Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2017 Weekly checkins > Week 42: 10/13 – 10/19

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy Thursday everyone! I hope your week has been a great one with lots of time for reading :)

A few bits of housekeeping for today…remember that long thread of prompt ideas we put together? I heard back from Tara at Popsugar. She was very thankful for all your input. The list is being finalized (and I hear that our suggestions make a strong showing!). Once it has been released we will let you know. I have already started a spreadsheet on google docs (for those of us who love a good spreadsheet). Once the list has been posted I will fill in all the prompts and post a link to share. You are, of course, welcome to make your own or change mine to suit your needs. Just helpful to not have to enter all those prompts yourself :)

Also, don’t forget that the November group read of Sourdough is due to start in a couple of weeks. This is a new release book so it may be hard to get your hands on a library copy if you aren’t already on the list). My copy just came in at the library so I can go pick it up today.

On to the weekly reading update!

I finished one book this week:

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. I wasn’t looking forward to my pseudonym book choice (or the alternatives) so I decided to go with something lighter. I’ve only read one other book by her. They are fun, but they tend to make me squirm as the plot always involves some kind of mix-up or mistaken identity. The narrator was the same as for the Flavia books. She's a little over the top, but it worked for the main character. Overall it was an ok read.

I'm currently reading:

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans. This will be my book with a day in the title.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Lantham. Not for the challenge, but it’s a good book.

3 books left!

Question of the week:

Modern Mrs. Darcy posted this link to the most instagrammable bookstores in the world: https://www.bustle.com/p/11-of-the-mo...

Do you have a favorite bookstore to visit (even if you rarely buy)?

My city is sorely lacking in bookstores (makes me itch to open one myself). We have one used bookstore that I have never been to and two Barnes & Nobles. I want to start visiting bookstores when I travel or better yet take a road trip to visit several fantastic shops!

The one place I do love to visit is the Green Valley Book Fair near Harrisonburg, VA. It’s a big warehouse sale of new books that is only open 4 to 5 times a year for about 3 weeks each time. It’s an hour and a half or so from my house so I usually only go once or twice a year, but I can get fabulous deals on some great books when I do go!

message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 537 comments Last check in I was very close to finishing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I finished that on my lunch break last Thursday.

The next book I finished was The Girl You Left Behind - I flew threw this one. Using it for my two different time periods book.

Started Goodbye Days for my difficult topic book. Its about a high school student who texted his friends and caused the fatal accident as his friend was driving and texting him back. I'm about 25% through. I really can't tell if I am enjoying it or not. I feel like something is missing but maybe the next 75% will wow me.

36/40 and 10/12. End is so close!

QOTW Visiting a bookstore is very rare. But I loved traveling to New York last December and visiting the Strand. And I love the big book sale that happens in the summer hosted by Half Price Books.

message 3: by Taylor (new)

Taylor | 178 comments I skipped last weeks check in as I was in sunny San Diego!

In the past two weeks I have finished two books:

The Butterfly Garden - does not fulfill remaining prompts for me unless I wanted to use it for a difficult topic but I wanted to save that for a true story. Very dark and twisted and enthralling. It could be very triggering so I would not recommend for everyone but if you think you can handle it and want to questions yourself as to why you want to keep reading!

Six Months Later - I cheated a little and am using this to fulfill the prompt with a month or day of the week in the title..."month" technically is in the title! I really like this book until about half way through when I got so frustrated with the main characters naivete and the unnecessary subplots that dragged on.

I still have a ways to go before finishing but I'm holding out hope that I can do it!

QOTW: We have two bookstores in our entire town. One of them is a used book store and the last time I went it was all well-worn romance novels and the other is, I believe, extremely over priced. I'm terrible and love visiting Barnes & Noble whenever I'm in a town that has one. I'm really not one for book stores because I'm no longer "allowed" (as per my own rule) to buy anymore books! I do however love libraries and definitely have some favorites of those!

message 4: by Nadine (last edited Oct 19, 2017 07:20AM) (new)

Nadine Jones | 5478 comments Mod
Good morning! Nights are getting cold here, we've had frost on the ground, and soon I'll cave in and turn the heat on.

I finished five books this week, a mixed bag.

Things Fall Apart (Achebe) - this was a reread for me, to refresh my memory, since my 9th grader will be reading it for English. I didn't love it as much as the first time I read it - but it's a classic, and it's a quick read, so everyone should give it a try. Author of color, possibly author from another country and character of a different ethnicity, depending on who you are.

Annihilation (VanderMeer) - I decided to pick this up before the movie comes out. It was a quick and entertaining book, has some flaws, but I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series! Would work for 2017 movie.

The Radium Girls (Moore) - sadly, I HATED this book. I don't know if this would fill any challenge category ... well, it's got pictures. Just skip it.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Diaz) - LOVED this audiobook! It gets ALL the stars!!! I've been resisting the pull of Junot Diaz for years, I am so glad I finally gave in. He is so full of energy! I will definitely be reading everything else he's written. Would fulfill author of color, possibly fulfill author from another country or character of different ethnicity, and I recommend the audiobook.

The Elite (Cass) - book 2 of The Selection series. Very ho hum YA dystopian, lots of navel gazing, very little actual plot. This might fulfill author of color (not sure?) and possibly a genre category.

QOTW Sadly, there are NO bookstores in my town (with the exception of a comic book store next to the junior high, but even that is sort of a strip mall place, last time I was there they didn't even have the latest volume of Amulet!). There are two Barnes & Nobles in the county, and there must still be a used bookstore around, but I've never been, the one I used to love closed years ago. There aren't even any good book stores down in the city near Syracuse University.

message 5: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 100 comments So excited for the next list!!! My daughter says she wants to try it- she is 10 but a huge reader. It is the one thing we really bond over.

I finished The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto for a book that takes place over a character's lifespan.

My husband and I are reading a chapter a day in Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church. I feel I am relating very strongly to the author and I love thinking critically about my faith- I will see where I stand on this one as we get farther along. I am going to finish it for the challenge even if we don't get it done- I haven't really counted out the chapters.

I am also reading Esperanza Rising, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

32/40 and 4/12- still a ways to go- but since my husband will be gone all day and the kids have school I should make some head way this week

QOTW: My own tiny town doesn't have a book store, but where I go to get my library books has a tiny used bookstore where I know one of the volunteers personally and I go and visit her from time to time but don't always buy. The biggest town near by (Salem, OR) use to have a Borders but those went out of business and was bought by our local Book Bin, but they couldn't keep the building (so sad, as it was the closest thing to a real bookstore around my area) and now they just have the one downtown and I rarely go downtown. I do wish I could make a regular trip to Powell's Books in Portland but I hate driving and usually low on gas funds, but maybe someday I can convince someone or my husband to make it a regular thing.

message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Kiefer | 118 comments Hello from Cleveland. It finally, finally feels like fall, and it makes me so happy! The days have still been warm, but the humidity is way down, and the nights are perfectly chilly.

