Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2019 Weekly Checkins > Week 2: 1/4 - 1/10

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1239 comments Mod
Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly check-in! We are back in our regular weekly routines now so my days of lying about reading while on vacation are over. Ah well, I’m off to a good start for the year so I can’t really complain. Plus there's a snow storm headed our way this weekend so it's a good excuse to curl up with my books!

Admin note:

We still have an opening for a discussion leader for February’s group read of To All the Boys I've Loved Before. We have a tentative volunteer who will cover if no one else is interested, but please do let us know if you would like to volunteer!

Books finished:

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy – this was a good read, very informative and well written. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. I have this penciled in for my favorite prompt from a past challenge – a book by a local author. It’s not so much that it’s my favorite past prompt, but I’m just pleased to be able to say I read a book by a local author. There aren’t many in my area, and the one I used last year for the prompt was a reread (which I don’t usually count).

Currently reading:

Becoming by Michelle Obama – I am really enjoying this book. I didn’t know much about her life so it’s been amazing hearing her story. Bonus – I’m listening to the audio narrated by Michelle so I really am hearing her read her story. She is such a beautiful person, inside and out. No matter your political leanings I think her story is worth reading.

The Woman in the Window – reading this for my local book club this week. It’s been interesting so far, but the “big event” just occurred at the end of the weekend, and I haven’t had time to really jump back in since then!

I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends - I've been on the hold list for this book for a few months and finally it's my turn! I have a short window to read it in since it's a new release and very popular. I was in my early teens when the show Friends first started to air so I adored it! It still one of the top things on my comfort tv list!


Question of the week:

Do any of you know an author personally? Question submitted by Mike.

I know this is a long shot for many of you, but I'm hoping to see some interesting stories of relationships in your lives!

I do have a friendship with two authors via online communities.

---Linda Govik – she’s the author of two books so far. Legacy is a historical fiction novel set during the Napoleonic era. I love this book and need to read it again! A sequel is in progress. Her other book is a contemporary romance Heart Full of Stars.

We met in an Outlander discussion group (back when Yahoo groups existed) probably 15 or so years ago. Though the group is no longer in existence, we have kept in touch through Facebook.

---Ellery Adams – she is the author of many mysteries! Her most recent book, The Whispered Word, is the the sequel to the first book of hers I read, The Secret, Book, & Scone Society. She and I are in the same online book club.

message 2: by El (new)

El | 124 comments 3/50

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri for a book with a two-word title.

Crime in the Queen's Court by Carolyn Keene for a book featuring an amateur detective.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman for a debut novel.

I don't know any author personally.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (SarahAnneBooks) | 498 comments I feel I’m finally off the starting blocks with the challenge this week.  I returned to work after being off sick since October, so having my books to cushion me helped a lot!
I’m now sitting at 2/45, 0/10 for the year.
The first book I read was for prompt #9 A book you meant to read in 2018, which was There There, by Tommy Orange ( ★★★★☆).  This book was such a rich experience. I have never read anything from the perspective of Native Americans, and I learned so much from this book. I can see why it has go so much attention, as it strikes me as a really important piece of work. The multiple character perspectives and storylines are all individually strong, and all come together to a devastating climax. Each character is nuanced and believable, and their stories were so captivating that I'd happily read stand-alone novels on any one of them. This is a well paced and cleverly told story, with humour and heartbreak in almost perfect balance. A must-read.
My second book was for prompt #35 A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter. I went for Special, by Bella Bathurst ( ★★★★☆).  This book was as if someone took my early teenage years and acted them out on the island from Lord of the Flies. I knew girls like these, and parts of me was like these girls too. The close quarters that these girls inhabit acts as a catalyst to push the familiar bullying, mental health issues and experimentation typical of that age to much murkier depths. Bella Bathurst has a real talent for crafting characters, particularly their insecurities, jealousies, maliciousness and desperation to grow up and to be wanted. It is the characters that drive this book, although the setting of a residential school trip was such a clever way to tell the story. This was an uncomfortable read, but a compulsive one.
I also read a book for none of the four challenges I’m stupidly undertaking this year.  It was due back at the library so I just powered through it. It was Life Honestly, by The Pool (a collective I really value and admire).  This is such a strong collection of essays and opinions. Personally I found the mental health and motherhood sections spoke to me most strongly. But even sections on things such as style, which don't really interest me usually, had pieces in them which resonated. There's a good mix of funny, thoughtful and heart wrenching works in this book, and it's just a great way to celebrate all the fantastic voices of the The Pool. This is the real voice of feminism and women right now, and it made me feel proud to be a feminist woman, flawed and tired and busy and imperfect as we are.
QOTW :: Do any of you know an author personally?
Nope. I did work in a bookshop where a guy on the staff had recently been published, but I didn't work with him. I don't even know what the book was called!

