Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 35: 8/23 - 8/30

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (last edited Aug 30, 2018 03:21AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7066 comments Mod
It's the end of August, the end of Northern Hemisphere's summer, and the maples are tipped in red and yellow here in northern NY. It's that time of year when the bugs are loud, the spiders are huge, and the garden peppers are plentiful. Why so many peppers??

Admin stuff:

A new month means a new monthly read! For September, the chosen category is: "a book that is also a play," and the chosen book is Hamilton: The Revolution. Theresa has volunteered to lead this month's discussion.

This week I finished 5 books, plus one tor short, none for this Challenge, so I remain 49/50.

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold - a book on my Personal Challenge list - deeply disappointing! This book is regularly trotted out as one of the "best" and it was a disorganized mess with a bizarre romance plunked into the middle. Why??

Delilah Dirk and the Easy Mark by Tony Cliff - a free tor short (see it here), 100% charming. I usually don't include tor shorts in my check-ins, and I'm only mentioning it because I think Delilah Dirk should get more love. Read the first book first, before this, um, "alternate" reality nearly-wordless freebie in which Delilah is played by a cat.

A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole - historical romance during the Civil War - this had some good moments, but mostly I didn't love it.

A Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosley - mystery set in 60s LA - took me a while to get into this one, but it finished strong (if confusingly).

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi - YA fantasy - FINALLY after three months I finished! I did not like this.

Crawl Space by Jesse Jacobs - this gorgeous graphic novel is 100% the weirdest book I've ever read.

Question of the Week:

I thought maybe a (gasp!) non-book-related question for this week. Since Sunday was National Dog Day, and I love hearing about pets, tell us about your pets (present or past)! And, to bring it back to books ... Do your pets enjoy curling up with you while you read?

I currently have two Potcake dogs. The older dog, Molly, loves tight places and hiding under blankets; she secretly loves to snuggle, but only on her own terms. She chooses when and where she will snuggle! Our younger dog, Sophie, will snuggle any time, any place. The only thing more important to her is barking at squirrels and other dogs. Sophie looks very cute, and is sweet to humans, but she has a startlingly high kill count in our back yard.

And, yes, both dogs will jump in my bed with me when I get settled with a good book.

I've had trouble including photos on Goodreads because I can't find a good photo sharing site, but let's see if this will work:

(ooh! it worked! I can see it, can you all see the photo?)

message 2: by Stacey (last edited Aug 30, 2018 04:33AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Nadine wrote: "ooh! it worked! I can see it, can you all see the photo?"

I can see the photo Nadine! What cuties :)

Happy Thursday! :)

FINALLY, I had a week with very minimal company and got back to reading a lot more regularly! =D
I finished 5 books this week - 3 for the challenge bringing me up to 44/52 for PS. Also, this week is the first since July to include some 4 & 5 star books so that was exciting for me (I had started to feel like I was in a slump from all the 1-3 star books)!

Finished This Week

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ as a non challenge book (works for published in 2018, twins or problem facing society today -how to keep a marriage fresh- but I've already finished all of those prompts). Was great to read Kinsella's newest book as she's been one of my favourite authors for years!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ⭐️⭐️ for 8) A Book with a Time of Day in the Title - Sadly I didn't like this book nearly as much as many of you did; I thought it was just ok. I found there was a lack of action & excitement in the plot. Sure reading about a circus is exciting but I'm more into a great plot than descriptions & symbolism. Also, I read it slowly which is NOT my style and probably didn't help; (25% ish each week) so as to follow along with the monthly discussion content, so it was even harder to keep myself interested.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for 31) A Book mentioned in another book (the series is mentioned in Tolstoy & The Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for 35) A Past Goodreads Choice Award Winner - This didn't quite have the magic that the rest of the series had but I still really enjoyed it and it was nice to finally read the conclusion of the storyline!

The Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling ⭐️⭐️⭐️ as a non challenge book. This collection includes: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (not the screenplay), Quidditch through the Ages & Tales of Beedle The Bard. I really didn't want the magic of Harry Potter this week to end, haha!

Currently Reading

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson for 5) Nordic Noir - I had been holding out on starting any more series until closer to the end of my challenge but I just realized that I can use The Girl Who Played with Fire for 41) A Bestseller from the year you graduated high school (on the NY Times & Amazon 2009 Bestseller Lists) and save The Maze Runner series that I was going to use for that until after I'm done the challenge/next year's challenge so I changed my mind! :)


This is my favourite QOTW, I want to see everyone's adorable pets!! =D

I have an 8 year old half English, half Golden Retriever named Dakota and she LOVES to snuggle ALL the time! (I also love it!) If I get up and she was comfortable, she pouts...it's adorable! I have put a body pillow on my bed just for her to snuggle with so that she isn't disturbed any time I move.

EDIT: After seeing (Ellie's dog) Scully's puppy photo I got nostalgic and had to dig out Dakota's puppy photo too!! =D

message 3: by Tania (new)

Tania | 600 comments It was much cooler out this morning when I went for my morning walk, so fall is an actual possibility! Don't worry, it will be scorching hot and rainy later on today...

Books completed this week:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling - still making my way through reading these books (originally I only watched all the movies), quite possibly my favorite book of the series yet!

B.I.S.A. (Brunei Secret Intelligence Agency): Eventually by Amir Falique - read for another challenge, this was not a good book

Rotterdam Reflections: Tales from a Dutch harbour and other stories by Valerie Poore - read for another challenge, this was a fun memoir

Introducing Psychology: A Graphic Guide to Your Mind & Behaviour by Nigel C. Benson - read for another challenge, It was ok, I'm glad I'm through it.

QOTW: We used to have Rottweilers. One we got as a rescue and the other we bought as a puppy, so for a while we had them both. They were amazing, and we loved them dearly. The rescue could dig a hole under the fence in 5 minutes flat, luckily he only did that when he was in love with the Rottweiler that lived next door, lol. The younger one would warn me when I forgot I was boiling water - as soon as the water started to boil he would search the house to find me and snort at me until I went back to the kitchen (it's a real problem for me, I've ruined several pots since he's been gone). They loved long walks and they were pretty sure they were lap dogs. They both lived to be 13, a good age for that breed. My sister has one now, and she is a complete sweetheart. It is my favorite breed.

message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1325 comments I finished Time's Convert, it was nice to revisit this universe but the book was lacking in purpose. Would recommend to All Souls fans but not as a standalone.

I also finished Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach (for fruit/veg in title) which was disappointing. I liked the idea but it was confusing and the plot took forever to appear then didn't really resolve itself.

I listened to You Will Know Me for the sports prompt. I think you would get more out of it if you were interested in gymnastics, but I am glad to have this prompt over with and would consider reading more Megan Abbott.

I'm currently reading Kindred for the time travel prompt and listening to Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race for a book of a film I've already seen (this was a good choice because there's a lot more scope to the book than the film).

41/50 | 81/100


Scully is my two-year old Ladrabor and I can't resist an excuse to dig out a puppy photo! She is a snuggler when the weather is cold so will rest her head on my lap when I read in any season other than summer. She is always interested in me taking photos of books but is not very co-operative in posing. She just gets in the way!

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments I'm getting excited about darker night and knitwear. I hate the end of summer, but once the mourning period is over I fully embrace autumn.

