Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2017 Weekly checkins > Week 23: 6/2 – 6/8

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Welcome to another bookish weekly check-in! School is officially over here and I am so excited that my girl has a summer reading assignment for next year (she is somewhat less enthusiastic). She will be reading Wonder and another book of her choice. I sure wish I was going to have as much reading time over the summer months as she will!

We are leaving this morning for a few days at an amusement park. I'm hoping to get a little reading time in the evenings, plus I will be listening to an audiobook on the road.

I finished two books this week:
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery – a reread for me and a joy to read as always!
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny – Chief Inspector Gamache #5. I love this series. This was my audiobook for the challenge.

I have not made any progress on Emily of New Moon, but I keep carrying it around with me.

I started reading Bury Your Dead (Gamache #6) and borrowed The Count of Monte Cristo from the library (continuing where I left off a few months ago when the book was due).

Question of the week:
This week’s question is from Cheri.

Cheri sent me this interesting article from Book Riot listing five reasons you may give up on a book: http://bookriot.com/2016/05/27/not-fi...

How/When do you decide to give up (DNF) on a book?

I have used all five of the reasons listed in that article at some point, but the most common reason is #4 (bored now). The characters aren’t engaging or the plot doesn’t seem to be moving along. I will try to give a book 100 pages, but if I’m not at least somewhat interested by then I will put it aside.

message 2: by Tara (new)

Tara Bates | 1008 comments It's a gorgeous morning Here! My kids aren't in school yet but we are loving the warmer weather!
No progress this week. Mostly because 4... it's the last book club pick for the year and I don't want to give up but there's actually 1, 2, and 4 going on here. I'm reading Sonia sotomayor's memoir. Too much information about things like Puerto Rico, the landscape of places she is talking about, details about random people. Too little information about her time on the Supreme Court which is the only thing I'd really be interested in. I'm bored because a memoir about someone I'm not interested in knowing about is tedious.
I'm going to finish this hopefully soonish, then I can read a couple quickies I'm excited about.

QOTW: clearly those things don't always cause me to stop reading but I think my DNF generally all boil down to 4. If there's too much, too little, I'm not "getting it" or I feel like I've read too much of this genre or subject, I'll continue as long as I'm not bored. Hidden Figures is a good example of a book I thought had too much info about certain things (details about the math and tech that were less interesting than the story) but I skimmed that stuff and really enjoyed the stories. Life is too short to be bored by books. There are so many good books why waste your time on bad ones?! Having said that sometimes finishing is important to me so I will slog through. Oh well.

message 3: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
Good morning! It's a gorgeous day here in NY, which is good, because we have had SO much rain, the ground is so squelchy. And it's just nice to see the sun today.

I finished four books this week, one for the Challenge, so I am 46/52.

The Crown of Embers book 2 in Rae Carson's "Girl of Fire and Thorns" series - this was my Challenge book, recommended by an author you love. (Marissa Meyer recommends this series on her website). I rate books based on my reading experience, and this book got 5 stars because I loved reading it. But to be honest, now, about a week later, and I can't really remember most of it! It's one of those kinds of books. I'll be reading book 3 soon, because one of my personal challenges is to finish up some of the series I've got dangling.

I also finished Middlemarch by George Eliot, which I have been listening to on audio for the last few months. It was ... good. But, honestly, I just don't like the Victorian writing style, way too many extra words. This would work for 800+ pages.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner. This is a Beauty & the Beast retelling, and it is getting rave reviews here on Goodreads, and I was deeply disappointed. This would work for "mythical creature."

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. This is a true crime / memoir combo, and it needs to come with ALL the trigger warnings. It would definitely work for "difficult topic." It was raw, powerful, and well-written, but in the end I didn't really like it because I didn't understand what her point was in writing it. I thought she was leading up to something. It felt more like a cathartic therapy project that she decided to publish. Also, the one thing she describes that I have personal knowledge of (Teaneck, NJ in the 80s) was not at all how I remember it, so that had me wondering exactly how accurate her descriptions were, in general.

QOTW It's hard to really delineate the reasons why I will DNF. It's one of the Edwin Meese things: I know it when I see it. I sort of agree with some of the reasons on this list (4 & 5, for sure).

I think my #1 reason for DNFing is a poorly written book - if the writing sucks, then this book is never getting better (example: 50 Shades) - although sometimes I "hate-read" poorly-written books just so I can write a scathing review on GR. Reason #2 would be a book that is offensive in some way (similar to her "this again?" reason in that article) - I DNFed The Gray Man for this reason (what a bunch of xenophobic macho nonsense THAT book was), and also Invisible Man after the father described raping his daughter, I had had enough. And I guess Reason #3, the most common reason, is boredom - sometimes this is an intentional DNF ("this is so boring I can't take it any more!") and sometimes it's accidental ("i'll just set this down for a few days so I can read this other library book ... I'll get back to it .... someday ...").

I don't really have a set amount I "have" to read before giving up on a book. Sometimes I tell myself "just 50 pages" or "100 pages" or sometimes I give it a few days. or 10% of the book, or whatever. A few times, I DNFed after just a few chapters.

message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma | 96 comments Hello from rainy Manchester UK. I got back from a wonderful holiday in Santorini at the weekend. I didn't read that much on holiday, unusual for me, as it was quite jam packed and lots of family were there (it was a family wedding), so I wanted to spend more time with them.

I finished The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice, which I'm pencilling in for a book with an eccentric character as there are several, though I may find something better.

I read A God in Ruins which I'm using as my book that takes place over a character's life span. I loved this.

I read The Misremembered Man which, I'm not even sure why it was on the kindle as it isn't something I'd normally choose and don't remember buying. It seemed like a gentle romantic comedy set in rural Ireland in the 70s, but then out of nowhere turned out to include some quite horrific depictions of institutional child abuse - which I suppose makes it fit the prompt of a difficult topic, though I've something else in mind for that.

Currently reading
Rivers of London - not for any particular prompt
From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers - a book with pictures.

QOTW - I rarely DNF a book. When I do, it's either because of the 'this again?' factor, if it's super predictable or particularly badly written or sex(though somtimes I will continue to hate read in those cases!).

message 5: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments Bon matin,

It's beautiful here for the second day in row. I even ate outside yesterday for lunch. Two more weeks and school will be over.

Nothing to report this week. I am still reading The Goldfinch and while I like it a lot, it's huge and I am busy at home. I should finish it during the week-end.

QOTW: I do not DNF books often, but most of the time it's because I am bored. But if it's a 'classic' or a book with great reviews, I will give it another chance. That's how I managed to read The Lord of the Rings and ended up loving it. I tried The Count of Monte Cristo three times and will give it another chance soon.

message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments I finished two books. One for the challenge. Tomorrow starts summer Fridays in our office which is new this year but it means 12 weeks of 4 day work weeks and three day weekends. Hopefully that means more reading by the pool, but it also means a lot of babysitting and seeing family. Regardless - I'm a happy girl!

Finished The Woman in Cabin 10. This didn't take me long to read at all. I enjoyed it but I was reading it while on a cruise ship so that might have added to the tone of the book for me. Yes it had flaws and no I didn't enjoy it as much as Gone Girl.

