Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 21: 5/17-5/24

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 24, 2018 04:02AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6885 comments Mod
I hope everyone is having a good reading week and enjoying some nice weather. I've felt a little frustrated with my reading lately - I've read some great books, but a lot of my highly anticipated reads have been disappointing. I think my problem might be that I'm rushing through my books, I need to relax and absorb them more. Easy to say, hard to change ...

This week I DNF'ed 2 books and finished 7 books, one for this Challenge, and I am now 40/50.

Books I DNF'ed:

Both DNFs were part of my Asian & Pacific Island American Heritage reading for the month of May. I'm not having good luck with that this month!!

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee - I had NO idea what was going on, and I was just not in the mood to work so hard for a book. Plus, I generally don't like "military sci-fi," so when I saw it heading in that direction, I bailed. YMMV

The Leavers by Lisa Ko - This was just so relentlessly negative, everything described in the awfulest possible way. There is a certain sub-genre of literary fiction that is like this, the authors seem to delight in emphasizing the scummiest everyday realities. ... "scum-lit!" None for me, thanks. (Again, ymmv.)

Books I finished:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - this was a delightful audiobook! I enjoyed it, but I was still disappointed. The move is one of my all time favorite movies, and since books are usually better than the movie ... I expected the WORLD from this book. But the movie was better! I checked off "movie you've already seen" with this.

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by the inestimable Amy Stewart - I've been working on this book since NOVEMBER, because I would read a few parts and then set it aside for a library book. It's a reference book that's really best appreciated in small sips, so I guess that was the best approach. Once I recover from that marathon, I might pick up another of her books, Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities because ooooh poisons!

Boxers & Saints - two graphic novels by Gene Luen Yang- this was part of my Asian American Heritage reading for May. I loved his American Born Chinese and this two-book series came highly recommended, but I really did not like it. I think this is a big source of my disgruntlement this week. This felt like biased Christian propaganda and I am so disappointed.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - another book that has been endlessly hyped, and I was so disappointed. I feel like the kid in this story when he thought he'd been handed back his book but opened the package to find a handful of ashes. This is it? This is all? Why did everyone rave about this? I read this for "unusual format" in AtY, but even that feels disappointing, since the format wasn't all that "unusual." It's just a really long picture book.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland - Finally a good one! I LOVED this book!! Civil War zombies! badass zombie-killing black girls!! Yes, more like this, please!! I stayed up way too late to finish this. Now I have all the No-More-Book feels. I used this for "alternate history" in AtY.

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro - another zombie book but ugh SO disappointing. Why does this get so many great reviews? The writing was clunky and the story was ho-hum AND problematic. 1 star.

Question of the Week

Do you celebrate any "literary holidays," such as the upcoming Towel Day (Hitchhikers Guide) on May 25th?

Other "literary holidays" include:

Winnie the Pooh Day on Jan 18, Poe Day on Jan 19, Robert Burns Day on Jan 25, Dr Seuss Day on Mar 2, Oz Day (aka L. Frank Baum’s birthday) May 15 (celebrated on first weekend in June in Chittenango NY), Bloomsday on June 16, Tom Sawyer Days July 1-4, Hemingway Day July 21 (celebrated third weekend in July in Key West, FL), Hobbit Day on Sept 22, The War of the Worlds radio anniversary on Oct 30.)

Personally, I don't follow any of these. But I thought it might be interesting to hear from some readers who do!

message 2: by Tricia (last edited May 24, 2018 04:18AM) (new)

Tricia | 120 comments Hello from Brisbane Australia,
I am getting towards the end of my challenge so I am starting to read books that aren’t for the challenge while I whittle down the remaining ones.

This week I finished
Jasper Jones (not for the challenge). I really liked this book. I thought it was a fantastic coming of age tale. Would be good for the alliteration prompt.

The Good People The Good people (A book being read by a stranger). I loved Burial Rites so I was expecting something like that. I did like this book but not as much as her first novel.

White Tulips & Wedding Cake (LGBTI character). I didn’t really like this one. It was light and fluffy but the story read a lacked something.

The Bourne Identity ( a book set in the decade you were born – 1970s) I found it really hard to find a book set in the 70s so I was lucky to stumble on this one that has been on my reading shelf for a really long time. I thought this was good but the ‘romance’ element was a bit distracting and didn't really sit well with the book.

Currently reading:
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

Hallowe'en Party (A book set on Halloween) Just started this one

The Zookeeper's WifeThe Zookeepers wife (A book about a real person) Just started this one as well so too early to tell if I will enjoy it.

QOTW: The short answer is no. I had no idea these existed. Is this a thing?? I am interested in hearing from other readers!!

message 3: by Anne (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 36 of 50 down.

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 entitled A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir and his returning to retrace his footsteps and better comprehend the situation. Started stronger than it ended, but overall, very enjoyable.

Just finished reading America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray. I hated it! It was all revisionist history (racial equality, feminism in the 1800s) romance (and wife abuse) wrapped up in an angsty Young Adult format. Sadly, this was an ARC, so I really couldn’t not finish or review it. The history major in me was disgusted. (Also, I was just at Monticello on vacation last year – I can’t imagine they are thrilled, unless it is the old any press is good press mantra.)

48.) For Microhistory, I read The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. Fun read! I told a few colleagues who noticed it that it was in honor of the Scripps Spelling Bee next Thursday. #BeeReady

Currently reading:

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. It does a MUCH better job describing racial relations and feminism than Daughter did.

Since I’m down with an upper respitory infection, I’m fluffing things up with When the Grits Hit the Fan. I’m not going to call it good, but after the fury I’m feeling over First Daughter I needed fluffy.

No literary holidays for me, but I did have a coworker who celebrated one of those. He had the same name as Robert Burns and was very Scottish.

message 4: by Shannon (last edited May 24, 2018 04:45AM) (new)

Shannon Made some good progress on the challenge this week.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (read by a stranger) I was very lucky to have run across a young guy reading this outside a Barnes and Noble one day as it was next up in my Harry Potter reread anyway! I don’t think I had read this one since release. I liked it at the time but I think I have a better appreciation for it now.
Now back to the beginning so I can read my Ravenclaw edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self (alliteration). I first heard about this on the By the Book podcast. For me this was a good if fairly lightweight reminder not to let ourselves be constantly stimulated by our electronics every waking moment. I do have an advantage over some because of my anti-social tendencies (i.e. no facebook, instagram, snapchat etc) but I’m certainly not immune.

Midnight Riot (time of day). Blerg. To me this was like Neverwhere but ...not good. Maybe it was because I listened to it on audio but the plot seemed to jump around all over the place. A little too gruesome for my tastes as well.

