Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2017 Weekly checkins > Week 21: 5/19-5/25

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy Thursday everyone! I'm looking forward to hearing how your reading has gone this week. One thing I love about this group is that you all find so many great books that I've never even heard of!

A little group housekeeping...remember to go vote on the poll for July's group read. You can go here to place your vote:
https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...

June's chosen group read for a book involving travel was The Woman in Cabin 10. Threads for discussion and completion of the monthly challenge will open around June 1.

I only managed to finish one book this week, but it's one I've been working on since the beginning of the month! The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart which is the book that's been on my TBR the longest (about 25 years).

I started reading Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. I will either use it for a book with a cat on the cover or first book in a series.


Question of the week:

What book is at the top of your wish list (to read or to purchase)? Could be a new release, something coming out later this year, or maybe a special edition of an old favorite?

I've been collecting nicely covered editions of some of my favorite classics. One of my favorites is Jane Eyre, but the copy I own has one of those generic covers you can pick up for a few dollars and Barnes & Noble. Someday I will go ahead and acquire one of these:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë or maybe Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë


message 2: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5644 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "I only managed to finish one book this week, but it's one I've been working on since the beginning of the month! The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart which is the book that's been on my TBR the longest (about 25 years). ..."

How did you like it? I've been eyeing that book for years now, wondering if I should read it.


message 3: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 25, 2017 04:37AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5644 comments Mod
so, Happy Thursday! The weather is grey and gloomy today in northern NY, and my 5th grader is very sad because her field trip to Oneida Lake has been cancelled due to forecast of storms. So we're not all that happy right now!

This week I finished three books, one of them for the Challenge. I'm 44/52

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling - super short, 15 minute read - it was great, a perfect commencement speech, but not enough to warrant being sold as a book. Get this one from the library!

I See You by Clare Mackintosh - a much anticipated psychological thriller that was a fun read but, looking back on it, it wasn't really that great. In my review I said it was "a well-paced, vapid page-turner."

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig - the twelfth and final book in Willig's Pink Carnation series of historical romance/espionage books. I was sad to finish this fantastic series, but I loved the book. This checked off "a story within a story" for me, because the historical romances are told within a framing device of a modern young woman researching British spies during the French Revolution. (The modern young woman gets her own series-long romance, but that was the weakest part of the series, for me.)

QOTW I'm not really sure how to answer this one! I've got about 1300 books on my TBR list, and they are ALL on my "wish list" in one way or another! So, how am I supposed to single out just one? ;-)

So far as books I would like to buy ... I think about buying a box set of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. And I think about buying the full set of the comic book series Saga when it's done, so I can go back and reread the whole thing start-to-finish.

I DID buy (pre-ordered!) Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch back in October, and it's FINALLY on it's way to me in the mail right now! (I thought this was supposed to be published last December, so I'm confused about the delay, but happy to finally be getting it.)

So far as books I'm eagerly awaiting ... I'm excited to read Saga, Vol. 7, which I have had on hold at my library forever, they have been exceedingly slow about getting copies into their system.

I'm looking forward to reading Mike Carey's new zombie prequel, The Boy on the Bridge, which I also have on hold at my library (I'm #1 on the list now!!)

I can't wait for the next Cormoran Strike book, which has title Lethal White, but no cover yet, and no firm publish date, and come ON already let me have it!! I need more Cormoran!!!

And I'm excited to read Laini Taylor's next book, part two of her Strange the Dreamer duology (I think?) which will hopefully be published next year.


message 4: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 415 comments Bon matin,

It's grey here also, but I can't complain since we had beautiful sun last week-end.

I finished two books this week:

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea that I will use for the hotel prompt. I liked it very much.

Eragon for the mythological creature. It was engaging at some point, but far to long for my taste. Many times, I find it childish, but full of imagination. I may continue the serie but not just yet.

I am now starting Le cas Malaussène (Tome 1) - Ils m'ont menti for a book publish this year. I loved all the other from the Malaussene's books and can't wait to dig into that one.

QOTW: There is so many on my wish list.

Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks that I just found is available at a Library near me.

Revelation Space because I fell in love with another of this author's book and want to see if it's as good.

Assassin's Fate because it's the last book in that beautiful serie.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions just for fun.


message 5: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nadine wrote: "Sara wrote: "I only managed to finish one book this week, but it's one I've been working on since the beginning of the month! The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart which is the book that's been on my TBR the longest (about 25 years). ..."

How did you like it? I've been eyeing that book for years now, wondering if I should read it. ..."


It was good, but for some reason it was just a really slow read for me. Lots of detail at times (maybe a little too much). I loved the perspective and the way it's setting up the rest of the Arthur/Merlin story.

The series was a trilogy and then she added a fourth book. For some inexplicable reason I actually picked up the fourth book many years ago so it's like I've bookended the series by reading #1 and #4. I will probably get around to reading the remaining two, but I'm not in a big hurry.

Most people I know who have read the series absolutely loved it so I'm hoping I will end up being the same when I'm done.


message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 539 comments I finished two books this week both I get to use for the challenge so I'm very happy with that.

Finished The Book Thief. I enjoyed this and did get a little emotional at parts. Right now I have this as set during a war but I'm also really tempted to slide it over to nonhuman perspective and use something else for the war book. I'll have to see what to do later in the year if I can't find something good for nonhuman...

Finished Wonder for person with a disability. I enjoyed this quick read. Its a middle grade book.

Brings me to 19/40 and 1/12 - a little bit behind.

QOTW Always and Forever, Lara Jean just came out but it hasn't made it to my library yet. I'm looking forward to reading that, although I'm not sure where it fits in my challenge since I've already read my released in 2017 book...


message 7: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 727 comments Hi everyone!