Another week, another book! Now at 39/50 (35/40, 4/10), and this week I read A Thousand Splendid Suns for prompt #24 weather element in the title. I read (and loved) The Kite Runner a few years ago and it has remained with me. I was fascinated by the culture and political backdrop of Afghanistan and this book didn’t disappoint on that front either, teaching me more about a country and it’s people which I was ignorant of and which are never reflected so honestly in the media. Is this a better book…I don’t think I can call it. I loved that this one was more female focused, and Hosseini sure knows how to punch you in the gut with the heartbreak and abuse he puts his characters through. I felt so drawn to the relationship between Mariam and Laila, it was really the core of the story. My only gripe was that I wish their characters were more rounded, that more was made of their bond. Though I know if that were the case this book would have had me even more distraught than it did. The injustices in this book are devastating. This is a tough read, though in a different way to Kite Runner. You’ll still need tissues though, and you’ll come away from it with your social conscience lit up.



OK, so I refer to myself as a reluctant dog owner, because our pooch was fully my husband's idea. I didn't grow up in a pet owning home, far from it. And my aversion to animals in the home was made worse by knowing some horrible people who had animals, and a fear of other people's dirt. But hubby always wanted a dog and we made an agreement that we'd have a baby if we could also get a dog. And I love babies. Soooo. Darcy, our cocker jack, has been in our lives for over 7 years and we've had two babies. She is insane, has no sense of personal space, barks at everything, leaves hair everywhere and is generally a bit of a dick. But she is gorgeous, and our home would feel empty without her. We actually bond over reading, because she likes to sit by me when I'm reading on the sofa. I will try to figure out photos....

message 6: by Stacey (last edited Aug 30, 2018 05:11AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments For photos:

Upload your picture(s) to a third party photo sharing website - I used Photobucket (imgur is another option that I know of)

then get a direct link to that photo (not just the page its on but to the photo itself)
If you use photobucket as well, click the bars icon on the photo, then click share. You'll get a pop up showing that photo and on the right hand side you'll see 4 different links to the photo..copy the one labelled direct. (You may have to highlight, then right click with mouse to properly copy it, for some reason ctrl + c wasn't working for me with the links there today).

to put it in the forums here it’s:

< img src=“DirectPhotoLinkHere”/ > (without the spaces next to the < & >...the space between img src stays though!)

If there's more than 1 picture just repeat with the new direct link to your additional photo
Hope that helps!

message 7: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7066 comments Mod
Maybe I'll try photobucket! In the past I had trouble sharing from flickr, shutterfly, and google photos. It's my biggest frustration with Goodreads. Especially when I'm reviewing graphic novels, I would like to easily include photos!

message 8: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 794 comments I finished Mother of Pearl this week as my book that's in a celebrity book club (Oprah). I can not for the life of me decide whether I liked it or not. It was interesting, but some of it just downright offended me. And, maybe not the things that people would think.

I started To Set the Record Straight as my book that takes place the decade I was born. Watergate was probably the biggest thing that happened in my childhood, but I really know next to nothing beyond the bare basics. should be interesting. I hope.

QOTW: I've had 4 cats over my lifetime. The first was a grey tiger named Misty. A boy because my parents let my sister give him a girl's name. He was always getting into fights and I think it's because the other cats were picking on his name. He died when I came home for spring break junior year in college. I was pretty devastated since we'd had him since I was 7.

That summer I got a kitten I named Cougar. He is my favorite of all my cats. Yes, I know you shouldn't play favorites. But, he just absolutely loved me. Followed me all over the house. Wanted to be on my lap all the time. I totally read out loud to him. He got cancer and lived less than 10 years. That loss also devastated me.

A few months later I got a pretty calico one year old cat I renamed Cassie. Her name was Cocoa and she wasn't Cocoa colored, plus I used to call Cougar Coo-coo. So, too close. Anyway, she would also lay on my lap and I would read to her. And she loved to play with this rubbery rope thing. She would sit and look at it and look at me, and she was just so pathetic. She lived to be 15 and just died last October.

A few months ago a I got a 3 year old grey tiger, I renamed Pepper. Her name was Mattie and I really just don't like that name. Plus, it doesn't really suit her. She hates me. she doesn't want to sit on my lap or be read to.

message 9: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1325 comments Nadine wrote: "Maybe I'll try photobucket! In the past I had trouble sharing from flickr, shutterfly, and google photos. It's my biggest frustration with Goodreads. Especially when I'm reviewing graphic novels, I..."

If you have a Microsoft Live account you can use your OneDrive, which saves you having one account just for photos. You can get the HTML code, which worked for me here, under Share > Embed.

message 10: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 747 comments This weekend one of our local libraries had a free mini-Comic Con (now called a Comic Arts Festival, due to San Diego Comic Con getting sue-happy over the Comic Con name *grumble grumble*), and I went and had a blast! And spent way too much on books and comics. Hey, I was supporting local authors and institutions, that's not bad, right?

Books I read this week:

Primary Inversion -- a sci-fi romance, though I enjoyed the sci-fi much more than the romance. Also, the main character was so unpleasant that I couldn't bring myself to care much about her.

Stars of Charon -- another sci-fi, this one with only hints of romance. I actually quite liked this one, though it had a number of glaring typos and grammatical errors, which is sad. Editing is your friend, writers...

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century -- for anyone still looking for a true crime or heist book to fill those prompts, here's a good one! No violent murders or depraved sex crimes, but a fascinating story of a brazen theft, obsession over an archaic hobby, and what both mean to the survival of a species.

The Griffin's Feather -- I didn't realize Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider had a sequel until I saw this on our library's shelf! I was so excited to read it! Pretty good, but not quite as good as the first.

Currently reading:

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
Wisconsin Vamp
And still clawing my way through Lovecraft...


I personally don't own any pets at the moment... but our family collectively has quite a few animals. Two goats, some chickens, a dog (terrier/Corgi mix), and two cats. My brother's cat, an orange Manx named Tiger, seems to have "adopted" me as his new owner since my brother went off to college, so I accept that...

The last pet I personally owned was Esmeryl -- Ezzie for short -- a black cat I rescued from the animal shelter. She was a sweet cat who liked to curl up on my back if she caught me laying down on my stomach to read. Sadly, she developed a cancerous tumor in her mouth and had to be put down a couple years ago. :(

message 11: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 203 comments I am only two prompts away from finishing- but am having a hard time with the prompts. Why oh why are the weather element and the local author giving me trouble? Ok, local author is because Omaha and I really really don't like Rowell. Next week I hope to have finished both as I have started books for both prompts.

This week I read a lot of mysteries again. I read:
Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall- I am now caught up on the Honeychurch Hall books.
Murder on Black Swan Lane- felt very Amanda Quick with out the sex. I liked it.
The Gilded Shroud- a decent murder mystery, but I don't need to read the rest of the series
Prayers for Sale- not a mystery, but I found this author, Sandra Dallas, on the prompt a stranger reading in a public place and really liked her. Again, I liked this book well enough to go get
Fallen Women by her. I enjoyed both of her books that I read this week.
I read a couple more that were just fluff and not worth mentioning.