message 4: by Abbie (new)

Abbie Cheatham | 3 comments Goodness, you all are well ahead of me! I'm currently about halfway through Duma Key for a book with a two word title.

Do you count authors of published research journals? All kidding aside, I do not have the pleasure of knowing any author personally.

message 5: by Amber (last edited Jan 10, 2019 04:49AM) (new)

Amber | 8 comments 2/50

Pulp by Robin Talley for the "own voices" prompt. Robin Talley is both a lesbian and Jewish. The two main characters of the book were lesbians and one was Jewish.

Currently reading:
The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly. I'm really enjoying this book so far, but I didn't realize until after I bought it that it's the newest in a series. It seems like the story itself is self contained, but there are a lot of recurring characters where knowing their history would make it more enjoyable, so now I'm gonna have to start at the beginning of the series at some point. I'm not complaining.

No, I unfortunately don't know any authors personally, but there are several that I read that I would love to be friends with.

Sisters Like Us (Mischief Bay, #4) by Susan Mallery Pulp by Robin Talley

message 6: by Jen (last edited Jan 10, 2019 06:54PM) (new)

Jen (JenTrewren) | 590 comments Evening all.
It has been a crazy week as usual here with a couple of idiots trying to break in to my house on 2 occasions this week. Lucky they didn't have much backbone and when the crazy old lady ran at them yelling they ran off. Probs not my brightest moves ever but.....

Finished lots this week and they are a totally odd mixture and not at all my usual type of books but isn't that what the challenge is for?
In Odd We Trust which is the first graphic novel I have read as an adult. Love the Odd Thomas series so this was a fun read and I have temporarily penciled it in as a ghost story.
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams very good and a mostly fascinating read which is a little repetitive for about 70 pages about 2/3 of the way through. Put this in for meant to read in 2018.
Aunt Bessie Assumes Isle of Man Cozy mystery which I used for the detective prompt and chose because my 18 months in the Isle of Man were some of the happiest of my life (so far I hope) and I adore the place.
Hop On Pop Couldn't find much for the pop/sugar/challenge prompt so I went with this option that I saw suggested by the group. Love the pup in a cup.
The Three Secret Cities typical fast action, solving puzzles and not getting dead when all logic says they should. Used for the puzzle/game prompt.
More Very British Problems which I used for nostalgia on 3 counts; my time living in UK, my time working as a holiday rep for a UK travel company in Turkey, plus dealing with British tourists while working in the dive industry around the world.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean for the wedding prompt (it is near the end btw).

That puts me at 10/53 for PS so far but I haven't read anything today because I discovered Netflix and didn't sleep much after the attempted break in last night. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

I can't actually remember how many authors I know, would have to check when I'm not half asleep. I do know that both parents have published books (Dad's are all botany based and Mum's short stories and poetry) and 2 uncles on Mum's side, 1 chef (James Martin) who lives near Mum and 3 other fiction authors who have all lived near us at some stage. 1 was in Kiribati and actually fell in a sewerage hole while walking along reading. Wouldn't say I knew the last 4 well, just to say hello. Oh and Jo Dutton who was a colleague in Alice SpringsFrom Alice With Love. I'm sure I've missed a few so sorry...…

Steve Sunk Walkabout Chefs: A Fresh Look at Aboriginal Bush Food who was a parent of one of my students.

