I did it! I finished the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2017! I was worried that I was too down to the wire and that I wouldn’t complete my last two challenges given the size and density of the two tomes I had selected. Let’s share my last two reads and my thoughts!
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Completes Challenge #4: Read a book set in Central or South America.
Thoughts: This was a very challenging book to get through. I don’t think it was a bad book, but definitely one that is slow paced. I think what I was having a hard time with was that I really didn’t have a sense of who the characters were and what I did know about them felt very one-dimensional. I will sing Marquez’s praises in that his writing is quite lovely, it’s just a shame that the story he was telling didn’t really shine in any way. The best parts of this book were learning more about the scenery and the smaller details, but the pining, romantic parts of this novel just didn’t feel romantic to me at all.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Completes Challenge #19: Read a book in which a character of colour goes on a spiritual journey.
Thoughts: I was gifted this book a few years back and I remember the sheer size of it was on the intimidating side. Years later, I decided it was finally time to read this one. This is a beautiful book that looks at so many different themes: life, death, youth, adulthood, growing up, being childish, etc. I could go on with how jam packed this novel is with intriguing sentiments on all these topics. I adored the Nao sections, as I loved seeing her grow up and try to cope with the differences between America and Japan.
There were a few scenes were I really found myself weeping for her, empathizing with her and just wanting to be able to lend a helping hand. Ruth’s sections were a little more cut and dry given she is uncovering Nao’s life. I enjoyed her sections as well though I did find at times they dragged a bit. I will say the audiobook read by Ozeki herself was pretty fantastic give the amount of personality she infused into her characters. An excellent read that I know I’ll still be thinking about years to come.
I am definitely going to try my best and complete the 2018 challenge. I’ve given myself a lot of challenges really book-wise given I want to try to read more of my own stuff. This is the hardship of working at a library where shiny new things catch your eye and you go “ohhh shiny.”
I hope everyone enjoyed these posts. I hope if you were participating in the challenge that you completed your goals and even if you didn’t, you read this year and that is amazing! Check back with me at the end of January when we begin this process again!