I finally finished All Quiet on the Western Front for a novel set in wartime. I feel accomplished after tackling it in German, but it was a big time commitment, and I'm relieved I'm done. (My allergies are also relieved, because my copy was from 1929 and 90 years of dust was really getting to me!) This turned out to be one of those classics that was a lot different than I imagined, but I really liked it. It showed all the horrors of war without romanticizing anything, and I can see why it's a classic. It was one of those books that's really hard to read in the future, knowing World War II would start only 10 years after publication.

QOTW - There's a few small bookstores in the Cleveland area, but they're pretty far from where I live, so I've never been to any of them. I usually end up at a Barnes and Noble at some point during Christmas shopping, but I generally don't buy anything because I can just get everything from the library. It's fun to browse through all the table displays though!

message 7: by Nicole (last edited Oct 19, 2017 01:00PM) (new)

Nicole Sterling | 153 comments Good morning, all! Hope you're all having a good week. Sara, that's awesome news about the 2018 Popsugar challenge. I can't wait to see the list!!! I hope it comes out soon, but it seems like last year it was mid-November, so they're either getting on it earlier this year, or it takes them a while to finalize & publicize. Either way, I'm really excited to get the list and start planning my challenge out!

On to the check-in:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. It took my son and I over a month to get this one finished, but I'm fine with that. We took our time and savored it, and I loved it as much as ever. He was completely enthralled with the story & wants to start Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix right away, but seeing as he's only ten, I'm trying to decide if we should read on, or if we should take a little break. The books just get so heavy from here on out.

Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling). A fun little read that we started to fill in the times we couldn't read a full chapter of GOF.

Currently Reading
The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child by Daniel J. Siegel. Still plugging along.

Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman. I started this last week, and should finish it up this weekend. I had to extend my loan from the library, so I'm trying to hurry up & finish so I can get it back. I like this one. It's a dual timeline story with good characters in each time, and I really wanted to call in to work today so that I could stay home and figure out exactly what happened back in 1926, and what is going to happen in 2014!

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman. I'm reading this for my Sunday School class. We just started a new group with lots of 30- to 40-somethings, mostly married with kids, and decided to start with this book. It's interesting, but I'm not very far in, so we'll see how it goes.

I Survived the American Revolution, 1776 by Lauren Tarshis. Again, I'm reading this with my son. We aren't going to start the next Harry Potter book until at least after we watch the 4th movie, so we started this book to keep us busy in the meantime. I really enjoy this series, and I love that he gets to learn a little history while really getting into the story, as well.

Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades. I totally forgot to add this audiobook that I started listening to yesterday, and had to come back & add it six hours later. I got through a lot of audiobooks earlier this year & I think that helped me get through more books more quickly. I haven't listened to any lately, and since I'm currently very behind on my Goodreads goal, I thought I would add an audiobook to my current reads. I just scrolled through some on Overdrive & picked this one. I'm not very far in, so I'm interested to see what happens.

We pretty much have a Barnes & Noble in our town. We used to have a used book store and I feel bad that I never went to it, and the lady finally went out of business a couple months ago. I would love to visit some of those bookstores in the post. I wish I had unlimited time & unlimited funds, and I would travel to them all and spend days perusing the shelves. *sigh*

message 8: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Good Morning,

It's another beautiful fall day here in Indiana. I really do love this kind of weather.

For the challenge I'm at 39/40! I honestly did think I was going to make it. I had a bit of a slow start but really got into the groove of it.

Misery for a book that's been on your TBR list for way too long. I really liked this. It was slightly different than the movie (which I love) and I had Kathy Bates' voice in my head the whole read.

The Secret Garden for a book by or about a person who has a disability. I'm actually almost done with this (on chapter 26 of 27 chapters) but it will be done this afternoon. I am loving this. I never read it as a kid but have seen and enjoyed the movie from the early 90's.

Currently Reading:
Universal Harvester I'm not reading this for the challenge, just reading it because it sounded interesting. It's pretty short and I'm hoping to finish it up this weekend.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook for a book about food. I received this as a gift and thought it would be perfect for what is my last prompt. It is a cookbook but there are stories in it as well. I can't wait to dig in.

I lived in Chicago for almost 10 years and loved Unabridged Bookstore. I would go at least once a month. Now that I've moved back to Indiana there's a Barnes & Noble near my apartment that I like to just walk through and see what they have (actually spent around an hour and a half there on Sunday just walking around). There is also a great used bookstore near where I work and I've gone there a few times during lunch and love it.

message 9: by Trina (new)

Trina Dubya (trina_dubya) I managed to finish three this week:

A book centered around a holiday other than Christmas: All right, I read a book that starts on New Year's Eve, but it doesn't entirely take place that night. *shrug* PopSugar suggested it, which was good enough for me: Rules of Civility. It is a very well written book, but I didn't like it much.

A book that was mentioned in another book: This is a reread from elementary school. I love it, but I don't read it often because I ugly cry every single time. Bridge to Terabithia.

An espionage thriller: I started the book three times before I finished it, and I never bothered until I saw the film from about five years ago. Excellent, slow-paced story. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

In progress, I have two audio books, and whichever I finish first will be the audio book for the challenge. Probably Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. I have five to go, including this one.

QotW: I adore Gatsby Books in Long Beach, California, which isn't too far from where I live. It's a little hole in the wall, full of used books. I don't go as often as I'd like, but they have a sweet shop cat (Ruby) who purrs like a little lawnmower when you pet her.

message 10: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 109 comments This week I only got one book finished, for the advanced list.

American War by Omar El Akkad American War heard about this on the podcast "Pop Culture Happy Hour" and it was praised though we were warned it's a hard book. and it was. I used it for "Book that takes place over a character's life time". though not starting with birth, I figured age 6 was close enough to start.

This brings me to 47 out of the 52 categories across both lists.

I started my book with a red spine with Dorothy Must Die. I'm taking a leap of faith as I am trusting that the person who said it has a red spine is correct. as I mostly do e-books and audiobooks, guessing what color the spine is is impossible.

I made progress with my book with a family member in the title with a book my friend wrote: The Chocolatier's Wife

And my lunch time "when I have a moment" read is my book by an author who uses a pseudonym with Indulgence in Death.


I love Second Story Books in Rockville, Maryland. TONS of used books for cheap. I need to go there over the American Thanksgiving so I can get my "book you bought on a trip"

Otherwise, for brick and mortar stores, the only one near me that's easy for me to get to is Barnes and Noble. I wander it every now and then, but rarely buy, choosing to use it as a place to get ideas and then look to borrow from the library, buy from Abebooks.com as they are usually cheaper, or get it from audible.

message 11: by Naina (last edited Oct 19, 2017 08:56AM) (new)

Naina (naynay55) | 113 comments Good morning! It's started getting really chilly here in the mornings -- time to break out winter dresses, stockings, and boots (my favorite easy outfit!).

