I’ve managed to get over my shock in how fast this year has been progressing and have decided to embrace it instead. What I am loving more than anything in this speedy year is how it has been set to a sort of “soundtrack” of the books I have been devouring. I suppose we could call it a “booktrack.” Each book has somehow snuck in and shaped the way I go about my daily activities.
For those of you who missed my initial post on this topic, I have decided to embark on a most enjoyable challenge to read 52 books in 2012. I have chosen the Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/ 2012 Reading Challenge in which I select my own goal, and a book a week is what I came up with as truly doable this year. Each month I will give you an update on where I am in the challenge and what books I was lucky enough to indulge in. I’ll also include a link to Amazon for each book in case you would like to pick a read up for yourself.
In the month of April I have read two books and according to the graph on Goodreads, I am at 29% of my goal, which is 1 book (3%) behind progress. As I mentioned last month, this is the end of my busy semester at Arizona State University, so I’m cutting myself some slack in the reading-for-pleasure department. This is supposed to be fun, after all. Without further ado, here are my reviews for my April book picks.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins-Completed April 15th
Suzanne Collins set the bar extremely high with the first two books of the Hunger Games Trilogy, and Mockingjay followed suit. I am amazed at how I am drawn into the unruly world of Panem with each sentence.
Mockingjay ramped up the violence quite a bit and for me became a book for adults- not teens. The strife and hate running rampant in the streets is horrifying and real to the reader. I was pleased to see the development of Katniss’ inner struggle with her relationship between the two men in her life.
I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed in the ending. I felt like it ended quite abruptly in an easy, not-quite-satisfying manner. On a positive note, even though this trilogy is over, I felt that the ending left room for another series…. Please see my spoiler alert for my “real” gripe and idea for a future Hunger Games spin-off.
It is quite possible that the reason I really disliked the ending of Mockinjay is because I was rooting for Gale and secretly wanted Katniss to end up with him and not Peeta. Throughout the book I was conflicted in who I thought she should be with, but by the end of book three I was convinced that Gale was her man.
As for my hopes for the future, I think a series focusing on the new world of Panem and the child of Katniss and Peeta would be amazing. There is so much material to be explored in growing up in the shadow of such a harrowing past with such famous parents. I implore Suzanne Collins to write more!!
How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport- Completed April 25th
I loved this book! I am an adult student on the 15-year route to completing my bachelor’s degree and feel that as I am plodding along; I am somehow just surviving and not thriving in the attainment of my education. I came upon this book by accident while searching for books about time management and downloaded it on a whim. This was by far the best idea ever.
Newport spent time researching the success strategies of straight-A students from major competitive colleges across the country and compiled them in this book of trade secrets for the successful student. What I loved most about this book is that although it is peppered with some severe study ideas, for the most part it imparts the idea of studying smarter- not harder.
As an adult student I am no longer focused on the having time to go to a toga party kind of distraction, but this book still spoke directly to me. I may not be reveling in a kegger at the frat house on campus, but I am certainly all for any study routine that allows me to grab a happy hour cocktail with my gainfully employed friends.
I have highlighted and dog-eared pages of this book for future reference in my quest for academic excellence. I was so impressed by Cal Newton’s gem that I also bought his first book, How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students. I’m curious enough to know if it is also packed to the gills with amazing college advice.
April was a slim month for book reading, but May is sure to be full of page-turning enjoyment! See you all next month!