Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 32: 8/3 – 8/9

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Hello everyone! It is hard to believe that summer is winding to a close (northern hemisphere)! My daughter goes back to school in just a few short days. I am counting down to cooler days where I can curl up under a blanket and read (and not have to think about mowing the grass)!

***Admin stuff: Discussion of The Night Circus is underway if you would like to join. Next month's book is Hamilton: The Revolution

On to the reading check-in!

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider. I read this wonderful travel memoir in print right after it came out last year, but I picked up the audiobook on sale recently and wanted to hear Tsh read the story of her
family’s trek around the world.

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. Two friends who went to med school together and became doctors are thrown for a loop when someone from their past (year 3 of med school to be exact) reappears in their lives and a secret is revealed. Not my usual kind of read, but it was interesting and kept me occupied while I was laid up over the weekend with a bad back.

Currently reading
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler – this is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project. As much as I enjoy watching a performance of a Shakespeare play (we have a great theater near us!) I find it hard to read the plays without an English teacher helping along the way (even with the “No Fear Shakespeare” books). This is the first I’ve read in this series of retellings, but seeing the list of other books is making me itch to try more! Learn more about this project at

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – I haven’t read this in years, and I forgot how very sad it is. I have told my 12-year-old horse loving girl not to read it. Her heart is too soft to hear how some of the horses are treated.

Question of the week:

Do you like to receive books as gifts?

My first instinct is to say yes of course! But, I’ll be honest, most of my family understands very little about what I like to read. I feel terrible when someone gives me a book which I either don’t want or just never get around to reading. Books are so personal. Unless you are really in tune with me, or I have asked for a specific book, a gift card for a bookstore is the best way to go (as much as I hate to say that).

Having said that, I am a member of a fantastic book club and several of those ladies do know me very well. I would trust them to put a good book into my hands!

message 2: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1080 comments I feel like I've made good progress this week including sorting out some of my dreaded prompts. I am so behind on writing reviews now though.

Finished The Bumblebee Flies Anyway: A year of gardening and (wild) life for Read Harder's book about nature. I liked this up until her mum had a stroke, which is very sad but not about wildlife gardens...

I read Ghost Wall for my book linked to my ancestry. It makes a really good point that Britons didn't spring from the ground like mushrooms but are actually from all over the place. Short and slowly builds tension, I recommend for those struggling with British ancestry (does contain domestic abuse).

I finished listening to After the Fire for the celebrity book club prompt (Zoella). I didn't like the fake accent of the narrator, but I thought it was interesting to look at a cult from the perspective of a teenager who has to come to terms with what was essentially an abusive home. It's based on the Waco siege, but is a fictional cult.

I also listened to Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave for Read Harder's posthumous book. The actual original book is very short and I thought the narration was great, but it does have a very long introduction that I could have done without.

I'm currently reading Paper and Fire for a book involving a bookstore or library. It's been a while since I read the first book and needed a recap but I'm getting back into it now.

I am currently listening to Affinity for a bestseller from the year I graduated high school. I had real trouble with this prompt, it's pretty hard to find weekly UK bestseller lists and none of the US ones were appealing. I've read a lot of the overall bestsellers for 1999 too! However Affinity is one of the most popular books on Goodreads published that year, so whilst it might not have been a bestseller *in* 1999, it's from 1999 and has certainly sold a lot.

35/50 | 74/100

Not many people buy me books as I have so many unread people think I don't need more. Hahahahaha! I do have well managed wishlists for people to choose books off and I love it if someone does that. My partner has managed to buy me books off-list that I've liked too. I don't really like the pressure of being given a book that the giver loves when it's totally not my thing.

message 3: by Stacey (last edited Aug 09, 2018 04:40AM) (new)

Stacey | 400 comments Sara wrote: "It is hard to believe that summer is winding to a close (northern hemisphere)!"

I don't want to hear that evil report!! xD
I'm Canadian and live semi-north so I dread winter like everyone in the southern states dreads summer! - I just stay inside in the heat and still never feel warm enough! October can take forever to get here as far as I'm concerned - I don't want any snow! Also, curiously kids don't go back to school in my province until after labour day weekend.

Good Morning though! :)

I am FINALLY at home with no more company so the last day or 2 I've been back to my books (when it doesn't cut into my fishing time of course)! :D I only managed to finish 2 books (putting me up to 39/52), but I'm good with that considering I was with my 5 yo niece and 7 yo nephew until monday! Those two always keep me on the go and like to steal my tablet/phone to play games on..so much for ebooks!

Finished This Week

My personal GR challenge of 52 books this year! :)

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins for 40 Previous PS prompt-Part B) 2016 - A New York Times Bestseller. I thought it was only ⭐️⭐️.5 stars sadly! I had a hard time getting into it because it's written from about 10 different characters' points of view AND jumps around from past to present, so I found it a bit hard to follow and there was a lack of character development too I thought. The first half was very meh, but the second half got more interesting.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch for 21) A Book with your favourite colour in the title. ⭐️⭐️ I thought the book itself was just ok, but since I haven't fulfilled a book mentioned in another book yet I had some added interest here making a list of all the books mentioned. There were 435 book titles listed in this book not including series O_O. I made my list on excel (so it counted for me and I autosorted it alphabetically *grins*)! I put the list in the prompt thread if anyone is still needing any ideas! The best part is, it happens to mention Harry Potter! ...I was wondering if I could fit Deathly Hallows into my challenge as I've read the other 6 so far this year and now I can! Yay!

Currently Reading

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (at about 50%) so I'm a bit ahead of the discussion and going to slow down and start something else today!


I LOVE to receive books as gifts! My family always uses Amazon wishlists to help us when we shop for each other, so the books I get are always off my wishlist! =D If for some reason I've been slacking on keeping it updated, my sister will be consulted since we have similar tastes (and she's a friend on GR so she can go in and see if I've already read something etc.)

Also, I usually get a gift certificate for my local used book store every year at Christmas as part of my stocking! <3

message 4: by Nadine (last edited Aug 09, 2018 04:38AM) (new)

Nadine Jones | 5484 comments Mod
I still have a few days left in my New Jersey Shore vacation, and my kids don't start school until September, so it's still summer here! It's been relentlessly humid and oppressive at the shore, too. I walk my dogs by the bay at dawn every day while I'm here; usually that's a crisp and refreshing time of day, sometimes even requiring a sweatshirt! But not this year. Ugh. So thankful for a/c!!!

I finished four books this week, none for this Challenge, so I remain 49/50:

Suddenly One Summer by Julie James - I got sucked in by a pretty cover, and was disappointed.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells - I'm not sure how a book about "Murderbot" could be fun, but this really was lots of fun. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne - this has gotten a lot of buzz, and I was skeptical, but I fell in love with it. I might even re-read this one, just to experience it again.

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi - this was okay, but just okay.

LOL no, not really!! I have a long TBR list and pretty specific desires regarding what I'm going to read next, so book gifts and unsolicited book loans are almost always unwelcome, although I always appreciate the gesture.

message 5: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 289 comments Hello from Columbus! I can’t believe summer break is almost over! Middle school starts on Wednesday, I don’t actually remember when my son goes back to preschool though. I should probably look into that lol. I finally got back into a groove with reading. And I figured out how to play audible in my car via Bluetooth so I can listen on the highways now. So now I’m almost done with the goodreads summer challenge and can finish the last few prompts from the popsugar challenge.