- Daughters of the Dragon -- book involving travel. I really liked this book and I learned so much. A beautiful, angering story of Korea and how Korean women were treated during WWII and the Korean War. Definitely triggering in parts.

- Lies She Told -- story within a story. Fits the prompt really well, and is about an author who's husband's best friend is missing. The main character is also writing a novel about a woman who kills her husband's mistress. It's pretty compelling and told in a really neat format (alternating chapters are real life and a chapter of the book the main character is writing), but I wasn't the biggest fan of how the ending came together. It felt like a cop-out kind of me.

- Sourdough -- book about food. Totally forgot that this was the November group read (and I even voted for it)! I'm a big fan. I loved the story's concept, and it was a quick, feel-good read for me, that left me hungry and wanting to go to SF to try all the quirky foods mentioned.

So now I'm at 28/40 and 9/12, for a total of 37/52. Only 15 prompts remaining! I'm feeling much better about my chances of completing the challenge by the 1st of next year!

Currently Reading:
- At the Edge of Summer -- book with a season in the title. I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm enjoying this book so far. It's another historical fiction set during WWI, and I believe it also would work for the "book consisting of letters" prompt.

I love cozy, comfy, old-timey bookshops and cafes. I move into DC proper in a week, so I'll look around for one that fits my likes, but in the suburbs, there really aren't any. Even the B&N by my parent's house has closed down.

message 12: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Here in Denver we seem to be alternating between warm and slightly cooler days. All of it is pleasant and not sweaty or cold and I love it.

I finished two audiobooks and two graphic novels this week. Somehow I keep starting but not sticking with ebooks lately but get really into the audiobooks quickly, so I’m just going with it for now. The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance made me pretty paranoid about more thoroughly washing my hands. It’s pretty detailed and I love that sort of thing about diseases. I slotted it into the 2016 PS 600+ prompt but it’s 50 pages too short to have counted for this years doorstop. Our Man in Havana I used as my espionage thriller, though it’s more humorous than thrilling. The first sentence drops the n-word, which was particularly jarring since it was audio. I was relieved to find that the use was the of-its-time rather than indicative of racism to come.

I read Saga, Vol. 3 and Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. Saga continues to be amazing a nd Kindred was a surprisingly good adaptation.

I am trying to focus on the tasks more. I have six left to go but I’m only reading an on-task Book every other week lately! I also want to finish off the Bustle Challenge from last year before the end of this year, so I need to start reading fewer random selections!

I got a fourth library card to prepare for next year’s challenges. I’m going to attempt to do Around the Year in order of the prompts, but using only the library. Since that may be a bit challenging in terms of holds and timing, I thought the more hold and borrowing privileges the better.

QOTW: in Denver we are spoiled in terms of bookstores. We are closest to a Barnes and Nobles - but I like popping in there because they have a great kids space for the girls to hang out while Wyatt and I switch off browsing with coffee and watching them. As a bonus, they are also the most stroller friendly because they are more spacious. I really like BookBar, though I go more to have a glass or wine or a coffee while reading there, rather than to buy. And they have a fun literary trivia night that I went to this week (and won!) On the same street is a children’s bookstore called Second Star to the Right, which we tend to go to for Drag Queen storytime- it’s the best. Then there is Tattered Cover - I’ve been to two of those stores, generally to hear readings by authors. Love them, but they are a bit of a drive and one is a bit hard for parking. Their booth at Comic Con is fantastic though. Then there is 2nd & Charles, which has books, movies, board games, and video games (new and used). I love to browse there. The amazing thing is that we’ve barely visited half the options! The one thing we haven’t found yet is a Comic Book store we love. We had two we went to regularly in Colorado Springs - I prefer the newer vibe of store that feels more like it caters to women and kids, as well as the more traditional male comic book reader and we haven’t quite found a place we love yet.

The funny thing is that I barely buy books anymore - in Korea I bought so many books (and shipped many home to Canada!), mostly used. And I always visit bookstores and buy something when I travel (until I had kids I could have done that prompt with ease! Now we don’t travel much.) But I have less disposable income now and I have switched to ebooks, so I only really read library books. I still buy some books, but more as a souvenir when there are signing opportunities. And I do buy the girls lots of paper books, though we do also read together on tablets as well.

message 13: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 289 comments Hello from a crisp autumn afternoon in Columbus! I didn’t finish either of the two books I have left for my popsugar challenge, but I did make some progress on the bookriot one.

The Polish Boxer is an English translation of one of Eduardo Halfon’s books. It’s a relatively short sort of memoir that’s told in short stories, mostly set in Guatemala. I really enjoyed this read! It was simple, but engaging and thoughtful. I’d like to read more of his work, but it seems only one other of his books has been translated.

Eat, Pray, Love was a re-read for me. Well, I read it once years ago and this time I listened to the audiobook. I really enjoyed Gilbert’s narration of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear so I wanted to listen to her other books. I will never, ever understand the sheer vitriol aimed at this book, and Elizabeth Gilbert, and for some reason Oprah’s choice in books. I guess it’s one thing if the book just didn’t do anything for you, but my goodness people get so heated over how much they hated this book. It was hardly controversial, so I don’t get how one woman traveling and going on a spiritual journey could be so bothersome. But anyway, I still like this book. It was the right book at the right time when I first read it, and I think revisiting it as I rebuild my relationship with God and myself was a good choice.

Since neither of those reads counted I’m still at 40/40; 10/12 with 76 books read this year.

QOTW: I go to B&N all the time. I used to work there and sometimes I still get an employee discount. We do have the Book Loft here, it’s HUGE. It’s a bit overwhelming though.

message 14: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Dani, I also don’t understand the Eat, Pray, Love hate. I think maybe it’s some jealousy mixed in with a misunderstanding of how rich one has to be to travel. I have never been particularly well off financially and I still once took a year off to travel South East Asia and visit family in Canada. I hear a lot of people complain that she’s too privileged, and perhaps she is but with my considerably less privilege, I spent a similar amount of time not working and I didn’t even use the time to write a book to make money off of it later.

I’m sure Italy was a bit pricey, but Indonesia and India wouldn’t have been. And before kids and without a mortgage, I didn’t find it that hard to save up for non-Western prices. The flight was usually my only big expense. I certainly couldn’t do it now, with kids and living in the US. All those extra medical expenses make it hard to save and the mortgage is a lot more here than rent. Plus Americans get so little paid time off, so Wyatt would have a hard time there. We do talk about moving back overseas, in part because that would allow us to travel with the kids.

message 15: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good afternoon! It's finally fall in Maryland, rejoice!

I seriously think I'm going to finish the challenge this year (yay!). Sitting at 44/52 and I just started my 100th book of 2017.

Finished: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe. This was an arc and boy did I hate it...

Six Degrees of Scandal. I love Caroline Linden books and this was exactly what I needed after reading a crappy romance (see above).