Its rainy and grey here in Michigan, I guess making up for the burst of summer last week.

I had a super busy weekend, with a comic con, wedding on the other side of the state, and a Harry Pottercon on Sunday. But I still managed to knock out some short books.

Finished:
Labor Day - book set around a holiday other than Christmas. This is the one I complained about not having any quotes. That still bothered me, but I did get through. I'm not sure what to tell the person who said they were thinking about reading it for this prompt. It wasn't a BAD book, but the plot was very...weird? I mean I read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy. I can suspend disbelief. But I feel like general character motivations still stay the same across genre, and just a lot of stuff that happened left me feeling like it just...wouldn't? It's hard to explain without getting spoilery. I'll say it was fast to read though, and engaging enough.

Salt to the Sea - A book about an immigrant or refugee. I got this from the suggestion threads here, it was really good if heartbreaking. I finished it in almost a day, it was short but engrossing.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life This I was counting as my career advice. I really want to start working on personal projects that I can maybe turn into a living, so I wanted something motivational. I was really disappointed, and almost rage quit the book. Only the fact that it was short, and I didn't feel like finding another option for the prompt kept me going. I'm fine with being told to believe in myself, but she dismissed things like depression and anxiety as having poor attitudes and things you can just choose not to have. No mention of having actual mental illnesses. She also dismissed being poor as just not trying hard enough and believing in yourself, again ignoring things like the economy, gender pay gap, race pay gap, low minimum wage etc. She literally has a chapter about changing your "energy frequencies" so you can vibrate your way to success.

This puts me at 45/52 total

I'm currently reading Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings which won't count for anything. But I'm far enough ahead that it's fine, and the book looked interesting. It's all about various princesses through history that were warriors, pirates, usurped thrones, slept around, threw parties, plotted grand schemes etc. Basically trying to counter the saccharin princess craze with actual princesses who were not perfect or ornamental.

QOTW: If I really want a book, I just buy it, otherwise I just wait for the library to have them. Probably will buy the next two Phedre books in Jaqulene Carey's trilogy, because I got the first one last year. I'm hitting Powells in Portland latter this summer, so that'll probably when I grab them. Otherwise I just nab kindle books when I feel like it or see a sale.


message 8: by Cheri (last edited May 25, 2017 06:30AM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hi, everyone!

It's cloudy and gray in San Francisco today, too -- a good day for reading! :)

This week I finished three books:

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister - This was fascinating, tracing the history of women getting married vs staying single in the US, intermixed with lots of personal stories from interviews and an explanation of what the data might mean. It could fit a few prompts, but I'm using it for career advice (20) because it talks a lot about the effect of marriage on careers.

Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing by Ben Blatt - I'd been waiting for a long time for this to come out and received it as a gift recently. Yay! My favorite chapters were on whether authors take their own advice (specifically, the use of -ly adverbs), gender issues in writing, and author "fingerprints" that identify them. I'm using this for a book published in 2017 (16).

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - Wow, not my kind of book. I'm glad it was really short. I'm using it for a book whose title is a character's name (27) -- in this case, the alchemist is only referred to as "the alchemist" and we never learn any other name for him.

Question of the Week - I'm eager to read the new biography of Barak Obama, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama by David J. Garrow, but it's expensive to buy and there's a long wait list at the library.


message 9: by Thegirlintheafternoon (last edited May 25, 2017 01:32PM) (new)

Thegirlintheafternoon Good morning, all! Happy to be checking in and getting some good book recs this lovely Thursday morning :)

Finished
I finished re-reading The End of Your Life Book Club for Book Riot's prompt to "Read a book you've read before." I enjoyed it but found it less moving than I remember - I was more able to see some of the tension in the way the author portrayed his relationship with his mother, who came across this time as a great woman who would nevertheless be sometimes very difficult to stand. Brings me to 14/24 for this challenge.

I also read Practice Makes Perfect, a romance novel I saw rec'd on the #RomBkLove discussion happening over on Twitter through the end of May! I used this for Popsugar's "a book by or about a person with a disability" prompt. I thought the book's depiction of the hero's disability was fantastic - he uses a wheelchair and is extremely at home with his disability; he's the more experienced of the couple, and they explore lots of ways to have the fantastic kinky sex they both want! (To be clear, it's not kinky because he uses a wheelchair; the couple meets in a BDSM workshop, though the sex in the book is pretty light on BDSM beyond a power differential.) On the other hand, the heroine was a little golly-gee for my tastes, and there was a moment about 3/4 of the way through the book where the hero had a reaction that was SO out of left field that I instantly stopped wanting them to be together, so...YMMV? Now at 25/40 for this challenge.

In Progress
Still listening to Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life (about 60% finished). I also just picked up Peter Darling from my library - I'm only a couple of pages in, but I'm excited to read it!

DNF
I quit reading Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World (memoir) and How to Write a Novel (a novel), both of which were well-written and interesting but just Not For Me.

QOTW
I'm currently sadly watching the clock until the next Cat Sebastian, The Ruin of a Rake, comes out in July. Almost there! I'm also watching the library holds shelf closely for the next Temeraire book to come in - it was returned to the lending library by mistake while I was out of town :(


Thegirlintheafternoon Sheri wrote: "I'm fine with being told to believe in myself, but she dismissed things like depression and anxiety as having poor attitudes and things you can just choose not to have. No mention of having actual mental illnesses. She also dismissed being poor as just not trying hard enough and believing in yourself, again ignoring things like the economy, gender pay gap, race pay gap, low minimum wage etc."

Whoa, I hadn't heard this about this book! Thanks for sharing - I'll steer clear.


