Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2017 Weekly checkins > Week 51: 12/15 – 12/21

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Welcome to another Thursday check-in my bookish friends! The end of 2017 is closing in fast. I know there are several of you that are still working on books for the 2017 challenge. Just remember that the ultimate goal of the challenge is to encourage you in your reading life, to broaden your horizons and try new things. If you have accomplished any of those then your challenge has been a success!

I also want to give a special thank you to all of you seasoned veterans who have fielded some questions from our newer members lately! I appreciate very much the support in quickly getting answers to them :)

Books finished:

Pines by Blake Crouch – I plan to continue this series, but I am going to switch from audio to paper. This is the second Crouch book I’ve listened to on audio, and I have found it hard to follow both times. I think maybe he is just a writer I need to read in print.

Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett– I loved this short book. From the perspective of Jacob Marley you see his origin story, how he meets Scrooge, and the impact he had on the story of A Christmas Carol. I picked up the audio as a daily deal a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic.

Currently reading:

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree – still working through this one. It’s a great book, but I just read nonfiction slowly.

Letters from Father Christmas – I haven’t read much of this one lately, but now that my Christmas vacation has officially started I am hoping to find more time for reading.

Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan. I love her books for just a feel-good read.

Question of the week:

From Theresa - Did you discover a favorite book, author or series from the weekly check-ins that you would not have discovered on your own?

This is a great question. Book recommendations come to us in so many different ways, but the best is when rave reviews from trusted readerly friends urge you to pick up a book you wouldn’t normally choose and you end up loving it!

Here are a few gems I’ve picked up this year thanks to book discussions:

The Hate U Give – I tend to stay away from controversial topics in my reading. I’m an escapist reader. This book, though, is so very well done. It handles a very timely social matter in a delicate and balanced way. I am very glad I read it.
This is How It Always Is – Another somewhat controversial book about a transgender child. Something I wouldn’t have picked up without all the love this book got. This one (as well as The Hate U Give) has changed my perspective on current events and made me more empathetic to people whose lives are different from mine.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End – A book about death and grief is a favorite? Such a well done book on a difficult topic. And it made me think too.

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that wherever you may be traveling to, and whatever holiday you may be celebrating, that you have a wonderful, magical final week and a half of 2017!

message 2: by Nadine in NY (last edited Dec 21, 2017 03:44AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6298 comments Mod
Happy Thursday!

We are ready for xmas! my mother is coming today, presents are wrapped, tree is up ... but my kids can't find their stockings. I know they are in one of those xmas boxes, kids just aren't looking. The other requirement: cookies! I don't remember the last time I baked cookies, my older daughter does all that now! It's a joy!

This week I read two graphic novels and one "regular" novel.

I've been on a little superhero kick lately, which is something I've never really been interested in reading:
Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies written by Greg Rucka - this was a hot mess, I suspect I just don't like Rucka, and I definitely didn't like the art, but I'm going to continue with this series because I really want to find out what happens next.

The Flash, Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice written by Joshua Williamson - Well. I've never really been all that into The Flash, and this was no exception. Meh. I handed this to my cookie-baking, Flash-loving daughter, and I'm curious to see what she thinks. (She's actually busy reading The Hate U Give right now so I don't think she's picked up The Flash yet!)

And just last night I finished The Girl in the Tower, book two in the Winternight series by Katherine Arden. A fantastic part two, full of magic and horses and action and angst! The beginning dragged a bit for me, because I don't care so much about Vasya's sister and brother, Olga and Sasha, but it was important to set the scene.

QOTW It's way too early in the morning for my brain cells to answer that question. I know I have added books to my TBR after reading discussions in the check-ins, but I don't know which of those I've read or which became favorites. I know I read and loved The Hate U Give, and it was not a book I would normally read because I don't usually read YA contemporary, but I can't remember if it was discussions here or elsewhere on GR that got me to read it. Let's say it was here! I'll make that my final answer!

message 3: by Christine (last edited Dec 21, 2017 04:41AM) (new)

Christine McCann | 488 comments Sara wrote: " Just remember that the ultimate goal of the challenge is to encourage you in your reading life, to broaden your horizons and try new things. If you have accomplished any of those then your challenge has been a success!"

I just want to reiterate this! I completely agree, we each own our challenge and can use it so it works for us. I started the challenge mid-2016, and it was just fun to branch out a bit - I didn't worry about completing all the prompts that year. And I love the check-ins to hear what people think of their books and find new gems!

