Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 20: 5/11 – 5/17

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message 1: by Sara (last edited May 17, 2018 04:31AM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Hello all! Summer weather is here in Virginia with several days in the 90s already (blech) and I know many people are starting to build up their summer reading plans (sorry for those of you in the southern hemisphere).

**Admin Stuff**

May group read of Turtles All the Way Down is still in progress if you’d like to join in.
Next up is June’s group read of Middlesex with discussion leader Laura! July (The Woman in Cabin 10) and August (The Night Circus) are still looking for discussion leaders. Selected books and leaders are all listed here


Books finished:
FINALLY I have some completions to report after a couple of slow weeks.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – I listened to this on audio. The narration was fantastic, but it just didn’t hold my interest. It works for a book with a time of day in the title.

The Silver Shoes: A Novel by Jill G. Hall– This was an advanced copy of a dual timeline book – one storyline set in 1920’s New York and the other set in current times San Francisco/New York/Michigan. I think this story had potential and I enjoyed the characters. It was missing a good connection between the two stories, and the ending just kinda…ended. Not a bad read though. I’m using this for a book with my favorite color in the title.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon– reread of a favorite book. Not counting towards my challenge.

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett - It just wouldn’t be spring without a reread of one of my favorite books! Not counting towards my challenge.

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff – I did a quick reread of this gem after recommending it to a friend the other day. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. Phoebe decides to quit her job at an auction house to pursue her dream of opening a vintage clothing shop in London. There are fabulous descriptions of vintage clothing, her attempts at pursuing a relationship and a very touching story from WWII. Not counting towards my challenge although I’m tempted to bend my “no rereads” rule and use it for set in a country that fascinates me. We’ll see how the year goes :)

Currently reading:

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck. This is another advanced copy. It’s been pretty good so far. Another dual timeline, but this time the historical plotline is late 1800’s South Carolina towards the end of the American revolutionary war. I don’t currently have this planned for any particular slot.

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller. Fancy Boston pastry chef ends up in a small inn in Vermont and hijinks (I assume) ensue. Feels like a Hallmark movie complete with lots of quirky characters.

17/40 & 3/10

Question of the week:

As I said at the opening, summer reading is nearly upon us, and the web is exploding with summer reading suggestions. Here are a few if you’re interested:
1. Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge for those of you who can’t get enough reading challenges! There’s a beginner level and an expert level. Goodreads also has several lists of summer reading recommendations

2. Modern Mrs. Darcy has also released her annual summer reading guide and she has put out a list of 20 of the most anticipated summer book releases that didn’t quite make her 2018 guide.

3. Elle Magazine has also put out a list of summer books

What does reading look like for you in the summer months? Are you poolside while your kids splash around? Stretched out on the beach getting some sun while you read? Or sitting in the air conditioning staying away from sunburn and mosquitos?

Are there any particular books releasing this summer that you are looking forward to?


I’m pretty open about my dislike of summer – too hot, too many bugs, sunscreen and sunburn – but I do love the wonderful lists of new releases to tempt me into indulging. I have added quite a few new books to my already abundant tbr list due to all the hot summer releases.

A few books I can’t wait to read (release dates are for US):

Us Against You by Frederik Backman – sequel to Beartown. Releases June 5th.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza – Indian-American family saga. Releases June 12th.
That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam. A white mother adopts the African American son of her own son’s nanny after she dies.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin – I always think of this author as the queen of chick lit, but it sounds like she’s taking her turn at a timely and touchy topic. This sounds like the “inappropriate photo” version of Beartown. Releases June 26th.


message 2: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 120 comments Hello from Brisbane Australia. It was a pretty slow reading week this week. I got watching Eurovision last weekend (and preparing for Eurovision parties) and basically the whole weekend was taken up with it. I only finished the following:

True History of the Kelly Gang (A book on a villain or anti-hero). In Australia, when you think of anti-heros, Ned Kelly is the one that comes most to mind. He has been immortalised in art and movies. I thought the book was ok and gave me some information about the time I was not aware of.

Currently reading:
The Bourne Identity ( a book set in the decade you were born – 1970s) This is not a genre I read a lot but I am really enjoying this.

Whistling For The Elephants (book with an ugly cover). Not entirely convinced by this book. I am half way in and I am not following what is happening.

Hopefully I will get a bit more of a chance to read this week.

QOTW. I am in the Southern Hemisphere so it is more about finding a warm space to read. :-)

Not aware of any books coming out that grab me a the moment.


message 3: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Good morning from Columbus! Summer break is so close I can almost taste it. I’m looking forward to not having to be anywhere early in the morning unless I want to be there. I feel like I’m majorly slacking with the challenge prompts. I keep reading things that don’t work in any of my available slots. But hey, it’s May and I have plenty of time!

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Tastethis was a nonfiction that I think I can work into the micro history category. It’s written my MFK Fisher’s great nephew about how the time Fisher, Child, and Beard spent in Provence profoundly influenced American cooking (the title is very descriptive lol). This was a new book club’s pick. It’s hosted by my favorite cafe so they tend to pick food related stuff. I love Julia Child and will read pretty much anything about her. If it’s a topic that interests you, it’s most definitely worth the read.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer Working my way through the Fredrik Backman collection. This one was a short story, mostly about family relationships and dementia. It seems this author is pretty fond of The topic of aging and grief. The story was sweet and sad. Can especially hit home if you have personally dealt with a loved one suffering from dementia. This one only took less than an hour to finish so I really liked it for that, I don’t think I could deal with the whole book on that topic right now.

Truth and Beauty Another book by Ann Patchett. This one is nonfiction about her relationship with Lucy Grealy. I’m actually not very familiar with Grealy as a person or an author. She was a bit before my time. The book is well written, and makes me want to look into Grealy’s memoir. It was an interesting look into the early career of an author I really like, but I read that this book was not appreciated by Grealy’s sister. I can see why (writing about a person who can’t respond), but I thought it was an interesting read nonetheless

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish for as many times as I’ve read hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, I never have made it past the first two books until this year. I was kind of disappointed that the subsequent books aren’t nearly as funny as the first, but I still really enjoyed reading about that universe and characters. Like, these last two books really heavy emotionally. Not Room heavy or We Need to Talk About Kevin heavy, but not nearly as light hearted as the first book.

Mostly Harmless What the hell, Douglas Adams. Now I can see why he wanted a sixth and I’m desperate to read the book whatshisname wrote as the final installment to not leave those characters off with such a bleak ending. Still a solid 4 star read, but that didn’t need to be so… bleak.

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver This is the last Ruby Oliver book written by E. Lockhart(who also wrote We Were Liars). I read the first Ruby book in high school, I didn’t realize it ended up being a quartet so here I am a 30 year old mom reading the epitome of high school drama books. It’s most definitely juvenile but I loved it when I was 17. Really nostalgic, sweet and funny. I kinda wonder what Ruby would be doing now, since she’d be around my age. Am I the only one who thinks about that haha. There are several characters that I occasionally think about and wonder what happened in their lives as they grew up.


So this brings me to 32/40; 1/10 with 83 books read this year.

