Books

2019 Reading Challenges

Yes, there's the annual Goodreads Challenge, which is simple enough: you simply choose a number of books you hope to read in the New Year and attempt to meet that goal before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2019. For some, that's enough, and those of us who do a Goodreads Challenge often increase our quota each year as a personal challenge.

If You Come Softly

Earlier this month, I wrote about John Green and Rosianna Halse Roja's new book club, Life's Library, that my sister bought me a membership to for my birthday in November. I just finished reading the first selection, Jacqueline Woodson's If You Come Softly, and I'm not disappointed. It's a simple yet moving story about first love, tragedy, prejudice, violence against young Black men and much more.

Life's Library

Life's Library isn't a book club for John Green fans who are expecting to read his works. Instead, it's a collection of books selected by Green and Rosianna Halse Rojas that's curated around a community of readers who get to discuss the books online together. Every six weeks, the club discusses a new book in a Discord community. The books aren't chosen around a theme, just books that the curators really enjoyed and want to share with the community.

Scarlet

I'm so glad to have picked up The Lunar Chronicles, particularly after I finished the last installment of Saga and am now heartbroken from it. (Let's be honest, fans; we all knew this was coming. It wouldn't be Brian K. Vaughan if it didn't happen.) I finished Scarlet in a day and just picked up Cress, and I'd rather just read it than deal with all the terrible feels I'm having this time of year. Spoilers ahead!

Cinder

I may be a bit late to the game when it comes to the Lunar Chronicles, but I'm completely hooked after the first book. Cinder, which has been dubbed a cross between a fairy tale and Star Wars, is the story of a cyborg teenager who has a complicated history, to say the least. In her world, cyborgs are second class citizens and don't have rights of their own, which is where her wicked stepmother comes in. It takes place on a futuristic Earth that has to contend with leaders on other planets, interplanetary politics and troubles with things like hovers and portscreens.

Best Books of 2018

As 2018 wraps up in the next few weeks (can you even believe it's almost over?), it's time to start thinking about anything you want to finish in 2018 that you didn't get around to just yet--including books! There are so many great lists of "The Best Books of 2018" available that there's no shortage of ideas if you don't already have a TBR (To Be Read) pile, but if you have a list we'd love to know what you want to read and what you enjoyed most in 2018. 

True Horror

There's no shortage of horror to go around at Halloween time or any other time of year, but did you know that there are a lot of horror books written about true stories? Sure, you get books like the Amityville Horror and The Exorcist that are said to be based on real events (the Exorcist hospital is in St. Louis where I live and it's a popular local story), but proving that they're real is something altogether different. 

Classic Children's Lit

As a lifelong lover of books, I will read almost any type of book, although I also have my favorite genres. My daughter, who turns 13 this weekend, is growing out of children's literature (how are we just now getting around to reading Charlotte's Web?) and I really hope that she returns to it someday, with her own kids or without. Right now she doesn't want any and I'm not partial to being a grandparent to a human or a cat, so whatever she does is up to her!

Book Abandonment

When I was a kid, I always read the book I was reading until the end. It didn't matter if I didn't love it or not, and I must say that as a kid I liked more books than I like as an adult anyway, but that's beside the point. Another mom and I were discussing when we draw the line at where to quit reading a book we're not into the other day and while we agreed that three chapters is usually good for a longer book, a shorter book might need more pages. She conceded that 50 might be enough, but I said sometimes that if I hate a book enough in the first chapter, I'll close it for good.

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