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Book Challenges 2017 > Week 23 check in

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 846 comments Mod
Hi Everyone! Beautiful day here in Michigan, loving Michigan summer.

Hope everyone else is doing well too!

Books I finished this week:
The Little Paris Bookshop - Book by an author from a country you've never visited (germany). This was a lovely read. I'm also counting it for Read Harder's book about books, although that's a little bit of a stretch since while books are heavily woven around the narrative, the story was ABOUT the owner of the bookshop and his emotional journey recovering from past heartache.

Red Queen - this i'm counting for my bestseller from 2016, even though it was written in 2015. My library's tagging system is apparently off, or else the article I read was mislead. Unless it was also a best seller last year, not just the previous year. I don't know, but I was on the waiting list for four months, so I'm not wasting it =p This was just ok. I've read a lot of YA dystopian stuff, it felt a little formulaic.

Dragonsong I re-read this as a palette cleanser from red queen. It's one of my favorites, doesn't count for anything.

Currently reading:

Phantom Pains - This will be my book by or about a person with disabilities. the main character is a double amputee with borderline personality disorder, along with some ptsd from the previous book's events. I really like how she's handled, because while her disabilities are an important part of her character but the story doesn't revolve around them.

The Fate of the Tearling - I started this, but then moved on to Phantom Pains because I needed a bit of a break before tackling more YA. Especially because I saw a review saying it was a really disappointing end to a series, so there's a chance I won't like it much. I'll probably go back once I finish Phantom Pains, though.

How is everyone else doing? Any great finds?


message 2: by Stephanie (last edited Jun 09, 2017 06:54AM) (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Hi Sheri,

I'm pleased to report that I actually finished a book this week! :-) Last night, I finished reading The Humans, and a delightful read it was. I actually gave this book 5 stars (although really it was more of a 4.5) on Good Reads, which I don't do very often. It's quirky, insightful, alternates between humour and exploring darker material, and (if you're not me) is actually a fairly quick read as most of the chapters are only a few pages long, so if you have a stretch of time to sit down with it, it feels like you're just zipping through it. Sheri, I know you like Good Omens, so I think you'd really like this book (it's not as good as Good Omens--I think this book loses some of it's impact near the end, but it's still definitely worth a read), so consider it my suggestion as a "great find."

I'm working through all of my lunches right now, so I haven't touched Oryx and Crake for two weeks, but I'm going to be a passenger in the car for quite a few hours this weekend, so I'm taking it with me and should hopefully get through most of it.

And, because I wasn't quite asleep last night when I finished The Humans and didn't want to turn on the light and pick up Independent People (plus, no reading THAT before bed b/c I'd never get to sleep--see my post from Week 21!), I flipped through my Kobo and found The Breadwinner and read the first chapter. It's my book that's becoming a movie in 2017. Since this is still a FOE thread, I won't get into all the political/moral details, but, basically, it's a story about a girl in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan who needs to hide her gender so she can support her family when her father can no longer work. The movie version coming out is animated and produced (in part) by Angelina Jolie. You can watch the trailer here. It's a short book that is aimed more at young girls, but so far my impression is that it is well-written and that I'm going to enjoy it--I hope it ends up being more uplifting than heart wrenching! I also think it's really interesting/significant that this book was published in May, 2001.

Sheri, I think your weather is basically our weather, except you get it about 2-3 hours earlier since you're almost straight West from me. We've been doing a lot of yard/garden work in our backyard this month and so I'm looking forward to some serious reading time out there in July!

I'm also looking for a good recommendation for a steampunk novel if anyone has any!


message 3: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 846 comments Mod
Stephanie,

I'll have to check The Humans out! Thanks for the recommendation!

My favorite steampunk author is Cherie Priest, with Boneshaker. I really love it because she really thought about all the typical aesthetics in steampunk and came up with world-based reasons for them. It's also great because the protagonist is a middle aged-ish woman looking to find her teenaged son. That rarely happens!

Gail Carriger is also good, with her Parasol Protectorate series. I particularly loved the first one, Soulless. This one is less realistic, and a lot more absurd. It's got vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc. But it's got a fun sense of humor, and Alexia is a great heroine.

I'd say between the two, Boneshaker is for if you want a serious, somewhat grim story but lots of adventure and attention to detail. Soulless is if you want more of a fun romp, with endearing characters.

hope that helps! :)


message 4: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 207 comments Mod
Thanks for the recommendation, Sheri! I've already read the Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless and Blameless were a gift from husband a few Christmases back) and also the prequel series--the one that takes place in the Finishing School, although I can't remember the name. Clearly I like Gail Carriger (I have her other series on my to read list--the one that comes after the PP).

So, Boneshaker it is, then! I just checked out the description of it, and it doesn't really look like a book that I would pick up, which makes me all the more excited to read it based on your description because we seem to have fairly similar tastes (Tolkien aside, haha) and I like it when a book surprises me! Thank you!

One thing I recently read that was a little bit steam-punky and a lot a bit weird, but that I oddly enjoyed, was The Half-Made World. Take it as my reciprocal suggestion in thanks for yours!

~Stephanie


message 5: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 846 comments Mod
Haha I hope you like it! It actually looks like it's getting kind of ripped apart on goodreads reviews. And I admit it's been a number of years since I've read it. but I remember really enjoying it. It's definitely a bit dark, and Briar is a kind of prickly (clever naming then, huh?), but I really came to appreciate her.

If it doesn't work for you, I read The Girl in the Steel Corset, which was decent. It was just more sterotypical steampunk, where none of the conventions really were explained in a real-world sense. People just wore stripped leggings with short frilly skirts and corsets in the victorian era because...well it's steampunk. But the story was fun enough, referencing some victorian horror.


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