I also read Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics and How to Walk Away which were not for the challenge.

QOTW- I have never heard of those!

message 5: by El (new)

El | 195 comments 38/50

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan for a book by two authors.

The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery for a book about a problem facing society today.

Ford County by John Grisham for a book by an author with the same first or last name as you.

Currently reading:
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and North and South

I don't celebrate any literary days. This is the first time I've even heard of them.

message 6: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6885 comments Mod
Anne wrote: ".
No literary holidays for me, but I did have a coworker who celebrated one of those. He had the same name as Robert Burns and was very Scottish. ..."

There is a man in my extended family tree named Robert Burns! he's not direct relation of mine, he's my cousin's grandfather. He had a book published once, too, but of course it's extremely difficult to find him when you google because of that "other" Robert Burns ;-)

message 7: by Jess (last edited May 24, 2018 05:27AM) (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments Good morning from sunny Devon. I'm on a week away for my father in law's birthday and the weather has just been glorious! Fun fact, I am staying in the literary village of Westward Ho! The village is named after the book by Charles Kingsley (Westward Ho!). There's lots of information about him here and he seems to be a sort of Charles Dickens of the West Country as he had quite the social conscience and wrote a lot about the plight of the poor fisherman who lived and worked along the coast. Rudyard Kipling was educated here too so there is lots of literary stuff going on. Westward Ho! is also one of only two places in the world with an exclamation mark in their name. The other is Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! in Quebec that upped the game with two!

I was planning on dedicating this week to finishing The Power of the Dog but those plans went right out the window when, browsing the bookshelf of our holiday cottage, I found this.


It is a copy of A Princess of Mars from 1920, only 8 years after original publication! I couldn't pass up the chance to read such an old book! I'm about 70% through and to be honest, it's not great as sci-fi goes but I appreciate the author's creativity in writing about Mars in a time when so little was known of it.

I have Scottish friends who celebrate Burns Night but it seems more like an opportunity to drink Whiskey than anything really to do with the poet!

I went to the Roald Dahl museum for Roald Dahl day and that was great fun for kids as his characters are so colourful.

message 8: by Brittany (last edited May 24, 2018 05:31AM) (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Hi All!

Man, I can't believe it's Thursday again already! A mixed emotions week for me. I took my husband to a whiskey festival for his birthday this weekend and though whiskey isn't my favorite I still had a surprising amount of fun. We made an overnight trip of it and had a really great time plus we were back soon enough for me to get a little reading time in. I finished 5 books this week.

First up was Black Orchid Blues which I'm using to satisfy the prompt for a title with your favorite color. I actually don't really have a true favorite color but I my wardrobe is all predominately blue and black so I thought this book would fit the bill. The story itself was alright, nothing amazing but entertaining enough. Set in Harlem in the 1920's a society writer witnesses the kidnapping of a local singer and becomes entangled with the mystery. It was something I picked up on a whim in the library last week and while I wouldn't reread it, I did like it well enough.

Next was The Golem and the Jinni which I picked up because I had seen it mentioned so many times on these forums. I loved this one. I got attached to the two main characters and thought that the plot while perhaps not the fastest moving was certainly entertaining enough to keep me interested. I did not want to put this one down. The story was a beautiful one. I loved that the characters all had flaws and the authors depiction of the thought processes that each character took based on the events in the story.

I also listened to On What Grounds during work this week as I've been eyeing this coffee themed mystery series for a while now and book #1 finally came up as available on Overdrive. I actually wasn't super impressed with this one. I thought that it was ok but nothing special, a kind of middle of the road cozy mystery. I'll probably pass on the rest of the series unless I run out of audiobooks to listen to at work (which is unlikely).

I also read Dragonflight which is book #1 in the Dragonriders of Pern. The main reason I picked this one up is that it sounded like a book that I had read when I was younger that I remember being so obsessed with. After reading through this I don't think it was this specific book although it's possible that I'm remembering one of the other books in the rest of the series.

And lastly, I found A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy for the prompt about an issue that society is still dealing with. This book is written by a mother of one of the boys who was a shooter in the Columbine school shooting. I had been intending to read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness but I wanted to read a physical book and so far have only managed to track down an audiobook of that one (which I've decided I'll listen to after this). This book seemed like one I should read because the shooting that happened last Friday at Santa Fe High School is in the county where I live. The town is actually only about 20 minutes away me right now. I can only imagine what our neighbors are going through right now and through this book, I can at least imagine the horrors that the family of the shooter is going through right now. There aren't enough details yet to know if he had a terrible family but I'm erring on the side of compassion to think that the family probably knew he had some issues but never dreamed of anything like this. Reading this book really makes you see how something like that can be missed even by those closest to him. Still, I can't imagine what the families of those kids who died are going through and the lasting effects that the survivors are going to have.


Oh gosh, no I don't but that sounds fun though! I might just have to look through a larger list and see if there is anything that strikes my fancy!

message 9: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1254 comments Our run of lovely weather has just come to an end. I hope it's not going to rain for the rest of summer!

I finished an audiobook for the first time ever this week. I have always got too distracted in the past to get very far in but I wanted to give them another go as I walk about 4 miles a day as part of my commute and it seemed wasted listening time! I listened to Dark Pines for the Nordic Noir prompt and I thought the narrator was a great pairing. I enjoyed it despite it being one of the prompts I wasn't looking forward to.

I also finished The City of Lost Fortunes which had a better second half but I didn't really care about the main character.

I am currently reading The Three-Body Problem for Read Harder. It's quite technical so I wouldn't recommend to anyone with zero physics knowledge. I did like the bit where they make a computer with humans.

I started listening to A Shiver of Snow and Sky for the weather prompt. The narrator puts on a bit of a childish voice so not sure if I'll enjoy this one as much. Is that a common thing in YA audiobooks? The character is 17 and the narrator makes her sound much younger.


I never know these things are happening until it's the actual day, so no! I sometimes do a bookstagram photo if it comes up in a challenge. I'm a bit more aware of Mary Shelley/Frankenstein things as her grave is in the town where I work, but I usually just think about going and then never do.

message 10: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments GREETINGS

I came back on Tuesday morning, and then proceeded to sleep for 28 hours.. oops? The convention was amazing, but obviously completely wiped me. I got to meet the Devil, the King of Hell, a Knight of Hell, a sheriff hunter/Zack & Cody's Mom, a prophet of the Lord, Death, a hunter-turned-werewolf, a vampire, one of the most powerful witches (if not the), and a wayward daughter. I also got to see loads of my friends again who I hadn't seen in years, and made new friends as well. So glad I decided to still go after all!