My Revision Notes: Aqa as Biology Mike has published loads of revision guides and text books for science/biology/human biology in the UK. He was one of my mentors in teacher training and is just an amazing human being.

message 7: by Nadine (last edited Jan 10, 2019 05:23AM) (new)

Nadine Jones | 3038 comments Mod
Good morning!! JUST as I was typing "we are having our second two hour delay of the week, and I hate two hour delays because they mess up the entire day's schedule" ... the schools closed for a snow day. So. I guess we are having a snow day!! I am a complete slacker and therefore my car needs new tires, which means my car was sliding all around last night on the roads, which means nope I am not interested in driving this morning because I know that layer of ice is still down there under this snow, so I guess I'll have a snow day too. Lucky for me, the rest of my department is in North Carolina, so they never call me a wimp for staying home due to snow.

This week I read 5 books, a lot of them were unplanned. In a moment of restlessness I put the books on hold, and now here it is, checked out to me! I managed to find challenge categories for four of them. I am now 5/50.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo - this was so much fun! And look at that cute cover! I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo Obviously I could use it for "Love in the title," but for now I've slotted it in "should be a movie."

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie aka R.A. Dick - my only planned book for the week! I really loved this book - it's a forgotten gem, and I highly recommend it (if you can find it). I read this for "ghost" but it would work just as well for "nostalgia."

Apex Predator, book #4 in the "Horizon" series, this one by M.T. Anderson - this is a very silly YA adventure series I've been enjoying. I recommended that my library acquire the audiobook, and they did, so I listened to it. So refreshing after other audiobooks that I had just not been enjoying. I checked off "multiple POV."

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey - I had huge expectations for this book, and I was very disappointed. It's not bad, but it's also not as good as I expected. I checked off "unconventional chapter headings" with this one (it uses symbols instead of words or numbered chapters). Other readers are loving this book, so I guess ymmv.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty - very sweet tween book. i didn't fill any challenge category with this one.


Not really. I know one person who wants to be a writer, and did get something published in an anthology, but I read it and it wasn't very good, so I just sort of averted my eyes and pretended I didn't read it. I'm not going to give a friend a bad review on GR! (but I couldn't bring myself to lie about it either) Hopefully the next piece will be better.

message 8: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 488 comments The temperature's dropped here on the south coast of England. It's still nothing compared to Northern USA temps but I work in an old building and am bundled up in a massive jumper right now. We've successfully eaten through all the leftover festive junk food and are facing a few months of healthy living.

I finished Golden State which I'm using for superpower. I loved it, very nearly gave it 5 stars but the ending had an unnecessary and convenient bit. Sometimes I think books should end one or two chapters earlier than they do!

I read Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse for ATY (unusual format) and listened to Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold also for ATY (Shakespeare). These do fit Popsugar prompts but I'm not doubling up just yet.

I'm currently reading The House of Shattered Wings, which I had pencilled in for ATY sense of place, but I'm not sure now. It fits plenty of other prompts at least.

And I'm listening to Redemption in Indigo for ATY (genre award). So mostly ATY progress this week. I keep getting mixed up about what's a PS prompt and what's ATY, I don't think I've fully absorbed the PS ones yet.

2/52 | 4/100

Back when I went to a lot of things in London, there was a group of SFF/YA authors I would see again and again. I know them well enough to joke with them on social media and go up to them for a chat if I see them somewhere. So, acquaintances rather than friends.

message 9: by Margaret (last edited Jan 10, 2019 05:22AM) (new)

Margaret (igem36) I finished Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah last week, and the only place I could find for it was #40, a favorite prompt from a past PopSugar reading challenge (#34 from 2017; a month or day of the week in the title). These stories were amazing - he's as good as his mentor, George Saunders. (Just realized this can work for #37, a two-word title. I might change it.)

I'm currently reading The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit by Gary Larson as a humor book for Book Riot; and The Cat Who Had 14 Tales by Lilian Jackson Braun for ATY week 2. I'll look for PopSugar prompts they fit later today!

QOTW: No, I've never met an author (except for self-published acquaintances, newspaper columnists, and scientists who've published in journals -- oh, and one of my former students had a piece accepted by a Chicken Soup for the Soul volume.) But as I interpret the question, no. I think I'll put that on my bucket list.

message 10: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 419 comments Wow, great timing, I just finished a book minutes ago.
Got through a lot this week, and made a great start on the Popsugar challenge. 4/50 prompts completed already.

