Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 22: 5/25 – 5/31

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message 1: by Sara (last edited May 31, 2018 09:12AM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy Thursday everyone! We have had an unprecedented amount of rain here in Virginia in the last few weeks. It’s one of the wettest Mays in history, and there has been a lot of flooding. I spent a good bit of time over the weekend curled up with a book which makes me very happy!

**Admin stuff:
-It’s the last day of May, but we will keep the discussion thread for Turtles All the Way Down open for a while so feel free to continue discussion if you feel so inclined.
-June’s group read of Middlesex will open tomorrow. Laura is our fearless discussion leader!
-We still need someone to lead discussion for July (The Woman in Cabin 10) and August (The Night Circus)!
-Nominations for the last quarter of the year (September October –December) will open soon (ETA - special thanks to Sheriff Potter for catching my error!). We will send out a notification once the threads are open.
On to the reading checkin!**

Books finished:
The Selection series (original trilogy) by Kiera Cass – YA dystopian series kinda like the royal bachelor (I'm not a fan of that show, but I do love royals!). This was a reread for me. I don’t usually count rereads for my challenge, but I’m very much tempted to use one of these for a local author. There’s a possibility she will release a new book later this year so I’m holding out!

Currently reading:

I’m working on a few things waiting for something to catch.

Question of the week:

Is there a series that you keep reading even though you've disliked the last few books?

The only series that I can think of that I read far longer than I should have was the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I don’t recall exactly where I stopped, but it was in the teens I believe. It just got so ridiculous and the love triangle stretched out so far that I couldn’t take any more (apologies to anyone who is still reading and enjoying this series).

There are several series where I’ve read the first book, or maybe two, and not continued, but I don’t think those were conscious choices based on dislike.

message 2: by El (last edited May 31, 2018 05:04AM) (new)

El | 195 comments 39/50


After You by Jojo Moyes for book that was read by a stranger in a public place. I saw someone check out the book from my library, so I didn't actually see them reading it.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Share Your Universe Ultimate Spider-Man Premiere and Captain America: The First Avenger #1: First Vengeance, the latter two I got for free on kindle.

Currently reading:

North and South. I had hoped to have finished it by this week, but I only read five chapters last week before picking up After You. I picked this up again yesterday though I have no idea if I'll finish it before next week's check in. I renewed it so I can hold on to it a bit longer.


Nothing comes to my mind at the moment.

EDIT: I finished the Inkheart trilogy even though I wasn't fond of the books. I picked up Inkheart before knowing it was part of a series.

message 3: by Brittany (last edited May 31, 2018 05:33AM) (new)

Brittany | 187 comments Hi All!

I had a pretty good reading week as my husband was out of town for the entire week. I'm nearly done with the challenge but the last few prompts are ones I'm struggling to find books I'm interested in. I've completed 46 of 52.

So for prompt 1, A book made into a movie you've already seen I read Chocolat. I usually read books before the movies if I know it has one but this one I was unaware of until this challenge. It's a nice read but while very similar to the movie it's also really different. One of my favorite parts of the movies is a super short part of the book written from the point of view of someone watching the scene which was disappointing. Also, the romance (if it could be called that) was also weird and again disappointing. I'm going to have to say that while I liked the book I really see why they made the changes they did in the movie...and I liked that better. There are apparently 2 other books but I'm not sure I'll seek them out.

For prompt 1 in the advanced section, A bestseller from the year you graduated I finally decided to go with the New York Times weekly best sellers and found one week with a book I was interested in. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I thought it was a great little read. It was a great little fantasy read (like all of Gaiman's work) and I'm glad I picked it up. I've been meaning to read it for a while.

For a book set in a country that fascinates you, I chose North Korea. I wasn't quite ready to read any of the books about escaping the country and to be honest most that I was willing to just weren't available at my library. So I chose to read A Corpse in the Koryo which is a murder mystery set in North Korea. I thought this book was ok. The story is from the point of view of a police officer in North Korea who while investigating a murder gets embroiled in a larger plot. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes spy novels but maybe not to someone who is interested in the plight of the people in NK.

And lastly, I finished Uprooted which I used for my extended prompt 40 (favorite prompt for year from past challenge). For 2016, I chose a book based on a Fairytale. This book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (kinda) and also possibly the tale of Baba Yaga. This one hooked me from the first page. Over time my enjoyment of it did wane as it didn't quite go where I thought it would but I liked the characters and thought the world was really interesting. I thought the author could have done a better job explaining from his point of view, why The Dragon took the girls in the way that he did.

At this point in the week, I was getting migraines from eye strain so I stopped reading. Then realized Netflix had new episodes of Riverdale which I am embarrassingly obsessed with so I switched to marathoning that.


Yes! Absolutely I have. When I was younger I pretty much read any series I could get my hands on and if I started one it became a personal challenge to finish. So I agree with the Stephanie Plum books. I read those things for years until I finally told myself I didn't enjoy them at book 17. I also finished the entire Lemony Snickett series and Twilight which, to be honest, I was fine with the first book in a trashy trope kind of way but man the rest just got bonkers.

message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments El wrote: "North and South. I had hoped to have finished it by this week, but I only read five chapters last week before picking up After You. I picked this up again yesterday though I have no idea if I'll finish it before next week's check in. I renewed it so I can hold on to it a bit longer."

You should definitely check out the North and South mini series with Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton once you have finished reading. The ending is my favorite :)

message 5: by Diane (last edited May 31, 2018 05:11AM) (new)

Diane  Lupton | 136 comments Thanks to Alberto's feeder bands we had quite the stormy holiday weekend. I also caught my son's cold and have been coughing (barking) for the last 6 days. The upside to all this drama... I finished another book rather quickly for my reading spread. This puts me at 15/50, an impressive total for me since I read only 18 books last year.

I finished Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. This was a delightful little gem. I loved all the descriptions of the bookstore, the ancient books, and the bookish quest. I could have done with a little less of the technology talk so I gave it 4 stars. It will fulfill the time of day in the title prompt for me.

Fifty Shades of Grey - bleh.

message 6: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 31, 2018 05:21AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7034 comments Mod
Apparently when I have a long weekend, it makes the week fly by and I can't believe it's Thursday again!

This week I finished four books, one of them for this Challenge, I am now 41/50.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole- this was an absolutely delightful contemporary romance. It's sort of like, if The Black Panther was rewritten to be the hero of a straight up romance novel. If you are looking to add some diversity to your fun romance reading, I highly recommend this book.

The English Wife by Lauren Willig - a sort of genre-blender from Willig, it's historical fiction and a murder mystery and a romance and a dual-timeline (tho the timelines are only four years apart) and a gothic. I really enjoyed it and gave it five stars, but it gets mixed reviews.

Chutes and Adders by Barbara Block - this was my "local author" book, and I hated it. It was local, though, so there's that. I'm done with that category and I hope to never seen another reading challenge category that involves local or hometown anything.

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves - a mystery set in the Shetland Islands, this got a lot of rave reviews in this group (mostly last year, for the "holiday that's not Christmas" category). It was okay, but not amazing. The sense of "place" was wonderful, but there was an oddly misogynistic vibe to the entire thing; I even double checked to see that the author is a woman. She is, but she has little good to say about other women! All of the women, save one, were shrill harridans or manipulative bitches. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series. Has anyone read White Nights? Is it the same?

Hahaha yes!! I seem to always get sucked into this trap. I'm all "I just can't quit you" ... but eventually I do quit. The WORST for me was Sarah Maas's Throne of Glass series. I never REALLY liked any of the books, but they were fun and mindless entertainment. But the last few were not fun anymore, they turned into hate reads. Finally I DNF'ed the last book, Tower of Dawn, it was So Bad.