The Rocks I picked this on a whim, trying to find a beachy cover for the goodreads prompt. I’m surprised how much I liked this once I got into it. The story starts in 2005 and works it’s way back to the 40’s. Set in Spain, it’s mostly about the lives and families of two individuals who were briefly married and how their lives intertwined since then. It took me longer to finish because there was a lot of gratuitous sex scenes and not something my kids would enjoy listening to. But overall, I’m glad I stumble across this book.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home okay so if you’re lucky enough to have experienced Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams you’ll probably understand why I’m so excited to recommend her recipes. If you’re not familiar, Jeni’s is a Columbus-based ice cream shop that now has a lot of locations nationwide. This book starts with the company’s history, it’s just so awesome to see how well her brand has grown. Jeni’s is known for perfected classic flavors, and unusual flavors that are almost always amazing. The recipe book details a lot of her most famous flavors, as well as ideas for how to make your own unique recipes. If you like to make ice cream at home, or are interested, her two books are a must! And if I’ve sold you on her ice cream, they have an online shop and deliver 😉

Annihilation Women go into quarantined wilderness to investigate area, weird things happen, ??? As confusing as I found this book, I’m glad that it was so straight forward. I think I’m going to have to read more into the series because I want some more closure than Annihilation offered up. I feel like not knowing what actually is happening is kind of the point though.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower I forgot to suspend my hold on this and I guess that worked because I had this as my popsugar pick for a book set in the decade I was born. Except this wasn’t set in the 80s like I was made to believe, and this worked for a book you can finish in a day prompt for the summer challenge. I think this might be one of the rare instances that I liked the movie more than the book. And maybe I’m a bit too old now, but I can’t imagine why all my high school peers held this up as *the* book. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story but I guess it fell flat for this stage of my life and after the movie gave the story so much depth.

A Moveable Feast oh, Hemingway. Anytime I read something from him that I haven’t before it solidifies him as one of my favorite authors. This particular piece is about his life as an unknown writer in Paris. He writes about his experiences with other influential writers of that period and how his writing career took shape. I just love his style and the imagery he paints.

Qotw: sentimentally yes, they’ve never been my faves though.

message 6: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1294 comments Hi all

This week I read a couple of picture books, one that I can use for the challenge: Tomat (fruit or vegetable in title).

I also read My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel a light, fun, choose your own adventure romance. Usable for A book with two authors.

I´ve also counted and I´m:
127/200 GR
30/52 PS
16/52 Picture book edition of PS
33/52 if I merge the picture book edition and the "ordinary" PS. I might just do this to avoid stressing over the challenge, but we´ll see how it goes.

Currently reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (audiobook). On a short pause: A Short History of Drunkenness.


Well, yes, I do. But I actually don´t receive books as presents often, I´m quite picky about the books I want to own (I guess it´s a sideeffect from working at a library and the more or less unlimited access to books I have here), and also that people don´t want to risk buying something I´ve already read. So when I do get books for presents it´s because I´ve wished for a specific title, or it´s from a friend who knows what I´ve read. Or it´s some sort of unika.

message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Stacey wrote: "Also, curiously kids don't go back to school in my province until after labour day weekend."

Stacey, school start dates vary widely even in my small area. One county started yesterday, several start next week or the week after, and one doesn't start until after Labor Day! State law says day after labor day, but most of the rural counties (and especially in the mountains where I live) allow states to start earlier so they can build in some snow days. This is the earliest my girl has ever started. They shifted the schedule this year so they will get out at the end of May.

message 8: by Jacqueline (last edited Aug 09, 2018 06:14AM) (new)

Jacqueline | 346 comments Good evening from Warren, NSW, Australia. So I’m back in the drought ravaged Outback. Well actually all of New South Wales has been drought declared. It’s so bad people in the city are fundraising to buy hay for the farmers out here to feed their stock because the farmers can’t afford to keep hand feeding their animals. It’s getting pretty desperate.

Finished two books this week which took my Goodreads challenge to 56 books read out of 52.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (iPad) A great book. Really enjoyed it. 4⭐️

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (paperback) Wow. All the stars for this one. Loved it. Can’t wait to start Grey Sister.

Currently Reading
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (paperback) About 15% in and liking it so far.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (paperback) Still stuck around halfway at the Incident. I’ll get back to it one day.

Also about 1/3 of the way through Cinder, a little bit into Leviathan Wakes and a little way into The Immortalists but I’ve been stuck there for months with these ones. The first two were library books that had to go back and the Library was going to get me the Immortalists so I didn’t have to continue reading it on my iPad but they haven’t got it yet.


My immediate family don’t buy me books they just give me money to buy books. It’s easier that way. I buy them books but that’s usually books I know they’ve been waiting for. My eldest loves Tamora Pierce and Isabelle Carmody so I get him the new ones when they come out. My other son likes Matthew Reilly so I usually get him whatever new one he has out.

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Yep, school holidays are winding to a close here in Scotland too. I've taken annual leave today, tomorrow and Monday to get some kid-time in, and Tuesday off too so I can pack them off and have a day all to myself!!

I finished one book this week, as per usual. It takes me to 36/50 (33/40 & 3/10).

The book I read was Larchfield for prompt #20 by a local author. It's the story of a modern day poet isolated in early motherhood with a premature baby, and also the story of poet WH Auden in the interwar years as he struggles with his homosexuality when it was illegal to be gay. It is set in my town (although quite fictionalised) by a woman who lives and works here. I struggled to get over seeing my town on the page, particularly as it was such a character in this book. I actually think it made me enjoy the story less, as I was too preoccupied at picking out inaccuracies/fictionalisations! As someone who loves where I live, it was hard to accept that actually some of it was pretty accurate. Much like many towns, there are pockets of entitled, holier-than-thou types. I think the author did an amazing job of capturing how vindictive these people can be, in the storyline of malicious neighbours trying to force the newcomers out. I got off to a rocky start with this book as I found the description of Dora's preterm labour and subsequent maternity care very problematic (inaccurate and fear-mongering, nothing irks me more than irresponsible portrayals of birth and health care...). But I gritted my teeth and stuck with it, and found myself relating to her fragile mental health and sense of isolation. The shadow of living in close quarters with neighbours who are doing everything they can to make her life miserable was so tangible, I wanted to scream for her. I did enjoy the W H Auden chapters too. I thought it worked really well, having another storyline to focus on and seeing how the two came together in a way I wasn't expecting. On the whole, after a rocky start, I really did enjoy this book.

Do you like to receive books as gifts?

It happens very rarely, and my initial instinct was to say yes because...well, books. My brother bought me Brixton Beach a few years ago, and I loved it. But thinking about it, I did feel under (self imposed) pressure to read the book and then report back, so it would be awkward if someone bought me chick lit... Book tokens are the way to go (but no one ever gets me those either! My groaning bookshelves must put them off).

message 10: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 615 comments I'm actually one of those rare and terrible people who LIKES it when summer winds down. Mostly because summer is the busiest time of year at our library (between the Summer Reading Program and the fact that parents like to use the library as a free daycare), so it's something of a relief when the kids go back to school during the day...