This week's books:

Last night, I finally, finally powered through the rest of The Ceremonies. To be honest, I skimmed a lot of the last 125 pages or so. I may have been prejudiced by reading the short story it was based on first, but this seemed bloated and ponderous. It was also less effective for me because the evil is very clearly explained - ambiguity is much scarier. It was OK, and might be a fun story for someone with some leisure and an unspoiled point of view!

This morning I read Snow, Glass, Apples, which I had been saving as a treat. Just as creepy and evil as I remember, and it's lovely to have the chapbook. Also, that means I fulfilled the "book you bought at a used book sale" after a fashion - I got it from eBay. :)

That puts me at 52 total books this year, some from the lists, some not. I'm very satisfied with that!


I feel like I have a lot more TBRs for the coming year from the check-ins, but this year I read A Man Called Ove due to recommendations here, and I'm so glad I did. I'm really looking forward to reading Beartown for the 2018 challenge!

message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments Still have cookies to bake but all my gift wrapping is done and we hit the road tomorrow morning for my in-laws and then we'll visit my family on Christmas day, and a friend from out of state will visit us the day after the holiday. I'm already exhausted haha

I had a good reading week.

Finished my 800 page book (and finished the advanced section) by reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I read Quidditch Through the Ages for my A-Z challenge. Now I only have the dreaded letter X left.

Started Labor Day - I was listening to the audio book last night at the gym and worked out longer because I was engrossed in the story. I'm 60% done and that will be my holiday book.

So what's left for me? I have 2 more prompts after the holiday one - Steampunk and Bought on a trip and I have my letter X book.

QOTW There's a lot of books I read because I found them in this group - The Winter People, Wonder, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, The Call of the Wild, and even my current read Labor Day. I wouldn't have thought to read these but because of the threads and discussions I picked them up.

message 5: by Tania (new)

Tania | 542 comments I reviewed what was left of my challenge today and realized I had one more I could check off the list that I'd read a few months ago, so my challenge is complete with 50 books read (I chose to skip 2 prompts this year). I've already started building my 2018 list and next year I hope not to skip any prompts. I really enjoy this challenge.

This week I read a few more books for a 50 states challenge I was working on:
A Scourge of Vipers by Bruce DeSilva (Rhode Island) - I really enjoyed this book and will be looking to try more in the Liam Mulligan series
The Hoosier School-boy by Edward Eggleston (Indiana) - a quaint look at days past in Southern Indiana

Reading now - Good Wives for a book with an umbrella on the cover

QOTW: I'm always interested to see recommendations on this thread, and have certainly added a number of books to my TBR because of it.

message 6: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 657 comments Merry Christmas (a bit early) to the group! (Or Happy Holidays -- it could be not all of us celebrate Christmas!) Still preparing for Christmas, but I think I've got all the shopping done, so the final days before the holiday should be a little relaxed. Made what feels like a ton of Christmas Candy this past weekend. Fun times.

I finished the reading challenge back in October, so I've been mostly reading for pleasure for the past little bit, knocking some books off the lengthy "to-read" list I've built up in the meantime.

This week I finished two books -- Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits and the graphic novel Hey, Wait... I enjoyed "Futuristic Violence" but don't think it was quite as good as David Wong's other books... and having the villain constantly talk about how he and his henchmen were going to rape and torture the heroine got irritating FAST. I get that rape is evil, but using it as a means to make the villain evil and awful feels cheap and overused to me.

Meanwhile, "Hey, Wait..." is probably the second graphic novel ever to make me tear up (Pride of Baghdad being the other). It's a slightly surreal but melancholy read, and manages to convey a strong message about grief and the loss of childhood innocence without being heavy-handed.

NEED to finish "Sabriel" here... just been getting too busy to listen to audiobooks lately. Maybe I should cave and pick up the text version for the final stretch...


I've only been a member of this group for a month or so, but there have been some intriguing titles brought up by this group. So many books, so little time!

Thegirlintheafternoon Hello everyone, and happy holidays to anyone celebrating something this time of year!

I missed last week's check-in, so I'm reporting for two weeks. Mostly I've been reading/looking through design books, and that's been lovely and inspiring, home-wise!


For the Around the Year challenge, I finished The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well (book written or set in Scandinavia) and The Westing Game (a banned book), both of which were...fine.

I also read a few non-challenge books (It Takes Two to Tumble, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Vol. 1, and Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History). Of those, the definite highlight was Lady Killers, which was great on audio!

