Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Update X

Wow I did a really great job last month!!  I read eight books and I'm halfway through another one!  Granted they were fairly short books, but I'm really excited.  The past two weeks have royally SUCKED because everyone at work is sick (except me... so far....) so I've been doing a lot of reading to try to relieve stress (being around sick people stresses me out).  It truly is my go to coping mechanism when my anxiety or stress levels are high.  So it's been good for the challenge at least haha.  I now only have six (actually five and a half) books to go.  I was feeling overwhelmed for a while thinking I wasn't going to make it, but these shorter books have been a huge help in getting caught up.  I'm so glad I got the long ones out of the way at the beginning of the year, especially Gone With the Wind since it had eight or nine hundred pages.  So enough rambling, here's what I read for October.

I read Sing For Us for the based on a true story.  It was set during the civil war and was actually a really good book.  It's funny because I really don't like war movies, but books are usually good.  Of course it wasn't really in the middle of the war.  It was actually about a Confederate hospital close to the end of the war and was a love story.  I wasn't too sure about it at first, but by the time I finished it I liked it.  It has some really sad parts in it, especially knowing that stuff like that really happened.  Some of it was really gross too by the way!  Overall I enjoyed it.

Rebecca was suggested to me for classic romance and the person compared it to Wuthering Heights (okay didn't really compare it, but said if I liked Wuthering Heights I would like this).  I loved Wuthering Heights so I was excited to read this, however the comparison gave me expectations that were wrong.  This book was not set in the same time frame and it took me a bit to realize that.  When I first started reading it the first person point of view totally threw me for a loop because nobody wrote in first person at the time Wuthering Heights was written (well not that I've read anyway).  Once it finally sunk it what time it was set in I really enjoyed the book.  It was strange and different, but I liked it!  It doesn't really send out a very good message... but it was good lol.

I wanted to get the non-fiction category over with so I started looking through the Kindle Unlimited stuff on Amazon (I had a free trial) for the shortest non-fiction book I could find.  I knew if I started reading one of my horse books it would take forever for me to finish it, because I like to slowly peruse them and absorb what I'm reading (not to mention some of them are really long and most of them I've already read a lot of and I didn't want to read something I'd already started).  I found this anxiety book and figured I would give it a shot, since I have problems with anxiety.  I'll just say... I'm glad it was really short.  I don't even remember much of it because it was mostly stuff I already knew.  Oh well, at least that dreaded category is over with.  :)

I read Confessions of a Kleptomaniac for the set in high school book.  It was kind of weird... I'm really not a huge fan of switching points of view (although they did at least only switch in different chapters), especially in first person present (why is that all anyone writes anymore??????), but at least they were consistent.  Once I got used to the flow of the story I did actually like this one.  The characters were interesting and the story was definitely different from anything I've read before.  This was another Kindle Unlimited book.  I made good use of my trial lol.

I borrowed the movie Water For Elephants from a friend.  I'd been wanting to see it because the book started out as a NaNoWriMo novel!!  Learn more about NaNoWriMo here.   I'm a huge fan of NaNo, so this has been on my list a while.  I really enjoyed the movie so I started looking for the book and I found it on Kindle Unlimited (yay free trial!!).  It was different from the movie, but I loved them both equally (rare for me)!  Again it was first person present tense... does anyone write in third person anymore????  It seemed to work well for this one though, but it's really been an adjustment reading all of these present tense books.  I really, really enjoyed learning more about how the circuses used to be.  The facts in this book were so interesting.  The author spent a lot of time on her research!  I enjoyed reading more about her too.  :)

I didn't have a category in mind when I read this one (I wanted to read it before my trial ran out), but I decided to put it in the love triangle category and I'm moving Wicked to the book with bad reviews category.  I was having trouble finding a book with bad reviews because I was looking for one that had mostly or all bad reviews.  That's really hard to find.  On Amazon and Goodreads both you rarely find a book under three stars.  Then I realized I could interpret it differently... it's says a book with bad reviews... it doesn't say how many bad reviews.  So technically any book with more than one bad review would fit this category.  Wicked had quite a few bad ones and to be honest my own for it isn't great, so I figure it works.  :)

This is going to be a first for me... I HATED this book! I chose B The Exxtinction for the future book because it's set in 2034 and it was on Kindle Unlimited (thank heavens I didn't pay for this one... if I had I would have burned it and I truly respect books).

This book is without a doubt the worst book I have ever read in my entire life!  The only reason I finished it is because it's short and I really wanted to see if it could get any worse lol.  Not only is it full of typos but it has chapters that are in first person present tense and other chapters that are in third person past tense.  Who does that??  That's bad enough, but there were even sentences that were half present and half past tense!  In the same sentence!  What the heck???  This author should NEVER write in present tense ever again (if he should even write anything at all... the idea behind the story wasn't that bad, but I couldn't enjoy it because everything else was horrible).  I don't think this book was proofread at all.  It also broke one of the biggest rules of writing in present tense... the main character tells parts of the story in first person present tense of things that were happening somewhere else!!  The whole point behind first person is that you're only supposed to know what the character knows.  They can't know what is happening miles away in present tense!  This book should never have been written in present tense.  It would have been so much better in third person past tense!  Why doesn't anyone write fantasy or sci-fi in past tense anymore?

I've been reading a lot of self published books this year and I try to ignore the typos because it happens, but I couldn't ignore the constant and repeating errors in this book.  The writing was so stilted that there was no flow at all.  The grammar, the punctuation, the spelling... all horrible.  He couldn't even get redneck right!!  He left the apostrophe out of y'all.  Some examples of the horrible grammar and spelling are... creator was used TWICE for crater... lighting instead of lightning... your instead of you're... whaling instead of wailing (seriously??)...  I can care less instead of I cannot care less... peaks my interest instead of piques my interest...  crevasse instead of crevice... what is really funny is he tried to use a bunch of big words to sound smart, but couldn't even get the simple words right.  Something else that annoyed me to no end is he kept using "I will like to say" instead of "I would like to say".  I've never seen anyone write or heard anyone say "I will like to say"...

Anyway I could go on and on... it isn't like me to completely trash a book like this, but it truly was horrible...  I did realize after I'd finished reading it that the author's name is Santiago Mantilla... which is Spanish... so maybe English isn't his native language... in which case he should have paid a proofreader before publishing.  The truly awful thing is that it has four 5 star reviews on Amazon... hahahaha!!!  Anyway I'll quit rambling on about this book.

So the other two books I read were for the categories "A book that takes place in your hometown" and "A book that came out the year you were born".  For obvious reasons I'm not writing the titles on here.  It's probably a good thing anyway because the book I read for my hometown was bad... not as bad as the above book, but I didn't like it.  The one I read that came out the year I was born I really liked though.  :)

The only categories I have left are:

1. A book with a number in the title - Was thinking of Fahrenheit 451 if I can find it.  Anyone read that?
2. A popular author's first book - Already have this one picked out.
3. A book more than 100 years old - halfway done with this one.
4. A book you were supposed to read in high school, but haven't
5. A memoir
6. A banned book

P.S.  If anyone made suggestions for any of these categories and I didn't use them, it was nothing against you.  I just couldn't find them for free.  I've been getting all of these books from my mom, the library, free on Amazon or with my free trial on Kindle Unlimited.  I can't afford to buy all of these books, so I hope I didn't offend anyone by not using your suggestion.  I really appreciate all of your help!