Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Read Harder Challenge: Second Quarter Update

I read fewer books for the read harder challenge in the second quarter of the year, mostly because I read so many books for the challenge in the first quarter.  I'm still glad that I am doing the challenge as it continues to push me to read books that I might not have read otherwise and as a lover of lists, it's fun to track what I've read and what I plan to read for this challenge.  Here's a recap of what I read for the challenge in the second quarter of the year!

Tasks Completed in the Second Quarter:
A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ:  Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan - After reading and loving The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, I don't know if any other John Green books can live up to my expectations. That said this was a fun read with the typical intellectual high school kids with insight beyond their years and ridiculous vocabularies. It wasn't as good as his other books but it was still good.

A book that was originally published in another language:  Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl - This book was written by the survivor of several Nazi concentration camps.  The first half of the book is about his experiences in the concentration camp as well as his reflections on what it takes to survive and thrive despite horrible circumstances.  The second half of the book discussion his approach to therapy, which focuses on patients finding meaning in their life.  It was a heavy, difficult read at times but I am glad that I read it.  It made me think about my life and how I've handled hardships.

A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind:  French Milk by Lucy Knisley - I bought this book years ago after reading about it on the blog, A Cup of Jo.  It's a delightful read about the author's 5 week trip to Paris with her mom.  It was fun to see her illustrations of places I had visited in Paris.  It was a light, fun, delightful read!

A book that someone else has recommended to you:  Nobody's Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankel - This a memoir about friendship that was recommended and gifted to me by my friend Heidi.  The author talks about the friendships that have developed over the course of her life and how they have changed.  It made me nostalgic for my college years and the friendships I formed during that stage of my life!

A book that takes place in Asia:  In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner - This was a heavy book to read as it's set in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge uprising.  It was so sad to read about the way the Cambodians were treated by their fellow countrymen.  It's based on the author's experiences so is part-memoir, part-fiction.

Tasks completed = 20

Tasks Completed in Prior Quarter:
 A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65:  Runaway by Alice Munro
A book by a person whose gender is different from your own:  The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
A book by an author from Africa: Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
A YA novel:  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A sci-fi novel:  The Martian by Andy Weir
An audiobook:  Yes Please by Amy Poehler 
A collection of poetry:  Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
A microhistory:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot A book published this year:  Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins
A book published by an indie press:  The Empathy Exam by Leslie Jamison
A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure:  Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod
A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture:  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
A collection of short stories:  Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade:  Redeployment by Phil Klay

Tasks To Be Completed:

A romance novel
A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
A book published before 1850
A self-improvement book

What is the best book you have read so far this year?


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow you only have a few left! I'm in a bit of a slump as far as the challenge goes ha ha, I need to work on that :)

Nora said...

You are killing it!!! I haven't done so well on this challenge either, so maybe the second half of the year I can get back to it. I need to check my list and see if there is anything I have read that will count towards something on the challenge that I may have missed.

My favorite book(s) I have read this year have been by Sarah Addison-Allen; there is something so whimsical but also down to earth about them.

Marlys said...

This proves that if you are given a challenge, you achieve! Wow, that is some heavy reading! The book that touched me the most this year was "Between Shades of Gray". I almost hated to re3veal the title as I'm sure most will think of the "other" book with a similar title but this one is so different! It is the story of a girl and her family who were captured by the Russians in the 1940's and what tortures they had to endure in their encampment. It took place during the holocaust but not much was written about this part of the horrible story of that war.

missris said...

Wow you're so close to being done!! Ooh for the "A book that is a retelling of a classic story" category I would recommend "The Three Wiessmanns of Westport". It's a retelling of "Sense and Sensibility" and I really enjoyed it.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I can't think past 2 weeks ago hahaha but I think the best book I've read is probably Lucia, Lucia. Unless there is another one Im forgetting and since goodreads isn't working right now I can't go past that.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

That's a fun challenge! I was trying something like that over the summer last year, and made it through two - neither of which ended up being very good. I have a nutrition book that I plan to read by the pool in Vegas.

Jeanie said...

Very impressive, Lisa! I'd have to look at my list to pick the best so far -- there have been a few good ones, a few not-so-good!

Anonymous said...

I bought a copy of Nobody's Cuter Than You for my library and it hasn't been checked out. It's just vexing me because it looks good! I am glad to read that it really is -- perhaps I should be the first checkout.

You're a busy reader!

Jenny said...

Ha, I've read 12 books so far this year, I'm totally left in your dust :D It's hard to pick a best book for this year so far, but it would be one of the Lois Lowry books from The Giver quartet.

Stephany said...

You are kicking butt with the Book Riot challenge! I am trying to read 2 books per month for the challenge so I know I won't be finished until December. I'm enjoying it immensely, though!

So far this year, my favorite book is Big Little Lies, followed closely by In the Blood.

Amber said...

You are rocking the challenge!!! I have not read a challenge book in awhile but I am LISTENING to the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up right now which I'm going to use as my self-improvement book for the challenge. The best books I've read this year are the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett, I'm just finishing up book 3 now and I have loved each one of them so much but mostly I have learned SO MUCH about major world events and world politics that I never really knew anything about before!