Winter Book Challenge: 3rd Month

The Nick Adams Stories cover

10 points: Read a book of short stories – The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway (268 pages hardcover edition, 4 stars)
I’m not a fan of short stories – or at least I haven’t been in the past – but as a dedicated Hemingway enthusiast, I knew I would have to tackle the short stories eventually. So I submitted this suggestion for the challenge for a little self-motivation (smile) and I’m glad I did! This set of stories is a compilation of Nick Adams’ stories that appeared in a number of publications. They’re arranged in a somewhat chronological order so it’s almost like reading little vignettes of the character’s story throughout his life. So it kind of reads like a book – probably why I like it (ha). It’s certainly encouraged me to move forward with other short stories – they make a great just-before-bed read!

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (French to English) (329 pages paperback edition, 2.5 stars)
One of the original married-woman-has-liasons book, this one was quite the sensation when it first appeared. I’m not sure how I managed to avoid this book up until now, but it seemed past time to give it a go. I’m generally a fan of the classics but I must admit I found this one to be a bit tedious. There’s perhaps a time and place in story-telling for such an abundance of detail, but in my humble opinion this book was not that place. The underlying story, however, was very interesting and I can certainly see why it made such a stir upon publication!

15 points: Read a book written by a local author (Arizona) – Written In My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon (825 pages hardback edition, 4 stars)
It has taken the last three months combined to finish this one! I’ve been a huge fan of the Outlander series since a likely somewhat inappropriate age (smile) and have read the books many times through the years. The only thing that kept me from reading this sooner was my desire to read the prior book again so as to be up on the story line. At last I was able to crack the cover for this latest adventure and, as always, an adventure it was! I admit that the portion of the books that take place here in the US during the Revolution are not my favorites – it’s just not my favorite historical period/place – but I love these characters. I was relieved to get back into the story and see where everyone has traveled since the last book. This is book #8 in the series and a bit too complex for me to try to break down what it’s about – suffice it to say even after 800+ pages, I’m still anxiously awaiting the next one!

Month 1: 55 points
Month 2: 105 points
Month 3: 40 points
TOTAL: 200 points

The Winter Book Challenge is hosted by Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life. This round goes through February so there’s still time!

Honorable mentions for January include First Grave On The Right, Rebecca, King of Thorns and Emperor of Thorns (these are the last two books in the series mentioned in the month 2 review – very well done!!).

4 thoughts on “Winter Book Challenge: 3rd Month

  1. Wow look at you! First – I’m kind of the same, I’m not a huge fan of short stories, but when well written, they can feel like you get through things super fast, which I like!

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  2. You are kicking butt! I think I have to finally concede that I’m just not going to do well on this reading challenge at all. I have finally been reading a little more in the past few weeks but nothing compared to you. Well done! I tried to get into Madame Bovary several years ago but just couldn’t. Tedious is a good word to describe it. Tedious is also the word I think I’d have to use to describe Persuasion that I’m trying to finish before I visit Bath next weekend. Can’t believe I’m saying that about Jane Austen. Hey maybe I can take it on the plane and it’ll help me sleep for once! 🙂

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    • Lol – January was a very conducive month for reading for some reason. But since I’ve recently discovered Criminal Minds on Netflix, I’m fairly certain February is not going to live up to the same standards 🙂
      You know, I felt the same way about Persuasion – it just wasn’t very persuasive (haha). It lacked the spark of some of the other stories for whatever reason. It’s good prep for Bath though – even if it’s just to get plenty of rest ahead of your visit! Have you heard about the audio tour of Austen’s Bath? I think you can actually download it ahead of time if you’re interested.
      Luckily Madame Bovary came as a freebie on Kindle, so I didn’t feel so bad skipping over the paragraphs describing the tablecloth. I think someone was trying to overcompensate with the mundane for the scandalous (or maybe the contrasts were on purpose?). Either way, now I can check that off the list!

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