Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 28: 7/6-7/12

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Hey everyone! I’m going to make this a quick opening as I am currently on vacation and doing this on my phone.

Books finished:

The All of It by Jeanette Haien – an Irish priest receives an unexpected deathbed confession. Kevin and his wife of 48 years, Enda, were never actually married. The story unfolds as Enda fills in the gaps and tells the Father the story of how they came to be where they are. It was an interesting little book (160 pages).

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett – The Queen takes up reading as a hobby after her corgis run into a mobile library while out for a walk at Buckingham Palace. Her staff, the PM and even her husband are a bit flabbergasted by her new interest and go to sometimes great strides to derail her efforts. I enjoyed this, another short little book (120 pages), though I have to say it was quite disturbing how against reading they all were. Personally I’d rather have the leaders of my country be well read and thoughtful! Using this for a book mentioned in another book.

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza this is a new release that just came out last month. It’s a beautiful story of a family of Indian-Americans who are dealing with the choices the three children make as they grow. It starts at the wedding of the oldest child where the family is hoping to be all present for a family portrait. From there the story takes you back to their childhoods as you see the development of parent-child and sibling relationships and the choices they all make.

The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan - it took a while to get into this story, but it was enjoyable. It's an epistolary novel, and the audio narration was very well done.

Currently reading:

The Hating Game

They Both Die at the End

Question of the week:

Do you have a spouse / partner / sibling who is as passionate about reading as you are?

My almost 17-year-old niece devours books like I do. My daughter wants to be a reader but is finally accepting that she just isn’t quite there yet (though I assure her she will eventually find her literary wings and take flight). The rest of my family reads, but they look at me like I have two heads when I talk about my books.

message 2: by Catka (last edited Jul 12, 2018 04:16AM) (new)

Catka | 9 comments This week I have finished The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, which I liked very much. The author took an Old Testament story of the family of Jacob, specifically a bloody cruel dark but by the Bible only briefly mentioned story of Jacob's daughter Dinah and turned it into a bright loving celebration of life given by women as told by Dinah herself. It was quite refreshing and positive to see a female view of the story originally told by men and focusing largely on men.
I also read the one of the classics: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which was a lovely heartwarming book.
Besides these nice feminine books, I am listening to the audio narration of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - a pseudo-scientific recounting of a human history and do not like it. So far I have learned that the agricultural revolution was a biggest fraud, all the current religions can be summarized as a two thousand years of monotheistic brainwashing and the concept of money and Limited Liability Companies are just a figment of our collective imaginations. As much as I love me a good solid scientific facts and argument, I hope this leads somewhere other than the Sapiens are stupid fools and the whole human evolution made the biggest mistake in domestication of crops and it only goes downhill from there.

QOTW: I have a sister who also reads a lot. We are members of a bookclub which her friends have started. We have a bit different taste and preferences in books but I find this enriching rather than bad.

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Also on holiday and doing this on my phone...its taken me forever!

I finished two books this week, taking me to 32/50 (29/40 & 3/10). I forgot that holidays with a baby don't give you a lot of book time!

I read Explaining Death To The Dog, a short story collection, for prompt #26 animal in the title. I didn't have any expectations for this book, but I was really surprised. Surprised both by the maturity of the themes and author's voice, and also surprised by the strength of each story. I don't think there was a dud in the whole collection, and the title story will probably always stay with me.

I read The Girls for prompt #32 celebrity book club Although I'd have loved to pick a cool club like Emma Watson's or Reece Witherspoon's, this book has been on my shelf for an age, so it's a Richard and Judy pick. I really enjoyed this story. Like many people I suppose I've seen images and footage of conjoined twins and wondered how life must be for them. I don't know how much experience the author has or if she's even met such twins, but this book really made me appreciate what it might be like. The characters of Ruby and Rose are strong, independent of each other and with distinct voices - I really enjoyed the shifting perspectives. I also enjoyed the stories that were wound around the central plot, making this a novel about twins who happened to be conjoined rather than all about their "otherness." Sensitive and beautifully told.

Do you have a spouse / partner / sibling who is as passionate about reading as you are?

My husband is probably the only person I know who reads daily. We read in bed at night. We have different tastes though (he's more Dean Koontz, Lee Ryan, crime, murder, mystery) and he is no where as nerdy as me about it! I recommend him books occasionally but he rarely takes me up on them. Though he is reading Ready Player One that I finished last week, as he can't use his Kindle on the beach!

message 4: by Tania (new)

Tania | 574 comments Enjoy your vacation!

Four complete for me this week:

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond - would work for A book about a problem facing society today, I already filled that prompt but the book piqued my interest, I would recommend it

Star Wars: Rey to the Rescue! by Lisa Stock - my nephews were visiting this week and they each got to pick a bedtime story out of the ebooks my library offers, young Star Wars fans will like this one

Mysterious! Outer Space Reader, Grades 1 - 2 by Katharine Kenah - another library ebook pick of my nephews for bedtime story, this is good for young ones who are interested in space but haven't read much on it

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling - finally got this one off hold at the library to continue my reading of the series (I've seen all the movies, but this is my first time through reading the books), much darker than the others and not a fan of angsty Harry but an excellent book

My youngest sister and her daughters love to read, and we've shared books before. My brother-in-law is also a reader, he's recommended some great books to me (like The Martian). His sons have gotten the reading bug, so when they visit I let them pick out bedtime stories that we read together. Their mom (my other sister) isn't a reader but she encourages them. My husband reads, but strictly nonfiction and not usually books - he prefers articles (newspaper/magazine/internet). Still, he's always interested in hearing about books that I read.

message 5: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jul 12, 2018 05:10AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6915 comments Mod
Enjoy your vacation, Sara!!

This week I finished three graphic novels and three novels, one for the challenge, so I am now 45/50.

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke - I love Zita SO MUCH!! This was the final book in the trilogy, but Hatke left it open ended so I remain hopeful that he will write more. Someday. If you know a "tween" who enjoys F/SFand is interested in graphic novels, or if you yourself are interested in middle-grade graphic novels, I highly recommend Zita! (Also, if you are doing Book Riot and need a comic written and drawn by the same person, Zita will fit that bill!)

Hawkeye, Volume 1: My Life as a Weapon & Hawkeye, Volume 2: Little Hits, written by Matt Fraction - I "binged" (for me, two in a row counts as a binge) the first two volumes of Fraction's Hawkeye, and I am in love!!! I plan to read the next two this weekend. Lemire picked up the series after Fraction, and I love Descender, so my expectations are pretty high for those, too.

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer - the final volume in the Area X / Southern Reach trilogy. This was weird, eerie, gorgeous, and I loved it.

Tender Is the Storm by Johanna Lindsey. SO BAD. This was my "best seller the year I graduated high school." How in the world did I grow up to be a functioning adult if this was the caliber of best selling books when I was a teen?? No wonder why I grew up hating best sellers!!!!

