• Ryanne Harper

Reading Challenge Update: March Edition

The goal is fifty-two.

I have finished one book since my last update. Oops.

Small Steps by Louis Sachar: Three Stars

This is a sequel to Holes. For me, it's just as good. I liked the main character, Armpit. I particularly liked his friendship with his young neighbor. This was an easy read; it only took me a few hours. It's just what I needed, though, after How to be Both and my failed attempt at Tropic of Cancer.

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller: Did not, could not, finish

I have nothing nice to say and, as my momma taught me, if you can't say anything nice it's probably because there isn't a redeemable quality. None. This guy. He's the worst; it's the worst. This book was a huge waste of $3.27.

I was starting to get worried; afraid I'd hit a slump. So far, I'd chosen one mediocre at best book after another. And then HALLELUJAH! (sing it to yourself) Magpie Murders happened.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz: Four Stars

How refreshing. This book is an old school British mystery surrounded by another mystery. An editor receives a manuscript from her famous murder mystery author. While she's reading it, the author dies. Mysteriously. So, it's a neat little mystery tucked inside another neat little mystery. It's a lot of fun and it was a delight to read after the disasters that were How to be Both and Tropic of Cancer.

Magpie Murders also seemed to change my luck because I am currently reading three books that are shaping up to be five star books.

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

It's about as high fantasy as a book can get. Magic, demons, a school for arcanist; it's great. The tome is about seven hundred pages, which can be daunting. But, once it starts, it's so engaging.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

This book should absolutely be required reading. Henrietta Lacks is the source of the now famous HeLa cells. Her cells, taken without her permission, are unique in that they are easily grown in culture. Her cells were used to create the polio vaccine and most modern medicines. Rebecca Skloot, a science journalist, digs deep to find out the circumstances in which her cells were stolen, she spends time with the descendants, all of whom were unaware of their mother's contribution to science and medicine, and, through her investigation, shines light on the unethical practices of inmate testing, research without consent, and other atrocities often affecting the poor, black community. Like I said, it should be required reading.

Different Seasons by Stephen King.

Different Seasons is a collection of novellas: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, The Body, and The Breathing Method. Three of the stories have adapted to the screen: Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, and The Body became the film Stand By Me. I have finished Shawshank, which is exactly like the film, and I'm about halfway through Apt Pupil. It's good, but it makes me uncomfortable. It's about a young boy who has an unhealthy interest in World War II. He discovers that the sweet old man down the street is actually a former high ranking Nazi in hiding. The boy vows to expose him unless he tells him, in great detail, all the horrific things he did while working in the camps. The tables eventually turn. I have a feeling it will not end well for the boy.

Miss my last reading challenge update? Read the blog here.

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