Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Annual Reading Challenge

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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:25 pm

I have decided to take a page from Duncan's resolution playbook and.....

Read 50 books in 2015!

Since these will be both military and non-military, I'll make my post here in the Canteen :D
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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:27 pm

Book #1
The Giver

by Lois Lowry

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The Giver
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This one, I actually saw the movie first, and the ending kinda befudled me. I have to say that after reading the book, it's not much more clear (but closer so). I was *OK* with the movie...not wasted money, as I enjoyed it...but it wasn't GREAT. The book went into more detail, but it too wasn't GREAT. It was....OK.

The problem I had with it was, there was more I was expecting from it; and at about 180 pages, there certainly was room. But perhaps it's becuase it was the forst in a Quartet?

...I'll likely never know because, after checking out the other books, they have different (somehow roughly interconnected) storylines with different characters. In fact, it isn't until the third installment where the lead character of this book (Jonus) comes back into the storyline.

...also, it's of that much-tapped well today of *Young Adult Literature*, though it (and the movie) hold up well for adults.

It was an entertaining read.
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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:16 pm

That's quite a resolution. How are you gonna play games, or run a gaming forum, or both, when you're doing so much reading on top of a full-time job? I can't get behind this idea. :|
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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby gibbs » Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:31 pm

I've got to agree with josta59 on this is certainly quite a resolution but certainly an admirable one, and one that I think I'll will join you in as I love to read but over the past few years I never seemed to get round to doing it, and considering the issues with stress I've had recently it might be something I could take up again as a way to relax.

Although considering the length of some of the books I'd like to get read one of them being 1624 pages long 50 may be a bit of a challenge so I'll have to see how it goes, either way it will be interesting to see how it goes for all of us, so I'm certainly behind the idea

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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:11 am

Normally I would have no problem whatsoever managing this , but this year I am going to have less time available, and while I am a quick reader I could have problems. I have made a good start though, I have just started my 6th book since the new year.
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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:15 pm

In agree it is a daring goal, and I like a good challenge!!! :D

Several notes in the above posts resonate with me:

* I had gotten away from reading after College. Perhaps I was burned out, or the fact that I had to jump feet first into the real dog-eat-dog world, but whatever the reasons, I'd dropped off for way too long. I managed a book here and there, but mostly it was magazines, rulebooks, and similar. I found that I missed it dearly and needed to change things up to get back to those wonderful tomes.

* Books are amazing resources, and little gifts really, for relaxing. I can read about half an hour in bed before I start drifting off....it's better than warm milk or scratching kitten bellies. Curling up in the Living Room on a snowy day, or out on the beeach in the heat of July reading are moments of pure pleasure and rememberences.

*Books are learning...keeping the mind fresh and healthy. You can learn a thing or two from any book.

* I would say I am not a fast reader...which makes this challenge daunting to some respect...but I am not a slow reader, either. I'm kinda in the middle somewhere :D

* Time. Ah, I have a LOT on my plate ideed. However, it's all about -time management-. I typically read my book of choice: Before bed (about an hour or so); in the bathroom (TMI); and a few hours on the weekends (4-12, if I'm honest).

Great to see my goal had an affect on you, Gibbs. Perhaps I should start a reading challenge?
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Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:52 pm

If you are starting a challenge, can I just say I am now on, I think, my 17th book this year.

I do have an ability to read while doing pretty much anything else at the same time which really does help.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:44 pm

Book #2
Lost in Shangri-La

by Mitchell Zuckoff

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Fascination true-story of a sight-seeing trip to se a 'Lost World', going horribly wrong in the backwoods of WWII.

In the last year of the war, 1945, twenty-four officers and enlisted men and women stationed on what was then Dutch New Guinea, went on an authorized joy-ride to help boost morale of troops stationed on a rather sleepy back-water post. Their transport plane... named the Gremlin Special ... carried them for an ill-fated sightseeing trip over "Shangri-La": A beautiful and mysterious valley surrounded by steep, jagged mountain peaks deep within the island's uncharted jungle.

But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival, after crashing into the side of the valley's protective walls as the plane tried to navigate a treacherous approach to the entrance of the valley. Miraculously, three passengers survived – WAC Corporal Margaret Hastings, Lieutenant John McCollom, and Sergeant Kenneth Decker.

Badly injured, dumped into all the dangers of the wet jungle climate, the trio was caught between man-eating headhunters and the enemy Japanese. With nothing to sustain them but a handful of candy and their own fortitude, they endured a harrowing trek down the mountainside – straight into a primitive tribe of superstitious natives who had never before seen a white man or woman.

The story kept my attention throughout, and many timeson the edge of my seat. This book is a real gem! I highly recommend it.
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Re: Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:30 pm

Book #3
Fluency

by Jennifer Foehner Wells

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Just finished this one last Sunday and have moved onto my next. I have to say, I loved this book, as it ticks off a lot of boxes on pure escapist Science Fiction for me.

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the "Target" under intense surveillance for decades, while at the same time, deceiving the public into believing NASA was exploring the solar system. It was a bluff, while NASA developed the technology needed to reach it. The ship itself remained silent and drifting.

Once a craft was built that would enable a team to venture out to the supposed derelict ship, NASA organizes a team of military scientists/specialists suited for exploration, but realizes *communication* will be a critical piece of the puzzle if First Contact is made. NASA goes to great pains to recruit a civilian linguist professor, Dr. Jane Holloway, whom is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. It’s an adventure she can’t refuse.

Once the team reaches the Target, events on the derelict ship quickly spirals into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route. The mantle of survival quickly envelopes upon Jane in a thrilling ending that sets the story up for Book 2 in the Confluence series.

Highly recommend
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Re: Whiterook's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:11 pm

Book #4
America Sniper

by Chris Kyle

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This was a powerful book. I'd seen the movie and was intrigued to see the book's (Author's) side, and it indeed was more frank and less Hollywood-ed. It gives you an honest insight into the mind and heart of an American SEAL.

Gut wrenching at times, but it pulls no punches....it's a memoir account of an American Patriot and warrior. I am not romanticizing that....the dude was a Texan true-and-true, and a God-fearing patriot who while at war, put country ahead of family, and second only to God. It was looking into an old soul the likes of which was seen seven decades ago, but on the battlefields of Iraqi Freedom.

It gave view a view into modern day combat, and what it does to men and women on a personal level. It's raw footage. Though his being a sniper is a primary topic, the focus is actually on the man behind the trigger and what war meant to him; and how it affected his life....consuming him. It's like watching a man in quicksand....and his struggle to on one hand revel in the adventure of it all; and on the other, a struggle to escape.

To be honest, though I thought the movie was brilliant, the book is better.
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