Books I read this week:

Abhorsen -- finishing up the "Old Kingdom" series, which I started at the tail end of last year. This is a satisfying conclusion to the first trilogy, though there's also a short story collection and two follow-ups... sometimes keeping up with a series never ends. XD

Of Cinder and Bone -- two scientists genetically engineer a baby dragon... only for it to get stolen. While the writing wasn't the greatest, this was a fun read nonetheless.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream -- I've been reading a lot of short story collections lately... This one was weird and often frightening, but still very good. (Though there's some misogyny in several of the stories that's uncomfortable to read...)

Farewell Summer -- the last book in Bradbury's "Green Town" series. Not as good as Dandelion Wine or Something Wicked This Way Comes, but still decent.

Cardboard -- graphic novel about a boy and his father who find their cardboard creations coming to life. Fun and surprisingly emotionally resonant.


Not Enough Indians -- the description of this one looked hilarious, but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe satire isn't for me...

Currently Reading:

Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories
The Future is Blue
And yes, still chipping away at Lovecraft...


I will never say no to a book as a gift! Most of my friends and family members know my taste in books, so I almost always enjoy the books I receive as gifts. Which reminds me, need to read Mort here soon...

message 11: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1080 comments Sarah wrote: "Yep, school holidays are winding to a close here in Scotland too. I've taken annual leave today, tomorrow and Monday to get some kid-time in, and Tuesday off too so I can pack them off and have a d..."

Oh I wish the kids were going back sooner down here. School doesn't start back in Dorset/Hampshire till September. Because I work in a seaside town my lunch breaks are spent dodging unruly kids and so much queuing. I have to keep reminding myself it must be good for the economy, but I'll be happy when it quietens down again!

message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather (heathergrace) | 94 comments Good morning! I have a lot of travel coming up this month so I am prepared to settle in with some books. I'm closing in on 100 this year and thinking about picking up some longer books that take more time to read because I feel like it's been ages since I spent more than a week reading one book.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. I ended up using this for a book set at sea because a big chunk of it takes place on a pirate ship. This was extremely charming and I want to read the new one when it comes out this fall.

Murphy's Law. This was a recommendation by a friend and I loved it. There are so many more of these and I want to read them alllll.

Born to Be Wilde. I cannot rave about this series enough. Seriously.

Currently reading:
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. This is my book made into a movie I've already seen and it is magically managing to be just as charming. I am in love.

QOTW: Yes! I keep an Amazon wish list that friends use liberally around my birthday and the holidays to buy me books but they also will just take guesses at what I might not be aware of and usually I get fun and interesting stuff. I will take all the books, is what I'm saying.

message 13: by Tania (new)

Tania | 472 comments Hello, trying to fit a few last minute summer activities into my family's schedule for the weekend, but with the kids going back to school next week it is getting tough.

Finished this week:
The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir - nonfiction, digs into the last four months of Queen Anne including her trial and execution, but also looks back on what led up to these events, pretty interesting even if you have read a lot about the Tudors

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - did not like, did not like at all. I don't even remember why I checked this book out of the library, but it was dark and depressing, ranted on and on about the characters' drug use, and drug what was an interesting story out way too long.

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund - I don't remember why I checked this one out either (I was on a waiting list for about 6 months), however I couldn't put it down. Based on the subject matter, l hate to use the word love but it was compelling and I was completely invested in the characters.

Reading now: The Last Wife of Henry VIII by Carolly Erickson - for the prompt novel about a real person, so far I like it

QOTW: I do love getting books as gifts, actually. I keep a wish list on Amazon as well, but my reading interests are pretty broad and I only remember being disappointed once (and it was a book I thought I was going to like - Running with Scissors - worst book ever).

message 14: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Today is my oldest’s fourth birthday! She’s still sleeping though, so I have a chance to update. It’s been a slow reading week as we’ve been prepping for the party, decluttering and working on the house to sell in the fall, and my parents and sister are visiting.

Autonomous - there are some good critiques of the LGBTQ+ dynamics in this, but in spite of the issues, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d love to read more written in this world.

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen - this is very sweet, though there was a bit where she calls an activist a heckler that really rubbed me the wrong way. It’s very much a book written by a teen.

Be Prepared - a cute story about going to summer camp and struggling to fit in and make friends.

Right now I’m listening to Gunpowder Moon and theoretically reading The Geek Feminist Revolution but I’m making little progress with the latter.

QOTW: in theory, yes, I love books so I’d love to get one. In reality, I own so many that often I get repeats. And while in the past buying off my amazon wish list would have worked well, now I really only read on kindle, so a gift certificate to grab books when they are on sale would really be the best.

message 15: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Hi everyone! It is rainy today in Dallas, which is unusual for August. I'm enjoying the break in the heat but it is making me want to curl up with a book instead of work.

No books again for Popsugar this week, so I’m still at 41/52 for the challenge. I should have at least 1 more Popsugar prompt filled by next check-in, though.

Books I finished:
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. I listened to the audio because Alan Rickman was the narrator. This book was written ahead of its time in my opinion; it was racy for the 1800’s. I enjoyed it more than some of the other classics written around the same time.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I think I wasn't in the right mindset to read this one because I don’t understand all of the love for this book. The dialogue was witty, so I’ll give it that, but otherwise it was meh.

The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong. This was also creepy. A man wakes up covered in blood next to his dead mother and spends the next few days trying to figure out what happened.

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah. Not one of my favorite Hannah books, but I still liked it. She is one of the only authors who can write a completely predictable story but keep me reading. This one involves a fractured family (mom walked out on her husband and 2 daughters over a decade ago) and their struggle to rebuild their relationships.

I am currently reading:
New York Dead by Stuart Woods for a bestseller from the year I graduated high school (A1).
Believe Me by J.P. Delaney
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. I should finish this tonight.

QOTW: I don't usually get books as gifts, simply because people are worried I might have already read it or already own it. However, they will check my Amazon wish list occasionally and pick out a cookbook I've listed or else give me a gift card I can use to buy books.

message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 537 comments I missed a check in last week - I was dealing with work stuff. Stuck in meetings all day.

So I'm not entirely sure where I left off for checkin purposes. So I'll just put what I finished this week

Every Boy's Got One. Trying to wrap up this series. Doesn't fit a prompt.

I'm reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Loving this. Its for LGBTQ+.

I've gotten off track with prompt reads. But I'm at 26 regular, 6 advanced, 12 non-challenge books.

message 17: by Karen (last edited Aug 09, 2018 07:25AM) (new)

Karen | 127 comments Happy Thursday! This week I finished Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees and loved it! This was a bestselling trade paperback from the year I graduated high school. I am so glad I moved to the trade paperback list, because bestselling in general and mass market lists were really not working for me!

I am currently reading Katherine Arden's The Girl in the Tower and Naomi Novik's Uprooted.

QOTW: I like getting books as gifts. I think of my mom as a book Matchmaker, she is so well read, and various genres, and she is great at picking out great books for people. Before finding Goodreads challenges, I relied on her gifts to help me choose what to read next.

message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments Hello from Las Vegas. Back to school is next Monday which is keeping me busy this week getting my daughter ready for her first year of MIDDLE SCHOOL. I can't deal. Not a lot done this week. I'm trying to work out what I want to read for my remaining prompts and come up with a battle plan.



Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1) by Veronica Roth
#9 Anti-Hero

Actions The Actors' Thesaurus by Marina Caldarone
The Acting Bible The Complete Resource for Aspiring Actors by Michael Powell Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3) by Jim Butcher

Do you like to receive books as gifts?