Thegirlintheafternoon Cheri wrote: "Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing by Ben Blatt - I'd been waiting for a long time for this to come out and received it as a gift recently. Yay! My favorite chapters were on whether authors take their own advice (specifically, the use of -ly adverbs), gender issues in writing, and author "fingerprints" that identify them. I'm using this for a book published in 2017 (16).."

Thanks for sharing this, Cheri! It sounds fascinating. Have you read The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of a Blockbuster Novel? Similar approach at applying data to literature. I loved it!


message 12: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Thegirlintheafternoon wrote: "Cheri wrote: "Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing by Ben Blatt - I'd been waiting for a long time for this to come out and..."

Oh, thanks so much for the suggestion! I've been hoping to find another book that uses data to explore writing. I've read some about the "digitial humanities," so I think more books like this will published. Excited to try The Bestseller Code!


message 13: by Heather (last edited May 25, 2017 07:13AM) (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Cheri wrote: "Hi, everyone!

It's cloudy and gray in San Francisco today, too -- a good day for reading! :)

This week I finished three books:

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Ind..."


I thought All the Single Ladies was fascinating and really, really enjoyed the mixture of history, political science and social studies Traister brought to it.

This week I also read Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing! My library finally ordered a copy and it came straight to me. I've been recommending it to everyone.

I also finished my book club's pick, Small Admissions, and really enjoyed it but could not find a prompt it fit.

I returned to a romance I started in February and stopped because it wasn't hooking me (The Trouble with Dukes) and had to backtrack a bit to remember the plot only to tear through it in a few days.

And finally, I finished my audiobook, which is Anne of Green Gables read by Rachel McAdams. It was an Audible daily deal last year so I grabbed it. Lovely.

Currently reading an ARC romance from Lauren Layne, Ready to Run, which I'm liking quite a bit. Quick and charming read.

I've now read 21/52 but 43 books total this year.

QOTW: I would love the Jenny Han trilogy (beginning with To All the Boys I've Loved Before) because I think they'd make good summer reading and the covers are lovely. I could also use some new copies of my L.M. Montgomery books because 11-year-old me did not handle them with care!


message 14: by Tara (new)

Tara Bates | 1008 comments Happy Thursday! It's been nice and I've been bogged down with a book im not interested in so I'm putting it aside to focus on a couple of ones I'm excited about.

I did order a bunch from the library for my kids challenge including author of colour and steampunk.

QOTW: I have fantastic beasts sitting on my dresser so that's up there. I also need to get to reading S. There's nothing in particular I am looking forward to, although I've been anxiously waiting for Fever Code to get to my library more because I want to finish the series than because I'm all that interested. The story is done for me so I don't care that much but I don't like feeling it's unfinished.


message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 510 comments Hi all! This week I read 2 books:

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit: I thought this book was very interesting. A lot of the reviews were very mixed because people either were very very angry at the titular hermit for his methods of securing food/supplies or were putting him on a pedestal for his solitary lifestyle. One of the strong points of this book is that it doesn't really hold up the hermit as either an outdoorsman-hero or condemn him as a criminal. It just tells an interesting story and discusses what might have led him to forsake society. The only problem I had with it is that I think it's pretty clear that the author was a bit too intrusive, to the point of harassing the man and his family, but he's a reporter so what can you expect.

Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: I read this for the first time in high school, but I don't think I've reread it since. Still charming and adorable, and not too dumbed down to fit the age level.

I'm currently reading My First Summer in the Sierra, because I have yet to read a book with a season in the title. However, in spite of its shortness, this is not a book you read quickly. I also wish my kindle edition came with illustrations because I am not up on my California foliage.

QOTW: I really want to get The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, but I'm waiting until it comes out in paperback. I'm just not a huge fan of hardcovers. Like, I know in theory they are supposed to be longer lasting or whatever, but I just find paperbacks more user-friendly, and just how long do I need books to last anyway?


message 16: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 289 comments Hello from rainy Columbus!

This week I finished a handful of short books. I read The White Stallion as my pick for a book I loved as a child. I remember checking it out constantly from the school library in the first grade because I loved the illustrations so much. It's meant for the much younger crown so it took me all of two minutes to read. So I also read Who is Victoria? as another pick for a book I loved as a child. It's this random book published in the 70's that belonged to my aunt when she was a kid. My grandma gave it to me when I was a kid and I remember thinking it was so captivating. Very weird and unlike any other book I've read before. It contains one of my favorite passages from a book ever (it's a description of the Earth before God formed it). I'm glad I got to revisit that book and I'm excited for my daughter to give it a read.

I also finished The Old Man and the Sea. Short and sweet, after reading The Sun Also Rises, I wanted to read more by Hemingway. I liked it but it wasn't terribly interesting to me. I didn't think it'd work for a category but then I figured I could stick it in the character of a different ethnicity category.

I'm about halfway through Anna Karenina. So far I'm really loving how the author writes, unlike most classic novels this reads as though it could have been written today, the dialogue is so casual and natural that I'm not getting tripped up on outdated ways of conversing (maybe this translation was done recently? Idk). So I'm really enjoying the book overall but my general feelings toward Anna right now is

Like your husband is a damn saint putting up with your shit but his niceness repulsed you so much that you simply have to abandon your son who adores you?

I know how it ends but I don't know how it gets to that point, I bet she's not going to become any less vexing in my eyes. Also: genuine question for anyone who might know: why are there son many princes and princesses? Are they all related? Did Russia have a really broad definition of prince/princess? Like it seems as though they're hanging out with a new prince/princess every other chapter.

So that brings me to 27/40; 3/12. With 38 books read total.

