POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2020 Update: Week Fifty

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a fantastic weekend so far, and that you are continuing to stay healthy this holiday season. I’d also like to wish a very Happy Hanukkah to everyone who is currently celebrating! I hope that you are having a wonderful, safe holiday!

In last Saturday’s post, I shared a little bit of information about how my mum has been doing recently, and I wanted to give you an update on her current condition. Despite being on an increased dose of steroids, Mum’s symptoms have continued to increase. After talking to her doctor on Wednesday morning, my dad took her to the hospital. She was admitted, and her surgeon was able to bring her surgery forward by a week. She had the tumor removed on Thursday morning. She did well with the procedure, and the surgeon seemed pleased with the way it went.

Mum is currently still in the hospital. We currently do not know when she will be able to come home, but we’re hoping that it will be soon. If you would continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers this week, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

Several friends have recently asked me how I’m handling everything, and the truth is that I’ve been keeping myself as busy as possible. It’s perhaps not the healthiest coping mechanism, especially since I’ve been baking Christmas cookies (and other holiday treats) like some kind of kitchen fiend all week. But while I may have gone a bit overboard on the baking, I did freeze a significant portion of each batch of cookies, so I think I can safely I promise that I won’t overdose on sugar this month.

This week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update is focused on the prompt “a book on a subject you know nothing about.”

For me, the most difficult part of this prompt was actually choosing a book. This prompt is really well suited to non-fiction titles and, as many of you already know, I really enjoy reading non-fiction. While I generally gravitate toward non-fiction books about history and anthropology, I do have a tendency to read about a lot of different topics. Ultimately, I ended up choosing the topic I know the least about, which is physics.

The book I chose to read for this prompt was What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe. If you’d like to learn more about this fascinating book, I hope you’ll check out my Week Three update.

Here are just a few titles I would recommend for “a book on a subject you know nothing about…”

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

  • Pure Invention: How Japan’s Pop Culture Conquered the World (Matt Alt) — This is a great book for anyone who is interested in the history and worldwide impact of Japanese products such as toys, electronics, video games, Hello Kitty, manga, and anime.
  • Girling Up: How To Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular (Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.) — This book talks about the process of growing up as a female, and is a very informative and engaging read for both girls and parents.
  • Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates (David Cordingly) — While there have been a tremendous number of fiction and non-fiction books written about pirates, I do believe this is one of the best.
  • The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food (Jennifer 8. Lee) — If you love Chinese food, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning more about its history and popularity.
  • Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets (Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman) — This is a very entertaining read, especially if you are interested in learning about unusual locations and weird tourist attractions. There are several other books in this series, many of which focus on specific states.
  • Secret Lives of the First Ladies: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Women of the White House (Cormac O’Brien) — I picked up a copy of this book the first time I visited Washington D.C., and I found it fascinating. If you’re more interested in learning about the presidents themselves, the author has also written a book called Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Men of the White House.
  • Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners (Therese Oneill) — If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a woman during the Victorian Era, you’ll definitely want to check out this book. The author does a great job of showing what life would have been like.
  • Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D.) — This book discusses combat trauma, specifically in the context of the Vietnam War. Dr. Shay discusses many of the difficulties faced by combat veterans, and compares their experiences to those of the characters found in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad.
  • The Little Book of Hygge (Meik Wiking) — This book gives the reader a better understanding of the term “hygge,” and discusses the happiness that can result from being cozy and comfortable.

We now have only two weeks remaining in this year’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, and I know that some of you may be feeling a lot of pressure to finish your remaining prompts. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the challenge, please remember that there is nothing wrong with not finishing. In fact, if the Reading Challenge is causing you additional stress, I highly recommend taking a step back and spending the rest of 2020 just reading for fun.

Next week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update will be focused on the prompt “a book with a bird on the cover.” It will also be our last prompt-focused update of the year, since the following week’s update is being reserved for a special announcement.

In the meantime, I hope you will join me on The Unapologetic Bookworm next week for book reviews and other new content.

Also, I am very excited to announce that (in addition to Twitter) I am now officially on Instagram! If you follow me on social media, you will gain access to additional book recommendations, personal updates and thoughts, my new adventures in bookstagramming, and some truly adorable pictures of my feline/velociraptor hybrid, Darcy.

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