I'm Fine...and Other Lies. I used this for a book written by someone you admire because I love Whitney Cummings and in this book she talks about "shameful" things like eating disorders, plastic surgery, codependency, therapy... It's an honest and funny book about things that have been incredibly stigmatized and I love her for speaking plainly about them.

Currently reading: The Dry. This went on the tbr as soon as Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended it for the summer reading list. Just now getting to it and I'm already sucked in.

QOTW: The Curious Iguana in Frederick, Md. is pretty darn cute and they do a lot with a small space!

message 16: by Ann (last edited Oct 19, 2017 10:27AM) (new)

Ann | 83 comments Hi everyone!

I'm at 35/40 and 2/12.

Right now, I'm reading for the prompt a book by an interesting woman, and I'm reading Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini. I've been enjoying it, and I like her show on A&E. Her look at Scientology is extremely interesting, and insightful. Leah also had a lot of struggles to get a regular TV show - and that was King of Queens.

I also have a book from the library to start for the career advice prompt.

QOTW: I'm a huge library person! But I love a good bookstore!!! For some reason, all my stress fades away in bookshops. Locally, I'm in the Vancouver suburbs, and live near a large Chapters store. I also like used bookstores too. In Victoria, there's a massive bookstore, Bolen Books. They have a vast selection of books, mugs, toys, games, magazines..... you get the idea. In this challenge, the book I bought on a trip was from Bolen's. :)

message 17: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 289 comments Chinook wrote: "Dani, I also don’t understand the Eat, Pray, Love hate. I think maybe it’s some jealousy mixed in with a misunderstanding of how rich one has to be to travel. I have never been particularly well of..."

I really do think the fact that she has money is one of the largest issues people take with her. I remember when people ripped The Last Lecture apart because Pausch was the quintessential privileged white male. As if being a white well-off male means you’re not allowed to speak or write or publish a book for your children so they’ll have something to help them know you better.

But I guess I’m also the kind of laid-back person who doesn’t understand how anyone could have a strong opinion about most anything people have strong opinions about. Like, I’ve seen people delete life long friends over sports teams. People are so high strung sometimes 😂

message 18: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 248 comments It’s a two-week check-in for me. School has been super busy but it’s almost fall break, so I see lots of reading in my future. And it was lots of YA for me these last two weeks.

Books that tick off prompts:

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. I’m using it for the unknown genre (space opera). I really enjoyed it. It’s YA sci-fi and found files. I actually ordered the 2nd one after I finished reading.

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. Using this for the bestseller from 2016. Another YA about a school shooter. There were lots of review critiquing the lack of character development and why the shooter did it but the books took place over 54 minutes during the actual shooting. I would recommend.

Books that don’t tick off prompts for me:

Ms. Marvel Vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson. I’m not much of a graphic novel/comics reader but I’m trying to read more so I can have recommendations for my students. I am really enjoying this series and I can use it to knock off the Read Harder Superhero Comic with a Female Lead prompt.

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. I got this book at a bookstore and it was a blind date with a book. The cover is gorgeous. The writing is lovely at times so I’m not mad I read the book. But, I still gave it just 2 stars. The plot meanders and then is ridiculous. I hate the names of the characters (the title is the names of the three main characters but there’s also a Buttercup, so twee). It would work for the unreliable narrator prompt.

American Girls by Alison Umminger. I would have DNF’d it but I was reading it while hanging out at parent/teacher conferences and I didn’t have anything else to read. I just feel meh about it. Didn’t hate it. Didn’t love it.

The bookstores (1 new and 1 used) in the town closest to me both closed a few years ago. And the bookstore in the next closest town closed down last year.
I love to go to bookstores and wander around.

message 19: by Theresa (last edited Oct 19, 2017 11:12AM) (new)

Theresa | 1616 comments I'm so excited at the idea that we will soon see the 2018 challenge list soon! I'm already holding off reading certain books because they might be needed for a 2018 prompt, LOL!

No finish for me BUT I did make serious progress in my 800+ book -- my last prompt read! -- Hunger’s Brides: A Novel of the Baroque. I've read about a quarter of it this week. It's a massive, immersive read, not a quick one.

QOTW: Oh, I have loads of favorite bookstores, often hunting out special ones on my travels. One of my personal favorites is Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, France. I first spent time there as a student in the 1970s, and every visit to Paris since has included a stop.

message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 833 comments Hi everyone. I was on a cruise last week so this is a suprisingly sparse two week check in. I had a crazy manic schedule considering I was on holiday but manged to go to Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, Sicilly, Corsica, Menorca and Palma so I'm not too bummed that I didn't get much reading in!

The one book I did read was The Last Ever After which brings the trilogy to an end. I really loved the first book of the series and secretly wish it had just been a standalone but I did enjoy this one for a nice fluffy poolside read.

Not currently reading anything. I go back to work tomorrow and will get some new books from the library on my lunch break.

QOTW: I'm a bit of a cheap skate so my most visited book store is the £1/£2 bookstore a couple of towns over. All the paperbacks are £1 and £2 hardbacks. This is why I have such a massive book collection!

Other than that the book shops around here are really generic and boring but I used to live in the beautiful lake district a few years ago and I could have spent hours in some of the used bookstores there. Is it just me who loves the smell of a used bookstore? :D

message 21: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! I'm back on track with my challenge, so I have high hopes to finish before the end of the year. I finished Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy right after the last check-in, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an espionage thriller. I also read At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft for my "book I bought on a trip". It was fun to read, but not nearly as frightening as I was led to believe. But no worries! I've got plenty of creepytunes lined up for the rest of October.

I'm currently reading The Diviners (book I got at a used bookstore) and The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race (book written by someone I admire). They're balancing each other out nicely.

QOTW: Holy goodness do I enjoy a bookstore, especially when it's a rabbit warren of used books. I recently was in SF for the weekend and planned my day around a visit to Green Apple Books, which is delightful (if a little pricy for used books). I also looooove The Last Bookstore in downtown LA, which has an astounding number of books and very courteous, well-informed, beautiful people working there (sorry for the objectification, but a woman has eyes). In Sacramento we've got Beers Books, which I am sorry to say does NOT serve beer. It was just someone's name. They make up for it with great selection and helpful staff, though!

message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma | 96 comments Hello!

I've not checked in for ages, goodreads has gone all weird and won't let me update on my ipad/ phone so I've finally got the laptop open so decided to check in.

Since I last checked in I finished

American Gods for my book based on mythology. Not my ususal cup of tea, but I enjoyed it on the whole. Going to give the netflix series a go now.

Faro's Daughter for a book with a family member in the title. I had a longer title in mind but decided to go with this as I love Georgette Heyer and knew it would be a quick and easy read.

Americanah - by an author of colour. Loved this.

Because I enjoyed Americanah so much, I decided to use Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as my 'book by a person you admire', and read her We Should All Be Feminists for this prompt. It was a bit of a cheat as it was more of an essay really, very short and quick read, and not really anything new or complex.

