• Ramona Hall

My 2017 Reading Challenge


I'm attempting to read fifty books this year. So far, I've made mostly great choices. here's what I've read so far:

Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. In this alternate reality novel, Germany and Japan won WWII. The story drags a bit in spots but, overall, the story is solid. In fact, it's jarring and upsetting. The America in this novel is not the America I know. Amazon recently released season two of adaptation of this book. I haven't had a chance to watch yet, but it's definitely on my list. I'm interested to see a visual interpretation.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Um, this book. I don't know. I have a weird relationship with Neil Gaiman. I like him. But I don't care for his books. It's weird. I've seen him give lectures and am excited to attend another lecture this Summer. But I just don't care for his writing. Maybe if he read everything to me, I'd enjoy it more. I am, however, looking forward to the show. Probably because Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday is brilliant casting.

1984 by George Orwell. This is a reread for me. I've read it twice before; the first time I was eleven-years-old and had no clue what it was actually about. My parents weren't big on censoring my reading material. This one was way out of my league, but I still enjoyed it. At nineteen I decided to revisit. I actually understood it this go around and loved it. 1984 recently became a bestseller again. I was reminded how much I love this novel so I gave it listen this time. I enjoyed the audio. Parts of it were intense, the torture scenes, for example, but, at thirty-four, I still love this book. If you've somehow not read this book, you should. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it's free with an audio companion. So, check it out.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This book is beautiful. That's about all I can say about it. There are aspects of fantasy, spiritual exploration, and a tiger named Richard Parker. It's great.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. This book has been on my To-Read list for years. Literally years. I can't explain why I kept putting it off. I regret doing so. I loved this book. It was funny, as Vonnegut always is, but the subject matter is not at all laughable. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, is a POW during WWII. As was Kurt Vonnegut. So, difficult topic, but a great book. I wish I'd read it sooner. So it goes.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I don't do a lot of nonfiction, but I'm trying to read more this year. I found this book interesting. The author, growing up in Kentucky and Ohio, gives the reader an inside look at the lives of working class Americans living in the rust belt. Part memoir, part social analysis.

The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I love Rainbow Rowell. Her stories are fun, sweet, easy reads. I read a lot of books with heavy subject matter. Every once in a while, I like to read something a little lighter.

Rainbow Rowell is my go-to. The Attachments is about a guy who falls in love with a woman he's never met. They work together; his job is to read office emails to make sure everyone is following policy. He falls for the woman while reading her emails to another coworker. Somehow, Rainbow Rowell makes this not at all creepy. Somehow. Because, in real life, it would be very creepy.

I'm currently reading:

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

So, that's it. I'm well on my way to meeting my goal of fifty.

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

-R


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