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2018 challenges > September challenge

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message 1: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 157 comments Mod
August went by fast. Read some good books and some okay books. Don't want summer to end yet so hoping the warm temperatures and sunshine stay but that the humid goes. Hope you all are doing well! Don't forget that September 6 is Read a Book Day so read a book!

1. Read a book whose author's last name begins with P.
2. Since summer is coming to an end, read a book about summer.
3. Read a book about a villain or anti-hero.
4. Banned book week is coming September 23-29. Read a banned book.
5. Since it is so hot, read a book set in a cold climate.
6. School is back in session. Read a book set in a school.
7. September 25 is National Comic Day so read a comic or graphic novel.
8. National Bacon Day, National Cheeseburger Day, National Pizza Day, National Pepperoni Pizza Day, National Cherry Popover Day, National Chocolate Milkshake Day, National Salami Day, National Fortune Cookie Day, Nationa Peanut Day, National Cream-Filled Donut Day, National Apple Dumpling Day, National Butterscotch Pudding Day, National Cherries Jubiliee Day, and National Johnny Appleseed Day occur in September so read a book with food or drink on the cover.
9. Your choice


message 2: by Sheila (last edited Oct 12, 2018 10:39AM) (new)

Sheila | 157 comments Mod
Here I go. Almost got August's challenges done as soon as I finish the last book.

2/9, 9 books

1. Read a book whose author's last name begins with P.
2. Since summer is coming to an end, read a book about summer.
3. Read a book about a villain or anti-hero.--How to Be a Supervillain--Michael Fry--finished 10/1/18 How to Be a Supervillain by Michael Fry
4. Banned book week is coming September 23-29. Read a banned book.
5. Since it is so hot, read a book set in a cold climate.
6. School is back in session. Read a book set in a school.
7. September 25 is National Comic Day so read a comic or graphic novel.
8. National Bacon Day, National Cheeseburger Day, National Pizza Day, National Pepperoni Pizza Day, National Cherry Popover Day, National Chocolate Milkshake Day, National Salami Day, National Fortune Cookie Day, Nationa Peanut Day, National Cream-Filled Donut Day, National Apple Dumpling Day, National Butterscotch Pudding Day, National Cherries Jubiliee Day, and National Johnny Appleseed Day occur in September so read a book with food or drink on the cover.
9. Your choice--Pence: The Path to Power by Andrea Neal--finished 9/10/18 Pence The Path to Power by Andrea Neal

BONUS:
Uncommon Type: Some Stories--Tom Hanks--finished 9/12/18 Uncommon Type Some Stories by Tom Hanks
Granny's Got a Gun--Harper Lin--finished 9/13/18 Granny's Got a Gun (Secret Agent Granny #1) by Harper Lin
Sunset--Erin Hunter--finished 9/15/18 Sunset (Warriors The New Prophecy, #6) by Erin Hunter
Granny Under Cover--Harper Lin--finished 9/16/18 Granny Undercover (Secret Agent Granny #2) by Harper Lin
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness--Michelle Alexander--finished 9/26/18 The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
The Squire's Tale--Gerald Morris--finished 9/27/18 The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales, #1) by Gerald Morris


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Ten Thousand Charms (Crossroads of Grace #1) by Allison Pittman -Allison Pittman 9-1-18
I really enjoyed this Christian historical romance novel. It is written well and has well developed characters. In it, through a series of difficult circumstances, Gloria gradually finds faith in God, freedom from her past, and a future full of hope with a good man who loves her son as his own. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

Crosstalk by Connie Willis -Connie Wells 9-2-18
I loved this well written novel. The plot was funny and sweet with some action that built up into a surprisingly intense climax. I found the characters to be well developed also.

Description excerpt: "In Crosstalk, a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.

In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage."

The Best of Intentions (Canadian Crossings, #1) by Susan Anne Mason -Susan Anne Mason 9-5-18
This was a well written historical Christian romance novel with good character development, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Both freedom from one's past and forgiveness were important themes in this novel, and I thought that the author did a pretty good job of emphasizing their importance in living an abundant life in Christ.

Murder, Plain and Simple (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery #1) by Isabella Alan -Isabella Alan 9-6-18
When Englisher Angela Braddock inherits her Amish aunt's quilting shop, she has several clashes with her Amish neighbors, some serious and some humorous, as she tries to settle into her new role as shopkeeper and make friends in her new community. But her biggest problem happens when the Amish man with whom she had a serious disagreement shows up murdered in her shop, so what can she do to ensure the handsome local sheriff doesn't consider her his prime suspect except find other suspects for him to investigate? This cozy mystery was a fun and fast read; it was written well and had several interesting characters. I really enjoyed it and plan to read more of the series.

