Book Challenge Update

One of my goals for 2015 was to complete the book challenge from the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. So far, I’ve completed 4 of the 12 categories:

1) A book recommended by someone with great taste: I read The Martian (by Andy Weir), which was recommended by Big Man (who has great taste!). It was indeed a very fun book and I enjoyed reading it even though sci-fi isn’t a genre I usually read. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyes sci-fi, space, adventure stories, and/or dark humor. (Language warning for those who are sensitive)

2) A book in a genre I don’t usually read: I read My Life in France (by Julia Child). I rarely, if ever, read autobiographies, but I really enjoyed this one. Julia Child had a very interesting life and her passion for French cuisine comes through loud and clear in her writing. I always love reading about food! I enjoyed it, though it didn’t change my view on the autobiography genre as a whole. I’ll continue to read those books only if the author is someone in whose life I’m truly interested.

3) A book that is currently on the bestseller list: I read All the Light we Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr). It is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time, despite the depressing setting of World War II. The book was excellent, the characters were unique and well-written, and the story provided a different view of the War than most other fiction set in the same time period. The writing style took me a while to get used to; the first few chapters felt pretentious, but as the story progressed the style matched the storyline quite well. Overall, a wonderful book (though tragic) and one I’d recommend to anyone willing to handle the mature themes inherent in war. (Content/language warning for those who are sensitive)

4) A book by a favorite author: I read Straight (by Dick Francis). I am a big fan of Dick Francis mysteries. My grandmother was an avid reader and loved Dick Francis books. She introduced them to my mom, who in turn suggested them to me. (The late) Francis wrote great mysteries that are usually centered around British horse-racing, as he was a former jockey. I’m a horse person and a bit of an anglophile, so it’s really a perfect combination for me. Francis was prolific, and though I’ve read quite a few of his books, I tend to go in cycles with mysteries, reading several in a row and then taking a break. It’s been a few years since I read a Francis book, and I love that this reading challenge provided an reason to pick up another one. Straight was thoroughly enjoyable, and a great reminder of why Francis is one of my favorite authors.

With these four books completed, I’m a third of the way through the challenge. I’m currently working on the Book from my Childhood and Book I Chose from the Cover categories. Is anyone else doing the reading challenge? Or reading something you love? I’m always looking for book recommendations, so I’d love to hear from you!

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