I even have a GR shelf dedicated to these types of reads. There are 23 books on my shelf right now. Other candidates are: The Selection series ;-) (I read the first three, that was enough), The Raven Boys series (I read all four! Will Patton's audiobook reading kept me going), the first three in the Black Jewels series (they were so awful why did I read all three??), the Twilight series (I read the whole thing, even though it got worse and worse after New Moon) & Breath of Fire (I really didn't like the first book, so why do I even want to read the second?? but I do)

I have a love/hate relationship w Evanovich's Stephanie Plum too! I thought I had finally quit that one, but then I got the last two books as Xmas gifts, so .... I guess I will read them. Eventually.

message 7: by Ellie (last edited May 31, 2018 05:17AM) (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1312 comments I'm about half-way through the challenge now which is good going as I half expected to be doing a mad scramble in December.

Finished The Three-Body Problem for Read Harder, although I'm not sure if I'll push to complete that challenge as there are still a few prompts I'm struggling to find something I actually want to read for.

Read White Rabbit, Red Wolf which I'm using for animal in the title (would also work for favourite colour and mental health). Read this pretty much in one go on Sunday, great YA thriller.

Listened to A Shiver of Snow and Sky for weather element in title. I was expecting it to be more about the plague mentioned in the blurb but it was more about the main character's quest to find answers, with a sub-plot about an invasion by a savage enemy. The narrator was irritating though and I need to make myself listen to samples in future.

Currently reading Six of Crows for heist and listening to Blue Lily, Lily Blue (narrator does one character in a silly high-pitched voice, what is wrong with audiobook creators?!). It feels like I'm catching up with things everyone else read years ago.

24/50 | 45/100

If it's a long series that I started off liking, I do give it a chance to get better after one or two duff books. I probably gave the Anita Blake books far too many chances before giving up. I don't read that many long series now, so Cassie Palmer is probably the only one on its final warning.

I wouldn't normally read book two if book one was a bit average, but sometimes I do get intrigued.

message 8: by Anne (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 37 of 50 down.

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. There is something so summery about reading a Southern author – I feel the need to find a porch swing, a big glass of lemonade, and read til the skeeters get me. This particular book deals with the processing of an intestate estate – at 447 pages, it is clearly a will with some contention!

24.) The Shadow of the Wind is my weather element in the title, but it could have been set in a bookstore, too. It’s a fascinating book! We are following the saga of a young man who picks (receives?) a book for his 12th birthday. This book, found in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, is the last copy of a novel written by a fellow Barcelonian. The young man sets about to learn more about the author and the books – he’s met with a world of intrigue! All other copies of the book have been burned. When people start getting stabbed to death (over a book written some 20 years previous, the mystery becomes un-put-downable. Thoroughly enjoying and the quality of the writing is outstanding!

Currently reading:
49.) The Third Target by Joel C Rosenberg is my problem facing society today. This novel is focused on the increasing criminality of ISIS and Muslim extremists throughout the world. It’s a thriller and the details are great – I just can’t warm up to the protagonist. He’s a recovering alcoholic and a bit too focused on that. (Perhaps as a second problem facing society, we could add in that throughout the world, social interactions typically ‘require’ alcohol.)

When Tides Turn, a fun Christian nautical WWII romance that checks a bunch of boxes for another challenge.

On deck is an ARC for The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware that I can’t wait to start it tonight (or on my lunch) !!!

QOTW - Series You Keep Reading In Spite Of latest books
Women’s Murder Mysteries by James Patterson; It’s his only series I’m still reading, though I’m really not sure why.
The Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke. She should have married the dentist.
Tana French’s The Dublin Murder Squad. Broken Harbour and The Secret Place were almost an entirely different staff. I keep hearing amazing things about The Trespasser, so I’m still in!

message 9: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 427 comments Hello,

We are having great summer weather here. Today we should be feeling like 98 F. Yesterday, the kids swam outside for the first time of the season.

Last week I finished 2 graphic novels:

Adulthood Is a Myth that I will use as a past Goodread award winner. I gave it 2 stars. I guess I am too old for that.

Ghosts for the Halloween prompt. I liked that one, it remided me of the movie Coco. My 10 years old son read it twice before me.

I am now reading Assassin's Fate, the last book of that long serie. I don't want it to end so I'm taking my time.

QOTW: Maybe The Clan of the Cave Bear. I didn't ''dislike'' the last books, but wasn't into it as much. I read the last one anyway.

I started The Wheel of Time serie 20 years ago and restarted it few times, but I was never able to finish it.

message 10: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nadine wrote: "Other candidates are: The Selection series ;-) (I read the first three, that was enough)"

Haha! There's a good bit of silliness, and I want to smack America on the side of her pretty little head every once in a while, but it's good fun :) I did finish the series. The daughter (MC for books 4 &5) is pretty unlikable in book 4. She improves in book 5, but I never really warmed up to her like I did her mother.

message 11: by Taylor (new)

Taylor | 178 comments Happy Thursday!

I just started grad school this week for my MLIS degree so I've been drowning in reading for classes! Fortunately one of my classes is Library Materials for YA so I get to read some "fun" reads.

This week I finished:

It - I absolutely LOVED this book! There were parts that made me uncomfortable but I loved everything else about this book! It is definitely one of my favorites! I loved the characters so much that I feel like a part of me is missing now that I'm done. I plan on physically rereading towards the end of summer/this fall as I listened to the audiobook. Using for a previous year prompt that I loved (2016 - takes place during summer).

The Chocolate War - This was for my YA class as it's a classic YA book. All I could think the entire time reading it was: who cares?! After having a lot of discussion with classmates I can appreciate how much this book changed the direction of YA literature but I still would not recommend this book to many people, especially high school students. I cannot find anywhere to fit this book for the challenge.

Currently reading:

Sold - for class, do not know if it will fit a prompt yet.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - for class, do not know if it will fit a prompt. I read the complete Persepolis earlier this year so this will be a reread but from a different perspective.


The only series I reread are the Harry Potter books. I once tried to reread Twilight and the writing was so atrocious that I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. I've thought about rereading The Hunger Games trilogy but I don't know that I'll get around to those either. I think part of the reason why I love books so much the first time but don't reread them is because the magic and mystery is gone. I know what is going to happen and the suspense is greatly lacking.

message 12: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Hi Everyone!

It's been a hot week, the holiday weekend was completely sweltering. Didn't go outside much, since we haven't figured out a good shade solution for the patio. Looks like this weekend's going to be in the mid 70's though, so looking forward to that!

This week I finished:

The Halloween Tree - Book set on Halloween. It was a kid's book so pretty short, but it was an interesting story, covering various culture's death-related fall holidays. Wasn't my favorite Bradbury by any means.

The Wednesday Wars - This was my book being read by a stranger in public. Saw a woman at the gym with propped up on her elliptical. Technically she wasn't reading it while I was there, but she'd clearly either been reading it before I got there, or was going to, so I counted it. I'd been having trouble with this prompt, most the time when I see people reading in public it's on a device, or the book's being held in a way I couldn't see the cover. I'm not one to go pestering strangers, especially reading strangers, just for a reading challenge. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, the description made it sound pretty boring.

Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care - Picked this up during free comic book day, the Scott Pilgrim author is one of the co-creators. It was interesting, but I think I need to read vol 2 when it comes out to really form an opinion. The characters start off pretty shallow and kind of annoying, but towards the end the plot was getting more interesting and the characters getting more facets.

Heart Berries: A Memoir - This was a pick for Emma Watson's book club that I was on hold for months for. Was kind of disappointed, the description and all the reviews made it sound like it'd be a really meaningful read. I don't know if I wasn't in the right mindset for it or what. I just wasn't feeling much of anything while reading, and even though it was under 200 pages was counting down how many pages left to go until it was done.

