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Ape's 2017 Challenge (2)

This is a continuation of the topic Ape's 2017 Challenge (1).

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Jun 23, 10:04am Top

Hello everyone and welcome to my thread! My name is Stephen and, well, I like to read. I suppose you already knew that. I used to complete the challenge fairly easily but over the past few years I've barely managed to finish 50 books. I'd aspire to do better, but I've embraced my subpar performance and set my reading goal for 50 books instead of 75. Hurray!

Currently Reading: The Witches' Kitchen
Currently Playing (PS4): The Last Tinker: City of Colors

Books read: 18
Pages read: 5,434

1. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
2. Rage Therapy by Daniel Kalla
3. The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard

4. The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard
5. Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka
6. The Diagnosis by Alan Lightman
7. The Beggar's Opera by John Gay

8. The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier
9. Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell
10. Big Appetites by Christopher Boffoli
11. Spawn: Origins (Volume 1) by Todd McFarlane
12. Surrounded by Sharks by Michael Northrop

13. Cannibalism by Bill Schutt

14. Baneblade by Guy Haley
15. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

16. East by Edith Pattou
17. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
18. The Witches' Kitchen by Allen Williams


Video Games: 3

1. Watch Dogs 2
2. Lords of the Fallen

3. Horizon: Zero Dawn

Edited: Jun 1, 5:41pm Top

Last year, I spent most of the year reading Great Tales of Horror by H. P. Lovecraft. I normally only read 1 book at a time, and it was the first time I had an ongoing collection of short stories, and I really liked it! So I'm doing it again this year, except this time I'm reading Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales. I don't yet know how I'm going to post about them, most of the stories are under 5 pages and there is something like 200+ of them, so I might do a weekly roundup or something like that. Anyway, I'll be keeping track of my overall progress on this post!

Pages read: 149 out of 682
Stories read: a few out of a bazillion

Pages read by month (and page I ended on to make next month's calculation easier.)
January: 66 (Page: 67)
February: 35 (Page: 102)
March: 9 (Page: 111)
April: 26 (Page: 137)
May: 12 (Page: 149

Edited: Mar 20, 6:04pm Top

In case you missed it, this is a thing I'm doing now. Feel free to cringe. It's okay.

Mar 20, 6:10pm Top

>2 Ape: I really need to read Lovecraft. I have played enough games set is his Mythos!

Mar 20, 9:43pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 21, 5:14am Top

>3 Ape: oh. i thought AFM meant "a fire monster".

Mar 21, 6:47am Top

Happy New Thread, Stephen!

Oh, also, this summer, we'll be in Columbus for something like a week. I feel like this WILL BE the year we have a meet-up! YES! Yes? Yes. Let's do this!!

Mar 21, 7:24am Top

Happy new thread!

>7 scaifea: Ooh, count me in! Hope I am in town that week.

Mar 21, 7:49am Top

>8 foggidawn: WOOT!! It'll be the last week in June...

Mar 21, 9:08am Top

>9 scaifea: I'll be away the last weekend in June, but I'd be up for a meetup during the week.

Mar 21, 10:37am Top

Happy new thread, Ape-man!

Mar 21, 11:15am Top

>10 foggidawn: Excellent!

Mar 21, 11:18am Top

Happy new thread!!

Mar 21, 7:14pm Top

Happy new thread buddy.

Mar 21, 10:58pm Top


Mar 22, 6:38pm Top

How's the Grimm going so far?

Mar 23, 11:26am Top

Happy new thread, Stephen!

Mar 23, 7:20pm Top

Thank you and welcome Stasia, Jim, Megan, Amber, Misti, Micky, Kim, Paul, Melissa, Leah, and Jennifer!

Phew, that was a lot of people.

Stasia: Definitely! Some of his work can be a bit of a drag but I liked the vast majority of it! :)

Megan: Close....

Amber/Misti: Cool! Um, things should be okay on my end, provided I don't find a reason to flake out somehow. P

Leah: It's a little repetitive, and occasionally alarming.

Mar 24, 8:54am Top

10. Big Appetites by Chrisopher Boffoli

Pages: 250
Rating: 4/5
Publication: 2013

Nonfiction - Photography
Library checkout


Book of photography featuring small figurines posed with various foods, intended to show texture and occasionally make a clever statement.