Macbeth by Jo Nesbø - part of the Hogarth Shakespeare retelling series - it was a good effort, but I thought the end result was just okay.


LOL nope! My ex-husband was (and still is) NOT a reader. I don't understand how anyone can live like that, but he seems happy hahaha!! He had a business trip to Taiwan last year, so I got him a book (ALL that reading time on the plane!!!) - he started it and said it was great and I should read it too! That was over a year ago. He STILL hasn't finished it!!! I've always been a little curious/envious of those of you who talk about swapping books with your partner.

ETA: My two aunts and my cousin are big readers. They are part of the reason I try to read several "buzzy" books each year, so we can talk about books when I see them! My older daughter is BECOMING a reader, but she doesn't log nearly as many hours as I do with her nose in a book. Younger daughter ... well ... I have to TELL her to read. I just don't get it. Why would you rather watch some stupid youtube video rather than read that great book you have???

My mother reads, but not NEARLY as much as I do. She prefers non-fiction, and she will (and this makes me shudder) just RANDOMLY grab a book at the library, especially from the pile of free books that the library is getting rid of. Doesn't she have a list of books she WANTS to read next??? (Answer: no, apparently not!)

message 6: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments Bonjour,

I have two books read last week for the challenge:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the country that fascinate me. I always wanted to visit Scotland and even bought plane tickets years ago, but ended up not going for medical reason. One day. It was a good book, but knowing so much of it in advance spoiled it a bit for me.

Chagrin d'école for a problem facing society today. It's a non-fiction book written by a teacher about how it's not easy for mediocre students in school. He was that student and he taught those students. It was well written, but I have a soft spot for Pennac. One of my favorite author.

I am almost done with The Song of Achilles and I like it very much. I will have to read again The Iliad after that.

QOTW: My sister reads and we share books. My husband reads sometimes too, but we are talking 4-5 books a year. He recommended to me some of my favorites books though.

message 7: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments Evening from Warren NSW Australia.

Been a weird week this week. And busy. My daughter in laws mother died suddenly on the weekend so basically the kids are going through hell 1200km away and I can’t do anything to help them. Anyhoo it is what it is. Then for the last couple of days I’ve been cooking for an afternoon tea/meeting that Hubby decided to have here at our home for a work related thing. There were old ladies involved and he thought they’d be happier here than in an office or on the street corner like the last guy used to do. They seemed to enjoy it and I got to use my best china and my High Tea 3 tiered plate.

I’m heading to the Farm tomorrow and then hopefully to the beach on Sunday. I might actually get some reading done when I’m there because I haven’t done much this week. I did start a reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but haven’t finished it. HP is what I read when I’m feeling down. I haven’t even looked at any of my currently reading list.


Hubby reads every night. He’s into exciting stuff and thrillers. My kids do when they can. My adopted mother used to read every night and most of the day. Prolific reader she was. My birth mother exclaimed “oh are you that bored” when I told her I was reading one day. I think the rest of that family is the same. My father in law reads a bit too. Mostly true stories.

message 8: by Anne (last edited Jul 12, 2018 06:30AM) (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 47 of 50 down!

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Gramm – a historical adventure through the Amazonian jungle, basically to palette cleanse RP1. David Gramm, an out of shape writer, decides to follow in the footsteps of Col Fawcett, an Amazonian explorer lost in the jungle. He traces Fawcett’s first and second trips, those of Prof Alexander Hamilton Rice, Jr. of Harvard, (and his wife, Eleanor Elkins Widener Rice, who survived the sinking of the Titanic and bestowed a Library to Harvard in honor of her son who perished on the Titanic), and Brazilian financier James Lynch as various groups search for the lost city of Z or El Dorado. Lots of bugs, if you are squeamish….

42. cyberpunk – Ready Player One. While I love the 80s and was a teenager during that awesome decade, I just don’t find that this is my genre or my book. I needed more shoulder pads and less hair rock. We all know I hate it and I’ll just leave it at that.

5. Antihero – A Season in Purgatory by Dominick Dunn. Harrison helps cover up the murder of a school chum’s neighbor. The school chum, Constant Bradley, continues on in a life of wealth and privilege and abusing women until Harrison steps forward and admits what he knows. The Bradleys, the family of the school chum, are totally the Kennedys.

21. Favorite color – Pink, Pink Slip Party by Cara Lockwood. Silly chick-lit about an art major who keeps getting laid off. It looks like it was published in 2004, but it feels a bit more 90s to me. The writing style makes you want to be sympathetic to the heroine, but she made some ridiculous choices! It reads like a fairy tale.

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber – all those Hallmark movies made me want an Alaskan romance.

Currently reading:
Sanibel Flats by Randy Wayne White – a Florida based thriller from the 90s about a child kidnapped and taken to Central America.
Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family by Kathy McKeon – let’s read the opposite side of A Season of Purgatory! (This is so pro-Kennedy that it is basically hero worship, I should have read Purgatory afterwards.)

QOTW Follow reader in the house?

No. My dog is illiterate. I do have a circle of reader friends that discuss what we are ready at random, not a book club, that gives me great ideas and a venue for sharing.

message 9: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments Oh and my husbands sister said she wouldn’t read a book to save herself. In front of her kids when they were young. They don’t read either.

His little brother reads the same books as their father. I’m sure the oldest bro reads. His kids do I know that much.

message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments I've noticed that I'm reading about a book a week lately. I've slowed down since the beginning of the year, but that's still faster than I normally read. I'm amazed the motivation of the challenge has lasted this long! It helps that I've enjoyed most of the books I've read this year.

First Frost (weather element in the title) - Sarah Addison Allen is amazing. This wasn't my favorite of her books, but all of them are wonderful.

Station Eleven - I saw several people mention this book in our check-ins so I decided to read it finally. I love it!

How to Fall In Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush - I'm listening to the audiobook over my lunch hour. This one is bizarre.

I can't recall ever seeing my 3 half-sisters or step-sister reading a book. I'm sure my dad never picked up a book after school, so that's not surprising. I got my love of reading from my mom. Sadly, we have very different tastes so we don't share books often. My best friend is a reader. She's the one I gush to about books.

message 11: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 743 comments Hello all!

One book left to go! I finished the main body of the challenge and just have one book left to read for the advanced challenge. This has been a lot of fun, and I plan on sticking around for the rest of the year's check-ins to see what everyone else has been reading (I've ended up adding a lot to my to-read list from this group...).

Read SIX books this week. Can we say overachiever?

Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day -- for the "microhistory" prompt. Horrifying yet compelling account of the chaotic and deadly Altamont Free Concert of 1969, what led up to it, and the aftermath.

The Fog Diver -- for the "book with a weather element in the title" prompt. Fun YA steampunk adventure story, but tries a little too hard to be funny and cute at times.

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves -- not for the challenge. I love this author's fairy-tale retellings, and this was a unique twist on a well-known story, from one of the dwarfs' point of view.

