January Update on Challenges

A month has already come and gone, and it’s been a whirlwind! I traveled from St. Louis back to Asheville in my new (used) car courtesy of my lovely parents, I worked at opening up the cafe that I’m now supervising, I started a 32 hour a week internship, and I’m on my last semester of classes! It’s a wonder I’ve managed to read anything at all. Hopefully once I settle in I’ll have the chance to read a few more books.

*Links take you back to my past book reviews.*


I read 9 out of 87 total, which means I’m at a total of 9 out of my goal of 30, to reduce my bookshelf by 35%.

Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

I read several books for this challenge. First on the list was a dystopian novel. I read The Dean Machine, which is set in a dystopian society called the Yellow City. Everything is yellow, and you’re not allowed to buy any other colors than yellow. It reminded me of the Giver in the beginning, but it took a very different turn. Despite all of the intrigue and character development, I can’t say that I enjoyed this book.

Next up, It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell. As I mentioned in my review, I assumed this might be about weight loss that harps on people who weigh more and praises those who are able to lose weight and meanwhile talks about how much happier this person was for having lost weight. I’m calling this a food memoir because instead of wrapping everything up in the “less weight is better” paradigm, Mitchell discussed her relationship with food and the pros and cons to weight loss. She was very honest and not a jerk about anything. She focused on her experience, which I found more helpful than someone who generalizes their experience for everyone.

Pale Highway, a story where the main character has Alzheimer’s, was another excellent read. Although I’ve been reading a lot of books with non-linear story lines, this was one of the better executed books. Because the main character had a mental illness that caused memory loss, going back and forth between memory and present day made a lot of sense in the trajectory of the story. And I just have to mention once more how great the character development was and how much I fell in love with Gabriel. I highly recommend this book with a touch of sci-fi (okay maybe more than a touch).

Popsugar’s 2016 Challenge

I was very underwhelmed by the self-improvement book I read. I don’t even want to give it more time of day than it’s already taken, but the title is An Untethered Soul.

The science fiction novel I read was Welcome to Night Vale, although Pale Highway would also count for this. Welcome to Night Vale is based on a story podcast and written exquisitely. The style is very unique, and certainly not a sleeper or a beach read. This book demands your full attention, and it’s certainly worth it! I loved getting to dive into the stories of two characters who are not the main characters in the podcast and exploring the realm of Night Vale in a new light.

White was a book guaranteed to bring me joy, as I had read the first book in the series as well as the interim short story collection to the series. L.C. Mawson writes beautifully inclusive fantasy fiction for young adults, and I’m thoroughly enjoying making my way through Freya Snow’s journey to adulthood. I’d be racing to the finishing line of this series even if there were 20 more novels; if only I’d been born ten years down the road when there is more to binge read!

I read several autobiographies including On The Primitive Way,  Fixed, and It was Me All Along. On The Primitive Way was written in memorandum for the author’s brother, whom he journeyed along the trail St. James (known as The Way) with. There were several issues with this book, but I appreciate the overall emotions this book invoked.

And the duplicates: The Dean Machine (dystopian novel); Pale Highway (a book with a blue cover).

Read any especially good books this month? Want to leave a recommendation? Please do so in the comments below!

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