QOTW: We have no pets. My husband and sons are allergic to cats and I am a 4+ with dogs. A lot of people try to sell me on hypoallergenic dogs- but someone forgot to tell my airways that those dogs are supposed to be ok for people with dog allergies. In some ways I am fine with having all the allergies in the house because it means I don't have to fight the fur that gets everywhere. Always look for the silver lining, right?

message 12: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 794 comments Anybody who sues a library, public school, or any actual non-profit organization (not the fakeys with the CEOs having helicopters) for petty stuff is pretty low on my list. It's not like anybody is going to confuse a local library's comic-con with THE Comic-Con.

message 13: by Jen (last edited Aug 30, 2018 07:34AM) (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 777 comments Epic fail on reading this week! School seems to be even busier if that is possible.
Still working on: The Tale of the Body Thief (about 1/2 way) and suspect it will take a while. A) because I am super busy at work and B) why has a vampire suddenly developed religion and extreme stupidity after 200 years of watching how evil humans are? Hmmmmm

My first word was Tanya.....the dogs name. My parents never forgave me!
Sadly Tanya was not around for long as she broke her back chasing a bushbaby and had to be shot. Chappie an Alsatian cross was next and used to share his dinner with me as a tot. Then we had cats (ginger and golden-eyes-cuckoo), chooks and goats when we moved to Vaitupu. On Tarawa we had Bella and Sheikh (mongrel dogs) and Goldie and Moron (cats, the latter with extra toes on each foot; a result of radiation from the nuclear testing by the US). In the Solomons we had Tim (red heeler) Sam, Rusty and Cassie (mongrels).
Then came a spell without pets while I went to UK for uni. On arrival in Aus I wanted a Dog and a Hilux (I have both). I was given Zeli as a pup because she was the runt of her litter and they were planning to drown her. Her mum was staffyXred heeler and dad was a camp dog who humped mum through the fence. She is smart as and got bored silly while I was at work and took to eating furniture so we went to the pound and got Katie as a young adult (red-nosed pittyXridgeback). no more furniture eating. Katie had the patience of a saint and loved all kids and puppies. She wasn't best bright (had obviously been abused before the pound) and sadly had regular Haemangiomas and Melanomas from about 2 years old. She made it to just shy of 14 then got one on her lung and another on her liver. We insisted something was wrong 3 days before she died, the vet didn't believe us because she was still playing with the puppies in the waiting room. Test were done next day and sure enough we got her back to say bye but she went down hill fast and it just wasn't fair. Zeli is now 14 and 8 months. I was told she wouldn't make it to 7 when she was 2 (hips). Then last year she had a major fit which turned out to be geriatric vestibular disease. The emergency vet wanted her put down on the spot but since the regular vet opened in 2 hrs we waited and she had had a dog with the same thing herself, gave us meds and Zeli is still trundling along though some days she shows her age. Each day is a bonus but so long as she wants to play most days I figure it isn't time yet. When she does a week without playing I will let her go as that is just keeping her for me and she is having no fun. I do have a mild allergy to animals but they are so worth it.
At school we have a full farm including horses, goats, cattle, chooks, barra, red-claw and a nature reserve with wallabies etc. The grounds are massive and it is fairly normal to see a student walking a goat at recess or to have an invacuation because the cattle have escaped. You regularly have to confiscate snakes off the kids when they bring them in and teaching class holding a couple of snakes is not rare. Just crazy enough to never be boring.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments I was recovering from surgery all week, so I got a good bit of reading in, but mostly light fluffy stuff I could focus on while on pain meds, and very little serious or for the challenge. Also, my currently reading is a complete mess, because I keep starting things, not enjoying them much, but not being sure if I should DNF or wait to see if I like them better when I feel better.

Finished Reading:
An Unnatural Beanstalk: A Retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk Book 2 in the Entwined Tales series, which is a set of fairy tale retellings by different authors. I've had very mixed reactions to this author, but I enjoyed this one pretty well.

A Bear's Bride Book 3 of Entwined Tales. I didn't like the main character quite as much in this one, but the story was fun.

Gemina Maybe it has something to do with reading it after surgery, but I didn't like this *quite* as much as Illuminae. Still good though, and the overarching plot is more than enough to keep me interested in the series.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Finished this audio book with my husband, and then we immediately watched the movie to see how they did adapting it. Technically they did a pretty decent job sticking to the book, but as usual, sometimes minor changes make a big difference in characterization and feel, and so it definitely lost something in the transition.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck Christian romance is not my normal genre, and this book had some of the usual annoying tropes, so I didn't love it. It did tackle some some really interesting life issues that don't normally come up in Christian romance, so I would happily recommend it to anyone who does like to read Christian romance anyway.

The Mermaid's Sister This book was sweet and sad, and then got unexpectedly dark in the middle. I liked it (despite listening to it with a mediocre narrator), but the fact that I loved it kind of snuck up on me as I read.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking My only challenge book finished this week (this only leaves me with two, but they'll be slow going unless I can maybe get them in audio format like this one)! I enjoyed it, but I think it's probably even more useful for extroverts who have introverts in their lives (spouses, children, students, employees, etc) than for us introverts to read ourselves.

Insanity Alice in Wonderland retelling. The writing just felt a bit too clunky for me to really care enough to put up with how dark and disturbing it seemed. Probably worth it for readers who like the dark and disturbing vibes.

A Beautiful Curse: A Retelling of The Frog Bride This book felt like a feminist rant, and I realize that's probably a pro rather than a con for some of you, but for me, reading a not-quite-angry-but-at-least-highly-irritated feminist rant disguised as a fairy tale retelling is not fun, and fun and fluffy was the whole point of this book, so I gave up on it.

Currently Reading (I have a few on hiatus, but these are the ones I at least picked up this week):

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo For favorite color in title. This is good, but dense and long--actually I feel about this book very much the way I felt about reading The Count of Monte Cristo. :-)

Obsidio Still figuring out how much I like the new set of characters, but at least some of the old characters factor in more in this book, which helps with connecting with the story.

Treachery in Bordeaux To be honest, I'm reading this because it's free on Kindle Unlimited, and if it's any good I think it might make a good Christmas present for one of my sister's in law. :-) So far I'm enjoyed it a lot more than I've enjoyed most cozy mysteries I've tried lately, so that seems like a good sign.

I also started The Honest Spy because it's free on Kindle Unlimited including the audio version, and audio has been nice when I want to rest my eyes but not sleep. I didn't put it on my currently reading list because I wasn't really enjoying it, but I also haven't been quite decisive enough to call it a DNF, so I guess it's just in book limbo right now.

I grew up with my sister's dog around, but I've never had a pet of my own. My husband and I keep talking about getting a cat or a dog now that we have a house, but we haven't quite figured out a plan to make sure we can keep the pet smell down with my health issues that cause unpredictable energy levels. I've heard you can toilet train a cat, but we already share one bathroom with three people (my sister lives with us right now) and adding a cat to that mix sounds like a terrible idea. :-)

I was surprised how much I enjoyed hamster-sitting for my sister-in-law, so maybe we should be thinking more along those lines for a pet.

message 15: by Cornerofmadness (last edited Aug 30, 2018 08:07AM) (new)

Cornerofmadness | 467 comments Still settling into the new semester (my students seem good so far).

I did get some reading done. Ironically Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency DID become about time travel in those last 50 pages but it's so subtle I decided not to count it for the prompt (I have a huge manga omnibus for that).

I finished two for the same prompt - A book tied to your ancestry. Both were Vampires in Las Vegas books. One vampire was Croatian and one Italian (I'm about 50/50 but a touch more Italian). However, the Italian one was an ARC and not up on GR yet so I'm counting the Croatian vampire. Ante Up by by Kim Fielding (and if you're still looking for an LGBT read this urban fantasy/romance is a fun read)

I also finished Jazz Funeral by Julie Smith which I suppose could be read for past year prompts (mystery) but it's not worth your time.

QOTW My cat Kanda (named for the character in D.Gray-man, Vol. 1 by Katsura Hoshino) is the world's laziest cat. Seriously, I have issues even getting him to play which has led to him being overweight in spite of not being over fed. (Of course I'm pretty lazy too most days)

He was born to a feral mom under my porch and for the first 9 months of his life hated me and that I would come on HIS Porch. The one day I gave him a toy and he followed me inside and has been in the house ever since. He'll be nine this December.