QOTW: I too like collecting pretty covers of my favorites. I have a few copies of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I really want to get the whole penguin classics hardcover books, and the puffin classics for my daughter. I also really enjoy grabbing any book with a floral cover, luckily I was able to snag a copy of my favorite book (Special Topics in Calamity Physics) in the floral cover edition. As far as my to read list, I'm really looking forward to the new Philip Pullman books and whatever Marisha Pessl has been working on.


message 17: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Heather wrote: "Cheri wrote: "Hi, everyone!

This week I also read Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing! ..."


Seems to be the book of the week! I've been recommending it to lots of people, too. :)


message 18: by Nicole (last edited May 25, 2017 08:55AM) (new)

Nicole Sterling | 153 comments Week 21 - 27/40 & 8/12 (35/52)

Happy Thursday, everyone! Although we've had rain and cool temps earlier this week, today is supposed to be sunny with a high in the mid-80s, with temps in the 90s this weekend. It's beginning to feel like summer. And today is my son't last day of 4th grade, so he's definitely ready for summertime fun! :)

I'm so happy that the progress I mad last week has continued through this week. I am officially out of the reading slump that I was in for a few weeks.

I finished listening to Fidelity by Thomas Perry for prompt #1 on the advanced list, a book recommended by an author you love (recommended by James Patterson). It was a pretty good read, and my first by Thomas Perry, so I may have to look into some of his other books.

I also finished reading Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass for prompt # 10, a book with a cat on the cover. It was pretty cute, and while I did have an idea of who the bad guy was early on in the book, I couldn't tie it together until towards the end, so I count that as a win. In mysteries, I like to be able to figure out who did it on my own, but I don't want to know for the whole book.

I also started and finished listening to Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch for prompt #14, a book involving travel. It was cute, and I enjoyed it, but (even though it wasn't a mystery, per se) I was able to figure a lot of things out fairly early on that were revealed late in the book. That was okay, but I'm glad I listened to it, because the accents and the different voices & languages helped me stick with it, when I might have been tempted to just skim if I was reading.

I am still reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles for prompt #35 (a book set in a hotel), but I actually made some progress this week. I think I have had this on my list for 4-6 weeks now, and hadn't moved past the 10% I read that first day, but I've read some the past two nights and am now 27% finished. I hope to get it finished in the next week so I can mark it as completed by the next check-in, but we'll see. I certainly expect to be finished within two weeks!

I also just started reading Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper for prompt #13, a book by or about a person who has a disability. So far, it's pretty interesting, but I'm not very far in, so we'll have to see how it unfolds.

QOTW: I am excited to read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (for prompt #7, a story within a story), and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (for prompt #3, a book of letters). I've read The Thirteenth Tale & really enjoyed it, but it was years & years ago, so I've forgotten a lot of what happened. I've heard so many good things about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, so I'm really looking forward to getting started on it.


message 19: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Jackie wrote: "I really want to get The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, but I'm waiting until it comes out in paperback. ..."

Do you use a kindle? I got my copy of that on an Amazon special for $1.99 a while back. (Interesting book, by the way!) I've found that the Amazon sale books are often repeated after several months.


message 20: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 100 comments Hello from (finally) sunny Oregon!

I only finished one book this week, but it was an excellent book Emily of New Moon for the "book with a cat on the cover" prompt. I am also excited to hear someone else is reading it. I almost didn't like it because it is very dated but I don't want to give anything away so you will have to read my goodreads review if you want to know my thoughts.

I am about to start The Book Thief and for the kids I have been reading Surprises According to Humphrey which would fit the "a book from a nonhuman perspective" but I have already filled that one.

Progress: 19/40 and 1/12

QotW: I have a copy of Jane Eyre that I spent $50 on and for the life of me can't remember why and I still haven't read it!?! Any way I would love to own the newest box set of the Jane Austen books. I am looking forward to the next illustrated version of Harry Potter. I also wish I had a copy of a UK version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as I love the word and original story of the PHILOSOPHER'S Stone. The word sorcerer is okay but I much prefer philosopher. I don't buy many books as I am more of a minimalist even though I love books. I love the library.


message 21: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 415 comments Dani wrote: "Hello from rainy Columbus!

This week I finished a handful of short books. I read The White Stallion as my pick for a book I loved as a child. I remember checking it out constantly ..."


I was asking myself the same thing about princes and princesses in Anna Karenina (or other russians novels of that time). I found this:

''Reserving the title of prince or princess for the son or daughter of a king is a very British tradition. Across different world cultures it generally indicates a high rank of nobility, such as a duke/duchess or count/countess''

from this site:

https://thequestion.ru/questions/1427...

I too find Anna frustrating. Levin was one of my favorite characters.


message 22: by Tara (new)

Tara Bates | 1008 comments Larissa the Canadian Harry potters are "philosophers" maybe easier than uk copy to get lol (I'm assuming you're in the states, I think that's the only place it was sold as sorcerer)


message 23: by Sara (last edited May 25, 2017 09:51AM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Larissa wrote: "I also wish I had a copy of a UK version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as I love the word and original story of the PHILOSOPHER'S Stone. The word sorcerer is okay but I much prefer philosopher. ..."

I pre-ordered a special edition of Harry Potter an the Philosopher's Stone which is released on 6/1 I believe. They are releasing 4 editions in the four house colors (I bought Hufflepuff for my daughter though I'm a Ravenclaw) in celebration of the 20th anniversary of its first publication. I ordered from Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-...


message 24: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 289 comments Fannie wrote: "Dani wrote: "Hello from rainy Columbus!

This week I finished a handful of short books. I read The White Stallion as my pick for a book I loved as a child. I remember checking it ou..."

Thanks for doing the googling for me 😂
That makes sense.


message 25: by Chandie (last edited May 25, 2017 09:19AM) (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 248 comments I only finished one book this week.

