Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 12: 3/16 - 3/22

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Hello and Happy Thursday everyone!

We got a "welcome to spring" snowstorm yesterday giving us more than 6 inches of snow. I was able to work from home, but I would have preferred to spend the day reading! We are expecting another snowfall this weekend, so I plan to curl up and do nothing but read :)

***If you haven't checked yet, the poll results are in.
July - The Woman in Cabin 10
August - The Night Circus
September - Hamilton: The Revolution

We are looking for group discussion leaders for these books! We are also still in need of a discussion leader for June's book - Middlesex

On to the check-in!

I have no finished books to report this week. It's been a slow reading week for me.

Currently reading:
Beneath a Scarlet Sky - a WWII novel set in Milan, Italy and based on true events.

Sense and Sensibility - I was in the mood for a little Jane Austen this week so I jumped into this one (reread)

An American Marriage - I may have just turned the wifi off on my Kindle so that I can keep this one checked out a little longer.
There are 34 people on the library waitlist, and I just don't want to wait that long to get it checked out again!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - bedtime reread

Question of the week:

Do you like to read books set in the area that you live (or have lived)?

I live in a somewhat rural area so there aren't many books set in this area. My hometown is a major battlefield location from the Civil War so there are some books set during that time.

I wouldn't say no to a book set where I've lived, but part of what I love in my reading life is to discover new things. I would much rather read a book set in a different country, a major US city or some other part of the country.

message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Heaney | 193 comments Hi everyone from Sydney! Managed to get a fair bit of reading in this week so I'm pretty happy. Looking forward to the Easter break next week to catch up with friends and also relax with some reading, as I have plenty of books on my TBR list to tick off.

Completed prompts:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - read for the Cyberpunk prompt. I really really loved this book. Not at all what I was expecting but became completely absorbed in the plot and adventures of the main characters. Had to read quickly as my library loan was due back. Recommend to everyone. I gave it 5 stars.

Currently reading:
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz - I am two thirds of the way through this one and have to admit I think I prefer the original Millennium series to this next instalment by Lagercrantz. But I like it enough to keep reading and will hopefully finish at the weekend. Reading for the prompt 'book with an animal in the title'.

I like to read books set in the area that I live. I have few books set in Sydney and also the wider state (New South Wales), mostly true crime titles. There are a lot of history books about Sydney and I have read some fantastic Australian authors, one of my all time favourite authors in Helen Garner and read 4 of her books, all non fiction.

Total prompts completed: 14/20
Total books read in 2018: 16

message 3: by Nadine in NY (last edited Mar 22, 2018 04:27AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6309 comments Mod
Happy Thursday! Central New York is north of the big snowstorm, so instead of getting buried in snow, we are sitting up here watching everyone else get hit. Even though this happens at least once a year, it always feels weird.

This week I finished four books, 2 for this Challenge, so I am 28/50.

Last Will by Bryn Greenwood - this was for "meant to read in 2017" - this was a very slow and almost sneaky book, I started out thinking "ugh I don't care about any of these people" and by the halfway point I was choking back tears (and I never cry over books!) Greenwood has a way of getting to me. I have now read everything she's published, so I eagerly await her next book!

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory - this was a completely charming contemporary romance. If you like romance, read this!

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo - I checked off "problem facing society" with this book. It was okay. I had super high expectations, and was kind of disappointed.

Superwoman, Volume 1: Who Killed Superwoman? written and (mostly) illustrated by Phil Jimenez - I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this!! I've been working my way through all of the DC "Rebirth" titles, I never really read superhero comics before so a lot of the supporting characters are new to me, but I think Superwoman is a fairly new superhero. I was shocked at how many people hated this title, because I thought it was great! The banter between Lois Lane and Lana Lang was fantastic. (I say this as someone who's never been a big Superman fan, so I have ZERO preconceived notions of how these characters should act.)

QOTW Yes, I do! I grew up in NJ, where approximately one bazillion people live (JUDY BLUME is from NJ!) and I live in NY state now, so you'd think it would be easy to find books set where I've lived, but it's surprisingly rare. LOTS of book are set in NYC (and a bunch in Newark NJ), but I've never lived there. The few books I've found set in areas that I've lived have been pretty bad (except for Harlan Coben, but his books are not set exactly in the area I lived in). Judy Blume did write a book set in Elizabeth, NJ, which is where I was born, and I admit I have not yet read it.

message 4: by Tricia (last edited Mar 22, 2018 04:34AM) (new)

Tricia | 119 comments Hello from Brisbane Australia. It has been a bit wet and humid this week and this is looking like it will continue for a bit longer.

This week I read:
The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People (a borrowed book). I loved this book. It gave me a lot to think about. There are some simple things I can do to make a difference to my own life. Going to apply one or two things from the book to my current life to see if it makes a difference.

The Hour I First Believed (A book with lyrics in the title being a line from Amazing Grace). This was definitely not Wally Lamb’s best. I know that a few people are reading I Know This Much Is True for the twins book and I thought that book was excellent. This book had too much going on for me. I found it a real struggle.

The Rules of Backyard Croquet (book published in 2018). Set in Australia against the backdrop of fashion design. I really struggled to get into this book but once I got into it I quite enjoyed it.

Concussion (A book about sports). Wow! This was quite an eye opener. Living in Australia, we don’t really follow gridiron but there are similar CTE cases in Rugby League, the football we play here. The whole story of the cover up was very interesting.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading (book with my favourite colour). I thought this was ok but is probably not something I would read again. What I did get was a whole heap of books added to 'my want to read' list. If you haven’t chosen your “book mentioned in another book” category, this book has heaps of books mentioned in it and worth a look. It would also meet the category about death or grief.

Currently reading - got a real mixed bag happening at the moment:
- First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story About Anxiety (a book about mental health)
- The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying (a book about death or grief)
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (a cyberpunk novel)
- Dragonkeeper (A book set in a country that fascinates you). This book is set in China.
- My Brother Jack (a book linked to your ancestry). Set in Australia between WW1 and WW2.

QOTW: It depends on the book. I don't choose a book only because it is based in my home town. I need it to interest me first.
Having said that there are some really good books set in Brisbane such as The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies and The Mayne Inheritance

message 5: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments Good evening from the middle of New South Wales, Australia. Waiting for some rain. It's been threatening but it's not coming through. It's been flooding over on the coast but that's a long way away.

This week I read
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World Really enjoyed this book. Hadn't heard of Squirrel Girl before I joined Goodreads at the end of last year and I am glad I did. Always on the lookout for new superheroes :)

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows Reece Witherspoons pick for this month. Brilliant read about empowerment and women finding their voice.

Currently reading
The Immortalists ebook still haven't got back to this one. I was enjoying it but other books have been calling me lately.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer ebook It's taking a while but I'm getting there. I'm on my last library renewal so I really have to finish it this week.

Anansi Boys audiobook Listened to 1/3 of it when I was driving to the farm from the beach the other day. Lenny Henry is narrating. So much fun :)

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life ebook
Read another 3 letters this week. Slowly getting there. It's all I can do to not write this book a breakup letter.