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl -Matthew Pearl 9-13-18
London, 1890: "For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity: books could easily be published without an author’s permission. Authors gained fame but suffered financially—Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few—but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively. Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt. The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction."
Having read and enjoyed most of Matthew Pearl's other novels, I was pleased to see this one in my library, and I am rather glad that I did. This book tells such a unique and interesting story, which is at least partially based on real history. This novel was well written and was full of characters who were, for the most part, fully developed and quite intriguing. I did have one issue with this book, which was that the overall pace of the story was far too slow; if the pace had been faster, I feel that the story would have been tighter and made for a more exciting, suspenseful read than it was. However, all things considered, I did really enjoy this novel and learned quite a bit about the early days of publishing.

Dyeing Up Loose Ends (A Knitting Mystery #16) by Maggie Sefton -Maggie Sefton 9-15-18
This is the most recent novel in Maggie Sefton's "A Knitting Mystery" series, and I did enjoy it almost as well as I did the previous 15. One minor quibble that I have with it is that she spends the first chapter more-or-less reviewing the mysteries that happened in her previous novels; granted, she does it through a dialogue between several characters, but it still annoyed me. Anyway, I enjoyed this fun cozy mystery novel and liked seeing what was new in the characters' lives even though I did find the murder in this one to be sadder than the ones in earlier novels simply because this time, the murder victim was a closer friend to Kelly and the gang and had been a fairly regular secondary character in the series. I have enjoyed this series a great deal and hope there will be more novels after this one.

Wonderful Lonesome (Amish Turns of Time #1) by Olivia Newport -Olivia Newport 9-16-18
This was an interesting novel about a struggling Amish settlement in the plains of Colorado. Not only has drought brought serious financial difficulties to the small number of families trying to build an Amish community there but the lack of a minister and church services are wearing on the settlers' spirits, especially as there is a serious difference of opinion on an essential spiritual question preventing the small Amish community from truly coming together in unity. Through all of this, Abigail Weaver must make choices between the man she passionately loves and the church she can't imagine life without. I thought that the novel was fairly well written and that the characters were interesting. However, even though I enjoyed the novel overall, there was one major turning point in the plot that was based on a certain character's action that felt highly inconsistent with how that character had been portrayed up to that point, and the author certainly could have brought about the result that she wanted without being so inconsistent with that character.

Meek and Mild (Amish Turns of Time #2) by Olivia Newport -Olivia Newport 9-17-18
This is a well written and interesting Amish novel based on the period of time when an Old Order district in Somerset county, Pennsylvania becomes seriously divided on the issue of shunning the nearby Conservative Amish Mennonites referred to as Marylanders mainly because they have followed the Protestant practice of having Sunday school for their children. Because there are so many family ties and friendships on both sides of the border, for many years most members of the district have ignored the shunning decree, but when the bishop decides to take a much firmer stance on enforcing the shun, tensions rise between those who support his decision and those who don't. As things escalate, a new bishop, Mose Beachy, is chosen who has to determine how to deal with the division in the district and what came to be called the Beachy Amish emerged from his leadership when the group who wanted to rescind the shun against the Marylanders eventually completely split away from the Old Order district who wanted to continue to enforce it. While the author has taken some liberties with the timeline for the sake of her story, I felt that she did a great job shedding light on an interesting development in the history of the Amish church. The majority of this book's characters, unsurprisingly, are fictional, but they live on the page. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Always Watching (Elite Guardians, #1) by Lynette Eason -Lynette Eason 9-18-18
This was a well written and intriguing Christian romantic suspense novel. Not only is there a lot of action in this book but there is also a good amount of character development despite the quick pace. I also enjoyed how through the intense circumstances that arise while she is guarding her client and his daughter, bodyguard Olivia learns what really defines family and comes to a deeper faith in God. So, I really enjoyed this first novel in the Elite Guardians series and plan to read more of them.


message 4: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 157 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Ten Thousand Charms (Crossroads of Grace #1) by Allison Pittman-Allison Pittman 9-1-18
I really enjoyed this Christian historical romance novel. It is written well and has well developed characters. In it, through a series ..."


I loved The Last Bookeneer by Matthew Pearl. I also like Maggie Sefton. You also have some interesting reads on your list.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Sheila wrote: "Rachel wrote: "Ten Thousand Charms (Crossroads of Grace #1) by Allison Pittman-Allison Pittman 9-1-18
I really enjoyed this Christian historical romance novel. It is written well and has well developed characters. In it, th..."


