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Update on Ultimate Reading Challenge

Book ‘em!

2017 is in full swing, and so is the Ultimate Reading Challenge! We’ll be providing updates on the Ultimate Reading Challenge periodically to see who is in the lead and to share some of the most interesting and surprising books participants have encountered.

First, a quick recap of our Ultimate Reading Challenge: introduced in 2016 by Sr. Director Antonia DeFeo, the Ultimate Reading Challenge helps build an atmosphere of team culture through shared interests. Those who take part read works from authors and genres they would not have tried otherwise. This has turned into a friendly competition to see who can read the most books throughout the year, and although the year has just started, we’ve already got some tough competition.

This tough competition has brought out the competitive juices in many of our contestants, so that brings us to the most important question of all: Who is “winning” the Ultimate Reading Challenge? The end goal of the Ultimate Reading Challenge is, like last year, to complete 40 books over a calendar year, with each book fulfilling a certain categorical requirement. Last year we had a couple people come close to reading forty books, and this year is starting off quite nicely for Brittany Crowl, who has read eight books already! She is followed closely by Web Designer Jon Care with five, then Brianna Bolling with four.

Having already read eight books, Brittany has singled out a favorite, “The Crystal Doors: Island Realm.” This novel by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J Anderson is the first in a trilogy that Brittany enjoys for its fantasy elements and “epic battles scenes.”

Another goal of the Ultimate Reading Challenge is to have readers branch out and search for new authors or genres they may not have heard of before. By requiring readers to read books that fall in different categories like “historical nonfiction” or “based on mythology,” the challenge encourages them to look outside their usual choices.

Jon Care says that one of most difficult categorical demands to fulfill will be the political memoir or autobiography/biography categories since he tends to lean towards fantasy and sci-fi. Meanwhile, Antonia DeFeo made it clear that she understands each reader will have difficulty with different categories, and hers will be the Star Wars category – recommended last year by none other than our resident Star Wars expert Jon Care.

There are other aspects of the book club that people enjoy beyond reading. Compulse’s Senior SEO Specialist Joe Mann, last year’s winner, says that accommodating new and interesting genres is one of his favorite parts of book club. Jon and Antonia both enjoy getting to know co-workers and having a chance to discuss things that aren’t work related.

While only in its second year, the Ultimate Reading Challenge has been successful in its goals. More readers are participating and everyone is broadening their horizons. Who will win for 2017? Will anyone complete all forty categories? Stay tuned to find out!