I returned The Name of the Wind to my Want to Read list.

No idea how many prompts I've ticked off but I have read 28 out of the 52 books I wanted to read this year.

Don't read any set near where I live anymore. I used to enjoy reading Australian books but I haven't for a very long time.

message 6: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1183 comments I spent Saturday reading Obsidio and pretty much doing nothing else, I love this trilogy. And then Sunday got sucked into playing Cities: Skylines so not so production on the book front, but sometimes we need a break.

I finished The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and loved the puzzle of it all. I don't read a lot of crime fiction these days and this was a good balance between mystery and something a bit other. I'm slotting it into a book about death or grief.

I also read A Wrinkle in Time for the children's classic prompt both here and for Read Harder (yay for multi-tasking). It was a quick read and I can totally understand in the 60's it being something new and different in the children's fiction offering, especially if you were a nerdy girl. However, I'm not the biggest fan of reading middle grade at the best of times, the characters just weren't developed enough and the pacing was off (very slow start and rushed at the end).

I'm kinda glad I read it though, so now I know what Americans are talking about (it never really took off in the UK). I was going to read a Joan Aitken book (I re-read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase a few years ago and still enjoyed it as an adult) but this popped up as 99p because of the film.

Currently reading The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue for the LGBTQ+ prompt and it's fun so far.

I'm also dipping into Lost Mars: The Golden Age of the Red Planet, which is an anthology of classic science fiction stories centring around Mars. This is for review and probably won't fit a prompt I haven't done already (although my favourite colour is in its subtitle...).


I haven't really lived in places where people set books! I sometimes like to read about places I recognise though, like Remarkable Creatures which shed some historical light on the Jurassic Coast which isn't too far away (especially by US standards). One of my favourite books, The Machine, is set on the Isle of Wight but that's just coincidence (and honestly I thought it was set in a cut-off Portsmouth for much of it).

If there was a new release set in the New Forest, I'd probably read it out of curiosity, but I can't imagine wanting to read loads of books set locally.

message 7: by Anne (last edited Mar 22, 2018 05:18AM) (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 20 of 50 down.


Lowcountry Boil – Great start of a series! A PI’s grandmother was murdered and she returns to her home island of Stella Maris, SC to solve the crime. She ends up on town council and is shadowed by the ghost of her best friend who drowned at 17. 4 star cozy (and I’m generally not generous with cozies. I love them, but rarely are the Agatha Christie’s 5 star level!

Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America: A thorough biography of our 11th President. The nugget on Tammany Hall said volumes about the transformation of the role in the 1844 election.

#7: A country that fascinates me: City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II's Kraków. Enjoyed this and used it in conjunction with Lenten reading.

Currently reading:

Steve Allen’s Murder In Hawaii is a fun, frothy look at filming a Hawaii 5-0 style program on the island of Oahu. Steve and his wife, Jayne Meadows, are the amateur sleuths. It’s the 9th in his series. He’s roughly 77 when the book came out and Jayne is 80 – the book is written in a manner that lends them toward being at least 15 years younger – snorkeling, motor cycle rides, horseback stunts….
Just started #13: book that is also a stage play or musical withA Room with a View by EM Forester.

QOTW : Books where you live or have lived

Yes! I love reading about New England, where I’m from and spent my 20s and 30s, as well as southern Florida where I went to elementary and high schools. I live in the greater Charlotte, NC area currently and loved The Queen of Hearts for that reason – that’s a Charlotte I do not know. When I picked my sporting book, I went with Carl Hiaasen's Double Whammy to revisit a Florida I have seen that really doesn't exist anymore. As for Massachusetts and Maine, I adore cozies set there, but those are so whitewashed (never any black snow!) that I know it's the Disneyized version. I also love to read books about places where I will be vacationing to help set the mood.

message 8: by Crumb (new)

Crumb | 395 comments Question of the week:

Do you like to read books set in the area that you live (or have lived)?

I wouldn't be opposed to it.. but part of why I love reading, and the genre I love most, is being able to travel anywhere and learn about history. Historical fiction, when it is done right, can take you anywhere, anytime.

These are the books I've read this week:
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
That will fit the prompt for an author who is local.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
This book will fit the prompt a novel based on a real person. This book was based on the Mirabal sisters who ran an underground revolution against Trujillo.
My review:

The Girls by Emma Cline
My Review:
No Prompt

White Oleander by Janet Fitch
This book will fit the celebrity book club prompt. It was part of Oprah's book club.
My review:

message 9: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 128 comments This week, not only did I reach my yearly average of read books, but flew past it and it's only MARCH! I feel like I've finally gotten out a reading slump I've been in for years and it feels amazing! Just can't stop reading this year.

My Lady Jane - 6. A novel based on a real person
This book is hilarious!

Wenjack - A short book I read for ATY

Saga, Vol. 5 to Saga, Vol. 7

Regular: 18/42
Advanced: 2/10

Currently Reading
Bog Child
All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages

I'm sure there are a few books set in Toronto, but the only ones I've read and can think of are the Scott Pilgrim series. It is neat to see places you know referenced, but I think I prefer to escape to other places through books.

message 10: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Hello from a frozen Columbus. Isn’t it supposed to be spring now? ☹️ I finished a lot this week. I feel like this challenge is going to be done before June, last year I was apparently reading at a sluggish pace lol

We Were Liars wasn’t for the challenge. I just wanted to 1. experience it as the audiobook this time around and 2. see if I caught anything I hadn’t the first time knowing how it ends. I still liked it, though I can see why people don’t.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows I guess I can stick this the next book in a series I already started category along with the other two books from the Flavia de Luce series I’ve read this year. I liked this one more than second and third book. This series is charming and fun, I’m glad there’s like 9 books or something, I’ll be sad when it’s done.

The Dark Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft, Vol 1 this one finally was added to my overdrive account. This volume is The Dunwich Horror and The Call of Cthulhu. I’m still a bit baffled why Cthulhu is the most referenced, it’s hardly the best story or even the most interesting “monster” in his stories. It makes me wonder if the people who are always “hahaha Cthulhu!!!” are familiar with his writing, or maybe I’m just weird lol.

Slaughterhouse-Five was for the time travel prompt. This is my first Vonnegut. I really enjoyed the story and the writing style. I’ve alwags meant to get into his work, so I’m glad the challenge gave me a reason to. One of my favorite professors was friends with Vonnegut and spoke very fondly of him. He even published a book about their correspondence. I hope I get to more of Vonnegut’s soon.

Quidditch Through the Ages was another book about sports. I got the new audiobook version with bonus content, narrated by Andrew Lincoln. Fun, quick read.

My Turquoise Years this was my favorite color prompt. I couldn’t find anything for teal, or mint. So I went for turquoise and came across this title. It sounded the most interesting of my options, and I’m glad I picked it because it was a really lovely book. A memoir coming of age kind of story. Now I’m looking up the authors other works because her writing is delightful.

So now I’m at 24/40; 0/10 with 46 books read this year.