Finished Untold. I wasn't sure I was going to read this second book. But I started it just to see what it was like and it didn't annoy me as much as the first (in the beginning - the end was just as annoying lol). Nevertheless, I am going to finish the thrird book - I'm two-thirds in, might as well.

Which leads in to QOTW It's really hard for me to DNF. I struggle with it a lot. Because I also have severe FOMO (fear of missing out). What if i DNF it and its the best book ever! Or so-in-so loves this book so gotta stick with it!

And starting a series I always want to end it - I'm looking at you House of Night series... When I struggle with the print book, I try the audio version. Sometimes I still skim along with the audio, sometimes I listen and zone out. Its a personal choice!

message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Sterling | 153 comments Week 23 - 29/40 & 8/12 (37/52)

Good morning, all! I hope everyone's having a good day.

I've made some progress this week, although not as much as I would have liked. I did start and finish one audiobook, am still working on another, and started another audiobook.

I started and finished the audiobook Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver for prompt #37, a book that's becoming a movie in 2017. I believe it actually came out in March, but I haven't seen it. The book was good, but I didn't love it. I may or may not get around to watching the movie version.

I am still working on A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, and still enjoying it, though it's a slow read for me. I'm at about 50% finished, so at this rate, I should finish sometime in August!!!

Yesterday, I started listening to the audiobook Why Not Me? written and narrated by Mindy Kaling from prompt #31, a book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you. I honestly don't know much at all about Ms. Kaling, but I have heard of her and this book was one of the few on my list that was available to check out from my library through the Overdrive app, so I started it. It's pretty funny, although not always my style, but that's okay. I think it's going to be a pretty quick listen, so I'm looking forward to marking this one off my list and moving on.

QOTW I rarely DNF books, but when it happens, it's either because I just really don't like it (i.e. Gods Behaving Badly) or because I'm bored. With books I just don't like, I usually make the conscious decision to walk away and be done with them. As Nadine mentioned above, though, with the ones I get bored with, it's often an accidental DNF. I think, "I'll get back to this one soon," and then the next thing I know, it's been six months and I haven't picked it up again. I have a couple of those at home right now (Ender's Game and The Book Thief), but I think I may have to start at the beginning again because it's been so long since I put the book down. I think I will try to at least get back to The Book Thief this year, and will use that for prompt #28, a novel set during wartime.

message 8: by Brenna (new)

Brenna (bhawleycraig) | 66 comments Good morning everyone! It's been a while since I checked in, so I'll just do the past week.

I finished At Bertram's Hotel for fun last weekend. I also finished Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void for my Book Riot challenge, and then The Secret Garden for my book I loved as a child. I didn't remember hardly anything about it, so it was very enjoyable!

I'm working on a lot (probably too many!) books right now. I've got The Geek Feminist Revolution for written by someone with a disability, Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy for taking place over a lifetime (it's over a decade or so, but I'm using it!), The Wise Man's Fear for book over 800 pages and Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen for Book Riot book about sports.

QOTW: I rarely don't finish books; it's why my ratings are generally high. I am pretty picky on what I'll even start and don't like to do things that already have low average ratings on Goodreads.

message 9: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 764 comments Hi everyone, a beautiful day in Michigan! Summers in Michigan (generally) make up for how crappy the winter is.

I don't have kids and I work a regular job, so summer is more of the same in terms of work. However I do shift to summer hours, which means I work until 6 M-T, and then I get out at 1:30 on Fridays. So that's nice! If the weather holds out, a hammock and a book are waiting for me tomorrow afternoon.

By the way, Sara, I LOVED Wonder, so hopefully she enjoys! I knocked it out in a single day, I couldn't put it down. It's such a sweet story, and well written.

This week I finished:
The Little Paris Bookshop - This is my book by an author from a country I've never visited. (Nina George is from Germany). I mostly read it because my friend highly recommended it, but it happened to fit there so I'm going with it. I'm counting it also for Read Harder's book about books, although it's a little more of a stretch than I expected. Books were heavily woven into the story, but they weren't the actual focus. I really liked it, though.

Red Queen - This was a slight flub for me. I think my library's digital system has some bad tagging, this is the second time it happened to me. There was a category for bestsellers, and it'd come up as last year's bestseller. However it was actually from 2015. I'm still counting it, because I don't really want to rush out and read the second one which is actually from last year. I'm sure I read bestsellers from last year so I'm ok with fudging it a little. The book was just ok. I've read a lot of YA dystopian stuff. The reviews from this said it was "unlike other YA books", which I'd greatly disagree with. It was so formulaic, I could predict most of what would happen. It wasn't awful, but it was was a little tedious. I will say i'm really tired of reluctant protagonists, and ambiguous romantic interests.

Dragonsong this was a reread that didn't count for anything. I just needed a fast palette cleanser after Red Queen. I love the harper hall trilogy so much.

Currently reading:

Phantom Pains - this is book 2 of the Arcadia Project, which I really like. I'm counting it as my book by or about a person with a disability. The main character is a double amputee, along with a bunch of interior metal and and wirework holding her together. She also has borderline personality disorder, along with some ptsd from events in the previous book. I really like the series because her disabilities and mental issues are parts of her character and important to how she functions, but they are not the focus of the story.

The Fate of the Tearling - I started reading this and switched to phantom pains. I just can't deal with any more (modern) YA for a little bit. I'll finish Phantom Pains and go back. I'm a little hesitant anyhow, since I happened to catch a few reviews when I was adding it to goodreads, and several said it was a really disappointing conclusion to a great series.

This puts me at 47/52

I admit I'm kind of at a loss for the used book prompt. I have lots of used books, but most of them I've read. All the bookstores I know that used to sell used books have closed near me. I check the library sale shelf every time I go, but I've not found any that I want. I don't want to buy a random book I don't actually want to read. I think I'm going to Portland in July and will hopefully hit Powells. I just was hoping to have this wrapped up before then, sighhh. =p

QOTW: I admittedly have been bad about DNFing books lately. Usually because I was using them for challenges. For some of the trickier ones, I didn't feel like trying to find another book to fill it. Also if it's for a book club, I feel obligated to finish. Sometimes if it's a book "everyone" loves, I suffer through trying to figure out why people like it. (Looking at you, Game of Thrones). But when I DO put a book as a DNF it usually is boredom. I just get to a point where I don't feel like reading it any more so go read something else. Most the time I think I'll come back and finish later but then...don't.

message 10: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Hello from Columbus! I've been a bit busy this week. The summer here is always filled with fun events to go to that have food I really want to eat. This weekend is my son's birthday (my baaaaayybyyy is turning 3 😭) so I've been doing stuff in regards to that. I haven't had the time to sit and read a physical book much at all.

Night Film is all I actually finished this week. I read it for last year's challenged and I was obsessed. So I downloaded it from audible and listened to the audiobook version. I don't think it really works in any prompt here.

I'm partially through John Dies at the End and almost done with The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I'll probably finish the latter today. I'm waiting on some books to arrive from amazon for the challenge, anytime I buy from the used sellers shipping takes for.ev.er.