In Progress

Just started the audiobook of The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way and still plugging away at my ARC of A Princess in Theory.


I abandoned Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life, which I thought would have worked much better as a 2000-word Buzzfeed article.


I haven't read it yet, but I definitely bumped The Hate U Give up my TBR because of seeing all the love for it here.

message 8: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying the holidays!

It's funny, but I feel a little at sea in my reading without a challenge to complete! I finished Popsugar a week ago and I'm on my last book for the ATY52 challenge. I'm eager to start the 2018 challenges but it's too early to begin those books.

This week I've read about half each of two books:

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, which a friend gave me a copy of and said it changed his life. That's quite a recommendation! It's a wonderful book, fascinating in content and beautifully written.

A Morbid Taste for Bones, which is a Brother Cadfael mystery. I've had it for a long time and finally picked it up. It's a little slow moving, but I like the characters and the medieval setting is unusual.

Question of the Week

I've gotten some great suggestions here, but I don't know which ones off the top of my head! I try to keep track of info like how I heard about a book in the private notes "shown only to you" in my reviews, but that's not easy to search. In general, I don't naturally gravitate towards YA or fantasy or sci-fi, so a number of those that I have read (and enjoyed!) I've learned about here.

message 9: by Naina (last edited Dec 21, 2017 08:03AM) (new)

Naina (naynay55) | 113 comments Hi all! I'm currently in the midst of traveling for the holidays, which makes for prime reading time.

- The Glass Castle -- for the prompt of a book that became a move in 2017. Truly a heartbreaking and uplifting memoir. I really enjoyed this book. As I said last week, it's quite incredible what the Walls family, especially the children, went through.

This puts me at 36/40 for the regular challenge and 11/12 for the advanced, with a total of 47/52.

Currently Reading
- Uprooted - using this for the advanced prompt of a book based on mythology. I'm about three chapters in but I already feel so immersed and invested in the story!

My TBR list has grown tremendously because of the weekly check-ins and I've found books to fit prompts for the challenge, which has been fantastic. For example, I discovered the book I'm reading now, Uprooted, based on a favorable review from someone during one of the check-ins!

Hope you all have a wonderful time over the holidays!

message 10: by Lindi (new)

Lindi (lindimarie) Hello everyone! I'm finally feeling myself again after a bad head cold I developed earlier this week. Which means more reading this weekend :)

This week I finished:

Letters from Father Christmas -- This was a lovely read! Tolkien was a loving father, and it is evident in this collection of letters from "Father Christmas" to his children.

Sourdough: A Novel -- I was more mixed on this one. I gave it 3 stars as I didn't dislike it, but it wasn't anything memorable for me. I'm not sure if it was my disconnection with the characters, the disjointed plot, or the fact that I listened on audio.

Currently reading:
The Last Letter from Your Lover
Nasty Women

QotW: I read so many different books thanks to this group! More recently, Sourdough and Letters from Father Christmas.

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating this weekend! And a late Happy Hanukkah!

message 11: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! I made some good progress this week, and I completed AtY, and only have ONE BOOK LEFT for PopSugar! Woooooo!! I'm traveling to Toronto for the holidays so I'll have lots of reading time on the plane for Fourth of July Creek, my last book for the challenge. Also, that's a book I found out about because of weekly check-ins! I hadn't heard of it before and I was struggling for the month/day of week prompt, but y'all helped me out. I'm not that far in, but it seems to have some real meat to it, so I'm happy.

This week I finished:
Life of Pi (book with cat on cover). I'm not super into religion or getting Life Lessons from books, and that's what I thought this book was all about, so I didn't expect to enjoy this one. It was great, though! I particularly liked the twist-or-maybe-not at the end and the way the book lets you just go away and think about it.
Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life (book I loved as a child). There is something deeply satisfying to me about how weird this book is, and I read it/listened to it over and over again as a child. I think humans have a craving for stories that make emotional but not logical sense (ahem, Kafka), and Maurice Sendak is the master of that niche for kids.

message 12: by Anne (last edited Dec 21, 2017 08:43AM) (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 202 comments This has been a great week with my son coming home from school last Friday and my daughter flying in today. I love that we all come together over the holidays.

I have read several books this week, but they have all been for the youth reading committee that I am on. I have found several gems while reading for the committee, but this week's books were mostly average.