He does like to lay with me and read but he's pretty well mannered about it. Let's see if I can embed his picture. (Yep, he's at the office. He meets the students occasionally during finals as a 'stress relief' animal.

message 16: by Brooke (last edited Aug 30, 2018 08:14AM) (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Hi everyone! I am sooooo ready for a long weekend. I’m jealous of all of you commenting about how the weather is starting to cool; we still have at least 6 weeks of summer weather here in Texas, but most likely longer. I love spring and fall when the temperature is cool in the evenings and mornings, but this summer stuff is too much. I like it, but not the fact that it lasts for 5-6 months here. (I hate the cold, though, so ultimately I’d choose 5-6 months of summer over a long winter.)

Nothing for Popsugar this week, so I remain at 45/52. I should have 1-2 more prompts checked off by next week, and my goal to finish by the end of September. I have books for all of my remaining prompts, but I need to actually read them instead of getting distracted by other shiny books.

Books I finished:
Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant. This mystery/thriller held my attention, although due to some of the content I can't recommend it to everyone (high school girls are abducted, tortured, etc).

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I read this quickly in a couple of days this week. I loved the writing! It was descriptive and lyrical without being pretentious.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This was entertaining and at times made me tear up. I loved the main character, a strong female who does the right thing no matter the potential consequences. It was also a great way to glimpse life in Africa. My only complaint is that the book didn't flow well, like it couldn't decide if it was a collection of short stories about the various cases the main character took on or if it was a regular story.

I am currently reading:
Calypso by David Sedaris
The Widow's House by Carol Goodman
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

QOTW: I absolutely love all of the pet photos!!! I work for a company in the pet food industry, and one of my favorite things about the job is all of the pets I get to hang out with. Customers usually have their pets roaming their offices, and there are grooming contests and show dogs at the trade shows. I travel too much to have a pet myself, though, so I live vicariously through my family members (and all of you).

I do volunteer to dog sit for my cousin’s super cute boxer-pit rescue dog sometimes, and he is super playful and loveable, although he is scared of loud noises so he hides in my upstairs bathroom when I unload the dishwasher or use my electric mixer. I also watch my brother's beautiful border collie sometimes. He loves to give hugs (he actually puts a paw on each shoulder and lays his head down on your shoulder next to your head, which I absolutely love) and play fetch. He will put a ball or toy in anyone's lap no matter how old/young they are. Anyone with arms is fair game to him!

message 17: by SadieReadsAgain (new)

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Here she is, our wee girl Darcy. She gets called Pupstar on a good day...d'arsehole on a bad one!

message 18: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 303 comments Hello from a swealtering Columbus! Now that we’re back in school I am dying for some cooler weather. Right now it’s so hot that I feel like I’m being punched in the face whenever I walk outside.

Still working on the last few prompts for the advanced goodreads summer challenge:
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders - I would have gotten more done this week but I decided to listen to this a second time. With short stories I tend to drift too much to fill in the blanks. There’s lots of spooky stories in this one, itd be perfect if it weren’t 90 freaking degrees and 8000% humidity. I especially loved that there was a Shadow Moon short story, I hope he keeps adding new bits to Shadow’s post American Gods adventures as time goes on.

A Monster Calls I was drawn to this because I’d the illustrations, I thought it was going to be more on the scary side. Ultimately this book is about grief and the fear of loss, which is a fine topic and all. I most definitely enjoyed the book but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

QOTW: all I technically own is a 6 year old rabbit named Lemonade

I had a Rottweiler names Ramona but she’s with my brother. I moved to a place where I can’t have her but I’m there all the time so she’s still my baby

message 19: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Hello all! I didn't update last week because I was on vacation. I've only finished 2 since the last update, and neither were for the challenge so I'm still at 48/52. I have not had much time to read recently! Both the books I finished were audio

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas- audio
The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket- audio with son

Working On:
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North - for Favorite Challenge from 2015 (Number in Title)
The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket- audio with kid
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking- audio
The Horse and his Boy by C.S. Lewis (book link thing stopped working) - aloud to son

I can't get the pictures to show up but I'll keep trying. I have 1 dog, 2 cats, and a tortoise. Our Persian cat, Benjen, is not snuggly at all. Larfleeze the Himalayan will come and flop on my lap while I'm reading in bed. The Scottish Terrier, Sophie, will lay at the foot of the bed or sit next me on the couch.

message 20: by Sheri (last edited Aug 30, 2018 08:44AM) (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Hi Everyone!

It's sunny but not terribly warm today. I'm already seeing it getting darker earlier and light later, that's all the fall I want. Keep away, boo hiss! (I like halloween, but i vote to move it to late spring. Fall just leads to cold weather and darkness.)

This week I finished:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - listened to the audio book. This was alright, not really as creepy as I expected. I moved it to ATY's gothic prompt and decided to DNF The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Kushiel's Avatar - This was my ATY book I have high expectations for. I've really enjoyed the series, and I expected to like this one and I did. There was one segment that was really hard to read, that I thought was a bit overly descriptive, but other than that it was a really solid book and I loved it.

Herding Cats - Had some extra hoopla downloads so read this, i love sarah scribbles. it was fun, and I liked her notes to artists at the back.

iZombie, Vol. 3: Six Feet Under and Rising - more hoopla downloads. It's a fine series, but not amazing.

Milk and Honey - Read this for Emma Watson's bookclub, it was alright. I'm not really a poetry person, it never really moves me like it seems to do for other people. It felt like the sort of thing I SHOULD like because feminism, but in reality I was just kind of reading it and finished in less than an hour and moved on.

Currently reading:

Ship of Theseus - this is my ATY with an unusual writing format/style. This is going to be a project. It's really more of an interactive art piece than a novel. The Ship of Theseus is nominally the novel that you're reading, but the actual story is about a girl who found this scribbled over book and realized it was someone's notes so returns it with an apology note. He writes back and they enter into a book-note-swapping exchange in order to try to figure out who the author V.M Straka really was. So I have to read the novel to get the notes they're making in the margins, but also be reading their notes. The ink colors change through out because they go through the book multiple times, so sometimes notes at the beginning are referencing things that they wrote about further on in the book, which forms a sort of foreshadowing. there's also various articles, letters, postcards etc jammed into the pages that the notes reference. It's really quite beautiful! But it's also a pain in the butt to read because I don't think they put the various inserts in exactly the right spots. I'm still not quite sure if that's intentional, to give the feeling of it being "real", or if my husband didn't realize he shuffled some out of order when he attempted to get through this a while ago. Also there's some things referenced that I can't find an insert for, again not sure if that's supposed to add to the "realism" of something being missing, or if it got actually lost, or i just didn't find it within the pages yet. I like it, but it's not something I'm just going to breeze through.


I don't have any dogs, but I have two cats Moxie and Echo. I love them so much <3

If I'm curled up with a book and a blanket, it's pretty much certain one or the other will crawl into my lap for a snuggle.

Ok so my attempts at embedding failed. google photo doesn't seem to provide the kind of link that can act as a source for image tags, so I'm just going to link to the photos.



Hope those worked!

message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments Hi everyone! Is it fall yet? *checks forecast* I guess not by a long shot, but I'm definitely ready for it!

I'm in such a slump right now. I didn't much like the latest book from an author I love, I tried Dread Nation and couldn't get into it (I'm shelving it for another try later), and I just feel "meh" about all the books in my physical TBR pile.

I'm giving The Essex Serpent a try, because it's something a little different (and look at that gorgeous cover!). I feel like I might get pulled into the characters once it gets going - cautiously optimistic.