So I'm still at 29/40; 3/12 with 41 books read for the challenge

QOTW: I rarely DNF. I have a few books I keep meaning to get back to but the only book I put down with no intention of ever picking back up was the second shades of grey book. I made I through the first one begrudgingly but after a few pages into the second I just couldn't. I wanted to rage quit In the Woods the entire time I read it but didn't (I thought there'd be a point where it stopped being painfully stupid but it didn't). Hell, I even made it through every last one of those Flowers in the Attic books one summer because they were hysterically awful, like a soap opera but everything is incest. It amused me with how ridiculously over the top they were.

message 11: by Thegirlintheafternoon (last edited Jun 08, 2017 07:36AM) (new)

Thegirlintheafternoon Today began with a headache and a lost check, so I am very glad to checking in here now!


A Taste of Honey - I'm using this for Read Harder's prompt to "Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey." It was excellent!

A Walk in the Woods - I used this for Popsugar's June challenge to read "a book involving travel." I enjoyed it, though it showed its age more than I expected. Brings me to 26/40 for the main challenge.

I also finished the audiobook of Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, which was a quick, interesting listen! I'm not using it for a challenge, but it would definitely work for career advice, multiple authors, audiobook, etc.

In Progress

I started the audiobook of Under the Udala Trees - it's very good, but I'm just not in the mood for it right now. I also started an ARC of Hello, Sunshine; I'll probably give it 50 more pages and then decide if I want to keep going.


I decided to move The Study of Seduction back to my TBR list; I was enjoying it a lot but just had other things I wanted to read more.


I've become a much more frequent DNF'er; if I'm not enjoying a book or don't feel any drive to finish it, why force myself? Since reading is such a huge part of my job, I don't want to get burned out, and forcing myself to finish books I'm not enjoying is a sure-fire way to make myself not read at all. There isn't really a point at which I'll make myself finish; I've DNF'd books at 10 pages in (oh, your "likeable" characters think racist jokes are funny? NOPE) and 50 pages from the end (why am I still reading this? NOPE). Having said that, if I pick a book specifically to stretch myself, I'll usually finish it even if I did not like it AT ALL (looking at you, The Nix). If I don't finish, I don't give the book a rating, just move it to a DNF shelf and let that speak for itself.

message 12: by Angie (new)

Angie | 57 comments I had a miserable week of reading and didn't think I'd have anything to report but then I got an email from the library saying a book was available on Overdrive on Tuesday night and it changed my week.


41. A book recommended by an author you love: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan (recommended by Kelly Quindlen)
I mostly enjoyed this. I especially enjoyed that it took only a few hours to read. There are parts of this story that are really problematic (biphobia, brushing off mental illness, uneven storytelling, etc.), but the romance was cute and the characters felt their age and acted their age (this is important to me in YA), which means I didn't always understand them or relate to them, but I don't think I was supposed to.

In Progress
48. A book that's more than 800 pages: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
I've made very little progress on this, mostly because it's so large and heavy, which isn't the easiest thing to hold for long periods of time. I'm waiting for the ebook from the library and hope that helps drive my reading more. I saw the miniseries years ago and remember plot lines very vaguely, so I'm sure it's something I'll enjoy once I can actually spend some time with it.

40. A book you bought on a trip:California: A History by Kevin Starr
I bought this on my trip to California in April and it's been sitting on my shelf waiting for a time to read it. (I get most of my books from the library, so I'm kind of a slave to their hold/loan schedule and leave books I own for times I'm waiting for books). Since I'm struggling a bit with Pillars of the Earth (see above) and can't take it with me on the subway, I grabbed this book to at least start and keep me reading towards my goal. I'm a couple of chapters in and am enjoying reading about my home state, which I don't think I've studied since 4th grade. I'll continue to pick this up as time allows. I'm in no hurry to get through it.

So I rarely DNF books, and when I do, it's usually accidental and usually driven by boredom--putting it down and just never getting back to it. And even then, I've read two books for this challenge already that I'd started years ago that I'd put down and never gotten back to. But it's bothered me so much that I didn't finish, that I finally read them for this challenge.

I know there are a lot of great arguments for not finishing things--there are too many books and too little time, blah, blah, blah, but it's just not my personality not to finish something I start. Starting stuff, on the other hand, is my struggle. But there are at least a couple of other reasons I keep reading:

1) It's not unusual that a book will right itself near the middle. I think I read 500 pages of Middlemarch before I really got into it. That's more than the length of a novel! But I stuck with it and I was so glad I did.

2) (And this one is my favorite) If I don't finish a book, I don't feel I have the right to rate a book. And there's some satisfaction in giving books I loathe a single star on GR. I'm not sure what that says about me, but there you go.

Thegirlintheafternoon Angie said: "the characters felt their age and acted their age (this is important to me in YA), which means I didn't always understand them or relate to them, but I don't think I was supposed to."

YES! I should have put this as one of the reasons I most frequently DNF books :) When teenagers sound think and act like graduate students or adults, I am SO out of there.

message 14: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 261 comments I finished a few books this week.
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi. This book was bonkers and not just the cult of Manson but the miscues in the investigation. For instance, there was a bloody fingerprint on the button for the gate and a cop pushed the button and obliterated the fingerprint. A 9 or 10 year old kid found the gun and picked up with his fingertips by the barrel (because he watched Dragnet) and the cop who came to get it picked it up without gloves. Stayed up late finishing it and then I spent forever in an internet clickhole reading about the people from this horrific crime and other cults. Using it for the book with a subtitle prompt.

In Case You Missed It by Sarah Darer Littman. It’s a YA about hacked information from the cloud that causes problems for a teenager. It was very meh but I finished it. I wouldn’t recommend it and I don’t think it would fulfill any prompt.

Going Geek by Charlotte Huang. Another YA about a girl in a boarding school that has to switch dorms and her popular life falls apart (not just due to switching dorms). I hated the main character for the first 100 pages or so but the writing was enough to engage me. The main character had a nice character arc about finding herself. It is a book by a POC, so it could hit that prompt. I am putting it on my bookshelf in my classroom.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter. It’s her 8th book in the Will Trent series. He’s a detective and I really enjoy this series and her previous series. I would recommend both. But it doesn’t fulfill any prompts.

I DNF due to bad writing (50 Shade of Grey, I’m looking at you). I DNF because I hate the main character, although sometimes hating the main character is fun. And as I wrote above, I can dislike the main character and find the writing engaging enough to stick with it. Or, I DNF because of boredom. I had one DNF this week (#Scandal) because I was bored by the main character and plot and the writing wasn’t engaging enough to keep me reading.

message 15: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (ninmin30) | 49 comments Hello readers!

I finished two books this week. The first was Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. I liked it alright. I had seen the movie Everest so I kept trying to picture scenes in my head when I was reading the book. That actually really helped me when reading this book because I don't anything about mountaineering at all so it helped me be less confused.

The second book I finished was Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal. I've tried a couple graphic novels lately and they are just okay for me. I picked up this book for the BookRiot Read Harder challenge and it will fit into a few different categories for this challenge too. This really made me want to go out and see Wonder Woman though! I hope I get to see it soon!

