Northwest Native: Summer Reading Challenge Update #2

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge Update #2

Two months down, one to go! If you want to see my introductory post to the challenge and the first update, the links are below.
Summer Reading Challenge - Reading List
Summer Reading Challenge - Update #1

Hosts: KariKrystalKristen

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Category: A book about summer
Pages: 227
Date Started: July 19th
Date Completed: July 25th
I definitely misjudged this book. I had assumed it was a fluffy young adult book. I didn't really expect much substance. It was actually kind of dark, and it was definitely mysterious and took a few twists and turns. I'm especially surprised about this, because I just learned on Goodreads that this is the author of The Boyfriend List, which I read in like middle school and was definitely a fluffy young adult book. I loved it at the time, but I was also a lot younger then. A blogger's review was that they were let down by this book, so I was also expecting to be let down. But again, it was a completely different book than I had thought it would be. I really enjoyed it.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Category: A book that is or will be a movie
Pages: 369
Date Started: July 26th
Date Completed: August 10th
I first saw this on one of those '20 books you have to read right now!' type of lists. The comments mostly said that The Martian had too much science/math stuff, so they didn't like it, which turned me off. But then I saw a preview for the movie and I thought it looked so good! Did anyone else think it was for a sequel to Interstellar...? Because Matt Damon AND Jessica Chastain in a movie about space? Didn't this just happen? Anyway, at the end of the trailer when the title came up, I knew I had to read the book. The movie just looked too good, and I knew the book would be even better. I purchased it on my Kindle, then kind of panicked because a bunch of blogs said audiobook was better and easier to understand all the science. But, being the cheapskate I am, I forged ahead reading it because I paid $6 for this thankyouverymuch! It was really hard for me to get into it in the beginning, because yes, it's all oxygen levels and atmospheres and nitrogen and hydrogen and how did my brain not explode? I thought I'd fail the reading challenge just trying to finish this! But then it stopped only being the martian's point of view. Adding more point of views made it much more enjoyable (even though the main character has some pretty hilarious one-liners) and less science-y and I didn't want to put it down after that. So, I highly recommend it! And reading it isn't that scary. But like I said, the audiobook is super popular, so maybe you'd prefer that route!

Flight by Sherman Alexie
Category: Book with a one word title
Pages: 208
Date Started: August 11th
Date Completed: August 16th
I happened to read Sherman Alexie's book (a collection of short stories) The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven in just a few days when Michael and I went to Mexico. Whatever I was reading on my Kindle ended on the flight there, and Michael had brought that with him, so I read it, not sure if I'd like it. After reading that I was a huge Sherman Alexie fan. He's from Washington (I believe he currently lives in Seattle) and of course he writes primarily about Native Americans. I personally am disgusted with what we did to Native Americans when we came here, and with how we still treat them, so I love that Sherman Alexie gives a voice to modern Native Americans and their struggles. This book was kind of like another book of short stories, but it was one overarching story. The main character is transported into a new body/place in time in each chapter. He sees white violence toward Native Americans, Native American violence toward whites, among other things. Oh and the main character's story is set in Seattle (and they mention a bunch of random, obscure places in Seattle, which is always fun to read) so I loved that too, of course. I will definitely be reading more of (all of!) Sherman Alexie's books.

I saved $41.33 on this challenge by getting a library card! (Compared to purchasing the cheapest Prime-eligible version of each book on Amazon--the cheapest happened to be Kindle for all of them.)
  1. A YA Book - Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult library book
  2. Non US Author - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Kindle loan from Michael
  3. A book that was recommended by a blogger - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty purchased on Kindle
  4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein library Kindle book
  5. A book with a kickass female character - Wild by Cheryl Strayed purchased on Kindle
  6. A book that is or will be a movie - The Martian by Andy Weir purchased on Kindle
  7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity - Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham library Kindle book
  8. A book with a one word title - Flight by Sherman Alexie library Kindle book
  9. A suspenseful book - Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn library Kindle book
  10. A book about summer/with summer in the title/somehow related to summer -  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I only have one book left to read! I kind of thought I'd be done with the challenge by the time I posted this, but I haven't even started Americanah yet. I plan to read it on the flight to Oakland and the flight back, though, so I should get some major progress in this weekend!
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  1. Reading this makes me miss reading. My life has been so crazy lately that I dropped the ball on picking up a book. I need to get back into that habit again! I love reading/seeing stuff about space so I think I might have to pick up The Martian.