Mar 24, 8:58am Top

11. Spawn: Origins Volume 1 by Todd McFarlane

Pages: 144
Rating: 5/5
Publication: Early 90's

Fiction: Comic Book
Library checkout


Collects the first 6 issues of the original Spawn series. Awesome! I'm not a huge fan of the superhero comic genre, but this is totally my style.

Mar 24, 11:53am Top

>18 Ape: That was my feeling a lot of the time with the Grimm collection I read. Interesting but totally messed up when not being a bit boring. ;)

Mar 24, 1:30pm Top

Leah: Sounds like a perfect description of my challenge thread here on Librarything. :P

Mar 24, 9:39pm Top

Happy new thread Stephano!! Cool photos.

Mar 25, 10:25am Top

Thanks Kim! :) I added the book to my wishlist years ago when someone else on LT read it (Laura, I think?) and it took me this long to get around to it. Mostly I'm just using it to cheat because editing for Youtube is turning into a real time sink.

Mar 25, 11:08am Top

>19 Ape: That is cool- I'll have to see if my library has Big Appetites.

Mar 26, 7:00pm Top

Jennifer: Definitely! It's a super quick read too.

Mar 27, 1:54pm Top

Happy new thread, Stephen! Going back to your previous thread, I want to thank you for your excellent review of The Brothers Cabal. I have read and enjoyed the first three books in the series and now I am looking forward to enjoying book 4 in the series next month!

>19 Ape: - Love those images!

Mar 27, 7:09pm Top

Lori: I'm just happy there is another Johannes Cabal fan other than myself. It's kind of an obscure series, but it's SO GOOD. :)

Edited: Mar 28, 4:00pm Top

12. Surrounded by Sharks by Michael Northrop

Pages: 208
Rating: 3/5
Publication: 2014

Fiction - Young Adult
Library Checkout


Boy gets sucked into the ocean by a riptide without anyone knowing and tries to survive floating on a water cooler bottle. Also, sharks.

Mar 30, 10:05pm Top

Awesome plot summary! Especially the last bit there. So understated. : 0

Apr 1, 10:21am Top

Lol. I agree with Kim.

Apr 2, 5:35pm Top

Ha, well, I'm pretty sure I covered everything in the book. Maybe I could have added "fat British guy," but that wasn't really all that important to the story.

Edited: Apr 2, 5:40pm Top

March Summary:

Books read: 5
Pages read: 1,208
(1,199 + 9 pages in Grimm's Fairy Tales)

Fiction: 4
Nonfiction: 1

Owned: 2
Library checkout: 3

Apr 9, 2:19am Top

Popping in to say Hi!! Happy Sunday.

Apr 9, 5:12am Top

>19 Ape: aw, that food book is awesome! I think it's very clever.

Apr 9, 8:49am Top

Hi Kim! Happy Sunday! You caught me being a stranger, haven't been around in a week. I'm almost done with a book though and its an ER book, so expect a full review soon. About Cannibalism. Yum.

Megan: It is! Most of the time. Have you read it, or are you just going by the pictures I posted? If not, look into it, it's pretty cool. :)

Apr 9, 9:46am Top

Hi Stephen just passing by to say there is a vote going on on my thread.

Apr 10, 5:53pm Top

Bryony: The problem with voting is that my opinion becomes decreasingly less relevant as more people participate. This is unacceptable. :P

Apr 10, 5:55pm Top

13. Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt

Pages: 309
Rating: 4/5
Publication: 2017

Nonfiction: Science/Natural History


Bill Schutt explores cannibalism and the many hypocrisies involved with it. It is an act that the human species deplores, and often denies, despite how prevalent and natural it is among many species on the planet. The book discusses when and why certain species are driven to cannibalism, and the evolutionary implications of an organism that kills its own.

The book goes over human cannibalism, covering things like ritual cannibalism among the Fore of New Guinea and the resulting instances of deadly Kuru epidemics, as well as covering things like Mad Cow Disease. (Something that resulted when cows were fed cow by-products in their diets)

It's certainly an interesting, if not slightly morbid, topic. It's a very scientific look at the phenomenon, the author is a Zoologist and look at it and doesn't delve into the topic from a political or ethical perspective, which I appreciate. Though it was a little weird when he described his experience eating a woman's placenta....