And, against all expectations, I read and finished a book!

The day I left I got a book in the mail from my best friend, who wanted to surprise me with a book I had been raving about and wanted to read ever since I saw someone show it on Instagram (I only mentioned it that once, but it stuck) and I started it on the bus. I even read it during the Sunday night party, and got all of my friends invested (it's now on all of their TBRs as well!) and I finished it on my second bus home on Monday.

The book I'm talking about is Autoboyography by Christina Lauren. I am honestly obsessed with this book, and this might just be my favorite read of the year so far. Not kidding. Unfortunately it doesn't tick off any prompts for me, as I've already ticked off the LGBTQ and two authors one, and I have a different one slotted for the gift prompt (from the same friend actually haha). I might just use it for that anyway, because this glorious book deserves to be counted!

Would definitely recommend! Definitely lives up to the high ratings!

After finishing that I didn't feel like the other book I had with me so I started a 256k fanfic, which I am about halfway through. Other than that I am still reading Hoe ik Hitlers getuige werd, though I obviously haven't touched it since last week, with me not being at home and all.

Now that I'm home, and recovering, I hope to be able to get back to reading properly (after I finish the fic) and have an awesome check in next week! I do have to work tomorrow, so that might set me back, but ohwell. Gonna try! Hopefully the Hitler book won't end up being a DNF, but I'm considering it.

As for the QOTW, I didn't even know these were a thing! I had heard of Burns Night, but had no clue about it otherwise. Is there one for Harry Potter and Tolkien? Cuz those I might just be interested in heheh

message 11: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Good morning all!

I finished two books this week:

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller. This book is all ready for Hallmark to turn it into a movie. It was predictable but cozy and just what I needed to keep me going through this reading slump. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was enjoyable. And I may have had to google some of the food names to see what they were talking about :)

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck. This was an ARC. I didn't love this book. I have enjoyed several of Hauck's previous works, but this one just didn't click for me. The premise is a dual timeline story with a current time man writing a screenplay based on an old love letter written by one of his ancestors. The story follows the current story in Hollywood as the movie is being made, and it also covers the late 18th century love story of the ancestor. I liked the modern storyline ok, but the historical one just wasn't quite put together.

Currently reading:

Just started both of these

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne


I remember Dr. Suess Day being a big deal when my daughter was in early elementary school. Not so much anymore. I haven't heard of very many other literary holidays so it will be interesting to see what others say!

message 12: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments I've had a great week gardening, and have a new asparagus bed to show for it, but a lot less reading. It's funny though, because before starting the challenge this year, this would have been a very prolific reading week. I've finished:

Here Comes the Sun for a book with song lyrics in the title. Sad story, but great book with very relatable characters. This could work for many categories, antihero, country that fascinates you (Jamaica), issue facing society today (gentrification and prostition).

A Wrinkle in Time for a book set on another planet and in anticipation of the new movie. I didn't enjoy this as much as I remember, but am still looking forward to the movie.

A Wind in the Door for a weather element in the title. I didn't remember this as well as Wrinkle in Time, and liked it far less, Meg is so very whiny and seems awfully slow. I'm still moving on with the quintet, but my expectations for enjoying the final 3 are much lower.

Currently reading:

A Swiftly Tilting Planet- not far in, but feeling about the same as I did for A Wind in the Door.

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This I'm enjoying, light read on some denser topics, but this feels like a good light read.

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller on audio.

message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol Roote | 116 comments Good morning!


Regular: 22/40
Advanced: 2/10

This Week:
#26 A book with an animal in the title
Turtles All the Way Down
Some people mentioned this book is slow, but I LOVED it. It was interesting to read about the perspective of someone with OCD written by someone who actually has OCD. How they suffer. (It was also appropriate for me to use this for my animal book, since I have a pet turtle.)

Currently Reading:

#20 A book by a local author
How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child

#18 A book by two authors
Good Omens: The BBC Radio 4 dramatisation
Okay, this is probably cheating, but it is FANTASTIC!! When I got it on Overdrive, I thought it was an audiobook, not a radio dramatization. I definitely want to read this book now!

I hadn't heard of any of those literary days, so I've never celebrated them. I did, however, give out books on Emma Watson's book fairy day last year. Shhhh...

message 14: by Cendaquenta (last edited May 24, 2018 05:54AM) (new)

Cendaquenta | 694 comments I'm getting ready to go out so will do a full update later, in the meantime I'll answer the QOTW.

Och aye Rabbie Burns! *vigorously waves a Saltire* 😋 Guys, that is literally a national holiday up here. It's braw. Although, I regret to say, I haven't read much Burns poetry.
And yes, Hobbit Day. ❤ I keep forgetting about it, I'm a bad Tolkienite. Although I did once go to school in full medieval regalia, complete with the Horn of Gondor, to celebrate it. (It was a very small and tolerant school.)

I tend to try to read books on days which are somehow relevant to them, too - for example, I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings on Maya Angelou's birthday this year.

Carmen wrote: "As for the QOTW, I didn't even know these were a thing! I had heard of Burns Night, but had no clue about it otherwise. Is there one for Harry Potter and Tolkien? Cuz those I might just be interested in heheh"

I think Potterheads celebrate Harry's birthday and September the 1st, the start of term at Hogwarts. I remember there was a celebratory event at King's Cross Station last year because it was Sep 1 2017, the exact date that the "19 Years Later" epilogue is set on.

message 15: by Taylor (new)

Taylor | 178 comments Happy Thursday!

Finished this week:

Turtles All the Way Down - book about mental health - 3 stars - perfectly mediocre

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - a microhistory - 2 stars - started out great but I ended up getting bored really quickly

Currently reading:

It - so far I LOVE it! But I know I'm about to get to the really trippy and controversial parts so we'll see if I feel the same way afterwards


I do not follow the literary holidays myself but I work in a high school library so we usually center our displays around some of those things ie. Shakespeare's birthday, National Library Week, etc. I can't think of any holidays from books that we've "celebrated" but that may be a fun thing to incorporate next year!

message 16: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments Good morning!

Really busy here like every month of May, but I manage to finish 4 books last week:

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories that I will use for mental health. I didn't know what to expect for that book and was pleasantly surprised.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for a book recommended by someone taking the challenge. I don't think it needed to be that long. An ok book, nothing more for me.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen I read this one just for fun and then realize that parts of it is set in the eighties, so I will use it for the decade I was born.

The Big Four just because sometimes I need some Agatha Christie. Not her best, but fun as usual.