QOTW: yes! I love finding books in Ohio, specifically Columbus. That’s why I enjoyed James Thurber so much. Columbus centered books are pretty rare though.

message 11: by Tania (new)

Tania | 542 comments I'm now 25/50 for the challenge. This week I finished 4 books - but three of them were incredibly depressing so I rounded it out with the fun of being Dilbert:

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson - book set at sea, this was the harrowing tale of sea travels during WWI and the terrible sinkings that resulted from submarine activities

The Pearl by John Steinbeck - a reread for me which I used for another challenge, it could be used as an allegory (I already filled that category)

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman - a dark thriller which really digs into some seriously scary psycho behavior, it's been on my TBR for a while and has me interested to read more of Freeman's work, including the 2nd book in this series

Still Pumped from Using the Mouse by Scott Adams - this was my feel good book of the week, I needed a little humor and Dilbert always makes me smile

QOTW: I do like to read books set in the area where I live, or have lived, or where my family has lived. I find it fascinating to read stories, both real and imagined, with familiar settings. Once we've decided to visit a place, or have visited a place, I find myself looking for books set there as well. For me it's just as interesting as reading about places I've never been.

message 12: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 261 comments It’s spring break and I’ve just been reading and cleaning.
Books that tick off prompts:

Same name prompt:

Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith. Graphic novel. It’s cute.

Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Greatest Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman. I do watch The Bachelor and the spin-offs. This book had a lot of behind the scenes information which made it really interesting, probably more for fans of the show but I think it’s interesting regardless if you are a fan or not.

Ugly cover:
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. This is probably the ugliest cover on my TBR shelf. In addition, I did not like this book. At all. It’s YA sci-fi. The main character is “special” which is one of my least favorite tropes. She’s agoraphobic but manages to leave the house after a couple of deep breaths because the cute guy shows up to help save his girlfriend/her best friend. Then after they leave the house, the agoraphobia never shows back up. And it’s twist, after twist, after twist. Plus, the main character is TSTL because a lot of texting went on in the book and a lot of the problems could have been avoided with a phone call. I just can’t with the book.

Past Goodreads Choice Winner
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. YA dystopian with a main character that is “special” which as I noted above, I hate that trope. I’ve avoided this series for a while because so many YA dystopians are just not good or fun to read. However, I quite enjoyed this one.

Graduation Year
Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard. I like the couple of Leonards I read in the past (in high school). I think they really make nice transitions to screen. However, I really didn’t enjoy this, although, I love the movie. Plus, there was some problematic language regarding gay people that really took me out of the story, probably not seen as problematic in the late 90s though.

Books that don’t tick off Popsugar prompts

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. 2nd in the series-still enjoying the series.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Graphic novel, really liked it. I’m using it for either the comic written and illustrated by same person or the comic written or illustrated by a person of color for the Book Riot challenge.

March Book 1 by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin. Graphic novel about John Lewis and the Civil Rights movement and it’s so good. So good. I’m using it for the non Marvel, etc prompt on Book Riot

I really don’t care where a book is set. Book Riot? has the local author prompt and that’s proving difficult because I grew up in a really small town and I live in the boonies now. I’ve expanded my definition of local to include college and where I lived in my 20s to get something, anything.

message 13: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments This week I finished Things Fall Apart for the antihero prompt. It was hard for me to get into, but by the end I can really appreciate it's perspective, and the final paragraph really raises the impact level.

Still reading the emerald mile and Anna Karenina, and really enjoying both. Also started Cutting for Stone.

QOTW: I also live in a pretty rural area with not many books set in my location. The book I choose for local author prompt was set in my state, and it was really fascinating to read about towns nearby. Normally I too like to choose books to explore different places.

message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 202 comments This week the schedule has been unusual (my kiddos are out for spring break) so I haven't been able to read as much as I normally do. I read a couple of books for young people and then a book for me.

Jasper and the Riddle of Riley's Mine- an historical fiction about the gold rush to the Yukon. This isn't really my favorite time period to read about, so this book wasn't very enjoyable for me.
The Adventurers Guild- the first in a new fantasy series for fourth grade and up. I think this series has a lot of potential and that kiddos who like fantasy will enjoy this book. I would recommend it to young people.
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place- the next in a series I've started. I really enjoy the Flavia de Luce series. This book wasn't my favorite in the series, but I still liked it.

I have several more books for young readers lined up, then a stack of books I want to read for me. Hopefully I'll get a little more reading time this week.

QOTW: I don't really read books for location. I grew up in Montana, and there just aren't a lot of books set in Missoula (don't tell me about Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town I already know) so I didn't grow up reading books set where I live. Right now I live in Omaha so maybe I should give Rainbow Rowell a try.

message 15: by Elizabeth (last edited Mar 22, 2018 06:28AM) (new)

Elizabeth Rainbow (erainbow) | 25 comments I finished up some things that I had been reading/listening to for awhile, which felt good! I get antsy if it takes me weeks vs. days to finish a book - even if I am really enjoying it. Does anyone else feel that way? Maybe I need to retrain myself.

#11 - Female author using male pseudonym - Finally finished The Cuckoo's Calling on audio. It was okay. I think maybe I have an audio book limit of 12 hours or so. The last few hours of this one felt like such a chore, but I don't know if it was the book itself (very very dialogue heavy, very in your face who-dunnit) or the audio format.

#7 - Set in a country that fascinates you - I read Stay with Me. This novel was set in Nigeria during the tumult of the 1980s. It was fascinating to learn about the cultural expectations and how those so painfully shaped the characters and relationships. It was a quick but deep read. I recommend it!

Book Challenge:
Regular - 24/40
Advanced - 3/10

Currently reading:

Just started listening to Salt to the Sea. I might use it for the "book at sea" prompt, but I am really reading it because one of my beloved students read it and raved about it. I love getting my recommendations from my 8th graders (even if I do not always agree with their assessment).

I am also reading The Alice Network for my ladies book club at work and it should also cover the prompt A#10 since I know at least one person recommended it from this group on the feed. :)

Happy spring and happy reading, ya'll!

Honestly I have been trying to read books taking place in OTHER locations lately. I feel like I learn so much about different places, cultures, religions, lifestyles this way. I have major wanderlust after reading a few books that take place in London and Paris! Plus, central New York doesn't make for the most riveting of settings...

message 16: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 890 comments Hello from Long Island, NY. We didn't get as much snow as predicted. It was the weirdest snow storm. Schools were closed and it barely snowed at all during the day, and then the snow started for real at like 8pm.

The Amulet of Samarkand for book recommended by someone else taking the Popsugar challenge. I listened to the audiobook, my library did not have the Kindle version. I liked it, but I wonder if I would have liked it better as a book. It was over 13 hours and I found my mind wandering a lot.

Blankets for one of the AtY comic/graphic novel challenges. It was great.

Currently reading:
Lock In for the AtY medical thriller prompt. It's a really good book, I love a medical thriller, but for some reason it puts me to sleep within minutes when I read it at night.

A Breath of Life in paperback. I originally got this for a book from one of the BRICS countries for Read Harder (Brazil), but it's such a strange book I am not sure she will ever mention Brazil. I can also use it for a short book or a book published posthumously for AtY.