YES!!!!! I don't get them often enough. I also love getting gift cards to Barnes and Noble which is the best!!!

message 19: by Somer (new)

Somer Jennings | 27 comments This week I finished so far The Cockoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith and Ready Player One Both were great books!!! Still reading this week, I will update later!

message 20: by Lindi (last edited Aug 09, 2018 08:15AM) (new)

Lindi (lindimarie) Happy Thursday everyone!!


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for a book about time travel. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect going in. Since the Outlander series has such a loyal fan base and so much hype, I had a feeling I might be let down. I honestly didn’t care too much for Claire or Jamie, and I wasn’t sold on their love story. For a woman with a secret (and a husband), who is forced to marry a “dashing” Scotsman out of necessity, there was NO build-up! I was yearning for more tension. Claire is simply asked if she loves Jamie, and then all of a sudden she does.

The pacing was confusing as well. Disclaimer: I don’t mind large chunks of detail. But when it came to the really interesting stuff, like Jamie finding out the truth about Claire, and Claire searching for Jamie, the author simply glosses over all of it! Yet I had chapters and chapters of the day-to-day at Castle Leoch.

This was just was not the epic romantic saga I wished it to be. I might continue if there were less books in the series and if it were finished, because I do find myself curious about the rest of their story. I might just start the TV show.

Currently Reading:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. A re-read for the millionth time. This time I am reading while listening to the first season of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.

Question of the Week:

I would, but sadly I never do. I also don't purchase many books anymore, so I might love a Kindle gift card more.

message 21: by Anne (last edited Aug 09, 2018 08:39AM) (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 200 comments Hello everyone. I hate to hear summer is winding down, but my children are also on their way back to school. I move my third child into her college dorm tomorrow. My fourth got his high school schedule and it is all messed up. Core classes are missing, but he got into metal working. There is nothing wrong with metal working- if you have time for electives. He is a freshman in show choir though so his elective is music. The changes will take some work with a school counselor. What a pain.

I am quite pleased with my reading this week because I have completed the advanced section of the challenge. I thought I would put off a couple of them until the end, but it worked out well. I read:

How to Make an American Quilt- best seller in the year I graduated high school. I liked it, though there was a lot less about the actual quilting then I thought there would be. I'm glad for that.
The House on Mango Street- fruit or vegetable in the title. I liked it.
Whiter Than Snow- my hidden gem. A person reading in public (the only prompt I dreaded more was Nordic Noir). I wasn't getting good options in my sleuthing until I saw this one being read by a lady at Weight Watchers. I will definitely read more of Sandra Dallas.
I also read: Ghost Boys- which was a quick and sad read.
Time Bomb- a school gets blown up with kiddos inside. It was well written, but I only thought it was meh. I am kind of tired of this theme as I have read several school shooting books lately.
The Night Diary- which was a book I felt like people thought kiddos should read rather than actually enjoy. I won't be recommending it to my youth committee group.

QOTW: I like getting books as gifts, especially when my Amazon wishlist is consulted. I would never have found Wrapped in Rain if my sister-in-law hadn't gifted it to me.

Happy Reading!

message 22: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 510 comments Good morning!

It's been a chaotic week. We had planned on moving me out of my Chicago apartment in a couple weeks, but it turns out my husband has to work the day we had chosen and he can't get anyone to switch with him. He's got this Friday off though so on tuesday I drove down and have spent the last few days packing. Luckily I'd already taken a couple carloads of stuff up to Madison or this would have been even more work. It'll be nice when it's over and I'm finally fully moved into our new place.

I finished Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer and loved it. 5 stars. Very down to earth, honest, approachable memoir about farming in urban California. I really want to get some herbs for my windowsills now.

I don't expect to get much reading in this weekend between moving and also going to a wedding. August is turning into a crazy busy month for me.

QOTW: I don't usually mind, but I kind of prefer giftcards. I'm pretty picky about what I read.

message 23: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle (r_y_feig) | 9 comments Greetings from NYC! I've read a bunch of books not related to the challenge (if this continues, completing the challenge might be a challenge-haha)
Books I've finished:
Final Girls by Riley Sager (not for challenge). I thought it was decent, but overhyped. Most of the book was a page turner, but I didn't feel satisfied upon finishing.

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger (not for challenge). Now this book I did fly through and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a good example of how a thriller should be written.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (not for challenge, although I think it'd work well for microhistory). I found this book to be incredibly fascinating, as I knew nothing about the Radium Girls and their quest to fight corruption and receive workers compensation. Overall I loved the book, but I thought it could have been shortened. I understand Moore's need to give each Radium Girl equal billing, as they were all important and deserved to have their story told, but honestly, after the third or fourth one, I couldn't keep the girls' stories apart, and all the names started running together.

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. This was another book I thought was overhyped. It reminded me of too many previous books, and I think the whole 'unreliable female narrator' schtick is getting a bit old (but really, it could be because I was somewhere near #558 on the library hold list for this book so I was hoping for a novel that knocked my socks off).

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker (not for challenge). I enjoyed this book, as it was great affirmation to do your best, and forgive yourself if you're not a superstar every hour of every day. I do feel that as a society, we've somehow gotten to the point of pressuring ourselves to be perfectionists, whether it be in parenting or, for single people, living our best lives (whatever that really means).

QOTW: I don't mind if I get books, but I have this terrible habit of not reading what I have, and always prioritizing library holds.

message 24: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 346 comments I’m still plodding thorough a book I meant to finish last week! I did finish listening to 11/22/63, and really enjoyed it. I’m not a Stephen King aficionado either. Just a week left before I go back to work, so I need to finish some books!

QOTW: In the past, I’ve put books I want to own in print on my amazon wishlist, and usually get a few of them for Christmas. I’m trying to wean myself off Amazon these days, and use my local bookseller more. We’ll see how that works out!

message 25: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 725 comments Hi everyone!

I don't have kids, and I'm not in school. My summer hours at my office last until Labor Day weekend, so I still have a couple weeks left of short Fridays!

Had a pretty good reading week, partially due to being lazy/having some rain.

I finished:
The Surgeon - This was my ATY medical thriller. I liked it ok, although there were some outdated ideas I found pretty offputting. (More than once it was mentioned that the killer removed the uterus of women because it was the 'one thing that made them women' which both invalidates trans women, and is a slap in the face to anyone who had to have a hysterectomy.) I also found it a little weird that so much perspective was on other characters for a book that was the first book in the "Rizzoli and Isles" series, and that Isles didn't even show up yet.

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins - My husband really loves this podcast and had really wanted me to check out he graphic novel to see if I liked it. I just found it ok. It still read a lot like "I'm watching someone else's D&D campaign". I like playing D&D fine, but I have no interest in what someone else did during their campaign. I realize I'm not the target audience here, at all haha.

The Staff of Serapis - this was just a short story, but I really like Rick Riordan, it was fun to put two series together. I kind of wish it was longer, I'd like to read a whole crossover series with the Greek-meets-Egyptian.

The Knife of Never Letting Go - ATY book with a clue weapon on the cover/in the title. I liked it ok, but i didn't super like the main character, and I got really tired of the bad grammar and spelling. I'd be fine if it was just in the dialogue, but it made its way into the general text, since the book was first person. The novel wasn't presented as being a diary or being told as a story to someone else, so I don't think every bit of text has to drive home "this is a kid who can't read or write". I was also super annoyed that it ended on a major cliffhanger. I don't really want to read the rest of the series, but I feel manipulated into it because I didn't get any kind of resolution to this one.