I also decided to blitz my library and put a bunch of stuff on hold for my upcoming week of funemployment between jobs. I just combed my TBR list for things that sang to me, and we'll see what becomes available at the right time!

(I don't have any pets, but I really enjoy seeing the pictures!)

message 22: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 747 comments Katy wrote: "Anybody who sues a library, public school, or any actual non-profit organization (not the fakeys with the CEOs having helicopters) for petty stuff is pretty low on my list. It's not like anybody is..."

I sincerely hope SDCC wouldn't be that petty, but my best guess is that this library (it's a different one from the one I work at) wanted to play it safe just in case. There's been quite a bit of discussion and controversy in con-goer and con-organizer circles over SDCC winning its lawsuit to hold onto the Comic Con name, and a lot of cons (most notably Salt Lake City Comic Con, now FanX) are changing their names in response.

message 23: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Hi, everyone! I haven't checked in for awhile, so I'll have more than usual to report. I was in a bit of a reading slump for awhile, but am back into it now.

Books for the challenge

Lady Susan - 9. A book about a villain or antihero. This was a delightful Jane Austen, written as a series of letters. I had seen the movie and loved it (the movie is called Love and Friendship). Reading the book sort of replayed the movie for me.

Krik? Krak! - 14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you. I love the way Edwidge Danticat writes, so I chose a book of her short stories for this prompt and was not disappointed. The stories are transporting, really giving you a sense of Haitian life.

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution - 18. A book by two authors. What a great read! My husband was going to read it when I finished but decided he didn't have to because I kept talking about the book the whole way through. It's amazing how simply by selecting for tameness, the scientists were able to breed pet foxes that naturally took on dog characteristics in just a few generations (things like floppy ears, smaller snouts, wanting to be around humans, protection of "their" human, etc.). I could hardly put this book down!

Matilda - 33. A childhood classic you've never read. I'd really been dreading this prompt (there have been so many childhood favorites and such the last few years), but I did see the movie ages ago and remembered it was fun for the kids, and I've read and liked other Roald Dahl books, so I went for it. I probably would have loved it as a child - very empowering! - but as an adult I had trouble getting into it. I wish I had a kid around to read it with, that would have been fun!

Other books

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Very interesting to see how culture invades science. Take-away lesson: brains are not "male" or "female," but individual.

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 - Margalit Fox is one of my favorite authors, so I read this the moment it came out! It provides a fascinating (and still unsolved) mystery and a look at both the impact of an individual like Conan Doyle and social prejudice on "justice."

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary - A reread, as I realized I didn't remember much about it. It was interesting but I would have preferred more about the OED.

The Women in the Castle - Not my favorite, but still I liked seeing the war from the women's perspective.

Navajo Code Talkers - A quick and fascinating read! I learned so much about the Navajo. I had had no idea of the tremendous contribution they made to the war effort. What a travesty that the government has treated them as they have.

Tracks - This books deals with people living on the borders of two cultures and uses magical realism to take you inside their experiences. Quite powerful.

Wife of the Gods - A mystery that takes place in Ghana, really interesting to see a different kind of life. I'll read more in this series.

Question of the Week

I don't currently have a pet, but if you're a dog lover, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend a book I mentioned above to learn how wolves might have very quickly become tame dogs, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution!!

message 24: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 428 comments Hello,

We are having a nice and cool weather today. But only today, tomorrow and the next days will be really hot again.

My sons started school yesterday so homework are back. But it's going to be a fun year since my youngest will learn to read.

I finished two books:

Firewall for a nordic noir. I liked it a lot and will read other books in the Wallender serie.

Norwegian Wood I was going to DNF that one, but I am glad that I didn't since I ended up giving 4 stars. I don't think that I can use it for any prompt since I already have something for the lyrics prompt.

QOTW: I love all your pictures. I am very allergic to all animals, dogs, cats, rabbit, mouse, horse, birds etc... So at home we have shrimps in an fish tank.

message 25: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments My parents left this morning - the dog is definitely bereft because he liked my mom getting up super early and hanging out with him and I am bereft because I had to make my own pot of coffee instead of having it waiting for me. But! More reading time in the coming week, I suspect.

Zita the Spacegirl - this is super cute. I look forward to sharing it with the girls one day but I also enjoyed it as an adult. Waiting impatiently on the holds list for the second one.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - wow. The world of chefs is just intense and wild and crazy. Bourdain does a great job of immersing you in the world. I’ll definitely be reading more by him. I felt both that the book shows you that the world lost a great person and also that it’s not terribly surprising that he died as he did.

Gunpowder Moon - I really enjoyed this one! It has an old-timer, noir detective feel and some fun Chinese/American political spatting with the added stress of everything happening in space where death is always just one mistake away. The narration was so perfectly done.

Currently reading - I’m not even sure. The trend of things expiring and me haphazardly starting and stopping new things continues. I’d like to hopefully get out of this odd slump of reading without finishing.

QOTW: I got Sherlock the year my husband I and I were dating. He was a street kitty in Seoul and I decided to make a pet of him. He’s not terribly friendly or the type to sit and purr in a lap, but I adore him. Then when I was pregnant with our oldest we got a rescue dog who’d had a rough life before us. He’s go massive anxiety issues that not even puppy Prozac did much for, but we love him. He got named Watson. He definitely cuddles up - in general he prefers to be in physical contact with one of his humans at all times, which can be amusing since he’s a good 100 lbs of Dane/Lab mix.

message 26: by Stacey (last edited Aug 30, 2018 10:40AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Nadine wrote: "Maybe I'll try photobucket! In the past I had trouble sharing from flickr, shutterfly, and google photos. It's my biggest frustration with Goodreads. Especially when I'm reviewing graphic novels, I..."

Hmm you should try it! I've never used any of those 3 sites for photo sharing, only photobucket & imgur years ago and both of those have been very straight forward & easy to use in forums in the past! They both give multiple types of links for your photo so that sharing in the way you want is easy.

When I re-signed into my photobucket today for the first time in years, it looks like they've gone for pay-for-extra-storage but if you scroll beyond that there's definitely a free option! Back when I signed up it was all free haha!

Also, love seeing everyone's pet photos! We all have such cute animals! :D

message 27: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 154 comments Raquel wrote: "I was recovering from surgery all week, so I got a good bit of reading in, but mostly light fluffy stuff I could focus on while on pain meds, and very little serious or for the challenge. Also, my ..."

Raquel, I have had my share of surgeries, so I feel with you. I can also relate to the problem this poses for reading, because you have a lot of time and need the distraction, but somehow you are not exactly the same book-person when you are recovering as when you are 100% fit. Hope you are feeling better soon.

message 28: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (thecatsm3ow) | 8 comments Currently reading - A Girl Like That for the book written by an author of a different ethnicity prompt.

I have two cats, Loco and Steph Purry. Loco is 17 years young. I got him as a kitten from the Humane Society and he is my very first pet. Steph is named after the Golden State Warriors point guard, Steph Curry. They both love sitting with me when I read, especially Loco. Sometimes when I'm in bed reading, Loco will sit on my chest and block my view. So maybe he doesn't like it when I read and not paying attention to him lol.

message 29: by Teri (last edited Aug 30, 2018 02:25PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1335 comments I finished the Challenge this week! Woo hoo!

A1. Bestseller from year graduated high school - Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon
I had decided to read whatever was the #1 book on the NYT's list for the week I graduated high school (May 26, 1978) as long as I hadn't already read it or had some really strong objection to it. This was it. It was okay, but not really my taste.