Rough & Tumble by Rhenna Morgan. It was ok. It's a MC (even though it doesn't say what the men are involved in, it's a about a motorcycle club) romance and that's not a genre I'm really into. It kind of read as Sons of Anarchy fanfic but nicely written fanfic. But my main problem was the insta-lust/love and over-the-top Alphaness. Meh.

QOTW:
A set of the yellow spine Nancy Drews from the 80s. They were on the bottom shelf of my local library when I was a kid and I would sit on the floor and try to decide which ones to check out that week.

I was dropping off some books at my localish Little Free Library last week and there were a couple of Nancy Drews (glossy 90s covers) there and I grabbed one because the nostalgia was too great not to.


message 26: by Nerdy Panda (last edited May 25, 2017 12:04PM) (new)

Nerdy Panda (twobrokegirlswithbooks) (_readingpanda_) | 48 comments A book set around a holiday other than Christmas: Ghosts.
I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner. I love Raina Telgemeier's books!

QOTW: Hmmm, good question. I'm looking forward to reading When Dimple Met Rishi and Eliza and Her Monsters


message 27: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 100 comments Tara wrote: "Larissa the Canadian Harry potters are "philosophers" maybe easier than uk copy to get lol (I'm assuming you're in the states, I think that's the only place it was sold as sorcerer)"

Good point, thank you!


message 28: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 100 comments Sara wrote: "Larissa wrote: "I also wish I had a copy of a UK version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as I love the word and original story of the PHILOSOPHER'S Stone. The word sorcerer is okay but ..."

Those look GREAT! Thank you so much this information. I might get one for my daughter as well- looks like we are opposite- I would get Gryffindor and my daughter would likely want Slytherin.


message 29: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Larissa wrote: "Those look GREAT! Thank you so much this information. I might get one for my daughter as well- looks like we are opposite- I would get Gryffindor and my daughter would likely want Slytherin."

Well, between the two of us we'd have a full set then because when I went to find the link I decided that the Ravenclaw edition simply must be purchased! If I could justify it I would buy the other two as well to have the full set :)


message 30: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nerdy Panda wrote: "I'm looking forward to reading When Dimple Met Rishi..."

I think that one looks fun too!


message 31: by Ann (new)

Ann | 83 comments Hi all,
Wow, impressively sunny in Vancouver this morning....there is sunshine on my LAPTOP right now! That's kind of amazing...

I am at 26/40 -- very pleased with my progress so far.

So this week, I finished Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, for the prompt about a book becoming a movie in 2017.
Pros -- great story, and a hidden story for many, many years. Cons -- reading about math and engineering = not my thing. I found whole chunks of this book BORING and dry. I knew a bit of the general history of the space race, but don't think I needed all the details!

Okay, lighter fare :)
I just got an ARC for Two Nights. I love Kathy Reichs! This is her new standalone, featuring a brand new character called Sunnie Night (yeah, not joking). I'm enjoying it so far; nice to see Reichs do something beyond her usual series.
I don't think this fits into a prompt? Hmm.

QOTW: I always have something in mind for purchase. It doesn't always mean I'll buy it. I am a heavy library user! I went away this past weekend, and bought 4 books (that's a lot for me). And a couple of them were from the sale rack. This summer, I am hoping to go to a super used bookstore -- a store we go to on holidays. It's always worth spending a few minutes (or hours) in!


message 32: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I tore through a lot of shorter books this week - fun but I feel like perhaps I need to read something a bit longer and really get sucked into one story for a bit. I'm reading a lot of shorter books and I also sometimes review books I read with the girls, so I decided to up my Goodreads challenge number because I'm way far ahead and I like the motivation of being how far behind I am - and instead I'm far ahead!

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - I like listening to this genre of pop science success strategies books - it started with When Children Succeed and I've been binging a bit on them. I think after this I'll take a break because it was getting a bit repetitive, but it's been quite useful. I see a lot of things about myself as a student more clearly now and it gives a lot of practical advice that I feel will be useful in trying to help the girls to avoid my kinds of mistakes (I'm sure they'll still find ways to make their own!). I put it in the 2015 non-fiction slot but it would make a good career advice book, especially if you work with children or as a manager.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto: I finally read some Klosterman last year and now I want to read everything he's ever written. I liked this book because of his unique perspective in spite of the fact that a lot of it is about sports and music and I don't particularly care about either (I like music to listen to but have zero interest in getting invested in the bands or genres or history of the songs etc). I slotted it in as the 2015 bottom of my TBR because I can vividly remember seeing it in the bookstore back when it came out and regularly thinking of buying it but I don't think I ever did (it's possible it's at my parents house and I just never read it as well!)

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded: As well as being obsessed with books about success, I've also been tearing through books by female comedians/actors, especially as audiobooks. I read this expecting My Drunk Kitchen hilarity and instead ended up sobbing at the end. Hannah Hart's mother has schizophrenia and her father is, due to being a Jehovah's Witness, quite homophobic. Her childhood was super neglectful and as I read it I found myself getting incredibly angry that so many adults in her life could have failed so profoundly to step in and help her. I put this in the 2015 challenge as well as a book that made me cry (had to shuffle out the book I'd already had there - apparently I cry a lot.)

Labyrinth Lost - This was my Book Riot Read Harder book about a POC on a spiritual journey. It's a YA book where the main character comes from a family of brujas and it tells of her coming of age into her powers - she tries to reject them, goes on a quest, learns self acceptance. There's a love triangle involved but unlike with so many YA books, it's sort of in the background, which I really liked and as a bonus it's also a bisexual love triangle. I shifted The Hate U Give out of this slot to my Bustle challenge slot for a YA written by a POC.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo - this too went in my 2015 challenge for having the same initials as I do. It's perhaps my favourite of the female comedian writes a book so far - I found a lot to relate to in it and I had previously not realized how autobiographical Trainwreck had been, so that was interesting. She covers a lot of serious topics and gets in a few laughs as well.