Anyway, the book is probably not for everyone, but I enjoyed it and would recommend both this and the other book I've read by the author: Dark Banquet. Which is a book about sanguivores, or animals that feed on blood. Looks like the author enjoys that kind of thing, huh? Let's hope he keeps writing about it!

Apr 10, 6:00pm Top

I read this one just a few weeks ago. The author does a good job at keeping things scientific rather than morbid, and it was really interesting. I didn't think it was possible to find new info about the Donner Party, but it seems that he did.
But the placenta chapter- yuckyuckyuckyuck!

Apr 12, 6:22pm Top

Yeah...no offense ladies, but you can keep your placentas to yourself, thank you very much.

Apr 13, 8:03pm Top

Hello ape, I am parachuting in to say hello. Finally got started on this years thread and catching up with others. I also found a new series that might be right up your alley.

Apr 16, 12:12pm Top

You were gone... then I was...someday we'll hang out together!! Happy Sunday!

Apr 18, 10:35am Top

Hi Xymon! I've been behind all year so I know how it feels. Which series is it?

Kim: Happy 2-days-later day!

Apr 19, 3:54pm Top

>44 Ape: The Invisible Library. It is about a collector for a library that sits inbetween multiple realities of earth. Thier job is to collect unique books from differant realities for preservation.

Apr 21, 12:00pm Top

I'll look into it!

Apr 21, 12:09pm Top

In other news, I might not be READING books but I'm still buying them. I had to renew my driver's license today and rewarded myself with a trip to the dollar store, for $7 I bought the following hardcovers:

The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures by Edward Ball
Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arboi
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant/Katherine Applegate
Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
The Nightmare by Lars Kepler
The Misfortunates by Dimitri Verhulst

And since I'm only going to read 1 or 2 books this month (I'm 170 pages into a 400 pager with only 9 days left), let's enjoy pictures of these books instead of a nice hefty monthly summary. :)

Apr 21, 12:28pm Top

Well look at you, making the best of the situation. Those are some cool covers. I've just received notice that I have to go get my license photo re-done, so maybe I'll follow your lead and buy myself a little something after.

Apr 21, 1:37pm Top

>44 Ape: >45 xymon81: That sounds interesting, going to have to WL that one. The touchstone came out wrong, went to Crime and Punishment for some reason. Try The Invisible Library

Apr 21, 3:53pm Top

Driving through Columbus while silently weeping that I can't pick you up and take you to DC

Apr 21, 7:32pm Top

mstrust: Definitely! I always happen to come home with a bag full of books whenever I have to do something like that. :P

mahsdad: The "for some reason" is that LT touchstones are bad. I've complained about them many times. =/

Rachel: Ha! I'm sure Nora would have liked that. Unfortunately I couldn't have gone even if I wanted to, my mom is traveling this weekend and I'm watching her dogs, so I have a real legitimate excuse! :P

Apr 21, 7:51pm Top

>51 Ape: I'm usually pretty careful about that. Doesn't help I typed it on my phone. It is a good series though. I have book three but have been too swamped with work to start it yet and book four is due out soon. And seven books for under ten bucks is a good deal, I wouldn't pass it up either, my downfall is the free book cart outside my library and when they do the clothing and book swap. This year I donated like four bags of books that we both knew we were never going to get to and I still came back with some.

Apr 22, 8:23am Top

You should at least WANT to come. It's me and Nora. What could go wrong? And it would have been a free trip.

Apr 22, 7:23pm Top

Xymon: Oh no, not your fault, the Touchstone system does that all the time. Donate books? Never heard of such a thing. Their all mine, MINE I tell you!

Rachel: Right, of course I want to come. It's really too bad that I can't. Darn.

As for what can go wrong, I can think of a million things! Cow on the highway. Spontaneous lightning strikes. necrotizing fasciitis.

Apr 25, 6:25pm Top

In 365 days I'll be turning 30. Someone send help.

Apr 25, 6:35pm Top

>55 Ape: Whats that? Oh you need a box with icyhot, Epsom salt, and pamphlets for AARP, reverse mortgages and life alert. I will provide. Well have a good birthday.

Edited: Apr 25, 6:36pm Top


Hey, 30 is nothing. 27 was harder for me for some reason. I'm creeping up on 35 now and I don't mind. Much. Most of the time.