A5. Book with fruit or vegetable in title - Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
I read this one based on recommendations here, and you did not lead me astray. I loved this book, for its epistolary style, its clever plot, its allegorical elements, and the overall entertainment. And I just love saying the title.

A7. Book by author with same first or last name - Alibi by Teri Woods
My mother picked up this book at the dollar store a few years ago since the author had the same first name, spelled correctly. It has been in my bookcase ever since, so this prompt was perfect. My mother obviously didn't open the book, because the first few pages were full of profanity and racial terms, and since my mother is offended by the word "butt," she would have rather died than give me a book like that. I haven't told her about it, either. I was not really the target audience for this book, but it got better as it went along. Wouldn't recommend, though.

17. Book borrowed or given as gift - Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
My friend gave me this book when she was finished with it. For a romance (not my favorite genre), it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed their relationship more when they were children and teenagers than when they were adults, but it had some cute moments.

A3. Book read by stranger in a public place - I'll Tell You What... by Ann Edwards Cannon
The author is a columnist for one of the local newspapers, and this book is a collection of some of those articles about her life, family, travels, values. I went to an author reading, and since I had never met her before, I consider her a stranger who was reading this book in a public place. She is funny, warm, silly, and charming, and so was this book.

And I'm done. 42/42 regular, 10/10 advanced, 18 non-challenge for a total of 70 books (list #788). This is the first challenge I've completed, and I couldn't have done it without finding this group. I have had so much fun doing this, while reading about your lives and your books and your recommendations. Can't wait for next year.

So do others who have finished the challenge keep checking in weekly?

I have never had a pet and likely never will. I'm allergic to dogs and cats and probably rabbits (even hypoallergenic ones), and I avoid them whenever possible. I've considered fish, but honestly I don't feel the need to be responsible for another living thing. I can barely keep a houseplant alive. Good thing I didn't have children. You can now all pity me. haha!

You do have some cute animals, I must admit. And I love the names (shout out to Sherlock and Steph). And Lemonade is adorable (I'd get a rabbit if I could).

message 30: by Tara (last edited Aug 30, 2018 10:46AM) (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments I really, really, really wish it felt like fall here in Phoenix. But I know we've still got at least 5 weeks of summer to go. The high today is 103 and I'm over it. But anyway, in happier news, I finished a few books this week.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row I know many of you don't believe in telling people what books they "should" read, but I do, and this is one of those books. It's written by Anthony Ray Hinton about his experience of being on death row for 30 years for a crime he had nothing to do with. It made me incredibly angry and sad. I would encourage everyone to read this, but especially Americans, and especially people who are either on the fence about the death penalty or who think the death penalty is carried out in a fair and humane way in our country. The book is well written and not long and incredibly worth your time.

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know I listened to this on audio and it was really fun. I like a good celebrity memoir on audiobook, and the best ones are those that are full of humor AND depth. This one was was lacking in depth, but Retta's narration of it was so perfect that I still really enjoyed it.

Ramona the Pest My 7-year-old and I are reading through the Ramona series, and this is book 2. I liked it better than the first in the series and my 7-year-old loved it.

The Story of Arthur Truluv I had never heard of this book that came out last year, but I saw it at the library and it looked similar to A Man Called Ove, which I adored, so I decided to give it a try. It is similar to Ove, and though it wasn't as good, I still really enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for an unlikely friendship story. I saw that this one has a sequel coming out in the fall and I'll likely read that one too.

84, Charing Cross Road I learned about this book from this group and read it last night. It really was delightful and charming.

Currently Reading
The Count of Monte Cristo I know this is not new information, but oh my goodness this book is long. Like, really long. I'm reading the unabridged translation by Robin Buss, because if I'm going to do it, I'm going to go all in. And it is really great. But SO LONG. I've been reading on average 30-60 minutes of it a day for the last week and a half, and I'm at 35%, and my Kindle tells me I still have 19 hours to go. 19 hours!! Thank God I'm at least enjoying it, and the translation is seamless.

Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening I decided this week to start the Reading Women Challenge and I'm so glad I did because I don't know if I would have found this book otherwise. I'm reading it for the prompt: "A memoir by someone who lives in a different country from yours." It's by Manal Al-Sharif, who helped lead a Saudi campaign to give women the right to drive. But it's also about her childhood growing up in Saudi Arabia and it is absolutely fascinating. I'm listening to it on audio. It is not narrated by the author, but the narrator is great and it's really nice to hear the correct pronunciation of words and names I'm not familiar with. I highly recommend this book.

That was a really long update, so I'll keep this short. I have two cats - Bear and Jenny. Bear especially likes to sit on my lap when I'm in my reading chair.

message 31: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Teri wrote: "I finished the Challenge this week! Woo hoo!

Congratulations!! That's wonderful! And as for checking in, please do. People still check in to report what they're reading and the rest of us still enjoy learning about good books. :)

message 32: by Eujean2 (last edited Aug 30, 2018 10:59AM) (new)

Eujean2 | 249 comments I am so happy it is Thursday. I am ready for a 3-day weekend with lots of time to read! I’ve got a few lighter reads on deck so I am excited to escape for the weekend without leaving home.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America – #2: true crime - I enjoyed this more than I expected. (It had actually been recommended by several friends, so I don’t know why I was worried.)

Paradise – #32: celebrity (Oprah) book club - It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Toni Morrison book and I remember why I like her so much. I just fall into her prose.

Cucumber Quest: The Melody Kingdom (vol. 3) – no prompt - I read the first volume for the extended challenge (#105: fruit or vegetable in the title). Now I can’t resist reading each following volume as soon as it arrives in the library.

Magic Burns – I know the 10th & final book in the Kate Daniels series just came out this week. I am only on book 2.
An Ember in the Ashes – My new audiobook for my walks.

My current feline companions are October & Raj, named for characters in the Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire. They are about 1.5 years old and we did have reading time last fall when book 11 in the series was released. I am expecting another family read this year. We also listened to the beginning of the audiobook of Rosemary and Rue when they very first came home. (Side note for those familiar: I am so glad that I named my girl October - she lived up to her namesake as a fighter who defies death when she had pneumonia.) Both kittens are pretty agreeable to snuggling while I read. Raj tends to sit near me (by my shoulder, if I am on the couch) while October tends to sit *on* me. I just need to keep them from chewing on the edges of books while I read.

October on the left, Raj on the right

October reading about October Daye

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Miriam wrote: "Raquel wrote: "I was recovering from surgery all week, so I got a good bit of reading in, but mostly light fluffy stuff I could focus on while on pain meds, and very little serious or for the chall..."

Thank you! Somehow, I find it very encouraging that I'm not the only one who has trouble adjusting my reading life to surgery recovery.

message 34: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Tara wrote: "I decided this week to start the Reading Women Challenge and I'm so glad I did because I don't know if I would have found this book otherwise...."

Thanks for mentioning this! I hadn't heard of it but love the idea. I think I'll participate!

message 35: by Eujean2 (new)

Eujean2 | 249 comments Nadine wrote: "Delilah Dirk and the Easy Mark by Tony Cliff - a free tor short (see it here), 100% charming. I usually don't include tor shorts in my check-ins, and I'm only mentioning it because I think Delilah Dirk should get more love. Read the first book first, before this, um, "alternate" reality nearly-wordless freebie in which Delilah is played by a cat.."

Thanks for letting me know about this Delilah Dirk short! I enjoy both Delilah Dirk & cats, so this is a "must read" for me.

message 36: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Raquel wrote: "I was recovering from surgery all week, so I got a good bit of reading in, but mostly light fluffy stuff I could focus on while on pain meds, and very little serious or for the challenge. Also, my ..."