QOTW: I have NEVER DNF'd a book before. I too have really bad FOMO and I think I have too much of a "glass half full" outlook when it comes to reading. I always seem to think that a book has to get better, right? Or else it wouldn't have been published?? I wish this was the case. Even though I have read some really terrible books before, I always finish them. I was like that in college too! I ALWAYS did ALL my reading for each class. I didn't want to miss anything!

message 16: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 261 comments Nicole wrote: "I started and finished the audiobook Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver for prompt #37, a book that's becoming a movie in 2017. I believe it actually came out in March, but I haven't seen it. The book was good, but I didn't love it. I may or may not get around to watching the movie version.

We read this in book club this past school year. I liked it. I hated the main character. However, the students loved it. Most of them went to see the movie and they hated the movie. According to them, it was different than the book minor and major details. I have not seen the movie though.

message 17: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 261 comments Sara wrote: "I am so excited that my girl has a summer reading assignment for next year (she is somewhat less enthusiastic). She will be reading Wonder and another book of her choice."

One of my seniors gave me Wonder to read a couple of years ago. It was a hardcover copy and there was no dust jacket. I asked her what it was about and she just told me to read it. I love it. Even though it's middle grade, I often recommend it to my high school students.

message 18: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Happy Thursday! I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend because next week will be very busy. It's been rainy/cloudy in Dallas, but now it is nice & sunny, so maybe I can work on evening out the ridiculous tan I got while at the beach a couple of weeks ago. I had a major sunscreen fail and have weird blotches and a handprint on my thigh. *sigh*

I finished 4 books this week, two for PopSugar. I’m now at 27/40, 8/12 or 35/52.

For PopSugar:
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bordain for a book about food (19). Bordain is a polarizing figure, but I like him. He has one of my ultimate dream jobs: traveling the world to eat great food and experience different cultures. I was hoping this would be more about his adventures, but it was more about the industry overall. He rants about who is ruining it and raves about his favorite chefs.

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt for a book about an interesting woman (32). This is basically correspondence between Anderson and Gloria, with her detailing her earlier years for him. Her life story is fascinating!

For another challenge:
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. This was an interesting take on a psychological thriller, with the plot unfolding backward. I couldn’t put it down.

Homemade Sin by Kathy Hogan Trocheck (aka Mary Kay Andrews). I didn’t realize this was first published in 1995, which explains a lot. The mystery itself was okay, but overall the book isn’t one I would recommend.

I am currently reading:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles for a book set in a hotel (35).
Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?: True Stories and Confessions by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella.

QOTW: I hardly ever DNF, although I've had a couple this year I wish I would have. If I am bored or can't seem to focus on it - or if I deem it to be annoying/ridiculous/infuriating in any way - I quit as long as I've given it a chance. I consider a chance about 25% of the book. However, if people either in person or via reviews insist it will get better after the first 25%, I'll give it a little longer.

message 19: by Jacque T (new)

Jacque T | 54 comments Been a couple of weeks since I checked in. Since my last check-in I've added:
Kidnap in Crete: The True Story of the Abduction of a Nazi General for a book set during wartime
Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food for a book about food
We Should All Be Feminists for book bought on a trip
I also decided to use The Book Thief as my book with nonhuman perspective since I had so many wartime books.

I also finished Between Shades of Gray but did not count it toward the challenge.

Currently reading:
The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 900 pages down 100 to go!
Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love

I rarely intentionally DNF but when I do it is because I cannot connect with any character on any level. I do sometimes unintentionally DNF because I am bored--I lay it down to finish at another time and another time never arrives!

message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Kiefer | 118 comments Hello from Cleveland! It has been cool and cloudy the last few days (I don't mind at all!), but now it's going to creep up to the 90's. We try to not run our AC at home, so I'm super grateful my reading room never gets any sun and stays pretty cool!

I read Blindness for a book by an author from a country I've never visited (Portugal). The concept of a blindness epidemic sounded so cool, and José Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but I was really disappointed. Not only was there limited punctuation (I'm talking using commas instead of periods, here), the tense and perspective jumped around randomly. It was also incredibly sexist and ableist. (Yes, I know the blindness is a metaphor, but a lot of statements made about being blind are pretty offensive.) Somewhat ironically, I did like the woman who was the main character(ish). I thought she was a very strong female character, in that she could be brave and do the right thing, she was also totally lost in the new situation and didn't always magically know how to solve every problem.

I listened to The Shining on audiobook for a book set in a hotel. I think this confirmed for me I'm not a huge Stephen King fan; I appreciate all the backstory that goes into his characters, I could just do with about 50% less of it. I only know bits of the story that I've picked up from pop culture references and all the various memes, and even though the movie is supposedly very different, I was surprised how little in the book, well, surprised me. I was close to giving it 4*, but I had to bump it to 3*, just because it could've been way more gripping if some of the fat were trimmed.

QOTW: I can't remember the last time I DNF'ed a book. I'm way too anal retentive for my own good! But I think my real secret is setting a daily page count goal for myself. No matter how long or boring or annoying a book is, I can always handle a small chunk each day. Though I'm not a total masochist - I will delete things from my TBR if I read something by that author and hate it.

message 21: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 542 comments This week I finished My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir. I just did a survey of the books I've read this year and so far they are all getting used for a prompt. However, I'm going to have to be a little more intentional in my book choices going forward.

QOTW: I remember when I was a kid a teacher once told us that we had to read at least 50 pages of a book before we could decide not to finish it. Because "if you haven't even read 50 pages, how can you know you don't like it?" This was probably a pretty effective way to get kids to follow through on books they start, but as an adult I have found many books that I knew after a mere 5 pages that I did not like it. My number one reason for DNFing is boredom, followed by (and sometimes accompanied by) hatred of the writing style and/or characters. I pretty rarely DNF though.

message 22: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Good morning, everyone! It's raining in San Francisco as I write this.

I had hoped to have more finishes this week than I do. My only completion was The Invisible Library, which I learned about from this list. It was fun! I'm using it for the steampunk prompt (#22). So far I have completed 32 books for this challenge.

I'm still in process with several books I've mentioned before so I won't bother to list them again, but I'm also about a quarter of the way through a book I just started, Hotel du Lac, for a book set in a hotel (prompt #35).

Question of the Week: I used to DNF books all the time and finally decided that I was not giving them a fair chance. One reason reading challenges are so good for me is that they reward me for finishing a book -- nothing like checking off a little box to keep me going! ;) I still occasionally stop reading a book, sometimes because I find it boring, or more often because it just seems pointless -- I've read that plot a thousand times already, or the characters are completely unrealistic, or the book is a lot longer than it needs to be to make its point. Once I quit caring about what the remaining pages contain, I stop.

message 23: by Tania (new)

Tania | 543 comments Hello - we went from no rain at all to no sun, lol, so it's been pouring cats and dogs all week. I'm sure all the kids are bummed that their first week of summer break has been bogged down by thunderstorms, but it's sure been good for our grass.

