Friday, November 20, 2015

Reading Challenge Update: Help Needed!

It's been a while since I updated my progress on my reading goals.

Here's how I'm doing on the PopSugar Reading Challenge. Books read previously are in shades of green (and mentioned here and here). New reads are in blue (with pictures).

1. A book with more than 500 pages (The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, 512 p.)
2. A classic romance (Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë)
Does this count as a classic romance? It's certainly classic, and it definitely has elements of a Gothic romance. But I tend to think of it less as "a romance" and more as "a novel about terrible people behaving terribly, on the moors."

3. A book that became a movie (Cold Mountain)
Still haven't seen the movie, but now I can.

4. A book published this year (The Sculptor—Scott McCloud)
5. A book with a number in the title (Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal)
6. A book written by someone under 30 (Relish)
7. A book with nonhuman characters (Bone: The Great Cow Race)
8. A funny book (Hyperbole and a Half—Allie Brosh)
9. A book by a female author (Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal—G. Willow Wilson)
10. A mystery or thriller (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union)
11. A book with a one-word title (Trillium by Jeff Lemire)
12. A book of short stories (Africa39)

13. A book set in a different country (Behind the Beautiful Forevers)
14. A nonfiction book (Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas)
15. A popular author’s first book (Cinder by Marissa Meyer)

16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet (Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang)
17. A book a friend recommended (In the Open)
18. A Pulitzer-Prize winning book
19. A book based on a true story (Gaijin: American Prisoner of War)
20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list (At Home by Bill Bryson)
21. A book your mom loves
22. A book that scares you (Through the Woods)
23. A book more than 100 years old (Wuthering Heights)
First published in 1847.

24. A book based entirely on its cover (Mister Orange)
25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
26. A memoir (Relish)
27. A book you can finish in a day (Return of the Dapper Men)
28. A book with antonyms in the title (Alpha Zulu—Gary Copeland Lilley)
This poetry collection covers, among many other things, some of the author's experiences on a U.S. Navy sub. The title is play on the beginning and end of the military alphabet and a hint at the book's exploration of African-American manhood.

29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
30. A book that came out the year you were born
31. A book with bad reviews (Wuthering Heights)
Wuthering Heights received famously mixed critical reviews when it came out. A pattern which was repeated by my book club.
32. A trilogy
33. A book from your childhood
34. A book with a love triangle (Wuthering Heights)
Why anyone would seek out a book with a love triangle is beyond me. But Wuthering Heights to the rescue again! (Now there's a phrase I never imagined saying.)

35. A book set in the future (Trillium by Jeff Lemire)
Trillum by Jeff Lemire. This is on an earlier list, but I forgot to include it here. Half the book takes place in the year 3797.
36. A book set in high school (Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal)
37. A book with a color in the title (Little White Duck)
38. A book that made you cry
39. A book with magic (How Mirka Met a Meteorite—magic not explicitly mentioned, but a witch turns a meteorite into a person)
40. A graphic novel (Relish)
41. A book by an author you’ve never read before (Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal—G. Willow Wilson)
42. A book you own but have never read (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union)
43. A book that takes place in your hometown
44. A book that was originally written in a different language (Mister Orange—Dutch)
45. A book set during Christmas (Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas)
46. A book written by an author with your same initials
47. A play
48. A banned book
49. A book based on or turned into a TV show
50. A book you started but never finished
 But guys, it's November and I have fourteen things left on this list. Never mind my intention to read
A) books from South Africa and Lesotho, focusing particularly (though not exclusively) on work relating to the Zulu people (Africa39 contained three stories by authors from South Africa, so I haven't decided whether or not that counts towards my South African literature);
B) two Pulitzer-winning books, at least one of them fiction;
C) at least one book by a Nobel-prize-winning writer whose work I'm not well-acquainted with; and
D) seven poetry-related books (I'm currently at six, so this might happen).
I don't want to be a pessimist, but I don't think I'm going to make it. (I have only my ridiculous ambition and Tumblr to blame.) Also, I suspect my cold-heartedness is going to ruin me even if I manage to read everything else, but I want to try. (I hate that the list says, "A book that made you cry," and not just "a tearjerker." I didn't even cry when I read The Fault in Our Stars. Apparently, I am some kind of book-processing robot.)

Here's where I need your help: What's a good book that's become a television show? Where on earth do I find an author with the initials B.F.B.? (If you can think of an author with these initials, please let me know. I'm at a loss.) Any suggestions for other challenges on this list?

(Images from PublicBookshelf [Oxford World Classics cover of Wuthering Heights], GroveAtlantic,, Penguin Book Australia, Bloomsbury Publishing,, and Vertigo.)


  1. Though you've already heard my suggestions...some good children's books have become tv shows--and they're really short! ;)

    1. As I get toward the end of December, I may be looking as many short books as possible!

  2. What about Ellery Queen or Nero Wolfe?

    1. I like both of those suggestions. And it's been a while since I sat down with a mystery. . . .

  3. There is a poetess living in Port Hadlock with those initials - and I think she has been published recently......

    1. I might know who you're talking about. ;-) But I don't think she's published a whole book yet. I may have to give in and look for B.B. instead of B.F.B.