The Story of Awkward -- not for the challenge. At turns sweet and heartbreaking, though it tries to hammer in it's "be yourself, it's okay to not be perfect" message a little TOO hard.

The Garden on Sunset: A Novel of Golden-Era Hollywood -- not for the challenge. Meh... one of those books where it feels like nothing got accomplished and it doesn't so much end as simply stop in the middle of things.

Bad Island -- graphic novel, not for the challenge. Surprisingly a lot of fun, and I dearly wish there was some kind of continuation of it...

DNFed three books -- The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, Miami Requiem, and The Bear. Coming to realize that life is too short to force myself to read books I just can't get into or that I have problems with. ("The Bear," for example, has a six-year-old narrator -- which isn't all bad, as I loved Room and it had a child narrator, but in "The Bear" it was just obnoxious and poorly handled.)

Currently reading:

Lovecraft Country -- for the "book recommended by someone else taking the Popsugar challenge" prompt
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space -- not for the challenge
And still hacking away at H. P. Lovecraft... though reading this is giving me a better appreciation of "Lovecraft Country."


All my family are HUGE readers -- though my sister has four kids and a cake-decorating business, so most of her reading is via audiobooks for convenience's sake. We've always had lots of books at home and loved the library, and most of us would much rather read than watch TV.

Nowhere was this made more obvious than when we took a family vacation this year and stopped by a small town's Friends of the Library book sale. I was the only one going in with the specific intention to buy books... and somehow all of us walked out with a stack. And my mom ended up buying more books than I did!

message 12: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 418 comments For the QOTW I forgot to mention my 10 years old son who now reads all the time. He even recommended me some of the graphic novels he loves. And of course I gave him books to read, but for now, it's not really working except for The Witches and Tintin.

message 13: by Catka (new)

Catka | 9 comments Jacqueline wrote: "Oh and my husbands sister said she wouldn’t read a book to save herself. In front of her kids when they were young. They don’t read either. ."
Once I heard a presentation of a children's librarian and he said 5 conditions must be met for kids to become readers:
1. parents must read (and be seen reading)
2. there must be books at home (available at hand) to read
3. parents must read to children
4. school should support reading
5. their peers should be readers too (often the kids read when the are smaller but when they hit puberty, and have friends who do not read, they abandon it)

message 14: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6915 comments Mod
Kenya - I support your decision to DNF "Minotaur"!!! I was so disappointed in that book; it doesn't change so if you didn't love it in the beginning, you just won't. There's no pay-off for sticking with it.

message 15: by Jen (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 777 comments Greetings from the top end.
A busy week. Mother is visiting for a month (only see her every 2 years ish so it tends to be a longish visit). I have learnt a lot about the family that I didn't know so it has been interesting. Have had to change my planned book for ancestry as I found out that a book has just come out with my aunts and uncles in (Mum is from a massive family ranging from her 71 to uncle John at 92, her third oldest brother delivered her as they were snowed in) from when they were evacuated during WWII.
As a result not much reading has been done and I finished one book;
The next book in a series you started Return to Woodbury (The Walking Dead #8)
by Jay Bonansinga (Goodreads Author), Robert Kirkman (Creator) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Think this may be the end of the series by the way it ended? Sad if that is the case but Lilly seems to have had a personality transplant with The Governor and has turned into a total cow. Most of her friends "get dead" due to her selfishness and stupidity.

Currently reading My Sister Rosa which seems pretty good so far, pretty lucky as it is for my being read by a stranger prompt.

All of our immediate family used to read since we had no power as kids and there wasn't TV in any of the places we lived (till I was 19). My sister doesn't really read now as she has 2 little ones. Dad certainly doesn't since he is dead but he used to read lots of papers for his work and has had loads of papers, manuals and one book published. The book was on ferns and the other stuff was on cocoa, coffee and coconuts mostly (he was an agronomist). Mother is an avid reader when she has time and has been attached to my lounge reading all the stuff I have that she doesn't. She has managed 5 books this week while I have been cooking and cleaning etc. This week her choices have gone from World War Moo to The Book of Unintelligent Design and The Sellout. Mother has also had some of her work (poetry) published as have several of her brothers and sisters. Apparently grandpa loved true crime but I never met him. Zeli is not good at reading but she does like sitting on my books if she thinks she is not getting enough attention (fur-baby).
Most exciting for me is that the young uns read. My students borrow books off me and take recommendations and actually read them. My 5 yr old nephew has just started the Harry Potter series so I plan to start it too so we can talk about it. Hopefully I can catch him up.

message 16: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 743 comments Nadine wrote: "Kenya - I support your decision to DNF "Minotaur"!!! I was so disappointed in that book; it doesn't change so if you didn't love it in the beginning, you just won't. There's no pay-off for sticking..."

Whoo... I'm strangely glad to hear that. I felt that nothing was happening and I wasn't growing to like the main character at all, but I felt guilty for not finishing it because it was an inter-library loan. Now I'm simply glad I set it down when I did (only made it about 60 pages in).

message 17: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments I’m back from staycation - Boo!
But I finished the challenge - Yay!

I’mma keep checking in. My next personal challenge is to read the 40 TBR books I already own! (Well, read or take them off the list if they turn out to be awful.)


Dark Gods * A book with song lyrics in the title * This was good, not great. I think I see what Klein is trying to do but sometimes he fails, and sometimes it’s just too off-putting even if otherwise successful. I do still really like the story “Black Man with a Horn.”

Dark Harvest * A book about or set on Halloween * Very much in the “what the heck did I just read?” category, but relatively fun, and also short, which helps when something is a little shaky.

Mind the Gap, Volume 1: Intimate Strangers * A book by an author with the same first or last name as you * I went for the hard prompt - my last name. This was quite good - really my only complaint is that the series is on indefinite “hiatus” so probably the mysteries will never be definitively solved. Still, I really liked the idea, and the art is great!

The Broken Vow * A book that's published in 2018 * This came out on 7/10 and I’ve been waiting! The first book was so amazing, and ended on a cliffhanger. This delivers answers (I personally think a little too much was explained - made things slightly less creepy) and is a solid conclusion with just enough threads left to weave a new story if they want.

Currently Reading

The House with a Clock in Its Walls - read this as a kid, and I need a refresh to be prepared for the Jack Black movie coming in the fall!

The Changeling - I loved The Ballad of Black Tom, and this was on sale!


My husband reads, but he’s the opposite of me - I’m a bookslut (I mean that in the most positive sense, for all applications of the word “slut”), but he COMMITS. Unfortunately he is stuck on The Shadow of the Torturer and refuses to give up - so he’s been reading it for a couple years. Also in the mix is he tends to default to video games instead of reading. We do love listening to audiobooks on road trips though!

message 18: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Hello from sunny and hot Columbus! It’s been a pretty uneventful week, but I bought a car! It’s in Chicago though so I’m waiting on the email to arrange pick up. If anyone is from Chicago please hit me up with your favorite bakeries or ice cream shops!