QOTW: it’s usually me listening to audiobooks while we drive to various things. There’s not a lot of poolside reading since my younger is 3 and not to be trusted.


message 4: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Also Marisha Pessl has a new book Neverworld Wake coming out in June and I’m so pumped. Her two books are seriously some of my favorites.


message 5: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 17, 2018 05:03AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6918 comments Mod
Happy Thursday! It's really spring now! We have had lovely spring weather in central NY: a few hot and humid days, a few cool and rainy days, a few days of "everything weather," and a few perfect days. I hate mowing the lawn but I love the spring flowers, so it's a mixed blessing.

This week I finished six books, one of them for this Challenge, I am now 39/50.

Not Quite a Lady - historical romance by the wonderful Loretta Chase - this was a delight! I checked off "one of the seven deadly sins (lust)" in AtY.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue - this was disappointing, but still pretty good (I had ridiculously high expectations!). This would have been a good choice for last year's category, "about immigrants."

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - I've been wanting to read this for years, I put it in my list of books I MUST read in 2018, and ... I REALLY didn't like this. I had no idea how juvenile the writing would be! Not my style, but I can see why other people loved this.

Captain Marvel, Volume 1: In Pursuit of Flightgraphic novel by Kelly Sue DeConnick - this was okay, but I've come to expect great things from DeConnick, and this was good but not great.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller - another disappointment! (When it rains it pours?). I checked off "set at sea" with this book. I'm not sure if I'll read the sequel.

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams - this was entertaining but uneven. I checked off "warm atmosphere" in AtY (it doesn't get any warmer than the beach in Florida in June, right?!) Of course this turned out to be a bit of a hard-boiled mystery/suspense story, so it wasn't a warm family saga that I think was intended by the Challenge. Oh well!


QOTW
I do create summer reading list for myself! I even have a bookshelf I maintain on GR to track it. I usually only read a fraction of what I put on that shelf, but that's okay, the point here is to have options, not to finish the list. I don't focus on new releases especially (although all year long I do make it a point to read new releases), and often other people's "summer reading" lists don't work for me at all. I don't read chick-lit very often, and for some reason these lists are heavy on chick-lit.

Since I'm only midway in the full-year challenge, I also don't add any other reading challenges right now, but I always look at the lists, because I cannot resist a list! (going to read those lists right now ...*)

I am very lucky that my mother lives in NJ near the shore, and every August the kids and I spend two weeks down there, so my summer reading list is for beach reads, which means: nothing that requires me to focus too much, because there will be a lot of distractions. I don't like to read the same genre back-to-back, so I mix it up with romances, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, zombies (always at least one zombie book each summer!) maybe a historical fiction, and I usually throw one easy non-fiction in there so I can tell my mother (a huge fan of non-fiction): "I read non-fiction too!" I try to include a book that's actually set at the beach, but that is not essential. Then I put all these books on hold at my library (no e-books at the beach, too hard to read the screen and I don't want to get sand in my device), and whatever comes in on time goes to the shore with me. I usually manage to read half of them. But it's so nice to see a HUGE pile of books! Even if I know I won't read them all!


*ETA: I really like some of those summer reading challenge categories, and I hope they show up again in next year's Popsugar list!!!

There's only one title from that GR list of new summer releases that I'm likely to really jump on:
A Reaper at the Gates



message 6: by Kristina (last edited May 17, 2018 05:09AM) (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 111 comments I got three books completed this week.

Undeath and Taxes (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, #2) by Drew Hayes Undeath and Taxes for my "next book in a series". I'm totally loving Fred.

American Pharoah The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise by Joe Drape American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise for "book involving a sport" This was a good quick read, especially for a category I was not looking forward to.

Mort (Death, #1; Discworld, #4) by Terry Pratchett Mort for "book involving Death or Grief". This may not have been the kind of book they meant when they created the challenge but still...


I had several books I tried to start but just could not do it. And all for the same category "book with a fruit or vegetable in the title".

A Clockwork Orange and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. I attempted both as audibooks and for various reasons found that they just didn't work for me.

Currently reading:

Agent to the Stars for "book recommended by someone taking the challenge"

Amish Zombies from Space for "book that takes place on another planet"

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper for (hopefully) "book with a fruit or vegetable in the title"

American Godsfor "an allegory"

QOTW

I can't say that my summer reading looks at all different from my rest of the year reading. I always have at least 2-3 books going. About the only difference is that I might sit outside in the evening and read instead of curled up inside and read.


message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nadine wrote: "I don't read chick-lit very often, and for some reason these lists are heavy on chick-lit. "

I agree. I'm picky about my chick lit and most of it doesn't interest me. I guess people find it to be the right kind of light read for the beach? The lists seem to have a pretty good mix of different types (at least it appears that way to me). Not all chick lit :) Hope you find something that peaks your interest!

And so completely jealous of your two weeks at the beach every summer!


message 8: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1264 comments Not much reading for me over the past week. I went to a food festival and the weekend and did a bunch of garden stuff...and then we got to the end of the available episodes of The Good Place and we're back to not having something to watch when we can't be bothered picking a film. Choosing is so hard!

I read SLAY which was quick and fun, about a boyband who slay demons. I'm going to use it for ugly cover, it's not the worst in the world by a long stretch, but it put me off buying a paper copy.

I've also read a chunk of The City of Lost Fortunes which is an urban fantasy set in New Orleans. I like the concept but it's not really holding my attention at the moment. It's for review and I don't think it fits any challenges...

QOTW:
Summer reading is the same as winter reading for me. I might read more outdoors but I am super pale and have no natural sun protection in my skin, so I don't spend hours lying around outside.

We go to the beach all year round, to walk the dog and let her swim in the sea, it's about a half hour walk to the nearest bit of (quiet) coast from where we live. So beach time is not a summer thing to me. I can't think of anything worse than packing myself onto a busy beach with thousands of other people, how would you concentrate on your book? Hang on, is that why people always call easy books beach reads?

A few new releases I'm looking forward to reading over the next few months include:

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill
The Changeling by Victor Lavalle
White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman


message 9: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments This week I finished Henning Mankell's Faceless Killers for Nordic Noir. It was not nearly as graphic as I expected from this genre, which was good, but I still don't think the genre is for me.

I'm currently reading Nicole Dennis-Benn's Here Comes the Sun, Madeline Le'Angle's A Wrinkle in Time, and Shilpi Somaya Gowda's Secret Daughter.

This summer I am looking forward to Backman's Us Against You and to Katherine Arden's conclusion to The Winternight trilogy.


message 10: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1264 comments Nadine wrote: "Since I'm only midway in the full-year challenge, I also don't add any other reading challenges right now, but I always look at the lists, because I cannot resist a list! (going to read those lists right now ...*)..."

This! I looked at them yesterday and I was all ooooh, challenges! And then I reined myself in because I can't add another one to my plate. I'm having enough trouble matching books I want to read now to prompts as it is.


message 11: by Anne (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 34 of 50 down.

Completed:
28) For my song lyrics prompt, I read In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming. Who doesn’t love Christmas carols? This is a mystery based on the premise that a female Episcopal priest, who is a former Army employee, teamed with the chief of police track down a young mother’s murder.

For personal pleasure, I read Brian Kilmeade’s new biography on Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny Great battle details, but also lots of reference to dysentery for the weak of stomach.