QOTW: Didn't know about that. I only celebrate May the fourth because Star Wars.

message 17: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 743 comments Nadine wrote: "The Leavers by Lisa Ko - This was just so relentlessly negative, everything described in the awfulest possible way. There is a certain sub-genre of literary fiction that is like this, the authors seem to delight in emphasizing the scummiest everyday realities. ... "scum-lit!" None for me, thanks. (Again, ymmv.) ."

Scum-lit! Great term for it. I really don't care for that sort of literature either, or its close cousin "misery lit" -- books about people's terrible lives that may or may not end on a happy note. I read for enjoyment, not to be depressed...

Read four books this week, two for the challenge.

Dreams of Otherworld -- for "book by a local author." I haven't read The Maze Runner but from what I've heard about it (and what my brother who's read it has told me) this book feels like an extremely weak ripoff of it. And while I'm all for supporting indie and local authors, this one was just BAD.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic -- for "book with an LGBTQ protagonist." I read this just for the heck of it before realizing it could qualify for this prompt, heh... Surprisingly powerful and emotional, with strong ties to classic literature -- it makes me want to check out the play.

A Brief History of Time -- not for the challenge. Quite a heavy technical read, but fascinating, and I appreciate that Stephen Hawking did his best to talk in everyday language and make physics and quantum physics accessible to everyday people.

Bill Mauldin's Army: Bill Mauldin's Greatest World War II Cartoons -- not for the challenge. A funny (if often darkly so) look at a grunt's-eye view of World War II.


The Last Dragon -- not for the challenge. It started off strong, but just gradually lost steam as it went along until, by the halfway point, I just didn't care anymore.

Currently reading:

License Invoked -- for "book by two authors"
The Moon Dwellers -- not for the challenge
H. P. Lovecraft Complete Collection -- this'll be awhile...


I tend to celebrate more library-related holidays than actual book holidays -- things like "Family Reading Week," "National LIbrarian Day," etc.

message 18: by Johanna (last edited May 24, 2018 06:40AM) (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 234 comments 31/52

I missed last week's check in because I was at my 25th college reunion. Wow, do I feel old when I say that. But with the rainy weather there and the flights, I got some reading done.

Completed Prompts

I finished two books this week.

A book about time travel: I read The Time Traveler's Wife for this and I so wanted to read it because everyone seems to love it. And I did't. I thought the beginning was confusing and by the time I caught on and got the hang of it, I was too disenchanted.

A book about a villain or antihero: I chose Heartless for this prompt - the background story for the Queen of Hearts. It is a YA novel, but I love those and I enjoyed this book a lot.

On my nightstand:
Elizabeth Is Missing - I'm still working on this.
Seven Days of Us - I had to wait a couple of months to get this from the library, but it was worth the wait.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Heartless by Marissa Meyer

QOTW: The only day I've even heard of us the Dr. Seuss birthday - I remember going into my boys' preschools and reading to their classes on that day. But we don't celebrate it any more, or any other literary holidays. But I am intrigued by this idea.....

message 19: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Morning everyone!

It's been alternating between beautiful and sunny, and rainy and cold. Weather just can't make up it's mind! Today is sunny and warm though, so I'll take it.

This week I finished:

The Golem and the Jinni - I picked it up on a whim at the library because the book was so pretty, lovely blue edging on the pages. Luckily it was both really good, and worked for some challenge prompts. For Popsugar I'm using it for the favorite previous year prompt, nonhuman perspective. Sometimes the perspective did switch to regular humans, but a good portion was from either the Golem or the Jinni's perspective, and those humans that were focused on, it was based on their reactions and interactions with the nonhumans. I really loved it, lovely story. It was slow paced, but I didn't mind at all. Also counted it for ATY's book from a goodread's monthly pick.

The Serpent's Shadow - I'd been reading this on and off in between books or when I just needed something easy before bed for a while. It's a many-times re-read, not for the challenge.

Childhood's End - I don't think this counts for anything for me. I'd just requested it a long time ago from the library and it finally got purchased. I liked it ok, but I really thought the syfy miniseries did a pretty good job at streamlining it. It kept meandering and even though it was short, I was getting impatient with it.

Currently reading:

The Halloween Tree - My book set on Halloween. I like Ray Bradbury, so figured it was a good pick. I had a hard time finding lists of books actually SET on Halloween, as opposed to being just horror themed or spooky "Halloween reads".


I don't really celebrate any. I always see the posts "Hey it's Towel day!" or "Harry Potter's birthday!" or whatever, but usually it's day of and I'd totally forgotten. If someone ever had a party themed around one, I'd probably go all out on it.

Thegirlintheafternoon Good morning, everyone!


I finished three books this week, all of them for the Read Harder Challenge, bringing me to 18/24 completed.

News of the World - This fulfilled the prompt of "a Western." Beautiful writing with some incredibly profound moments throughout, but I didn't connect with it as strongly as I'd hoped.

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" - I listened to this on audiobook to fulfill the prompt of "a book published posthumously," and it's a masterpiece of both performance and writing. Highly recommend the audio version.

The Bluest Eye - This fulfilled the prompt of "a pick from Oprah's Book Club," and I had much the same reaction to it that I had to News of the World: great writing, some beautiful moments, didn't really connect to it.


I'm between books right now! I may start Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship or When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing today, or I may wait a while and see what strikes my fancy.


The library where I work will often do some sort of special display for literary holidays! They can be a lot of fun.

message 21: by Chinook (last edited May 24, 2018 07:04AM) (new)

Chinook | 731 comments It’s lovely here - we’ve been having breakfast on the porch and the girls run around playing while I read - helpful because I have a stack of paper books to get through and I’m bad at making time to read that way.

Eragon - I was basically mildly displeased with this one. There was a lot to not like - the writing isn’t great and a few times jarringly bad, there are no female characters that are any good, it’s really derivative, Eragon is annoyingly whiny and the narrator gives the dragon the worst voice EVER. But some of the 1 star review hate seems super over the top - I assume those people read it when the hype was huge and that made them extra salty about it.

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - I used this one as my Book Riot prompt for essay collection and it was hard to read. Like any essay collection, some resonated more than others for me. I had to read one essay at a time and take a break with another book. Worth reading.

By the Shores of Silver Lake - I don’t remember this one as much from childhood as the earlier ones, but I was really into the whole covered wagon thing, so that may be why. In the first tiny bit of the book they speed through a series of tragedies and it was so abrupt I thought I’d somehow read this book out of order or something. I slotted this on into the prompt about a real person, since I need to try and get a few prompts out of these!