Dark Alchemy - Read Harder's western. I might have cheated a bit on this since it was an urban fantasy western, but whatever. it still came up tagged as a western on overdrive, and a lot of the other stuff tagged as western was romances that happened on ranches. So I am fine with my selection. I rather liked it, I might finish the series at some point.

All Systems Red - ATY book you expect to make you laugh. I didn't ACTUALLY laugh while reading it, although I did find it amusing in parts. It was a fun short read, and I'll try to get the rest of the Murderbot books.

Currently Reading:

I was going to try to read Dark Tales: Collected Gothic Novels and Stories (Illustrated): The House of the Seven Gables, The Minister’s Black Veil, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, Birthmark, ... of the Three Hills, Rappaccini's Daughter… because I wanted to read Rappaccini's daughter and thought it'd work for ATY's gothic novel. However when I started it there was like 2 full chapters of introduction. So I skipped ahead to the first story..and there was ANOTHER introduction, followed by a secondary introduction. I don't need an author's life history to read their work. I don't want to read discussions about the themes of the work before I actually read it. I don't think I can put up with having to page through this many introductions to get through it. I grabbed The Mysteries of Udolpho from the library, might try that instead.


I will sometimes put specific books on my wishlist, often graphic novels or special editions of something. Otherwise I'd just as soon people not get me books, unless they're actually going to put in the work to pick something I haven't read, but would actually like. I read A LOT, and a lot of them come from the library, so unless someone's checking anything they were picking out against my goodreads list, I'd rather get a gift card too, probably.

However one of my facebooks did a "Book flood" exchange based on the Icelandic tradition of gifting books, and that was fun. The difference is that the organizer made up a questionnaire that everyone had to fill out in order to sign up. It detailed out the kind of books you read most, what your favorite authors and books were, and if there were any genres/authors you did NOT want to read. You could also write down if there were any subjects/themes to avoid (like not having animals die, no depressing endings etc). And you were encouraged to link to goodreads or other services to show your reading habits. It gave pretty good information that allowed everyone to select a good choice of books for the person they were gifting for. I'd gotten two books from my gifter, and while neither were books I'd probably have picked for myself, I ended up loving one and liking the other enough to buy the second one in the series when I saw it on a cheap kindle deal.

message 26: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! I've had a pretty enjoyable reading week, and I'm on track so that's nice. Unfortunately, California is on fire, which is not exactly chill. I'm waiting for summer to end so it will rain again and the fire danger will diminish.

Finished this week:
The Terror--friggin' FINALLY. I mean to SAY. The historical research and mind-bogglingly idiotic mindset of colonialism were fascinating, but the book was too long and frankly not scary. I finished it, but I would not recommend it.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle--this was delightful, and as charming as it was creepy. Definitely rooting for the murderer over the "innocent" people of the village. I need to read more Shirley Jackson, I think.

Currently reading:
The Poisonwood Bible--this has the same critiques of colonialism as The Terror, but is much better written, and is just as compelling as I hoped. I'm absolutely loving this, and thinking of reading a nonfiction book about the Congo as a follow-up. Anybody have any recommendations?
Paladin of Souls--listening to this on audiobook, and thoroughly enjoying it. Lois McMaster Bujold is entertaining and impressing the pants off me! This is only my second book of hers, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to read her whole body of work. Also, the narrator is doing a fantastic job (I'm listening to the Blackstone Audio version, in case there's more than one).

QOTW: I like it when people give me books as gifts! I do not, however, like it when they keep following up to see if I've read it yet and what I thought. I can be very critical of books, even when I enjoy them, and I don't want to hurt feelings.

message 27: by Teri (last edited Aug 09, 2018 12:34PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1098 comments It's been hot and dry and hazy (due to California's wildfires and several of our own). I have lung problems that aren't handling the smoke too well, and I wouldn't mind a really good rainstorm (without lightning, please).

This has been a slow reading week for me. I finished only one book and it isn't for the challenge. I'm so close to finishing but keep getting sidetracked by other books.

The Knowledge: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes
This is the 24th book in the series. I liked this one much more than the last one, but the series is starting to be something I read out of habit more than complete enjoyment. Still, it had several intriguing bits to it and overall it was worth reading.

I also read Digitocracy by Andy Weir, which is a 5-minute ebook read. I loved this intriguing sci-fi concept. It isn't pulling up on my Read list for some reason, but it is too short to count for anything anyway.
Read it here: https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/digi...

39/42 regular, 5/10 advanced, 16 non-challenge = 60 total books
60 was my original Goodreads Challenge number, so I've accomplished one goal this year. I'm bumping it up to 90 now.

I always like getting books as gifts, but there are only a few people in my life who will give me ones that I would want to buy myself (my best friend and my book club). To be honest, I'd rather get a gift certificate to a bookstore. I have limited space for new books and would prefer getting what I want. But I still love it when people at least know that books are my favorite things and are trying to make me happy.

I received a book from a former coworker while he still worked there. It has been a few years and I haven't yet read it, although I'm sure I'll like it when I do. It's about 1200 pages and I'm a library book addict who rarely gets around to my bookshelves TBR. I really hope I do not run into him somewhere and have to admit I haven't yet read his book.

message 28: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 705 comments I finished the challenge this week!!! I joined the challenge to read more broadly, and I think I've done that. I probably would not have read half the books I did if not for the prompts and group reads. I'll continue to check-in even though I've finished.

Record of a Spaceborn Few (published in 2018) - I've been waiting for this book all year! I really loved it. I only wish the POV characters had interacted more. Some of them never met, which I wasn't expecting.

Educated: A Memoir - This is the first memoir I've read. Tara's story is incredible. She defines education in two ways. One is a formal school education. The other is about reinventing yourself after a lifetime of abuse. I highly recommend this book.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway - The audiobook is incredible! Imogen Church is a wonderful narrator. I really enjoyed the story too. I plan to read Ruth Ware's other books too.

What Alice Forgot - I'm about halfway through the book. I thought I loved amnesia stories, but this is not the light, fluffy, funny kind. I'm terrified to know what Alice forgot.

Cat's Eye - I've just started listening to this audiobook.

I love getting books as gifts! My friends don't buy me books, but they buy me book merchandise because they know I won't buy it for myself. I'm pretty happy with that too. I have some really neat things on my bookshelves.

My family are really horrible gift givers. I think they buy gifts based on what they like without considering what the recipient might like. I never get books. My aunt who loves puzzles never gets puzzles. My aunt who loves fashion never gets clothes or accessories. Last year, someone asked if we had to open Christmas gifts. I might have laughed way too hard ....

message 29: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 725 comments Heather, congratulations!

message 30: by Theresa (last edited Aug 09, 2018 03:17PM) (new)

Theresa | 1616 comments I started and finished 5 books this week, 3 of them fitting the 2018 Pop Sugar Challenge prompts I needed to fill!

I only have 6 more prompts to fill, and I have books lined up for each - well unless I get sidetracked which has happened a lot this year and is why I am so close to finishing months ahead of my personal schedule. Numbers: 44/50: 10/10 and 34/40.