Finished this week (very good reading week):
The Intern: Chasing Murderers, Hookers, and Senators Across DC Wasn't In The Job Description by Dale Wiley - really fast-paced murder-mystery-thriller, I couldn't put this down

To Tell Your Love by Mary Stolz - this was a reread for me, a really lovely character study of family and first loves set in the 1950's

Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich - not as good as her later Plum series but a nice light read, this is an earlier offering from Evanovich that was republished a few years ago

The Great Passage by Shion Miura - I got this book as part of my Prime membership, and it's one of my favorites from that program so far. Following a publishing company through the long, arduous journey of publishing a dictionary, the characters are a big part of this story and there are many parallels to love and life along with the making of the book.

Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike - interesting prequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet; the reviews are mixed but I really liked it

Up next:
The Last Paradise by Antonio Garrido

Monster High by Lisi Harrison

QOTW: I hate to DNF, but if I don't then it's either because there's too much information or I'm bored out of my mind.

message 24: by Tanelle (last edited Jun 08, 2017 02:22PM) (new)

Tanelle Nash | 128 comments Hello from sunny Alberta. We have a forecast of heavy rain coming so I'm going to enjoy the sun while I can.

I finished 3 books this week and made significant progress on a fourth.

The Lost Book of the Grail I couldn't use for Popsugar but filled prompts for MMD (a book about books or reading) and Read Harder (book about books)

Always and Forever, Lara Jean. Although I loved this book (and series) it didn't fill any prompts for me

Five on a Treasure Island. I was reading this to my daughter and we finished it this week. I was given a copy by a friend as I had never heard of the author before and it was an excellent read for my daughters age (5). I was able to use it for the Popsugar prompt on Holiday other than Christmas.

Currently reading:
The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day. I stared this yesterday and I'm already almost half done it.

I never used to DNF books but then I realized that life is too short to read books that you hate. I distinctly remember the first book I ever choose to DNF. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I hated it!

message 25: by Julie (last edited Jun 08, 2017 11:31AM) (new)

Julie | 172 comments Hello!

No finishes for me to report this week. However, I'm about halfway through 11/22/63 and have made a teeny bit of progress in my audio book, Snow Crash.

QOTW: I hate to DNF books, and it's a pretty rare occurrence, but I will. A lot of times I'll put a book aside because I'm not feeling it at that moment and need something different, but then I'll pick it up and finish later on (unless I forget), so I don't really consider that a DNF. If I do truly DNF a book, my main reasons are boredom, too much information (especially massive info dumps that detract severely from the story line to the point where there almost isn't a story), really bad writing, or characters that I really can't stand.

message 26: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelmedinamd) | 49 comments Good day everyone!
So this week i finished 3 books.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald as a book I bought on my last trip since it's been in my to-read list for a very long time. I have to say I enjoyed it but not as much as I planned to love it.
I also finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and I really loved it!!! Cannot explain how much I adored this one. The thing is I am an 80s geek, I love that decade's music, films, fashion, you name it. I wasn't that familiarized with video games or comics but I loved the fact that it kept me looking for those references and learning about that time. And I also blasted 80s music while reading. I cannot wait for the movie.
Last, I finished Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. It is my first book by this author and I'll be definitely checking out more because I again loved it. I'm a sucker for young females trying to find themselves and Japanese culture, so this one was like heaven.

QOTW: I don't think I ever DNF a book. If i give up on a book it's just momentarily while I find another time to read it and feel more comfortable. Whenever I think I'll drop a book I would give it a chance until the first 100 pages. Luckily this hasn't happened in a long time.

message 27: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 129 comments Hi everyone! I had a lot in common with what others were reading this week....

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook- my book about food. I agree with Brooke's comments, i love his TV shows and his bad boy attitude when I watch, but in reading his books he just seems like a self absorbed jerk! I felt the same when I read Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, but I think that was a better book. I think I will just enjoy Tony on TV now and give up on his books.

A Man Called Ove - my book with a cat on the cover. This has been on my coffee table for months, I knew that it was a sweet sentimental story and I just wasn't in the mood. I finally read it and enjoyed it even though it was as sweet (some would say sappy) as I suspected.

My Name Is Lucy Barton- I bought this at a church used book sale. I heard great things, and I agree, it's a great book. I have Anything Is Possible and will definitely read it soon!

Not for a prompt but I also read A Rule Against Murder the 4th Inspector Gammache book. I like this series more with every book I read.

QOTW- I will give up on a book if I just can't follow it, usually because it isn't capturing my attention. Doesn't happen often, I usually will power through the slowest books and even end up liking them... The Goldfinch, A Gentleman in Moscow are favorites, although I can't say the same about Middlemarch which I wouldn't have finished if it hadn't been required by my college professor.

message 28: by Kaitlyn (new)

Kaitlyn | 25 comments I only finished one book this week. I read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein for my espionage thriller book. This book did not really grab me as it was trying to. It had a ton of drama, but I think it was written for a younger audience. However, I read it, it's done. This puts me at 23/52.

I am halfway through The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency by Mandy Morton. What started out as cute is now kind of dragging on but I will finish it.

QOTW: I try very hard to finish books, especially if they are recommended to me. However, if I find myself looking to do anything before read the book I know it's not worth it. Also, if it is too offensive then I can't usually read on.

message 29: by Chrissy (last edited Jun 08, 2017 04:30PM) (new)

Chrissy | 364 comments I finished 4 this week, one for Popsugar. I'm getting close to finishing both the Popsugar and Read Harder lists, and also trying to complete a 2nd quarter self-designed challenge to finish 9 classics from around the world.

A Torch Against the Night was a book that I accidently checked out when my library hold expired, so I just went ahead and read it. It is the 2nd in an incomplete trilogy, which is frustrating. I liked it, I think this series would make a good movie franchise, with a similar feel as newer Star Wars movies, just without the space part.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania I am using for the Popsugar category 15, book with a subtitle. I enjoyed it, but think Thunderstruck by the same author was both more exciting and more interesting. I did learn a good bit about World War I and the role of submarines.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my book for Read Harder 9, a book I've read before. I listened to the audiobook this time, and the narrator was really good. The book is lovely, and I still love it just as much as when I was young.

Finally, I just now finished an abridged version of The Pillow Book for my classics challenge. I did not enjoy it much, skimmed a lot. There were some funny bits, where she listed things that annoy her. (It was written as a diary that eventually got passed around.)

QOTW: I almost never DNF... the only time I can even remember was just recently on a non-fiction book that I was reading for work but found boring and repetitive. I couldn't make the discussion meetings anymore, so felt there was no reason to finish. As far as novels... I did just remember one. I read the first volume and part of the 2nd of Les Misérables and couldn't find it in me to finish even though I enjoyed it. Long wordy classics are hard. It took me 3 tries to finish The Brothers Karamazov for a similar reason. Les Mis is still on my shelf, maybe I'll give it another try some day. I'm being more picky about what I start than I used to be, which helps avoid the just plain bad books that I might feel tempted to DNF.

message 30: by Emanuel (new)

Emanuel | 251 comments olá, just finished the 31 book of this year:Húmus for a book about a difficult subject(death).Started immediatelyA Room with a View for a book with a story passed in a hotel.
QOTW: I never, but never DNF a book, I can start to pass some pages more quickly, but finish all the books to the last word.

message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 866 comments Hi everyone. Pretty bad reading week for me as I didn't finish anything again. I went to Manchester for the weekend for the One Love concert which was amazing and emotional and empowering and a million other things which I can't even describe, and now it's the general election which is pretty depressing considering that there is no appealing choice in any of the main parties. So all in all, not really had much time or inclination to read. Still plodding on with The Way of Kings and V for Vendetta for now.