The Price of Salt - book with an lgbtq+ protagonist. I'd seen this on a list of great lgbtq+ reads, and my library had it digitally so I picked it. I liked it ok, and I can see how for the time it was written it'd be pretty monumental. I just found it a little bit slow.

currently reading:

Lock In - I kept seeing ads for his newest book Head On, which is the next book in this series, so picked up both while I was at the library. not very far yet.

Mech Cadet Yu Vol. 1 - this will be my comic not by dc/marvel/image for read harder. reading a section here or there as I feel like it.

The Gate to Women's Country - Started this but then a whole bunch of library stuff came in so it's on hold. Will be my author with the same first or last name to me. I was excited to find one who spelled her name the same way, AND wrote something I wanted to read.


I'd say Anita Blake would be the #1. I thought the series took a sharp left turn at Narcissus in Chains, but I kept reading for something like another 8 books hoping it'd get back on track. I still might occasionally pick one up if the library has it digitally and I am in a reading lull, but it's been a while since I even felt like that.

message 13: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 111 comments Only finished one this week

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi Agent to the Stars for the category "book recommended by someone taking the PopSugar Reading Challenge" and LOVED it, just as I have found that I have loved all of John Scalzi's work that I've read.

I gave up on one book several chapters in when I realized that I had been listening to it for over 2 hours in and couldn't remember a SINGLE character's name.


I have to agree with The Anita Blake books as my book that I kept at despite growing to have. I loved the books up to Obsidian Butterfly but as soon as LKH discovered good sex in her real life the books were nothing but it with a bit of heavily contrived plot thrown in. I kept at it for a good long while but now it's "if I come across the next book and don't have to pay for it and I'm REALLY bored" situation.

Also the "In Death" series by JD Robb. There were a few books that I had to force myself to finish but I did because they plots were literally things I had seen and read before in other venues. But now it's seems like the series is back to what I like and being somewhat original.

message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 764 comments Well since I just did last week's check-in two days ago, I don't have more books completed since then, but I'm currently listening to The Snowman, which is ok... some parts of it are capturing my attention, and I like that it takes place in Norway, but I feel like it's too long, since detective novels aren't as much my thing. I'll stick with it through the end though.

I'm also reading The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row on kindle, which is an amazing true story.

I just started The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups as my nightstand hardcopy book, and I'm looking forward to applying the concepts to my new job.

I'm at 40/50 for the challenge, but I've read 77 books this year already.

QOTW: I've only read a few series (The Hunger Games, The Cemetary of Forgotten books (loved), etc.) and I think I generally stop reading when I'm no longer enjoying the books, which is why I probably won't move on to book three of the Neapolitan Novels. I liked My Brilliant Friend, but The Story of a New Name was too depressing and I feel like the story will just get sadder.

message 15: by Johanne (last edited May 31, 2018 06:33AM) (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Hello everyone.

I´ve read a lot the last weeks, but not much challengewise. Either my reads don´t fulfill any prompts or they fill ones I´ve got multiple for already. High scorers are death and grief, animal in title (picture books), problem facing society, published in 2018, and of course meant to read in 2017 and next in series. Does anyone else have this problem?

This past week I finished Ørkenspyddet (The Desert Spear). If you feel like a classical epic fantasy read, this series is for you. Works for next in series, published in 2018 (Danish edition). Both already filled.

Sande glæder ("true joys") A picture book for adults. Illustrated by Stian Hole one of my favourite illustrators of all time. I actually like his children´s picture books better, but it was still good. Doesn´t work for the challenge.

Når man kalder på døden ("when you call for Death"). About a girl whose little sister is sick, and how she doesn´t feel as loved as the sister. By the mother´s actions I would say she wasn´t - I wanted to hit her (the mum). Really good, short read for children 10+ and hopefully their parents. I cried. Works for published in 2018 and death and grief. Both already fulfilled.

Livets spil (The Game of Lives). Last book in Dashner´s Mortality Doctrine trilogy. Works for next in series, cyberpunk, published in 2018 (Danish edition) - all already filled.

And a couple of picture books with animal in the title :)

Today I´m going to finish listening to The Handmaid's Tale. I don´t know how to feel about it. Works for celebrity book club (Emma Watson´s) -that I haven´t filled - yay!

Currently reading Leoniderne a Danish sci-fi series. May have time travel, but I´m not sure yet.

If I don´t enjoy a first book in a series, I´ll finish that but not continue with the second book. I did this with Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey for example.

I do sometimes keep reading a long series for several books after I stopped enjoying them much if I really loved the first lot in the series, hoping for glimpses of former greatness. I´ve done this with the comic book series Elfquest and Prince Valiant.

message 16: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 746 comments Gearing up for the Summer Library Program here -- when kids can earn prizes for reading throughout the summer and attend special events at the library. It's great fun for the kids and good to encourage them to read, but that means between that and parents using the library as an unpaid babysitter, summer is our busiest time of the year. I feel like modifying the infamous "Game of Thrones" quote to read "Brace yourselves... Summer is coming." XD

Books I read this week:

License Invoked -- for "book with two authors." Mostly entertaining but ultimately unmemorable, though I might give both authors (Robert Asprin and Jodi Lynn Nye) another shot here at some point.

The Someday Birds -- for "book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to." LOVED it! A powerful read about a boy with autism struggling to cope with a family road trip and his father's extended stay in the hospital.


The Moon Dwellers -- not for the challenge. I don't mind cliches so much in a book, but when a book just keeps piling on cliche after cliche and does nothing to give them a twist or make them unique, I give up.

Currently reading:

Spindle's End -- favorite prompt from the 2016 challenge, "book based on a fairy tale"
Manipulate -- not for the challenge
And yes, still working on the Lovecraft collection...


I used to really enjoy Piers Anthony's "Xanth" books, but after awhile got tired of the books growing increasingly more obsessed with sex and puns. Xanth is a land of puns, often clever ones, but later books seemed to be less concerned with plot and more concerned with just rattling off as many puns as possible.

I'm sure there are other series this has happened with, but they're escaping me at the moment...

message 17: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments Hooboy! I missed last week's check-in, and I was on vacation, so I have a ton of updates!


Fight Like A Girl - A book from a celebrity book club - sometimes thrilling and inspiring, but also quite rambly and overly personal at times. I'm still on a quest for a good book on feminism for my young teenager. Aside from rambling/dwelling on awfulness, I don't like Ford's comments about mental illness and medication, so this is not a candidate.

Holes - A childhood classic you've never read - loved it! Great for kids and adults alike. Adventure, friendship, and kind of a little bit of magical realism thrown in when least expected.

Rocket Raccoon, Volume 1: A Chasing Tale - A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title - Good silly fun.

The Asylum - A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to - had a great time with this. It's spot-on Gothic mystery.

84, Charing Cross Road - A book that involves a bookstore or library - Amazing! I had no idea this was non-fiction when I picked it up. Helene's voice comes through so vividly, and the friendship is so lovely. It's super-short - do yourself a favor and spend a couple hours reading it.


Six of Crows - A book involving a heist - I like it so far. Good opening scenes. I actually have way more interest in Inej and the characters in the introductory bit, but maybe Kaz will grow on me too.


This might make people mad, but Harry Potter. I was invested enough in "what happens?!" to read 6 & 7 as soon as they came out, but they felt really sloggy to me. I probably won't bother reading them again.

message 18: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 542 comments Had a really good reading week.

Finished up Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory. It was ok. I liked the beginning part much better than the end. I definately wouldn't have read this if it wasn't for the challenge. Using it for microhistory

Finished - The Good Daughter. I enjoyed this one. This was book borrowed (my coworker lent it to me).

Finished The Kind Worth Killing. This was in the book recommended by someone else taking the challenge thread. I read this very quick. I liked it a lot and told my friend to read it ASAP!

Started (and will finish today) Matilda. I could read this in one sitting but I'm really enjoying the audio version being read by Kate Winslet. I'm using this for childhood classic I've never read.

