The ’30 day book challenge’, part 1

Making the rounds of many of the blogs I read is something called The 30 day book challenge, which was a list posted on a Tumblr blog that lists many such challenges. The list apparently was posted three years ago, so as the original 30 days has long since passed so there’s no need to do one per day as the list suggests and I’ll answer them in groups of ten. Because the questions were supposed to be answered over a whole month there are some that are just reworded duplicates, so I may sneak in different answers to see if anyone is paying attention.

Best book you read last year
This is really tough to answer because I’ve read so many great books since last September. In a lame cop-out I’m going to declare it a tie between Starman by Sara Douglass and The Key to Creation by Kevin J Anderson. Both are great series ending books and I recommend them (and the series) very highly.

A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
As I mentioned in The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading I generally don’t reread books. I know there are a few I’ve read twice, but if I’ve read a particular book three times I don’t remember it.

Your favorite series
This is an easy answer as it’s the series that got me hooked on science fiction/fantasy, Piers Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality”. The seven original books–an eighth was written but like many others I don’t consider it part of the series–are all intertwined with each character related, either directly or tangentially, with each other. It’s a classic series and if you’re into the genre it most certainly is a “must read”.

Favorite book of your favorite series
It’s got to be the first book, On a Pale Horse. The last book, And Eternity, is probably the best but as I can remember finishing On a Pale Horse and knowing that was the kind of story I wanted to read really makes it my favorite in the series.

A book that makes you happy
I know I’m supposed to pick a specific book, but because none jumps to mind I’ll answer what kind of book makes me happy. I like books that tell a story well and in such a manner where the story flows from page to page and doesn’t seem rushed or forced. I like it when a writer makes me care about what happens to the character through a well designed storyline as opposed to just thinking I’ll care just because it’s the main character or the love interest, friend, family of the protagonist.

A book that makes you sad
Again, what kind of book makes me sad (or disappointed). I really get annoyed when the writer sets up a great theme to a story but totally misses (at least in my eyes) what should have happened to instead force the action or has their characters do illogical things to move the story along. There’s nothing worse than when an author has a character have some sort of absolutely random flash of brilliance to suddenly allow the hero of the story to succeed.

Most underrated book
Lots of science fiction/fantasy books are underrated as it seems many folks turn their noses up at the genre. “Terra Incognita” by Kevin J Anderson is an incredible series that deals with a lot of modern issues (mostly religious) in a fantasy setting. Even within the science fiction/fantasy genre this series is often overlooked because Anderson is known more for his hard sci-fi stories and not for his fantasy series. Technically that would be three books, but I think it still fits the spirit of the question.

Most overrated book
Easy answer, The Da Vinci Code. It’s not Dan Brown’s best book. It’s not even the best Brown book that features Robert Langdon (that would be Angels & Demons). It was the right book at the right time and everyone “had” to read it. I read it. It was OK, but nowhere near as good as many were saying it was. I’m glad it got people that weren’t really readers to pick the book up, but in general its hype didn’t match the content at all.

A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
I don’t buy books I think I wouldn’t like. I can’t help but wonder who would do that. And why would you borrow a book you didn’t think you’d like? I can’t figure out how anyone could really have an answer here without having to answer why they were reading it in the first place.

Favorite classic book
Using the standard definition of “classic book” I’d have to say Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I couldn’t get into it in high school and didn’t finish it and as such didn’t score very well on the test about the book. It wasn’t until years later after seeing the movie featuring Patrick Stewart as Ahab that I decided to go back and read it again. It’s much better when you don’t have some English Lit teacher explaining the book to you, especially since I think she got a lot of her stuff wrong.

The next ten will be up soon, so stay tuned…

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