Emily Climbs for a book I loved as a child. This was fun to revisit.

I'm on 33/40 and 6/12 so 13 books left, I'd better get my skates on! I've read quite a lot more besides but not for prompts, so I really need to focus on prompt books to get finished by the end of the year. Currently working on:

A Place of Greater Safety for a book over 800 pages.

From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers - book with pictures, been working on this for ages just dipping in and out. Need to give it some focused time.

QOTW: I don't have a particular favourite, but do like to poke about bookshops whenever I'm visiting a new place. I love York for that, and Oxford too. There's one in the small town I grew up in that I have fond memories of that I like to call in and browse when I'm nearby - it's tiny and there's nothing particularly special about it, but it's just full of happy memories.

message 23: by Claire (new)

Claire (fletchasketch) This week I finished Lab Girl, for my book about an interesting woman. It was beautifully written, and very interesting, but I found it frustrating at times as she'd allude very briefly to quite major issues in her life, and then never refer to them again. Still, I would definitely recommend. This leaves me at 28/40 and 3/12. For now I've given up on the Advanced List and am just trying to complete the 'main' challenge. I might just about make it.

QOTW: There's a Books Inc just a few blocks from my house and I tend to go in every few weeks to browse, although I browse much more than I buy. Our apartment is already too full of books, so a lot of what I buy now is on kindle, or I visit the library.

Having said that, I travel to Portland, OR fairly regularly, and I always make sure to visit Powell's when I do. It's a beautiful store and so easy to spend hours browsing the shelves. They also do great displays to help you find more unusual choices. It's the only store I've seen where the used books are shelved with the new copies, which gives you a great chance to decide how much you want to spend on a book. I usually buy at least one or two things each visit.

message 24: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 395 comments Probably the most fun read from the last week was The Screaming Staircase. It's a YA paranormal, female pov so it probably fits the interesting woman prompt (if you wanted to do fiction for that). Do ghosts count as a mythological creature?

I also read a few mysteries Grave Errors a psychic amateur detective for this one, Biscuits and Slashed Browns but both of these are ARCS so that's not going to help anyone (the latter won't be out til next year) and A View to Die For another mystery but I felt I got what I paid for (It was free), I didn't enjoy it.

I did enjoy some of the manga I read Seraph of the End, Volume 4 & Tokyo Ghoul, tome 1

QOTW - I live very rurally so I don't have a book store. I shop most commonly at the Booksamillion chain and I love privately owned bookstores like the Book Loft in Columbus.

message 25: by Tara (new)

Tara Bates | 1008 comments Oh I'm excited to see the new list although I don't think I'll make this one :( I did finish one this week Mrs Queen Takes the Train for my book with a characters name in the title. It's a bit of a stretch but at this point idgaf... sorry lol
I think I'm at 41 right now and maybe 46 for my kids challenge?

I don't do many in person book stores these days and get 90% of my books at the library. But my fave is Fair's Fair in Calgary. I don't live there anymore so can't access it sadly but I did love it!

message 26: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hello, everyone!

Yay, so happy next year's Popsugar list is going to be out soon, and that they took many of our suggestions! I really love the process of finding books for each prompt (and I change my mind over and over and over all year long...). :)

I finished three books this week:

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women - Geraldine Brooks, who was a foreign correspondent in the Middle East in the 1980s and 90s, integrates history and personal observations while describing how life is for most Islamic women. It's a sad picture, and the author comments that women will be the first to suffer when there is unrest. Her portraits of various individuals, female and male, spotlight both the diversity of life for women and yet how deeply entrenched cultural beliefs about women are among both genders.

Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport - I read this for the Book Riot prompt of a book about sports. Incredibly, pedestrianism was at one time the biggest spectator sport in the US and Great Britain. The first trading cards were of pedestrians, not baseball players, and the names of leading pedestrians were household words. The author integrates the events that led to the rise and fall of this sport into his story of grueling competitions and the adventures of the winning athletes. It was a compelling read, even for someone like me who hates to watch sports!

Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged - An entertaining, escapist read. It makes young, westernized Muslim women seeking husbands seem just like young, westernized non-Muslim women seeking husbands, which I guess was the goal, but that aspect of it was stereotypical and unsatisfying. Overall, though, it was fun to read.

In process: Let the Great World Spin (for ATY 52 challenge) and When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth (for Popsugar, book about mythology).

I have to finish 3 more books for this challenge!

Do you have a favorite bookstore to visit (even if you rarely buy)?

Oh, my, I've had a whole bunch of favorite bookstores and they've all closed! I loved the Thunderbird Bookstore in Carmel Valley, CA, which is the first bookstore that I ever saw with a restaurant and coffee shop as part of it. It had a huge inventory of books! I loved the original Borders in Ann Arbor before it became a chain, and now even the chain is defunct. A fabulous bookstore in Champaign, IL, Pages for All Ages, closed in 2009, leaving our town with only chain bookstores. Now I live in San Francisco and have discovered Green Apple Books, and it's a happening place. It's so sad to see the bookstores close.

message 27: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny | 1621 comments Greetings from stereotypically rainy Portland. I do not look forward to walking through it at 3:30 tomorrow morning to get to work. Unless it's light, then I don't mind.

I finished four books this week. Six to go!

36/40 - 46/52

The Fold by Peter Clines became my unknown genre book, for quantum fiction. Some people found out how to fold space, so you can just step into another place, like teleportation. Things go horribly wrong. It was fun!

The Year of the Hare was the deal of the day on Audible, and I bit. It was a lovely story about a man who befriends a hare, and decides he'd rather hang out in the woods with it than go back to his life in the city. I'm counting it as my wilderness book, as nothing else has really inspired me.

14, also by Peter Clines, is an audiobook I've had for a while. After enjoying The Fold I finally listened to it. I was surprised to see some overlap with the books, as they are not listed anywhere I've seen as a series. They do stand alone, but there are clearly things that are in both books. I must now keep tabs on Peter to see if any more of these bits fall into another story.

I felt ill both days off, then I took a sick day. I was hoping that I could stay awake long enough to read an actual book, and I did! Yay! It only took two days of being zonked on Nyquil to get me rested enough to read without falling asleep. At least I used my time well, and read the delightful Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters! I'm glad to say all of the gushing mentions of it I've seen led me to something that is now on my favorites shelf. This is my book of letters.

Currently reading: The Lost Hero for mythology. NOT loving this narrator. Trying to ignore it.

QOTW: After seeing all these posts from people who have no bookstores at all, I feel like a glutton. I had no idea how many there were in the area so I Googled it, and there are probably 30-40 of various types in the greater Portland area. Not counting thrift shops and places like Target. All the books moved here, y'all.