  2. i've got martian and audiobook and quit about 1 hour into it. this is a great reminder to get back into it. love reading everyone's books in this challenge!

  3. I have started Someday, Someday, Maybe a couple of times now. I need to get to it and just finish it already!

  4. I like Sherman Alexie books too but haven't read that one yet! Will check it out :)

  5. Oh I totally want to read WIld. My friend said it was great. Great job with all the reading.

  6. i LOVED the martian, but i listened to it. i think that if i had tried to read it vs audiobook i wouldn't have liked it as much. ps did you know you can get refunds for kindle books on amazon within like 7 days? i did it because i accidentally bought the wrong book haha, i never knew.
    i did not like we were liars AT ALL but i know lots and lots and lots of people did. i think because my expectations were too high. glad you enjoyed it!

  7. I really want to read The Martian! Glad to hear you liked it. :)

  8. Fun! 1 left is excellent. I got distracted with two short books and have 4 left consequently, but I think I can get them read in plenty of time :) We were liars sounds interesting! I started Someday, Someday Maybe a long time ago, it was wintery at least in the beginning so I am hoping to read it fully later this year. I love Lauren Graham. XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  9. I loved The Martian but I did it via audiobook because I knew I couldn't read through the technical stuff. I absolutely loved it and cant wait to see the movie!

  10. I just got The Martian and can't wait to get into it and see what all the fuss is about! Great job on the reading challenge, and saving some dollahs!

  11. Great job on your reading challenge! What is We Were Liars about?

  12. I'm jealous of all your reading! I need to get off my computer! Haha

  13. Mattie, I think we are somehow connected. I realized how little I was reading and I was just looking at amazon and wrote some names down. The Martian and We Were Liars were two them #telepathy Now I really can't wait to read them!!

  14. Your review of The Martian could be mine almost exactly (except I read the book). I almost gave up, then the folks on Earth showed up. And, I got hooked to all the characters. I've yet to read a Sherman Alexie book but I plan to do so.

  15. I love that you do these book reviews! Please don't ever stop. They give me such great ideas because I love to read. THANK YOU!!!!!

  16. Wow! One book left!! I loved the Martian too! I actually did the audiobook version since everyone recommended it and I had Audible credits (thanks Amazon) and I think if I had read it I wouldn't have loved it as much as I did because of all the science/math stuff. But yes, I agree that when the other characters points of view were introduced it got a whole lot better!

  17. I'm going to give you a teaser because my review doesn't go live until.. Thursday I think. But Come Away With Me by Karma Brown? Easily in my top 10 for the year. It was SO DAMN GREAT. But I'm also a fan of Susanna Daniel and this reminded me of her. My fav book by Daniel's is Sea Creatures. Oh!!! You should read The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian! It's one of my all time favorites. Love, love, love!

  18. One more to go! You are amazing, haha. I used to read so much but now it's been hard for me to get into books again. I think I would struggle with The Martian too-- all that science stuff would be hard to read. You also just reminded me that I wanted to pick up Sharp Objects!

  19. I looooved The Martian too! I was a bit worried it was going to be too science-y-- as was everyone else apparently, haha, but you're right it wasn't that much and I don't think it took away from the book. Yay for getting a library card-- getting library e-books was the best thing to happen to my wallet, haha.

  20. Yay for only one more left to read!! As for the Martian, I liked it but didn't love it. I wish I loved it like everyone else though lol

  21. Wow, congrats on almost being done!

    I felt the same about We Were Liars. Despite all the "the ending twist OMG" talk, I was expecting how dark the novel was. I remember being both in awe of E Lockhart's writing style and frustrating sad about the whole ordeal. Unlike other people, I was completely blindsided.