Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 | Book Challenge No.7

With my university's far less than sufficient number of reading days and the delightfully dreary weather outside forcing me indoors, I felt it apt to finally post the next set of books. This should have been up a few weeks ago but I've been horrible with remembering to write down the books I read, and consequently the rest of my posts are delayed.

further reading: intro / part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5 / part 6

31. A funny book - Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
The second I saw Mindy Kaling was writing another book I put myself on the library queue and impatiently watched my reservation move closer and closer to the top of the list. I was a little disappointed by it as I felt her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me was better and funnier, but Why Not Me? is still good, full of hilarious essays, looks into her business life and relationships, and lists of her favourite things, all interspersed by her self-deprecating humour.

32. A book with nonhuman characters - Welcome To Night Vale by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink
I wasn't sure what to expect from a book adapted from the bizarre, alternate reality podcast, but what I got was not it. Instead of a rambling, plotless book, it was a well thought out, relatively normal-ish tale about two women, Jackie and Diane, who are caught in a strange mystery involving Night Vale, their hometown, and King City, a city whose name is found on puzzling bits of paper around Night Vale. Filled with much loved characters from the podcast and a few new ones, including Old Woman Josie, Cecil and Carlos, City Council, and a few angels all conveniently named Erika, Welcome To Night Vale is a fun read for any fan of the podcast.

33. A book based entirely on its cover - Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Days by Salman Rushdie
I picked this book up based on the cover art, and as I had no expectations going into reading it, I didn't leave with a strong sense of love or disappointment. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Days - an alternate way of saying 1001 nights - tells of two colliding worlds; a storm re-opens the slits between the ordinary human world and the magical jinni world, a war breaks out, and havoc is wreaked for 1001 nights. Many critics love this book, but I had a hard time caring about the plotline, and I ended up skimming the last 100 pages or so jus tot get to the end.

34. A book that scares you - In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
At this point everyone knows about the movie adaptation, but I picked up a copy after one of my history professors recommended it to us. Known as the tale that inspired Herman Melville's Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea relates the real life disaster of the Nantucket-based whaleship Essex after it was attacked by a sperm whale in the Pacific and how the crew struggled to survive. Though written in slightly dry, nonfiction format, the use of firsthand accounts makes Philbrick's tale a terrifying one.

35. A play - Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
I haven't picked up a Shakespeare play since freshman year so I was a little worried I'd lost my ability to read his plays, especially one I hadn't read before. Instead I found the language was easy to pick back up and finished Julius Caesar within a few hours. Believed to have been written in 1599, the tragedy follows Brutus' decision to join in a plot to kill Caesar and the disastrous results after Caesar's death. Though I typically like Shakespeare's comedies better than his tragedies, I really liked the character work in this one, and would recommend it to any fans of his other works.

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