Another sympathetic person here, Raquel! I had surgery last November and assumed with the 2 weeks off of work I would get a ton of reading done. But, of course, that isn't what happened. I don't think I finished a single book in that time, and nothing I read was appealing. And I tried authors I usually love! Eventually I got my groove back, but it took a few weeks. Hang in there!!

message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 899 comments Jen wrote: "Epic fail on reading this week! School seems to be even busier if that is possible.
Still working on: The Tale of the Body Thief (about 1/2 way) and suspect it will take a while. A) because I am s..."

Your school sounds awesome! Kids used to get ridiculously excited if a cat strayed into the playground when i was at school!

message 38: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments It's been such a chaotic week that I nearly forgot to check-in (thank goodness it was Nadine's week to open the thread!)

Finished this week:

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann - fantastic read.

Currently reading:

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


Oh, I will take any opportunity to share a photo of my sweet pup. Her name is Peanut Butter (mostly she just goes by Peanut). She's 2 years old and is a spaniel/setter mix. I adore her, and yes she loves to snuggle while mom is reading.

We also have two cats. Cami the calico and Chewy the big, orange monster. They like to interfere with my reading whenever they can!

I have LOVED seeing everyone's beautiful pets!

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Brooke wrote: "Raquel wrote: "I was recovering from surgery all week, so I got a good bit of reading in, but mostly light fluffy stuff I could focus on while on pain meds, and very little serious or for the chall..."

Thank you! I guess considering your experience I should just be glad I'm able to get any reading done at all!

message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 899 comments Hi everyone. It's getting cooler round here. Autumn is well and truly on its way.

This week I finished The Hunchback of Notre-Dame which is the second book this year which Disney completely lied to me about the ending haha!

Currently reading: Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror. I think I would have adored this as a kid. Little me loved anything dark or spooky.

Dune is on hold because Record of a Spaceborn Few came through from the library! I'm so excited. I've only read the prologues so far but I'm already engrossed.

QOTW: I am so jealous of the adorable fur babies you all have. I would love a dog but I've never been in the right situation to have anything other than a goldfish. I had five when I was about 10 called Emma, Geri, Victoria, Mel B & Mel C; and then I had an fish who looked like he had a little tash so I called him Rhett Butler, RB for short. Finally I had a black fish with googly eyes called Loki. They're all gone now and not very good reading companions either. Too wet :D

message 41: by Theresa (last edited Aug 30, 2018 12:54PM) (new)

Theresa | 1888 comments I may be melting from the 90+ weather here in NYC, but I have major news: I FINISHED CHALLENGE! All 50 prompts done! I'm thrilled and amazed. The first year I participated was 2016 and I finished the last book during Christmas week. In 2017 I finished in November. This year, I really made progress quickly and without a whole lot of planning.

If anyone interested, my complete list is located at #383.


Grand Cru Heist - my book with a heist - this is one of the series of French winemaker cozy mysteries that a friend gave me a couple of years ago. Very light mystery, very short and lots of wine info.

The Map of Time - for my very last prompt - about time travel. The irony is that I suggested that prompt to Pop Sugar last year because I had this book to read and it fit the prompt! Then for reasons I cannot determine I left it to last! Set in fin-de-siecle Victorian London, filled with pea soup fog, a society obsessed with spirtitualism, science and time travel, populated by Jack the Ripper, HG Wells (who is a protagonist actually), Bram Stoker, Henry James, this is historical fiction exploring the concept of time and time travel - is it possible or is it a fraud? There are 3 separate story lines that eventually overlap and converge, wandering around a bit as we go. I liked this, and if you love historical fiction set during that period, or are fans of the writers (Wells, Verne, Stoker) who wrote the first stories that became the Science Fiction genre, or even like the works of Jack Finney or even Jasper Fforde and Charles Dickens, you will probably like this. It's not for those who only love today's style of science fiction or fantasy. First of a trilogy but definitely can stand on its own.

No more challenge reads! But I'll continue to post what I am reading, like:

The Stepsister's Triumph - for fun - part 2 of the trilogy. Not so great - first much better, and third so far is excellent. Why is it so many middle books of trilogies are just 'meh'? Regency historical romance.

I am leading the discussion in September of Hamilton: The Revolution - don't be shy about joining us in "the room where it happens" :-) - it should be fun!

QOTW: No pets of any kind in my home. However, I am auntie to a host of dogs and cats. Pets and small children adore me -- well all except shih tzus who as a breed for some reason do not.

But that also means I do not share my reading space with pets at all, and I can leave my cross stitch and needlepoint projects lying around anywhere.

I do however, sell the most wonderful cat nip pillows for kitties .... one of my sisters makes them from fabric scraps - just squares of fabric with the best cat nip in them! Cat testimonials are numerous and hilarious...

message 42: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 697 comments This week was kinda fun - finale of the Edinburgh Book Festival. The last night coincided with a fireworks show from Edinburgh Castle, for which the Gardens where the festival is held was a great viewpoint. Bunch of nerds shivering in plastic lawn chairs at 10 at night, watching the sky. Lovely moment.
Unfortunately the excitement of the festival seems to have temporarily put paid to my ability to function as a human so I have been hiding in the house doing literally nothing for 3 days 🙃

Reading this week: 3 books again - well, 2 novels and a mini book of poetry that took me literally about 12 minutes to read.

A Closed and Common Orbit (reread) - Really enjoyed this! There was a lot of kinda heavy subject matter that I hadn't remembered from the first time around - in particular (view spoiler) hit pretty hard. Hope a future volume in the series returns to these characters.

Come Close - Interesting "taster" of Sappho poetry. Intend to find a complete collection soonish.

Record of a Spaceborn Few - Not quite as good as the first two Wayfarers books but I still enjoyed it a lot. The issue I think was too many PoV characters - about 6 of them squeezed into a ~350pg book - so it was hard to get attached to one of them or involved in their subplot before you were moved on to 5 subsequent chapters about totally different people. Essentially the book ends up with 6 interlinking subplots but very little that you might call a main plot.
As worldbuilding (universe-building?), though, it is fantastic.

QotW: I have a lovely Lhasa Apso called Sox. Don't have any pictures handy at the moment, sorry. He's one of those dogs who, as we usually put it, is "his very own man" - very independently minded and doesn't have much tolerance for affection unless it's on his terms (although, when it is on his terms, he's the most ridiculously mushy little tyke). Great "therapy dog" though - whenever I have a mental-health moment he'll lie alongside me on the floor or go get my mother's attention or really whatever else he can do to try and fix it. He just recently turned 8, we adopted him from his previous family when he was about a year and a half old, after I begged for a dog since practically babyhood. He went blind a year or so ago from a condition called progressive retinal atrophy - it's genetic, nothing that could be prevented or cured, but he's doing very well and perfectly healthy and happy otherwise. Only thing it's really interfered with is his ability to play with other dogs since he can't see their body language any more.
(Oddly, whenever we tell people he's gone blind, the immediate response is always "oh, and do you still have him?" Like what do they think we've done with him?!)

He has no interest in stories though - I've tried reading to him and he just turned his back to me. 😄

message 43: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1335 comments I always have people assume that since I'm a middle-aged single woman that I should be a cat lady. My allergies caused me to avoid that particular stereotype.

It has occurred to me that I do fit another one, however. I collect unicorns and name my stuffed ones. It might be a bit much to add a picture, though. ;)

message 44: by Margaret (last edited Aug 30, 2018 02:42PM) (new)

Margaret (igem36) I unexpectedly read a book for #10: a book about death or grief. Three years ago, I borrowed my brother's copy of A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, and hadn't been able to find it so I could return it to him. Last week I saw a very nice 1963 hardcover copy at our public library's book sale, so I bought it and then couldn't resist rereading it before I mailed it off.

