Winter 2015 Book Challenge: Month 2

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

10 points: Read a debut book by any author – Out of Sorts by Aurelie Valognes (210 pages, Kindle edition, 4 stars)
This book was such a fun surprise! Translated from French and set in Paris, this is the story of a grumpy old man who finds that you can change, no matter how old you are. The characters are amusing and the story flows well – perfect light reading with a French twist!

15 points: Read a book with a one-word title – Uprooted by Naomi Novik (438 pages, paperback edition, 3.5 stars)
This is a story woven together from fable and fairy tale. Overall, very well written and I really enjoyed the folk lore aspects of the story. I originally thought this was a YA novel, but the (somewhat unnecessary) sex scene eventually proved that wrong.  I was a little disappointed in how the story started to drag towards the end. I feel like a bit could’ve been left out to move the story along but at least it was all interesting.

20 points: Read a book with a person’s first and last name in the title – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (384 pages, paperback edition, 5 stars)
I found this book to be a very pleasant and inspiring surprise. Like most pilgrimage books, there’s plenty of trials, tribulations, reflections, and triumphs all wrapped into a very unlikely character. The book focuses on the main character’s spontaneous notion to make a pilgrimage to “save” his friend. He’s an unlikely guy for such a journey, but I think that’s what I found to be most endearing. The other characters he meets along the way are both annoying and endearing – which means they were well written in my opinion. And it’s a book with no shortage of wise words for those who may be looking for something of their own. (smile)

20 points: Read a food-themed book – Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall (276 pages, paperback edition, 4.5 stars)
This book was an Amazon freebie that was hiding on the back pages of my Kindle. I found it one night over the holidays just before bed. I ended up reading the whole thing. All at once. It was just that good. In the simplest terms, the book is about a teenager in a small town battling her relationship with food. It paints a realistic perspective of the urge to use food as a comfort and all of the feelings associated with the effects. The ending kept this from being a full 5 stars – for a very real, messy story I felt like the end wrapped up a little too well. But that certainly doesn’t stop me from recommending it wholeheartedly!

30 points: Read two books with the same title – The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley (480 pages, paperback edition, 3 stars) and The Seven Sisters by Margaret Drabble (320 pages, paperback edition, 2 stars)
I was originally going to put the Lucinda Riley book down as a bonus read, so imagine my delight when I noticed the same title by a different author on Goodreads! Riley’s book is the search for a personal history that describes a rich and colorful look at the history of Rio de Janeiro during the construction of Christ the Redeemer. I thought the history was interesting and the story well told and built into the overall narrative.
Drabble’s version tells the story of a woman who has lost her family through a divorce and move to a new city. It’s mostly written in the form of a diary, which could’ve worked – it certainly has in the past – but in this instance falls a bit short. I found it difficult to really get into the story and overall it just wasn’t one of my favorites.

Previous Points: 35
Points this month: 95
TOTAL: 130 points

There’s still time! Join the challenge fun over at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life!!

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