures out What’s Going On (capitalized, because, you know, it’s a Big Deal), the other people involved in the project just kind of…fess up. And they seem to just defer to Mike in all things from then on. He becomes the leader kind of…quickly. It seems a little out of character (for the other scientists and for Mike) for him to take the lead without more resistance (but of course, things start to slide to crap pretty fast…perhaps that accelerated his acceptance).

It’s a truly excellent read. It’s got a satisfying ending (that might lead to a second installment? Hopefully?), and it’s one hell of a ride. Please read it 🙂

My Grade: A

& Fridays: Book Fashion

Here’s a queston for you: would you wear what you read?

I’m an absurd book lover. I actively Google search book-related items of clothing and jewelry. I own a few. There might be a cat and book related clothing item featured in this post that I do possess…

Would you/do you own any book related clothing? How about art in your home? Let me know!

An ampersand scarf! From this lovely etsy seller.

An ampersand scarf! From this lovely etsy seller.

I love me some scarves. Have I mentioned this? It bears mentioning again:

I love scarves.

I love them. I own approximately 20 too many of them.

Okay, way more than 20+. I don’t even want to count how many I own, that’s how bad the problem is.

“Book-related scarves” is an open ended description. And there are tons of crazy people out there who have put entire novels in small print on scarves, famous illustrations of classic works, even single quotes from literature both contemporary and classic.

A scarf featuring Mr. Darcy's proposal speech from Pride and Prejudice from this lovely etsy seller. How awesome would this be in an ACTUAL PROPOSAL?! Le swoon...

A scarf featuring Mr. Darcy’s proposal speech from Pride and Prejudice from this lovely etsy seller. How awesome would this be in an ACTUAL PROPOSAL?! Le swoon…

One of the coolest gifts I’ve ever received has to do with Reddit.

I participate in Reddit’s Secret Santa gift exchange every year. You sign up, agreeing to send a gift to another online user, posting your likes and dislikes as well. A different user will send you a gift tailored to your interests. My very first year participating in this, my Secret Santa sent me several beautiful gifts, one being a white scarf, hand-lettered with quotes from three of my favorite books (namely White Oleander by Janet Fitch, I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, and The Cider House Rules by John Irving).

It’s beautiful, and so meaningful.

And it has to do with books! And scarves!

It’s like they knew me!!

Modcloth's "Fun for the Books" skirt. Found here.

Modcloth’s “Fun for the Books” skirt. Found here.

There is a skirt that exists. It exists and it has both books and cats on it.

I mean, how perfect?! And can I also just briefly mention that IT HAS POCKETS.

Come on, a literary and furry themed article of clothing, comfy AND with pockets for snacks?

It’s just the best.

I think there’s still a lot of ground to cover in Book Fashion, so Part 2 will be coming up next week!

Drop a line in the comments about any book-related things you wear on your body!

& Review: The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones. Fiction. Publisher: Mulholland Books.

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones. Fiction. Publisher: Mulholland Books.

The Book Itself: I love the concept: textured paper, string “binding” the cover of the novel, so it seems like the book in your hands is one of the string diaries themselves. The snake stamp-thing is a little weird, but I guess, in light of the slippery antagonist, it’s a little indicative.

My Review: The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night–her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?
Stephen Lloyd Jones’s debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion–a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them.
If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.

Certainly a suspenseful read. From the first scene alone — which the author says, in the reading guide at the end of the book, was the first scene he ever thought of in creating this story — the action ramps up so that you have to read another chapter. There are three main narratives: Hannah trying to keep her husband safe after a violent altercation in the present day, her father meeting her mother and the introduction to this family’s constant flight from a deadly villain, and a narrative told from the villain himself, part of an old species whose Hungarian name translates into “Long Lives,” who can transform himself into anyone.