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories was a pick for the July portion of the goodreads challenge. This is a collection of short stories, and some of them are pretty dang funny. I got a few irl chuckles at some spots. B.J. Novak is a treasure, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy him.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction another goodreads challenge pick, for the nerd culture prompt. This is essentially a collection of his book introductions, interviews, and various bits of things he’s written in the past. Something that would come off as painfully narcissistic if anyone else did it in my eyes, but some how it works when it’s Neil Gaiman. I just love everything he writes and his voice is so soothing that I could listen to him talk about literally any topic. Content wise is holds up pretty well. He pays respects to people in his life and other authors he admires. Though this isn’t something I’d exactly recommend to a person who isn’t already a Gaiman fan or otherwise interested in the writing/publishing world.

A first for me (I think?): a DNF
Naked Lunch pardon my French but what the fuck is this book? I wasn’t quite following it and then there’s this scene that’s a dude bragging about torture and sexual assault and I just???? What??? I’ll try to revisit this but I I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to do some background research first. I don’t think I’ve ever read content that made me so uncomfortable before that wasn’t based on real life tragic events. I need someone to tell me this book isn’t disgusting from beginning to end lol.

QOTW: no, not nearly as much but he does read a decent amount.

message 19: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 540 comments I think I finished three during the week.

Finished Last Breath the prequel to The Good Daughter. It was ok. A quick read.

Finished Boy Meets Girl. Just conintuing on with the series. I like that this is told in all emails and journal entries.

Finished Coraline. I'm using it as stage play or musical since I saw that it used to be a play.

Current read: Heist Society. It's just ok.

So that brings me to 24 regular, 6 advanced, and 7 non challenge books.

message 20: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6915 comments Mod
Oh, Christine, I LOVED the Shadow of the Torturer series!!!! He should keep going and then you should read it too!! It is so weird. (Also, full disclosure: I read it when I was a teen and sexism-in-scifi did not bother me, so I can't vouch for it in that sense.). There are spin-off series, too, so he can keep reading more Wolfe!!! After the New Sun series there's the one-book sequel, Urth of the New Sun, then there is the Long Sun series ("Long Sun" as in "spaceship"), and then the Short Sun series!!! (None of them quite match the brilliance and sheer WTFery of the first New Sun series, IMO, but they are all worth reading!)

message 21: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 280 comments Honestly, I haven’t set down with the prompts for a couple of weeks so I don’t know if they fit anything or not. So, I’m just going to order this from what I enjoyed the most to the least.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix. Horror novel set in an Ikea-esque store. It was rec’d on here a bit ago and I’m so glad I picked it up because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the design of the book as well.

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. Main character runs away to a small town with a former roommate. A woman dies and her roommate disappears. I did not like the ending. I feel like it wasn’t wrapped up sufficiently for me but I did enjoy the writing and would read more of her books.

The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith. It’s about a future world where dragons have destroyed cities. It was well written but I had a hard time with this book because I hated the way that women were portrayed and talked about.

Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken. This was rec’d by someone on twitter who was also rec’ing Wicked and the Wallflower and I loved Wicked and the Wallflower. But I did not love this book. The main character is a PI who started her firm after discovering her husband cheating on her. They expose cheaters. She once (pre husband) had a relationship with a football player who was traded and did not ask her to come along so that was the end of that relationship. I had a couple of problems with this book. First, the firm was doing well enough to buy Prada shoes on a whim, yet she was amazingly inept at her job. Second, she’s hired to find out if the former bf (the football player) is cheating on his current wife but the timeline is all screwy. The football player and his wife have only been married a couple of years or they’ve been together for almost a decade which would put it pre-main character. The timeline seriously bothered me.

My niece. Although, she’s in college and her reading for pleasure time has dropped dramatically but most of my books get handed down to her.

message 22: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good morning! I did some READING while out of town last weekend! Currently at 28/50 for the challenge so still on track but oof, I need to get MOVING.

Nothing Happened for a summer reading challenge. This is a modern and YA "Much Ado about Nothing" and for someone who gets kind of picky with adaptations of classics... I was thoroughly charmed. A bunch of teens at summer camp was the PERFECT setting for a story about sniping lovers and slut-shaming. It worked.

The Unexpected Everything which was an adorable beach read that I flew through in two days. Now I want to read everything Morgan Matson because her books are adorable.

The Subway Girls, an arc that was crazy-disappointing and failed to live up to a stellar start. The story is great (two time periods, women connecting, etc) but the author goes very tell-not-show for the majority of the book and it was frustrating.

The Hating Game again for a summer reading challenge. I have heard this book be much hyped by romance communities I trust and damn if it wasn't fantastic!

Currently reading:
Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death because all these books were on Book Outlet and I love the BBC show. It's packaged like Sherlock Holmes short story mysteries and I love it.

Us Against You because why not let Fredrik Backman break my heart in the middle of July with another story about Beartown hockey?

QOTW: My mom has been coming to me and saying "I need a book for this weekend" and I hand her a few options. As she reads more of my books and reports back I am getting a better handle on her taste and then we get to discuss!

message 23: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments This week I finished Ready Player One. My husband and I loved this so much we bought and watched the movie last night instead of waiting for it to come to Netflix. I don't think any of our favorite moments that we were hoping to see were in the movie... maybe there were issues getting there rights they needed and trying to update for younger generations not familiar with 80s culture? Anyway, we were disappointed.

I'm currently reading The Boy who Harnessed the Wind for a book by two authors. This is about a bit in Malawi who decides to build a windmill from resources he can find around his home and in junk yard. It's been interesting.

QOTW: My husband enjoys reading, and we like to listen to books on audio together or take turns reading to each other. My reading has really picked up this year, so I've been reading a lot more. My mom is a very prolific reader. She introduced me to Goodreads, and before this year I really relied heavily on her recommendations. This challenge has helped me discover great new books on my own, and now I can offer her some recommendations as well. It's been a good year!

message 24: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Hi All!

So this week was all audiobooks for me. I took a break from reading physical books in the evenings this whole week (until last night). I'm lucky that I have a job which I can very easily listen to audiobooks for nearly the entire day, except for when I need to read or write emails.

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 - This one was ok. I enjoy Gretchen's writing style and think she's one of the better narrators for an author who reads her own book. I had read her other book on personalities a few months ago and was dismayed at the lack of scientific evidence, even in her own survey which she had based the premise of her book on. This book, however, wasn't trying to prove anything or come to any specific conclusion about what would make people happy. She just tells her own story of trying to find ways to make herself happier over a year and includes research on other authors who have written about the topic.Several of the things she tried are things that I'm going to try working on.

The Cinderella Deal - I was looking for a fluffy chick lit book to listen to and this one certainly delivered. The basic premise is that a man accidentally lies during a job interview and says that he is engaged. He ends up talking his neighbor Daisy into coming to the final interview to pretend to be his fiance with the plan that in the months before the job begins they will 'break' off the engagement. I thought this book was just alright. It was certainly light and fluffy but I felt that Daisy's personality changed throughout the book. That was my main gripe while reading it but I was surprised that the author actually included that as a plot point. I'm not sure that it was well done but it kind of redeemed itself a little.

