Every year, PopSugar puts out a reading challenge.
The goal is to inspire readers to branch out and try new genres. For me, the list lets me be competitive at something I’m decent at–reading. Here is my first installment of the novels that fit the first nine requirements from PopSugar’s list. I tried to go in order of their list, but that almost drove me bonkers. I also wanted to post my own picture of the book for a few reasons. First, the list should be personalized to you, therefore a personal picture seemed fitting. Second, I felt like I needed to post a picture to keep me accountable. (I’m not above cheating at board games and seemingly pointless reading challenges.)
A National Book Award Winner: Challenger Deep -
4 out of 5 ââââ
is from the perspective of a teenager who suffers a schizophrenic breakdown. I spent the whole book struggling to identify what was real and what was a dream or perceived reality. I can’t say I will ever truly understand what it is like to have a schizophrenic breakdown. But, I can now say I have a better
understanding of what this world is like. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, not because it left me feeling good, but because mental illnesses are hard for people to understand. Challenger Deep
helped attempt to fill this unfillable void.
A Book Set In Europe: All the Light We Cannot See -
5 out of 5 âââââ
If you haven’t been recommended this book yet, then you are hanging around with the wrong book readers. Set during World War II, the story follows two people on different sides of the war. It is a beautiful book that describes the world from the perspective of a girl who cannot see better than I could with all of my senses in tact.
You must read this book before it becomes a movie and you can't experience all of the light on your own.
A Book You Can Finish In A Day: The School of Essential Ingredients -
5 out of 5 ðŸðŸðŸðŸðŸ
You will need an ambitious 24 hours to read this book. Luckily, the 256 pages read quickly. Lillian’s cooking class and the stories of the students who gather to learn about the essential ingredients make the time pass quickly. Each chapter identifies a new ingredient and the back-story of a specific character. The format of the book and the beauty of the words help make this story a quick read.
*Be sure that you plan a hearty supper as a reward for when you finish this book. Reading about good cooking makes me hungry.
A Book With A Blue Cover:* The Clasp -
2 out of 5 ðŸ’ŽðŸ’Ž
*other versions of the book have a blue cover
It wasn’t until around page 108 that I committed to this novel. This book is shelved under romance, but the romance is a slow, slow burn. It is more of a group of old college friends, trying not to be obvious jerks to each other. There is an added layer of mystery as the clique attempts to solve the puzzle of a missing necklace. Do yourself a favor and read the short story “The Necklace,” by Guy de Maupassant before
you begin the book. You’ll feel so superior to anyone who hasn’t read it before they begin The Clasp.
A Book That’s Guaranteed To Bring You Joy: Big Magic -
5 of 5 ðŸŽ†ðŸŽ†ðŸŽ†ðŸŽ†ðŸŽ†
brings me great joy. I love anything that encourages people to be creative. Ever since watching this Ted talk
about creativity, I’ve made an effort to seek out people who emphasize the importance of thinking creatively. In Gilbert’s book, she focuses on courage, persistence and trust (among other things.) It’s a little hippy-dippy, but that can be a good thing. (P.S. You’re not too good to read hippy-dippy self-help books.)
A Book Based On A Fairy Tale Briar Rose -
3 of 5 ðŸŒ¹ðŸŒ¹ðŸŒ¹
If I weren’t attempting to complete this list I would never willingly choose to read Briar Rose
. Judging by the cover alone, I would quickly discard this story that uses Sleeping Beauty as a template to tell the story of a woman who survived the Holocaust. Based off of this selection alone, I can tell I am already reading stories that I never would read before. Thanks PopSugar!
A Book Set In Your Home State: One Last Thing -
3 out of 5 ðŸ’‹ðŸ’‹ðŸ’‹
Pinterest directed me to this novel with an article about all the books set in all of the fifty states. (Maybe I will try that list next.) My other options were Beloved, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Clay’s Quilt
and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.
I’ve read most of those and they are all immensely depressing. One More Thing
was not depressing. It was sassy. I blushed a little at the scenes that mentioned people’s “lengths” but I didn’t end the novel in a funk. The book wasn’t a story that embodied Kentucky. Harper mentions the Wildcats and the Louisville police force, but nothing that speaks to what it means to live in Kentucky. It did, however, satisfy the home state requirement, so I’m sticking with it.
A Book Translated To English: The Heart -
5 out of 5 ðŸ’”ðŸ’”ðŸ’”ðŸ’”ðŸ’”
Originally written in French, the story is about Simon's heart. It only takes twenty-four hours for his heart to change from its original location to its new owner. It's hard to write a synopsis of the book because the story is so simple. The writing is the heart of this book. De Kerangal makes gorgeous comparisons using food, sports, music and nature. It's impressive to read how much she can pack into 240 pages. Even the compact size of the book reminds me of how much we figuratively store in this organ. You must read this book so you can have your heart broken in two on page 207.
A Book That Was Published In 2016: The Queen of the Night -
3 out of 5 ðŸ’ƒðŸ¼ðŸ’ƒðŸ¼ðŸ’ƒðŸ¼
This novel is on a lot of “books to read” lists. The Queen of the Night
follows Lillet Berne who is a famous opera singer who has a mysterious past. Lillet receives a book that tells the exact story of her past, except there are only a few people who know her story. All 560 pages are spent tracing down the person who leads to her undoing. I wouldn’t suggest this book for the plot. I would suggest this book for Chee’s depiction of Lillet’s wardrobe and description of her beautiful singing voice.
Nine Down. Thirty to go!