What I liked best about this story was probably the worst thing about it. Meaning that I thought the development of that villain was masterful. You get introduced to the mind, to the past and familial pressures and desires and thoughts of this guy before he becomes what is essentially a deeply psychopathic serial killer. He rapidly dissolves from there, until at one point, right on the heels of a chapter in which you see how he…dispatches on of his victims, that I actually physically cringed. The next chapter was from his perspective, and after all that, I didn’t want anything to do with him! He is evil, manipulative, and well written to the point that he tries to convince you that he has the right of it…and you almost believe him. Once. Then he’s crazy again and you see him for the sadistic madman that he is.

Not so good things: just as a note, DO NOT read the description of the second book (Written in the Blood), coming out in May. Lots of spoilers in just the summary, which I just happened to read before I’d finished up the last 5o pages or so.

There are just one or two too many characters to really flesh them all out. Hannah meets a couple of people while in hiding, none of whom seem to trust each other, and by the novel’s closing scenes, everything and everybody is in an uproar. And the novel’s central conceit: a villain who can look like anyone, makes the story hard to trace at points. Is this really Sebastian? Leah? Gabriel? Or is it Jakab, our evil mastermind?

At some points, the vocabulary tripped me up. The legend of the “Long Lives” is fictional. It has some Hungarian roots, but their real name, hosszú életek, is made up. And they are almost never called Long Lives, probably because that would be a little clumsy. But hosszú életek isn’t any neater. How do I even pronounce it? My eyes would glide over it every time is popped up. That, and the intricacies of the hosszú életek hierarchy:  Merénylo, végzet, lélekfeltárás, Eleni, etc. They are important concepts, repeated many times. It just irked me that I didn’t know how to actually say them (and lélekfeltárás just looks absurd).

Overall, it’s suspenseful, certainly heartbreaking at more than one point, and complex. If you’re not one for gore, I wouldn’t recommend this one. There are some nasty scenes, mostly from Jakab’s point of view, that aren’t for the weak of stomach. But it’s a well written book, and once Written in the Blood comes out, I might just have to read it.

My Grade: B

& Fridays: Coffee Table Book….Corner?

I feel like I’ve posted a few times about the coffee table books I’ve either
A.) Bought for friends based on their interests
B.) Seen in the store and thought they looked awesome
C.) Purchased myself, even though I could buy five coffee tables and STILL not have enough room for all the coffee table books I possess.

I’ve done this so many times, I feel like I should make it a thing. But there are no days of the week that deal with the letter “C”! So what should I call it? Coffee Table Book…Corner? Klatch? Ampersand Coffee Table? Let me know your thoughts!

Oooh, I also have a thing about coffee tables in general. So I’m thinking maybe I’ll post a photo of gorgeous coffee tables that, if I had the zillions of dollars to buy them (and to build the rooms to put them in) I would.

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them by Isaac Fitzgerald, Wendy MacNaughton, Introduction by Cheryl Strayed. Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them by Isaac Fitzgerald, Wendy MacNaughton, Introduction by Cheryl Strayed. Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

SO. Here’s the first installment of Coffee Table Book [insert adjective/theme here]!

This book is, of all places, in our “Current Affairs” section. And it’s amazingly, gorgeously composed. It comes from a Tumblr site (a lot of good coffee table books come from Tumblr sites!), and it’s not just photographs of people’s tattoos, and their quotes and quips about when/why/where/with whom they got them.

The body parts and tattoos are hand drawn, the stories are extensive and wonderful and hand-lettered. The reasons for tattoos are, of course, as varied as the people who get inked. And they are equal parts heartbreaking, funny, dumb, and quirky.

It’s just…an awesome collection of art and stories. I myself am tattooed twice over (meaning that I have two tattoos on my body, not that my entire body is covered in tattoos, then covered again), and compared to the stories laid out here, mine feel so…shrimpy!

Timber Trestle Door Coffee Table from Restoration Hardware. Drool over it here.

Timber Trestle Door Coffee Table from Restoration Hardware. Drool over it here.

What coffee table deserves to have this beauty grace it’s tabletop? I love me some Restoration Hardware. Ever been in one of their stores? It is like walking through the lush, glossy pages of a catalogue. You’ll probably see a lot of Restoration Hardware tables here. I’m obsessed.