Apr 25, 7:17pm Top

>55 Ape: Whippersnapper. Happy birthday!

Apr 25, 9:28pm Top

>55 Ape: Happy 29th! :)

Apr 25, 9:33pm Top

Happy birthday Stephen!

Apr 26, 1:02am Top

>36 Ape: I haven't seen the book, but I am about to post the title on Joe's thread, as he had some little art on there a while ago.

>57 leahbird: 27 was really hard for me too!! 30 was awesome, as I had already admitted to myself that I was grown up then ;)

Happy Belated Stephen!!

Apr 26, 6:28am Top

Happy birthday, Stephen!!!

>56 xymon81: *snork!*

Edited: Apr 26, 7:39am Top

Happy Birthday!

>55 Ape: No, in 365 days you will be celebrating your 2nd 29th birthday ;-)

Apr 26, 8:03am Top

Happy birthday a little late!

Apr 26, 8:38am Top

Happy birthday from me too - a little later than Rachel :)

Apr 26, 1:49pm Top

Hope it was a Happy Birthday!

Apr 26, 3:04pm Top

Happy Birthday the Late-ilist so far, Stephen!

Apr 27, 5:44am Top

>63 FAMeulstee: hey, that is cool! And this year I am celebrating my 2nd 21st. Meaning not that I am 22, but that I am going to be 42.

Edited: Apr 27, 7:13am Top

>68 Ireadthereforeiam: Where is the fainting couch, Stephen, it is needed over here!
There are so many ways to play with the numbers of your age ;-)

Apr 30, 6:56pm Top

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

And now for my spectacular monthly summary. That's sarcasm, it's dreadful.

Apr 30, 6:59pm Top

April Summary:

Books read: 1
Pages read: 335
(309 + 26 pages in Grimm's Fairy Tales)

Fiction: 0
Nonfiction: 1

Owned: 1
Library checkout: 0

May 1, 1:20pm Top

>71 Ape: When I ordered that book for work, I thought of you. Have you seen The Seeds of Life? That one also made me think of you when I ordered it. Also, who doesn't love a book cover with a picture of a frog wearing pants for science?

May 1, 1:22pm Top

>71 Ape: Oh well, at least the one book was a good one.

May 2, 6:05pm Top

Micky: I have not seen it, but the title sounds interesting! (There doesn't seem to be much info on Librarything's page for it.) Frog's should always wear pants to cover their tadpoles. Gross.

Jennifer: Definitely! :)

May 2, 6:08pm Top

14. Baneblade by Guy Haley

Pages: 405
Rating: 2/5
Publication: 2013

Military Science Fiction


Action. Lots of action. LOOOOOOOOOTS of action. Very boring.

May 2, 10:49pm Top

>74 Ape: Publication date of June 6 so you still have a bit of a wait.

May 7, 3:53am Top

Wishing you a great weekend, Stephen.

May 10, 1:58am Top

Hi Stephano!! Hope you have a great week!

And that you read more in May. : P

May 10, 8:11pm Top

Micky: But I'm impatient!!

Paul: Thanks! (several days into the week.)

Hi Kim! So far reading is going at a much quicker pace, thankfully. :)

Edited: May 11, 7:33am Top

15. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Pages: 262
Rating: 4/5
Publication: 2014

Psychological horror
Borrowed from sister


The planet is decimated by some mysterious ~thing~ that drives people insane/suicidal when they see it. The few survivors must shut themselves indoors, and wear blindfolds whenever they leave their homes. Very suspenseful psychological horror, but leaves you wanting more in the end.

May 10, 9:16pm Top

>80 Ape: Look! You have already finished a book! And you liked it. : )

May 11, 9:50am Top

Yep! But now I'm leaning towards starting a 450 pager....

May 12, 3:07am Top

Ummmm....Good luck?! : )

May 18, 12:42pm Top

Good Luck young man!

May 18, 4:44pm Top

I opted out of the 450 pager and chose a 500 pager instead. :P

May 18, 8:23pm Top

I just finished a 450-pager, myself. You can do it!

May 22, 1:57am Top

>85 Ape: Oh, smart move! LOL

Jun 1, 5:16pm Top

Foggi: I did it! Just a day late to count for last month's stats. D'oh.