QOTW: I have a bit of weird rule of if I can write better than what I'm reading, I stop reading. I also borrow a lot from the library and if the return day is coming up on a book I'm not engrossed in I will sometimes just return it without finishing, especially if I've got another book that's calling at me to be read.

message 32: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace | 123 comments Hi! We have some nice weather here in St. Louis...just wish we didn't have all these mosquitoes.

Milk and Honey May use this for a bestseller from a genre you haven't read. Wasn't too into it.

Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace a book about career advice. There were some interesting tid-bits, but for the most part I didn't care much for it. Better as a manual use: read when needed and not front to end.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Read for fun as an audiobook. I enjoyed it and think I may re-read it sometime, even though it kinda wrapped up too neatly (as others have said).

Lincoln in the Bardo OKAY DO NOT read this as an audiobook because it makes even less sense. Definitely have to re-read in print. I couldn't rate it.

Working on:
The Stand 800+ page book. I'm loving it! 200 pages in. I have it in print but had to move to an ebook because the paperback I have is impossible to hold with one hand and not get cramps! LOL. I tried a "ThumbThing" to help hold it open but I don't really like it.

Divergent audiobook. Not for the challenge.

I generally have to hate a book to DNF. I have an "abandoned" shelf and a "paused" shelf. Paused means I really want to finish, whereas "abandoned" means I have no future plans, but doesn't mean I won't. The only book I would consider truly DNF is Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice I thought the racism and homophobic characters were offensive and in poor taste. I also thought writing in the style of Jane Austen even though it was contemporary times, was really dumb. I didn't get it at all. I only read 10 pages so feel free to convince me otherwise :)

message 33: by Heather (last edited Jun 08, 2017 02:29PM) (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good afternoon! I had some "surprise" reading time at work this week (downtime away from my desk on assignment) so once I did all the phone admin I could, I pulled out the Kindle!

Completed: Rich People Problems. I requested this a week AFTER it came out on Netgalley and the publisher actually approved it! So I read this in two days to get a review up here and send feedback to them. It was wonderful but I really wished I was reading it on a beach.

Currently reading: The City Always Wins. Another Netgalley surprise! The publisher granted my wish for this one and I'm halfway through - it's beautiful. Lovely. Poetic. Touching. I cannot recommend it enough (released Tuesday!)

Also still working on my 800+ pages book, Coming Home, which I had to return to the library. I caved and bought a used copy on Amazon and plan to pick it back up once I finish The City Always Wins.

QOTW: I'm glad everyone else has the same anxiety about DNFing I do! I rarely bail on one but when I do my reason is typically a combination of 3 and 4. "Everyone loves this book. Why do they love this book. I am so bored/don't care/hate this experience." Most recently that happened with Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I read it for A WEEK and got more than halfway through but just was not invested. I had to do a sunk costs analysis because I felt like I had come so far but I was so not into it I had to convince myself it was okay to give up.

message 34: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I've mostly been listening to audiobooks this week - I finished off The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain and then listened to Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things (so, so funny!) They both go into slots on previous year's challenges (set on an island and funny book).

I read two very short books this week - The Grownup, which is too short for me to count it for a prompt and which started off well and ended pathetically, but I liked the writing and am looking forward to finally reading some Flynn books and then Memories of My Melancholy Whores for the Book Riot South America prompt - it was also a disappointment, actually. I usually like Marquez but this one just did nothing for me at all.

QOTW: I seldom DNF on purpose. Generally I just keep plowinf through because I can enjoy a good hate read almost as much as a book I'm loving. Usually when I DNF, I intended to finish and somehow life just intervened - like I've tried War and Peace twice but once gave it up because the book was too busy to take on a hiking trip, for example. I was loving it and totally still intend to read it one day. Often things I've put down and returned to later have become great reads for me, so I generally am encouraged to keep going or try again.

message 35: by Lynette (new)

Lynette | 80 comments This week, I finished City Of Fire. This was my "first book in a series you haven't read before."

I also finished Why We Broke Up. This was my "book of letters."

QOTW: I can count on one hand the number of books I have given up on. Though, there are several I should have... Of those that I did give up, it was because they were giving me too much information, or I didn't understand the point.

message 36: by Megan (new)

Megan | 8 comments This week I finished 2 books towards the challenge:

1. The Vanishing Year ( book with day, week, month in title)... kind of a stretch but this one, but so worth it. I loved this book!!!
2. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (book with red spine). This wasn't my favorite book. It was a book for my book club this month so I thought I'd give it a try, but I was never a Star Wars fan which I think is what the problem was.

QOTW: this is actually the perfect topic for this week bc I DNF The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern . I usually try to keep a 100 page rule, but I just could not get into this book and did not look forward to reading knowing this was what was what that entailed. I only got to 50 pages. I've heard mixed reviews about the book and that it might get better, so I may try again... but I feel like there's so many good books out there, that I don't want to spend time reading bad books!

message 37: by Megan (last edited Jun 08, 2017 03:37PM) (new)

Megan | 8 comments Brooke wrote: "Happy Thursday! I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend because next week will be very busy. It's been rainy/cloudy in Dallas, but now it is nice & sunny, so maybe I can work on evening out the r..."

I loved All the Missing Girls!!! She also has another book The Perfect Stranger which was really good!!!

message 38: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 488 comments Hello all! My kids are in year-round school so they don't go on break until July, plus they're both doing intense sports now, so normally I'd be running around and not reading much. But I was "lucky" enough to get a really dreadful cold, and wound up reading two whole books last weekend, with significant progress on an additional audiobook

The Woman in Cabin 10 was insubstantial but compelling in a beach-read way. Recommended if you're in that frame of mind.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - talk about a tone shift! This was really interesting, especially seeing things from the perspective of a child who happens to be very personally linked to all the various royal, revolutionary, communist, and Islamic forces in recent Iranian history. This is one of the books that I'm glad the challenge got me to read!


I'm finally admitting to myself that I'm re-reading Dracula. I had an Audible version that they gifted me ages ago, and I needed something to put on when I'm trying to fall asleep, LOL. The full cast recording is actually amazing, and I find myself drawn in again even though I know the story well. It's really hitting me why this is such a classic. It's very artfully done, with Stoker hitting some major Jungian psychological nerves, and using prose just beautifully.

The City of Shifting Waters - for a book becoming a movie (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets). I figured this would be fun. Plus it's free on Kindle Prime right now. Downloaded it, and OMG it's a slog from the first page. About 75% of every panel is text, and not . . . good. Very much "As you know, Bob . . ." infodump boringness. I will give it a few more pages before it goes in DNF, but I'm not hopeful.