I read Ruby and Olivia and The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street- both were ghost stories and both had creepy talking dolls (the one with the ventriloquist doll about sent me over the edge even though it was a children's book- I really don't like those dolls). Both books were fine but not stellar.
I also read The Someday Suitcase and Beyond the Bright Sea- again fine but not amazing.
The best book I read this week was This Is Where It Ends which is heartbreaking and frightening about a school shooting. That one I would recommend for a quick read about a difficult problem facing society today.
I read several picture books as well.

QOTW: I am fairly new to the group, so I haven't read any recommendations that I have found through the weekly check-ins yet, but I have put several on my TBR list and am excited to start reading them when I have caught up on my reading for young people.

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments I have most of my baking done, and shopping is done, but I have to wrap a LOT in the next couple of days (big family on both sides for me and my husband).

DNF: I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time I did read to the end of this one, but I'm counting it as a DNF because I skipped a few chapters and sections that didn't apply to me. My idea of being a successful woman is just too much at odds with what's being presented in the book for it to have been really helpful. There were a few tidbits I liked, but overall I'm preferring her more general book on time management.

Bleak House Almost halfway through, but unless I get a whole lot of reading in during our Christmas 'vacation' time, I'm not going to get anywhere near finishing the advanced challenge. (I'm still happy that it nudged me to finally read Bleak House either way though!)

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think Possibly my favorite approach to time management that I've ever seen (and I've looked into it a fair amount).

I didn't participate in the weekly check ins enough to get book ideas much from those specifically, but I know there were a few books I read because of this group in general. Kindred is the one that really stands out in that department--I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, per se, but I'm really glad I read it, and probably never would have if not for this challenge, and recommendations from this group specifically.

message 14: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Happy holidays, everyone! Work is finally calming down (knock on wood), and tomorrow I travel to Kansas for the family Christmas gathering. It will be cold and perfect curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-blanket-and-book weather, but since I will be with 26 people (9 of them under 10 years old) and 8 dogs, I doubt I will get much reading done. We divide up with half staying at my mother’s house and half at my aunt’s, but that is only for sleeping. We are all together during the days, and chaos is an understatement.

This week I officially finished the challenge (well, I will by the end of the day, anyway)! I still have a few from the Around the Year challenge that will carry over into 2018, but I still plan to finish that one as well.

Books I read this week:
A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston. I like how Cranston organized his book. Short chapters, each titled a particular role he played, whether in a show/film or in life. I’ve always been a fan of his acting, but after reading this I have a higher appreciation of him. Such a professional! I am counting this for a book that takes place over a character’s lifespan (A4) since the stories cover his childhood until now. I originally had another book slated, but now that it is the end of the year, I’m allowing myself a little more flexibility. (I’ll still read the other book, The Power of One, for a 2018 prompt.)

Home by Harlan Coben. Typical Coben story, with a mystery that slowly unfolds until the last 40-ish pages when all the bombs are dropped and the stuff hits the fan. I realized while reading this one that I now prefer his standalone stories over the Myron Bolitar books.

I'll finish later today (only 40 pages left):
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan. This is great! It was interesting to read a WWII historical fiction from the Italian perspective, and as I read I couldn’t help but be amazed that this was based on a true story. It would make a great movie. I am going to use this for an espionage book (9), even though it is more of a drama than a thriller. The MC becomes a spy for the Italian Resistance, and at least half of the book is about the character gathering info to pass to the Allies while driving for one of the top generals in the Nazi army.

I am currently reading:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Men Explain Things to Me

I know there are lots of books I added to my TBR because of these weekly check-ins. I might have eventually read The Hate U Give, but it is one I read as soon as I read all of the comments posted by this group. I'm sure there are others, but my brain isn't working well today so when looking at my books read I can't recall if some of them were recommended here or elsewhere.

message 15: by Tara (new)

Tara Bates | 1008 comments Oh I can’t believe Christmas is so close!! I opened my Litsy secret santa goes postal gift today and am looking forward to reading my new books (the fault in our stars, the road and slaughterhouse 5, all on my tbr!) I think we’ve finished shopping but not even started wrapping 😳 1 more day of work this evening then I am off until the new year and my husband finished yesterday so I’m looking forward to some nice quiet family time and hopefully lots of reading.
I am 2 books from my yearly goal and a couple more away from finishing all prompts. I’m going to let the challenge bleed into 2018 and count any books finished in 2018 for that challenge as well. My main rule will be that I have to finish the 2017 ones before I start on purely 2018 ones.