The Sisters of the Winter Wood - Enjoyed but didn't love - I'd say it was a 3.5 star for me. It toed the line between adult fantasy and YA and I'd've personally preferred it to commit to adult. I think readers who are bigger fans of YA would really like it.
Prompts: Popsugar Challenge #35, a book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
Reading Women Challenge #11, a book featuring a religion other than your own

Dreamsnake - Really liked this. It's a far-post-apocalyptic story told through the eyes of a travelling healer who uses snakes to medicate people. It wasn't quite like anything I'd read before. Felt like a small part of a much bigger world - and indeed there is at least one other novel about the same setting but it's out of print. :( And I was very pleasantly surprised by the book's approach to sexuality (especially since it was published a few decades ago) - polyamory is the norm and the characters are entirely matter-of-fact about same-sex love - there's no homophobia or anything like that as I recall.
Prompts: Around The Year #1, a book that was nominated for or won an award in a genre you enjoy [multiple awards for science fiction, including a Hugo, a Nebula and a Locus]
Tackle That TBR #1, a book that has been on your TBR since you first joined Goodreads

Big Mushy Happy Lump - Nice. Just nice. I really like Sarah Andersen's comics but I think I preferred her previous collection, Adulthood is a Myth.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - This was great! Wasn't sure if it was going to be my thing for the first... say, 100 to 200 pages? But as it went on the book sucked me in so subtly that I barely realized how invested I was until I started thinking aloud to myself about the plot and trying to figure out the twist (didn't predict it at all). Loved Evelyn, loved the central romance. The Hollywood setting was great - like a bedazzled Game of Thrones!
Prompts: Popsugar #4, a book you think should be turned into a movie [it'd be total Oscar-bait but that'd fit the story to a T]
Reading Women Challenge #18, a romance or love story
Tackle That TBR #5, a book from the Popular Hyped Books list

Dragon Rider - Reread this to refresh my memory, after I pulled the sequel out of my "TBR jar". It was a favourite of mine when I was a kid. Now, not so much. I still liked it, it's a good children's book, but definitely for children, not adults.
Prompts: Popsugar #27, a book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature
Read Harder Challenge #10, a translated book written and/or translated by a woman
Reading Women Challenge #5, a children's book

Disobedience - Only just finished this when the thread went up so I've not quite gathered my thoughts on it yet, beyond "this is a great book".
Prompts: Popsugar #25, a debut novel
Reading Women #21, a book you bought or borrowed in 2019 (😅)

Not currently reading anything but am about to start In an Absent Dream, which arrived a couple of days ago. So excited, I love Seanan McGuire's books. ❤

QOTW: Nope.

message 11: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 595 comments Hello there!
I can't believe we're already 10 days into the new year, time is flying by, which I'm sure is because I am incredibly busy. I did however manage to read AND watch season 3 of Preacher (look at me, balancing things). Soyeah, slow progress perhaps, but progress nonetheless!

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1, non challenge. I feel guilty counting this as read, as I started it in July 2018, and I only had 2 comics of this volume left. I read them in the Marvel Unlimited app, and I could these volumes when I've read the corresponding comics. It does count towards my goal of 100 comics this year!

Artemis Fowl for book becoming a movie in 2019 - my first challenge read of the year, and read in general! I listened to it on audio and thought it was okay. I've heard it gets better, that the first is the weakest of the series, so I'll continue the series at some point.

The Man in the High Castle for multiple perspectives/POV - My second Philip K. Dick book, and I'm not totally convinced yet. I definitely enjoyed it more than Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), but it was a lot to process so I'm still working on that. It was a scary world, full of racism from everyone towards everyone. The title seems a bit weird to me, given the story, but that's just me. Probably a 3-3,5 star read.
This counted towards all 4 'official' challenges!

Currently Reading
Holiday Gay: Tales of Love, Lust, Romance and Other Seasonal Gifts, non challenge. This is my first ever proper NetGalley book (I didn't think I'd be approved for anything and now I've got 9 waiting. help.) and I'm enjoying it so far. It's a collection of 6 short stories, and I've read two so far. I might look into the authors, see if they're gay themselves, so I can use it as a back up for the Own Voices prompt.

