December was an up-and-down month for me. Thanks to final exams, it started off with very little time for reading, and then moved into vacation mode where I read a lot. In the end even though I ultimately fell short, I was able to make good progress on my goal.
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 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 December I have read eight books and according to the graph on Goodreads, I am at 81% of my goal, which as of the end of December is 10 books behind my initial goal. Even though I didn’t make it to reading about a book a week, I feel like this challenge has urged me towards a more consistent reading schedule. I found myself finding pockets of time that I might have otherwise have spent watching TV or wasting time and turning them into reading progress. Al in all I’m pleased with how my first go at this challenge went.
Since I read so many books this month I will be splitting this post into two. Now for reviews of my first four books!
Courage to Start by John Bingham-Completed December 5th
John “The Penguin” Bingham is an inspiration. Well into his forties he ditched a lifestyle of smoking, drinking, and overeating to embark on a mission to capture the joy he had in running as a child. Along the way he became an Everyman spokesperson for leisure runners everywhere. In this book he disperses motivation through personal anecdotes and practical tips. He stresses that it’s okay to be in the back of the pack, and that you might just find yourself along the way. The book is more motivational than instructional, but it makes me want to lace up my shoes and head out for a run. As a beginning walker/runner I found his words to be inspirational. I recommend this book to newbies looking for motivation and veterans looking for renewed inspiration.
Changeless by Gail Carriger-Completed December 5th
Gail Carriger continues her Parasol Protectorate series with book two, Changeless. It picks up where Soulless left off and dives right into another intriguing mystery. All of a sudden the supernatural folks of London are turning mortal, and it is up to Alexia to find out why. This delightful book takes Alexia on a wild adventure, through the skies and across land to find out what is afflicting the supernatural set. I can’t say much more without spoiling the book, but I can tell you that Changeless ends in a huge cliffhanger. I am cutting this review short in order to immediately get my hands on the next book in the series, Blameless. I absolutely loved this book!
Blameless by Gail Carriger-Completed December 13th
Gail Carriger doesn’t disappoint in her third installment of the Parasol Protectorate series. Picking up where the cliffhanging Changeless left off, Alexia travels to Italy for answers. She meets a delightful cast of characters along the way, along with some very unsavory acquaintances. It’s difficult to expand upon the plot line without revealing too much, so I’ll just tell you that Blameless is fast-paced and action-packed, full of the clever wordplay and adept use of vocabulary that endeared me to the books in the first place. I simply could not put this book down and am eagerly anticipating reading book four of the series, Heartless.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce-Completed December 16th
“Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.
But every story has its upsets.”
This book is a children’s story about man who so loved his books. Inspired by Hurricane Katrina and the upheaval that followed, this bittersweet tale follows Mr. Morris Lessmore on a sort of literary journey of self-discovery. It is a short book with the most amazing illustrations by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm that make the reader step back and think. I fully admit to shedding very real tears as the book flows full circle to a new beginning. I highly recommend this book to anyone, child or adult, who loves words and a good story.
On a side note, I loved this book so much that I downloaded the short animated movie as well. It is fifteen minutes long and is like stepping directly into the pages of the book. It is beautifully done and absolutely captures the essence of the story. After you’re done reading the book, enjoy the movie as well. You won’t be disappointed.
Stop by tomorrow for the conclusion and final book reviews from this December Book Challenge Update!