QOTW: Good segue, right? I used to feel obligated to finish books because I'm so type-A, but as I get older I get more likely to dump a book. Ain't nobody got time for that: too much detail (every biography I've tried since 6th grade), bored now, and hating characters are big contenders. Also lately, tone-deaf race and gender treatments in sci fi turn me right off.

Most recently, I noped right out of Pines because the main character was so irritating and it seemed to be trying to be weird for its own sake (NOT shocked that the author wanted to imitate Twin Peaks). I was so glad once I spoiled myself - would have been mad to slog along only to find out that Big Secret.

message 39: by Ann (new)

Ann | 83 comments Hi all,

Guess what? It's pouring rain in Vancouver! Like buckets and buckets.

I'm at 27/40 for the challenge.

This week, I finished the book with a month or day of the week in the title, Tuesdays with Morrie. This may be in the running for my favourite in the whole challenge?!? I also ranked it five stars. A beautiful read, touching, sentimental, open, honest... and also the advice given was great too.

And now, I'm currently reading the novel set in wartime.... my pick is Lilac Girls. Very, very nice so far. Three women, with different tales during WWII. This is fiction, but the writing is great. It almost seems like non-fiction? I think it's based on a true story (at least for one of the women).

QOTW: DNF. Well, I am very hard on myself. For years, I was "not allowed" to stop reading a book. I only have a handful of DNF!! Even with terrible writing, I usually continue reading (yes, even the atrociously written Fifty Shades of Grey). I am now a bit better, and will even skip a small chunk, to get on with a better part of a book.

message 40: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jun 08, 2017 04:30PM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: The City of Shifting Waters - for a book becoming a movie (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets). I figured this would be fun. Plus it's free on Kindle Prime right now. Downloaded it, and OMG it's a slog from the first page. About 75% of every panel is text, and not . . . good. Very much "As you know, Bob . . ." infodump boringness. I will give it a few more pages before it goes in DNF, but I'm not hopeful...."

LOL! I LOVED the movie trailer when I first saw it a few months back, and I love comic books, and that one looked quite beautiful, so I hunted down a free on-line-browser e-copy of that book, and ohmygodnoooo! I think I read three pages. It was just so dated and sexist, I couldn't take it. I conferred with another goodreader, and she confirmed that it pretty much stays that way throughout, so I decided that was not worth my time.

So ... please spoil the big secret of Pines for me! I'm safe because NO WAY I read that, after hatereading Dark Matter, Blake Crouch is on my "authors I'm never reading again" list.

message 41: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Megan wrote: "Brooke wrote: "Happy Thursday! I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend because next week will be very busy. It's been rainy/cloudy in Dallas, but now it is nice & sunny, so maybe I can work on ev..."

I saw that. And it was a Kindle deal, so I got a copy! I'll probably read it in a couple of weeks.

message 42: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) I almost forgot what day it was because I started this week on a mini-vacation! I didn't finish anything for the challenge just finished a book with the kids Surprises According to Humphrey but it could be used for "a book from a nonhuman perspective". I seem to be able to get a lot more reading done when the weather is nice and it started taking a turn today- light rain and cloudy so this week is not look optimistic for me.

I barely started The Invisible Library but it looks promising.

20/40 and 1/12

QotW: I have started to DNF a lot now that I am older. I most likely will DNF if it is too predictable and not because it is boring- I can usually slog through something if I take it in small chunks at a time. I do have a couple extra reasons for DNF books- this may sound weird but I didn't want to finish The Two Towers or LotR because it was just so beautiful- I didn't want it to end! I feel like I am okay with it ending once I am an old gray witch lady but right now I am too young for LotR to be done- I don't know if that is just super weird but that is how I feel because I really do want to get back to those books. The second reason is because I needed to return the book to the library and then never picked it back up again but now goodreads helps me keep track so I still hope to finish The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.

message 43: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) | 164 comments Book news: I finished Kushiel's Dart and some random sci-fi/religious thing called The Asylum Dweller's Diary this week. I will gladly take two books finished over my lack of progress during previous weeks. Kushiel's Dart was amazing and I can't wait to continue it, but right now I'm focusing on finishing some of the others I have going. I just started Mr. Splitfoot on Sunday, which I'm using for the book with an eccentric character (like, most of these characters fit the bill for me), and I started The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History on Tuesday. I've got that one in for a book by someone I admire, as the more of Kolbert's book I read, the more I admire her for her work on some pretty pressing topics. I'm planning on hunting down more of her books.

I also made progress in a book of Virginia Woolf's short fiction, which I've got in for another year of popsugar tasks.

Life news: I finished my Master's Degree in August and this coming Saturday (June 10) I finally get to walk across the stage at commencement, something I've dreamed of doing since I walked across the stage to get my Bachelor's Degree in 2010. My degree was conferred in September, but my school is tiny so they only do one ceremony a year and it's in mid-June. That is big thing number one for me this month.

QOTW: I so rarely DNF books, I'm not really sure what would make me do it at this point. I have this rule that I won't judge a book unless I have read it in full, so even if I hate every word (Fifty Shades, I am looking directly at you) I'll still finish it. Some I started and never finished, but honestly I still plan on reading them in full before I actually pass judgement, otherwise I'll just stay quiet about them. I know, I shouldn't waste time on books I hate, but... I just can't do it.

message 44: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments Congratulation Caity.

And Larissa, I understand perfectly that kind of DNF. Sometimes, I postpone ending a book for the same reasons, but I always finished them anyway.

message 45: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 488 comments Nadine wrote: "So ... please spoil the big secret of Pines for me! I'm safe because NO WAY I read that, after hatereading Dark Matter, Blake Crouch is on my "authors I'm never reading again" list. "

OK, here goes: (view spoiler)

message 46: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: "Nadine wrote: "So ... please spoil the big secret of Pines for me! I'm safe because NO WAY I read that, after hatereading Dark Matter, Blake Crouch is on my "authors I'm never reading again" list. ..."

haha! thanks! that actually sounds like a cool idea for a story, I usually love that stuff. But I'm still not reading it - I do not like Crouch's style. As you say, his characters are "ineffectually personified" ... and if "Dark Matter" is any example, the women are just empty plot devices, they aren't characters themselves, they are just something for the man to strive for / miss / hate / react to in some way. None for me, thanks!

message 47: by Christophe (new)

Christophe Bonnet | 212 comments Hey from Paris, where the wether is completely unpredictable these days - you set down for a beer on a sunny terrasse and minutes afterwards hail is carpet-bombing you. Which is bad, since ice in a beer is an absolute no-no! I've been reading quite a lot these days; I thought I'd have some time on my hands this morning as I had an appointment at the US Embassy for a visa application (I'll be a trailing spouse in Austin, TX for the Autumn term of this year). Actually, we spent a grand total of 30 minutes in the building, security check included! So, no reading for me this morning.

