Update #3: 2015 Reading Challenge

Well, I did it! I completed Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2015 Reading Challenge. It was harder than I expected, but it was fun to branch out a little bit and read things beyond my usual genres.

This was my first challenge, other than the Goodreads challenge, which I’ve done the last 2 year. I enjoyed it a lot, and as I wrote about last week, I’ve cooked up my own reading challenges for 2016.

Here’s a recap on the books I read since my last update.

August: A book you chose because of the cover…

I read a review of The Book of Broken Hearts in early July, and I knew this would be my pick. I love the heart made out of the pages of a book. I am a sucker for books with pictures of books on the cover. And the purple really makes it stand out. Not too many books are purple.

Unfortunately, I did not like the book as much as the cover. It was much more serious than I was expecting, and I didn’t really dig the motorcycle aspect. I enjoyed the characters, but something was off about the writing style.

Here’s my full review. 3 stars

September: A book recommended by someone with great taste…

Back in July, I mentioned to Sheila (The Deliberate Reader) that I didn’t really like memoirs. She made some recommendations in an attempt to change my mind. I accepted the challenge and selected Casting with a Fragile Thread from her recommendations. I decided to use it as my selection for September because I’ve been reading Sheila’s blog for a couple of years, and I trust her recommendations and reviews on books.

Sadly, this book really didn’t work for me. Like other non-celebrity memoirs (and even some celebrity memoirs), I had a hard time caring about the author and other “characters”. The style of memoirs is less story-like than I want from a book. I made it through, but it was a struggle that took me over a month, and it’s not a very long book.

Read my full review. 2 stars

October: A book by a favorite author…

I flipped September and October, so I could wait for Carry On to be published. And of course, I loved this book. It’s Rainbow Rowell, and she’s amazing. And Simon Snow and Baz are so adorable.

I could gush all day, but just go read my review. 5 stars

November: A book you should have read in high school…

I read all of the books I was assigned during high school, so I had to find something else that other high schoolers may have read. I originally selected Catch 22 for this category, but I was intimidated by the length. After it sat on my table for 6 weeks, I took it back to the library and got Slaughterhouse-Five instead. It’s a similar era book but MUCH shorter.

This book was very strange. It’s written in kind of stream on consciousness, and I was pretty confused a lot of the time. I need to read Wikipedia or something to understand what was supposed to be happening. My only real take away was that war messes people up big time! I’m not going to write a formal review since it’s a classic, but I will rate it…2 stars. At least it was a quick read.

December: A book that’s currently on the bestseller list…

I read a lot of bestsellers this year, but it seemed like cheating to count something I read earlier than December. So when All the Light We Cannot See came into the library for me, I decided to hold it until December.

I really enjoyed this book even though it lagged a little in the middle. The characters were terrific and the writing was absolutely beautiful. It definitely lived up to the hype.

Read my full review. 4 stars

I thought it would be interesting to look at the ratings of all of the books I read for this challenge. Here’s the tally.

5 stars – 2
4 stars – 4
3 stars – 3
2 stars – 3
1 star – 0

It turned out to be a pretty good mix of books. 75% were “good” books. That’s not bad. And no 1 star ratings is always a good thing.

How did you do on your reading challenges this year? What challenges did you do?

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