This week I finished The Father Christmas Letters for a book written by someone I admire. I am also rereading it to my kid because I thought it was so cute! I normally don’t count rereads or shorter books for the challenge but book club picks are the exception, I count all of them regardless and this was my library’s December pick.
I am still plugging through The Magpie Murders which is picking up for me, and I started Emma which is one I can’t believe I haven’t read because I love Austen.

QOTW: I can’t say specifically for weekly check ins but I’ve discovered a lot of fantastic books through various threads here especially the group reads. Some favourites this year have been The Bear and the Nightingale, The Hate U Give, The Snow Child, Winter People, and Sourdough. I also am happy to have discovered the Lunar Chronicles here last year because I absolutely loved the series!

message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 488 comments Cheri wrote: "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, which a friend gave me a copy of and said it changed his life. That's quite a recommendation! It's a wonderful book, fascinating in content and beautifully written."

Right? I read it a few years ago and really liked it. I should give it a re-listen since my memory has faded. But I know it made me put a visit to Herculaneum on my bucket list, and honestly his prologue about his mom made me a better mother by pushing me to let up on my worrying a bit!

message 17: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: " it made me put a visit to Herculaneum on my bucket list, and honestly his prologue about his mom made me a better mother by pushing me to let up on my worrying a bit! ..."

Yes! I love how personal the book is despite its being a broad history. And I'm fascinated by ancient texts (even took a course in paleography and codicology once). Apparently they are making progress in reading the scrolls at Herculaneum since the book was written: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...
Field trip? ;)

message 18: by Crumb (last edited Dec 25, 2017 12:56PM) (new)

Crumb | 395 comments Hi all! I just finished What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman. To view my review.. click here

I started The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

And I am working on organizing my list for the 2018 popsugar challenge. This will be my first time participating and I am super excited.


Just finished The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen.. To see my review click here

message 19: by Margaret (last edited Dec 22, 2017 12:59PM) (new)

Margaret (igem36) I finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek today. The narrative follows the course of the year starting in January and ending at noon on the winter solstice, so I saved the last chapter for today. It counts as a book that has been on my TBR for way too long. (My dates in my GR database are off for older books. I've had this since the early 1990s.)

Still plugging along with Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes; in the middle of the Trojan War - about 225 pages to go, so I'll meet my GR challenge if my eyes hold out. They have been bothering me (probably just allergies).


My TBR is too loaded with long, old, difficult books right now for me to add many recommendations. I can't wait until I finish the stack so can continue with newer books like The Hate U Give. I took the time to read the first 40 pages of it because of good reviews in this thread.

message 20: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments I am 1,000,000% ready for the holiday, an easy week at work, then another holiday. Anyone else?

I am ONE BOOK AWAY from finishing the challenge. I'm saving Rules of Civility for next week since it takes place at New Years.

Finished: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for my story within a story. Can't wait to lend it to friends.

Christmas in Duke Street which stumbled out of the gate but the last two novellas were lovely. I am in full Christmas romance mode.

An Ex for Christmas (see? Christmas romance mode). This was cute and furthers Lauren Layne as an always-read author for me.

Currently reading (spoiler, another Christmas romance):
Chasing Christmas Eve

QOTW: I know I definitely have found books from these check-ins but my mind is blank.

message 21: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 542 comments Hello from chilly Chicago! We're supposed to get flurries tonight so fingers crossed that it ends well before tomorrow morning when I fly out of here. I'm looking forward to a green Christmas with my parents in the south.

I finished On Trails: An Exploration which was excellent and could easily win a best cover award from me: On Trails An Exploration by Robert Moor . I love the metallic silver and gold on the matte black background. :)

I've put a couple cozy mysteries from the library on my kindle for plane reading but we'll see how much reading I actually get in.

QOTW: I'm sure there must be tons because lord knows my tbr list grows like it's on steroids, but I can never remember how I've heard about a book.

message 22: by Anabell (new)

Anabell | 354 comments I haven't had the time to read much this week but I wanted to stop by and wish everybody a merry christmas/happy holiday.

Looking forward to Christmas which we celebrate on the 24th with a big christmas dinner, singing danish christmas hyms while 'dancing'/walking around the christmas tree holding hands and then we unwrap our presents. Yay! I love Christmas eve :-)

I hope to get some reading done over the holidays and getting ready for next years challenge. It's going to be fun to start wih some new challenges.

QOTW: I have read a lot of books this year that I never would have picked out if it hadn't been for your recommendations so thanks for that. The one that stands out the most is It Ends with Us it blew me away.

message 23: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 763 comments Hi Everyone!

