February Reads – 2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

I’m participating in the POPSUGAR reading challenge. The list includes 40 books, and my goal is to check off just one item per book. Here’s  an overview of what I read in February that fit the list (green check marks). You can also see what I’m reading right now via the Goodreads widget to the left—if you have any ideas on what item a particular book could check off the list, let me know in the comments. I need all the help I can get!

February – 2016 Reading Challenge

  • A Book with a Protagonist Who Has Your Occupation: Strange Love by Lisa Lenzo is a book I picked up because it’s a 2015 Michigan Notable Book. The nine collected stories in the book focus on Annie Zito (a bus driver/writer–it’s the writer part that earned the check mark) and her daughter Marley as the two navigate the complicated world of dating. These stories would appeal to anyone who’s struggled to find his/her soulmate, and I loved reading stories set in West Michigan.
  • A Self-Improvement Book: Structuring Your Novel by K. M. Weiland is one of several writing craft books I’m working my through right now. Weiland teaches the basic concepts of novel structure without getting bogged down in technical jargon. This is a useful book for new writers and experienced ones as well.
  • A New York Times Bestseller: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff was one of the big “IT” books of 2015–and deservedly so. The language is lush, and Groff’s portrayal of a complicated marriage leaves readers wondering how much they know about their own significant other.
  • A Book Recommended by Someone You Just Met: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica was discussed in the forums of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association, a group I’ve just recently joined. I’d heard this book compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, two books I didn’t like, so I wasn’t sure I’d like it. However, I found Kubica’s story of a kidnapped woman suspenseful and a gripping read–better than the other two because I could empathize with the main character.

What have you been reading this month? Anything you’d recommend that would help me check off some more items on the list? 

15 thoughts on “February Reads – 2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

  1. Sci-Fi isn’t my favorite either, but I LOVE Ray Bradbury, futuristic novels like {my Fav: Fahrenheit 451 or The Martian Chronicles}, but I love quick reads like Bringing up Bebe {Pamela Druckerman}, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up {Marie Kondo}, and A Wrinkle in Time {Madeleine L’Engle} may check many of these off your list. The long book, I’d recommend IT {Stephen King} as it’s over 1000 pages {but it’s a horror read, be forewarned!!}.

    Thanks for blogging about this — I’ll have to take a look at taking up this challenge 🙂


    • I do like some of the sci-fi that is in that speculative fiction arena–as long as it doesn’t get too far from reality–so the ones you list are ones I like too. Did you like “Life Changing Magic”? I keep seeing it and wondering if I should check it out; I’m afraid it will just make me guilty for the days when the house is a mess! 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Life Changing Magic….I did a short review on Goodreads (I’m still deciding if I should put a lot of effort into that site), but essentially – I liked the author discussing not to feel guilt for the *stuff*, but to thank it for coming into your life and releasing it out of your life. It sounds silly, but I had much less hesitation letting things go after ‘thanking’ them! And I want to thank you for reminding me to post my Goodreads review on my blog – http://bikurgurl.com/2016/03/04/book-review-the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up/ I don’t know if there’s anything more significant in that than the thanking of things and her not having children {which is my blessed reality}, but it’s a cute, quick read. Let me know what you think if you choose to read it! {and my thoughts on guilt are to let it go — we set our goals, do our best, and have to give ourselves grace as tomorrow is never promised, don’t hold onto the the bad feelings of ‘not good enough’. Life is so much more free living without regret and guilt!!}


      • We moved to a new house about two years ago, and I learned in that process exactly how much *stuff* we’d accumulated! Now I try to be better about thinking before I buy things–but I’m far from good at it. I get that feeling of guilt when it comes to getting rid of things. I spent a couple of weekends thoroughly cleaning my sons’ rooms, and I had that guilt when getting rid of toys they don’t even play with. They’re headed to new homes now, which lessened the guilt a bit. I’m still a bit scared of that book, but I should probably read it.

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      • I’ll admit, we moved an average of once a year several years in a row. The first move, I seriously purged. After that, I didn’t want to purge, but I didn’t….for years! It was so difficult to let the *stuff* go, that I just kept moving the same boxes to the next place, we had some stuff in a storage facility that we kept because we knew we were moving around and not in our permanent place. When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I didn’t want to deal with all the mess, the stuff, I wanted less to have more life {and do things like enjoy writing and interacting through this blog!}, so I seriously purged. I still have quite a bit to go, and I could never do the “one go” she suggests in her book – I have a life and am not going to put everything on hold for one go, but when we had floors refinished, it was a great way to move everything out – then only move back in what we love. Everything else went {or is going!} the way of the charity, consignment, or recycling. But, it is freeing when you do — and the more you do, the more space you want to have, so the more purging {letting go!} you can do. You don’t need a book to tell you how to do it, I’ve read dozens, but the intention. Once you have the intention, the books just give you new perspectives on the motivation you already have {much like writing, exercising, cooking…….} 🙂 You’re doing great! You are enough! Don’t feel guilty {it steals your happiness, totally not worth it!}, but happy for today and all of your tomorrows!


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