Anyway, pretty good reading week: two books completed this week for the challenge.
Les exclus by Elfriede Jelinek Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes

✅A11. A book about a difficult topic: Elfriede Jelinek, Les exclus , Points Seuil, 1994 (trad. de l'allemand par Y. Hoffmann et M. Litaize, éd. orig. 1980).
I hadn't read anything by Jelinek yet. Well, it's anything but cheery, but it's powerful writing and it makes a lot of sense. This is a book about violent, eventually murderous teenagers in postwar Vienna, based upon a true story: guess this fits the prompt pretty nicely. When I say it's making sense, I mean that this violence is construed as being part of whole moment int Austrian society, where historical and social contradictions found very little release, in a country that, contrarily to Germany, had done pretty much no work on its Nazi past... It is thus nothing but gratuitious in reconstructing that particular case of individual violence.

One thing that should be noted: reception on this book seems to be quite different in English speaking Country, probably because of its title: Original German title is Die Ausgesperrten, a rather uncommon word which hast been quite accurately translated in Les exclus (The Excluded) in French - Ausgesperrten is probably a less common word: aussperren as a verb would be to shut out (of somewhere) , conveying more of a sense of being physically barred from a place than that of a moral or social exclusion - but that's a pretty faint difference. For some reason, the English title (Wonderful, wonderful times) has absolutely nothing to do with the original title and puts the focus away from the group of characters, and onto the social and historical context - which has its importance, but only has a background to the group of teenagers that are the main subject of the book.

Anyway, a quite powerful read, even though other books by Jelinek are probably more famous than this one for a reason!

✅23. A book with a red spine: Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot , Vintage International, 1990 (1st ed. 1984).

Actually the spine of this book is kind of red-brown - but I wanted to read this book for quite a while, so I decided reddish was OK. Plus, I asked my kid and he said it was red. Even though he now said that it's orange. Kids...

That is a very strange book. It purports to being about an individual quest to gather biographical data about Flaubert. It is that (and a rather funny book in that respect) but it's also a reflection on the narrator's life... It's altogether funny and sad and interesting and bizarre: I loved it!

That puts me at 17/40 for the regular challenge, 8/12 for advanced.

QOTW: What you mean, DNF? I only have indefinitely delayed books! :-) Maybe the time when I eventually remove the bookmark (because I'm getting short on bookmarks for other books) is the time when I should acknowledge that I'm not going to finish the book anytime soon; maybe even not in my lifetime!

message 48: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelmedinamd) | 49 comments Heather wrote: "Good afternoon! I had some "surprise" reading time at work this week (downtime away from my desk on assignment) so once I did all the phone admin I could, I pulled out the Kindle!

Completed: [book..."

I loved the whole series by [author:Kevin Kwan|634694] and it definitely made me want to visit Singapur and every city mentioned in the books!!! I have them digitally but I'll definitely get them on paperback.

message 49: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Smith | 66 comments I finished Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood this week but it won’t fit any of my remaining challenge prompts. I loved it though. I thought it was a fantastic memoir and very much opened my eyes to how little I know about Apartheid. I only wish my library had had the audiobook version.

QOTW: I really have no qualms abandoning a book if I’m not enjoying it. Like many others, I’ll drop a book if I’m bored by it. I’ll also stop if the writing is especially poor. Though this year, since starting the challenge, I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to DNF simply because I want to check off a prompt. I’m not sure that’s great. I want this challenge to remain fun and not feel like a chore where I have to read something I'm not into. On the flip side, the challenge has prompted me to go back and finally finish several books that I’d started in previous years and DNFed then, not because the books were bad, but because I just wasn’t feeling them at the time. So maybe it all balances out in the end.

message 50: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments Greetings from sunny mild NYC! I skipped last week - too busy to post. So lots to report!

I've done no further challenge reading this week, for 2 weeks or more actually. So still holding at 28/52 - 24/40 and 4/12. But since I'm way ahead of my personal schedule, that's ok.

I've been incredibly busy with work and other things, including my 40th Barnard College Reunion (fabulous time - and walked away with several book recommendations of course). My reading has been very much in the light entertainment summer reading vein:

Die Trying - second in Jack Reacher series, which I discovered during last year's challenge. Loved it! And found the whole white supremacists planning attack on US from a compound in Montana to be peculiarly prescient to today's political climate.

The Heist - how did I not previously know about this series???!!! Loved loved loved it -- found O'Hare very reminiscent of Sandra Bullock's character in 'Miss Congeniality', one of my favorite escapist wallow movies. I love me a good heist and few are written/filmed. Also read the prequel short story Pros and Cons.

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen - Victorian England and Belle Epoque Paris - historical romance mostly. Pure romantic escapism -- single woman disappears while on Grand Tour organized by The Lady Travelers Society -- her young cousin sets out looking for her and to show up the society as a fraud. Adventure and romance ensues.

Barbara Freethy Lightning Strikes Trilogy - Beautiful Storm, Lightning Lingers, Summer Rain - 3 siblings solve the mystery of their father's death, bring down a criminal mastermind, and find true love. Liked these a lot.

Began the new Dogfather series by Roxanne St. Clare -- I like romances and mysteries with pets because brings some humanity and humor into the mix. This series revolves around the siblings running an elite dog training facility.

My schedule has eased up a bit finally and I'm expecting to get back to challenge reading this weekend. Currently in progress:The Tenderness of Wolves as my wilderness book, Hunger’s Brides: A Novel of the Baroque as my book in 2 time periods (or over 800 page), and The Towers of Trebizond as my book with eccentric character.

And....I added two more challenges to my reading:

The Blue Stocking Salon 2017 monthly read, after seeing this book on the list:
https://thebluestockingsalon.com/2017.... Had me look back at the rest of the selections and decided I need to read them all. What's one more reading challenge, right?!

Then there is the Nordic Summer Reading Challenge over at AFS+Scandinavia House (located here in NYC) that is having you read a different nordic genre book every two weeks through August, and while you can select your own, you can simply read their suggestions then attend the accompanying lecture/talk. First up is a nordic crime novel written by a woman - I elected to read The Boy in the Suitcase from my TBR pile - and am loving it. The next one up is a scandinavian fantasy/science fiction book -- not sure what I will read for that - perhaps someone has a suggestion? The one suggested does not particularly interest me - The Unit.

Busy I might be, but I'm still reading!

QOTW: I can't say I really DNF much, can't even remember the last time I did not finish a book. I will start a book, decide I'm not in the mood for that particularly book or genre, and put it aside. I do not consider those DNF because I generally go back to them at a later time. There are books I buy on impulse, never read, then pass on, usually because I realize that I no longer have any interest in that particular topic, genre, style (for example, cozy mysteries set in schools, true crime, psychological thrillers) - I may have read one or two of that type and decided I was missing out on a good thing, then time passes and I again realize that I have absolutely no desire to read those genres again.

I think because I read so fast, so diversely, and in such volume, that I finish a book faster than I decide I don't like it. I hated Wolf Hall - mostly because of the poor quality writing - but I finished it in part because I kept hoping it would get better, in part because I liked the unusual viewpoint of the Tudors, and in part because it was a 2016 Pop Sugar Challenge read and I really did not have time to pick something else. I do not begrudge reading it, and in fact have enjoyed sharing my negative opinion of the book in the face of universal approbration.

Books to me are like attending the theater - there is almost always something of merit justifying spending the time.

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