For some odd reason none of my libraries have the full volume of Captain Marvel #1, so I won't count it for anything but it was really good and l'll have to look for paper copies at the library instead. I also need to go back and read he previous storyline.

What the **** is Normal?! - This would work well in the disability prompt, though since I've filled that I put it in 2016's prompt for written by a comedian. I know of the author because I saw her comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe Featival ages ago - she has cerebral palsy and she's hilarious. Reading this gave me some insights into my sister (who has cerebral palsy and with whom I have a rather strained relationship). I didn't entirely agree with some of the things she said - she tends to the individual changes their life through positive thinking line of thought which I find a bit unconvincing since it largely ignores structural issues, but certainly I'm glad for her that a switch of attitude so greatly improved her life. If you're interested in being a comedian, this could be a good career advice book as well.

Where Angels Fear to Tread - I listened to the audiobook for this and the narrator is pretty bad - especially his attempts at female voices and Italian characters. That aside, I really liked the book. I didn't at all see the way the plot was going to go. The first half was a bit slower but all in all I found it fascinating. Since Forster was 27 when he wrote this I put it in 2015's author under 30 slot.

I still haven't touched the last two Gogol short stories yet (must get those done!) and I think will start The Other Einstein next and either Bossypants or The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee on audio.

QOTW: Right now since I'm so recently excited by having online library access, I get excited when I put a book on my wish list and when holds become available, but I'm hard pressed to think of a specific book. I was really excited to get each of The Invisible Library books as they came out because the three came out so quickly after one another and I knew that was going to be the case. I will be excited to see the next but since the publication date isn't soon, it's a low key excited.

I've mostly stopped buying books except to read to the girls. I will be excited to buy them the illustrated Harry Potter but that some years off. We actually will have quite a collection - I have the first four U.K. editions and so I'm keeping those and Wyatt has the American ones, so we will have a few versions. I'd like to one day get the rest of the UK ones - once I moved out of the UK I just read the American ones as they were what was available to me in Korea.


message 33: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1662 comments Cheri wrote: "Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing by Ben Blatt - I'd been waiting for a long time for this to come out and received it as a gift recently. Yay! My favorite chapters were on whether authors take their own advice (specifically, the use of -ly adverbs), gender issues in writing, and author "fingerprints" that identify them. I'm using this for a book published in 2017 (16)."

Wow! I can't believe how many on this list have read this book! I bought it a couple of weeks ago as an impulse buy when I was using a bunch of B & N gift cards I'd been holding on to. It sounded so intriguing -- and I tend to like books about books, reading, writing, etc.

Very glad everyone is enjoying it so much.


message 34: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1662 comments Dani wrote: "I'm about halfway through Anna Karenina. So far I'm really loving how the author writes, unlike most classic novels this reads as though it could have been written today, the dialogue is so casual a"

I also found Anna Karenina an easy read when I read it years ago. One thing to consider as you finish it -- is it really about Anna or is the true focus of the story on Levin? If it had been called 'Levin', would we all be reading it? I personally found the story of Levin far more compelling than Anna, and I also don't believe we are supposed to like or approve of Anna in the end.

Gone with the Wind is another book that everyone reads thinking it is one thing when IMHO it is something very different. It is not a great love story, something we've been indoctrinated into believing do to movie promotion, but really one of the great anti-war novels of all time, with the 'love story' not between Scarlet and Rhett but the one between Melanie and Ashley, and that is in the background. Plus Scarlet is hardly a particularly sympathetic character.


message 35: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Theresa wrote: "I also found Anna Karenina an easy read when I read it years ago. One thing to consider as you finish it -- is it really about Anna or is the true focus of the story on Levin? If it had been called 'Levin', would we all be reading it? I personally found the story of Levin far more compelling than Anna, and I also don't believe we are supposed to like or approve of Anna in the end.

Gone with the Wind is another book that everyone reads thinking it is one thing when IMHO it is something very different. It is not a great love story, something we've been indoctrinated into believing do to movie promotion, but really one of the great anti-war novels of all time, with the 'love story' not between Scarlet and Rhett but the one between Melanie and Ashley, and that is in the background. Plus Scarlet is hardly a particularly sympathetic character. ..."


This is a great point about Gone with the Wind! The real love story is the quiet one that sustains more so than the fiery passion that implodes on them. And it is ultimately a fantastic epic story of the civil war (during and after).

I haven't finished reading Anna Karenina yet, but a friend who strongly recommended it to me said the same thing about Levin's story being his favorite part. I do like his character and am looking forward to seeing how his story plays out (I know the bare bones).


message 36: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Kiefer | 118 comments Hello from a very rainy (again!) Cleveland. Checking in a bit later than usual so that I could finish my audiobook this morning and count it for this week!

I read Far North for a book with an eccentric character. I only gave the book 4* for some pacing issues (it's divided into four parts, but the first part is 40% of the book), but Makepeace is one of my new favorite characters in literature. I really liked the alternate history premise, and that plus the Siberian setting made this dystopian feel "fresh."

The other book I finished this week was People of the Book on audio for a book with two different time periods. (I know it technically has several, but it boils down to the "current" state of the book and the "past" history of the book, so I think I will count it!) I thought the beginning was really strong, and I was super enthralled. However, the jumps back into the past started to feel really gimmicky and the pacing was off, especially the last 25%. It also drove me nuts how all the important male characters were either father figures or lovers of Hanna. It was boring, and I wished I could've seen her have regular working relationships with at least some of them!

