Book Reviews, Reviews

Reading Challenge 2014

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Charles has
read 56 books toward his goal of 52 books.
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56 of 52 (108%)

Partly inspired by Ryan Holiday’s “This is How I Work” on Lifehacker.com, I challenged myself to read consume (audiobooks count) 52 books in 2014, and review all of them.

I’ve been using Goodreads for years, and only after I decided to do this did I realize that they already allow users to track goals. You can see the Goodreads widget above tracking my progress.

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Shattered (Iron Druid #7) by Kevin Hearne

★★★★

To be totally honest I was a little disappointed by this book. This was a total shock to me, since I love the Iron Druid series. I think I’ve preordered every book as soon as it was announced since I caught up on the series. I think Oberon might be my all time favorite character in pretty much anything. If I’m being totally honest, my first inclination was to give this book only three stars, not four. I can’t decide if that’s because I had such high hopes for this book and it actually deserves a four, or if I am giving a pity star because I love the series so much but the book actually deserves three.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker

★★★★★

My mom came to visit me last month, and brought Shifting the Monkey with her, so I could read it. If she hadn’t loaned it to me, I probably never would have gotten around to reading it, but I’m glad I did. Most of the advice was pretty good. I think the two biggest takeaways for me were “treat all people like good people” and “don’t rewrite the rules for the bad people.” I don’t want to reiterate what’s in the book, and it’s barely over a hundred pages, so if either of those ideas stick out as something you want to know more about, take a look.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

Monday, Monday by Elizabeth Crook

★★★★★

I said this when I read & reviewed Moral Disorder, but I don’t really like fiction that’s about normal people experiencing normal events. So when this book was chosen for June’s book club, I had a pretty good idea that I wasn’t going to like Monday, Monday. It turns out I was right, but there was still some stuff about the book I enjoyed.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1) by Craig Johnson

★★★★★

I stumbled on the TV show Longmire in December, and ended up watching the first season in a couple of days (it’s only 13 episodes). The second season showed up on Netflix a few weeks ago, and I ended up watching that season in a couple of days, too. I was really looking forward to reading the books; so much so that I ended up buying the first four as a box set.

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard

★★★★★

I really enjoy the F/X show Justified, and I’m one of the (apparently) rare folks who actually reads the credits for most of the shows I watch. Right there in the opening credits, it states that the show was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. Sometime around season 3 I decided I liked the show enough to read the short story. And now I’ve finally gotten around to it. I had sort of the same reaction reading Fire in the Hole the story (inside Fire in the Hole the book – a collection of short stories) as I did watching the first season of Game of Thrones only in reverse. The shows and their source material are so close, it almost doesn’t make sense to invest time both reading the source and then watching the show. In the case of Game of Thrones, it’s way shorter to watch the show than to read the books, so definitely do that. In this case, I would also recommend watching the show rather than reading the story. Not because the story isn’t good, because it is. But because it isn’t any better than the show, and the story stops. The show is on its fourth of fifth season.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

★★★★★

Since it was Ryan Holiday’s “This is How I Work”) and book review mailing list that inspired my self imposed challenge to read and review a book a week (on average) this year, it seemed only fair that I read one of his books. The Obstacle is the Way was published while I was reading Letters From a Stoic, so the timing was perfect to dig into it next.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

★★★★★

At this point, I think it’s safe to call Daniel Suarez one of my favorite fiction authors. This is the third book of his that I’ve read, and I can’t not talk about or think at length about his books. I was actually a little nervous about starting this book. I loved Daemon and Freedom™, but those books were a series, and Kill Decision is its own book. I wasn’t sure I would find this book as interesting,  given that the subject matter was different.
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Book Reviews, Reviews

Letters From a Stoic by Seneca

★★★★

When enough people whose opinions you’re interested in tell you to read something, you should probably do it. That was the thought that finally got me to read Seneca’s Letters. I’ve been reading Tim Ferriss’ books and blog for a long time, and he talks about Seneca a great deal. Ryan Holiday, who partially inspired my challenge to read and review 52 books this year also recommends Seneca. Antifragile, a book I just read last month discusses Seneca, and as I recall, it was also mentioned in Thinking, Fast and Slow – a book I read last year that had a big impact on me. As you can see, I was bound to get to Seneca sooner or later.
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