I just got the audiobook of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI from the library for the true crime prompt. I haven't started reading it yet, but I am so excited that I had to list it. I put this on hold in late December when I was planning out the challenge, and I just got it.

Still making no progress on The Romanovs: 1613-1918.

No one writes about Long Island. I do love to read books about Brooklyn, where I grew up, and recognize places in them. Recent books include Modern Lovers, Brooklyn, Manhattan Beach, The Fortress of Solitude. I am sure there are so many more I am forgetting. Most of all I love books that take me away to other places.

message 17: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments I finished two this week, started one, and I think I might DNF one...

Finished Without Merit. This was ok. I generally like what Colleen Hoover writes but I just couldn't get over the main character in this one. Using it for favorite prompt from 2017 challenge (published in 2017). But this book does feature twins.

Finished Let it Snow. This was a cute read. Very Christmasy - but with all the snow we had yesterday it was fitting to just sit inside and read it.

Listening to Bad Feminist. I really do not like these essay style books. I should have learned that from last year trying to slog through Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?: True Stories and Confessions. This is boarder line DNF for me.

Just started The Wedding Date. Using that for published in 2018.

8 regular, 1 advanced, 4 non-challenge. A little bit behind but my March reading has already increased from the prior two months.

QOTW I think its fun to come across my city in a book. I also like watching This is Us for the Pittsburgh references!

message 18: by Johanna (last edited Mar 22, 2018 09:58AM) (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 233 comments 22/52

April Fool's Day came early when we got snow on the 2nd day of spring! Everybody had a snow day yesterday, parents included. So I had some time to finish up a book this week.

Completed Prompts

A book made into a movie you've already seen: Gosh, there are so many that could have fit this prompt, but I finally decided on Catch Me if You Can. I loved this movie when it came out, especially since Leonardo DiCaprio was in it! But as is usually the case, the book was way better! I can't believe he had done all of this while he was still a teenager. I found the DVD and we're going to watch it again this weekend. Just an FYI - this book would also be perfect for the True Crime category. You're welcome.

A book with an animal in the title: I reread my favoriteRoald Dahl book, Esio Trot. In my defense it does have an animal in the title: Esio Trot is Tortoise spelled backwards. I'm putting it on my 2nd list, or my kid-friendly list of the challenge. What Mr. Hoppy does for love! It makes me smile inside everytime I read it! <3 <3 <3

On my nightstand:
The Night Circus. I just started reading this and found out it's the book for August. I think I'll keep reading and just join in the conversation then. Still have to finish The Purple Swamp Hen and other Stories, and I also downloaded The Time Traveler's Wife to my Kindle.

QOTW: I don't necessarily seek out books from where I live. I did happen to read America's First Daughter this year which took place in Charlottesville. (Basically anything about the Jefferson's takes place in Charlottesville, so I never have to worry about that for a prompt.) I'm originally from Connecticut and have read some books that take place there. The local author prompt kind of goes hand in hand with that, so I will be reading another book that takes place here this year.

Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

message 19: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 660 comments Up to 26/52 books! (I split the "favorite prompt from previous years" into three categories to hit all the previous years.) Cue the Bon Jovi song -- "Whooooooa, we're halfway there..."

Ahem, anyhow... finished four books this week.

The Bookshop on the Corner (a.k.a. The Little Shop of Happy Ever After in the UK) -- for the "book that involves a bookstore or a library." Nothing earth-shattering, but the story of a librarian who loses her job and so opens a mobile bookstore in a small Scotland village was cute, fluffy, and a nice break from some of the heavier books I've been reading lately.

Dad Is Fat -- for the "book from a celebrity bookclub" prompt (one of Reese Witherspoon's picks). Funny and oddly sweet -- anyone with kids will identify with Jim Gaffigan's book.

Food: A Love Story -- not for the challenge, but for the library's book club. Another Jim Gaffigan, and while I didn't think it was quite as good as "Dad Is Fat," it was still very funny and entertaining... even if I did cringe at the "I'm sure Jared from the Subway commercials is a perfectly good guy..." (This book was published before his arrest.)

Unicorn of Many Hats -- not for the challenge. I love Dana Simpsons' "Phoebe and Her Unicorn" books, and her latest release is no exception!

Currently reading:

Altered Carbon -- for the "cyberpunk novel" prompt

Heartless -- for the "next book in a series you're reading" prompt (Gail Carriger's "Parasol Protectorate" series, book 4)


I tend to not find a lot of books set in Idaho. It's always a neat treat to go "hey, I've been there!" when I read, but I find that a book can be set almost anywhere and still be a fascinating read.

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Nadine in NY Jones | 6309 comments Mod
Megan - everyone raves about Bad Feminist, but I wasn't crazy about it. Her essay about Sweet Valley High books (which I never read) felt endless!

message 21: by Lauren (last edited Mar 22, 2018 07:00AM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 753 comments This week I finished:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (prompt 35) - this was written in a way that makes astrophysics relatively easy to understand, but it's still just not for me. There are so many topics I love learning about, but I don't think I "get it" with astrophysics. I didn't rate the book since I feel bad giving it a lower rating just because of my lack of interest in the topic.

We Should All Be Feminists (prompt 15). I appreciated this author's personal stories and outlook, but I don't think I learned anything new. I was hoping for new insights, but it was still well written.

A Man Called Ove (prompt 50). After Bear Town, I was excited to read another Backman book. I found the style, tone, and energy of this book to be very different, but I loved it just the same. And it was more of an all-around feel-good read, compared to the tough topics in Bear Town (of course there are sad parts to this book too, but they are handled in a light-hearted way). I think Ove may be one of my favorite literary characters in a long time. I've been recommending it to people and will probably get a copy for my dad.

Call Me by Your Name (prompt 36) - yikes... reading this one after Ove was quite a shock! I've heard good things about the movie, and I liked the ending of this book, but the middle was too much for me. It felt like I was reading Lolita, and this was about obsession and eroticism more than romance. I wonder if the peach scene was in the movie... :/ I get that the writing was strong, but I'm a bit of a wimp this topic (not the gay part, but the intense sex stuff).

I'm currently reading:
Witnessing Whiteness: First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture with a few ladies from my Undoing Racism training group. Difficult but important concepts to think about.

Running with Scissors for a book club. I read it years ago and remember liking it, but I don't think it's going so well for my book club friends. I'm trying to remember what the tough stuff was... I'll find out soon.

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact which is pretty fun.

I'm at 32/50 for the challenge.

I love when books include descriptions of settings that I'm familiar with, but it's pretty rare. There are a few books that take place in Austin (and there will probably be another one after our recent terrorism/bombs situation), but I don't think there are any books that take place in my hometown in northern CA. Maybe some in San Francisco though, which was the nearest big city.

I also love how books help you explore new places though. We can travel the world through the pages, as well as through time. I have a friend who's going on 13 years in prison, and books about different parts of the world are especially important for his survival. They provide him a chance to dream that he's in a better place, and learning new things is really empowering for people who have so little control over their lives.