Everything I Never Told You - I was expecting to like this book more than I did. This was my first book by Celeste Ng and I thought it was beautifully written. I just don't care for stories that are set up where there is a small plot point and the book flashes back and forth from the present to the past so that you learn how the events came to be. In books like these, I feel like the emphasis is more on character development than the plot itself and that's just not my kind of thing. I need a balance of both to really enjoy a story.

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual - I really loved how the author was the one to read this book. Her delivery was so well done and I think choosing the audiobook for this was the right choice. I liked the last 2/3rds of the book more than the first part where she specifically judges certain types of people. It started off very funny but then felt a little mean by the end of that section. I wish that I had read this book when it came out in 2016 as I think her views on the topics would have been more eye-opening to me at that point. Now, nearly every topic she covers has been the main story in the news and so we've been able to have discussions about everything. It just means that the book didn't feel like it was covering anything in a new way whereas 2 years ago it would have shown me fresh viewpoints. I suppose that could be said about any book depending on how educated you are on the topic before you read it.


My dad is a pretty big reader. Unfortunately, he reads books about war and the military, books set in dystopic environments and stuff in the horror genre. Basically everything I avoid with a passion so we don't really have much of an opportunity to talk about books we've both read. My mom reads in the evening but she's a slower reader so it takes her a month or two to finish off a single book. I would love it if my husband adored books the way I do but unfortunately, the only thing he ever reads is scientific papers/journals.

message 25: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hello, everyone!

This week I finished Lady Susan by Jane Austen for a book about a villain or antihero. I had seen the movie, called Love and Friendship, and thought it was really well done but I had never read the book. The book is all correspondence, which is kind of fun, but I kept picturing the characters as they were in the movie!

I'm partway through reading Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story and it's fascinating! I don't think I can use it for the challenge, though, because I've already filled the slots where it seems to fit.


Yes, I'm very lucky! My husband reads a lot, though we often read different kinds of books. Right now he reads mostly for work (he's an academic) or pure relaxation, but when he retires he plans to read more widely. My two grown daughters also read a great deal and we follow each other on Goodreads. In a couple weeks we're getting together to talk about Margalit Fox's new book, Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer. One of my sisters also is an avid reader and we frequently recommend books to each other.

message 26: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6915 comments Mod
What kind of job interview requires you to bring your fiancé to the final interview??? That's definitely illegal. At least in the US.

message 27: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle (r_y_feig) | 9 comments This week was a good reading week for me.

The Outsider by Stephen King (not for any challenges). Didn't love it at all, which was surprising since it got rave reviews, but disappointing for me since 11/22/63 is one of my favorite books of all time.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton (book with a weather element). Before I start gushing about this book, this book might satisfy these other prompts:
-book about death or grief
-book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
-celebrity book club
-book published in 2018
-book about a problem facing society today
This book is all sorts of amazing. Hinton was on death row for about 28 years for a crime he did not commit. He had a solid alibi and the evidence was manufactured, but the state of Alabama didn't care. This is one of those books where I kept thinking, "how awful can society and some people be?" I cannot recommend this book enough.

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (not for any challenge) I read this book because Bill Gates recommended it and I think it is useful and interesting. Rosling goes through ten instincts which distort our perspective, and how we can mitigate those distortions. I like the fact that he uses real world examples, but is also honest about times when he has made mistakes and the consequences of his actions.

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. This is the sequel to Beartown, and if you haven't had a chance to read that, you need to run (not walk) to your nearest bookstore or library and get it stat.

QOTW: I wish my husband read half as much as I did. I am constantly bombarding him with, "Guess what I read today? (I'll read the paragraph) and practically yell--can you believe this???" He's gotten better about reading every now and then, but I respect the fact that outside of work, he likes to spend his time participating in other activities.

message 28: by SadieReadsAgain (new)

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Nadine wrote: "What kind of job interview requires you to bring your fiancé to the final interview??? That's definitely illegal. At least in the US."

Weird. And if he was going to pretend the engagement broke off before he started the job why didn't he just pretend it had broken up before the final interview...?

message 29: by Theresa (last edited Jul 12, 2018 10:36PM) (new)

Theresa | 1875 comments Greetings from my New Mexico vacation. Little reading has happened this past week and certainly no finishes. So still at 40/50.

QOTW: Both my sisters are readers and in fact browse my bookshelves whenever they visit, and we ship books to each other (we do not live near each other). My brother does not read books but does read a lot of magazines and newspapers making him the expert on current events. My sister-in-law, niece and nephew all read but not quite as voraciously as I do.

My parents were really not readers until they retired. As dairy farners where the work just never ends, I am sure it was result of lack of time.

message 30: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments Jacqueline wrote: "Evening from Warren NSW Australia.

Been a weird week this week. And busy. My daughter in laws mother died suddenly on the weekend so basically the kids are going through hell 1200km away and I ca..."

I'm so sorry - that's terrible. It must make you feel powerless to be so far away, but I'm sure you are doing something for them just by being available to talk/vent.

message 31: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments Nothing finished this week but two new books started:

The Magpies - A pretty average 'neighbours from hell' thriller. I'm halfway through and nothing has particularly 'chilled' me. Also there are a lot of awkwardly written unnecessary sex scenes. Not bad enough to DNF, I'll soldier on. Not sure yet if this fits any prompts, maybe ugly cover.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - My 'lights off' kindle read. I've only been able to read a few pages at a time of this but that is more a comment on my choice to keep reading it when I'm very tired rather than its quality. Hoping to get into it properly soon. This will be for the mental health prompt.


My mum is a huge reader. I always remember her having a book in her hand when I was a child. She is also very good at keeping up with the latest releases and gets annoyed with me trying to clear my TBR because I can't discuss new books with her!

My boyfriend is also a reader, (I don't think I could be with someone who isn't) but he pretty much exclusively reads hard sci-fi where I'll read anything! We are also different in that he has managed something I never can. He will buy a book, read that book, look for another book, buy that next book, read that next book. With no TBR! I like the excitement of having a TBR but can sometimes do without the pressure!

message 32: by Stacey (last edited Jul 12, 2018 09:23AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Happy Thursday!
I only finished 1 book towards the challenge but read like crazy this week!!! (Finished 9 Books!)

Currently at 31/52 for the PS Challenge!

Read This Week

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling for 36) A Book set in the decade you were born (yay 90’s!) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

And then I went on a binge of a new-to-me series that’s not for the challenge...it’s sort of like the bachelor but in a royal setting and it’s set in a dystopian society so there’s a lot going on! I’ve been enjoying it immensely! 🙂 I’m listing them in publication order which is how I’ve been reading them! (If you want to read this series I recommend this order to avoid spoilers for yourself!) I LOVE that this series includes novellas from different characters’ POV on some of the bigger events! They bring a lot more dimension and insight into the events of the first 3 main books!!