Paradise of the Blind - one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, which is perhaps influenced by the fact that the descriptions in this book powerfully recalled my trip to Vietnam and that’s one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I knew nothing about Vietnam exporting foreign workers to Russia before this, though it makes perfect sense. Amazing book, it covers more the aftermath of the war and revolution and how those affected the family relationships.

And I finished off the audiobook Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65, which in spite of being super abridged is teaching me quite a lot. I’m now curious to read something about Malcolm X, because I really know very little about him. I almost tucked this into microhistory, but decided because it’d been abridged I didn’t think it worked.

Right now, I’m reading a book in each format - The Siege of Krishnapur, Troubles in hardback, So Long a Letter in paperback, Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold as an ebook, Meddling Kids as audio, Sisters as my graphic novel and a series of picture books about playing soccer because Kait clearly doesn’t get the point of the game yet and she’s playing again starting in June.

QOTW: I don’t really do literary holidays. We did a themed run for Towel Day once and I’ve heard and considered doing some reading for Bloomsday but never have, and when I lived in Scotland we definitely did Burns Night suppers with a reading of at least the ode to a haggis, but since I’ve left I’ve only upheld that tradition a few times. I am more likely to read in response to recent author deaths or other random mentions of authors - when news like that pops up in my Fb feed or is mentioned by Book Riot, I will often put a hold on a book by the mentioned author, though I sometimes don’t get to it for several months. So, Roth is probably on my radar for soon, since he has a ton of 1001 books anyway.

message 22: by Elena (last edited May 25, 2018 01:32AM) (new)

Elena | 19 comments Good Morning, PS Challengers

QOTW: when my boys were in elementary school, they used to celebrate Dr. Seuss day. All the kids and teachers dressed up as fictional characters and did a little parade through the school. That was soo cute!

This is my second week here, so I,m a bit behind 12/50 so far. I added some of the books I read this year before starting the challenge.

Finished wk. 21:
The Jungle Book (movie you already watched) It was an enjoyable quick little read. I did't know that the book continued after the movie-story ends!? There were a few short stories in the second half of the book, set in the Jungle, but without the known characters. Or do I just own a weird copy?

The Stand love this book! It's one of my favorites. Don't remember how often I've read it. With 90-some% of the population dying, I believe it's a perfect fit for a book about death or grief. This time I listened to the audio which helped me to get through it faster & without neglecting my daily chores. M-O-O-N that spells chores! 😁

Started this week:
The Outsider (book published 2018 ptrompt) I'm so excited! Can you tell that I kinda like Stephen King? Btw: his Birthday is Sep. 21, so remember to celebrate this year! Maybe we can all dress up as clowns...

A Game of Thrones this is a re-re-read, even though I should be working on my TBR list, I couldn't resist. Audiobook this time, so not really cutting into my reading time. Using it for favorite prompt for past challenges. Take your pick:
2015: based on or turned into a TV show
A book with magic
2016: NYT bestseller
National book award winner
A dystopian novel
Book guaranteed to bring you joy (if you have a morbid side)
2017: book with an eccentric character (so many!)
Book with more than 800 pages
Book involving a mythical character

Happy reading!

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments It's been a bit of a busy week here, so I'm looking forward to three day weekend for some down time (and more reading!).

Finished Reading:
Fix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your Family This seemed like a solid cookbook. I'm doing a freezer cooking session based on some of the recipes later today, and then I'll be able to finish my NetGalley review.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door So many emotions. I realized almost at the end of the book that I could count it for the sports prompt. Yay!

Food Wars!, Vol. 11 and Food Wars!, Vol. 12 Really enjoying the way this manga series is progressing, and the depth of the characters is increasing.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption Five star read, and nice to get some of the Pacific Theater side of WWII, since most of what I've read during that time has been focused on Europe.

The Gospel Comes with a House Key Another five star read for me, and inspired us to set a weekly hospitality night.

Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything I mildly enjoyed reliving my 8 year old self's Olympic dreams, but more appreciated some of the life lessons she communicated, including nutrition not being one-size-fits-all, and that loving what you do combined with hard work can outweigh lack of innate talent. Given all the different points she hits in the course of the book, I would count this for 'problem facing society today' if I hadn't already completed it.

Currently reading:
When God Says "Wait": Navigating Life's Detours and Delays Without Losing Your Faith, Your Friends, or Your Mind Still slowly working my way through this.

Friendship and Folly This seems like a fun Regency story, but I haven't really been in the mood for it. I feel pressure to finish it though, because I borrowed it through booklending.com, and won't necessarily have a good chance to read it again if I don't finish it before I have to return it.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Started this for a print book and because I wanted something to read during breaks from the Regency book. Enjoying it so far!

I don't have a current audio book since I finished Fierce, but I'm planning to start NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity later today.

I always intend to celebrate Tolkien's birthday in January, but never remember far enough ahead of time to plan anything. That pretty much sums up all my literary holiday experiences actually. :-)

Except, my husband's family did a Robert Burns night once, complete with poetry reading and homemade haggis--that was fun.

message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 894 comments Hi everyone. The sun is shining beautifully here in Yorkshire. This will be a quick update as I have to go pick my nephew up from school soon and maybe take him to the park for a treat.

This week I finished Acorna: The Unicorn Girl. I really liked a lot of the secondary characters in the book, and it was a lot darker than the title would insinuate (child slavery etc.) but I wish Acorna had featured a bit more prominently in the book. It took about half of the book for her to grow up and start doing *something*

DNF Scoundrels. This is about the 3rd book for the heist prompt that I've given up on. Maybe I should just re-read The Lies of Locke Lamora!

Currently reading: Empire of Ivory I'm so relieved that this series is picking up again after the last one was so boring!

QOTW: I used to work in the Lake District where Beatrix Potter is big business and there was always a celebration on her birthday complete with a professional Beatrix lookalike and Peter Rabbit himself (Spoiler alert: I was inside the Peter Rabbit suit. I was the only person it would fit!)

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Jess wrote: "Good morning from sunny Devon. I'm on a week away for my father in law's birthday and the weather has just been glorious! Fun fact, I am staying in the literary village of Westward Ho! The village ..."

So cool! Westward Ho! is one of my husband's favorite books.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Elena wrote: "The Jungle Book (movie you already watched) It was an enjoyable quick little read. I did't know that the book continued after the movie-story ends!? There were a few short stories in the second half of the book, set in the Jungle, but without the known characters. Or do I just own a weird copy? "

Nope, that's how I remember it. I actually remember liking the mongoose story better than the main part of the book.

message 27: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1254 comments Thegirlintheafternoon wrote: "Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" - I listened to this on audiobook to fulfill the prompt of "a book published posthumously," and it's a masterpiece of both performance and writing. Highly recommend the audio version...."

