2012 Reading challenge: DONE

Life without books? Not gonna happen!:-)

Last week, I gave myself a big pat on the back for having reached my Goodreads challenge 2012 to read 20 books. And it’s only October! hence, I’m pushing for ten more. Oh, the thrill of reading! I’m just amused with the selection I’ve read so far this year because I truly think that they are an eclectic mix. I started the year bawling my eyes out with Jonathan Safran Foer ‘s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and read Neverwhere, my first Neil Geiman. Pretty heavy stuff there, I’m telling you. I then delved right into the world of Panem, poisonous berries, Haymitch, Katniss Everdeen, the boy with the bread  and the rest of Survivor: North Korea Edition that is the Hunger Games trilogy.

2012 paved the way for a more fruitful spiritual journey for me as well. I’ve gotten to know more about Jesus Christ and how I’m just so grateful having him in my life. Truly priceless reads for me this year are the books, ” If God is Good, why do we hurt?” and  HOW GOOD is good enough? I cannot thank my sister and her mom in law enough for giving me those little books with tremendous amount of wisdom to impart. Now more than ever, I’ve realized and let me share one of the most beautiful quotes I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading in this lifetime: ” When it comes to goodness and evil, present suffering and eternal joy… the first Word, and the last, is Jesus.” Utterly profound, isn’t it? Along with this genre, my GBF (gay best friend) finally succeeded in making me read Frank Perreti. Christian fiction at its finest, I really enjoyed reading In This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. Perreti’s books are plausible enough that you as a reader can affirm that the things he wrote are real and happening in our daily lives. I like how he represented the concept of faith and demons. I just felt that I read his books at the right time in my life. I certainly would recommend them if you haven’t read the 2 that I mentioned.

Moving along, please do not judge me as I confessed that yes, I did read (gasp!) The Fifty Shades of Grey series, well just the book 1 and 2. I couldn’t bring myself to read the 3rd book just because I find the series, ridiculously trashy.  I apologize for the word, Christian Grey fans. Don’t get me wrong, I think their love story was sweet but It was annoyingly sweet for my taste. Excuse me while I gag. Let’s not even go to the supposedly movie adaptation of the series. For the love of bacon, please!

The next book I read was Unbroken. And my golly, wow! It is arguably the best one I’ve read this year. The author, Laura Hillenbrand did her research for this non fiction, and she did it well. Very well, as a matter of fact. The story of Louis Zamperini is something I will remember for a really long time. Truly inspiring and extremely heartfelt, this is one book that I felt so lucky to have read it, because seriously, you’re missing out if you haven’t. I read Ellie Weisel’s Night right after Unbroken. I suddenly became really interested in war drama, reading additional research about Hitler, POW’s, Japan and WW II. How my heart was broken knowing the gas chamber existed, what a tragedy for humanity.

While reading about adversities, I decided to read my first Ernest Hemingway novel as well. I have to say, The old man and the sea didn’t quite live to my expectations. Before I go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson is also a worthy read. I liked the plot of this thriller and thought that it was fast paced. When Tess Gerritsen says it’s the best debut novel she’s read, believe her. I did and was not disappointed.

Another book I read was Between Summer’s longing and Winter’s end, just because I will always have a thing with swedish crime novels. I also read, Nicole KraussThe History of Love. Ms. Krauss is Safran Foer’s wife and to say that their writings are a bit the same is pretty obvious. The novel has multiple winning moments, in fairness, but it was in fact dragging. The last book that completed my challenge was a National Book Award finalist. Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea. I am aware that I have an obsession about the dysfunctional and so unimaginably brainwashed prison that is NK. Such a harrowing eye opener, did you know that dogs in China eat better than doctors in North Korea? Yet, this non fiction was so incredibly written and remarkably unforgettable that it still gave me hope that someday, those poor souls trapped in there will be enlightened with the truth and own the freedom they deserve. How it will happen? I don’t know, I can only pray for them.

So there you go. 20 books so far. Not bad, considering I live a crazy life in the concrete jungle. I’m on my 21st book, CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters which scares me, to be honest. And that would be in another blog. Happy reading for now, fellow bookworms!:-)

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