17 Regular, 4 Advanced, 4 For Fun. My June To Be Read books is overly ambitious.

QOTW - I have a lot of series that I've started and need to get back in to (or just bite the bullet and abandon them already!) I have a spreadsheet (shocking I love lists) that I wrote out all the series that I've started & where I left off in the series. My pet peeve with series is reading the first one or two then waiting ages for the next one to be published. By then I forget everything about it (Maybe I'm a bad reader?). And I'm not much into re-reading. Hence, unfinished series...

message 19: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Happy Thursday everyone! I returned from a trip to Israel / Palestine on Sunday and oh my goodness the jet lag is so real. I have never experienced jet lag like this before (though I've also never been 40 before and I've never traveled quite this far). It was a 10 hour difference, and I was fine going there, but definitely not fine coming back. I will accept any and all tips for curing this jet lag. Also - the trip was incredible. If you've never gone before and are interested, do it.

The Winter Sea I had planned to use this for the time travel prompt, because I saw it on a Goodreads list of time travel books and already owned it, but unfortunately there was no actual time travel in it. But fortunately I have not yet filled the "novel with real people" prompt, and there were real historical people in it, so I'm using it for that. It was a little slow going for me, but I did end up enjoying it.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Used this for the book on another planet prompt. It was clever and creative but really not for me. Grateful to be able to check it off the list and say I've read it, but I will not be reading more in the series.

36/52 completed (31/42 regular, 5/10 advanced)

Currently reading
Lion: A Long Way Home (didn't get to in 2017 prompt) I think the movie is better than the book, but the book is decent enough to keep going.
Rabbit, Run (sports prompt) Wow is the main character horrible. But the writing is compelling, so I'm interested to see what happens.

I can't think of anything. I'm usually a finisher when it comes to books, but not series. If I don't like it, I stop. However, when I read The Twilight Saga I knew objectively it probably wasn't good, but I liked it so I kept going.

message 20: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments I haven't updated in a while because life. I finished 5 books since the last update. 3 were this week.
Total progress: 41/52

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson on audio for a book about mental health.
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I don't think this fit anywhere
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden Not for the challenge
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin Not for the challenge.
Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks by Terrance Dicks set on a different planet.

I've seen a lot of other people mention it, but the Throne of Glass series. I really didn't like the first one, but people said they got better, which is true. Then it got worse again, then a little better, etc. It's a fun little jaunt through a contrived YA fantasy romance. It takes very little brain power to read, so I read it when I don't really feel like reading. Someone above said they DNF'd Tower of Dawn which has me worried because that's next on the list.

message 21: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Tara wrote: "The Winter Sea I had planned to use this for the time travel prompt, because I saw it on a Goodreads list of time travel books and already owned it, but unfortunately there was no actual time travel in it..."

I have almost done that a couple time this year - find a book with dual timelines thinking it will work until I remember "oh wait, I'm looking for actual time travel!" :)

message 22: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 303 comments Good morning from humid Columbus! Summer vacation is in full swing and we’ve been trying to get out and about as much as possible without melting.

What Now? is a short piece based on a graduation commencement speech Ann Patchett gave. Short, sweet, funny, to the point.

Sourdough I finally decided on my favorite prompt from previous years- a book about food. I ended up reading like, five books last year for that category. I’ve enjoyed Robin Sloan in the past and I don’t know why it took me until just not to read this because not only is sourdough one of my favorite foods, I love to bake it. I guess the author is into tech because just like Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Sourdough got pretty high tech in parts. I liked it less in former but it worked pretty well in the latter. Fun book, would absolutely recommend.

Lirael the sequel to Sabriel, not for a prompt I’m just really into this series and listening to Tim Curry narrate it. I read that the movie rights were bought to Sabriel and so I’m here like *insert your favorite I’m waiting gif here*. I hope it doesn’t end up in movie limbo because I’d love to see this on this universe on the screen.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore for my book store prompt. I actually still have a couple of chapters left that I’ll finish at the park later, but barring some crazy out of the blue twist ending, this book gets two thumbs up. I would have finished this in a day if hadn’t gotten distracted by YouTube last night lol.

So I’m now at 34/40; 1/10 with 91 books read this year (I hit my yearly challenge already!)

QOTW: I’m not crazy about the Dexter series but I plan on finishing it because it’s not terrible. I have a thing about finishing what I started. The only series I will, so far, absolutely not finish is 50 shades. One was more than enough, I couldn’t go on. Flowers in the Attic series is SO BAD. But comically bad. Like, the worst most dramatic soap oprah but filled with incest bad. I can’t decide if I have no regrets or too much to even process.

message 23: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7034 comments Mod
Taylor wrote: "... The Chocolate War - This was for my YA class as it's a classic YA book. All I could think the entire time reading it was: who cares?! ..."

Ahhhh!!! Cormier was really big when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, and I always wanted to read this book but somehow I never did. Recently, my 9th grade daughter was assigned another of his book's, The Rag and Bone Shop, for English class. I'd never read that either (I think I've never read any of his books - somehow I missed them, too busy reading Judy Blume and Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey I guess) so I read it too, because, books! And I hated it!! His writing style just was like nails on chalkboard for me!!

message 24: by Johanna (last edited May 31, 2018 08:05AM) (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 234 comments 32/52

Yes, it has rained so much in central Virginia, that schools were closed today! Rivers are overflowing and roads are washing away! Unfortunately rain is in the forecast for the next several days!

Completed Prompts

I finished one books this week.

A book from a celebrity book club: I read Seven Days of Us for this prompt. I ordered this books several months ago at the library and finally got it. I was so disappointed! I really wish the characters had been written with more depth. You knew immediately what would happen and I spent the whole book waiting for it. There were some unexpected twists, but overall very disappointing for me.

On my nightstand:
The Virgin Suicides which I am loving so far. And Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything. This was under a librarian pick at the library. It is so funny and unbelievable. I keep laughing and reading parts out loud to my family.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

QOTW: No, if I don't like the first book enough, I won't continue. Even if I'm a few books in, I can stop once I've lost interest.

message 25: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Good morning! The weather is very much breakfast and reading on the porch weather, once my lazy children wake up. The youngest is stirring and sleep nursing, so she will be soon.

Fruits of the Earth - this was such a slog and it’s super short but was still painful. It’s on the 1001 list so I persevered but it was awful. No plot, just a bunch of nonsense about being happy in a philosophical and religious way.

Meddling Kids - this was good but many things about his writing style didn’t really work for me. He goes into screenplay dialogue mode at times and I didn’t like that, though it may have been better as an audiobook. Some of his vocabulary/simile choices were really weird and I wasn’t a fan. That said, the plot/concept was pretty fun and it worked for the LGBTQ+ prompt, so that was nice.

Sisters - Loved this. I thought a lot of the sibling relationships rang true and I liked how the parental problems were there and slowly dawned on the kids, who were wrapped up in their own stuff. I’m going to buy a copy of this one to get signed for the girls.

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History - I didn’t realize going in that this would be mostly about the author and his political career, but that wasn’t entirely a bad point - I think perhaps all that background helps explain why he pushed to have the statues taken down. This is one of those issues that as an outsider really baffles me because I really don’t understand why there is so much pushback on getting rid of statues of traitors to a country. He did a good job of making parts of that more comprehensible to me.

Goyangi Means Cat - the library still had their Asian-Pacific Islander display up and this caught my eye since it’s about a Korean adoptee. The illustrations are fantastic, working Hangul (the Korean alphabet) into the background of each page. And the story is simple but really captures the girl’s sadness at being in a new country and family.

I’ve hit a point that I’m not really filling many prompts for any challenge by accident anymore and will need to start reading more purposefully. Once DCC has passed and I’ve stopped concentrating on reading those books, I’ll switch to more purposefully choosing books to fit prompts. I’m sort of tempted to do the Goodreads summer reading challenge starting tomorrow, just because then I’ll have some new prompts that might be easy to hit by accident again!