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Tara Bates | 1008 comments Jen! I can’t tag because I’m on my mobile (stupid GR app) but Station Eleven is fantastic and set in Toronto. There’s also a book (it’s a creepy murder mystery sort of) called The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper set there. So good

Anyway my check in! It is not doing anything but schools are cancelled because we’re supposed to get something starting late morning.
I had a really good reading week and am up to 10 read. I’m behind schedule but I’m also partway through several so I’m not too concerned about my minor slump in January/February.

Finished: A Wrinkle in Time which I may use for the set on another planet prompt because it kind of is, I also may use it for the past gr prompt made into a movie this year.
The Phantom Tollbooth for a children’s classic I never read; although I don’t know if it really fits either because I’d never heard of it and I wasn’t a child when it came out...
a Stranger in the House was really good but I don’t want to say the prompt as it may be a spoiler.

Currently reading: Sharp Objects, Radium Girls, and Hot Zone. I think I’m up for moderating next month’s group read (me penumbra) so I’ll be getting that soon too. And I just got a couple from the library so lots going on.

QOTW: my library book club had a few last year set in or near my town. I live in a small town in Nova Scotia so there are a few but they tend to be indy and usually history rather than narrative. A few interesting ones have popped through my reading list but only a couple that I’d recommend. I do enjoy reading books set in places I’m familiar with though, I love seeing landmarks I recognize.

message 23: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments Hello from sunny London. After the horrendous snow we had last weekend (at least by London standards) I'm hoping that spring has finally sprung.

I've finished one book this week Boy, Snow, Bird to fulfil the weather prompt and oh boy, oh boy (pun intended) I did not get on with this book. The story had so much potential and I could tell the author is talented (this is the first book I've read of hers but I believe she was some sort of child prodigy) but it ended up a bit of a mess. The characters were not likeable and acted in ways that were not in character and then it ended with an awful 'twist' that came completely out of left field. Not impressed by this one.

This takes me to 13/40

I am currently reading three books:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Reading a few chapters a week for the WW book club
The Time of My Life - Pretty enjoyable so far. A nice twist on the standard chick lit formula.
The Defenceless - Sequel to The Hummingbird which I read in January. Just read a few pages of this on kindle while my boyfriend is sleeping.

I'm not too fussed about contemporary books set in London because they are not a novelty. I do, however, enjoy reading historical books set in London because I like to see what was there in previous centuries.

One interesting 'local' book to me is Lark Rise to Candleford. The village of Candleford is now Fringford which is a village very close to my hometown Bicester which is frequently mentioned in the book. I found it funny when they would have to stay overnight in 'town' because it was a day's journey back in the 19th century. Nowadays you can get there in the car in 20 minutes!

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Michael | 25 comments Good Morning UPSRC group! Rain still falls in NorCal. (This is a great thing!)

Last week I finished Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow for a book that is also a play or musical. 26/50

Moving on to A Tale of Two Cities which is one of my New Years resolution reads.


I have read many novels set in the bay area and it is kind of a kick to know the setting. So I would say that it is enjoyable.

message 25: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments I only finished 1 this week. Still working on 8 books, which hopefully I'll complete by the end of the month.

Completed: The Bat by Jo Nesbø for Nordic Noir on audio book. It was okay.

No, only because all of the books I have read or seen that are set in my area are about ranching or the old west. I don't care for either of those things.

message 26: by Heather (last edited Mar 22, 2018 07:16AM) (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good morning from snow-covered Maryland! We are dug out from our share of the Nor'easter and I'm hoping some still lingers on the ground for awhile to set the mood for reading this weekend.

No Earls Allowed, another lovely Shana Galen romance. I'm hooked on this series, officially.

The Keeper of Lost Causes for my Nordic Noir. This was good! Definitely had me turning the pages faster and faster and things started coming together and I could see myself reading more of the series.

By the Book as a follow-up to the dark noir. If anyone needs a book mentioned in another book prompt idea AND loves classics, this one was chock full because the main character is an English professor. She even name-drops Persuasion, which this book is a modern adaptation of.

Currently reading:
The Secrets of Mary Bowser, which is a novel based on a real person but I've already ticked that prompt. This is an imagining of the life of real Union spy Mary Bowser, who was a freewoman in Philadelphia at the start of the Civil War that returned south and spied on Jefferson Davis, posing as a slave in his household.

The Wedding Date will be started next (I'm almost done with Mary Bowser) and I cannot wait for what I've heard is just an all-around charming book.

Grant. Still.

QOTW: Not much is based around where I actually live, but I'm near enough to Baltimore and there's plenty that takes place there. I enjoy historical books set in the city more because anything modern tends to be by a local author and the local references seem too inside baseball, if that makes sense!

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Christine McCann | 488 comments Hi all! I haven't been reading as much due to rediscovering Hearthstone and getting hooked on Crazy Ex Girlfriend! But I did finish two since my last check-in.


The Hike - this was for *An Allegory* and boy, it really was weird! From my review - Overall, this is like Alice in Wonderland mashed up with The Wizard of Oz and The Odyssey, with touches of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and The Matrix, adapted for screen by David Wong and directed by David Cronenberg.

It was really good. I wish I had just relaxed and enjoyed it more - I was waiting for some kind of "Gotcha!" at the end, but that's not how it plays out. There are certainly revelations, but the story ends in a satisfying, completely earned way.

The Lies of Locke Lamora - I'll use this for *A book about a villain or antihero* or maybe *A book with characters who are twins.*

I wasn't enthralled by this book for the entirety of the first half. It felt . . . serviceable. Kind of interesting world, mildly amusing grifter heroes, but nothing was pulling me along wanting to find out what happens next.

But then the main conflict bloomed, and shit got real in a hurry. I got fully invested, and even bought the audio book so I could make progress faster. I'd say check this out, and realize that the first 40-50% is setting up the chessboard, but it pays off.


The Cuckoo's Calling - I was excited for this, but quickly realized I'm not at all interested in yet another noir story with a detective who's a pathetic mess. Also was really put off by the bit where our hero nearly knocks his new assistant down the stairs and saves her by yanking her back by her breast. Just, WTF, JK? Looks like Middlemarch will be my * book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym*

Fangirl - pretty sure I'm going to be tarred and feathered, but so far I hate all the characters. Cath is such a sad sack, and none of it reads as remotely realistic to me. I'll give it one more chapter, but highly suspect this will be DNF

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Finished Reading:

This Body Won't Break I was tempted to DNF this one, but it wasn't terrible, and I liked one of the characters... Overall, YA dystopian I could see others loving, but didn't quite work for me.

The Fifth Doll (audio book) The writing was just as good as Charlie N. Holmberg's other books, but the premise with the creepy nesting dolls was not something I enjoyed as much as her other books.

A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses This one I really loved, and realized most of the way it fills the twins prompt (we meet the main characters, who are twins, on the first page--I'm a little slow sometimes...).

A Tale of Beauty and Beast: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast Sequel to the one above. This one is told from the other twin's perspective, so it took me a bit to adjust to the new voice, but by the end I loved it just as much. A well done redemption story, in my opinion.

Currently Reading:
The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea This is the previous series written by the author of the two retelling above. I was a little disappointed to jump backwards in her writing progress--her writing has much improved since the beginning! Now that I've adjusted my expectations I think I'll enjoy this one though. And it fits the 'vegetable in the title' prompt.

