Book Challenges- Week 9

I had a slow reading week. I was traveling and doing more writing than reading, which isn’t a bad thing, of course. It’s just always weird for me to look back at the week and realize I only barely finished two books.

Popsugar Challenge

(7/50) No reading progress this week. BUT, I was on an airplane and saw two strangers reading! It was a little disconcerting to look around the airport and see everyone staring at their phones. The way they were interacting with them, I could tell they weren’t reading. But in first class, a guy was reading Dan Brown’s Origin. The woman beside me on the airplane read Holes, by Louis Sachar (for about 5 minutes… but it counts!). Honestly, they both look good, so I’m excited that I now have choices.

To be honest, I felt a little bad. I was reading on my Kindle (because it’s obviously easier to travel with than paper books) and I thought, “If someone else is trying to spot a stranger reading in public, I’m being completely unhelpful.” Sorry everyone.

While I Was Reading Challenge

(3/12) 25% done, but no progress this week

The Unread Shelf

Running Total: 3

5 Classic Books

(0/5) No progress

Miscellaneous Reading

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YOU Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero: I used to be all elitist about self-help books, figuring they were all garbage saying some variation of “be positive!” Of course, that was when I was much younger, and before I’d ever read any. It’s easy to be critical of something you’ve never interacted with.

Then, when I was working on my Master’s Degree, one of my first assignments was to compile a list of ten self-help books that I’d recommend to clients, and what I’d recommend them for. So, off I went to the bookstore to take a closer look at these books.

What I found surprised me (and probably no one else). Some did appear to be garbage, of course. But far more appeared to be well-written by legitimate sources. The messages they delivered were far more complex than I’d think.

That set me on an actual exploration of self-help books. I’ve read more and more as time has gone on because I actually enjoy them. I enjoy the messages and recommendations to improve my already pretty wonderful life. If my life was less than wonderful, I think they’d be even more helpful.

This book was a lot of fun to read. I liked Ms. Sincero’s down to earth language and practical tips to reach goals and build confidence. A friend said this was great on audiobook, and though I didn’t read that version, my guess is that the enthusiasm of the author would bleed through even more than it did. (And even on paper, I could feel her enthusiasm.) I really enjoyed this, and if you’re looking for a fun and interesting book encourage you to reach any goal you’ve been putting off or “failing” at, this is a great place to start.

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The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman: So, I wanted an audiobook to read on a long car ride. When I asked for recommendations, this one popped up. However, it’s narrated by Neil Gaiman, and I can’t follow his voice. But it looked intriguing, so I had to read it anyway.

Nobody “Bod” Owens grew up in a graveyard after a man failed to murder him. The ghosts who live there vow to protect him and teach him everything they know. This book has lovely illustrations along with a captivating story. Another reason I’m glad I skipped the audiobook and went for the print version.

2018 Running Total: 23

Have you made any progress on your TBR or book challenges?

How To Catch People Reading In Public

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For my PopSugar challenge, I’m getting a little panicky. Ever since it was announced, I’ve been worried about how to fulfill it, and I have not yet had a sighting. The category is: a book that you’ve seen a stranger reading in public. But I don’t see people reading in public.

I don’t go out much. I was an early adopter of eBay and Amazon. When I realized I could get pretty much anything delivered to me, I was all in. There was even a time when I had my groceries delivered. (I stopped that after I asked for celery and got 1 piece of celery. Literally 1 piece.)

So, I go to Costco and the grocery store every week. I might pop into Target or Walmart monthly for paper goods or shampoo. Sometimes I drop something off at the post office, or go to the doctor/dentist/eye doctor. I ALWAYS have a book with me. (Honestly, I feel more naked without a book than without my phone.) If I have to stand in line for more than 30 seconds, I whip my book out and read.

But I don’t see anyone else reading at any of the places I go. Or at least, not books. Most people I see are staring off into space, or more often, staring at their phones. It could be that they’re all reading amazing books on the Kindle app, but it’s more likely they’re checking their Facebook or Instagram. And even if they are reading an amazing book, it’s not like I’ll ever know about it.

Same if I see someone reading a Kindle. I can’t see the title. Reader rule #1: Never interrupt someone reading. Never ever ever. The book gods will chew you up and use you as paper for the book you hate the most.

So, where do people read books? Does anyone have an answer for that? The library? A local coffee shop? I do go to the library, but primarily to pick up or drop off books. I don’t linger and stalk people. I do believe that most people at the library read their books flat (because hard backs can be hard to hold).

Then what happens if I finally do have an elusive sighting of another reader (a stranger, it specifically says) and their taste in books seems awful (Or, at least not appealing to me)?

What if I counted a book shown on Instagram? Those people are mostly strangers, and it’s obvious some of them are reading in a public place… does that count?

Help me! Tell me where you see strangers reading in public!