The Selection (#1) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Prince (#0.5) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Elite (#2) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Guard (#2.5) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The One (#3) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Queen (#0.4) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Favorite (#3.5) by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Includes the novellas I’d already read but added: 2 more chapters to The Prince, author introduction to each novella, several scenes from 2 other characters’ POV, updates on 3 characters after the events of The One, a map and a few illustrations)

Currently Reading

The Heir (#4) by Kiera Cass

Who Killed the Avro Arrow? by Chris Gaines for 48) A Microhistory - it’s a bit hard to follow since the author uses a lot of technical abbreviations, goes into a lot of depth about small details/background information and doesn’t structure the book chronologically. 😣 I probably would enjoy something else more but feel like I should know more about the arrow since it’s part of my local history and I’m about 50% at this point so will probably stick it out - albeit very slowly!!


My Sister is the only other person in my extended family who devours books the way I do & we both have been this way since we were young kids (about 10-12). There are a few others who read casually though: my sister in law, one of our aunts, and a couple of our first cousins. Neither of our spouses read unless they’re listening to an audiobook with us. I won’t be surprised if my nephew (my brother’s oldest) turns out to be an avid reader! He seems to always enjoy books when he picks them up (he’s only just turned 7 though so the jury’s still out on this)!

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments I was close the end of several books at my last check in, so I have quite a few finished books this week.

Finished Reading:
Jane Eyre I thoroughly enjoyed my re-read of this.

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Vol. 19 I'm getting pretty close to the end of this series, or at least what's been published--I haven't checked to see if it's reached a conclusion yet.

Turtles All the Way Down I ended up deciding I really enjoyed this book even though it didn't end quite the way I usually prefer my stories to end. Everything about it just felt so accurate to life.

Here's Looking at Euclid: A Surprising Excursion Through the Astonishing World of Math I finally finished it! Despite how long it took me to read, I recommend this for anyone who's thinking about studying higher math (you'll either enjoy it and confirm your decision, or decide it's not for you, but have a good summary of concepts anyway) or who's teaching math (a few interesting comparisons on teaching methods, such as the Japenese vs American schools).

Miles to Go Continuing to read the series I started for 'author with the same name as you' prompt. I'm fairly impressed with his ability to keep the emotional tension that high without feeling fake or contrived.

Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ Read for the LGBTQ prompt.

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime I thoroughly enjoyed this one, despite some details about pretty nasty crimes that I'd generally prefer not to know about. I think it helps that in most of the stories the culprit gets caught. (Though it also really confirmed my frustration at how emotionally based some convictions are, when we're supposed to have an innocent until *proven* guilty system.)

Currently Reading:
Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals For Netgalley. I need to stop getting review cookbooks because it takes me so long to read through a cookbook... On the other hand, I've been really glad to get the recipes and tips from some of these review cookbooks.

Artemis Audiobook with my husband. I asked him what we should listen to after we finish this one and he said, "Something just as good". We're going to try Harry Potter next, since he's never read that, but if anyone has other suggestions for good (fiction) audio books for people who enjoyed Artemis, let me know!

How the Irish Saved Civilization I'm reading this for 'book set in a country that fascinates you', though so far I've only read the background history part, which is set in Rome rather than Ireland. It's a good history overview on a time period I was kind of vague on before though.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet I'm reading this for 'book set in the decade you were born in', though only half of it is set in the 80s. I'm really appreciating a story that goes into the Japenese internment camps in WWII, since that's a dark part of our history that doesn't get talked about much. (I also like that the narration from a child's point of view keeps the darkness from being overwhelming somehow, and that it's also a sweet story.)

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better My current audio book. I was already familiar with the basics of the system from blog posts and articles, but I'm getting a little more depth from reading the book itself, and it seems useful. (The lack of scientific proof hasn't bothered me at all--the logic makes sense to me, and like all systems, if it helps you understand yourself a little better it's worth it, and if not, you can just move on to something else.)

Girl in a Cage I went in thinking I was okay with a historical fiction story that leaned heavily on the side of fiction, but the anachronisms ended up bothering me. (Somehow I really doubt that an 11 year old from that time period would think of herself as a child, any more than a 16 year old would now. Sure, maybe not an adult yet, but getting close to the responsibilities of adulthood at that time.) Maybe I should have just pushed through since it would have been a quick read for 'book related to your ancestry', but right now I'd rather read a longer book that I'd actually enjoy.

I come from big reading family, as does my husband, though I don't know that any of them are quite as obsessed with reading as I have been this year. I read and dabble in computer/video games; my husband mostly plays computer/video games but also reads. Overall, it works out well.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Jacqueline wrote: "Evening from Warren NSW Australia.

Been a weird week this week. And busy. My daughter in laws mother died suddenly on the weekend so basically the kids are going through hell 1200km away and I ca..."

I'm sorry you're going through that. It's so frustrating to be too far away and not be able to help when family's having a hard time.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Karen wrote: "This week I finished Ready Player One. My husband and I loved this so much we bought and watched the movie last night instead of waiting for it to come to Netflix. I don't think any of our favorite..."

My husband really loved Ready Player One and refuses to see the movie since from everything he's heard and seen in trailers it doesn't measure up to the book. They already messed up the movie of Ender's Game which is another of his all time favorites, too...

message 36: by SadieReadsAgain (new)

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Jess wrote: "We are also different in that he has managed something I never can. He will buy a book, read that book, look for another book, buy that next book, read that next book. With no TBR!...."

My husband is the same, whereas I have about 300 books on my TBR!

message 37: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Hi everyone! This is a 2-week check-in for me as things have been hectic lately. Last week one of my best friends was in town visiting for several days, then I left town for the rest of the week to visit my boyfriend, and then I had my quarterly sales meeting at the corporate office the last 3 days. I got home at 1am this morning and am looking forward to resting this weekend. I am exhausted!

I was surprised at how many books I finished since last check-in since it didn’t feel like I read much at all. I read 1 book that I am using for Popsugar, so I’m now at 40/52 for the challenge.

Books I finished:
For Popsugar
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal for my celebrity book club pick (32), choosing Reese Witherspoon’s list. This wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I did enjoy it. The overall theme was women finding their voice and not being all dried up just because they are widows. I’m always going to be a fan of that.

For other challenges
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. All I knew about her previously was her comedy, of which I am not always a fan. But she is a huge advocate of loving your body & appearance no matter the size, and she was incredibly honest in some of the experiences she mentions in the book to hopefully help others.

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. This was disappointing. It could be because I read this right after The Perfect Mother, which had similarities, but regardless I think this could have been so much better. One of the main characters was very annoying, and there were very few surprises considering this is supposed to be a mystery/thriller.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. I absolutely loved this memoir. I always find it fascinating to learn about people living off the grid, especially when you throw extreme religion into it. I admire her drive and tenacity to educate herself despite the protests from her parents. There were a couple of things that I think Westover could have gone over in more detail, like her relationship with her boyfriend and a little more about her experience abroad, but it was still a great read.