I hit my yearly Goodreads number of 128 - chosen because that was the number of prompts in the three challenges I am doing this year. I hadn’t noticed until suddenly all my Goodreads friends were liking my challenge and I wondered why! I’m not done any of the three challenges though, which is amusing.

Currently I’m reading If This Is a Man, which is such a heartbreaking read. Reading it as the news about the children in ICE detention has come out hit doubly hard. I’m also listening to Dracula and it is so good! Why did I wait this long to finally read it?!?


I have a tendency to drop a series by accident - I’ll discover it, read all the published books and then in the wait for the next one... oops! Next year I’ve been thinking of going to my first year of Goodreads and seeking out either next in series or just another book by authors I read in the past and liked.

One series that I think I’m definitely done with is Lyndsay Sands vampire books. I went through what I dubbed my vampire porn phase, kicked off by Twilight - my students were all reading it so I did too. At the time, my laptop had broken and so I lost both the ability to internet and watch TV at home and I started in on reading a book a day for a few months while saving up for a new laptop and I was really into her series. I went back to try and read a few more recently and they all seem so samey to me now. At first I didn’t really mind that each book followed such a similar arc as each couple displayed the set of characteristics of meeting their perfect partner, partially because it’s a giant vamp family and I was interested enough in having the family members get their turn but it finally hit a point that it was just too cookie cutter for me. I won’t say I’ll never pick one up again, but they are more just silly fluff and not something I’m super enthused about.

Sometimes the 1001 list feels a bit like that too - I’ve read quite a few this year that were really underwhelming. But then that list has also given me what I think will be the best book I’ll read this year and I wouldn’t have even heard of the book without the list, so... I guess I persevere.

message 26: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1312 comments Johanne wrote: "Hello everyone. I´ve read a lot the last weeks, but not much challengewise. Either my reads don´t fulfill any prompts or they fill ones I´ve got multiple for already. High scorers are death and gr..."

Yes! There are some prompts that are just too easy to fill, I've read a lot of new releases, books about death or grief, other ethnicity, next in series and problems facing society.

SarahKat wrote: "Someone above said they DNF'd Tower of Dawn which has me worried because that's next on the list..."
I finished it but it should have been a novella not a 600+ page book! It is a side story though so you could probably skip it. I'm kinda glad the series is finishing because I have enjoyed most of it but suspect it's starting to get dragged out.

message 27: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Chinook,

I get you on the Lynsay Sands. I used to be excited for the new installments because I actually really liked her take on vampirism, and they were fun easy reads that were brain candy. But several of her more recent ones have just felt very "eh, I need to churn out another, here let's just throw these two together" types. Also I noticed she keeps contracting her own lore, and for an entire book named one of her characters wrong. (as in the character was in a previous book, and she used the wrong name for the entire new book). So yeah that's another one that's in a "if the book is 2 dollars I might buy it, otherwise no" category.

message 28: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7034 comments Mod
SarahKat wrote: "I've seen a lot of other people mention it, but the Throne of Glass series. I really didn't like the first one, but people said they got better, which is true. Then it got worse again, then a little better, etc. It's a fun little jaunt through a contrived YA fantasy romance. It takes very little brain power to read, so I read it when I don't really feel like reading. Someone above said they DNF'd Tower of Dawn which has me worried because that's next on the list. ..."

That was me!! I liked the first book ok, and I really enjoyed the prequels and the second book. But "Heir" and "Crown" were two star reads for me, "Empire" was a 1 star read, and I just couldn't take it any more in "Tower" so I DNFed. It's almost like a different person is writing these! Chaol was my favorite character in "Throne" and it's some sort of wicked character assassination that happens, by the time "his" book comes along, Tower, he was just ick. All of the characters were just ick. They are all strutting around, posturing, preening their feathers and getting mortally offended by imagined slights. So. If you didn't feel that way, and you enjoyed "Empire" (even just a little bit!) you'll probably be fine with "Tower" too!

message 29: by Somer (new)

Somer Jennings | 27 comments 9/52
I am behind but I am working hard on catching up! I am listening to books everyday and reading...on top of going to school full time!

Finished this week:
Venom & Vanilla used as Book with fruit or vegetable in title! I loved this book and now have moved on to the second in the series!! It's really good alot of times books on vampires or world sickness isn't set in the US. This one is!!

Shadow of Night used as Book about time travel! This started me listening to audio books again after a few years and I just love it!

Lies My Girlfriend Told Me used as a book with a LGBTQ+ protagonist! This book was very good, but I wished there was a number two or at least a little more was explained! I read this in one night, so it kept my attention very well.

I currently have 7 more books started!! SO I am well on my way!

message 30: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Nadine wrote: "SarahKat wrote: "I've seen a lot of other people mention it, but the Throne of Glass series. I really didn't like the first one, but people said they got better, which is true. Then it got worse ag..."

My favorite was Queen of Shadows, which made Empire all that more disappointing because I felt the quality was all the way back down to what the first one was. I didn't realize Tower was all about Chaol. That makes me even more nervous because he went from being my favorite person in 1 and 2 to my least favorite person in 3.

message 31: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7034 comments Mod
Well Chaol definitely starts off as crap in Tower - I can't say if he changes during the book since I gave up (I did skim to see if anything got interesting and nothing caught my eye - just more posturing and specialness and imagined slights)

message 32: by Mirel (new)

Mirel | 170 comments Finished 3 books this week, and for a change, enjoyed all of them. The prompt count is now up to 37/40, and 6/10.

1) The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust which I used as a microhistory, but would certainly fit other prompts as well (2 authors, based on a real person, connected to ancestry or different ethnicity, death and grief...). This is a very different Holocaust story, and I found the author's voice and the story fascinating. I gave it 5 stars.

2) The Alice Network another one I gave 5 stars, although maybe it should have been 4.5 The book shifts between a WWI spy story and the post WWII search through France for the missing cousin of one of the protagonists. Although a lot of the reviews I read did not enjoy the young, post WWII protagonist, I liked the way the author showed caring/dedicated people each broken in different ways. I was also shocked that people are horrified by behaviors of people in the past that while considered unacceptable nowadays, was considered acceptable in the past. (People who detested the irresponsible behavior of a pregnant woman who drank, I mean, there were times that that was actually not unusual, people were not aware of the possible harm in it.)
Anyway, while looking for a book made into a play, I discovered that "The Outsiders" which I'd read and used for a different prompt was actually made into a play! So, I shifted a few books around, (moved the Outsiders to fill that hole, moved Anna Karenina from celebrity book club book to book mentioned in another book, and tada! used this book for the celebrity book club prompt. The Alice Network also discusses a real life spy who is a major part of the book, so can use the based on a real person prompt too. The historical background discussed in the back of the book was fascinating.

3) Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet this book I listened to while driving and working in the kitchen. I really enjoyed it, and found it very clever. It might work for set on a different planet, which I've already filled, so I'm using it for the ATY ghost prompt, since one of the characters is referred to in the blurb and in parts of the book as a ghost. I thought the writing was excellent and the whole premise was very clever. I would definitely read more by this author.

I'm also working my way through the Bible, and finished Numbers and Judges this week, but that only counts for ancestry, which has already been filled...

I'm in the middle of way too many books (and until starting this challenge last year I never started one book without finishing the one before it, but now I have a physical book for the Sabbath, kindle to read when I'm out of the house, and an audible to listen to while I"m driving or doing something with my hands that leaves my brain free. Crazy!

