I've been able to check another three off the list, with the following categories complete.
Click through to see where I stand!
A BOOK CHOSEN FOR ME BY MY SPOUSE, SIBLING, CHILD OR BFF
Lady of Hay, Barbara Erskine
One day in January, I had a lovely time with my sister, having lunch and browsing through the bookstore. I told her about my reading challenge for this year, and she very enthusiastically recommended Lady of Hay. I picked up the 25th Anniversary edition, and it sat on the table and taunted me for a while. It's quite a large book, so it would also fit in the category of a book that intimidates me, but I have something else planned for that one. What can I say about Lady of Hay? I was frustrated, annoyed and wanted to throw this book against the wall several times. I hated all the characters, found the plot overly convoluted, and didn't care one way or the other what happened in the end. It was a struggle to finish – I kept waiting for it to improve, but in the end it was a big disappointment. I still love my sister, but won't be so quick to go with her recommendations next time. I realize that many people love this book, and it received four stars on Goodreads. Maybe it just doesn't stand the test of time. I don't know. Sorry.
A BOOK THAT WAS BANNED AT SOME POINT
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
On February 19, the famous American novelist, Harper Lee, passed away. I had always planned on reading To Kill a Mockingbird, but just hadn't gotten around to it, something I intended to rectify this year. I can't tell you how much I loved this book. I've reflected on it many times since I finished it back in February. This may turn out to be the most worthwhile novel I read this year. There are so many wonderful quotes that are very relevant today:
Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.
Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.
Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.
The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.
Things are never as bad as they seem.
A BOOK I PREVIOUSLY ABANDONED
Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake is the first book in the Madd Adam trilogy, and is told from the point of view of a odd character named Snowman. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, and through frequent flashbacks, we learn that he was once Jimmy, son of respected scientists who worked for a bio-engineering corporation. Though Snowman has survived the disaster that has wiped out a large segment of mankind, he is in constant danger. It is a cautionary tale of the risks of genetic engineering, and the dehumanizing of society. I'm glad I read it, even though it is way outside my comfort zone.
I'm already halfway through my reading challenge for the year, and it's only April! I'm kicking ass! I'm glad I decided to do this, because it's given me the opportunity to grow. I'm thinking, learning and reflecting on what I've read and experienced. Isn't that the whole point of reading?