POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2020 Update: Week Forty-Nine

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a lovely weekend so far, and that you are continuing to stay healthy during the holiday season.

Before we get started on today’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge recommendations, I do want to share an update about how my mum is doing. As many of you already know, Mum was diagnosed with brain cancer in August of 2019, and has been undergoing treatment for the past 15-16 months. She had an MRI on Monday to see how her current treatment is progressing, and we did not get the results that we were hoping for. The infusion treatment that she has been on for the past couple of months is not having any effect on the tumor or the swelling. As a result, she has been experiencing a considerable number of headaches (some of which are very severe), as well as some confusion and aphasia.

Her doctor has given her the options of undergoing a third surgery, radiation treatments, or doing nothing. She has decided to go with the first of these options, and is scheduled for surgery a couple weeks from now. In the meantime, she is on an increased dose of steroids to bring down the swelling that is being caused by the tumor. If you are willing to do so, I’d really like to ask you to keep my mum and our family in your thoughts and prayers during the coming weeks. Thanks!

This week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update is focused on the prompt “a book with a great first line.” The book I chose for this prompt was M.T. Anderson’s Feed, which begins with the following line: “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” If you’re interested in learning more about this incredible young adult novel, I hope you’ll check out my Week Seven update.

While this is not a particularly difficult prompt to complete, it is rather subjective. Your idea of what constitutes a “great first line” may be somewhat different than my own, which is why I’ve chosen to include the first line from each of my recommended reads in this week’s post. Some of the books I have chosen because their first lines are iconic, or easily recognizable, while others caught my attention right away and made me want to read the book.

Here are a few of my picks for “a book with a great first line.”

If you are currently looking for a book to fulfill this prompt, here are some of my suggestions…

  • Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned (Alan Alda)
    • “My mother didn’t try to stab my father until I was six, but she must have shown signs of oddness before that.”
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
    • “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
  • The Finisher (David Baldacci)
    • “I was dozing when I heard the scream.”
  • Gravemaidens (Kelly Coon)
    • “Today, three girls would be doomed to die an honored, royal death.”
  • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
    • “Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”
  • The Anatomist’s Wife (Anna Lee Huber)
    • “The scream froze me in my tracks, but the shout that followed propelled me out of my indecision and around the hedge line of the maze.”
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones)
    • “In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.”
  • Mai Tai One On (Jill Marie Landis)
    • “They would have found the body sooner if it hadn’t been two-for-one Mai Tai Night.”
  • The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)
    • “The Opera ghost really existed.”
  • The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
    • “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
  • The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum (Kirsten Weiss)
    • “Friendship can be a minefield.”
  • All Systems Red (Martha Wells)
    • “I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.”

I don’t quite know where the year has gone, but we are officially down to the final three weeks of the 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge! If you are in the process of finishing up the challenge yourself, I hope that you are continuing to have a great experience, and that you’re not feeling stressed by your remaining prompts.

Next week’s update will focus on the prompt “a book on a subject you know nothing about.”

In the meantime, I hope you will visit The Unapologetic Bookworm frequently throughout the week for book recommendations and other new content.

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