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. I listened to this via Audible, and I recommend the audiobook. The book is written in first person, so listening to the author read the story added to the experience, as I felt like I was in the main character’s head. It is about a couple who discovers something while scuba diving on their honeymoon and the aftermath of the find.

I am currently reading:
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan for favorite prompt from 2017 (40), the first book in a new-to-me series.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

QOTW: Not really, but I wish they were. They all read, but they would rather watch something on TV instead. We are able to discuss books here and there because they usually ask me for a recommendation, though.

message 38: by Hope (new)

Hope Finished 8 books this week (one was a graphic novel and all were short)

For the challenge:
Jughead, Vol. 1 (A book with a LBGT+ protagonist) I relate to Jughead so hard. A cute read- kept me guessing what was going on with the school! Jughead's dreams were great too. I haven't watched to TV series but I'll def read Jughead's comics!

Driver's Ed (A book with an ugly cover). This was a re-read for me, but I still enjoyed it. A very realistic portrayal of teens and the choices they can make!

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you) This was a powerful read, though I confess I was disappointed by how little of it is actually about Ishmael being a boy soldier.

We Were Liars (A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner) I didn't expect to like it, expecting it to be a cliche YA romance or something. I listened to it as an audiobook and OMG! The narrator was fantastic. And the twist- I did not see that coming! Loved it! Another great portrayal of teens.

Other books read:
Blood Charged- okay but a bit slow. I'm not enjoying this as much as the first series from the author.

Boundaries- for my personal 195 country challenge. I loved the depiction of an immigrant trying to find where she belongs and the office politics of the publishing industry, but disliked the ending!

Fight for Freedom- fun middle grade historical set in Rome. A bit slow (it takes a LONG time to get to the gladiator training!) but it was okay- until the end, when the kid changes his mind about something and greatly annoyed me.

Sandry's Book- a re-read for me, and still my favorite series of Tamora Pierce. Even though Pierce is known for her powerful female characters, her lone (until this year) male character, Briar, was always my favorite.

My sister likes to read, though she doesn't read as much as she did when we were younger. I need to make her read the books I read so I can rant about books with her lol.

message 39: by Ali (new)

Ali (aliciaclare) | 153 comments Sara- enjoy your vacation and The Hating Game! I adore that book, it's like a feel good romcom in a book!

I'm back after my trip to NYC, which went super well except for the horrible bus ride in. Luckily, travel time gave me a lot of time to finish up my audiobook! I finished 3 books, but unfortunately none of them counted towards the challenge.

First was Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. I liked this, although although there's a lot of sexual assault and violence against women throughout the book (nothing really graphic, it's just basically what links all the bad guys in the book). But as usual, I really enjoyed this narrator, and the audiobooks are great!

Next was Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen, which I really liked! I'm really looking forward to reading more romance from her, she has a great voice!

Finally, I finished Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh last night. I was a little disappointed by this because I REALLY liked the first book, and this wasn't a super strong conclusion. However, I like Ahdieh's writing a lot so I still enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to more from her.

For currently reading, I started The Kite Runner on audio, but I really don't like the narration, so now I'm waiting on the ebook from my library. I also started Hello Stranger yesterday, which I'm hoping to like even though I haven't loved this series so far.

QOTW: Nope! The only person I know who reads more than me is my uncle, who is an English professor, but we have really different tastes in books. My friends and family read and like talking about books, but I think they'd all say I'm a little more (well a lot more) obsessed with books than they are.

message 40: by Hope (new)

Hope Nadine wrote: "What kind of job interview requires you to bring your fiancé to the final interview??? That's definitely illegal. At least in the US."

I just read the synopsis and you're right- that makes zero sense. What kind of job requires you to be married? At least in The Proposal movie, Sandra Bullock's character is trying to avoid being deported, but nothing in the description indicates that this is the case in the book.

message 41: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Happy Thursday! I had a significant reading week this week as I finished both my favorite book of the year so far, and my least favorite.

A Place for Us I absolutely loved this book. It's my favorite book I've read so far this year. It so beautifully explores family relationships and the consequences of the choices we make - even choices that we think are for the best. I will say though that I'm not sure it would work super well on audiobook because the timeline jumps around a lot. Reading it in print was not confusing at all, but I would be concerned that the audio might be confusing.

Ready Player One (Cyberpunk) And this one was definitely not a favorite. I know a lot of people really love this book, but it just wasn't for me. There were times when I was entertained, and I did want to know how it all turned out, but I thought it was just too over the top. Way too many 80's references, too many detailed accounts of Wade playing video games, too many words in general.

This is How It Always Is This was another great book about a family and how, as a parent, you have to make really big decisions for your kids with limited information that may affect their whole lives. I thought the author did a really nice job of exploring what that dynamic looks like.

The Cloister Walk (bestseller from high school graduation year - 1996) I've been slowly reading this book over the last several months and finally finished it yesterday. The author writes in essays about her experiences living in a Benedictine monastery. It is interesting and subtle and I'm glad I read it.

Challenge Progress
I'm so close! I've completed 45 out of 52 (37/42 regular and 8/10 advanced).

Currently Reading
Less (book being read by a stranger in a public place)
City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York (book tied to my ancestry)
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

Unfortunately, my husband isn't much of a reader, and when he does read it's almost exclusively nonfiction. However, he is great about helping me feed my addiction, and he reads to our kids every night, and he's even enjoyed some middle grade fiction that he's been reading with our daughter. But both my mom and brother are readers, and we share similar tastes. My mom is actually my favorite person to talk books with because we love a lot of the same stuff. I almost always buy her books I've loved for holiday presents.

message 42: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! It's been AGES since I updated, but I've been chugging away on my books. I'm currently 50% done with the challenge, so I'm more or less on track.
This week I finished I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, which I thought was good, but not as good or as disturbing as I was expecting. I usually feel very disturbed by true crime and need a lot of hugs from my SO when I read them, but there were only a couple times I had to put it down, and I live in Sacramento! I think I might have expected to be so terrified that it weirdly made me not scared. Expectations, man, they influence our lives in so many ways.
I'm currently reading The Terror, which is fun, and I'm almost done listening to Manhattan Beach, which is not good. It's got some scenes that work and a few things that are really interesting, but it gets an F in both structure and realistic character decision-making. Not recommended.
QOTW: My brother used to be very anti-book-reading. He haaaaaaaated reading The Scarlet Letter in high school, particularly the way his English teacher insisted it's Great Literature and because it's a Great Book you Must Like it or You're Dumb. After that, my brother like rebelled against books for over a decade. Then he found the right books for him and started reading more, and we also had some conversations about more interesting, critical ways to approach literature, so he proposed we start a book club. We call it Brother/Sister Book Club, and we've read more than 20 books together at this point, from Stephen King to Svetlana Alexievich, and we have fascinating conversations about them. It's great! I finally have the bookish big brother I've always wanted. :-D

message 43: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 111 comments I got two books done this week bringing me to 44/52 done

William Tecumseh Sherman In the Service of My Country A Life by James Lee McDonough William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: A Life for "Book tied to your ancestry" as my family is from the deep south and our home was along the March to the Sea.