Can't believe the end of the year is here already! Over in Michigan it's warmed up a bit so most the snow we got last week is gone. Which is good, because I was running out of places to put it while shoveling. It's supposed to snow more tomorrow, so now it won't be an issue.

This week I finished Prophecy: Child of Earth which is another long one.

Currently reading Destiny: Child of the Sky which is the third book of the series, end of the first trilogy arc. I'm enjoying another read through of this series after so long. It's just a very long and heavy road! I might take a break after I finish this. Plus that'll put me close to the new year when I'll want to start some challenge reading.


There's a bunch of books I read through suggestions here. One was a bit indirect, I didn't get around to reading A Man Called Ove, since i'd already filled the prompts that a lot of people used it for. However while looking into it, I saw My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry which worked for my family member prompt, and I really loved it. (However that also lead to me attempting Beartown which I did NOT like and ended up DNFing about halfway through. So I will NOT be joining that group read).

Also this wasn't a recommendation so much as just a result of the prompts, I loved Code Name Verity which I wouldn't have read if it weren't for the espionage category. I was looking for one written by a woman, which is harder than it sounds. I was crying while reading it, but it was so good.

I read Garden Spells even though I didn't use it for a prompt just because so many people were talking about it and it looked good. I thought it was a really nice read!

message 24: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Christmas prep is sucking up all of time so not a lot of reading is getting done unfortunately.

La Belle Sauvage this was what I picked for I book club. His Dark Materials was jaaaaam growing up, and this really lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait for the new books to come out!

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes were both finished this week while driving. I got the audible Sherlock collection narrated by Stephen Fry, so these stories have been filler content. I love the stories, and I love Stephen Fry so all in all, I’m glad I’m making this 63 hour plunge.

QOTW: No, I don’t think I’ve found any new favorites from these updates, but I have added a TON to my TBR list.

message 25: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 364 comments Only one finish this week, and at the wire! I listened to The Dry. It was ok, a quick and easy listen, but nothing special.

I’m sure I’ve gotten some good recs from the check-ins, but I never keep track of who suggested what! Maybe I’ll start.

message 26: by poshpenny (last edited Dec 21, 2017 09:22PM) (new)

poshpenny  (poshpenny) | 1847 comments Holy cow it finally hit freezing here. Brrrrr!

For someone in full movie binge season, I finished a lot of books this week.

Space Case - I picked up an ARC of the third book in a Little Free Library, so I started the series.

The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus: How to Get Big Things Done in YOUR "Workshop"...All Year Long was my career advice book. I can't stand self-help books, but this one wasn't bad.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

A Study in Emerald

Currently reading:

The last handful of pages of Notorious RBG

I needed something to help me sleep, so David Tennant is reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again to me at night

I have read just a tiny bit of the beginnings of Radiance and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!

QOTW: I rarely remember which threads I see things in, but I add Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters to my favorites shelf.

message 27: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1766 comments Merry Christmas to all! No I am not ready for the holidays. In fact, I wish work had let up enough, as it should have, for me to get ready for Christmas. I don't even have my tree up yet, and it is pretty much guaranteed I will not be taking much time off next week. It is great to have a thriving legal practice...usually. But I was really looking forward to kicking back right now. Instead, I am even late checking in this week.

I am so glad I finished the Pop Sugar challenge in Mid-November! Otherwise I probably would not have finished it this year.

I did finish 2 books this week:

The Sweetheart Mystery -4th in series I just discovered a couple weeks ago, another fun entry in series with a bit of sizzle, lots of humor, the funniest drama queen of a goat [you read that right], and just enough PI mystery to keep you amused.

X - I had forgotten how much I enjoy Grafton's Kinsey Milhone PI series! Last one I read was in the middle of the alphabet somewhere. Set in the late 1980s, 'X' is refreshingly old-fashioned, pre-internet and cellphone, without being vintage or dated. I loved it and recommend it. I read it as one of 2 books I need to finish my A to Z challenge - 3 guesses what letter, and first 2 guesses don't count! As there is a heist involved, it would work in the 2018 Pop Sugar Challenge. Did not matter that I had not read all in series that came before.

Currently reading, for my A to Z (last one!):

The Quiet Game - first of the Penn Cage series, set in the Deep South and involving an unsolved race-related murder and racial conflicts in Natchez, Mississippi. Besides being a 'Q' book for A to Z challenge, it definitely fits into 2018 prompt for a problem facing society today written as fiction, and I suspect rest in series will qualify as well. It is also a page-turner.