I continued on my cleansing reads with Anchor in the Storm– a Christian romance that featured a physically handicapped young woman in World War II. So refreshing to see the differently abled portrayed as competent and capable and deserving of love!

Currently reading:
26.) For an animal in the title, I selected a memoir of a Russian Jew whose family moved to the United States when he was a small boy and his returning to retrace his footsteps and better comprehend the situation.A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir

For a different challenge, I’m working through John Grisham’s Sycamore Row. It’s a legal drama set in 1988, as a sequel to his A Time to Kill. For my graduation book, I read Scott Turow’s The Burden of Proof, which was written in 1990. The difference in writing is quite telling – Grisham is far more my speed and I wish I had selected A Time To Kill as a reread.

QOTW - Summer releases that excite you
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (The Woman in Cabin 10), Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter


message 12: by Brittany (last edited May 17, 2018 06:26AM) (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Hi All!

Well, the humidity has officially returned to the Gulf and we've been running the A/C for most of the week. I had a decent reading week, finishing off 3.5 books. I'm now at 38/52 completed. I've decided to do the all 3 years from prompt #40 to bring the challenge to 52 prompts total. I'm officially getting to the point where I'm having trouble finding books which interest me which also fulfill the prompts.

To start I read, The Lies of Locke Lamora which I loved. I thought the world building was excellent and I really got to know and love the characters. It's basically about a world where half the population is part of a community of thieves! There are multiple different gangs which all specialize in different types of thefts. It was totally what I was looking for and I'll be searching out the sequel. I found this book on Amazon and decided to use it for the ugly cover prompt since I thought the cover was pretty gross and my library was showing it had a copy in stock. Imagine my surprise when I got to my library and found out the version they had ended up having a different and entirely unoffensive cover. Go figure. I'm still counting it though. :) Could also count for a story with a Heist and book with twins (there are 2 sets).

I read I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer next for the True Crime prompt. I picked this one since I heard they caught the guy who did all the rapes and murders a few weeks ago and also because I had heard of the author before (Patton Oswalt's deceased wife). This book was really interesting and creepy all at the same time. The author passed away before the book was finished so her colleagues finished it up using her notes. There were a few things that could have been a little better but I think most was simply because she wasn't the one to finish it. Still excellent read! Totally recommend this one.

I DNF'ed my original choice for a book with a fruit or vegetable in the title which was Blood Oranges. I got about 90 pages in and then realized that I really hated the main character. The premise was about a junky who is also monster-hunter (vampires, demons, ghouls, etc) who gets attacked and bitten by both a werewolf and a vampire in the same night. I just did not connect with this character at all. She really had no redeeming characteristics and I just felt myself wondering why I was going to continue reading when I honestly hoped she would die. I wasn't interested in seeing her grow as a character and honestly it didn't seem likely. I gave myself permission to abandon it.

I ended up replacing Blood Oranges with The Coincidence of Coconut Cake which is a chick-lit book about a restaurant owner/chef who gets a terrible review from a restaurant critic on what is basically the worst night of her life. Naturally, they end up meeting and without realizing their connection to each other (and agreeing to not talk about what they do for a living) they agree to meet up so she can show him the city. As you can imagine the plot was super predictable. I ended up giving this story a 1 star review as I disliked it so much (very unusual for me when it comes to chick-lit). If you want to visit Milwaukee however it's worth a read as about 40% of the story is a fawning review of the city, which was my main issue with the story. Not all was lost though as my husband and I did have an interesting discussion regarding a coconut's status as a fruit (vs a seed or a nut). I think I should just stay away from books with fruits in the title!

On deck for next week I'm reading Dragonflight, A Fatal Grace, The Golem and the Jinni, Uprooted and Black Orchid Blues.

QOTW
My summer reading looks pretty much like my Spring/Fall/Winter reading but that's mainly because I don't have any children and I don't really have any groups I'm involved in. I did enjoy reading through the Goodreads post with the employee picks for the summer and there were a few that caught my eye and got on my TBR list. Mainly Spinning Silver (you'll notice her other book Uprooted I picked up from the library to read this week) and I might check out The Immortalists. Other than that I'm staying inside where it's cool! I will probably end up doing the GoodReads challenges but I will do those after I finish PopSugar. Although, maybe having another challenge will help since I haven't been finding good matches to my remaining prompts.


message 13: by Anne (new)

Anne Brittany wrote: "Hi All!

Well, the humidity has officially returned to the Gulf and we've been running the A/C for most of the week. I had a decent reading week, finishing off 3.5 books. I'm now at 38/52 complete..."


I have The Coincidence of Coconut Cake as my fruit or vegetable after reading and despising The Beet Queen which I ended up putting in the LGBTQ category. Maybe I need to keep digging for a fruit or veggie.....


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments Happy Thursday! I had a better week health-wise. My allergy medicine has finally kicked in and my constant headaches are finally gone. But I didn't have a great reading week. Sadly, I didn't finish any books. Although, I did make progress on the doorstop fantasy novel I'm currently reading.

Reading
The Map of All Things - My goal is to have this finished by the time I leave for vacation (not this Saturday, but the next one) because I do not want to lug this 650 page book with me. I have some books waiting for me on my Kindle and that's all I want to take. I'm about halfway through and I'm going to devote a lot of time to reading this weekend so I think it's a realistic goal.

QOTW
I'm not a fan of summer. I stay inside in the air conditioning as much as possible. I will venture outside for something really special like a wedding or festival. And swimming! If I'm near a swimming pool I will slather on the sunblock (I'm pale and covered in freckles) and happily stay outside all day. I love swimming!

I don't have a special summer reading list. I don't have summers off anymore so I don't see the point in waiting to read certain books until summertime. I just continue on with my regular TBR list.


message 15: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Morrison | 145 comments Hi Everyone

I finished 3 books this week:

The Hopeful for #19. I don't usually read sports stories but this one a very interesting read. It was about an injured figure skater and was told through sessions with her psychiatrist and a flashbacks. A lot of heavier topics (addiction and mental illness).

After Tupac and D Foster was for #39. It was a short little coming of age story that also had snippets of the life of Tupac and how his music and death influenced the main character and her two friends.

I finished When Dimple Met Rishi last night to fulfill #14. It was a pretty predictable YA love story, but it was cute and well written and I needed something like that as I feel like I have been reading a lot of heavier books lately.

QOTW
The summer book release I am most looking forward to is Bruja Born. I read the first book of the series Labyrinth Lost earlier this year and really enjoyed it (YA fantasy is one of my favorite things).


message 16: by Brooke (last edited May 17, 2018 06:04AM) (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Hi everyone! Summer has been here in Texas for a couple of weeks, but up until today it has been bearable. Today is a bit more muggy and tomorrow we are expected to break a record, so I hope this isn’t an indication of how the rest of the summer will be. I don't have a summer vacation planned yet which feels weird, but my boyfriend and I are talking about going somewhere in July/August. I'm going to spend the next 10 days figuring out a few options. The only 2 requirements are that the destination must have a beach and it must be outside of the U.S.

I read 1 book that I’m counting for Popsugar this week, so I’m at 29/52 for this challenge.