Trumpfingers by Daniel H. Jeffers Trumpfingers for "book with an ugly cover" (tell me I'm wrong for that category)


My mother was an avid reader and encouraged my sister and me to read. Both my sister and I have since been constant readers and I got her into the Popsugar Challenge recently when she mentioned finding herself in a reading rutt.

message 44: by Cindy (last edited Jul 12, 2018 11:06AM) (new)

Cindy Greetings from a very hot South Dakota. Temps have been in the triple digits all week. On Wednesday the back yard thermometer was displaying 107 degrees. Finally getting some cooler weather with rain showers.

This week I am reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
I was looking through some old books we keep in a box. I found a science fiction story Star Bridge. I am using it for a book with 2 authors.

QOTW: I sometimes feel lonely, like I am the only one who reads. My husband reads, but we are opposite when it comes to books. He reads fantasy and science fiction, hates classics. I will read most anything. My Mom has passed away, but she loved mysteries. She was always reading an Agatha Christie book. My Dad read newspapers and farm magazines. He would sometimes read a Western, like Zane Grey or Max Brand.

message 45: by Jessica (last edited Jul 19, 2018 08:47AM) (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments Hey guys. Oh gotta love the summer. Super humid in Vegas which is not something we are particularly used to so it's extra unpleasant.

We just got an 8 week old Corgi puppy to join our family. He's joining his 11 y/o human type sister and 1 & 1/2 year old Corgi brother. Needless to say the house has been hectic.

IDK what my count is today so I will skip it. 25 or 26. Not sure.

Contemporary American Monologues for Women by Todd London
Not for challenge
Still Life. by Emily Mann
#6. Based on real person/people
How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel
Not for challenge

Currently Reading
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl
Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1) by Veronica Roth
Actions The Actors' Thesaurus by Marina Caldarone
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Do you have a spouse / partner / sibling who is as passionate about reading as you are?

No. My husband will read but does it rarely. Mainly when he has something he wants to learn ie. poker, how to coach... My brother never reads. My daughter does. Not nearly as much as I do but I try to keep her interested. She will sit for hours and reread her graphic novels though. She is also starting to love Manga. My best friend is also a reader but again not as much as I read. We have a bookclub together with her sister and one of my soccer friends. I have a coworker however and we are forever discussing what we are reading. She reads equal to me and sometimes more. We share books and recommendations,

message 46: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments LOVE your choice for ugly cover. That is a hideous. ;)

Kristina wrote: "I got two books done this week bringing me to 44/52 done

William Tecumseh Sherman In the Service of My Country A Life by James Lee McDonough[book:William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Cou..."

message 47: by Mike (new)

Mike | 443 comments Raquel wrote: "My husband really loved Ready Player One and refuses to see the movie since from everything he's heard and seen in trailers it doesn't measure up to the book. They already messed up the movie of Ender's Game which is another of his all time favorites, too..."

These are both two of my favorite books as well, and I have yet to see either movie. Too afraid of disappointment.

message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 894 comments Hi everyone. The sun is shining still and I am headed away for the weekend for a friend's wedding so I hope it stays nice.

It's been a very fairy tale week for me! I finished Barefoot on the Wind. I hated this. The main character was Katniss carbon copy number 300 (but this time in Japan), the so called love interest was creepy and I just didn't care what happened to either of them. It was a quick read which is the only reason why I finished it.

I also finished Alias Hook. This was better. The beginning was rocky but about 30% in everything clicked into place and I was gripped.

Currently reading: The Time Machine for the time travel prompt, obviously.

QOTW: Everyone in my family reads but I'm the only one who READS! I love reading to my 4 year old nephew and I hope he'll be a reader when he grows up.

message 49: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Hi Everyone!

Forgot it was Thursday originally, almost forgot to post!

This week I finished:

The Book Thief - I LOVED this so much. I was sobbing at the end, even though it was pretty clear where it was heading all along. Didn't reduce the final impact. It was also really interesting being told from the perspective of death. I'm calling this my book related to my heritage. I'm a Euro-mutt and don't have any real connection to anything in my heritage. But there's a decent amount of German in me, and I love books, so it seems like it should work.

An Unkindness of Ghosts - This is my allegory, the spaceship flying through space looking for a new planet was separated into upper and lower decks in an allegory for apartheid South Africa. I liked it pretty well, the main characters were interesting. The ending was a little weird for me, but overall I enjoyed.

Currently reading:

Butterflies in November - This is my book set in a country that fascinates me. Iceland is currently at the top of my fascination list, and I had a bit of a challenge finding a book that would work. I wanted something that was a) not nordic noir, b) looked interesting to me and c) available from my library in some form. This was available on hoopla, so it works! I am enjoying it ok so far, although probably not something I'd have picked up otherwise.

5 books left!


Growing up my mom was the reader. She usually read romance, so we didn't have similar tastes at all. Now she reads more diversely since she discovered library audiobooks, but we still don't really relate. Half the time when she reads something I actually read she'll just say that it was weird, or she didn't really remember what it was about. Oh well!

My husband doesn't read much. I used to be able to get him to read more, but I think a few years ago he just got stuck on this one book and it threw his reading off course. He's been doing almost nothing but re-reading a handful of favorites since then. I'm trying to convince him to read Dresden Files, since he really liked the Nightside books I got him to read, and there's a lot of similarities between Harry Dresden and John Taylor. Crossing fingers!

Luckily I have plenty of friends who read, so I do have some real life people to talk books with.

message 50: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Hello all, I finished 3 books this week. 1 for the challenge

Origin by Dan Brown for a book being read by someone in a public place.
The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket- audio with son, reread, not for the challenge
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman- not for the challenge

Working on:
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire audio- for the stage play or musical
Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion by Malcolm Hulke. I started reading this aloud to my kid but he became uninterested because "The dinosaurs happen too rarely." So I'm finishing it myself. Not for the challenge.
The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket- audio with son
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis- aloud to son after giving up on Doctor Who. He didn't think he'd like it but he loves it.

Unfortunately, no. My dad was an avid reader, mostly of Russian literature, Catholic/Christian literature, Doctor Who books... a lot of different stuff really. He died in 2016. My mom wants to read but can't get in the habit. My boyfriend reads sometimes. Maybe 1 or 2 a year, and usually audios.

I'm trying to breed my son into a book-lover though and it seems to be working! We try to read at least one chapter every day in a chapter book, and I get him lots of children's books from the library. Last night he wanted to stay up past his bedtime to read a Jurassic World book. I let him of course.

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