Thanks. I've had some great reads this year. :)


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A Dangerous Legacy (Empire State, #1) by Elizabeth Camden -Elizabeth Camden 9-20-18
This was a well written and entertaining historical Christian romance novel that also had some elements of suspense. I was actually surprised about how much action there was in the last third of the novel, which is partly why I finished it in the wee hours of the morning. Anyhow, I found the focus on early plumbing and patenting as well as telegraphy in the novel to be quite interesting, and I loved the characters as well. I am quite glad I decided to read this fun beginning to Camden's Empire State trilogy.

A Daring Venture (Empire State, #2) by Elizabeth Camden -Elizabeth Camden 9-20-18
This was a well written and entertaining historical Christian romance novel with great characters who I loved even more than those featured in the first novel of Camden's Empire State trilogy, A Dangerous Legacy, especially nerdy Rosalind. The main focus in this novel was on the fight between Dr. Rosalind Werner, her partner/boss, and other fellow scientists who have discovered that adding small amounts chlorine to water kills the bacteria that causes typhoid and other water borne diseases and the local state water board as well as the general populace who didn't trust that the water wouldn't be poisoned or taste nasty due to adding chlorine. Now, we don't think anything of the fact that our water sources are chlorinated as part of the filtration process, but at that time, it was new and controversial. I really enjoyed learning some basics about that important life-saving discovery and how science eventually won over public opinion and made its first step towards becoming a widely legally mandated technique in treating our water. Anyhow, I really enjoyed this second installment of Camden's Empire State trilogy, and am bummed out that the last novel isn't going to be published until sometime in 2019.

Until the Harvest (Appalachian Blessings, #2) by Sarah Loudin Thomas -Sarah Loudin Thomas 9-22-18
So, this is the sequel to Miracle in a Dry Season, and like it, it is a historical Christian romance with some magic/miracles happening in it. It takes place much later in time than the first book, which didn't bother me too much, especially since I didn't remember the plot of the first one all that well anyway. Regardless of all that, I did find this book to be fairly well written with reasonably good character development for the most part, and I found the plot to be sweet if a bit annoying at times. If I could give half stars, this book would be one of the ones I'd give 3.5 stars, but I can't, and, in this case, I wanted to round down instead of up. It's better than the first book in my opinion, but it's still not all that good.

When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer -Kim Vogel Sawyer 9-23-18
This was a well written Mennonite romance novel with good character development. I enjoyed Amy's 3 kids in particular; it can be difficult to make children sound like children, so I have noticed that oftentimes authors will rarely bring them into the forefront even with Amish and Mennonite novels where large families are the norm, and it can get kind of funny to me when say 7 children will be given names in the main family in the book and then they rarely say a word in the whole book. But all that to say that Sawyer did a great job of bringing the kids into the spotlight, and they were obviously kids, mistakes and all. Anyway, I really loved this novel and am glad I grabbed it off the shelf at the library.

A Man of His Word (Hearts of Middlefield, #1) by Kathleen Fuller -Kathleen Fullr 9-24-18
I decided to reread this book when I temporarily ran out of library books in part because I needed a book set during the Autumn for a challenge, and since it both starts and ends in the Autumn, I decided it would work. Anyhow, on this second time through this novel, I discovered that I like it better now than I did before. For its genre, this novel is well written, and I like most of the characters even though they aren't as well developed as they could be, which is especially the case for the female protagonist. However, despite its sad beginning, the book ends happily, and I enjoyed it, so it deserved its 4 stars.

Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg -Carole Estby Dagg 9-25-18
So, this was a well written historical fiction children's novel based on a true story of a group of settlers who move from the contiguous U.S. to Alaska, one of FDR's New Deal programs, in order to become self-sufficient and get off of relief. The author stays historically accurate to people's stereotypes concerning Alaska (i.e., "I don't want to live in an igloo [eat whale blubber]!") at the time but carefully never mentions the Natives indigenous to the state and focuses on her fictional pioneers to avoid giving offense, and I think she did a good job with that. Anyhow, it was a fun plot with fun characters, and I loved how she threw a pronunciation guide for her protagonist's name into a dialogue with her younger sisters not to call her a nickname she hates: "It's Terp-sick-oh-ree..." (Terpischore is the Greek muse of dance). Overall, I found the book to be entertaining and subtly informative, and when I closed the book, I did so feeling similarly to the way I do when I read one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books.


message 7: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Mertens | 37 comments I haven't posted in a long while but I have done some of the September challanges. In regards to books about a villain, I read the entire series by Serano Valentino about the Disney villains. That is a well written and entertaining series. I would recommend it to Disney fans. I also read Tarkin, continuing my Star Wars love. I read about the creation of Wonder Woman in the Secret History of Wonder Woman. The creator was an interesting contradiction. For banned books, I am currently re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It is definitely a book I am gathering more from as an adult than I caught as a teenager reading it.


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