Bird Box on audio, for debut novel - I'm only 17% in and the narrator isn't my favorite (really annoyed by her enunciation) but so far I'm quite intrigued, though I feel I am bit too distanced from it. Perhaps reading it in print would be better, but I have no desire to read it in Dutch. I have not seen the movie yet.

Alfie the Doorstep Cat - I started this just now, like, I'm on page 11, but I am hoping this will count for the book read in the season it's set in. I am going on the Dutch cover, as it's a Dutch copy, so it'll probably be set in Summer instead of winter, but we'll see.

This brings me to (hold on to your hats):

2/50 (Popsugar)
1/52 (ATY)
1/12 (Back to the Classics)
1/25 (my goal for Beat the Backlist)
3/75 (Goodreads)
0/20 (own goal for owned books)
2/100 (comics)

Clearly I'm a masochist.

ANYWAYS, I brought home two more books from the library last Tuesday during work, so I have 7 books waiting to be read now. Help me. I need to be stopped. At least some of them should be able to count for prompts!

I know some authors, but they're not well known. David R. Lord I know from Glee conventions, though I haven't read his work yet. Lotte van den Noort, I can't remember how we got in touch, but we're facebook friends, and I proofread her first book. Bradley P Beaulieu and I follow each other on Instagram, and he's very kind, but I don't really know him. Pim Kerkwijk is someone I used to go to school with, but his first novel wasn't for me. It wasn't that great. So while I know a few, it's nothing major, and nothing very close.

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Hann | 24 comments I am at 3/50.

This week I finished:

I’ll be Gone in the Dark – I’m planning to use it as a book published posthumously, but I know that it would work for an amateur detective, or an author with the same first and last initials. I thought the writing itself was great, but the way the book was put together was choppy, which made it harder to get through than I would have hoped.

One of Us is Lying – I’m planning to Use it for a debut novel, but it would also work for an amateur detective, or a book told by multiple POV’s. I really enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting and even though I guessed most of the plot twists, I wasn’t sure that I was right.

Currently reading:

Frankenstein: I am still attempting to read the entire book out loud. I've been trying to read one chapter a day, but I missed reading at all yesterday.

The Forgotten Hours: My kindle first pick. This one is giving me good vibes already, but I had to take a break from it to read through books from the library first.

We Need to Talk about Kevin: This book is a slow burn. I’m about 80 pages in and I’ve been reading so many books at one time that I only have a little time each day to devote to it, but I’m enjoying it, even if the writing it very heavy handed. I think it suits the character.

Observations so far:
My progress so far is not as fast as I had hoped, but my job is insane and took up all my time this week.

message 13: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 488 comments Cendaquenta wrote: "Not currently reading anything but am about to start In an Absent Dream, which arrived a couple of days ago. So excited, I love Seanan McGuire's books. ❤..."

I'm waiting on my copy because I thought I'd pre-ordered it when I hadn't, and everywhere seems to be confused about its release date.

message 14: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1239 comments Mod
Nadine wrote: "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie aka R.A. Dick - my only planned book for the week! I really loved this book - it's a forgotten gem, and I highly recommend it (if you can find it)."

I am planning to read this book this year too! I used to watch the movie with Rex Harrison (I think he's in that?) when I was a kid and I loved it! Am very much looking forward to reading the book version!

And I won't call you a wimp for not driving in the snow either! I have a reputation at work for never coming in if there's snow :) I live in the south, but my coworkers seem to not be as bothered by driving in it as I am!

message 15: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 115 comments Hi All,

Off to a much better start after having read no books during the first week, I managed to finish 6 books over the past week.

To start I read Crazy Rich Asians for #9. a book you meant to read in 2018 and to be honest I thought it was going to be a lot better than I thought it was. I think the story itself was cute but I just wasn't crazy about his writing. I thought the dialogue in multiple places felt choppy and stilted and some of the characters were very over the top in their reactions to things. I still have enough friends who raved about the movie that I'll probably check it out.