OK, I'm easy. It's Powell's City of Books. I lived here a few years before I could find my way around in there without the map. They always have great endcaps with great themes, and I love to check to see if Good Omens is still on the bestseller wall. (It has been there each time I have visited for years. YEARS!) Because of all the split levels and such, it's impossible to get a photo giving even a hint of it's scope, so last summer I did a quick walk-through video for a friend. You can see how many people are in there. It was a lovely summer Saturday afternoon. Some complain about the crowds, but I am happy to see a book store full of people. It's like Disneyland for books!

The place I have been buying the most books lately is the Goodwill Superstore near the river. It has, hmmm, probably 7 or 8 aisles of books. Sorted by category and alphabetized by author, generally.

If I could get there easily, I would spend many happy hours at Annie Bloom's trying to make friends with the cat and enjoying their great window displays.

Favorites of Bookstores Past: RIP
Bertrand Smith's Acres of Books - Long Beach, CA
Derby Square Books - Salem, MA - It has an Atlas Obscura page!

Theresa wrote: "I'm so excited at the idea that we will soon see the 2018 challenge list soon! I'm already holding off reading certain books because they might be needed for a 2018 prompt, LOL!"

Yes, I have a few I am also saving, just in case!

message 28: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 100 comments poshpenny wrote: "Greetings from stereotypically rainy Portland. I do not look forward to walking through it at 3:30 tomorrow morning to get to work. Unless it's light, then I don't mind.

I finished four books this..."

You are inspiring me to start planning an annual pilgrimage to Powell's! I live near Salem, OR and have only visited one time!

message 29: by Heather (new)

Heather Kangas | 65 comments Definitely wish I had particpated more this year on this list. Maybe next year?

I am currently reading Three Wishes. It is a fun read!

My favorite bookstore in my city is Red Emma's. It is actually a worker owned and run bookstore. They have a lot of political literature and a good vegan menu. Check it out if you are ever in Baltimore!

message 30: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 346 comments This week I finished:
To Live 4 stars, subtle and heartbreaking Chinese historical fiction
A Closed and Common Orbit audiobook, 5 stars. My husband and I listened to this on our weekend trip to Yosemite, and loved it! Very excited for book #3 next year.

I pop in to Green Apple books every so often, including buying the majority of my Christmas presents there every year. It’s lovely and close by. If I didn’t love the sfpl so much, I’d probably spend way too much money there. My very limited bookshelf space is thankful too.

message 31: by Julie (new)

Julie | 172 comments Hello everyone!

Two finishes for me this week, Bless Me, Ultima, which I used as a book from a genre you've never heard of (I'd never heard of magical realism before this year's challenge) and Me Before You, a book mentioned in another book. I feel like I cheated a little with the second one, because it was mentioned in The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of a Blockbuster Novel, which is just a book about books. There were lists of bestsellers in it, so I just picked one. However, I tried to read something from another book I'd read this year, and just couldn't find anything I could get into.

This means the challenge is finished for me - 52/52! I'll post in the "finished" thread as well.

QOTW: There are two used bookstores I absolutely love here in my city - Bookmans and Changing Hands. They're used bookstores that may be a little smaller than some, and definitely look nothing like any of the bookstores on the list, but they have a lot of character. Changing Hands hosts quite a few fantastic local (and not so local) authors and events. I'm inspired to visit some of the stores on the list though next time I travel, such as the Strand, the Last Book Store, and Bart's Books.

message 32: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny | 1621 comments Larissa wrote: "You are inspiring me to start planning an annual pilgrimage to Powell's! I live near Salem, OR and have only visited one time! ."

Oh dear. That just can't stand. You don't live very far!

If you want to make a day of basking in books, come Nov. 11 for Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival. I've never been, I usually have to work, but I've known people who get very excited about it. There will be some good authors there: Jeffrey Eugenides, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Amy Stewart, David Grann... even Lemony Snicket.

message 33: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1616 comments I feel guilty just rhapsodizing over my favorite bookstore in Paris, totally ignoring sharing my local wealth! Especially when so many mention having none, not even a chain store! So here goes- my paen to a few NYC independent bookstores, my local hangouts.

Book Culture - each of the 3 Manhattan locales has a distinct personality, and the one on W 112th Street, 2nd floor, has new and used cuddled together on the shelves, and multiple editions. They are opening one in Queens as well.

Three Lives, Madison Avenue Books, Shakespeare & Co., Posman -
all general and eclectic.

Then there are the specialty ones: Mysterious Bookshop is last remaining mystery bookstore (and it was the first), Drama Bookshop for all things theater, Rizzolis for art, architecture, photography. Also Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks (new and used), and newcomer Albertine - French books and more.

Brooklyn offers many including Greenlight. Queens has the Astoria Bookshop and the new Kew & Willow.

Now 2 shout outs to other locales - Riverrow Books in Owego, NY - smalltown with a great new and used shop. And Haslam's in St. Petersburg, FL - mostly used but some new and 5 store cats. Place is huge. There are treasures lurking everywhere.

Now do you understand why I own so many books, I come close to fulfilling prompts just from my shelves!

message 34: by Willoyd (last edited Oct 20, 2017 01:42AM) (new)

Willoyd | 26 comments Two more books completed this week towards the challenge:

Jane's Fame by Claire Harman for 'Book about an interesting woman', Jane being Jane Austen, and the book being about how she became such a cult figure. Fascinating.

Winesbury, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson for 'Book that is a favourite of an author you love'. This was apparently a favourite of John Steinbeck. OK, but not a favourite of mine. I'm not fond of short stories, which what this effectively is, and this didn't go a long way to change my mind.

That takes me to 43/52. In single digits to go now!

I'm shocked as to how many people say there is no bookshop in their town or near them, particularly independent shops. But then, I suppose even a city of the size of Leeds nearest to me has only two: Waterstones (a good one though) and Blackwell's, which I prefer but is quite a hike from the station. However, my favourite bookshop is The Grove Bookshop here in Ilkley, a small but excellent independent store which seems to squeeze a super range into quite a small space. Their ordering system is also very efficient, and their classical music section downstairs in the basement is always worth a visit. I also like the Salt's Mill Bookshop in nearby Saltaire, which seems to sustain a slightly different but very attractive range to other shops. York, about 25 miles away, is also a great destination for second-hand shops.

message 35: by Miriam (last edited Oct 20, 2017 02:44AM) (new)

Miriam | 153 comments Hello from rainy Muenster in Germany!

I finished two books this week, none for the Popsugar challenge, though :-(

Still Life a good mistery set in rural Quebec. I used it to complete my A-Z location edition challenge.

Wintergewitter, another mistery, this one set in Munich in 1920, well-written and suspenseful, as well as informative.

I need to focus a little more on my last two prompts for the challenge: the 800p. and the book mentioned in another book. I have two books aligned for that, but think, I might read them only in December....

Can't wait for the new list, either


Living in Germany, bookstores haven't gone out of business in the same way they obviously have in the USA.
We have a law about a set price for books and e-books are comparatively expensive, because they also fall under the set price law. That is one of the reasons I see.