Thanks for mentioning this for Read Harder as I was stuck on the posthumous one. I was toying on using I'll be Gone in the Dark for two prompts but I'd rather have a book per prompt.

message 28: by Diane (new)

Diane  Lupton | 136 comments I am excited to say I have finished Wake in Winter this week. This was one of the free Amazon reads back in October of 2016. I'm glad I am finally crossing it off my tbr pile. Other than that there is not much to say. I don't know if it was the writing style or the translation that made me not enjoy this book. I think around the 80% mark I finally settled into it and could follow it without re-reading to see if I missed something. I really need to figure out how to DNF a book without feeling guilty and having it haunt me. I don't want to say this book was terrible because it is someone's hard work, but I will say I am not a fan. 2 stars and I don't recommend it. It will fulfill my set in a place that fascinates you prompt, Russia.

I have not been on the treadmill in awhile so I have not made any progress on Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.

I am at 14/50 for the challenge. I'm happy with this number considering I only read 18 books total last year.


Other than Dr. Seuss day when my kids were in elementary school I don't celebrate any bookish holidays. To be honest, May the 4th. (be with you) irritates me.

message 29: by Elena (new)

Elena | 19 comments Raquel wrote: "Elena wrote: "The Jungle Book (movie you already watched) It was an enjoyable quick little read. I did't know that the book continued after the movie-story ends!? There were a few short stories in ..."
I also enjoyed the stories, but was expecting Mowgli or Bagheera to come around the corner at one point.

message 30: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments Sadly, I didn't finish anything during the week. Some weeks I just feel like there's so much going on (an unexpected flat tire - ugh) and the only thing I want to do at night is sleep rather than pick up my books :( :( :( A nice three-day-weekend is exactly what I need right now.

Continued Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory. Still chipping away at this. It seems like once I got past the 70% mark my interest in this completely dropped off. And I got the notification that my loan on this is expiring. I will need to put a priority to get this one wrapped up. Using for micro-history.

Continued The Good Daughter. My coworker loaned this to me and I'm enjoying it very much.

After these I have two books on my kindle loaded and ready to go.

16 Regular, 2 Advanced, 4 Non Challenge. Lots of reading to do!

message 31: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Hello from Columbus! Summer break has officially started for us as of yesterday. I was a weeping mess, it was my daughter’s last day of elementary school and I’m a sentimental person. And thanks to those who offered well-wishes a few weeks ago when I mentioned the custody stuff with my daughter. It’s all officially over and it was basically a huge waste of time and stress because basically nothing changed lol.

I’ve decided to do the goodreads summer reading challenge so I’ll be posting a lot of those, not that I’ve gotten much reading done for the PS challenge lately so it won’t be a huge change for me.

The Broken Girls I got this as a BOTM puck and just got around to reading. It genuinely creeped me out, and held my interest. Idk what else to say about it, but I liked this more than I thought I would.

Sabriel I had added this to my overdrive holds quite some time ago when someone mentioned that Tim Curry narrated the audiobooks. His voice is one of my favorites and he has a special place in my heart now because of his stroke (my son also had one and was similarly affected). The book was really good and I’m salty that I never heard about this series or author before. It has the same kind of dark touch to it that all my favorite kid movies had growing up. So even though the material was new to me, it felt kind of familiar. I’ve already checked out the next two books.

Genuine Fraud E. Lockhart is another author whose books I’ve been working through. It’s crazy how she went from the light hearted Ruby Oliver series to her more current works. This book was a wild ride and like, it made me really uncomfortable and sad. I can see why people didn’t like it, or how it reads backwards in time, but that was a rollercoaster and I can’t say I hated it.

The Magician's Assistant Another book from my Ann Patchett binge. A fine book. Kind of hallmark movie-ish but it was good enough for me to finish it in a day.

So I’m still at 32/40; 1/10 with 87 books read this year.

QOTW: I’ve never heard of these and I’m already too busy as it is to really look into it lol

message 32: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Anne wrote: "Happy Thursday! 36 of 50 down.

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 entitled [book:A Ba..."

I read The Professor and the Madman YEARS ago (grabbed it off the shelf at a hotel I was staying at and read on vacation... odd choice but apparently I was an odd teen) and loved it. What a fascinating story and a good choice for microhistory!

message 33: by Brooke (last edited May 24, 2018 07:45AM) (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Hi everyone! I am soooo looking forward to the holiday weekend - I need the extra day. Not looking forward to the heat, though. We are on track to have the hottest May on record in north Texas.

All the books I read this week count for Popsugar this week, so I’m at now at 32/52 for this challenge.

Books I finished:
The Designer by Marius Gabriel for a novel based on a real person (6). This started off strong: A woman in post-occupation Paris leaves her husband because of his affairs and decides to pursue a career in photojournalism after befriending Christian Dior. However, after that decision, there is really no conflict and it gets more unrealistic by the page.

Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman for a book set in a country that fascinates you (7). Set in Italy, this is love story between a 17-year-old boy and a guest staying with his family for the summer. It is beautifully written, at times intense and at others heartbreaking. Aciman did a great job capturing the feeling of someone whose attraction for someone becomes obsession and then love, whether gay or straight. This would also work for the LGBTQ+ prompt or the decade you were born, if you were born in the 80’s.

Shark Skin Suite by Tim Dorsey for a book with an animal in the title (26). This was my first book by Dorsey, and I broke my rule of reading a series from book 1, since this is #18. I don’t think it affected the story, although I’m sure there was a lot of backstory I missed about the main character. The story was hard to follow at times, jumping around storylines that didn’t connect to each other until about 2/3 of the way through the book, but it was humorous. Fans of Elmore or Hiaasen will probably enjoy this series. I’ll try reading #1 at some point to see if that makes a difference.

I am currently reading:
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman for a book I saw a stranger reading in public (A3). I should be wrapping this up today or tomorrow as it is due back at the library Saturday.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders for a book about death/grief (10).
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens for 52 books in 52 weeks.

QOTW: The only author/literary holiday I've celebrated is Dr. Seuss Day. I had an engineering class in college, and on that day during class the professor sat on a stool in the front of the room and spent the entire hour reading Dr. Seuss books to us.

message 34: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Sara wrote: "Good morning all!

I finished two books this week:

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller. This book is all ready for Hallmark to turn it into a movie. It was pr..."

