Reading Challenge 2015: Are we there yet?

All right, so it’s Halloween weekend and I don’t have  much Halloween specific to say on this post.  Well, maybe I do.  I did read a scary book for this installment of Reading Challenge 2015’s progress.  I guess that’s as Halloween-y as we get.  My son was supposed to be born on Halloween or, better yet, Guy Fawkes Day, but he decided to come a few days early and therefore chose neither.  I think he is the kind of kid who doesn’t want to share his day, anyway.  He is happy to be a holiday all on his own!

Today’s selection are again books that cannot move categories as well as other reading conquests from this year can.   I am still pressing to get this challenge completed and I have two months left in which to make it happen.

A Funny Book:

the importance of being earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

I am counting this despite the fact that it is a play and not really a book.  I have been waiting for the audio of Bossypants to come available at my library for months and my husband commented that he really enjoys Oscar Wilde and found this play ‘hilarious.’  While I am not sure I agree with it being hilarious, as Wilde uses the example of people acting like fools to prove a point, I liked that it was the inspiration for mistaken identity and screwball comedies as they became popular after Earnest. I don’t have a lot of patience with rich people being foolish and deceptive, which is also why I was frustrated with Vanity Fair. But it was a nice three hour listen on Audible and I managed it on a long car ride to see my sister.  I think it counts.  Maybe Tina Fey will pull through for me but in case she doesn’t, I have Oscar Wilde to count.

A book that scares you:

the bell witch

The Bell Witch, by John FD Taff

I thought this would be scary all the way through, because I love a good ghost story, but the poltergeist stops being scary partway through. I was somewhat familiar with The Bell Witch picking it up, but Taff has her become less supernatural than she is just human and builds human relationships with the family she haunts.  I love Ania Ahlborn and I bought her latest, Within these Walls, and if I have time this year I might read that, even though it is longer.  I have read The Bird Eater and Seed by her and I found both of them frightening.  I picked The Bell Witch because it is a part of American lore.  It was okay, not really scary.  I love dark stories.  With it being Halloween season I have loved all the blog posts listing collections of Victorian ghost stories that I should be reading.

A memoir:

the glass castle

The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls

I could barely consider myself well-read without tackling this anxiety provoking chronicle of a dysfunctional family that seems to top most lists of recommended memoirs.  I did a love hate dance to get through this book. It is like a train wreck: it is horribly sad but yet I could not put it down, and then I would get overwhelmed and then put it down, and then when I got back into reading it, I couldn’t put it down again. I consider that a powerful book.  I work with families whose lives are similar to how this family lived and it was even startling to me.  The book starts with Walls catching herself on fire at three years old while making herself hot dogs and just goes from there.  I wanted to be hopeful for this family that things could go well sometimes in the happiness that the children would try to create, but until they are old enough to leave, it more often ends in disaster. There are times of strength in this family and her memoir as well. There were times when her father especially had moments where he cared about her and was there for her and had powerful moments of connection.  I think those moments where he came through for her made her more likely to be loyal to him in the times where he was really struggling with his own demons.  Walls is a picture of resilience despite the adversity in which she grew up and I really admire her throughout her powerful and devastating narrative.

I always like to know what others read for these categories!  Leave a comment below!

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