Shot All to Hell: Bad Ass Outlaws, Gunfighters, and Law Men of the Old West I started this one last night because it's one of the few non-fiction books I'm interested in from Kindle Unlimited, and I'm really trying to read as much as I can from there while I have the trial going, but I also need a break from YA fantasy, which dominates the books I'm interested in from Kindle Unlimited.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (audio book) Ran out of audio books from Kindle Unlimited that I cared about (after the DNF below), so I found one on Overdrive I could check out immediately. Felicia Day is fabulous. That is all.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet (audio book) I think it was just the narrator that kept me from getting into this story, so I'd like to give it another try at some point, reading it for myself.

Like many others have said, what I really love is visiting new places and having new experiences through my reading. One of the things I loved so much about Wonder was getting inside the head of someone that's in a completely different place (in terms of life experiences) than most of the people I get to 'visit' in my reading. (Though, there are limits to that. The only thing that kept me from picking the Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men from First Reads is that I was afraid it would get inside her head too much, and I don't think it's healthy to be too familiar or sympathetic with what goes on in the head of serial killer.)

That said, there is something magical about recognizing a very familiar setting inside a story, and knowing exactly what the character is seeing, with very little description needed. Back when I had a regular roleplaying group we set most of our games (including post-apocalyptic ones) in our town, which cut down a lot of explanation and description needed for setting. Someone could just say "southside" and we'd all know exactly how bad a part of town the character was in.

I'd love to read more about local history too, but the one really popular book about local history in my town is about all the creepy, 'haunted' locations in the area, which is very much not my thing.

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Kerry (euphemy) | 209 comments I read Tell a Thousand Lies originally for prompt 14 - an author of a different ethnicity than you or #30 - a book with characters who are twins. I wasn't crazy about this one as it made the twin who I thought was the more interesting character a villain and the main character seemed a bit whiny for my taste. I gave it 2 stars and it was also repetitive.

I also read Ragnar and the Slave Girls since I'm trying to put a dent in the 1430 books on my kindle. This doesn't fit any particular prompts and I didn't like it either. I'm not into wolf men. LOL I had downloaded it when it was free. I think I downloaded every free book there was at the time I purchased my kindle in 2012.

I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray for prompt #12- a book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist and am 100 pages in. I am actually liking it. This is a hard cover that's the uncensored version I borrowed from the library. There are a lot of notes on almost every page so this version is longer than others.

I also started Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It Not sure what prompt I can use this for.

QOTW: I get a bit excited if I see a book set 50 miles of me since I live in a rural area. It does have to be of interest to me. I don't seek them out though.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Jenn wrote: "This week, not only did I reach my yearly average of read books, but flew past it and it's only MARCH! I feel like I've finally gotten out a reading slump I've been in for years and it feels amazin..."

Breaking out of reading slumps is the best! I finally got back to reading regularly three years ago, and this year my reading is also picking up to much faster rate than it's ever been before. So much fun!

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I finished up some things that I had been reading/listening to for awhile, which felt good! I get antsy if it takes me weeks vs. days to finish a book - even if I am really enjoying it. Does anyone..."

I don't have that exactly the same way, but sometimes even when I'm enjoying a book I'm mentally tracking how much I have left and how fast I'll finish it and be able to move on to something else. Not the most relaxing way to read...

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Laura (laura-wise) | 4 comments Hi, all.
I finished reading Saga, volume 7, this week, which fulfills my book set on a different planet prompt. I am about half way through Sing, Unburied, Sing, which will be my book I meant to get to in 2017. It would also fulfill a book by an author with a different ethnicity than me, but I've filled that already with Phoebe Robinson's book You Can't Touch My Hair. I enjoyed all of these immensely!

I live in New York, so there's no shortage of books set there for me to read. I especially like New York history or books set in 1970s New York. Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach was a perfect read for me.

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Rachelnyc | 186 comments Hello from another snow covered New Yorker!

Finished this week:
The Music Shop I really enjoyed this British novel with quirky characters set in a music shop. I don't know much about music but I did add several songs and musicians to my playlist and enjoyed how the author integrated music into the story.

The Woman in Cabin 10 This one was just ok for me which was disappointing since there seem to be a lot of people who loved it. I found the writing to be repetitive and not always believable but the story itself was compelling enough for me to see it through to the end.

In the Midst of Winter This is the first novel I've read by Isabel Allende and there was a lot I liked including the way she wove historical information about Chile, Brazil and Guatemala into the backstories of the characters but the story itself didn't do too much for me and felt like it was just there in order to flashback to each character's more interesting past. If there are any Allende fans reading this, I would love recommendations on other books of hers I should check out.

Currently reading:

I just started You which is a really creepy but so far intriguing novel from the perspective of a stalker.


I try to read about lots of different places but I live in NYC and have lived in major cities my whole adult life so it's easy (sometimes unavoidable) to come by books set in familiar locations. I especially enjoy reading period books set in NYC, like The Alienist which provided great detail into life here in the late 19th century.

I also can't resist reading pretty much anything set in Paris because it's my favorite city in the world.

message 34: by Carmen (last edited Mar 22, 2018 08:01AM) (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments Greetings from a Dutch spring that doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind haha! "Maart roert zijn staart" and all that. The clock is going forward this weekend so hopefully that means spring will truly start!

I had a brilliant reading week, if I do say so myself. I haven't watched a single episode and my laptop might sue me for negligence any day now, but at least the reading is going well haha

I finished three books this week, bringing my total of books to 22/75 (I upped my goal from 40 to 75 when I hit 50%). For the challenge I'm currently at 15/42 and 4/10. So far there have been two books completely non-challenge, but I'm sure that number will rise. Working in a library is really not a good idea when you're trying to stick to your planned reads haha!

Time Travelling with a Hamster - a book about time travel. Things just worked out with this one because I wasn't really looking forward to read Outlander, and this book is one of my favorite reads of the year. It's a children's book, but I loved every second of it, so would definitely recommend, especially if you have kids, so you can enjoy it together. Of course it would also work for the prompt with animal in the title. Just, love all around for this book!

Aldus Sybren - a problem facing society today. Perhaps that is a stretch, but I'm not very good with reading books that aren't for a challenge. I still intend to read THUG, but at least this book now served a purpose. I was really excited about it, as it's about a 28 year old gay trans guy, coming back to the Netherlands after having lived in the States for 20 years, after getting divorced, to make a brand new start as his new true self. When I found out the author was trans himself I got even more excited, but instead it just fell flat. He just seemed to always be whining and never be happy. My brain also kept forgetting he was a guy, because the way his thoughts were written was what I'm used to reading in novels with women who are always complaining and worrying and never happy etc etc. Terrible, as he's a trans guy, but true nonetheless. He also seemed ashamed to be trans, not telling anyone, keeping it under wraps even for his best friends, not wanting it to get out at all, yet worrying if they knew. I had a lot of issues with his character, but perhaps I've just been lucky to have amazing trans friends who are more confident and sure in who they are. I also read My Ladybird Story earlier this year which was just an absolutely amazing story about a woman's journey from discovering she's a woman, to becoming a woman on the outside. Add to that the stunning fanfics I've read dealing with trans characters at any point during their journey and this book was just a disappointment. I loved Jan and Olivier though! They made up for a lot. This book hasn't been translated into any languages so unless you speak Dutch you have nothing to worry about heh.