Next I read, My Sister, the Serial Killer for #2. A book author from Asia, Africa, or S. America which was short and entertaining. I really liked the narrator/older sister character. I did think that the book itself didn't feel quite complete. The ending was ok but didn't leave me feeling very satisfied.

The Rosie Project was for 28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire (Bill Gates). I blew through this one. I thought it was sweet and fluffy and was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Not sure I loved it enough to snag the sequel but I'll keep it in mind for when I need a good palate cleanser after too many crime novels.

I read Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI next and really enjoyed it. This is actually for ATY #20. a book featuring indigenous people of a country. I can't believe I had never heard of the Osage murders outside of reading it in this book. I found the whole story really fascinating and kept telling my husband about various parts. I really recommend this one if you enjoy True Crime.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow was next and I happily chugged my way through the whole thing. I really am enjoying this series so far (this is just the second book). I think my favorite thing is how Townsend has managed to create an extensive and vibrant magical world and she manages to introduce us to new elements of her world in such a way that it is very unobtrusive. You end up knowing quite a bit about how the world works without having to slog through paragraphs of back story. I grabbed this before thinking about using it for a specific prompt and I'm debating on if it could fit for #18 'a book about someone with a super power' prompt. My main issue is that she's in a magical world (view spoiler).

And finally, I finished Pride for #15. retelling of a classic (Pride & Prejudice). I thought this was a cute book and I enjoyed it but I didn't love it. I think I've just come to the realization that I just don't care that much for the P&P storyline. My main dislike of the book is actually the main characters pride and prejudice against the male protagonist (go figure). I did however LOVE the descriptions of the neighborhood and the community that she lives in. The descriptions of Zuri's emotions and thoughts about the evolution of her neighborhood were really interesting to read. I wish I had listened to this as an audiobook actually as there are several poems/spoken word sections that I know I did not read with the right cadence.

QOTW: My uncle self published a novel and I have a friend from an old job who wrote a book. Those are the only 2 who come to mind.

message 16: by Thegirlintheafternoon (last edited Jan 10, 2019 05:45AM) (new)

Thegirlintheafternoon | 313 comments Hello, everyone, and happy New Year! (I didn't get the chance to check in last week, so this progress is since January 1.)


I've finished 4 books for the Popsugar Challenge so far:

- A Conspiracy in Belgravia for the puzzle/game prompt - I enjoyed this! The mystery is of less interest to me than the characters and the way the author reworks the Sherlock Holmes stories.
- Pembroke Park for the #ownvoices prompt - A lesbian Regency romance from the 1980s? So fun!
- Mitz The Marmoset of Bloomsbury for the novel based on a true story prompt - Very odd but not unenjoyable. Glad I gave it a try.
- My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel for the choose-your-own-adventure prompt - What fun! I tried out three different stories and they were all delightful.

I've finished 1 book for the Read Harder challenge so far:

- This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story for the novel by a trans or nonbinary author prompt - I liked this a lot! It was nice to read some YA where the problems didn't magically go away and the characters explicitly recognized that they might break up at some point.

I've finished 2 books for my local library's #BookSquadGoals Reading Challenge:

- If Beale Street Could Talk for the recent book-to-screen adaptation prompt - I love Baldwin so much, and there was a lot to love here, but oof, he does not get women characters.
- The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy for the book with a cover you love prompt - I enjoyed this a lot, even if it did feel a little overwritten toward the end.

I also finished Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow: A Landmark Study of Great Leaders, Teams, and the Reasons Why We Follow for a course I'm taking at work and listened to the audiobook of You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want


I'm currently reading The Library Book and The Circular Staircase. I'm also reading Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day a day at a time over the course of this year.


I started but didn't finish re-reads of both The Trouble with Angels and Over Sea, Under Stone. They just weren't for me anymore!


The big ones: I know Laura Moriarty enough to be on friendly speaking terms, and I'm friendly acquaintances with the author of My Dark Vanessa, a BIG 2020 release. I also know a lot of poets and essayists from various writing programs, and I know a fair number of published scholars who I was lucky enough to work with over the years!

message 17: by Anabell (new)

Anabell | 299 comments Happy Thursday :-)

Went to the dentist today and now that it is over it can only be a good day... Hopefully... I am of to work at 5 PM so we will see what the evening will bring. You never know.