Books I finished:
For Popsugar
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert for a book with alliteration (21). This was way too Hallmark-movie-of-the-week and predictable for me. There were no surprises, but at least a couple of the characters were great, and I enjoyed the descriptions of Milwaukee and food. I guess even for a well-written palate cleanser I need something with a little less saccharine. LOL

For other challenges
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. This memoir is darker than I expected it to be, but I admire Levy for being so honest. She talks about her parents’ non-traditional relationship, her career and what she did to make her mark in such a competitive industry, her marriage and all the issues within it and her miscarriage. That section was absolutely heartbreaking, but she did a great job telling that part of her story.

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris. I started this last year and only made it through about 50 pages before I got distracted and forgot about it. Oops. I picked it up again this week and finished it. Switching back-and-forth from hard copy to audiobook helped. I like Sedaris. This was a great peek into his thoughts since the entire book is excerpts from his diaries and various notes he’s written to himself.

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher. This is #3 in the Harry Dresden series and my favorite to date. I’m glad I stuck with the series after being a bit disappointed in the first 2 books. The action begins on page 1 and doesn’t stop until the end. I’ll definitely read the next in the series to find out what else happens to Harry.

I am currently reading:
Shark Skin Suite by Tim Dorsey for a book with an animal in the title (26). Just started this last night so I don't have any impressions yet.
The Designer by Marius Gabriel for novel based on a real person (6). Really enjoying this so far.

QOTW: My concentration in general isn’t as great as it is in the rest of the year, and it gets even worse when I am at the beach or pool. As a result I’ll either read lighter books, including some chick-lit if it is well-written and has a little unpredictably, humorous mysteries or thrillers that keep me hooked. I’ll still read the other genres, but it might take me longer than usual to get through a historical fiction or biography. I haven’t paid much attention to upcoming releases lately; I went on a binge recently and am trying to slow down the book purchases. I am running out of room! But 2 I am definitely looking forward to reading are Us Against You and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.


message 17: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments We have a woodpecker this year and he’s loud! That and a restless sleeper kicking me means an early check-in. I hope Kait doesn’t actually wake up early - she’s a grumpy child in the morning to begin with.

I read a lot in the past week, though much of it was pretty short. Several on task for PS, so yay!

You - this is the creepiest audiobook I’ve ever listened to! I was really impressed by how well the story was done and I’m curious as to how it will work in the sequel. This I slotted into the villain/antihero prompt.

Planetfall - I’m not sure I’ve ever read a sci-fi book quite like this - I put it in the prompt set on another planet but it would work as well for mental health. Fascinating book and I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.

84, Charing Cross Road - I can’t believe it took me so long to get to this little gem of a book. I’ve seen it recommended places for years and always imagined it was fiction, but there isn’t an ebook. I decided to request a paper copy from the library and I was surprised to see how short it is! Polished it off during on nursing session with Maddie the other afternoon. Slotted this into my library/bookshop prompt.

Ghosts - not as strong for me as Smile but I enjoyed it. In particular I loved that the book focuses on the relationship of the sisters and examines what it’s like to grow up with a sick sibling. I didn’t like that the ghosts were actively characters. It could potentially work for set on Halloween, since the big party begins at midnight on Halloween, depending on how big a stickler you are. I feel like I keep coming across books that are set the day after Halloween instead of on the day itself, but I’m not super strict about prompts.

Worstward Ho - the 1001 list app allows you to sort the books by length and I thought I’d pick off some low hanging fruit, hence this read. It is weird. More like poetry, I guess, than anything else. I didn’t hate it but also maybe I had no idea wtf was going on. Can’t say I’m pleased to see how much Beckett is on the list after this.

Ajax Penumbra 1969 - poor maintenance of my hold list resulted in this becoming available before the actual book. It was cute but I’m sure would have been better as a folllow up than a preview.

Caín - this went into borrowed/gift prompt because I’m doing a thing where a small group of us is mailing around 1001 list books, writing notes about what we read as we go, and this was my second of them. I liked this so much better than the previous book I’d read by Saramago, The Cave, but I wish he’d just follow normal dialogue conventions already. It’s a funny and somewhat brutal (if you’re religious) take on god and the early stories of the bible.

Presently I’m reading far too many things! Eragon as an audio, which was funny to get into because I happened to glance at the reviews before starting, which I don’t normally do, and man, this book is all five stars and one star reviews. I’ll save my opinion for next week since I have a third to go. I’m alternating Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold with essays from Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, because the latter is too much to read straight through. And all at once I got in two interlibrary loans and the complete Bone: The Complete Edition, which is a lot for me as paper copies go. So far I’m starting with Paradise of the Blind.

QOTW: Early summer for me in the last couple of years is dominated by reading authors coming to Denver Comic Con in June. I definitely read more in the backyard since the girls want to be out playing every day, though I don’t see beaches in our plans this summer. I don’t really have any particular plans to change up what I’m reading once DCC passes. I don’t tend to stay up with what is releasing soon, though I’d guess most of the authors coming to DCC are likely doing so because they have new books out his summer and last year I got a ton of ARCs while I was there.


message 18: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Anne wrote: "Brittany wrote: "Hi All!

Well, the humidity has officially returned to the Gulf and we've been running the A/C for most of the week. I had a decent reading week, finishing off 3.5 books. I'm now ..."


So lots of people have really enjoyed The Coincidence of Coconut Cake so I'm not sure if you should totally discount it. It looks like Brooke (message 16) also read it this week and wasn't crazy about it though.

My biggest issue with it was something Brooke liked about it which is the description of Milwaukee. It's my pet peeve when authors write about places in too specific a way, where you can tell they were locals at one point and are just calling out places they personally love. It also had a lack of conflict so it was just kinda 'meh' to me.

But if you live in Milwaukee or have any interest in visiting it, it might be worth checking this book out since I googled and most of the places she lists are actual places you could visit.


message 19: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments I finished two and started two. I'm on my way for having the best reading month of this year.

Finished The Bookshop on the Corner. This was a cute read. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the audio version. Using for involves a bookstore/library.

Started Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory. I'm slowly chipping away at this one. I read a chapter a day. Its a short read but it is rather depressing to think about so I thought it was best to just read it slowly. Will be used for Micro-history in the advanced section.

Finished Alex, Approximately. This was a cute book. It does remind me of You've Got Mail (the movie). I liked the movie quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Using it for alliteration in the title.

Started The Good Daughter. My co-worker surprised me with bringing in her copy of it. So this will go in book borrowed.

16 Regular, 2 Advanced, 4 Non Challenge. If I was further along in this challenge I would definitely take on the summer challenge. But I have learned from previous years that I'm a one challenge type of girl.


message 20: by Mike (last edited May 17, 2018 06:48AM) (new)

Mike | 443 comments Brooke wrote: "Grave Peril by Jim Butcher. This is #3 in the Harry Dresden series and my favorite to date. I’m glad I stuck with the series after being a bit disappointed in the first 2 books. The action begins on page 1 and doesn’t stop until the end. I’ll definitely read the next in the series to find out what else happens to Harry...

I'm glad you kept at it. The first two in this series are the worst two (IMHO), and they just keep getting better as the series goes along. My favorite scene in any book I have ever read happens in Dead Beat.

All I can say is, Buckle Up!


message 21: by Kenya (last edited May 17, 2018 06:54AM) (new)

Kenya Starflight | 744 comments Ellie wrote: "I read SLAY which was quick and fun, about a boyband who slay demons. I'm going to use it for ugly cover, it's not the worst in the world by a long stretch, but it put me off buying a paper copy."