QOTW- this was my suggestion! Absolutely would not have known about, let alone read, The Hate U Give except for members posting universally rave reviews week after week right here. I was compelled to read it! I loved it, the characters, the writing, the plot, the timeliness. In fact, I think it crosses genres and is far from being just a YA novel.

Another I would not have read so quickly if not for the great reviews right here was Magpie Murders. It too is one of my favorite reads from this year.

Of course other books brought to my attention here are now on my TBR list, perhaps most notably The Lies of Locke Lamora, another book I never heard of until it was discussed here, and now is my choice as heist book for 2018.

message 28: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6298 comments Mod
Dani wrote: "... The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes were both finished this week while driving. I got the audible Sherlock collection narrated by Stephen Fry, so these stories have been filler content. I love the stories, and I love Stephen Fry so all in all, I’m glad I’m making this 63 hour plunge. ..."

Oh when I read this I got excited to listen to it too! but Overdrive doesn't carry the Stephen Fry version. And my libraries don't carry ANY audiobook version of "Memoirs" which is the next one I need to read since I'm doing them in "order" grrr

I can add this to my list of Things Overdrive Doesn't Have:
* audiobook of Stephen Fry reading Sherlock Holmes
* audiobook of Maggie Gyllenhall reading Anna Karenina
* audiobook of Kate Winslet reading Therese Raquin
* audiobook of Alan Cumming et al reading Dracula

Does anyone know if Libby carries titles that Overdrive doesn't have? I know, I still face the hurdle of one of my libraries carrying it...

message 29: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 110 comments This week I finished the last book I needed for the 2017 challenge:

Dreams from My Father A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance - I used it for "book with a family member in the title",

I am so excited to not only finish the challenge before the last day of the year, but to do so without duplicating titles.

I am eagerly awaiting the 1st to dive into the next challenge.

Currently reading one book that I had started for this challenge and want to still finish before the end of the year.

The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer The Chocolatier's Wife. I had planned on using it for the family member in the title category. I also need to finish it because the author is a friend of mine.

message 30: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6298 comments Mod
Theresa wrote: "... X - I had forgotten how much I enjoy Grafton's Kinsey Milhone PI series! Last one I read was in the middle of the alphabet somewhere. Set in the late 1980s, 'X' is refreshingly old-fashioned, pre-internet and cellphone, without being vintage or dated. I loved it and recommend it. ..."

I used to read these religiously, as soon as each one came out! but at some point around O or P I got behind. I've read up to V, I need to read W before I can read X. You're right, you don't need to read them in order, but I'm a stickler w/ this series. I need to catch up in 2018 and read W, X, Y before the big Z comes out in 2019!! What will Grafton do in 2020???

message 31: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Smith | 66 comments I'm inching closer to the finish line. I reread A Christmas Carol this week, and that brings me to 48/52 for the challenge. It will probably be a photo finish, but I know I can manage. Yesterday was my last day of work for the year so I'll have plenty of time to read the last few books.

QOTW: My TBR grew exponentially this year thanks to the weekly check-ins and this group in general. I'm eyeing many of those recommendations for next year's challenge and a few that I fit in this year became some of my favorite reads: A Gentleman in Moscow, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Station Eleven.

message 32: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 488 comments Cheri wrote: "Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: " it made me put a visit to Herculaneum on my bucket list, and honestly his prologue about his mom made me a better mother by pushing me to let up on my worrying a bit!..."

That is so cool, thanks for sharing! (I really hope there's a turnaround and Dellatre gets to read Objet Un though - kind of a sad story so far.)

message 33: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Hey, all. Very little reading getting done here because we are all sick. We had to take the 1 year old to the ER for dehydration on Sunday, and while there both my husband and I started throwing up ourselves. Then when we all stopped throwing up, we’ve all come down with a nasty cough/cold. My mom flew in from Canada to save Christmas, thankfully. One extra healthy adult has made all the difference.

I’m mostly listening to audiobooks and finished Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and The Sea of Monsters. I’ve now started on The Passage, which I read when it came out. I want to finish the trilogy, so I needed a reread to remember what it was all about. I also read a short Christmas story, A Christmas Mystery: The Story of Three Wise Men, which was pretty meh.

I’m slowly plugging away at my last two challenge books and have accepted that my holiday Book will just be a series of picture books.

