2015 reading challenge: June report

This month was the first time that this project started feeling like a burden. I took a bit of a step back from it, since the whole reason I joined in was to broaden my reading material, not to torture myself or never read anything fun ever again. I ended up completing quite a few categories, but didn’t get through all fifty. I’m pretty close, though!

A book your mom loves:
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Grade: B
[My dad actually recommended this. He’s recently started a men’s book club.]

A mystery or thriller:
Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold. Grade: B
[Sci-fi, yes, but this one’s definitely a mystery too.]

A book you started but never finished:
No Limits by Lori Foster. Grade: C

A book written by an author with your same initials:
Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye. Grade: A

A play:
Three Screenplays by Edward Burns. Grade: C

A book with bad reviews:
Frog Music by Emma Donaghue. Grade: C
[The popularity of Amazon reviews has flattened out the rating of most books to between 3 and 4.5 stars – it’s pretty hard to find a well-known book that goes below or above that range once it’s been out more than a month or two. Frog Music comes in at 3.3 stars, as of this writing, which is closer to the bottom than the top of that range.
(The other approach, probably more intellectually solid, would have been to find a literary critic and choose one of the books they panned.)]

A classic romance:
Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer. Grade: D

A book with magic:
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Grade: B

Months completed: 6 of 12 (50%)
Challenges completed: 41 of 50 (82%)

I went ahead and used Laura Kaye this month for the “A book written by an author with your same initials” category – which are my first and middle initials, not my first and last – but when I was deciding what to do for this category a while ago, I did a web search and was browsing a list of famous authors with last names starting with T. On there was Leo Tolstoy. I’ve never actually read any Tolstoy, and so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and complete that category, and the “a book with more than 500 pages” category, by actually tackling War and Peace. I’ve ordered a copy of the recent Vintage Classics translation, which is supposed to be quite accessible. It’s over 1200 pages, so it might take me the rest of the year just to finish it!

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