Love and Ruin - Riveting historical fiction. Before reading this I basically knew nothing of Martha 'Marty' Gellhorn, which is just criminal. One of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th Century, starting with the Spanish Civil War when she was in her late 20s and continuing into her 80s! First journalist and only woman to land and report from the Normandy beaches on D-Day. Always telling the human story, the human cost. A hero. A role model. And coincidentally, Ernest Hemingway's 3rd wife. Absolutely 5 star read for me. I was able to use this to fill a prompt on 2015 Pop Sugar Challenge (which I am filling with books read that don't fit 2018) - book based on a true story. It would fit a lot of prompts in any of the challenges.

Juliet Gauvin Irish Heart Trilogy: The Irish Cottage: Finding Elizabeth (book tied to my Irish ancestry), The London Flat: Second Chances (next in series), and The Paris Apartment: Fated Journey (no prompt - just for fun). I liked the series a lot, the first and third best. After her beloved aunt dies, a young lawyer sets off on a journey of self-discovery that leads to a new life, love and revelation of a number of secrets. There's a bit of mystery and drama too. These reminded me of C.A. Belmond's series with Penny Nichols.

Blind Your Ponies - this was a 5 star find and fits the prompt for involving sport! Do NOT be put off by the title - it relates to a Crow Indian legend that essentially tells you to throw your heart over a cliff, or make a leap of faith. Set in Willow Creek, Montana, a dusty Montana town 'where the blacktop goes to die', a high school basketball team with a 93 game losing streak...you know where this is going. While the plot is pure Hoosiers, Breaking Away, Miracle on Ice, the writing sucks you in and puts you there, in the town, at all the games, in the hearts of the quirky townspeople and the kids. A little on the long side - it's a first novel I think -- but really enjoyable. The towns and locations mentioned all actually exist, as did the high school basketball team. I stumbled on this one from a googled list of best contemporary fiction set in Montana as I wanted to read a couple before my trip there in September. Definitely a winner and an author I'll read again. Also was able to slot this into 2018 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge as my book involving sports, which was one of my tougher remaining categories to fill. It would also fill a number of other prompts, including grief/mourning, but if you are still stumped for a sports book and want something that will have you staying up way too late and crying for joy at the ending, read this.

Currently Reading:

China Rich Girlfriend - just for fun.

QOTW: I adore getting books as gifts, and to help friends and family buy books for me, I keep an updated public Gift Wish List on Amazon which mostly has books on it. They can buy the books wherever they want, but at least they know what I want and don't already own. I set that up a few years ago after I received 4 copies of Bel Canto from different friends and family members, and another friend mentioned to me that she was afraid to buy me books because she figures I would already have any I want (I regularly troll bookstores and have a huge personal print library). They also surprise me -- a Canadian friend sent me the French winemaker cozy mystery series in ebook (Treachery in Bordeaux is first in series) because she was quite sure I had not yet discovered it as it was popular in Canada but not well known in US.

But if in doubt, a gift card is appreciated, and I always use them to buy some special book so I can connect the book to the giver.

I also love giving books, especially to kids.

message 31: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Hello all,

I finished 3 this week. 1 for the challenge, bringing me to 48/52.

The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket- audio with son
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow- audio for Cyberpunk (although the world was not as dystopian as it sounded like it would be)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Working On:
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis- aloud to son
The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket- audio with son
The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas- audio

Not really. I don't generally buy books unless I have already read them and loved them enough to want to have them in my possession. I asked for Gillian Flynn's books because of this and got them for my birthday. I also keep an active Amazon wishlist of the graphic novels I need because I collect Batman ones. Anyone who wants to buy me a book should get one from there. But just a surprise "I thought you'd want to own this book" gift? No.

message 32: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1098 comments Tania wrote: "The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - did not like, did not like at all. I don't even remember why I checked this book out of the library, but it was dark and depressing, ranted on and on about the characters' drug use, and drug what was an interesting story out way too long."

I've felt like I'm the only person that really disliked this book. It was just depressing and horrible, and I haven't dared read anything else by the author. However, I found myself thinking about the characters for several weeks afterwards, which I can't explain because I disliked them so much.

message 33: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 815 comments Count me in with the people who are glad summer is almost over. I dread summer the way other people dread winter and snow.

I have had some terrible migraines the last few weeks, so I only completed 2 books in the last 2 weeks. Every time I try to read I fall asleep.

The Shell Seekers for ATY one of the first 10 books from my TBR. This book also happens to have been published the year I graduated high school, but I don't think it was a best seller.

The Ship Beyond Time is the second in a series and I used it for book set at sea.

Currently Reading:
Circe for ATY book by author with the same first and last initial.

Listening to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for both ATY and Book Riot Read Harder.

The Best American Travel Writing 2017 for Book Riot Read Harder essay anthology.

The Lido for Read Harder book with an elderly female protagonist.

My first mother in law used to buy me books for Christmas and I loved it. She had great taste. Now I mostly read on Kindle and borrow from the library, so I don't get books as gifts any more. If there is a book I want to own, I will drop hints to my husband, or just buy it for myself.

message 34: by Ali (new)

Ali (aliciaclare) | 153 comments Hi all! I leave for my family vacation tomorrow, so I'm super excited to have a week with my family and plenty of reading time.

This week I finished two books, neither of which was for the challenge.

First was Prodigy by Marie Lu. This is continuing to be a pretty solid YA dystopian series, but I'm hoping that the final book in the trilogy really does something different and surprises me a bit.

Then I finished P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I decided to reread this series before the film based on the first book comes out next week. The first time I read this book I didn't love it, because I didn't think it was a good ending for Lara Jean. But now that this is a trilogy, I appreciate this book a lot more. This series is so much fun, and I'm absolutely pumped for the film adaptation!

I have a lot added to my currently reading because I'm trying to finish up certain reads before I leave on vacation, and I have some new things to start next week! Not sure how they'll all fit in the challenge, but honestly I haven't been focusing super hard on the challenges. I'm at 28/40 and 5/10 for the regular and advanced, and I feel like I'm waiting for summer to be over before I properly dig in on finishing... if that makes any sense!

QOTW: I really like when people buy me books, because it shows they pay attention to me and know I read a lot. Even if people miss the mark, it's still a really sweet gesture.

message 35: by Teri (last edited Aug 09, 2018 12:38PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1098 comments Heather wrote: "What Alice Forgot - I'm about halfway through the book. I thought I loved amnesia stories, but this is not the light, fluffy, funny kind. I'm terrified to know what Alice forgot."

I loved this book and spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to lose the memories of a chunk of your life. Hang in there - it is worth it.

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

message 36: by AF (new)

AF | 319 comments I am now 39/40 and will not read the final book until very last. I have five books left for the advanced challenge first.

This week I finished Wildwood by Colin Meloy. I enjoyed it a lot espeically any references to my hometown. :)

QotW: My initial response would have been YES, but after thinking about it, my answer is no. Unless I ask for a specific title I'd rather shop for my own books. I love taking my time in a book store looking for the next great fine. Unless it's from my mom. I trust my mom. :)

message 37: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1616 comments Heather wrote: "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. This is my book made into a movie I've already seen and it is magically managing to be just as charming. I am in love."

