[ questionable quality photo of fireworks ]
I did it! I completed The 50/50 Reading Challenge! Woo Hoo!!! I actually read 50 books and watched 50 movies in 2012. Never mind that I crammed the last three books in after Christmas or that I finished watching my last movie at 11:30 pm on New Year’s Eve. It was all carefully planned out so that I could finish The Challenge in a frenzy of activity and drama. OK, there was no plan, but it does seem to be how I roll these days and it was an exciting finish.
There’s no doubt it was harder than I thought it would be. I’ve discovered I don’t like reading on a schedule. It’s too structured and pushy. Frankly, I felt rushed with no time for contemplation. I was also surprised at how much I really struggled to find the chunks of time needed for movie watching, especially toward the end of the year.
Despite the difficulties, (it is called The 50/50 Reading Challenge for a reason) this little endeavor was fun and meaningful. I became much more purposeful in my reading choices. I read some excellent books, branched out into genres I wouldn’t normally choose, and discovered some new favorite authors. I was motivated enough to read through the Bible as one of my books – something I have tried to do several times before without success. I developed a taste for old movies and found myself seeking them out as the year progressed. And now I get to bask in the glow of satisfaction that always comes from accomplishing a hard-won goal. It feels good, really good.
I’m not going to review the six books and seven movies I consumed in December that finally got me to my goal. That would be as cumbersome to write as it would be to read. Instead, I’ll just list and rate everything and you’ll just have to take my word for it (or not – whatever).
- The Andromeda Strain by Micheal Crichton (3.75/5 stars)
- The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers (4/5 stars)
- Gathering Blue (book 2 in The Giver series) by Lois Lowry (4.25/5 stars)
- Messenger (book 3 in The Giver series) by Lois Lowry (4.25/5 stars)
- Son (book 4 in The Giver series) by Lois Lowry (4.25/5 stars)
- The Bible (5/5 stars)
- Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) starring Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien (4.25/5 stars)
- Life of Pi (2012) starring Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan (4/5 stars)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, and Richard Armitage (4.5/5 stars)
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947) starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and Natalie Wood (4.5/5 stars)
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) starring Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, and James Dunn (4/5 stars)
- Scrooged (1988) starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, and Bobcat Goldthwait (3.75/5 stars)
- Wreck-It Ralph (2012) starring by John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and Jane Lynch (3.75/5 stars)
The folks who got The 50/50 Reading Challenge ball rolling last year are at it again. If you are interested in attempting your own challenge for 2013, check out their new website here. I’ll warn you, it ain’t easy. But it is definitely worth it. And if you decide to give it a try, I wish you the very best of luck.
As for me, I think I’m going to take a pass this year. Because there are a finite numbers of hours in the day (The 50/50 Reading Challenge reminded me of this deep truth, too), I’m choosing to spend my time on other pleasures and travel in the culture consumption slow lane. The time has come to take the stress out of my favorite forms of relaxation
Now, will someone please toss me a party hat and a noise maker. I’ve got some serious celebrating to do! Scratch that. Just hand me a good book. I’d rather read than party any day.