As for QOTW: If I start a series, I generally like to finish it, although I'm beginning to wean myself away from that. Started the Game of Thrones, and after the third book, found them less and less enjoyable. But I continued to read the later books as they came out. The last book in the series that I read (not sure if a newer one has come out since), however, got me so frustrated (what was it? 1300 pages and covering about a month?!? not to mention that in all those pages Martin forgot some of my favorite characters) that I literally threw it across the room when I finished it and vowed to never touch the series again. I'm also debating whether or not I want to continue the Outlander series, since the last book that I read in the series left me pretty annoyed. I will probably eventually go back to it since I actually have the next two books in the house, and someone told me that it gets better again.

message 33: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Smith | 57 comments Oh my goodness I am beyond excited. I am usually a slow reader (14/50 complete) and I am kicking butt. This is my first challenge ever. I haven't checked in lately so I have a couple of weeks. It just so happen to fall in my two weeks library borrows. Which I returned yesterday. It's very HOT AND HUMID here in south Louisiana. I work with my plants outside early and late in the day and read inside watching birds on the feeders.

SECRET GARDEN for my childhood classic prompt. Loved it! Such a sweet story.

HOT HOUSE FLOWER AND THE NINE PLANTS OF DESIRE for my borrowed prompt. Loved this one too. I am a plant person so it was intriguing and sexy.

YOU for in a bookstore prompt. This was creepy good. Makes you look at some people a little different lol.

THE EYES OF THE DRAGON for the ugly cover prompt. I own this one and planned to use for pet prompt but then noticed the cover was kinda ugly. I also own Pet Sematary I can use for pet prompt. This was a cute story. Stephen King doesn't disappoint. He wrote for his daughter because she wanted something she could read of his when she was young.

CARRIE for screenplay/musical prompt. I own this one too. I liked the book but the movie was better. Sissy Spacek made the movie scary which I didn't feel scared in the book. It's a little book too.

I read 5 the last two weeks but I checked out 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I'm hoping to finish in two weeks as it has 849 pages ugh. Its a chunker. I'm not sure where I want to put this yet. It falls under two prompts,,, The decade I was born and time travel. I am also reading The Cuckoo's Calling, which I own, for male pseudonym prompt.

I hate to say Anita Blake series. I read Hit List for next in the series and it was good. I own almost all of them. I cannot stop reading it because it was my first series. I started it and I want to see it through.

message 34: by Julie (new)

Julie | 172 comments Taylor wrote: "I just started grad school this week for my MLIS degree so I've been drowning in reading for classes! Fortunately one of my classes is Library Materials for YA so I get to read som..."

Congrats on starting library school! I hear you about drowning in classes! After many years in the library profession, I FINALLY went back to school to get my MLIS last September and am finishing it up this summer (though I have four more days before classes start up again). Enjoy your YA class - I got to read quite a few fun graphic novels and YA books too for a diversity in library literature class I took, which was a lot of fun.

Brittany wrote: "At this point in the week, I was getting migraines from eye strain so I stopped reading"

Brittany, I totally understand! About 50 pages a day is really my max in order to avoid migraines, but when I find a good page turner and I binge, I'll wind up reading more like a couple hundred pages a day (if I have the time). Then I get a migraine that persists for awhile, and have to take time off from reading. I just recently started switching between audio and print, and that helps (although I don't enjoy audio as much).

message 35: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 465 comments I didn't read any for the challenge this week. I'm working on one that fits but a) it's long b) I have to review it c) which is a good and bad thing because I'm bored and would have set it aside if I didn't have that obligation.

I did read Unspeakable Words by Sarah Madison which would work for LGBT if someone would like to read one that's more about the mystery (with a paranormal twist) than about romance (that is a subplot). I enjoyed it.

I also finished Bleach―ブリーチ― 72 Burīchi 72 by Tite Kubo

QOTW Points to Bleach above. It's almost over and once you've invested this much time into a manga series you want to see it through but it's painful.

I've followed Charlaine Harris's Sookie vampire stories for longer than I should, ditto Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt mysteries and Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series even though they're getting weaker. I do give the author time to come back with something better but I do eventually give up.

message 36: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 696 comments Evening.
Scottish summer seems to have arrived, though perhaps I'd better not say so in case I jinx it.
Not much has been happening with me. Went out to lunch with a neighbour on Sunday, that was nice. Have managed to make progress on a cosplay for next month's Glasgow Comic Con (I'm going as Pidge from Voltron Legendary Defender).
Also had a few cuddle sessions with the dog, which doesn't sound like news but I have this paranoia about hygiene which means I normally don't even touch him, so it's actually big progress!

This Saturday I'm planning to see The Breadwinner with a friend. Very much looking forward to that!

Only finished one book this week: Cheer Up Love: Adventures in depression with the Crab of Hate. Fulfilled the mental health prompt. Thought it was decent, and quite funny, but nothing too groundbreaking. Solid 3 stars.

[Interlude: there's a giant FLY in the conservatory crawling aLL over my piles of books weh!!!]

Currently reading, quite slowly:

King Lear (reading from The Complete Works of William Shakespeare) - Started this on Monday evening right before the BBC version aired. Didn't finish it in time. This edition is quite hard to read as it's double columns on each page and miniscule print, plus my brain is not in the right mode for Ye Olde Englishe right now. Might be getting moved to the temporary-dnf shelf for a little while.

Annihilation - This is good but pretty slow-paced. Taking me a lot longer than a 200-page book should be.

QOTW: No, I can't think of any. With series I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person, I'll either decide the first book isn't for me and never continue, or I'll ride it through to the very end.
That said, I've pretty much lost all interest in A Song of Ice and Fire. If Winds of Winter ever comes out, I probably won't bother reading it.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments I had a good reading week this week, partly due to being called for jury duty, and then sitting around for 6 hours before the trial got called off because the defendant decided to plead guilty. I also finally saw people reading in public while we were all waiting, which I posted about in that prompt thread.

Finished Reading:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society This is one of those books that I think I was subconsciously avoiding because everyone seemed to like it so much that I wanted to write it off. Someone sent it to me in a book swap around Christmas though, I'm finally starting to catch up on my physical TBR pile, and it turns out it's a really charming book! Plus, I loved the slice of history that I've never heard about anywhere else. I put this in the 'fruit or vegetable' prompt, and moved The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea to the 'bookstore or library' prompt.

Poo-Poo and the Dragons I loved this book as a kid, and it was still fun even though it didn't *quite* live up to my memories of it. Recommended for family read alouds and any kids who used to love Harold and the Purple Crayon. I would count this for a book with an animal in the title, but I've already filled that prompt.

The Vampire's Mail Order Bride I used this for the Halloween prompt, even though the 'every day is Halloween' was just an advertising slogan for the town in the book. I think it fit the spirit of prompt. A three star light read.

Persuasions: A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief My Sunday afternoon re-read. As good or better than I remembered it being, and, conveniently, a Pilgrim's Progress style allegory.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl This is not a book I would have picked out on my own, since I really hate the 'horror for the sake of horror' that fills most of the genre. I got this in a used book subscription box though, and ended up really enjoying it. It's a good story that just happens to be creepy. And, yay, my library has the next two books in the trilogy! (I just know realized this would fit the weather prompt... which of course I've already filled.)

Friendship and Folly I finished it! It was an amusing, pleasant read, but just not super engaging for me. Part of it was that I really felt like the dialogue was more accurate to 'conservative home school family that reads lots of classics' than to actual Regency family. Which is fine with me, it was still amusing, just a little distracting.

Currently Reading:
When God Says "Wait": Navigating Life's Detours and Delays Without Losing Your Faith, Your Friends, or Your Mind Are you all as tired of hearing me mention that I'm still reading this as I am of having to put it on the list every week?

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity Mixed feelings on this book, but mostly good so far. I'm irritated with the author for seeming to dismiss ALL alternative therapies because some are ridiculous, and it's a bit of effort to stay engaged, but other than that I'm loving all the information so far.

Once Upon a Happy Ending: An Anthology of Reimagined Fairy Tales Reading this for free through Prime Reading just for the fun of it.