Oh, Heather, I agree! I saw that movie, LOVED it, then shortly after spotted the book in a bookstore and LOVED it as well! One of my all time favorite books - I was recommending it to everyone for months!

message 38: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 164 comments I had a bit of a slow reading week due to going back to work (I'm a teacher) and because I recently bought an NES Classic Edition for the family and I have spent an embarrassing amount of time playing Dr. Mario. But I did manage to finish a couple books.

What We Were Promised This book centers on a wealthy Chinese couple and their nanny living in Shanghai after the couple had lived in America for many years. I feel like this novel was so close to being great, but it never quite got there for me, and I can't really articulate why, which I know isn't very helpful. I did, however, listen to an interview with the author, Lucy Tan on the Reading Women podcast and I found her to be engaging and interesting, and I'm looking forward to what she'll do next. I think she has the potential to be really fantastic.

The Crossover I listened to this on audio, and I don't think I've ever read a book like this ever. This is a middle-grade novel written in verse about a 12-year-old basketball player and his relationship with his family and with his sport. It didn't have the emotional resonance for me that I think it was going for, but I think it may have had I read it when I was young. I would not hesitate to recommend it to probably any 10-14 year olds as I think they would really love it.

Currently Reading
America Is Not the Heart
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
How to Be a Victorian

Yes and no. I don't like it when gifts feel like an assignment, as book gifts sometimes do. But if someone knows my tastes and gifts me a book, I love it.

message 39: by Eujean2 (new)

Eujean2 | 249 comments So nice to be back in the routine of checking the "weekly check-in" thread. I didn't do anything overly exciting over the summer, but I got out of sync with check-ins. (Even though I am on GoodReads site ALL the time.) I have been reading over the summer, but not as much as I had hoped. Unfortunately things are ramping up again at the school where I work (we start in August), so I probably won't have another leisurely reading day for awhile.

Finished this week:
Bonfire - for the AtY challenge of a legal thriller. Not exactly a legal thriller, but it is a thriller with a lawyer (working on a case) as the protagonist. This is not my usual choice of genre, so, while it might be stretching the prompt, I am going to use it for the challenge. I may be biased because it was written by Krystin Ritter & I love her, but I enjoyed this much more than I expected.

Currently Reading:
Who Fears Death - About 75% of the way through. I was already enjoying it, but it got extra good during my lunch break yesterday & I almost played hooky to finish it.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America - I just started this one on audiobook. Quite a few of my friends have really liked it. I'm not sure so far, but I will keep listening while I get in my daily exercise.

Sure! I don't tend to get many books as gifts, unless they are cookbooks or knitting/crafting books. (My brother gave me a book of tiki drink recipes for Christmas.) My taste in books overlaps greatly with my friends, so they would probably pick out something I would like. My friends also know my deep love for the library, so they may figure I will just borrow anything I would want to read.

That said, I am planning a trip to the sci-fi/fantasy bookstore this weekend to buy myself a gift of two new books!

message 40: by Stacey (last edited Aug 09, 2018 01:30PM) (new)

Stacey | 400 comments Sara wrote: "Stacey wrote: "Also, curiously kids don't go back to school in my province until after labour day weekend."

Stacey, school start dates vary widely even in my small area. One county started yesterd..."

Ahh that makes sense, I did some digging and it turns out that in Ontario almost every school board schedules a start date for after labour day because the official ministry of education's school days are Sept. 1 - June 30. They have to approve all school board schedules so it makes sense that boards just roll with it. Even universities here all start after labour day! That timeline already accounts for snowdays but one year when I was in highschool we had too many (I think it was 28 snow days), so we didn't meet the minimum requirements for attendance so they had to extend the planned school year by 3 days or something right up until June 30th!

I love that it's streamlined province wide here because most people have friends/family they like to visit on weekends in August & Labour day! Also, since I live in a tourist-y area, we can all be pretty confident that after labour day it goes back to our nice quiet town.

Christy wrote: "Hello everyone! I've had a pretty enjoyable reading week, and I'm on track so that's nice. Unfortunately, California is on fire, which is not exactly chill. I'm waiting for summer to end so it will..."

Northern Ontario is on fire too as we've had almost no rain this summer :'(
There is a forest fire about 75km/46miles from me that is FINALLY just now listed as being held under control after over 3 weeks (pretty astounding since it happened across shoreline and many many water bombers were going at it the whole time and was reported as soon as it started).

The fire size is currently listed at 11362.5 hectres/28077 acres/113.6 square km/43.8 square miles

Heather wrote: "What Alice Forgot - I'm about halfway through the book. I thought I loved amnesia stories, but this is not the light, fluffy, funny kind. I'm terrified to know what Alice forgot."

I have this on my TBR! My sister leant me a whole stack of books and said this was her favourite out of the bunch. I'd stick with it! She gave it 4 stars and the GR avg is over 4 stars as well so I'd say something worthwhile happens!

Milena wrote: "Listening to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for both ATY and Book Riot Read Harder."

You could also use this for Book mentioned in another book in the PS challenge if you haven't filled that yet! It's mentioned in Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

message 41: by Stacey (last edited Aug 09, 2018 01:41PM) (new)

Stacey | 400 comments Tara wrote: "I had a bit of a slow reading week due to going back to work (I'm a teacher) and because I recently bought an NES Classic Edition for the family and I have spent an embarrassing amount of time playing Dr. Mario..."

Ahaha that is the best reason to slack on reading ever! =)
I slacked over the entire month of May because I was too busy beating Zelda, Breath of the Wild on my Switch! xD

message 42: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 676 comments I finished No longer alone for my mental health book. Tearjerker and inspirational.

I also readThe Disposable Man as my book by a local author. I've read a couple of other Archer Mayor books. OK, serviceable mysteries, but nothing special. Now, I feel disloyal.

And, I've started Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween for my book about Halloween (obviously). Pretty interesting so far.

QOTW: I love getting books as presents as long as the giver isn't aggressively asking me about it. I may not get to it for a while, I may have already read it, or I might think it looks stupid. In fact, I've had No Longer Alone on my shelf for probably 10 years. My grandmother gave it to me and it just didn't look like anything I wanted to read, and I did it because it fit a category in the challenge and it turns out I loved it. Which is why I like getting books for gifts. You sometimes get gems that you wouldn't pick out for yourself.

message 43: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 101 comments Hello,
I would take summer year round as I live up in Canada and only get about three months of hot weather (and even that is not always guaranteed) but we are having a hot one this year with heat warnings and unfortunately wild fires in the province next to us. So it makes for some smokey hazy days.

Only one kid back to school this year she is back after Labour day. This makes me sad.

This week I finished two novels
The Science of Diet and Exercise which I used as my book by two authours.

and Heart on Fire This is the third in the trilogy. I started reading the trilogy with the Vaginal fantasy book club. Some parts of the story was a little rough, many in the club did not like it due to her being kidnapped and her general outlook of herself. Over all I enjoyed the story and world building. That being said Chapter one of book two was absolutely horrible if you are reading the series skip it, it adds nothing to the story and it made me want to throw the book against the wall. I used this one for a book written in 2018.

I am still waiting for Kushiel's Avatar to be returned to library so I can re borrow it.

So I am going to start Space Babies for my set on another planet prompt. Just came across it on Bookbub and it fit the prompt.