Autisme en eetproblemen - non challenge. I read this last night, after finishing Aldus Sybren, as it's only 126 pages. I struggle with food a lot, being hypersensitive to all my senses, so I was very interested in learning about it and finding tips and tricks to improve. Unfortunately what the back didn't mention was that this book focused on children. On top of that I disagreed with some of the author's notions, and he seemed to focus on children with more severe autism, instead of also mentioning children who have a lighter form (if you want to use such terms) but still struggle with food. The theory in the first half was great, the second half.. not so much. I had to add this book to goodreads myself as it wasn't on here yet.

Currently reading
Jouw perfecte jaar - non challenge, so far. I haven't started it yet, but when I saw this book come in at work, I had to read it. It's about a guy finding a diary on New Year's Day, filled to the brim with fun appointments and dates and such. The handwriting brings back fond memories, so he is determined to find the person whose diary this is, which he figures can't be difficult when the person has the same kind of organized mind as him. It's a romance according to the library label on the spine, so I am expecting a predictable ending, but I think it might just be what I need right now, so fingers crossed! It's originally a German book, and translated into quite a few languages, just not English (yet).

I wouldn't know, to be honest. I live in the south of the Netherlands, and the only book I ever read (fiction, that is) that took place in my town (technically) was a children's book. To be fair I was a child, and it was okay, but that's it. The rest of the country often forgets we exist, so any book taking place in the Netherlands is usually up North, like Amsterdam, Rotterdam (like Aldus Sybren) etc. So for the local author I'm just using a Dutch author, as the furthest away they can be is 3 hours. I will try to get one as close by as possible, which is why I didn't slot Aldus Sybren for that prompt. The book I have planned for that prompt is written by someone from a town/city 1:15 hours away from me, while the author from AS comes from 1:30 hours away. I'm not particularly interested in truly local stories either, though there are a few non fiction stories I would like to know more about.

I do love reading about cities close to my heart, however, especially if I've been there, like London (my true home), Edinburgh (my best friend lives there), and Nottingham (I am a huge Robin Hood geek).

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Susanna Parker Hey all! Despite our snow day yesterday I didn't actually get any reading done. But I did successfully darn my first sock! So instead of two books completed, I just have the one.

Books read: 14/50

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: Um, I freaking adored this book. It started a bit slow for me, but once I really got into it I couldn't put it down. And it was just so damn uplifting, I loved it. This fulfilled prompt #39, a book that involves a bookstore or a library. If you're still looking for a book to fill that prompt, I highly recommend this one!


It's pretty easy to find books set in my area - I live right outside DC, so most US-based political thrillers will at least stop by Washington at some point in the story. It's harder to find books set in my actual town. Probably why I was so freakin charmed by The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants back in high school - it is set my hometown, and I loved recognizing landmarks, streets, and stores.

message 36: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6309 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I finished up some things that I had been reading/listening to for awhile, which felt good! I get antsy if it takes me weeks vs. days to finish a book - even if I am really enjoying it. Does anyone..."

Yes! I'm terrible with long books or slow books! I expect to finish a book in less than a week. When it stretches out to multiple weeks, I get very antsy. (Of course there are always exceptions. And I do take longer with audiobooks, because I only listen to them for a short time each day, so I expect them to take theee or four weeks.)

message 37: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6309 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "... The Secrets of Mary Bowser, which is a novel based on a real person but I've already ticked that prompt. This is an imagining of the life of real Union spy Mary Bowser, who was a freewoman in Philadelphia at the start of the Civil War that returned south and spied on Jefferson Davis, posing as a slave in his household..."

Wow!! Have you read An Extraordinary Union?? It's a historical romance, and the heroine is based on Mary Bowser! It's very good, I recommend it (since you like romance - I mean, it's definitely a romance)!

message 38: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments @Lauren, the peach scene is in the movie, but it doesn't take it as far as the book did! And it's not nearly as graphic as the book either, in general, so it might still be worth checking out ;)

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Kenya Starflight | 660 comments Jess wrote: "Hello from sunny London. After the horrendous snow we had last weekend (at least by London standards) I'm hoping that spring has finally sprung.

I've finished one book this week [book:Boy, Snow, B..."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who couldn't get into "Boy, Snow, Bird"! As you said, the twist in the end felt completely out of the blue. I don't mind a twist in a book, but it has to make sense -- I don't want to feel like M. Night Shylaman jumped out of the pages and yelled "WHAT A TWIST" at me. (Yes, I'm implying Shylaman has kind of ruined storytelling by making the "obligatory out-of-nowhere twist" pretty much standard by this point...)

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Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1183 comments Jess wrote: "I'm not too fussed about contemporary books set in London because they are not a novelty. I do, however, enjoy reading historical books set in London because I like to see what was there in previous centuries...."

I'm really nonplussed by London as a setting now and I don't even live there. I used to like them when I was much younger as I thought London was exciting, but I've grown old and boring and have no desire to move there any more. It does seem to be the default setting for half of UK contemporary fiction. Closely followed by the Londoner who moves to the country trope. Understandable since publishing is so London-centric but still ;)

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Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments @Jenn: same! I never understood how people could read 75-100 books a year, if not more, but now I might actually be able to join them. It feels so good to be reading again, even if it means I get behind with other things heh

@Elizabet: S A M E. I am a fast reader, so when a regular book takes me ages to read.. Like I don't necessarily mind taking longer to read something if it's a really heavy subject (i took months to read/finish NeuroTribes, though that was too long even for me haha). Usually I finish a 300-400 page book in two days, three days tops, so when it takes longer I'm immediately on edge.

message 42: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hello, everyone! This week flew by! I finished one book and made good progress on two others:

Rebecca (also a stage play - and also a movie, but the prompt didn't mention movies) - Wow. Just wow. I thought it was amazing. I had seen the movie but even so I was completely drawn in. The book is better than the movie and less forgiving of the characters.

Still reading Shakespeare's Wife (anti-hero) at a chapter-or-two-a-day pace. Really enjoying it.

Also still reading A Gentleman in Moscow (celebrity book club). It's an easy read but I'm getting tired of it. I'll be glad when I'm done.

Question of the week

I love to read books that take place where I live! I am currently living in San Francisco, so there are lots of books that take place here and I enjoy the local color. My father was in the military so I moved around a lot growing up and reading books that take place where I used to live brings back lots of memories. Much of my adult life I lived in the midwestern town where the Supreme Court case that confirmed the separation of church and state originated and I read a book about it, One Woman's Fight. It was fascinating to read about people who still lived in town.

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Dani Weyand | 299 comments Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: "Fangirl - pretty sure I'm going to be tarred and feathered, but so far I hate all the characters. Cath is such a sad sack, and none of it reads as remotely realistic to me. I'll give it one more chapter, but highly suspect this will be DNF..."