In Muenster, where I live, we have several bookstores, some of them specialized, e.g. for children's books, but I admit, I like the chain stores Thalia and Poertgen Herder, because the range of books they offer is really good, they have a few tables on Display with individually written recommendations by their staff and generally a really good staff of professionals. I try not to go too often, because I always end up buying too many books.

We don't have a bookstore with enclosed café here, but I love those a lot, have gotten to know a few of them in Canada in the 1990s and have always thought of opening one some day, if I don't like teaching anymore...

As to used book bookstores, they tend to be rather expensive here, focusing more on rare books than regular second hand ones.

message 36: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 409 comments Bonjour from a beautiful not too cold day in Montréal.

I finished one book toward the challenge last week and I am now at 2 books left.

Lavinia was my choice for interesting woman. I didn't feel like readin a non-fiction for this prompt. It was a really good book. Slow at times, but the main character is great and the descriptions are well done.

Now I am reading Rendezvous with Rama for the ''trip'' prompt. I made a trip to my local used bookstore and bought that one.

This bring me to the

QOTW: In my town we have a used bookstore, very friendly but really small too. I really like to go on one street in Montréal where there is used bookstores every two minutes. I used to spend hours in them when I was youger and lived a little closer.

message 37: by Anabell (new)

Anabell | 352 comments Sara wrote: "The list is being finalized (and I hear that our suggestions make a strong showing!)"

I can't wait to see the list. Am looking so forward to making my spreadsheet. (I use color code to keep track of those I still havent found a book for, I have found for but not sure about, have found and am sure about, am currently reading and those I have read. Yep I am a total spreadsheet addict AND yes I do see how geeky I am now that I am writing this)

As mentioned earlier I am also withholden reading some books as I think they might match some prompts for 2018. So glad other people do that aswell ;-)

Did read last week check-in but forgot to actually check in myself. So this is for 2 weeks.

In my a-z I was missing K, X, Y, Z so I found a series where the first 2 books was with K and Z.
Kaleb and Zane There were some surprices in the books that I did not know about before reading the first one. I could have been without them. But I didnt want to start looking for a new book for Z so just finished them both. I gave them 2 and 1 stars.

Now I only need X and Y. (Unless I go by the danish alphabet which have 3 additional letters.)

I finished:
The Bookshop on the Corner
The Cafe by the Sea
Archetypes: Who Are You?
Accidentally on Purpose

Currently reading:
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Ever since I completed the 2017 challenge I have been trying to complete the 2016 and its coming along great. Even though this last 2 weeks reads haven't been the best books. Hoping to start some interesting books soon. Have a great weekend.

message 38: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 5478 comments Mod
Annabell, it's not just you!! I have a giant spreadsheet I use for tracking ideas and progress, with color-coding, plots, and automatically calculated statistics. I love spreadsheets!! :-)

message 39: by Anabell (new)

Anabell | 352 comments Nadine wrote: "Annabell, it's not just you!! I have a giant spreadsheet I use for tracking ideas and progress, with color-coding, plots, and automatically calculated statistics. I love spreadsheets!! :-)"

GOOOO Spreadsheets... ;-) Seriously autmatically calculated statistics... Is Spreadsheet envy a thing?

message 40: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nadine wrote: "Annabell, it's not just you!! I have a giant spreadsheet I use for tracking ideas and progress, with color-coding, plots, and automatically calculated statistics. I love spreadsheets!! :-)"

So maybe you should be the one to make the official spreadsheet! I'm not that smooth with Excel ;)

message 41: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 5478 comments Mod
I am willing to do it. My problem is I use Excel alll the time and I'm great with Excel, but I rarely use Google spreadsheets so, aside from having used Google Classroom w my kids, I'm not quite sure how to save it and make it available to others.

message 42: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 453 comments poshpenny wrote: "I must now keep tabs on Peter to see if any more of these bits fall into another story." He has a new one coming out: Paradox Bound! (He also has a series about superheroes in the zombie apocalypse.)

I'm so happy fall has come to Cary - I actually need to cozy up in knits and blankies. I'm super stoked to see the 2018 list, especially if there are a bunch of "our" prompts on there!

Last week I finished:

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You for a cat on the cover. I love The Oatmeal, but a lot of this felt like filler. I prefer to read the online stuff I guess.

The Curse of the Blue Figurine for a book I loved as a child. I think a child would probably still get a kick out of this, and I enjoyed revisiting it. But it definitely didn't stand up to the memory of it. Of course, my current edition lacks the Edward Gorey illustrations that really contributed to the original book I had. Still happy that these got me hooked on weird fiction/horror though!

That leaves only one book left for the main challenge - I'm managing to restrain my pace with A Night in the Lonesome October, so I'll be finishing the challenge around month's end.

Now, I realized I actually had read several books that I could use for advanced prompts. I'm considering these "bonus points" this year:

A book based on mythology: Dracula
A book about a difficult topic: Duck, Death and the Tulip (I was completely underwhelmed after all the gushing reviews.)
A book recommended by an author you love: The White People and Other Weird Stories
A book with an eccentric character: Men at Arms (literally all the characters are eccentric. I loved it.)

QOTW: We have a small but fun used bookshop in Apex, and you've inspired me to plan a jaunt to Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. (They are right near Cowfish restaurant, so I'm going to make a day of it with my husband - squee!)

message 43: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 725 comments Hi everyone, lost track of yesterday and forgot to check in. Michigan can't make up its mind with the weather as usual. Last weekend was rainy and nasty. This week it's been sunny, cold in the morning but warm in the afternoon. I don't mind though, i'll take sunny anything over all the rain.

I had a kind of lackluster reading week. Only actually finished one book:

Broken Monsters which i'm using for Read Harder's book set within 100 miles of my hometown. It was set in Detroit. I liked it ok, but not as much as her other book The Shining Girls. I think some of it was BECAUSE it was set in Detroit. She mentioned in the back that she did a lot of research about it, but I could tell she's never lived here. The whole book was set in November. But people were having art parties outside, meeting people outside, etc. Couple of girls went and got dressed up for said party, no mention of "but then we had to cover our cute dresses up with heavy winter coats" or "we froze and were miserable because we refused to wear coats over our cute outfits". No sudden freezing rain or snow. No marveling over the unseasonably warm November that didn't require coats at night etc. I mean sure it sounds like I'm obsessing over the weather, but I seriously kept forgetting it was set in Michigan until they name dropped something like Eastern Market.
Also I felt like there were a few too many storylines going, some of them could have been edited out or condensed.

I started reading Beartown and got about 40% through, but I decided to DNF it for now. I really liked My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, it had bear in the title, it was about hockey which is the most tolerable sport, it had tons of 4-5 star ratings. It reminded me a lot of Casual Vacancy, which I hated. Too many characters. I didn't like the fragmented writing style. Too many heavy-handed forshadowing that just made me feel anxious because it kept SAYING bad things were coming, long before they actually happened. Then I realized what the bad things were, and decided that I just can't read it right now.