I don't mind receiving books as presents. Usually I borrow rather than buy books, only buying the ones that I know I will re-read in the future. I do have a list and most people will ask which ones I want or give me a gift card. I enjoy reading many different types of books and will quite often ask a person their favorite book so I can pick it up to read. It gives me a little more insight on how that person generally thinks and gives me a new experience. If they want to give it to me as a present then all the power to them.


message 44: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 815 comments Thank you, Stacey. If I start to run out of time, I may do that, I still have that prompt free.

message 45: by Stacey (last edited Aug 09, 2018 02:15PM) (new)

Stacey | 400 comments Milena wrote: "Thank you, Stacey. If I start to run out of time, I may do that, I still have that prompt free."

No problem =)

Sherry wrote: "Hello,
I would take summer year round as I live up in Canada and only get about three months of hot weather (and even that is not always guaranteed) but we are having a hot one this year with heat warnings and unfortunately wild fires in the province next to us. So it makes for some smokey hazy days."

I'm not sure if you're referring to the Ontario fires or the BC fires, but if it's the Ontario ones you'll be happy to hear that the largest one in the province is now classified as under control and the evacuation alerts have stopped! :D The Transcanada hwy that was under threat is fine now; no idea about the CN rail in the area though.

message 46: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Not the best few weeks for me. My job search has been dragging on and I’ve been more depressed and anxious than usual because of it.

I still managed to finish a few books anyway.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour- Cute concept but I felt it dragged on a bit. And so much regional fast food eating! I’m not a big fast food fan so I found those sections a bit unappetizing.

Valiant- I do like Holly Black’s general style and the incorporation of the Fae but the “edgy” content was a bit tiresome in a YA.

A Great and Terrible Beauty- Eh. Too long and I didn’t like the main character. The anachronistic attitudes were obviously purposeful but a bit irritating.

QOTW- Yes! I’ll give almost anything a try. Unfortunately I don’t very often. I think my family is too intimidated since I think I read the most of anyone, except my father who tastes are very different than mine.

message 47: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1616 comments I forgot to mention that this week I passed the 100 book mark on my personal GR annual Reading Challenge. As of today, I am 103/150 books, which is 13 books ahead of schedule. I should easily hit 150 before year end. Last year I had to keep increasing my goal and ultimately left it at 175, but actually read 181. I set it at 150 figuring that would be a sufficient target.

But I'm competitive enough, even with myself, that I might just push to read 182 this year :-)

message 48: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments I'm checking in from a hotel in Germany. Not where I expected to be tonight!

I am flying out for from London to Valencia (Spain) for my friends wedding. I could easily have got a direct flight but as it's school holidays those are pricey so I thought I'd save money by changing in Frankfurt. Unfortunately there have been storms in Germany meaning that my first flight was delayed and I missed my second. Now I can't get a flight until tomorrow morning so I've been put up in a hotel. Luckily the wedding's not until Saturday so I'lm still make it!

Anyway enough of my drama, onto the books.

I finished one book this week, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It was okay. I didn't much like it to start with and it took me a long time to finsh but it picked up towards the end. This was my book about mental health.

I am currently reading The Night Circus for the group read. I've gotten over my frustration with the present tense and allowed myself to be immersed in this charming magical story. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.

I am also about to start The Book Thief as a buddy read but it also fits this challenge as a bestseller from the year I left school.


Like others here I utilise my Amazon wish list to give gsntle suggestions. It works for those close to me like my boyfriend and my mum but not so much my extended family. My great aunt, bless her, bought me an introductory psychology book when I'm doing a PhD in psychology! I also am sure to let people know that my TBR is very large and not to be offended if I haven't read their book by the next time they see me. I will get to it eventually!

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments I'm finally back in a reading groove! Looking forward to cooler days and hopefully plenty of time curled up with hot chocolate or tea and a book. (Though I've also been enjoying reading the hammock we got for my husband's birthday, so there are *some* perks to warmer weather.)

I'm at 35/40 and 10/10 so getting very close!

Finished Reading:
The Princess Search: A Retelling of The Ugly Duckling Read this one just because I enjoyed all the previous books in the series and it was available on Kindle Unlimited. After a slow start, I ended up really liking it despite a few convenient plot contrivances.

How the Irish Saved Civilization For 'country I'm fascinated with'. I just loved the historical overvAstonishing X-Men: Ultimate Collection, Volume 1iew and explanations of some of the reasons Irish culture is the way it is.

The Road to Grace Third book in the series, and I enjoyed it overall, but it's also getting weirder than the first couple books. At this point I'm only reading the next book so I can get to the fifth one and see how it all wraps up.

Astonishing X-Men: Ultimate Collection, Volume 1 Joss Whedon! X-men! Squee! (So, yeah, apparently the way to really get me hooked on comic books is to have Joss Whedon write them.)

Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition 1 Kind of torn on this one, because it was a really great story, but also a little bit too gritty for me to really enjoy. It labeled at cyberpunk though, so if anyone's looking for a quick cyberpunk read, this would be a good one.

Currently Reading:
Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals Almost done with this! It has a pretty good beet margarita recipe for what it's worth...

Artemis 30 minutes from the end of this audiobook and we haven't had a chance to finish it the last couple of days! Argh! (for heist book)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future I'm also fairly close to the end of this audio book and will be glad when it's over with. There are some really interesting nuggets and funny quotes here and there, but I think I'm just not enough of a Tesla/SpaceX/Musk fangirl to really enjoy most of the book.

My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir Speaking of book gifts... My in-laws spontaneously picked this one up for me at a used book sale because it looked like something I'd like. I actually *really* appreciate the thought because, as I mentioned recently in the conversation about love languages, my love language is gifts, and gifts is the lowest on their list of love languages. So, I just thought it was really sweet of them to think of it. Sadly, the book itself, instead of being a fun homemaking story from another culture is mostly about a woman who's overly obsessed with cleaning as a way to to try to control something in her difficult life, which is mostly just a little depressing.

A Night Divided A middle grade story about being in East Berlin when the wall went up. Seems like a very good book so far! Reading this for book with a time of day in the title.

Batman: Nightwalker I really did not expect to DNF this one! I really liked Marie Lu's writing in Warcross, but this one felt a little more dumbed down, like she was aiming at an even younger audience and didn't quite know how. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't good enough to hold my interest either.

I guess I have a lot of skilled gift givers in my life because I tend to love getting books as gifts! Usually it's either something I wanted to read (even the vacuum cleaner book mentioned above is something I could have easily picked out for myself, without realized it went in different direction than I hoped) or at least something I don't mind having around, is an edition that looks pretty on my shelf, etc.

When I was a kid instead of typical Christmas gifts my parents would fill a box with used books for all of us, and that is one of my favorite Christmas memories. When I moved out it took me a while to adjust to the fact that other people play games and talk on Christmas afternoon instead of curling up in different corners to read.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Stacey wrote: "Sara wrote: "It is hard to believe that summer is winding to a close (northern hemisphere)!"

I don't want to hear that evil report!! xD
I'm Canadian and live semi-north so I dread winter like ever..."

I think it has more to do with your personal temperature/metabolism than where you live. I know a lot people here in the midwest who hate the winters and wish our summers were longer, and I love winter and wish our summers were cooler. :-) Even I get tired of the gray slushy part that drags on at the end of winter, but I barely get to wear long sleeves or sweaters even in the winter, because I'll overheat once I go in someone's house, whereas a lot of my friends live in woolen underlayers for several months of the year.

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