This one is an awesome light wood trestle table. It’s sturdy, big, the kind of thing that seems like a permanent part of a room. But “so what?” You might think. “It’s a wood coffee table.” But get this: press hard on what you write on a wood table, and your mark gets left behind. It can bear the marks of your life and STILL look fantastic. Sort of kind of like a certain kind of body art…

Hope you liked my little coffee table corner here! Let me know if you like it!

& Review: Find Me by Laura van den Berg

Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg. Fiction. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg. Fiction. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

“Is there any greater mystery than the separateness of each person?”

The Book Itself: Rain down a windowpane? Watercolor splotches? Glitter? Some kind of texture. Definitely makes that commanding title stand out.

My Review: Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy’s immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients—including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.

     As winter descends, the hospital’s fragile order breaks down and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house. As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself.

Oh, I so wanted this to be fantastic. It sounds eerie, it’s got my favorite elements in it (hellooooo dystopia). But it falls just short enough.

Over half of the story is spent in the Hospital. Just as creepy as it sounds. Patients who are considered immune from the plague that has swept across America (and the world? It’s unclear whether it’s worldwide or not), are kept captive in this abandoned Hospital. They share a TV. They are tested weekly, their blood is taken to be studied every couple of days, and they basically walk around like zombies, looking to fill their time with something.

Which is kind of how that huge chunk of the book feels. A little aimless. It’s eerie, sure, and of course the authorities in charge at the Hospital are hiding something. Or a couple somethings. But for the most part, the patients wander. They recall life before the plague (Joy’s was a life shuffled between foster homes and getting high on cough syrup). But it’s pretty much…boring for that majority of the story.

The next section of the book goes wayyyy past nothing happening into too many way-past-weird things happening. Joy and her childhood friend (who you never learn much of anything about. He has a scarred face and wears plastic masks much of the time) find this house. In this house is a lady who wears angel wings and takes an unknown drug to hear voices in the basement. The man she lives with is abusive and makes them play games in the woods.

It is exactly as weird as it sounds. It feels like you’re on a kind of drug trip the whole time you’re reading it. I’m not sure if I was supposed to get anything from it, but at this point in the book, I just wanted it to say something meaningful, say something that made sense!!

It doesn’t. And Joy’s quest to find her mother? Never comes to fruition. Frustrating, at so many points in the story.

It is, at some points, beautifully written. I pinpointed some quotes and imagery that I thought were particularly poignant. But the plot was too patchy, the characters too flimsy to really stick with me.

My Grade: C-

& Fridays: Challenge Accepted?

I know it’s the beginning of the fifth month in the year (holy crap, the year’s almost half over…) but it’s never too late to start a reading challenge! I have thought about doing this, especially in the last couple of years. I mentioned in my New Years Resolutions/Guidelines post that my coworker read 60 books in 2014, one from every section in the bookstore we work at. This year, her goal is to read 100 “strips,” which are usually the mass market paperbacks that publishers don’t require us to send back to them, but that we have to rip the cover off the front and dispose of.

readingchallenge

Several friends have sent me this image on Pinterest (I know it’s too small to see, but if I make it full size, the thing is huge). It’s a reading challenge issued by Pop Sugar, and features such assignments as “A book that became a movie,” and “A book with a color in the title,” and “A book with nonhuman characters.”

 

I’m a commitment-phobe when it comes to reading challenges. If I miss the goal, if I’m off by a book or two, will it ruin the whole year for me? (Dramatic, I know, but maybe I’m feeling needy that day…) What if I just really, really don’t want to do one of the assignments?

 

Especially the one on this list: “A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t.” I’ve said before that I’m a bad classics reader. So there are hundreds of books that I “should” have read, especially as a person with a degree in English Literature. Thousands. There are probably thousands of them.

 

Same thing with “A book on the bottom of your to-read list.” Everything on my TBR shelves are things I intend to read, but you know…there are a couple of them that I’ve never been in the mood for. Some have stayed on that shelf for years! Mostly classics…

 

And you? Have you ever issued yourself a Reading Challenge? Have you ever completed one? What are some that you’ve heard of and always wanted to try? I’m always open to suggestions!

 

Happy Friday!