So the time has come for the first official check-in for the Semi-Charmed Winter 2014 Book Challenge. I thought I was doing quite well, but when I looked at the check-in post this morning, I discovered that loads of people had finished already and even read extra books on top of that in November. What?! Where do they find the time? Although, perhaps, like Dwayne Hoover, they had attended evening classes in speed reading.
Ah well, despite my poor ranking in terms of points, the reading challenge continues to be successful for me in my eyes. This morning, after a quick trip to the doctor's, I got my free coffee from Waitrose and finished Breakfast Of Champions while sitting on a bench in the glasshouse in the Botanic Gardens. (Ah, the middle-class lifestyle...!) I had never heard of this book until I googled books with Breakfast in their title in order to satisfy the meal category of the challenge. Kurt Vonnegut was a gaping hole in my reading history, so I decided to give this a go and - wham, bam, thank you, ma'am - it's my first five-star rating on Goodreads so far this year!* I loved it! For a book with so many drawings of assholes (and I mean biological assholes, not metaphorical assholes) and so much detail about the size of everyone's penis, it was pretty deep :)
Now, I have to add a disclaimer here. I'm not recommending Breakfast Of Champions to anyone. Other people must like it because it averages 4.08 on Goodreads, but I can't think of anyone I know who would definitely like it and I'm sure it would really bug a lot of people. I just wanted to say that I loved it. You should make up your own mind about whether you would. It's pretty postmodern, self-referencing, satirical. If that's not your thing, it's probably not for you. I know these things bore and irritate some readers.
Here follows, for anyone who's interested, my current points total in the book challenge.
20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title.
3 stars overall, but the East stories were amazing!
15 points: Read a book written by a local author.
3 stars - a bit dated and kitchen-sinky but an enjoyable read
25 points: Read a book from a genre you don't usually read.
4 stars - I struggled to get into it, but once I did it was amazing!
30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title.
5 stars! Whoop!
3 stars - an enjoyable and easy read, but a bit Columbo-esque for someone who's not that into crime fiction and definitely does not have the same comic charm as Alexander McCall Smith as the cover claims!
Previous points: 0
Points total: 90 (much more impressive than I'd been expecting!)
P.S. I've noticed the page numbers of my editions are not always tallying with those given here (hence The Cat Who Could Read Backwards fiasco!) but they have all been over 200 pages in my editions too. I checked! :)
* Super-observant Goodreads stalkers (i.e. nobody) may have seen The Children Of Dynmouth flip between four and five stars a few times. I'm so indecisive when it comes to rigid categorisation like this. I wish Goodreads operated on a ten-star system. I try not to worry about it, but it irks me that there's such a wide range, in my mind, within each star rating. Three stars always seems mean, but I so rarely give out five stars... Honestly, these things always pain me. I know they shouldn't.