The Heart's Invisible Furies was one of my top books from last year. It was so beautifully written!

message 35: by Margaret (last edited May 24, 2018 07:47AM) (new)

Margaret (igem36) Daily rain here in northeast Georgia where my daughter lives. Keeps things cooler, anyway.

I haven't finished any books in the past week, but started a new one, an audiobook for my spur-of-the-moment trip: The Dry by Jane Harper. Run-of-the-mill plot, but I like the protagonist, Aaron Falk, and really, really like the reader, Steve Shanahan. It could work for prompts I've already filled, #7 or #12, but I'll stretch and assign it to #24, a weather element in the title.

QOTW: I've celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday and Free Comic Day for years, but upon googling literary holidays after I read this question, I found Hemingway Days in the Florida Keys, which should be fun to celebrate.

message 36: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good morning! I am still vibrating with shock and joy because my beautiful Washington Capitals are going to the Stanley Cup FINALS so this is the best week ever, basically, even though I didn't finish any books.

Currently reading:
The Lonely Hearts Hotel... this book is so whimsical and heartbreaking. I'm using it for an author with the same name.

Emma on audio because of all the driving I've been doing recently. It's been fun to revisit a Jane Austen I actually haven't read to death.

The Princess and the Peer as my distracting romance.

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, an arc I need to finish rather soon. I think I'll use it for a microhistory.

QOTW: I think every year the internet reminds me it's Jane Austen's birthday and I grab one of my books that week but otherwise no strict observances!

message 37: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hi, everyone!

I finished one book this week, A Cold Day For Murder, a book with a weather element in the title. It takes place in Alaska and the lead character is an Aleutian woman. The rural Alaskan setting was fascinating! I liked the writing style, too -- hardboiled detective, but with a female/Aleutian twist. It's the first book in a series.

I am in the midst of another looooong book, 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I've never read one of his novels because I don't like horror, but this one worked for the book about time travel category and I thought it was high time I read one of King's books. I like the way he writes, it keeps pulling me in, but I don't know that I'm 849 pages worth of interested! I guess if I'm going to quit, I better do it soon because it's so long that at some point I'll have stepped in so far that I won't go back.

Question of the Week

Nope, never heard of these holidays so I haven't celebrated them! Maybe we should start a "Literary Holidays" topic here and list them so we know what they are, and we could share celebration ideas. I am always up for a holiday!

message 38: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 203 comments I had a slow reading week. My daughter graduates from high school on Saturday so I am getting ready for guests and my college student son has been in town so I am spending time with him.
All of my reading was for my youth committee again- but I am only three books away from having the whole list done. I hope to finish by June 1 so I can start reading what I want and for the challenge again (with the graduation and family in town we'll see how much reading I really get done).
I read:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer- I know a lot of you liked this book, and I enjoyed it as well, but I did feel that the ending was long. I was ready to be finished 100 pages before the end of the book. I am just the wrong audience.
Oddity- Something is all wrong in a strange town named Oddity. Between the zombie rabbits, the Blurmonster, and the living puppets that run the town Oddity lives up to its name. I will say the book was decent and most kiddos with like it but there were times I felt like the author was so busy creating oddness for the town she forgot to move the story forward. The protagonist was also really annoying.
My Future Ex-Girlfriend- middle school first romance- just as bad as it sounds.

QOTW: Like so many others, I did Dr. Seuss day when my kiddos were in elementary school, but nothing now.

message 39: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 459 comments I did manage a little reading around those boring dystopic fantasies I have to review. Two of them even knocked out a couple more prompts for me.

For the prompt - A book about or set on Halloween I read Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case by Kristen Painter It's Halloween 365 days a year in Nocturne Falls (though while it was a cute supernatural mystery (and oh so fluffy) it sure didn't feel too Halloweeny sadly.

Of course the prompt A book with an ugly cover is extremely subjective. I picked one of the cozy eboooks I have because I know what they're doing, using computer generated people and photoshopping up a cover because hiring an actual artist could cost more than the self pubbed book would make. This one was a decent (but problematic) mystery. These Haunts are Made for Walking by Rose Pressey

Not for the challenge but I also finished ノラガミ 17 Noragami 17 by Adachitoka. Love this manga series

QOTW IF I'm reminded I have celebrated Hobbit day, Towel day and a few others but it's not high on my list of things to do. I find it fun though.

message 40: by Ali (new)

Ali (aliciaclare) | 153 comments Hi all! Today is absolutely gorgeous outside, and I'm about to have a 4 day weekend, so I'm in a great mood! Also Nadine, the Princess Bride is my favorite film of all time, and I was really disappointed by the book. It is at the top of my list of films that I enjoyed more than the book.

This week I finished 3 books, none of which i counted for the challenge.

Othello by William Shakespeare. I listened to a BBC radio production of the play while reading along with the text, which made it a better experience. I find reading plays kind of difficult because so much is reliant on the choices the actors make. I thought about making this my book about a villain, but by the end of it, I decided against it, since Iago isn't the hero.

Then I finished The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5: Imperial Phase I and The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 6: Imperial Phase, Part 2. Part 1 was pretty slow, but part 2 really amped up and had a big surprise for me at the end. I'm interested to see where the series is going especially as the ramp up to a new Big Bad.

Currently, I'm reading This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America which will probably be my book about feminism. I haven't made any progress on Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet since my last check in, but I'm hoping to finish it during the long weekend.

QOTW: I've never heard of any of these! I feel like in elementary school we might have done a couple of these celebrations, such as Dr. Seuss day. These aren't really things that pop up on my radar, but it could be really interesting to do themed reading!

message 41: by Larissa (last edited May 24, 2018 08:38AM) (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) Hello Everybody! I am doing great! I am super inspired by The Great American Reads on PBS that I have over committed myself to read as many books from that list as possible.

Right now I am only reading The Count of Monte Cristo and Middlesex but I just cleared off my shelf so I also filled a pile of DNF.

QotW: Just this year we have started celebrating EVERYTHING. I found an amazing calendar that helps me keep track of holidays and we did a huge thing for Dr. Seuss's birthday and now getting ready for Towel Day/Geek Day. We celebrate Harry Potter's/JK Rowling's birthday. Hobbit Day in September will be awesome. I share a birthday with Jane Austen so we always celebrate that.

message 42: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 743 comments Chinook wrote: "It’s lovely here - we’ve been having breakfast on the porch and the girls run around playing while I read - helpful because I have a stack of paper books to get through and I’m bad at making time t..."

