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POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2020 Update: Week Three

I am extremely excited to announce that I am officially over being sick! Yay! Other than some allergy testing that left me itchy and exhausted for most of the day on Wednesday, I’ve slowly been able to get back to my daily routine.

Like last week, my reading goal for Week Three of the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge was to continue working my way through the stack of library books that has steadily been growing on my kitchen counter. It seems like every time I turn around, my local library has sent me another notification that a reserved title has become available. I know it’s my fault for reserving so many books, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself.

A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision)…

The first book I finished this week was Stephen Chbosky’s Imaginary Friend. I was really excited to have the opportunity to read this book. The main reason for my excitement was because of how much I enjoyed Stephen Chbosky’s previous novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I read several years ago.

Just by looking at the cover, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that Imaginary Friend is about as removed from The Perks of Being a Wallflower as it is possible for a book to get. The novel is about a child named Christopher, who moves to the small town of Mill Grove with his mother, a woman desperately seeking to get away from her abusive ex. Not long after they arrive in Mill Grove, Christopher goes missing for a total of six days. When he returns, he has a new imaginary friend, who is telling him that he has to build a tree house in the woods where he went missing…and it has to be finished prior to Christmas.

If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be “twisted.” The world of the book is a very strange one, blending reality with the imaginary world that Christopher begins to visit upon completing his tree house. Imaginary Friend actually reminded me very strongly of some of Stephen King’s novels, in terms of narrative style and content. It was more adult in its content than The Perks of Being a Wallflower as well.

While this was not my favorite read of the week, I thought that Imaginary Friend was extremely well-written. I am glad that I read it through to the end, because the book got progressively more exciting the farther I read…but I do have to confess that it is not a book that I will read again in the future.

A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title…

The second book I read this week was Twenty-One Truths About Love, by Matthew Dicks. It’s not often that I describe a novel as “delightful,” but it’s a word that definitely fits this book.

Twenty-One Truths About Love is about a man named Daniel Mayrock, a former teacher who decided to leave education to pursue his dream of owning a bookstore…only to find that his failing business is burning through his savings. Too ashamed to tell his wife about their financial problems, especially now that they are expecting a baby, Daniel begins to come up with ideas for how to save the store. Unfortunately, most of his ideas are unlikely to succeed…and the one idea that will probably work is illegal.

While I loved both the narrator and the plot of this novel, what I found really interesting was the style in which it was written. Daniel’s story is told through a series of lists, which not only serve as a record of events, but also as a form of therapy. As the book progresses, Daniel’s lists give him a place to list his accomplishments, express his feelings about various subjects and family members, and generate ideas for how to avoid losing his business (and subsequently his home, wife, and child).

If there is any book this week that I would wholeheartedly recommend reading, it would be Twenty-One Truths About Love. It was sweet, and it made me laugh out loud several times as I read.

A book on a subject you know nothing about…

My third book of the week was Randall Munroe’s What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions.

When I picked this book up at the library, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Science (particularly physics) was not one of my strongest subjects when I was in school, so I was a little apprehensive about my ability to follow all of the scientific reasoning presented in the book.

What I found was that What If? was actually pretty easy to understand, even for someone who does not have a strong background in the sciences. Munroe tackles a number of strange questions submitted to him through his website, not only giving logical scientific explanations, but infusing the book with a tremendous amount of humor. One of my favorite questions was, “How many Lego bricks would it take to build a bridge capable of carrying traffic from London to New York? Have that many Lego bricks been manufactured?” (Munrow 222). In all honesty, if my high school science classes had been as engaging as What If?, I might have made some different career decisions.

As of this week, I have currently completed eight of POPSUGAR’s fifty Reading Challenge prompts for 2020, and I’m feeling really good about my progress so far. I am going to continue to read the books I got at my local library, but my reading goal for next week is to have completed 20% of the Reading Challenge by the end of the week.

Are you participating in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge? How is it going so far? You can let me know by commenting on this post, or by following me on Twitter @UnapologBkworm.

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