Reading Goal: Update 1

A couple of posts ago I mentioned I was going to try to read a certain number of books from various categories. I have not made a huge amount of progress. The only book I’ve finished so far was a Christian fiction book. However, I have nailed down at least some of the books I’m going to try.

The Christian fiction book I read was Just Beyond the Clouds, by Karen Kingsbury. It was fine. The handling of the protagonist’s former fiance made me uncomfortable but other than that it was a nice and sweet book. The book appears to be well-thought of on Amazon and LibraryThing but it didn’t particularly speak to me. I think perhaps it was because neither partner in the romance was particularly proactive. Perhaps some of this is due to the genre and the characters being accepting of God’s will. However, a little more spunk would have been nice to see.

For my next Christian Fiction book I think I’m going to try a non-romance. After I stopped reading Christian fiction the thriller/mystery/fantasy sub-genres really exploded. It’d probably be good for me to get a feel for some of those books.

Jaeger kindly provided a list of his recommended reads for me. My current plan is to start with Old Man’s War. This is a book I picked up and started reading once but only read a couple of chapters before I got distracted. Since then, I’ve read Heinlein’s Starship Troopers1, of which Old Man’s War is, I believe, a homage. I expect I’ll enjoy the book once I get past the lack of a female protagonist2.

The book I’m currently reading is Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. I’m counting Life of Pi towards my “literature” category based on it winning The Man Booker Prize in 2002. When I first started working in the library it was a really big hit. I was told by numerous librarians that I should read it but never did. However, with the movie currently out, it seems as good a time as any to read it. I am currently number 83 on the request list for the Blu-ray version of the movie so should have plenty of time to finish the book, and forget about it, before I watch the movie.

First impressions of Life of Pi: it’s a good book. It’s not a book that I would normally spend time reading but I don’t think I’m going to want my time back. I started it this evening and am currently at chapter 15. Assuming the book continues as it started, I think Jaeger would greatly enjoy reading it.

I’m also currently listening to Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman. If I ever finish it, this will count as one of my “short story” categories. Neil Gaiman is one of the very few authors who does a fantastic job narrating his own books. I enjoy many of Gaiman’s books3. However, I’m not sure I’m going to make it through this one. I’ve finished listening to the introduction, which was fascinating, and the first story, “A Study in Emerald”. I’ve enjoyed Sherlock Holmes ever since finding copies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories on a CD full of public domain books in the mid-90s. “A Study in Emerald” offered a very amusing twist on the typical Sherlock Holmes story. However, I’m having trouble moving on to the next story.

I only listen to audio books when I’m doing something else at the same time such as making supper, exercising, etc. Usually, when I’m listening to an audio book, I’ll start out by listening to the book intermittently. The book will eventually grab me and I’ll start listening to it every reasonable chance I get. Then, at the end, I will go out of my way to extend whatever task I’m doing in order to finish the book. To a certain extent, my reading usually follows the same pattern, minus the multitasking, usually. The problem is with short stories I can’t go through the progression. Just as I get into the story, it ends, and I’m left feeling . . . unsatisfied, I guess. Jaeger keeps trying to get me to listen to various Podcastle or Escape Pod stories. I have the same problem with them. It’s frustrating.

My next book, after I finish Life of Pi is going to be a mystery: What Darkness Brings, by C.S. Harris. Unfortunately, this is a mystery series that I have already found and enjoyed so I don’t think it’s eligible for my mystery category.

Current Goal Counts:

Category Goal Number Read
Best Sellers 2 0
Biography, Autobiography, Memoir 2 0
Fiction Books Jaeger Recommends 2 0
Christian Fiction 2 1
Graphic Novels 2 0
Historical Fiction 2 0
Informational 2 0
Juvenile Books 12 0
Literature 2 1 in progress
Mystery 2 0
Poetry Anthologies 2 0
Realistic Fiction 2 0
Short Story Anthologies 2 1 in progress
  1. I have had a unjustified dislike of Starship Troopers ever since the movie came out. This is because our local theater decided to carry it instead of Gattaca, which I had been looking forward to. Several years later, I watched the Starship Troopers movie, or at least fast forwarded through it, and remember shaking my head in stunned disbelief at what had upstaged Gattaca. I had been assured that the book was nothing like the movie but still was prejudiced against it. However, Jaeger owned the book so one night I picked it up and read it. I enjoyed it a fair amount though I was bemused by the level of proselytizing that went on in it.
  2. Conventional wisdom, which I believe is backed by research but don’t have the time to hunt down, claims that boys don’t read books about girls. However, girls allegedly don’t mind reading books about boys. This has never been true for me. In a pinch, if the books are good, I will read books with male protagonists. However, I always strongly prefer female protagonists.
  3. Listening to The Graveyard Book got me through some supremely hellish breastfeeding attempts after Calvin was born. Gaiman is one of several authors that I owe a huge debt for keeping me sane that first year after Calvin was born.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *