Here's the challenge: commit to reading 50 books and watching 50 movies in the next year! (Find out more...)
So it’s down to the wire. Please tell me I’m not alone in this 5-weeks-left induced panic. Personally I’m at 38 books, 38 movies. Which means that I have my work cut out for me.
What is the graceful way to handle this challenge? I’ve mentally put myself in Finals mode. It’s game time and I have no intention of fizzing out on a challenge that I helped start. I mean, what would happen to all the millions of people counting on me? Or hey, just you?
I have devised a surefire way to get through the final month of the challenge, and here it is. Take notes.
1) Celeb Trash
When my bookclub disbanded for lack of steady, engaged participation, I asked a friend what would make her actually show up regularly to book club. She responded instantly – “read trashy celebrity books”. So we started Celebrity Trash Bio Book Club and lo and behold, people did their reading. Why? Because celeb bios are usually written for the least common denominator. They know their audience- the audience has a frazzled attention span and is used to getting updates on said celeb’s life while children tug at them and they are checking out a week’s worth of groceries. This is good reading for when you’re busy. The books virtually read themselves. In the past month, I gobbled up Mindy Kaling’s dripping with sarcasm Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? as well as R Kelly’s Soulacoaster.
2) Young Adult
Again with the “books for people who don’t have an attention span”. Young adult might arguably be the hardest genre to write – you’re competing with raging hormones. I mean, if that’s not competition, what is? As a result, many young adult novels tend to be witty, fast-paced, and high concept. I finished The Fault In Our Stars by John Green in a matter of a day. High concept: Teens meet at a cancer support group and fall in love. Granted, I spent part of that day openly weeping in a café, but you’re a big kid, you can handle it.
Here’s why I love essays: because the author’s sole goal is to engage you about a topic. They’re bite sized nuggets (“Oh, I’ll just finish this one. Oh just one more!) and before you know it, the book is done! This weekend I read More Baths, Less Talking, a brilliantly titled collection of Nick Hornby’s Believer magazine columns. Don’t know what to read? Read about other people reading!
Documentaries are a good bet for fiftyfifty.me because they’re shorter than the average film but you feel like you learn something. So not only do you knock out one of your fiftyfifty.me films, but you can feel intellectually superior. Consider First Position, the moving documentary about children trying for ballet scholarships (the ballet equivalent of Spellbound). Too highbrow? You too can rent Part of Me, the Katy Perry documentary. And if you, like me, are suffering from an emotional hangover imparted by the book described in #2, you can get teary for a second time in a day when you see Katy Perry embrace her now-ex Russell Brand (whose Booky Wook you may have read, c/o #1, above. Circular, people)
The battle is not yet lost. I’m not saying to cheat. I’m saying give in to a little temptation, a little brain candy, and you might find the challenge just happens to finish itself.
Do you have a final countdown tip or recommendation to share with your fellow fiftyfifty’ers? A word of inspiration? A deep dark confession? Join us in the comment section below, won’t you?