I didn't appreciate it when I read it in 2015 but it was more relatable this time, probably because I've been making my way through The Chronicles of Narnia so I'm more used to his writing style. Also, I know more about Joy Davidman now than I did back then, so I can understand her husband's emotions much better. Lewis's conceit of using initials, not only for Joy but for several friends, was one of the most unpleasant aspects of this book.

23/40 (and, although I'm not attempting the advanced challenge, I happened to read 2/10 of those so far).

QOTW: After being without a pet for 4 years, I got two cats in July. It's been quite an adjustment. My two previous cats stayed mostly outdoors, but even though they lived to be 17 and 20 years old, I want to keep the new pets in the house unless I'm in the garden or on the porch with them in sight. That means hours of vacuuming and litter box cleaning that I have never had to do before.

When I first got them, they climbed all over me when I was reading or using my Chromebook but, thank goodness, they don't do that any longer. They're 15 months old (supposedly -- one of them acts like an old lady and the other acts like a 5-month old kitten) and are typical gray tabbies (I probably won't be able to post a photo), one with blue eyes and one with green.

message 45: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 371 comments I went back to work for the start of the new school year, and also finished three books!

Spinning Silver was good but just a little less awesome than Uprooted. I used it for the alliteration prompt.

Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too is a cute, quick graphic novel/picture book. It was delightful! I’ll be seeing the author at XOXOFEST next weekend!

And, the audiobook edition of Provenance. I liked that it fleshed out other parts of Ann Leckie’s universe, and told a smaller, more contained story than the Ancillary trilogy. I was confused by some of it, though - it’s easier to miss details in audio format, I find.

No pets for me! I did have a rabbit when I was 3 years old, but barely remember it.

message 46: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments Morning from The Outback. It’s a warm, windy, overcast day here today. And really dusty. It’s just started to rain (something we never see) so hopefully that takes some of the dust out of the air.

Haven’t done that much this week but it’s gone quick. We had a good friend come and stay on Friday night and then we went to the Show at our last town 2 1/2 hours away on Saturday. They have carnival rides and side shows and show jumping and cow, sheep, chook and pig judging and cooking competitions and photo competitions and art competitions and sewing competitions and all sorts of things.

And a farmyard nursery where I was playing with puppies. I was thissss close to getting one but the border collies looked more Dalmatian than border and hubby has a thing about paying a lot of money for what are essentially mongrel dogs. Oh he’s a cockerpoo. No he’s a mongrel. A designer mongrel usually but still. The cocker spaniel got to your poodle. My sister charges, and gets, close to $1000 or more for border collie/Samoyed crosses and way way more if the Samoyed actually got to the Samoyed and the border got to the border.

Haven’t had any phone or internet service for the last two days. Again. If this was the city they’d be screaming for somebodies Head. Actually they did last week an the service was down for under an hour. Last February we didn’t have any for 7 days. I’m just lucky hubby has an iPad that uses the other carrier.

Hubby has been away for a couple of days and I was
going to read the whole time he was gone but I didn’t. I watched TV mostly of a night. The first night I was watching a couple of nice cozy Hallmark mysteries. I have a few to catch up on. About 5 Garage Sale one’s and a number of others. I watched the new Aurora Teagarden the other night and the new Signed Sealed Delivered. A lot of them are based on books. Last night was Father Brown and Murdoch Mysteries. Also based on books.

Read a couple of things this week.

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. (iPad) Group read for one of my Goodreads bookclubs. Basically Sons of Anarchy where the bikers are half orcs and they ride actual hogs. Features most of your D&D races. A fair bit of swearing and sex. And fighting. It’s exuberant, fun and exciting in the words of Mark Lawrence. It won a writing comp he runs last year or the year before. I gave it 5⭐️. Can’t wait for book 2.

The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal (iPad) The SFF group I belong to is doing the Calculating Stars for this months group read so I decided to read a couple of the other stories first.

Currently reading.
Still got Beartown and The Bear and the Nightingale sitting beside me waiting to be finished. I was going to start Artificial Condition by Martha Wells to get me some more Murderbot as well as The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal this week as well as listen to We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E Taylor when I drive up to the farm during the week. I gave up looking for it and ordered it from Book Depository UK. It was only $10 delivered so I was happy. The other two are $26 each. It would have been nice if I could have hot them all at once for $10 each.


Unfortunately I don’t have any animals at the moment but it’s not for want of trying.

I had kelpies 30 years ago that used to sit on me when I watched tv (I was in a bookless phase at the time). Then about 22 years ago we got a border collie. She never sat on me when I was reading but she did always sit somewhere on the ground underneath my feet. She was never far away. We lost her in 2011. She was deaf and blind but she was fine until her legs went and she couldn’t walk at all. She had got a paralysis tick a few years before and it was behind her ear and it’s what sent her deaf and blind. She was paralysed for a few days at the time but she fought through it but couldn’t run much like before. Then her legs went on her again so that was it.

I’m always asking Hubby for another dog and I even had him come into the pet rescue part of a pet shop a couple of weeks ago but they didn’t have a dog he wanted and he’s not a fan of Staffies and that’s all they had. He wants another border collie or a golden retriever. There was a cat there I would have had too but our daughter is allergic to cats. It’s illegal for pet shops to sell puppies now so some of them have the local RSPCA rescue dogs and cats in the shops instead. Good idea if you ask me.

message 47: by T. (new)

T. Hampton | 130 comments The temperatures are dropping, leaves are turning color, school starts in a few days and it's football season! I love the fall!

I finished one book this week, The Bell Jar, for a book about mental health. I liked this book, though I didn't love it. It's well written, and I think it deserves its reputation as a classic.

I don't have any shareable photos of my fur babies, but I have two cats and a dog. Bella, the dog, is a shelter rescue and she is my husband's dog. I personally prefer cats, so last year I decided it was time to have a cat again. We adopted Oliver, an orange tabby who wears his initial "O" proudly on his sides. A few months after Oliver came home, his litter mate, Lucky joined our family as well. Yes, Lucky is a black cat. Neither of the cats snuggle much with me. Lucky has adopted my middle son as his, and Oliver's favorite person is the dog.

message 48: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 130 comments It'll be a very busy long weekend for me, as I'm at a con all weekend. It's something I look forward to all year. It's always a lot of fun, but also exhausting.

Green Grass, Running Water - 21. A book with your favorite color in the title
Not sure what to say about this one. It has to be the strangest, most confusing book I have ever decided to read, but also weirdly enjoyable.

Regular: 36/42
Advanced: 6/10

Currently Reading
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

I've always had cats. Currently I live with five cats, but only two of them are my babies. Claudia and Naomi are littermates I got from a rescue when they were tiny kittens. They are around five now, almost six.

message 49: by Jen (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 777 comments Sarah wrote: "Jen wrote: "Epic fail on reading this week! School seems to be even busier if that is possible.
Still working on: The Tale of the Body Thief (about 1/2 way) and suspect it will take a while. A) be..."

My kids are awesome. They are doers not rote learners so they get involved with all sorts of crazy projects I come up with and make teaching so much more interesting. Having all those options on the farm and the reserve make the crazy projects easier too of course.

message 50: by SadieReadsAgain (new)

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Teri wrote: "I finished the Challenge this week! Woo hoo!

A1. Bestseller from year graduated high school - Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon
I had decided to read whatever was the #1 book on the NYT's ..."


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