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy I feel bad for giving up on all the other authors in this anthology just for not liking the first couple of stories, but I had no motivation to keep reading.

I generally just give up on series if I'm not enjoying them, so the only example of this question I can think of is from my pre-teen years. I was starting to get tired of the formula in the Mandie and the Secret Tunnel books, but I kept pushing through, thinking that she'd eventually get older and finally marry Joe. I was so disappointed when I realized there were like 100 books and she was basically the same age in all of them.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Sara wrote: "Nadine wrote: "Other candidates are: The Selection series ;-) (I read the first three, that was enough)"

Haha! There's a good bit of silliness, and I want to smack America on the side of her prett..."

I gave up on that series before I finished the first book. I still wonder if I should try again, because everything about the descriptions seems like it should be my kind of book. I also don't like characters I want to smack though, so maybe not. :-)

message 39: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments I spent my long weekend painting my room (including ceiling and baseboard/trim) so not a lot of reading got done. Now, however, I curl up in my new bed (assembled in the newly-painted room Monday) and read every night!

The Lonely Hearts Hotel for a book with an author who has the same first or last name as you. This book was DEVASTATING but so very different and good.

From Twinkle, with Love because I adored When Dimple Met Rishi last summer. Just as cute and a quick YA read!

Leah on the Offbeat continued young adult week! Sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and so, so wonderful. The representation in these YA books is heartwarming.

The Princess and the Peer... entertaining enough but strains credulity and wrapped up a bit too neatly, even for a romance.

Currently reading:
The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, which I need to get back to and finish so I can review it ahead of publication!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (because when I say YA week, I mean it). Finally finishing this charming series!

QOTW: AGREED about Janet Evanovich. I jumped ship somewhere in the teens when every books was just... the same. There's some romance series too where things get too same-y and I bail. Marie Force comes to mind.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Johanne wrote: "Hello everyone.

I´ve read a lot the last weeks, but not much challengewise. Either my reads don´t fulfill any prompts or they fill ones I´ve got multiple for already. High scorers are death and gr..."

Oh, yes! It seems like I'm constantly reading books that would count for death and grief, mental health, book by two authors... Next book in a series you started is the clear winner for number of times I've filled the prompt.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Tara wrote: "Happy Thursday everyone! I returned from a trip to Israel / Palestine on Sunday and oh my goodness the jet lag is so real. I have never experienced jet lag like this before (though I've also never ..."

The only good jet lag tip I've heard is to force yourself to stay awake until it's time to go to bed in your current time zone. Might still be rough for a couple days, but it's the fastest way to reset, from what I've heard.

message 42: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! We're having one last cool and windy day before we become the surface of the sun for the next four months. Sigh, time to make sure I have sunblock positioned right by the front door...
I didn't finish anything this week! I did not bring a book backpacking last weekend, though both of my companions did because they assumed I would! As a result, I'm a little behind where I usually would be, but that's fine. I'm currently reading:
Lonesome Dove, which I'm just loving. It's taken quite a dark turn, but in the most interesting and engaging way possible.
Brighton Rock on audiobook, which I'm not totally sure about. Perhaps it suffers in comparison to Lonesome Dove. Everyone in Lonesome Dove seems so very human, but nobody in Brighton Rock does. I'm not sure Graham Greene really cares about people except insofar as they allow him to ponder the moral universe. I'm not done yet, though, so maybe my thoughts will change.
QOTW: I stuck with the Sookie Stackhouse books for longer than I found them interesting; same with Robert Jordan. I'm enjoying Libba Bray's Diviners series, despite not liking the second book. Luckily, the 3rd book was better, so I'm back to being interested. I love it when an author pulls a series out of a dive.

message 43: by Mike (last edited May 31, 2018 11:28AM) (new)

Mike | 443 comments Sara wrote: "-Nominations for the last quarter of the year (September October –December) will open soon (ETA - special thanks to Sheriff Potter for catching my error!). We will send out a notification once the threads are open."

**Tips 10-Gallon Hat**

You'll have to work harder than that to get one by me.

As long as I'm here, I've been in a real reading slump lately.

Finished Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook for my Villain/Antihero book a couple of weeks ago (highly recommend!) but have been stuck on the same two books since:

Franny and Zooey (Celebrity Book Club (Emma Roberts))
Middlesex (LGBTQ+, Monthly Read)

both of which I'm enjoying so far, I've just got so much yardwork to do! Time to teach my kids how to mow.

message 44: by Theresa (last edited May 31, 2018 11:33AM) (new)

Theresa | 1883 comments Hello all - we are back to spring here in NYC with rain and temps in the 60s. At least for a couple of days.

I spent most of last weekend reading and napping, LOL. It was the 3 day Memorial Day weekend here and I just desperately needed some down time, so I took it.

It also means I made serious progress in challenge - I'm now at 32/50 - well ahead of my personal schedule (25/50 by June 30th) - WOOHOO! Best part: I've just been reading what I want to read or comes up on my NYPL ebook holds. However, I am getting to the point where I will have to start targeting books from my TBR towers and personal book shelves (ebook and print) to fill specific prompts.

So, what did I finish this week? FOUR books!

Speak No Evil - if you loved The Hate U Give, this is for you. Have the tissues handy. Niru is the son of Nigerian immigrants. Meredith is the daughter of a typical liberal white couple comfortable in the Washington DC political world. They are children of privilege, private school, seniors, track stars, and best friends. Both are struggling with identity, isolation, sexual identity. This book is so timely, addressing LGBTQ issues, racial profiling, teenage isolation. From the first paragraph, you are pulled deep into this story, reading it as if compelled. Gorgeous writing. This one is living with me for a long time, and I've added the author's other published works to my TBR list. This I slotted as my book on problems facing society today, but fits other challenge categories.

Call Me Zebra - this is not such an easy read, yet still very enjoyable. It is as much of a meditation on what it means to be in exile as it is a novel. It's the story of an Iranian exile, the sole surviving member of her family of autodidacts, anarchists and atheists, a family who has a tradition of survival through immersion in literature. Zebra, the name she gives herself after her father's death, is alone in the world and monumentally isolated, prohibitively intelligent, untethered and funny as can be. While the character of Zebra herself can be difficult and frustrating, although really funny, there is a literary level to the novel that makes it a harder read than I initially expected because there are frequent references and quotes from various writers and artists from Nietsche through DADA and onwards. By the end, I decided that my familiarity with all the literary and philosophical references (that pesky fancy liberal arts education I have) interfered with my reading it just as a story and meditation on exile. The author's descriptions of place (opens at the Cloisters in NYC, spends time in Barcelona and elsewhere) are rich, and musings on art illuminating; I highlighted a lot of those passages. Her descriptions of her journey out of Iran with her father during the Saddam wars are chilling. Good as it was, how it really has made me think about the difference between an exile who becomes an unwilling immigrant vs. willing immigrants, ultimately I think the philosophical and literary aspects nearly overwhelm the poignancy of the story. This is a young very gifted writer, one to watch. Obviously this is my book with an animal in the title but it certainly fits many other prompts.

Together Tea - lovely read - primarily about a mother/daughter - Iranian immigrants to the US - who each in her own way grapples with a sense of not belonging in one country or the other. It opens with the mother setting up a meeting with a potential approved suitor for the daughter, who wants nothing to do with any matchmaking, and ends with the two of them travelling to Iran together. 2/3rds of the story is set in Iran -- both in 1978 before the family immigrated, and 1996 when mother/daughter make their return trip. I put this as my book about a place that fascinates me (Iran - and it does) as 2/3's of it is set in Iran. Fits other categories as well.

[If it looks like I've been reading a lot of books about immigration and exile, I have. It all started with [book:Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows|32075853] which I finished for the last check in.]

