Reading Challenge Complete (#1)

Progress has been made – it’s getting towards the end of June and I’m 2 – that’s right – TWO reading challenges down already. It’s a good year for reading.

First I completed challenge #452 books in a year. But I’m not about to pointlessly list 52 books, if you’re that desperate to know what I read you can check my challenge page on Goodreads.

I will talk about #1 though.

Reading challenge #1 was from a book blog I found – mehawkins.com. It was titled, 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge18 unique categories. Doing this challenge actually inspired my to write my own challenges for next year (and the Around the World 2018 Reading Challenge you can try out already!!)

So here is the rundown of my progress through the challenge. (Please note: I read these in no particular order)

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Graphic and content from mehawkins.com

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge

 

A book published in 2018.

ButtonChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018)

Fantastic magic and fantasy read. Well written, engaging and really exciting. Left me wanting so much more.

See the full review here: Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

Rating: Exceptional (Book of the Month, April 2018)

 

A book published the year you were born.

ButtonJurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990)

Who are you kidding, you know what Jurassic Park is about – and if you don’t, it’s about dinosaurs and being chased and possibly eaten by dinosaurs. What more could you possibly want. I loved it. Definitely one of the top reads of the challenge.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A classic book or a book published over 100 years ago.

ButtonFrom Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne (1865)

American artillery makers find themselves bored after the war. Not content with the theory of making big guns, they set out to make the biggest gun ever –  a gun that will launch a shell to the moon! It was great to see some really old science fiction, and how it differs from modern stuff·

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that you’ve started before and never finished.

ButtonA Guide to the Bodhisattvas by Vessantara (2008)

An introduction to some of the key bodhisattvas. Very descriptive and detailed, if a bit heavy going at times.

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons
A book you should have read in school, but didn’t.

ButtonA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

The first collection of Sherlock Holmes novels. I like the Holmes stories. They aren’t necessarily the most exciting books in the world, or the most clever or beautifully written, but they are fun and that’s worth something on its own.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A Book you’ve already read – time for a re-read!

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe (2004)

The first book in ‘The Pirates!’ series. This story follows the pirates as the try to solve a mystery and find some serious gold in the midst of London. This book is just pure and funny. It’s silly and doesn’t take itself to seriously, and it’s about pirates. It’s everything I want in a book. It’s just a lovely, fun read.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: Exceptional (Series)

 

A book that you’ve put off reading.

ButtonTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1869)

The tales of Captain Nemo and his submarine, Nautilus. This book is a round-the-world trip of adventures. It’s fairly dated at times, but if you like classic books and you like adventure stories as I do, then you can’t go far wrong.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A banned book.

ButtonFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

In a world where books and readers are burned without a care, it takes a brave soul to keep reading alive. An interesting read that has left almost nothing in my memory to assure me I actually read it. Take from that what you will.

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons

 

A book by an author you’ve never read.

ButtonFive Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne (1863)

3 men set off on an adventure to cross Africa in a balloon. The book is exciting, interesting and exceedingly racist. It is very “of it’s time”. But if you can see your way past that particular element, the story itself is very enjoyable, full of peril and thrills.

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A popular author’s first book.

Button10 Years in an Open Necked Shirt by Dr. John Cooper Clarke (1983)

I’m not 100% sure whether this is a first book, or a popular author, but it’s the only book of his I could find evidence of and I like him so I read it. It’s a collection of poems – I don’t do poetry as a rule, but i quite like JCC – unfortunately performance poetry does not translate so well into written poetry and quite a lot of the magic was lost.

Rating: 3/5 Buttons

 

A book turned movie you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonThe Lost World by Michael Crichton (1995)

Another book all about dinosaurs, and being chased and possibly eaten by dinosaurs. Once again, Crichton’s writing style is – how should I put it – weird, but very readable, exciting and enjoyable. Another ‘top read’ contender.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book turned TV show you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonThe World of Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse (1981)

This wasn’t written in 1981, just this collection of stories was released in a nice big omnibus. It’s great fun. The collection is a series of long and short comedic tales all centered around Blandings Castle. Wodehouse writes excellent comedy and I enjoyed it immensely.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A funny book.

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Moby Dick by Gideon Defoe (2005)

This is the second book in ‘The Pirates!’ series. This one has the pirates attempting to capture Moby Dick in order to collect a reward with which to pay for the expensive new boat the Pirate Captain was suckered into buying. It is hilarious and silly.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that will make you smarter.

ButtonCoding Unlocked: Scratch and Python: the basic by Hywel Carver (2015)

This book is a fun introduction to computer coding aimed at children, but suitable for anybody who wants to try it out. It focuses on using Scratch to teach basic coding concepts, and then Python to do ‘proper’ text-based coding. It’s a lot of fun and by the end of it you’ll have made a couple of really simple games.

See the full review here: Book Review: Coding Unlocked: Scratch and Python: the basics (Hywel Carver)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

An award-winning book.

ButtonThe Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (2007)

This was a pretty good detective story with some exciting elements but I thought it pretty much died out towards the end, which was fairly disappointing.

See the full review here: Book Review: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (Michael Chabon)

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons

 

A book based on a true story.

ButtonPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2003)

An autobiographical graphic novel. I don’t like biographies, auto or otherwise, but I do like graphic novels, especially the ‘alternative’ (as in, not superheroes) ones (although I love superheroes too). Someone recommended this book while I was studying my degree as a bit of an insight into the Iranian Revolution, and it was a very interesting read. I recommend it, but only if you like the medium of graphic novels.

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A book chosen for you by a friend.

ButtonNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (2017)

In this book, Neil Gaiman retells a selection of Norse myths in his own style. The book was better than good, but less than excellent. I enjoyed it, and it was a pleasure to read some mythology aimed at someone other than children and academics – I’m not on a mission to find similar books about other pantheons and cultures.

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book set during Christmas.

ButtonHogfather by Terry Pratchett (1996)

It’s Hogswatch Eve on the Discworld and the Hogfather is on his rounds – or at least something like the Hogfather. A hilarious tale of how to kill a God, and the real meaning of Hogswatch! I’ve never read a Pratchett book I didn’t like so perhaps I’m biased, but still…

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

So that’s what I read for this challenge. I’m most of the way through a second and third run of this Badass Books Reading Challenge, so hopefully I’ll finish both before the end of the year.

This was the first time I’ve ever done a reading challenge like this and succeeded. I’ve done X number of books a few times, and they’ve been OK, but the last time I tried with specific categories I got stuck real quick and gave up.

It was a real good experience for me – I read a lot of things I’ve been meaning to read, things that have been on my shelf for ages that I’ve never got around to before. I also read some things I never would have picked up in the past which was fun too. It was a lot of fun.

Last things before I go:

Top 3 of the Challenge:

You gotta pick a top three, so here are mine (Drum roll please):

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You should go out and read these books immediately!!

Finally, a big thank you to mehawkins.com for writing the reading challenge in the first place and getting me reading again!

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