2015 Reading Challenge: Update

New to the List:

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (A trilogy)
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (A trilogy)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (A trilogy)

Before you read any further, be warned: I am going to say very unfavorable things about the series, so if you are a fan brace yourself. There were a lot of trilogies I considered reading for the 2015 Reading Challenge, but I have been pestered so many times over the last several years by friends and family to read the Hunger Games trilogy. Read it they said, you’ll love it they said. They said wrong. From the first paragraph, I knew I was going to struggle through the series, and I did. I have an issue with completion, and I felt I had no right to criticize unless I finished, so I did. And guess what, I absolutely hated it. I hated just about everything that had to do with the trilogy. And I especially hated Katniss. I had a very different idea of what I thought she would be like, based on movie trailers and what I had heard about her from others, but I don’t understand why she is idolized and why so many people love her. To me, she is a very unsympathetic character, and I hate she is just another ‘strong female character’ who’s story is in large part based around a love triangle. I hate that she spends the majority of the book complaining – either about how she is too poor or too rich. I hate that the simplest of injuries can keep her bedridden for weeks. And I especially hate the way she is treated by others when she is injured or ‘hysterical’. Why is it always a first resort to jab a needle in her arm and put her out for days, to make her bedridden and mentally disoriented. Why is it Peeta can throw a bunch of furniture around the room and they just let me play it out, but that Katniss is always silenced into a coma because her behavior is ‘hysterical’? I feel like that is the wrong message to send to young girls. I hated the level of use Katniss was to pushing the story forward. In the last book, in the last part when they were in the Capitol, I think she could have been in 13, or dead, or anywhere else and it all would have played out the same way – the Capitol would have fallen to the rebels. If she had stayed under the fur shop, the rebel forces would have still pushed forward, doing everything the same and getting the same results. I feel it was kind of a waste. I think I could write a book full of all my frustration towards the book and the character, but I will spare you. I hated the books, but I am finally done with them and moving on to the next item on the list.

And as always, I already have a pretty long running list of Books to Read Next, but if anyone has suggestions for other great reads let me know and I will add them to the list 🙂

What I’ve read thus far:

2014

  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  • The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes Jr.
  • The Truth by Michael Palin
  • The Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord
  • The Divine Comedy: Paradiso by Dante Alighieri
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  • This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  • A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  • An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Pearl by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Sir Orfeo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
  • Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari

2015

  • Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim (A nonfiction book)
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (A book with a love triangle)
  • I’m Not a Terrorist, but I’ve Played One on TV by Maz Jobrani (A funny book)
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (A mystery or thriller)
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham (A Pulitzer Prize-winning book)
  • The Twits by Roald Dahl (A book from your childhood)
  • It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario (A book that made you cry)
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (A book published this year)

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