I switched to The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. That's going better, but I'm still having kind of a hard time with it. It covers a lot of the late 80s and early 90s and it's depressing to see how much of the same concerns the characters were facing then are still a problem right now. Kind of tempted to just start reading something random and fluffy, I am feeling tapped out on serious and depressing stuff.

There used to be a cool steampunk-themed bookstore by me that had two iterations before the owner finally tapped out for good. I loved hanging out there for my craft group, and she had it decorated with hanging airships, lots of steampunk art vendors, stuff like that. Since that closed, and borders closed, I don't really shop at bookstores except my annual trip to Powell's City Of Books when we go to Portland.

message 44: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Sterling | 153 comments poshpenny wrote: "OK, I'm easy. It's Powell's City of Books. I lived here a few years before I could find my way around in there without the map. They always have great endcaps with great themes, and I love to check to see if Good Omens is still on the bestseller wall. (It has been there each time I have visited for years. YEARS!) Because of all the split levels and such, it's impossible to get a photo giving even a hint of it's scope, so last summer I did a quick walk-through video for a friend. You can see how many people are in there. It was a lovely summer Saturday afternoon. Some complain about the crowds, but I am happy to see a book store full of people. It's like Disneyland for books!"

Oh. My. Goodness!!! And all I have in my town is a Barnes & Noble, plus some college bookstores that mainly sell textbooks. That place looks amazing. I am half a country away, but I've always wanted to visit the northwest & now I have one more reason to start making vacation plans. I watched the whole walk-through video and that is just a bookstore of my dreams. I could spend days in there!

Nadine wrote: "I am willing to do it. My problem is I use Excel alll the time and I'm great with Excel, but I rarely use Google spreadsheets so, aside from having used Google Classroom w my kids, I'm not quite su..."

Wow, Nadine! That spreadsheet sounds amazing!!! I do keep a spreadsheet, but it's pretty blah & I've wondered how to make it more fun & interactive. I personally have not made the leap to Google spreadsheets, and those things just confuse me, so Excel works perfectly for me! :)

message 45: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Miriam wrote: "As to used book bookstores, they tend to be rather expensive here, focusing more on rare books than regular second hand ones."

They may be expensive, but a German Antiquariat is still SUCH a delightful experience. All the pretty pretty old books to admire... Sigh. The last time I went to Germany it was over Christmas so everything was closed and we couldn't go book shopping, which was good for the budget but made me sad.

Speaking of, this Christmas I'll be in Toronto. Anybody have good Toronto bookstore recommendations?

Thegirlintheafternoon My week is all mixed up - I totally forgot yesterday was Thursday! It was a slow-ish reading week for me last week; I made some good progress but definitely not as quickly as I prefer.


- Crazy Rich Asians - I used this for Read Harder's prompt of "a book in which all POV characters are people of color," bringing me to 20/24 for that challenge. So fun! I wish the writing were a little better, but I enjoyed it on the whole, and I'm excited for the movie.
- A Right Honorable Gentleman - A micro-story by one of my fave romance writers - I wish it were a full book! Not for any challenge.

In Progress

- The Secret History - Still loving this. Hope to finish it over the weekend.
- Call Me by Your Name - I'm listening to the new audiobook of this recorded by Armie Hammer (swoon). It's lovely.


- Fifteen Dogs - Beautiful writing but I couldn't handle how sad it was right now.
- Canada - I wanted it to be more focused on Canada and less on Mike Myers's personal history. I could see going back to it in the future, maybe.

message 47: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments For Toronto bookstores: Bakka Books is my fav because it’s all sci-fi fantasy. The Monkey’s Paw is also worth a visit to use the Bibliomat, which is a vending machine for random selections of old books.

message 48: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Chinook wrote: "For Toronto bookstores: Bakka Books is my fav because it’s all sci-fi fantasy. The Monkey’s Paw is also worth a visit to use the Bibliomat, which is a vending machine for random selections of old b..."

A Bibliomat?! I would like to go to there!

message 49: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments It’s super fun!

I wish I could think of more but it’s been so long since I was in Toronto that I’m unsure what is potentially closed.

The Indigo Books in the Eaton’s Centre has lovely views from the cafe but will be really busy over Christmas.

message 50: by Christophe (new)

Christophe Bonnet | 212 comments Hey there, how's it going y'all? (working on my Texas drawl here!)

I've been absolutely terrible at doing the checkins, and at many other things as well. And it's already the midpoint of our Texas stay! It seemed like a long time before we left, but now it seems to be going frightfully fast!

Wether-wise, they say Central Texas weather is a long, scorching summer followed by a mild autumn - and then it's summer again. We had a hint of autumn last week, with morning temps in the 50s - but reaching the 70s in the afternoon, perfect for kids to forget their jackets at school! But now we seemed to be reverting to 60-ish morning minima - which is good in a way since I didn't bring that many warm clothes here!

Otherwise: been running quite a lot. I switched to a lighter training plan than the one I started on in August (four sessions a week was a bit overwhelming; I stepped back to three) but then I tend to do longer outings, so my mileage is more or less stable. I finally registered for the race I'm training for; that will be on Nov. 11 in El Paso, Texas - which is actually exactly midpoint between Austin and the California border...

Back to the book challenge. I finished two books for the challenge (and one or two outside the challenge) since my last checkin three weeks ago.

✅21. A book from a nonhuman perspective: Drew Hayes, The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant , REUTS, 2014.
A lucky pick from the "local authors" table at a nice Austin bookshop (Malvern Books)... Despite the title it is actually quite gripping, and very funny in a sort of high-school-boyish way which I confess to enjoying a lot. I hear there's a second volume; gotta check it out!

✅37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017: Daphne Du Maurier, [books:My Cousin Rachel|34415775], Little, Brown, 2012 (1st ed. 1951).
Not a very original choice; I think half of you guys chose that very same one for this prompt. Better than most alternatives, I guess! I was afraid it would be boring to tears but it's actually quite good! Storytelling is excellent, even though the narrator is so ridiculously stupid that some suspension of disbelief is required - would have worked for the "unreliable narrator, I guess. A pretty good read, anyway.

I'm now 32/40 for the regular challenge. Amongst the prompts remaining a few are quite problematic to me, like the "librarian" prompt (which we've seen much too often in the last few editions, I hope it goes away last year!) and the subgenre prompt, which really irks me because I found this mania of subdivising books into god knows how many subgenre to be altogether useless and bothersome. Otherwise okay!

QOTW: my favorite bookstore would be Gwalarn in Lannion (Brittany) which I've known since I was a six-grader (I think I've skipped school there once or twice). I go there every summer and always get out with a huge pile of books for my vacation time! I've been quite disappointed with Austin, TX, bookstores: apart from the above mentioned Malvern Books there are very few bookstores left, except for two or three Barnes and Nobles in far away strip malls.

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