QOTW: I really want Beren and Lúthien, which is just being published in the poem version this year. It's one of my favorite stories from The Silmarillion, and of course I can't resist expanding my Tolkien collection! I also treated myself to the nice cloth-bound Penguin classic hardcovers for the ones I planned to read this year.


message 37: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Rebecca wrote: "Hello from a very rainy (again!) Cleveland. Checking in a bit later than usual so that I could finish my audiobook this morning and count it for this week!

I read Far North for a bo..."


Haha - I did that too! I had about an hour left on my audio so I finished it before posting.


message 38: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! Summer has arrived in Sacramento, which means I feel the need to de-hair my legs while muttering resentfully about the aesthetic standards of the patriarchy and the hidden work of a "breezy, natural look", and then spend hours afterward enjoying the feel and look of my smooth legs. Am I the only person who is a total hypocrite in this way? :-D

In between all that internal drama and getting the flu last weekend, I managed to finish one book: The Sound of Gravel. I put it in the "book about a difficult topic" slot because the author has certainly been through a lot, and in particular some of her conversations with her mother were uncomfortable for me to read. The writing felt a bit uneven at first, but once I got into the rhythm of the story I liked it a lot.

I'm currently reading Clockwork Angel (possibly won't fit any prompts I have left) and Lincoln in the Bardo for the subgenre I've never heard of (Bangsian fantasy). I'm not sure why I keep turning away from Lincoln, because I do enjoy it when I read it, but something must be lacking if it doesn't draw me back.

QOTW: I recently purchased a matched set of classic mysteries, including The Daughter of Time, The Maltese Falcon, and Gaudy Night, at a yard sale. I'm looking forward to reading the ones I haven't already read.


message 39: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1662 comments I did not finish any challenge read this week! Thus I'm holding at 24/40, 4/12, 26/52

Currently actively reading:
The Tenderness of Wolves - my set in wilderness book

Hunger’s Brides: A Novel of the Baroque - either for over 800 pages or book set in 2 time periods - this one will be on my 'currently reading list' for a while given length and the fact I own in it hardcover which weighs so much I can only read it at home (as a New Yorker, much of my reading is while commuting or being out and about).

The Towers of Trebizond - my book with eccentric character

I also veered off challenge to read:
Barbara Freethy's Lightening Strikes trilogy - excellent! Just finishing up the 3rd and I've enjoyed the story, which has wonderful elements of myth, suspense and a touch of magic around the love story.

Murder in Madrid: Reality of Illusion - friend alerted me to this mystery taking place in a small mining town in NM- first published book by an 80+ year old NM resident, who has worked on it for years. Subject caught my attention and it has a great opening line. Only available in digital I believe. However, warning! it sorely needs some good editing, at least at the beginning.

Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove - Proust is going to show up for a long time on my currently reading list as I've set a personal goal to read it all in order in translation (have read some in original French).

QOTW: I am amongst the legion of people patiently and not so patiently waiting for George RR Martin to finish Winds of Winter, Vol 6 of Song of Ice and Fire Series (there will be 7 all told). Dance with Dragons Vol. 5 was published in July, 2011, and I so hoped to see it this summer. But alas, I'm really afraid we won't in 2017... and there will still be the final volume after that! George - we are none of us getting any younger, and while I appreciate the need to write the book you want to write (I sure don't want a rush job), could you pick up the pace a bit????!

I'm also waiting to see if Sue Grafton lives up to something she told me a long time ago, that the last alphabet title for Kinsey Milhone will be Z is for Zero and she will then start on the numbers.

Aside from that, I'm looking forward to the third in Stephanie Laurens' Devil's Brood Trilogy: The Greatest Challenge Of Them All due in July and any number of next in series by various favorite authors due out later this year.


message 40: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 355 comments The summer has finally arrived, it was already 27 degrees one day (about week and a half after it had snowed, the weather is a mess).

Today was again a beautiful day but I have been watching the funeral of our former President (it's Ascension Day), he was 93. He was also a war veteran and it was quite a coincidence that I had started listening to a book, "Kontio's Guerillas", which probably pretty accurately describes the types of battles in which he fought as a 18 to 20-year-old in 1941-44. (The author is a veteran, too, and his books are based on interviews and stories from other veterans, as well.) It kind of hits home the debt we owe to that generation and their willingness to put their lives on the line for their country and people. One of the things veterans have always said is that "one never left a buddy behind" and also the President told how, when someone started losing his strength, they first took and carried his backpack, then his weapon and even carried the man himself back home, if necessary, and I found that same trust in others from the book.

He has also said that when he rose up from the trench after the war had ended, he had thought that there must be a better, more peaceful way to deal with one's neighbour. And like our current President said, he played a big part in the fact that now, as we are celebrating the centenary of our independence, Finland is the most stable country in the world. Considering that our first year of independence saw a very bloody civil war and even starvation and 21 years later an invasion by the Soviet Union, I think that's pretty good. Almost like the President himself, he was from a poor family, lost his mother as a child and started working when he was only 11 but in the end rose to the highest position in the country through education and hard work. He was a good man.

I will probably fill the audiobook prompt with this book, I will finish it soon.

QOTW: I don't really buy books, or at least I try not to. I already have the "most important" books that I can think of and only rarely will buy hardcovers, unless they are on sale. I can get what I want from the libraries.


message 41: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Christy wrote: "I recently purchased a matched set of classic mysteries, including The Daughter of Time, The Maltese Falcon, and Gaudy Night, at a yard sale..."