Kim: Oh yeah, I'm full of those. :P

Edited: Jun 1, 5:22pm Top

Well, it was another dismal month! Not only am I catastrophically behind on the reading challenge, but I'm also not going to finish Grimm's Fairy Tales this year at my current reading pace. I've only manged to read 150 pages out of 680+ in the first 5 months of the year.

May Summary:

Books read: 2
Pages read: 679
(667 + 12 pages in Grimm's Fairy Tales)

Fiction: 2
Nonfiction: 0

Owned: 1
Library checkout: 0
Borrowed (from sister): 1


Edited: Jun 1, 5:28pm Top

Video Game Summary

Playstation 4: 1

Jun 2, 2:53am Top

But are you enjoying what you are reading? This is supposed to be fun, remember! : )

Jun 2, 8:47am Top

If you review each Grimm's fairy tale separately I feel like you can count them as one book each.

Last weekend I went to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, which is a museum of medical specimens mostly from the 1850s. They had a special exhibit relating to Grimm's fairy tales, which I found very interesting. They had a huge hairball extracted from the stomach of someone with Rapunzel syndrome, for example. My favorite display in the exhibit was about The Three Army Surgeons. Have you read that one yet?

Jun 2, 8:31pm Top

Kim: But it's fun to be ahead in the challenge! :P

Nora: Ha! Well, in that case, I've completed the challenge!

I haven't read that one, I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Sounds like a my kind of museum! :)

Jun 2, 8:34pm Top

16. East by Edith Pattou

Pages: 507
Rating: 4/5
Publication: 2003

Juvenile Fantasy


Girl wins the heart of a prince by way of proficient housework. Don't look at me, I didn't write the thing...

Jun 3, 8:18pm Top

>94 Ape: I assume that's a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Either the retelling missed something or you did. :P

Jun 3, 8:24pm Top

>92 norabelle414: I just read Dr. Mutter's Marvels this year and loved it. I really want to see the museum some day.

Hi Stephen!

Jun 4, 9:58am Top

Yep, it's a retelling, and I don't think I missed anything.

Prince gets kidnapped by troll, underage girls falls in love with prince. After 500 pages, when prince is about to be forcibly married to troll, the girl challenges her to a laundry-off. The troll can't adequately clean the prince's shirt, and when the girl does his laundry perfectly they fall in love and get married.

Hi Kim!

Jun 4, 11:26am Top

>97 Ape: Huh. I can recommend a much better retelling that isn't 500 pages.

Jun 4, 12:41pm Top

That's okay, I haven't been using libraries as much of late. So far 11 out of the 16 books I've read this year have been my own (or my sister's) so hurray for me...minus the fact that I've only read 16 books this year. :)

Jun 4, 12:45pm Top

>99 Ape: I need to get reading my own books too - and am going to be forced to, it looks like due to the fire at my local library.

Jun 5, 11:57am Top

>94 Ape: It's been a while since I read that one, but I think I enjoyed it more than you did!

Jun 5, 7:04pm Top

Stasia: Oh dear, that's terrible!

Foggi: Oh, I liked the book, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, I just wanted to distance myself from plot is all. :P

Jun 14, 4:47pm Top

17. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Pages: 228
Rating: 4/5
Publication: 1950

Classic - Science Fiction
Library checkout


A collection of inter-connected short stories by Isaac Asimov that establishes the 3 rules of robotics that make it impossible for robots to harm humans, and then demonstrates how robots could easily circumvent the rules for the "greater good," even if that includes world domination.

Jun 15, 12:43am Top

>94 Ape: must be the season for chunksters, I just finished a 500+ book as well! *phew*

Jun 15, 9:42am Top

I liked I, Robot. I really should read the Foundation books.

Jun 18, 1:31pm Top

>103 Ape: Haven't read that one...yet! Happy Sunday.

Jun 23, 9:51am Top

Megan: I can appreciate a lady who is into chunksters. :P

Rachel: I was thinking the same thing, maybe I'll get around to them sometime in the next decade...but it seems doubtful.

Kim: It's certainly fascinating, and Happy Friday! :P

Jun 23, 9:58am Top

18. The Witches' Kitchen by Allen Williams

Pages: 288
Rating: 4/5
Publication: 2010

YA dark fantasy/adventure


A toad escapes being dropped into a bubbling cauldron only to have to trek the dark and menacing landscape of the witches' kitchen. Very Tim Burton-esque.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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