Okay, SLAY looks like fun! Adding it to my lengthy "to read" list. :D

Also it figures that I'd get books as a gift when I've already finished the "book you borrowed or received as a gift" prompt... I got a late birthday box from a friend that contained several goodies, including two paperback Terry Pratchett books (Mort and Thud!). Ah well... I'll still enjoy them.

Books I finished this week:

The Library at Mount Char -- not for the challenge. Yeesh, this one was DARK, and extremely confusing most of the way through. Things did tie together and (mostly) make sense by the end, but all in all this one feels mostly as setup for a longer series... one I'm not sure I want to continue.

What the Hell Did I Just Read -- not for the challenge. Definitely the darkest of the "John Dies At the End" series, but still enjoyable and still with plenty of humor to keep things from getting too gloomy.

Currently reading:

Dreams of Otherworld -- book by a local author
A Brief History of Time -- not for the challenge
H. P. Lovecraft Complete Collection -- this one's gonna take awhile...

QOTW:

My summer reading will probably consist largely of hacking away at the massive "want to read" list I've built up while doing the Popsugar challenge -- I expect to be done with this challenge pretty soon! Though I'm going on vacation in a few weeks and so expect to whittle down my pile of "raiding the book sale" books a little. XD I almost always take used paperbacks on trips, because it's less heartbreaking to lose a used-book-sale book on a trip than an expensive library book...

The only new release I know of that I'm looking forward to is The Outsider. What can I say, I like King...


message 22: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good morning! I've unfortunately been absolutely crushingly busy this week (and it continues into next) which has undermined my reading time. And the summer reading lists just make me long for a few days at the beach ALONE!

Finished:
Other People's Houses. It was SO GREAT and I was kind of surprised by the tepid reviews. I want to read Abbi Waxman's first novel immediately.

Just One Night, possibly my last Lauren Layne. I liked the first couple of books of hers I read but since then have been so consistently underwhelmed I think I am done with her.

Currently reading:
The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, an arc out in early June. Possibly usable as a microhistory if you squint?

Emma on audio while I do all my driving around to errands and events. It's been quite some time since I read this one!

QOTW: Summer is my most productive reading time even though I don't take massive vacations or anything. I do try to pop down to the beach for long weekends, which involves books, and if I'm home on a holiday I will often huddle up with a stack. I love the Modern Mrs. Darcy recs quite a bit and usually read a few of them.


message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne Brittany wrote: "Anne wrote: "Brittany wrote: "Hi All!

Well, the humidity has officially returned to the Gulf and we've been running the A/C for most of the week. I had a decent reading week, finishing off 3.5 bo..."


Thanks! I'll keep it -- it sounds fluffy and my only 'knowledge' of Milwaukee comes from Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. I'll pull it out after I take on my next dreaded topic -- Cyberpunk. That's probably June. It'll probably read will in comparison.


message 24: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Brittany wrote: "So lots of people have really enjoyed The Coincidence of Coconut Cake so I'm not sure if you should totally discount it. It looks like Brooke (message 16) also read it this week and wasn't crazy about it though. ..."

I can see your point about place descriptions. In this case I thought of Milwaukee as another character in the book.

To me the book was so predictable - I knew everything that was going to happen about 20 pages in - that it was hard to completely enjoy. There needs to be at least one surprise or unpredictable conflict for me to like a book in the chick-lit category. Otherwise it is just cheesy.


message 25: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Mike wrote: "I'm glad you kept at it. The first two in this series are the worst two (IMHO), and they just keep getting better as the series goes along. My favorite scene in any book I have ever read happens in Dead Beat."

I believe it was you who actually inspired me to continue the series! I remember being disappointed after book 2 and wondering where all the Harry Dresden love/hype was coming from. But you said to stick with it, and I'm glad I listened. I think I'll read #4 sometime in June.


message 26: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments I'm in an all day meeting, but taking advantage of a break to check in!

Finished

Head On - Loved it! A great follow-on to the first book, and just a fun easy read. Even though it brings up some significant topics like disability, economics, gender identity, etc. It all serves the plot rather than vice versa.

Dream Country - I hate to say this, but I didn't like this at all. It was just a string of short stories with Dream shoehorned into them, and the art ranged from meh to terrible.

DNF:

Final Girls - I'm not sure why but this was hate on sight for me. Everything about the writing was irritating. Skimming the book, I had a pretty good idea early on whodunit and it was disappointing.

Started:

The Asylum is starting off really promising - creepy and mysterious!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library on audio. It's pretty fun so far, though the reader isn't great. I might switch to reading it instead.

Planned for vacation next week:

I'm excited to start Fight Like A Girl, 84, Charing Cross Road, and A Fatal Grace

QOTW:
As you can see from that list, I don't really have a theme for summer reading. Actually, one of my favorite reading experiences was sitting on the deck of a cruise ship in the Caribbean, reading the dark and eldritch Interlands!


message 27: by Brittany (last edited May 17, 2018 07:32AM) (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Brooke wrote: "I can see your point about place descriptions. In this case I thought of Milwaukee as another character in the book."

That's a good way to look at it. I like stories to completely take me away and so when authors get too detailed about real places or start mentioning celebrities or actual song titles it just kind of irks me.

I totally agree about the predictability though! I easily thought that book would have been 100 times better if there was more conflict. Like if she already knew he was the critic when they met there would have been a lot more challenges to overcome and unlikely things that could have happened.

PS. to anyone reading our conversation none of the stuff we've mentioned is spoilers as it's pretty much all on the book jacket.


message 28: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Hi everyone!

It's nice and summery in Michigan again, but sadly is going to rain a lot this weekend. I was hoping to get to Cedar Point, so crossing fingers the rain moves on!

This week I read:

Purple Hibiscus - This is for my book with my favorite color in the title. I liked it pretty well, but it was kind of dark for the mood I was in. Been reading a little too much heavy stuff lately. It actually reminded me a bit of Song of Solomon which I'd read last week. I liked this one better though, I think I related to the characters more.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Book set in a bookstore or library. I really liked this, it was a fun easy read which I needed. I'm a designer, I appreciated all the font nerdery and such.

Injection, Vol. 3 - Wanted a break so read a comic, this is a fun story about a computer virus interacting with the real world causing supernatural events. I like it.

Currently reading:

The Golem and the Jinni - This will be my favorite past prompt, book from a nonhuman perspective. I really like it so far, although the perspective does shift to some humans that are involved with the Golem and the Jinni. But I think enough is still focused around their perspectives I can count it.

QOTW:

My reading doesn't change that much in the summer, I tend to read first thing in the morning and right before bed, and then whenever scattered through the day. On weekends I might take a book out to the hammock and read in the shade a while. I like the prompts on the summer challenge, but since I'm already doing 3 challenges at once, I'm not going to try to add another.

currently at 34/50 for this one.


message 29: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Happy Thursday, one and all!

I finished one book this week and am halfway through another:

The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam (prompt from 2015 - a book that I haven't read yet by an author I like) - I really enjoyed this. There was not much on why the author chose to leave her atheist upbringing to become a Muslim, but her stories of living in Egypt were fascinating.