I read this for a previous challenge and while I liked the writing and wanted to know where it went, I thought Cath was just pathetic. And I could deal with the blatant rip off Harry Potter until one of the characters mentions Harry Potter, meaning both series exist in the same universe and it annoyed me more than I care to admit.

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Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Carmen wrote: "i took months to read/finish NeuroTribes, though that was too long even for me haha..."

That's another take on books-where-you-live. The author of NeuroTribes lives in my neighborhood and moderates the local Facebook group I belong to. I've been wanting to read NeuroTribes but what if I don't like it? The author is such a nice guy!

message 45: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments @Cheri I feel that so hard! It gets even worse when they’re on GR and check reviews. Like, I don’t want to hurt their feelings haha!

message 46: by Robyn (last edited Mar 22, 2018 09:20AM) (new)

Robyn Hendrix | 19 comments My updates from March in general:

Two authors / recommended by someone else doing the challenge: I was up late last night listening to the end of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Thanks to everyone who recommended it, it was charming and wonderful, especially with multiple narrators for various characters.

For next in a series: I finished the audiobook of La Belle Sauvage which I loved, not surprising since the His Dark Materials series for which it is a prequel is one of my all time favorites. Absolutely enthralling.

And I read The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris for the antihero category. It was enjoyable but the characters were a bit detached. I think I would have gotten more out of it if I had read/watched other norse mythology stuff recently so that I had more context. If you haven't heard / don't remember the heroes' perspective, the antihero telling his side of the story is kind of confusing.

About to start We Are Okay by Nina LaCour next.

Total books read in 2018: 13
Challenge prompts complete: at lest 13, haven't decided whether to count books for more than one yet.

message 47: by Jacque T (new)

Jacque T | 54 comments Hello from sunny West Texas. Definitely feels like Spring here.

It was a good reading week for me, finishing 6 books (albeit 2 of them children's books). Three were for the challenge:

My Life on the Roadfor a book about feminism. I listened to this on audio and kept forgetting that it was Debra Winger's voice not Gloria's. I enjoyed it.
The Minority Report for the cyberpunk prompt, recommended by a few here. Sci-fi is not my thing at all, but this was short enough with enough action to hold my interest. Did not convert me to a fan.
The Unbreakable Code for next in a series. Read this straight through in 2 1/2 hours. I really enjoyed it, maybe even more than the 1st book in the series Book Scavenger. It's fun because my teens also enjoy these books, so we can read them together. Definitely YA in scope and writing, but totally entertaining.

Finished, but not part of Popsugar challenge:
Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole a book about Antarctica for my Around the World Challenge
Me Llamo Gabriela/my Name Is Gabriela: La Vida de Gabriela Mistral / The Life of Gabriela Mistral, children's book set in Chile about Nobel-prize winner Gabriela Mistral. Cute. For Around the World Challenge.
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq children's book set in Basra Iraq for around the world challenge.

Continuing to read:
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the Worldmay just be for my reading of strong women in Women's History month
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania for book set at sea and because I have a fascination with the Lusitania.

QOTW: I do enjoy books set where I'm from (lived a few places) or where I've traveled because it allows me to indulge memories of the places, but I don't necessarily seek them out. I am trying to read my way around the world, so I don't revisit too many places (unless it involves school books for kids).

message 48: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 428 comments I've managed to do some reading. It snowed all day yesterday here like much of the east coast but here it melted as it hit so no accumulation so I got off light.

For the prompt A book about feminism - I read Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times by Vicki Leon I remember these books being much better. They're designed to be bon mots, no more than two pages on any one woman to whet the appetite and get you looking for more but the humor seemed forced and almost inappropriate or maybe I've change in the 20 years since I last read one of these. There are better books for this challenge.

For the prompt A book set on a different planet I read Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth and loved it. It's a close person Sci-Fi, so yes big planetary stakes but the driving force are the characters so it felt much more intimate. I can't wait to read the next in the series. Also this would work for the LGBT prompt (and would be an #ownvoices book)

And from the advanced list A book recommended by someone else taking the PopSugar Reading Challenge I read Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch (also known as Rivers of London, no clue why it had to be changed in America) And I recommend this as well. It was such a fun urban fantasy. Loved Peter new to the police force, even newer to magic. I've had this on my TBR pile for a few years because friends insisted I read it. I should have listened to them sooner.

QOTW Yes as much as I love reading about new places, I love seeing things in places I've lived as well. The caveat is, if the author changes things radically to suit their story or write it so you can't even tell where it's set in spite of it supposively being set somewhere specific I'm less forgiving if I know the place.

message 49: by Emma (new)

Emma | 96 comments Hello everyone.

I read 2 books this week, The Minority Report which is really a short story. I’m counting it for the cyberpunk prompt, though I know there’s debate over whether it qualifies. I may go back to that prompt later in the year to find something more generally accepted as cyberpunk though to be honest it’s not a genre that holds much interest for me so we’ll see. I didn’t hate The Minority Report, but I’m not desperate to return to the genre either.

Old Rose and Silver which I’ll use for my favourite colour prompt. I love both Rose pink/gold and silver. This is an old book, written 1909, that I came across in the free/public domain books in kindle. Lots of flowery writing that had me rolling my eyes a little, but overall I did find it quite charming.

I’m still working through David Copperfield on audiobook.

QOTW - I’m not sure I’ve read much set where I live, though there are a few novels I know of. I have read Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is based on Knutsford, a very pretty Town not far from me and where I used to work, though of course it’s fairly unrecognisable from the book these days. I love to read books set in countries/places I’ve visited, especially if I can read them whilst actually there - for example I reread Captain Correlli’s Mandolin whilst on holiday in kefalonia and it made me love the book more.

message 50: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Finished this week
Anne of Green Gables (21. Book with favorite color in title) This was my first time reading Anne of Green Gables and it really was delightful. I wish I had read it as a kid though. I enjoyed it as an adult, but I think I was have been obsessed with it as a kid.

The House on Mango Street (Adv 5. Book with fruit or vegetable in title) I wish I had read this book as part of a literature class because I feel like I would have gotten more out of it if I had been able to discuss and analyze it. However, I did enjoy it and found it interesting and well written.

We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories (40. Popsugar prompt from 2016 - book written by a celebrity) Listening to celebrity memoirs on audiobook is one of my guilty pleasures, and I had high expectations for this one because I had heard good things about it, but unfortunately I didn't love it. There were moments that I really liked and found compelling and honest, but there were also a lot of moments that were just too crass for my taste. (For what it's worth, my favorite celebrity audiobook so far was Andy Cohen's Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture.)

Challenge progress
18/52 (17/42, 1/10)

Currently reading
At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68 (3. Next book in series)
March: Book Three (18. book by two authors)
Angle of Repose (36. book set in decade I was born) This book was written in and takes place in the 1970's.

I have lived my whole life in the Phoenix area (except for a few years in college) but I have not read many books set here. The only one I can even think of is Jodi Picoult's Vanishing Acts, and it was fun to read in the story about some of the places I'm familiar with. I think I'm more drawn to reading about places I haven't been so that I can learn about them, and then I love visiting those settings later.

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