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Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge - February Update: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much & Super Extra Grande

The second month of Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge has already come and gone!  This challenge asks participants to complete 24 challenges which breaks down to two per month.  It was a good month - I finished both tasks and both were good reads.  For the third task, I needed to read a book about books so I selected The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett which is non-fiction about a rare-book thief who did it for his love of books rather than the money; and then for the fourth task  I needed to read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author, so I chose Super Extra Grande by Yoss which is a satirical sci-fi by one of Cuba's top sci-fi writers.  Read on to see my mini-reviews for each title:

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When it came time to choose a book about books for the third task of this challenge, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett came to mind immediately.  I've had my eye on this for a while since I started noticing it coming and going from the library quite a bit in the last few months.  I have to say that this nonfiction book lived up to my expectations - it's tells the tale of John Charles Gilkey, a man who has stolen hundreds of thousand dollars worth of rare books from all around the country - not for the money, but for his love of books.  It also features Ken Sanders, the bookseller who took on a detective-like role to catch the thief.  My favorite aspect of this book is how the author went about putting together their story - in a way, she's right in the mix with Gilkey and Sanders in the middle of all of it.  Honestly, as a book lover I might have been a smidgen jealous of Gilkey getting his hands on all of these.  Me, though, I would never take it to such extremes!

I read this book from February 21 - 24, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

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Super Extra Grande by Yoss is a short, fun, and risqué sci-fi novel. I wish that this story about a veterinarian to super extra grande-sized alien creatures was quite a bit longer to flesh out Jan's world a little more, and to have some of my favorite scenes (the rescue mission) get a little more page time. While it's very funny, I know that some of the satirical elements went over my head as well as some of the language jokes simply because I'm not very familiar with Cuban culture or the Spanish language for that matter. I definitely want to try more by Yoss after this first foray into his work.

I read this novel from February 8 - 9, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Next up for the March portion of the Challenge:

5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.

My choice - The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson - I've had my eyes on this historical fantasy novel featuring a young Chinese immigrant in San Francisco for quite a while now.

6. Read an all-ages comic.

My choice - Archie, Volume Two by Mark Waid and Veronica Fish - I enjoyed the first volume much more than I expected to and I'm really interested in continuing this modern take on a classic.

Thanks as always for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting below.  Have you ever taken part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge?  Have you read any of these books before and, if so, what did you think of them?


  1. Okay, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much sounds absolutely amazing! I am definitely going to keep my eye out for this one.

  2. This is my first time hearing about Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge, and I absolutely love the idea! I've been trying (though not succeeding) to read more culturally diverse books, so The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson sounds quite good. Keep up the amazing reading! Happy commenting!

    1. Thanks Lonna! I loved going through my tbr (and adding titles to it) to select which books I was going to read to complete the tasks! :)


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