A Cold Day For Murder (a book with a weather element in the title) - Currently reading. A friend lists this as one of her all-time favorite books. It's interesting to read about life in rural Alaska, but otherwise I haven't really been drawn into it. It won an Edgar award, so I'm hoping there will be more to engage me soon.

Question of the Week
Can't wait to read Margalit Fox's new book, Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer, which is coming out June 26! Her first book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code, is one of my very favorites and I've read it twice. Her only other book, Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals about the Mind, was also fascinating.


message 30: by Mirel (new)

Mirel | 170 comments Tricia wrote: "Hello from Brisbane Australia. It was a pretty slow reading week this week. I got watching Eurovision last weekend (and preparing for Eurovision parties) and basically the whole weekend was taken u..."

And Good morning Australia! So with you on that. We said we'd only turn on the television to watch the results, but we ended up watching the whole thing, and then watching the after party celebrations here celebrating our win. Got very little sleep Saturday night. Don't know if we had the best song, but I do think that Netta has a certain charm. I like her.


message 31: by Tania (new)

Tania | 574 comments Hello - I finished a few books this week, and made some progress on the challenge. I'm now 32/50.

Finished:
The War in Nicaragua by William Walker - my final push to wrap up this book, I was reading it on and off for a long time. Interesting topic, just a heavy read.

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay - picked this one up off a lending bookshelf and mostly loved it, nice light read to clear my head. Did not love the ending. It would fit the prompt "involving a bookstore or library." I have other plans for that prompt but this is a backup.

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary - a reread from my childhood, used for another challenge

Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir by Mary Higgins Clark - another long time TBR for me, covers the life Mary Higgins Clark led up to the point where she became famous, used for another challenge.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - used for celebrity book club book prompt

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - hated it, but it's done. Used for book that is also a stage play prompt.

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman - a dystopian novel, I won this as a Goodreads giveaway, used for another challenge. I liked it, may continue the series.

QOTW: My reading habits don't really change for the summer. I'm not actively looking at any new releases at the moment, focused on the pile of TBR books on my shelf that never seems to get any smaller, lol.


message 32: by Juliet (new)

Juliet | 17 comments Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I kept an update here on my weekly reads, my social issues got the better of me. I'm trying to force myself to not stay too alone, even if it's just on a forum, eh!

I just finished Drop Shot by Harlan Coben for the prompt "a book about or involving a sport" (yeahhh, I'm really not into sports so I had to mix with another genre ^^)

I also read Vernon Subutex, 2 by Virginie Despentes for the prompt "a book by a local author".

Both were, while completely different, great reads.

And that's all for this week. That puts me at 28/40.

QOTW

I don't have specific kinds of books I like to read on the summer but that's probably because I don't go on vacation much! And I don't like the beach, so definitely no beach reads for me, haha. I still need to peruse the releases because nothing has caught my eyes for now.


message 33: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Happy Thursday everyone! This week has been nuts because I'm preparing for my trip to Israel on Saturday and trying to prepare things so that my kids and husband survive while I'm away. But I did manage to read a little.

Finished
Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate I'm using this for the True Crime prompt. Sister Helen Prejean is a hero of mine and I was not disappointed in this book. She does a good job of presenting the issues on both sides of the death penalty debate while still passionately arguing her perspective that the state should not be killing people.

Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The title made me think it was self-help, but it was much more memoir, and focused on parenting her teenage daughters and the loss of her father and close friend. She is a talented writer and I was drawn in from the first page. I'm not using this for the challenge, but it could definitely be used for the death prompt or the published in 2018 prompt.

Challenge Progress
Completed 33/52 (28/42 regular, 5/10 advanced)

Currently Reading
The Thirteenth Tale (Twins prompt) This has been really slow going for me and I'm not sure why. But I will persevere.

Lion: A Long Way Home (Meant to read in 2017)

QOTW
I'm a teacher and I have young kids in school, so the school year is busy for us. The summer is a chance to breathe, sleep in, and READ. I always read more in the summer than during the year. Reading by the pool and/or beach doesn't happen because my youngest is still learning to swim and I live in the desert, but reading does happen in my air conditioned home, at my cabin in the woods, and on airplanes. I'm hoping to get some good reading done on my 10 hour flight this weekend.

I always try to read at least one classic in the summer because I have the time and the mental capacity for it, and this summer I'm planning to read The Woman in White. I'm also looking forward to Us Against You because I love Fredrik Backman, and even though Beartown wasn't my favorite I'm interested to see what he'll do next with the town and characters. And if we count September as summer, I'm also looking forward to Khaled Hosseini's Sea Prayer. I will read anything he writes.


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

Marvel Avengers Alliance (2016) #1 I've dabbled in comics before, but other than the one manga series I started for this challenge, I'm really not used to reading them. I read this because it was free and I needed a quick before bed read on my phone. It suited the purpose, but I feel like I haven't yet really grasped how comics work well enough to enjoy it properly.

Beastly Bones I didn't love this as much as Jackaby, but it was enjoyable.

Educated: A Memoir This is quite a book. I went in a little hesitant, but I'm glad now that I read it.

Currently Reading:

The Gospel Comes with a House Key This is another book that our church is reading together. Very good so far!

Fix, Freeze, Feast: Prepare in Bulk and Enjoy by the Serving, More Than 125 Recipes Almost done with this one!

A Short History of the Girl Next Door I had this down as suggested for the Halloween prompt, but I don't think I'm satisfied with using for that since there's really only the one scene that happens on Halloween. Waiting to see if the end is worth the emotional roller coaster it's putting me through....

When God Says "Wait": Navigating Life's Detours and Delays Without Losing Your Faith, Your Friends, or Your Mind Slowly working through this one. I like the overall message of the book, but disagree with some smaller points, and it makes me very emotional because of the subject matter.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption My current audiobook, and the first one that I'm dabbling in listening at a higher speed. (I accidentally increased the speed a couple times as I was pausing and playing while doing other things, and discovered that it worked okay for this one.) I started it just because it looked interesting and my hold at the library came through, but I'm wondering if it would count for the sports prompt. While most of the book is more about the war than the Olympics, it does seem to be mentioned fairly often as an important part of the main character that he DID compete at the Olympics and has continued athletic aspirations.

QOTW:
This is our second summer in a house after spending the first 6 years of marriage in an apartment, so I'm still trying to remind myself that we have a yard I should use more often. I'm starting to occasionally read on the back deck as the weather's getting nicer, and every once in a while my husband and I might go to the park, throw the frisbee around, and then I read while he runs.

I do mostly just curl up inside and read no matter what the season though.


Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Ellie wrote: "I can't think of anything worse than packing myself onto a busy beach with thousands of other people, how would you concentrate on your book? Hang on, is that why people always call easy books beach reads?.."

I thought I hated beaches until we did an off season beach vacation. Turns out they are quite lovely when you're NOT surrounded by thousands of other people. :-) Sadly, there are no beaches in walking distance here in my part of the Midwest... I'm glad you take advantage of the off-season beach on behalf of all those of us who aren't able to all the time.


Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Brittany wrote: "Brooke wrote: "I can see your point about place descriptions. In this case I thought of Milwaukee as another character in the book."

That's a good way to look at it. I like stories to completely t..."


