Category 18, Short Story: "Novostroika" by Maria RevaThis was quite an entertaining story published in The Atlantic in December of 2016. (We had a subscription to The Atlantic for a year around then and have kept the old issues around for leisurely perusal. It's a good magazine with well-researched, good writing.) The story is about a man in Ukraine who tries to get the heat turned on in his apartment only to hear from the official that his building doesn't exist. I'd say it's funny and tragic in a way similar to A Confederacy of Dunces.Category 19, Graphic novel: El Deafo by Cece Bell
I like that these memoir-type graphic novels kind of expose the immaturity and self-centeredness of the pre-teen/early teen protagonist. This one's about a deaf girl and was interesting and fun.
Category 20, About an animal: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket or The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo 🎧
The first has various reptiles in it, including a falsely accuse…
I have finished my fifty books for the year — in fact, I’m up to fifty-six, I think — and this is a surprise to me. I had been reading less in the last few years, so I wasn’t sure I’d make it to fifty. I think I succeeded because tracking things tends to improve performance (so I’ve heard) and because I’ve started listening to books, which I had not done very often before. Thanks to Jim Dale and the Harry Potter books for showing me how enjoyable listening can be.Category 2, Snow: The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking
This is indeed a little book, which was something I was looking for at the beginning of the Challenge, because I was worried that fifty books would be ... uh ... challenging. Anyway, I liked this. Lots of good ideas about making your surroundings and life cozy and happy-making. Kinda makes you want to go live in Sweden or Denmark or Finland.Category 3, Fairy Tale: Dornröschen auf Deutsch (Sleeping Beauty in German) 🎧I listened to this (…
Category 10, Vintage mystery: The Bookman's Promise by John Dunning 🎧
I admit that this isn't really vintage mystery, but I'm justifying it because 1) there were too many mystery-type categories in this challenge (next year's categories are an improvement), 2) the protagonist/detective guy was kind of old himself ("vintage," you could say), and 3) there is a lengthy flashback to 1860 or thereabouts because the mystery involves a lost or unknown manuscript by explorer Richard Burton. I liked that the detective is a retired detective who is now a bookseller. I didn't like as much that he is yet another older man who has romantic flings with younger women. But that's everywhere, I guess.
Category 11, Historical: Our Town by Thornton Wilder
I'm sure I read this long ago, but I didn't remember much of it. It's a lovely and sweet play, though pretty heartrending at the end. The passing of time isn't my favorite thing to think about these da…