2016 Reading Challenge, Part 1 of 4

This past January, I saw something posted online that sparked my interest. It was called the 2016 Reading Challenge. Here is what it encouraged bookworms, like myself, to read over the course of this year.

2016 rc


Challenge ON! I was only too happy to tackle this list. I guess the idea is, seeing as there are twelve ideas, a person is only expected to read one book per month. No can do. I’m a voracious reader; there’s always a book (or two) that I have by my bedside or tucked in my tote bag at any given time. So, the only hard part was selection. Of course, some books I chose fell into more than one category. As of today (May 9, 2016), I am halfway through the list, with my next book already on deck! Here is what I have read so far…

A book published this year. For this category, I chose A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of a Tragedy, by Sue Klebold. Sue is the mother of the late Dylan Klebold. Dylan (along with Eric Harris) is one of the gunmen who shot and killed twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in 1999. The pair wounded twenty-four others before killing themselves. The shocking story made worldwide headlines. For the first time in the nearly two decades that have passed, Sue details the shock and horror she and her family experienced in the aftermath of what her son had done. One of the constant accusations she heard was: “You must have known something!” If you read Sue’s account of raising her shy, socially awkward son, and how she was totally blindsided by his actions (Eric Harris was the mastermind of the attack on their classmates, Dylan a depressed and willing follower), you will believe that she truly had no idea… A very sad read. Especially poignant is the part where she asks the police if she can view the crime scene, and she sees the police outline of her son’s body on the floor of the library, where he died. Klebold harbors a great deal of guilt and anguish for the young victims’ families as well, which is exacerbated by the knowledge that most will never forgive her.


A book you can finish in a day: I grabbed a copy of My Name Is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout, one day when I was working a long shift in the bookstore. (Like the book above, it was published this year.) I’m not sure what compelled me to pick this one up, as the plot revolves around a mother and daughter and their estranged relationship. I don’t like mother-daughter books. I suppose it just sounded like a fast, easy read, and I was curious as to why this book was on the Bestseller list. Basically, Lucy has an illness that requires a prolonged hospital stay. After years of no communication, Lucy’s mother appears at her bedside for daily visits. They (sort of) reconnect through idle gossip about people in the town that Lucy left behind many years ago. Time magazine praised the novel as “potent with distilled emotion.” I found it barely “okay.”


A book you’ve been meaning to read: This one might shock some of you. Most everyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Stephen King fan. My bookshelf is full of his novels, both hardcover and paperback. Yet, I never read his very first novel… Carrie! Oh, I’ve seen the movie about a dozen times, probably. It’s one of my favorite films ever! But I never read the book. I’m glad I finally did. Like most of his books that are turned into movies, they are not the same. With Cujo, Tad dies in the book, but lives in the film version. In the case of The Shining, Hallorann dies in the movie, but lives in the book. Comparing the two versions of Carrie, the biggest difference is in the main character herself. In print, King describes the telekinetic teen as being overweight, with a bad case of body acne. Sissy Spacek was originally told she was too pretty for the role, so she “uglified” herself for the audition and got the part. Also, the Carrie in the novel is even more deadly and destructive, if you can believe it, not only destroying her high school, but the majority of the whole town! It is mind-blowing to think that this was King’s– or anybody’s– FIRST novel! What a brilliant mind!

carrie book

This is Part 1 of 4. Hope you found it interesting so far… More to come soon!


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