I admit that I found "Eragon" a guilty pleasure when I was in high school, but I fully admit that the author doesn't have an original idea in his head. And believe it or not, it all just gets WORSE as the series goes on, to the point where I literally chucked the final book at the wall a few times. Ah well... all authors have to start somewhere, I suppose. Just hope this author's work gets better should he write something else...

message 43: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments I've had a struggle of a reading week. I crossed off a couple of difficult reading prompts, but it took a lot of effort to make it through. I hope my next selection is more enjoyable.

The Map of All Things (an allegory) I finally finished reading this doorstop! It's been awhile since I read a high fantasy novel. I forgot how much work it can be to remember all the new countries and names.

Sing Fox to Me (set in the decade you were born) I don't know why the summary of this book starts with "In 1986" because the book could have been set at any time. The summary is the only reference to the decade in the whole book. I really didn't care for this one either. Nothing about this book made sense to me.

Nothing!? I haven't started anything else yet. I'm going on vacation starting Saturday. I have too much to do between now and then to start a book. I'll listen to an audiobook while driving and pick something on my Kindle to read while I'm gone. My options are: Space Opera or The Song of Achilles. I could buy something else, but I'll probably read one of those.

No book holidays for me. Occasionally, I'll remember to post a happy birthday to a literary character or opine that I never got my Hogwarts letter on September 1st.

message 44: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 743 comments Heather wrote: "I've had a struggle of a reading week. I crossed off a couple of difficult reading prompts, but it took a lot of effort to make it through. I hope my next selection is more enjoyable.


I may be biased here, but... my vote would be "Space Opera." XD Love the author, loved the book.

message 45: by Conny (new)

Conny | 130 comments I finished:

Flying Too High (book involving a sport); a quick and engaging read. The involved sport is flying, by the way, which plays a pivotal role in both the preliminaries and the showdown.

And then one of my favorite new discoveries for the year: Der Nachtzirkus (The Night Circus), for the "time of day in the title" prompt. What an utterly beautiful and enchanting book! I was thoroughly swept away!

Currently reading Tintenblut (Inkspell) for the "author with the same first name as you" prompt.

No ... plain and simple. I always forget^^

message 46: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! It's still nice and cool in Sacramento, so I'm storing up the delicious coolness in my body to survive the summer. That's how that works, right?
I finished two books in the last couple weeks:
Baby, I'm Howling for You for author with the same name as me, which was not a good book. I mostly read it because paranormal shifter romances are such a popular genre and I was interested to see whether I would find it compelling too. I do not, but I'm glad to have had the experience to find that out.
The Woman in White on audiobook, for a book that is also a stage play or musical. This one suffered a bit from the Seinfeld effect (i.e., something that was innovative at the time has been copied so much that it sounds derivative now), as well as the typical Victorian literature foibles (why use 1 word when you can use 25?), but I still really enjoyed it. The villains make Victorian lit worth it, in my opinion.

I'm currently listening to Brighton Rock, though I'm not sure if it will count towards a challenge. It's interesting, but the narrator uses a strange accent/lack of affect that's a little distracting. I'm also reading Lonesome Dove, which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

QOTW: I've celebrated Shakespeare's birthday/death day (they're the same day) several times by watching a movie of one of his plays or reading one, but that's really the only literary holiday I participate in.

message 47: by Anna (new)

Anna Hecksher | 5 comments Reading all of your posts is making me feel like an underachiever! But last year I only read 37 books, and this year I'm already at 21 in May so I'm doing pretty well!

I'm still only 17/50 for the challenge, and neither of the books I read this week were for the challenge. That said, I loved them both and don't regret a minute!

I read The Female Persuasion and loved it! It could work for a book about feminism but I already fulfilled that one. Definitely a good read - I read some not-great reviews of it but all the bad reviews were critiquing it's narrow feminism. I don't go to fiction to bump up my feminist credentials, I go to fiction to be entertained! I did use this for another challenge for a book where one of the protagonists is over 60.

I also read The Wedding Date which I finished in one day. It was a little predictable, but so sweet and I loved the characters! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who needs a beach read or just a palette cleanser. I find myself reading so many long and serious books that I love to read a sweet story in between!


I never do celebrate literary holidays. I always hear about them when they're happening (mostly Harry Potter's birthday and September 1 for the train to Hogwarts) but I never put any forethought into it.

message 48: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 111 comments I finished one book this week:

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper for "Book with a fruit or vegetable in the title" and loved it.

I started and ended up DNF'ing The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. I was doing the audio and found that after 3 chapters I had not been paying enough attention to even know the names of the characters. I took that as a sign to find a different book for "book tied to your ancestry"

I have quite a few books in progress and won't list them. I'm really hoping that the holiday weekend will allow me to finish at least one or two.


Nope, can't say I do. Though I think it was last year I re-read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish on Dr. Seuss' birthday to fulfill a category for the challenge (book you loved as a child).

message 49: by Julie (new)

Julie | 172 comments Hello everyone!

It was an interesting reading week for me. We've had nonstop bad air quality / high ozone days in Phoenix, and as a result, I've had recurrent migraines for the past week. I was a bit sulky about that because a headache streak always means I have to stop reading for a while. However, I broke down and decided to rely on audiobooks for the time being, at least until I get out of my headache rut, so I managed to at least finish a couple books that way.

I've always had a tough time with audio, partly because I tend to tune out, so I really have to concentrate when listening. And partly because I've always felt like I'm cheating a little bit by listening instead of reading. But right now, I'm actually really enjoying the audio, so I'm rapidly getting over both of those issues. One of my goals this year was to get into more audio books anyway, so I guess I'm accomplishing that!

I'm sitting at 37/50 for the challenge so far.

Finished this week:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which I could use either for the "stage play or musical" or "animal in the title" prompts (haven't decided). I really liked this one.

Odd and the Frost Giants. I love anything narrated by Neil Gaiman, and realized that as much of a fan of his as I am, I haven't read enough of his children's or middle grade novels. This one was really cute, and a good follow-up / companion read to Norse Mythology (even though it came out probably 10 years before Norse Mythology did). I'm checking off "weather element in the title" with this one.

Currently reading:

Eleanor & Park on audio. I had promised my 16 year old niece I'd read it, since it's one of her favorites, and I'm liking it so far.

The Wise Man's Fear and Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine are still waiting for me too once I get ready to physically read again.

QOTW: I had never heard of any of those literary holidays, so no, I haven't celebrated them! Didn't know that was a thing. Now that I know, though, I might. Sounds fun.

message 50: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments @Raquel, good luck with NeuroTribes! Let me know what you think??

@Cheri, I lovelovelove 11-22-63! It's my favorite King book, tbh, and while it has its issues, I always rush through it and don't even notice the page count!

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