Book Challenge Update #2

One of my goals for this year was to complete a reading challenge. In my previous update I talked about the books I read for 4 categories: recommended, different-than-usual genre, current bestseller, and written by a favorite author. Now I can check 3 more off the list; over half-way through! Here they are:

1) A book I chose because of the cover: I read I Wear the Black Hat (by Chuck Klosterman). The whole point of this category is taking the risk to read something solely based on the cover. I chose this book because the cover design was unique and I found the tagline, “Grappling with villains” intriguing. Sadly, this book didn’t really deliver for me. This is partly because I didn’t care about many of the people he discussed (professional sports players, musicians, celebrities), and some of the events discussed were from before my time. It’s also partly because I didn’t care much for Klosterman’s writing style, which felt pretentious and unnecessarily complicated. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I could relate to more of his material and/or not feel like much of the text was there only to convince me of the author’s genius. That being said, it did make me think about some things in ways I hadn’t before.

2) A book from my childhood: I read Little House in the Big Woods (by Laura Ingalls Wilder) aloud to the kids. This was the first chapter book I’ve read to them and it was so fun because I still have memories of my own mom reading the Little House books to my brother and me. It’s a whole different experience reading these books as an adult and parent, relating more with Ma and Pa than with Laura and Mary. It makes me grateful for so many modern conveniences and awed at their bravery and dedication to making a life in the middle of the wilderness.  I’m excited to start reading Farmer Boy to the kids!

3) A book published this year: I read Better Than Before (by Gretchen Rubin). This was an interesting book, and a fairly quick read for non-fiction. I enjoyed the author’s overview of habits, how they can be useful, and how different personalities form habits. I felt like a lot of the information was not groundbreaking, but more like a description of things most people inherently know but rarely articulate. The most useful part for me was the breakdown of the different personality traits, how to determine one’s traits, and how that specific personality relates to habit-forming.

So that’s it! Seven categories down, 5 more to go. What have you been reading recently? I’m always up for talking about books!


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