This is an interesting conversation because I love it when books have accurate details about real places. I get the total escape thing too, but I read a lot of fantasy for that. Books with details about real places are my substitute for the travel that I hope to do more of someday.


message 37: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments This week I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I have been rereading the Harry Potter books slowly since around this time last year alongside the WW Book Club on Pottermore and Twitter. We are supposed to read 5 chapters a week but that would just leave me with one chapter of the book (plus 19 Years Later which I view as an Epilogue) so I just couldn't stop there!

It has been a pleasure to rediscover these books that I loved so dearly as a child and I'm sad that it has come to an end. I started my reread around the 10th anniversary of this book so maybe I should do a similar thing every 10 years.

Apart from that I am still soldiering on with The Power of the Dogm I'm not even half way yet! But I've got a week off work next week so may be able to commit some time to finishing it!

QOTW

In the UK summer is very unpredictable so there's not much poolside reading for me! I love reading outside but I don't have a garden so it can sometimes be tricky. However, when the weather is nice I like to take my lunch and a book outside and spend my lunch break in a nearby park.

I don't really keep up with new releases. I'm sure I will eventually buy these books but I'll probably wait to buy them second hand in a year or so. I'm not particularly fussed with keeping up with the latest reads.


message 38: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments Hello fellow reader,

Spring is here and I love it.

3 books read this week:

The Grand Sophy I had this book since a long time and never read it. It was fun and light. Fits no prompt.

The Rosie Project that a friend recommanded me to read. Also good and I put it in mental health.

Une soeur still no prompt. I read two other graphic novells by this author and loved one so I wanted to try it. Very good also, but fit no prompt.

Still reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. What a long book. And I still don't know if I like it or not. Some pages yes, the rest no. We'll see how the ending go. Don't know if it will fit any prompt.

QOTW: I will mostly read during my break at work since I'll be alone most of the time. During vacation, I will be too busy to read a lot with the activities and the kids having fun.


message 39: by Mirel (new)

Mirel | 170 comments Heat wave here in Jerusalem, but luckily, the computer is in one of the coolest areas in our house. :-)

Finished three books this week:

1) The Hate U Give I think it's a must read for anyone who is not a part of black culture. Fits quite a few prompts. Deals with grief (#10), author is of a different ethnicity (#14), the protagonist is a basketball player (although the book isn't really about the game, the team plays a role.. #19), celebrity book club (#32), Good Reads choice award (#35), AND #9 and 10 in the advanced list. I think I'm going to use it for #35...

2) The Light of the Fireflies hated it. The author writes beautifully, and the first part was pretty gripping and suspenseful, but then everything fell apart for me in the second part, where the author finally presents the back story and left me with more questions than answers and too many things that just didn't make sense to me. Surprised the promo considers the book "hopeful" and that the book got so many good ratings. The book is loaded with villains IMHO (9) deals with grief (10), has a mental health issue, but I would hesitate to use it for that prompt, animal in the title, translated (there's a prompt like that in the 2015 list). Everyone in the book is grieving about something, so I think I'm going to use it for that prompt, so I should at least get something out of it. Bleh.

3) The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness After the previous book, this book was a breath of fresh air. Fun, light read although it did deal with issues of adoption/feelings of abandonment, the meaning of family/different types of family. Don't think this will work for any of the challenges, but it would make for a good, light summer read.

So far 34/40 advanced 4/10

Currently reading: 1) The Catcher in the Rye (would you believe I've never read it?) I've started reading it about a dozen times, but never made it past the first page. This time made it past the first few chapters when the book began literally falling apart in my hands. Have to tape it up before I can continue...
2) Matchmaking for Beginners got this as a Kindle pre read. Cute fluff so far. (so far, only possible prompt is published this year).

3) Still Watersthis I downloaded as an audible, but it won't play more than the first two-three words on any given page, so haven't made much headway yet.

QOTW
I don't think my summer reading has ever been different from my winter reading once I became an adult. Don't know if I'll take on any of the new challenges, even though quite a few of them overlap. Still, I have a book set at sea that I figured I would start next week, and if I did the challenge, I'd have to wait for June... Too complicated.


message 40: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Mirel wrote: "2) The Light of the Fireflies hated it. The author writes beautifully, and the first part was pretty gripping and suspenseful, but then everything fell apart for me in the second part, where the author finally presents the back story and left me with more questions than answers and too many things that just didn't make sense to me. ..."

Yes! I read this last year and had the same thoughts. I actually mentioned this book in the QOTW last week so I hope you didn't pick this one up because of that. I failed to mention that I hated the story by the end and was so confused by the author's choices.


message 41: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 760 comments I just finished listening to A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, and my heart really goes out to her. I understand why some people would lash out at family members of those who commit terrible acts, but I've always found forgiveness to be more healing for all sides, especially when they weren't abusive parents.

I also listened to Children of Blood and Bone which was awesome, and I don't read too much fantasy. I can't wait for the next one!

I read Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done for a book club at work. It was pretty good, and I plan to use the Rule of 3, but the rest of it didn't seem as helpful.

I reread Work Less, Make More now that I'm starting a career with more control over my schedule. Some parts were helpful, but the assumptions about how we make money don't connect for those in government or nonprofit work.

I just started An American Marriage, which I'm really excited about, and I'm still getting through The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear on my kindle.

QOTW:
I don't usually make an official summer reading list, but for the occasional times that I'll be out at a pool or beach over the next few months, it might be nice to choose lighter options, since much of what I read covers dark or painful topics.

And let's not forget that only those of us in the northern hemisphere are headed into summer, I hope we're not making those in the south jealous as they're looking for winter reading! ;)

I'm also looking forward to the sequel for Beartown!


message 42: by Cendaquenta (last edited May 17, 2018 11:12AM) (new)

Cendaquenta | 694 comments Spring has sprung, yay! It's been lovely this week. Even spent an hour reading in the garden the other day. Went to the movies for Infinity War, attended She Reads Comics which was a great success - I did a bit of the talking thing! Bought a Loungefly Black Panther handbag, now feel like a Stylish Grown-Up Lady.

(Thoughts on Infinity War:
(view spoiler))

Only finished one book this week, which is strange, it feels like I read loads - though it is a large one.
Life on Air by David Attenborough - Sir Attenborough is absolutely one of my heroes, I grew up on his documentaries. Really loved this, the book was fascinating and provided some great insights into early filmmaking. That said, there was a strong whiff of colonialism whenever they travelled to "exotic" countries to film wildlife - as David points out, the British Empire was still clinging on when he was starting out. Fulfilled the Read Harder challenge task "read a celebrity memoir".

Currently still reading Circe. Less than 100 pages left. It's fabulous.

----

QOTW:
What does reading look like for you in the summer months? [...] Are there any particular books releasing this summer that you are looking forward to?

The summer months look like me being just as much of a recluse as usual. 😶 Although, as aforementioned, I might read in the garden. And I tend to gravitate to certain books - bright covers, warm/tropical settings, happier/lighter tone, a lot of SFF.

[Edit: Oh wait, I forgot, the Edinburgh Book Festival's coming up in August! So, like, a fortnight of not being a recluse!]

