Recommended Reading Challenge Results!

In the middle of one sleepless night last April, my exhaustion-befogged brain came upon an idea: "I read a lot of the same shit most of the time, maybe for an entire year I'll read nothing but what other people recommend in an attempt to broaden my horizons." So I put up a note on Facebook that invited people to make with the recommendations, providing the followed a few rules!

The Rules:
1.) No Twilight.
2.) No sagas/series. One-and-dones only.
3.) No Twilight.
4.) Only recommend books you actually like, don't try to make me miserable with bad books.
5.) Non-fiction usually bores me, so try to keep it fictional, please.
6.) One book per person at a time.

For the record, the only rules people actually followed were #1 and #3, but I digress...

I realize it hasn't been a full year yet, but I'm ending the challenge early because, even though I read thirty-three books over this span of time, the recommendations have dried up lately. Plus, in this time I've amassed ten books of my own that I'd like to read. And honestly, part of why i did it was so that people would lend me the books and I could stop spending money on books because, at the time, I was a nearly destitute bastard. But now that I can afford to buy the books I want, I'm kind of over it.

So now that I've given you the happy recap, it's time to go over the results and give out a prize or two as well.

As I said, I read thirty-three books. Of those thirty-three, I gave twenty-three three or more stars out of five, meaning I enjoyed the bulk of the books I read. Of the books I didn't like, the very first book I was given, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City was the absolute worst... and my friend Ami, whose literary opinions are usually pretty spot-on, wins a prize for Worst Book.

And here to present her with her award, because I find ways to work her into everything, is Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence!

Ami's prize is my undying enmity.

I kid, I kid.


Now, out of all the rest of the books I enjoyed, three of them got the rare five-star rating: Boy's Life, Invisible Monsters (I know it says four stars there but I gave it five, I just don't know how to change it...), and Ready Player One. Which one won the challenge? I'll give you a minute to slap your hands against your leg a few times a drum roll.

And back to present the Best Book award, Miss Jennifer Lawrence!

The winner is... Boy's Life, recommended by one of my best friends, Meegan, who wins a prize of her choosing... pending approval, of course. I ain't handing out any blank checks here!

So, winner and loser aside, was the challenge a success? Did it have any lasting effects on me as a reader? I'd definitely have to say yes. Aside from giving me twenty-three books that I really enjoyed, it definitely got me reading different things and broadened my horizons. Robert R. McCammon, Chuck Palahniuk, Lev Grossman, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Markus Zusak, Brom, David Wong, and Ernest Cline are all authors who have been added to the list of people whose books I eagerly await, and my interest in Michael Crichton, who I read a lot twenty or so years ago, has been rekindled.

Maybe I'll do this again someday, but for now I'm going back to the worlds of Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, and my unhealthy enjoyment of Star Wars novels. At least until the new movies come out and they decide the novels don't count anymore...


  1. I am just happy I didn't win worst recommendation with the romance novel I gave you to read. I am also happy that you actually enjoyed it.

    1. Yeah, that was, surprisingly, four-star-calibur reading right there.


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