April 8, 2019

Reading Challenges Check-In #5

Since I've been semi-good about doing the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge this year, I thought we should do a check-in. And maybe I'll surprise us all and have worked on the Newbery Challenge as well. This is my first true check-in since April of 2018 lol.

RGC Progress

I read The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher in January. It was 749 pages and wasn't as interesting as I hoped. It was half information about food and how things should be cooked or eaten, and half random memories of the author's at various restaurants.

Then, at the end of the month, I squeezed in The Phantom of the Opera, officially putting me ahead of schedule for my 2019 RGC goal (to read one a month). It helped clarify some of the scenes in the musical, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I liked how Leroux truly was the narrator and sometimes had little asides for readers.

In February, I came one step closer to finally reading all of Jane Austen's work. I read Northanger Abbey in the middle of the month and found I enjoyed it greatly.

Then, to round things out, I read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway in March. All I have to say is, let's be real: Hemingway is trash.

We'll see if I stay on track with the challenge as 2019 progresses. I feel like it's easy to stay dedicated in the first three months or so, but then taper off as the year goes on. I do have a list of the 12 RGC books I wanted to specifically read this year, so maybe that will help. It's less daunting than the whole giant spreadsheet.

Newbery Progress

Guess what! I read 2018's winner, Hello, Universe, at the end of February! 

I got lucky because it was a free Prime Reads pick, so I shrugged and downloaded it. The characterization was good, but the book felt lacking overall. I needed more about the characters, and the pacing felt off, and the story ended too suddenly. Also it really bothered me that there were no consequences for Chet's bullying?? Like, is that really a message we should give middle schoolers, that other kids can just get away with bullying? I know the world isn't perfect, but I worry about kiddos.

That's all I tackled for the Newbery Challenge, but I also added this year's winner to my spreadsheet, so I've got another book to read. I've also started thinking that it might be fun to do challenges themed around the Printz, Morris, and National Book Awards after I finish this one.

Are you doing any reading challenges this year? How are they going?

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