There is something so incredibly appealing about a matched set of books. I'm spending most of my book budget on this rather than new or standalone books :)

And yes to the legs thing! I am too low maintenance to want to keep it up, but I'm to vain to not shave!


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 833 comments Sara wrote: "Theresa wrote: "I also found Anna Karenina an easy read when I read it years ago. One thing to consider as you finish it -- is it really about Anna or is the true focus of the story on Levin? If it..."

I seem to be in the minority but I absolutely hated the Levin parts! I was always waiting for the Anna and Alexei sections and I actually liked Anna. Then again, I also sympathise with Scarlet in GWTW too so I'm sure that says something about me!


message 43: by Christophe (new)

Christophe Bonnet | 212 comments Hello from a warm and sunny Paris! It would be perfect for running if it where not for a strained calf. Well, more time for reading...

One book read for the challenge this week:
✅11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym: Emile Ajar (Romain Gary), La vie devant soi , Mercure de France, 1975.

Romain Gary was already a famous writer when he published a few novels under a different name (Emile Ajar). I don't quite know why he did that... He was also quite successful under this name, to the point that this novel won the Prix Goncourt, the most prestigious literary prize in France - one that he had already won under his regular name. This made a little bit of a scandal when this was discovered, since the prize bylaws states that no one can win it twice... It is in any case a great novel, so the prize were not undeserved.

This puts me at 15/40 for the regular challenge, 6/12 for the advanced challenge. Moving on nicely on several books - especially my 1300 pages brick!


message 44: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 355 comments What comes to Anna Karenina and all those princes etc. I didn't even pay any attention to them. Probably because I am quite used to reading about them and know that there were many of them, or maybe because they have been translated with different titles. After all Russia was/is a huge country and the Romanovs ruled for 300 years. I am not sure I would blame Anna that much, either. Fixed marriages were not always that happy and husbands were not always that great. Even our own respected Marshal, who lived in those circles 20 years later, wasn't exactly meant to be a husband. In his memoirs he wrote more about his favourite horse than about his wife. (It's pretty clear that he had married her for money.)

For me Gone with the Wind was mainly a story of survival. I did like Scarlett and also her and Rhett's relationship, but I admired her because she was a strong woman. Sure, she might have been a bit ruthless, too, but sometimes people have to be tough and not really care what other people think of them.


message 45: by Julie (new)

Julie | 172 comments Thegirlintheafternoon wrote: "Cheri wrote: "Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing by Ben Blatt - I'd been waiting for a long time for this to come out and..."

I have to second the opinion that if you're looking for another book that analyzes bestsellers from a numbers standpoint, The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of a Blockbuster Novel is great. I read it as my book with a red spine. I really enjoyed it and would love to read more on the topic, so I'm glad you mentioned this one - I'm adding Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve to my TBR list!


message 46: by Sarah (last edited May 25, 2017 12:10PM) (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 833 comments Hi everyone, it is gloriously sunny here in Yorkshire. Fingers crossed this means summer is finally here.

Quite a few books finished this week. First up was The Fate of Ten. I did enjoy the book but I am glad that there is only one left in the series. Ready for ti to be over. I just hope the next one isn't from the POV of my two least favourite of the gang like this one was.

Next I read A World Without Princes. I didn't love it as much as the first one but I will definitely read the next one to find out what happens. Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to slot this into at the moment. I might be able to stretch it to the difficult topic prompt because it does raise a few philosophical questions like is romantic love or friendship love more important... but I am on hold for another book from the library that I want to use for that prompt so I might have to let this one be.

Finally I just finished The Awakening as my book that's been on my TBR for too long. In all honesty, I wish I had read it back when I first wanted to read it. If I'd read it back when I was 22-23 I would have probably loved it but now I think have read a lot of books with the same themes which just do it so much better.

QOTW: I am eagerly awaiting The Book of Dust coming out! I was originally aiming to complete the challenge before the end of October but with this book coming out mid-October I am hoping for earlier so then I can re-read all of His Dark Materials first


Thegirlintheafternoon Christy wrote: "Hello everyone! Summer has arrived in Sacramento, which means I feel the need to de-hair my legs while muttering resentfully about the aesthetic standards of the patriarchy and the hidden work of a "breezy, natural look", and then spend hours afterward enjoying the feel and look of my smooth legs. Am I the only person who is a total hypocrite in this way? :-D"

This made me snort-laugh. TOO REAL.


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 833 comments Christy wrote: "Hello everyone! Summer has arrived in Sacramento, which means I feel the need to de-hair my legs while muttering resentfully about the aesthetic standards of the patriarchy and the hidden work of a..."

I have the same dilemma. I don't think I should have to shave my legs to please society, but then I actually do it and wonder why I didn't do it earlier when my legs feel nice and smooth.


message 49: by Tami (new)

Tami (tamidale) Hello readers!

I'm done with 29 out of 40 on the challenge. I still have my momentum and will keep plugging away at it.

It's going to be 90 degrees here in Texas this weekend, so I'll be doing my reading poolside hopefully!

I recently finished The Enchanted April for the book with month or day of the week prompt. I also read an ARC of The Marsh King's Daughter, which was a great
read!

I'm currently reading The Story of a New Name for the prompt with an author using a pseudonym. I'm also listening to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis for my book club.

QOTW: I'm looking forward to reading
Beartown and listening to The Dry on audio.


message 50: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaea129) Christy wrote: "Hello everyone! Summer has arrived in Sacramento, which means I feel the need to de-hair my legs while muttering resentfully about the aesthetic standards of the patriarchy and the hidden work of a..."

Lincoln in the Bardo is supposed to be fantastic as an audiobook. Full cast with lots of well known actors. So if you like audios, it might be worth the switch.


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