Reading Challenge: TV, holidays and shorts

I have been struggling to accept the inevitability of fall this year.

I used to love fall.  The return to school, the exciting school swimming season, the changing leaves, being bundled quickly in darkness at the end of the day, followed with fantastic holidays in rapid succession. Childhood magic at its finest.

This love persisted until I had my son at the end of October 2012. I was stuck at home barely sleeping with a sack of flour as the wonders of fall (which was ignored due to the wonders of a soon to arrive baby, a new house and a nutty maternity leave to arrange) descended into the hard and cold winter months. No longer was I going to be willing to make drives and take a gamble on the weather and baby schedules to see friends and family when I was feeling lonely, and then to boot in the following years, I had a child to entertain indoors.

I continue to barrel through the reading challenge because we only do have a few short months left until time is up and everyone else’s recommended reading for the closing year blooms all over the internet. And it is keeping my mind off the impending isolation of winter.

Three more choices to fit in limited categories:

A book based on or turned into a TV show: I had three contestants for this one. Sex and the City by Carrie Bradshaw, Gossip Girl  by Cecily Von Ziegesar, and:

pretty little liars

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

This one had better ratings than the other two and was available from my local library as an ebook, so that superficially made it win. (I was disappointed that people rated Sex and the City so low when it was great on the screen. It probably retains its’ spot on my TBR list nonetheless.) I don’t wonder why Pretty Little Liars is so amazingly popular as books and a TV show.  It plays on the common teenage insecurity of people finding out your secrets under a pretty and perfect facade.  And anyone who does not have such a facade would love to believe that people who do harbor similar miseries on their downtime as well. I was caught up in it too, even though I did watch some of the series walking on the treadmill through my uncomplicated but exhausting pregnancy (childbearing is sooo my favorite, can’t you tell?). I blew through this one in a few days and any pop culture knowledge helps me be less dork and more relatable to some of my clients. Still dork though.

A book set during Christmas: In my search for the book to fit this category, I discovered that Christmas is ripe fodder for a cozy mystery.  I love me a cozy mystery, and in fact my favorite cozy mysteries series, Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen, has a Christmas book that I listened to at Christmas and loved. But I wanted something different, so for 2.99 on Kindle I bought

Christmas Slay Ride

Christmas Slay Ride: Most Mysterious and Horrific Christmas Day Murders by Jack Smith

Probably a startlingly gruesome choice, I imagine, but I have a dark side to my reading at times. I thought it was a different interpretation of the category. In a similar vein I am considering In Cold Blood for my book based on a true story or I, Ripper  by Stephen Hunter. This was a quick read of true murder stories, exactly as the title suggests. They could be a good inspiration for fiction as well, with some not so true to life embellishments.

A book of short stories: I have two of Karen Russell’s short story collections, numerous of the best of the year (kindle and paper) and even the best of the century anthologies, 20 under 40, The Best of Roald Dahl, Runaway by Alice Munro and two editions of the O.Henry Awards Prize Stories, and with my birthday money I bought:

the shell collector

The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr

Because I love his language in All the Light We Cannot See.  This is the only time I have bought professional narration with a book and have not felt it was right for the book. Don’t worry, Audible, I still love you and you can still take my money, but I gathered a different tone reading rather than listening and I did not like that.  Despite this, this brief collection reminded me that if I want to be serious about short stories, this is the inspiration that I need.  I loved his exotic settings and his juxtaposition of themes and relationships and the language was gorgeous as expected. I am partial to Doerr when he uses nature and natural history and ocean life in his work because those also intrigue me. I put the rest of his works on my Amazon list. Because, you know, that’s what you do.  I might read one of Karen Russell’s short collections, or maybe Sleep Donation, for my someone under 30, (girlfriend is my age and I have been coveting her abilities since before we were 30) if I don’t count Frankenstein for that and count it for a Famous Author’s First Book instead, which I am considering reading Carrie by Stephen King.

These are always good posts to see what others may fit in these categories! Please leave a reply!

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