The only anticipated summer release I can think of at the moment is Record of a Spaceborn Few. I love the Wayfarers series. 😁💕🌌 Will probably use RoaSF for "a book guaranteed to bring you joy", the prompt I've selected for my favourite of previous years.


message 43: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments I am too tired to read all the above comments, especially since I'm leaving in 2,5 hours; off to a Supernatural (TV show) convention in Birmingham! My first bus leaves at 11:25pm and I should be getting to Birmingham Airport at about 13pm-ish tomorrow. Because of this I also won't be turning on notifications for this thread this time, because when I get back on Tuesday morning I will be too tired again, so see y'all on Thursday!

Read
...nothing. I am still currently reading Hoe ik Hitlers getuige werd (finally hit 50% last night). I was supposed to have finished it today, and returned it to the library by 8pm, but I was never gonna make it, so yesterday I returned it and checked it out again. I am not bringing it with me, though. I am in need for some light reading on the bus, so this isn't gonna work. It's not necessarily difficult to read in terms of topic, it just requires a lot of concentration.

SO. During work last Tuesday I checked out Pictures of Lily (of which I just found out the English/original cover is beautiful and the translation makes no sense, which I hope will be temporary) and today Autoboyography came in. I am SO EXCITED to read this one! I asked my best friend to keep an eye out if it came across as a secondhand, but then she bought it for me yesterday, the bitch (I love her). Soyes, much excitement for my bus reading! I also have the final (hopefully not truly final dammit) three episodes of Lucifer on my tablet, loads of comics, ebooks, and comics, so I should be all set for the copious amounts of time I will be on buses haha!

QOTW
I can't handle heat well, so I don't like the summer. I usually spend my time inside, trying not to melt, trying to keep breathing, and generally not die. And usually with a book, of course.

I am really looking forward to The Empire of Ashes as I adore the Draconis Memoria series. Granted, I haven't read the sequel yet, but I ordered it before I'd even finished the first one. It's just SO GOOD. It's slotted to be my 2018 book!


message 44: by Carol (new)

Carol Roote | 116 comments Hello,

This week, I am up to:
Regular; 21/40
Advanced: 2/10

Finished:

#8 A book with a time of day in the title:
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Excellent! 5/5 stars. Short but very moving; it made me cry

Advanced #2: A cyberpunk book
Ready Player One
Also excellent. 5/5 stars. Clever and unique. I wanted to wait to read this until I had finished the regular challenge, but after I saw the movie, I couldn't hold out any longer. Enjoyed both the book and the movie but they were very different.

Currently Reading:

#26 A book with an animal in the title
Turtles All the Way Down
(Already read a book about mental health, so I'm using it for the animal prompt)

QOTW:

I usually read inside in the air conditioning free from sunburn and mosquitoes, but sometimes I go out on our deck or out in the yard with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. My dog usually sleeps under my chair while I'm reading outside.

Books I'm looking forward to that will be released this summer:
The High Tide Club I've never read any books by this author, but this sounds like a perfect summer read.
The Summer I Met Jack JFK fascinates me.
Also looking forward to the sequel for Beartown


message 45: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 694 comments Carmen wrote: "I am too tired to read all the above comments, especially since I'm leaving in 2,5 hours; off to a Supernatural (TV show) convention in Birmingham! My first bus leaves at 11:25pm and I should be ge..."

Enjoy the con! 😃👋


message 46: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 154 comments Megan wrote: "I finished two and started two. I'm on my way for having the best reading month of this year.

Finished The Bookshop on the Corner. This was a cute read. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed..."

I am also currently reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory and kind of feel the same about it like you mentioned, reading slowly, bit by bit. But I feel I am getting more comfortable reading it with time, too.


message 47: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 154 comments Hello,

short checkin in a very stressful week. But I have a week off next week, which is fun because I get to travel :-)
I haven't finished any books yet, but I might be able to finish Nachtlichtertoday or tomorrow.
Still listening to the second Thursday Next Novel, and mus say it has grown on me. I am really enjoying this one's quirkiness, and all the literary hints.

QOTW:
For my summer vacation I have started making a list on my kindle, since I won't be taking any physical books. So I am trying to finally read some of the books on the kindle without buying too many new ones. Tackle that TBR that I already own!
I read outside, rather in the shade than in the sun, when camping, when sitting on the balcony, or by the pool or by the beach, or in a park or in a café, you name it. I enjoy the summer a lot, though, being outside when it's warm...


message 48: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 203 comments I love summer and am so glad the nice weather is here. May is so busy with end of school activities I am really looking forward to June when the kiddos and I can just relax and enjoy time together.

I am still reading for my youth committee, but am now focused on the middle school books. This week I read:
Good Dog- about a dog that comes back from "heaven" to protect his boy and the challenges he (the dog) faces. It was fairly well done, but the ending is sad- as almost every dog book ever is.
See You in the Cosmos- I was so stressed through this whole book because the eleven year old boy was basically on his own and going on long trips with strange adults and searching for answers at stranger's houses. Kiddos will probably like it (fourth or fifth graders).
What the Night Sings- No one thinks about what happened right after the liberation of concentration camps (WWII) and this book tackles it head on. Well done.
The Traitor's Game- this was a pretty good fantasy for kiddos, but I felt like it was about 75 pages too long. As in most of Jennifer A. Nielsen's book there is a big "you wrote that wrong" that just bugs me. In this case it was the appearance of an exterior door out of the dungeons that were actually called "the underground." The timing of the door- while convenient for the main characters- also made no sense with the whole scene before. A Night Divided had tons of fluid details, so this one door shouldn't bother me- but it does.
I also read several picture booksBe a Good Dragon was pretty cute and I also like Astronaut Annie.

QOTW: I always look forward to summer reading, but usually it is because I have spent so much time reading for my youth committee I am excited to pick books I want to read. I also love reading outside (especially at my grandma's place on a mountain lake in Montana- really looking forward to that trip). I don't have any new releases that I am actively waiting for, but several of the new books coming out look very interesting. Hooray for summer and summer reading.

Happy reading!


message 49: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 546 comments No books completed for me this week. I'm still working on Jade Dragon Mountain. It promises to be a pretty good mystery, but I just haven't been in the mood for reading.

QOTW:

I *love* summer. I was designed for hot climates. It's been a little cool here from all the rain and I am chomping at the bits for the weather to be warm enough to sunbathe on the lakeshore. Obviously as an adult who doesn't get summers off, my reading doesn't necessarily jump up in volume (unless I'm on vacation), but I love getting to read outside in the warmth of the sun.

I don't really have any 'summer releases' that I'm super excited for...I don't tend to get books the second they come out unless it's an author I absolutely love. I'll be mostly trying to catch up on my reading challenges this summer.


message 50: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1875 comments Dani wrote: "
Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Tastethis was a nonfiction that I think I can work into the micro history category. It’s written my MFK Fisher’s great nephew about how the time Fisher, Child, and Beard spent in Provence profoundly influenced American cooking (the title is very descriptive lol). This was a new book club’s pick. It’s hosted by my favorite cafe so they tend to pick food related stuff. I love Julia Child and will read pretty much anything about her. If it’s a topic that interests you, it’s most definitely worth the re.."


I just got this book! Now to find time to read it. Sounds so fascinating - I've long been fascinated by all three of those chefs and their influence on American cuisine.


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