QOTW: I can’t recall anything offhand, but definitely as I read the weekly check in thread, I’m constantly stopping and looking to see if I have access to a book on Overdrive to add to my wish list.

message 34: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) I have 3 more books to go and it is coming down to the wire. As soon as the stress of Christmas is over I can get back to reading, but I have been working overtime on my list for next year. I am going to publish my list/plan on my blog on December 31st.

I finished Spooky Oregon: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, and Other Local Lore and started Sarah. I have only 10% left of my Bible reading left and a friend has the last book for me. It might be cutting it close and I MIGHT finish a little late but I WILL FINISH! This has been an amazing reading year so the ultimate goal has been complete.

QOTW: I only participated in half of the monthly reads which is where I got most of the books I wouldn't have picked otherwise. My favorites were The Winter People, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Hate U Give. I am also mildly interested in continuing the series The Bear and the Nightingale.

message 35: by Sam (new)

Sam George | 26 comments I have several books to go. Having said that I have read more than I thought I would manage when I first signed up to this challenge. (First time for me). I'm looking forward to next year's challenge already.
I finished reading A Room With a View - for my set in a hotel prompt - I read this years ago and also like the film. I did seem to take ages reading it this time around.
I've just finished reading The Spy by Paulo Coelho a novel about Mara Hari - my interesting woman prompt. It was an interesting read. I would recommend it.
Started reading Wonder by R. J Palacio - I like it so far. Saw the film trailer and decided I wanted to read the book first!

QOTW - I've read books during this challenge based upon recommendations by people here. Especially helpful when I needed help interpreting prompts or just narrowing down some of my choices. Many thanks.

message 36: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments No reading this week just a lot of travelling and Christmas shopping. Christmas is spent at our beach house 700km (435 miles) from home and all of our kids, and one of their partners, are coming to us. Of course there was absolutely no food in the house and it's been a very big week. Especially since I hadn't even started buying presents and the nearest decent shops are over an hour away at 110km/hr (70miles/hr) on a Motorway. At least the supermarket is only around 20km (around 12-14 miles) away. I must say they're all getting a book or 8.


Most of my TBR list (as well as most of my new books that I've bought recently) have come from this group with quite a few of them coming from the check ins.

message 37: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 428 comments Merry yule to those who celebrate (I do which is why this is a bit late) and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate.

I did manage a fair bit of reading. Haven was a fairly grim-dark YA werewolf story. The Dark Bazaar: Division 8 was an interesting paranormal set in Istanbul. AndPort Mortuary unfortunately reminded me why I no longer read the Kay Scarpetta series.

QOTW- Honestly not so much this year as I wasn't utilizing this forum very much until the last quarter of the year. I hope to be more inspired next year.

message 38: by Crumb (new)

Crumb | 395 comments I just finished The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen and this is My review

message 39: by Conny (new)

Conny | 130 comments Dark Places
(already mentioned in the last check-in period)
Der Narr
German indie book, a bizarre, satirical thriller with some very good ideas, but badly written and obviously published without an editor. Always a sure way to put me off :/

Honestly, no ... because due to my mile-high TBR pile I am not actively looking for new suggestions at the moment ;)

message 40: by Stina (new)

Stina (stinalyn) | 430 comments Sara wrote: "Welcome to another Thursday check-in my bookish friends! The end of 2017 is closing in fast. I know there are several of you that are still working on books for the 2017 challenge. Just remember th..."

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End was one of my big surprise delights in 2016. It's one of those books I recommend at any opportunity.

We finally got some winter weather here in Northern Colorado, and that made for some interesting road conditions. Fortunately, I'd given up on the progressive lenses, so I didn't cause any wrecks. (Side Note: Progressive lenses are the work of Satan.)

For Week 51, I finished two books. The Big Orange Splot was a re-read from childhood. We've been having some issues with our HOA, so I had to get this for my husband for Christmas. He loved it! I swear, this is better for adults than it is for kids. Last Christmas is actually a short story written by a BookCrossing friend. It's a Christmas tale, yes, but not at all sweet or cozy. If you're in a bah-humbug kind of mood, it might well resonate with you.

QotW: Looking over my list for the year, I don't think any of them came from the check-ins directly, but I do have Goodreads discussion threads to thank for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood. Those are both books I probably wouldn't have picked up if they hadn't been spoken of so highly by my Goodreads friends.

message 41: by Stina (new)

Stina (stinalyn) | 430 comments Thegirlintheafternoon wrote: "QOTW

I haven't read it yet, but I definitely bumped The Hate U Give up my TBR because of seeing all the love for it here...."

That's one that I will likely read in 2018, having heard about it here.

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