Charlotte Sometimes- Children's book featuring time travel between 1914 and 1950s London - Charlotte falls asleep in a bed with wheels in the dorm of her new boarding school in 1950s but wakes up in 1914, having somehow exchanged places with Clare, who fell asleep in a bed with wheels in the dorm of her new boarding school but in 1914. The story stands alone, but is actually the middle book in a trilogy. Illustrated too! I slotted this as my borrowed book as a friend lent me her beautiful hardcover copy -- although fits childhood classic and song lyric in title.

Currently reading - a real change of pace: Blackfish City - hoping this works as my cyberpunk book and I think all the basic elements for cyberpunk are in it: dystopian future not too distant, AI, software and technology seeming to have strong influence, and perhaps a bit of detective story. It actually reminds me of the movie Blade Runner which I adore. I only started it a couple of days ago and have had little time to read it but I am enjoying it.

QOTW: Hmmm, certainly I have continued reading series longer than I should have - the Jason Bournes by Robert Ludlum I should have stopped after the first and definitely after the second, but noooo, I continued on getting more and more aggravated by the poor quality of the story and the writing. I can't read any of the Steve Berry Cotton Malone series any more because they too are poorly written, weak plots poorly executed. Dan Brown is another -- I was downright angry about The Lost Symbol and came close to burning it out of outrage - another poorly plotted, poorly executed excuse for a book. The last 2 or 3 Jack Ryan books by Tom Clancy had become so cartoon that I could not read them. Notice that it's all males writing thrillers? I like a good thriller, but these had all started with one or two good entries then just deteriorated. I can't believe they are still being published. And folks sneer at chicklit and romance novels? They are far better plotted and written, including the romantic suspense published by Harlequin, than anything these 'popular' male thriller authors produce. OK, rant over, LOL. But I want to mention that if you want to find thrillers written by women, you have to look in the romance genre.

I too stopped the Stephanie Plum series early on -- that romantic triangle nonsense just did me in. I have not read all of Sue Grafton but mostly because I got distracted. I find I have to take breaks from an author and their series because I too readily see the craft behind the writing which is repetitive and formulaic, no matter how good a writer you are. I mostly stop reading series that no longer excite me or that bother me for one reason or another - case in point: I will never read the second or third in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall series. I hated Wolf Hall.

I am forgiving of the occasional not so great entry in a series, but if they just never improve or seem stuck, I abandon them.

message 45: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 899 comments Hi everyone. It is super hot and humid today in Yorkshire. Plus the midges are attacking so I'm locked up inside to avoid being bitten to death.

This week I finished Empire of Ivory. I really am glad I continued this series because this one was a lot of fun. I am quite concerned about the ending though. (view spoiler)

Currently reading: Zorro I don't have a prompt for it yet though but hopefully one will become apparent as I read more. It does tick off a difficult letter for the alphabet challenge though!

QOTW: Unless I am supremely invested in the story I will give up on a dwindling series. I only finished The Twilight Saga because a friend insisted that it got better - it didn't and now I don't trust her book judgement!

I'm pretty much given up on the Sookie Stackhouse books and the Game of Thrones books but maybe that's because of the TV shows spoiling them?

I know that this will be an unpopular opinion but under other circumstances I wouldn't have finished Harry Potter. Not my cup of tea but I was living in a house where it was either read them or re-read Twilight (not happening - see above haha)

message 46: by Tricia (last edited May 31, 2018 11:51AM) (new)

Tricia | 121 comments Hello from Brisbane Australia. Weather here has certainly gotten chilly this week. I had a bit of a slow read week for me but hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to read more.

This week I finished
Whistling For The Elephants (book with an ugly cover). I was glad to finally finish this book. It really wasn't my cup of tea. The first half of the book was so slow and by the time things got moving I really didn't care anymore. Clearly in this case I could judge a book by its cover.

Hallowe'en Party (A book set on Halloween) Not Agatha Christie's best but still a good read.

The Bonesetter's Daughter (not for challenge) I really liked this one. It would be good one for a person with a different ethnicity to you.

Currently reading:
The Zookeeper's Wife (A book about a real person) Still working my way through this one.

Scar Tissue (A book with two authors). Anthony got a collaborator for the book so I guess that counts.

Happy to say I am down to my last three books before I finish this challenge so next on the list are:
Birdman ( male psydonym)
Mr. Murder ( a best seller the year I graduated high school)
The Snowman (Nordic Noir)

Hoping to finish in the next two weeks.

Definitely agree with a few selections others mentioned -
- Stephanie Plum - read one book for this challenge and definitely felt it was past it
- Sookie Stackhouse - These lost me pretty early
- Game of Thrones - I found the last book really painful and hard work.

The two series I would like to add are:
- Enders Game - loved the first lot of books, but then things got too drawn out. There was definitely no need for him to write Ender in Exile. I felt it added nothing to the series.

- Magician series. This series has my all time favourite character (Jimmy the Hand) and I loved the first couple of trilogies. Then he started the stand alone character books and I didn't feel they were written with the same love as the previous books.

That is all for me now. I hope everyone has a great week.

message 47: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1883 comments Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: I'm still on a quest for a good book on feminism for my young teenager. ..."

You should look at DIY Rules for a WTF World: How to Speak Up, Get Creative, and Change the World. I gifted it to a 15 year old daughter of a friend - both are thrilled with it.

message 48: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) This week I finished Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for a childhood classic I have never read before.
I am reading The Count of Monte Cristo for a book mentioned in another book. Since this is a very long book I have to spend most of my reading time to it.

QotW: I don't read enough series to add input.

message 49: by Conny (last edited May 31, 2018 12:24PM) (new)

Conny | 131 comments I finished:

Tintenblut ( Inkspell; literally, "Ink Blood") for the "author with the same first or last name as you" prompt. This is the sequel to Inkheart, which some of you may know, as it was also a feature film starring Brendan Fraser and Paul Bettany. German author, story a bit like "The Neverending Story" (also by a German author^^), but mostly a declaration of love to all things reading. I really enjoyed this one. The cliffhanger was a bit annoying, as I have my reading planned out for the duration of the two challenges, and the third Ink World book doesn't feature in it^^

Just After Sunset
For the ATY prompt "An award-winning short story or short story collection". A 2008 anthology by Stephen King, and I loved every single story in it! It won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection and the ALA Alex Award, so that should qualify it for the prompt.

QOTW: Seen it a couple of times in the answers here already, and I wholeheartedly agree: Anita Blake! I keep giving it another chance, and another, and another, and I keep getting disappointed. Although I actually tried book #22 in the series a couple of weeks back and was so positively surprised I even wrote a review, even though it still wasn't a very good book. That's how desperate I was for the series to return at least a little in the direction of its former brilliance. Lost cause, but I know I will still read on. I don't even like Anita as a character, but still ...

message 50: by Ali (new)

Ali (aliciaclare) | 153 comments Hello everyone! It was supposed to be raining all day, but fortunately it's managed to hold off, which I am thrilled about.

This week I finished one book, This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins, which I counted as my book about feminism. I loved this essay collection, and highly recommend checking it out!

I'm currently halfway through Death on the Nile which will be my book being read by a stranger in public. In fact, I might finish this tonight before bed? Depends on how tired I am! I didn't make any progress on Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet during the long weekend because I was too busy with family. I'm hoping to wrap it up this weekend, and then start What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky. I discovered the title short story through Levar Burton's podcast, and i can't wait to read the rest of the collection. I also have Sara Barielle's memoir out on audiobook from the library, so I need to start it.

QOTW: Hmm, my first instinct is the Lumberjanes series. I liked the first few, but when I picked up volume 5, I was totally unengaged. I think the series is fun, but I just completely lost interest in the story, and it had been too long since I'd read the earlier books. I would totally recommend this book to young readers though, because it's really imaginative!

Often times I just fall off series because I forget everything that happened, but I don't want to use the energy to reread the earlier books.

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