This week I completed:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel
Now, Voyager I absolutely loved this book. My first 5***** of the year and will be impossible to beat. (I know I gave Harry Potter 5 as well but they are rereads for me so doesn't count).
Bone Crossed
The Hammer of Thor

This brings me to 8/50

Currently reading:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
The Moon Sister
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k: Gift Edition

QOTW: One of my colleagues who is now a friend is a published author who I love to talk books with. We started talking quite quick and became friends fast as we had a shared passion for books.
We love meeting up at some book/coffee shops around Copenhagen and just talk books and nothing more. We don't necessarily have the same taste but just to see the enthusiasm from another booklover is the best.

message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 236 comments I can't believe it's already Thursday. I didn't have a very good reading week. I barely picked up a book at all. I'm just not in the mood to read lately. I've been doing jigsaw puzzles and binge-watching Star Trek Voyager instead.

The Witches of the Blue Well by Paula Brackston (a book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover). This was a short story prequel to The Winter Witch which I read earlier this year.

Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey. This is the second book in the Expanse series.

I was listening to the audiobook of Anna Karenina, but I think I'm going to pause. My attention wanders when I listen, so I can't follow what's happening. I'll try again later when I'm in more of a mood for reading.

I have a friend who is a children's book author. I met a local author at a NaNoWriMo write-in once, but I can't remember her name or the title of her book. Her book was about a zombie virus, so I decided it wasn't for me and didn't read it.

message 19: by Lorna (new)

Lorna | 24 comments 3/50

I finished my re-read of a favourite The Orenda and also a book you think should be turned into a movie The Home for Unwanted Girls.

I'm currently working on two more of the prompts and hoping to finish them this week!

message 20: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 220 comments I finished David Copperfield as my reread of a favorite book. The cool thing about that was I read it so long ago, I didn't really remember it. I remembered bits and pieces, of course. And, I'm kind of wondering if I got busy the first time because I thought the ending was about 100 pages sooner. LOL.

I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for my book that takes place in space. I was pleastantly surprised. I might read the rest of the series.

And I started The Horse Whisperer as my book that makes me nostalgic. I chose it because when I was a kid I read horse books galore. If there was a book with a horse in it, I was reading it. My grandparents gave the The Horseman's Bible, which I think was more of a reference book, and I even read that from cover to cover. I specifically chose this horse book, because I saw the movie with a friend of mine, who moved away 10 years ago. I haven't had any feelings of nostalgia yet, but I'm going with "it's the thought that counts" for this prompt, because I can't possibly know what will actually give me feelings of nostalgia.

QOTW: Unfortunately, no, I don't know any published authors. I have written fan fiction, and someone translated some of my stories into Czech, and someone else quoted me in her PhD dissertation. But, I'm not sure why, because I am a horrific writer. But, at least I am self aware:)

message 21: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 3038 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Nadine wrote: "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie aka R.A. Dick - my only planned book for the week! I really loved this book - it's a forgotten gem, and I highly recommend it (if you can ..."

Yes there was a movie with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney, but I used to watch the TV show, so that's the nostalgia feature for me. The book is really really good. I don't understand why it sort of fell off the radar for so many readers.

Oh whenever Charlotte NC gets an inch of snow, all hell breaks loose down there and HR sends out "disaster" emails, etc. Anything that qualifies as a snow day up here in central NY qualifies as a State of Emergency for them, so they never give me crap (not even the guys who used to live up here).

message 22: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 32 comments Hey guys, happy check in! We were supposed to get some snow this weekend in CT but it looks like it’s gonna go out to sea. We’ve barely had any snow this season so I was looking forward to it.

No finishes for me this week. I’m working my way through David Copperfield and am about 40% through it. This book is taking me forever to read. Idk why because I read Stephen King a lot so I’m used to long books but I fall asleep a lot while reading it. Hopefully I’ll be done with it by next weeks check in.


QOTW: I have a few friends that are writing books but no one that has anything published.

message 23: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 20 comments I'm 4/50.

What Have You Done:I thought it was ok and I was entertained. But none of the characters made me feel for them, so I didn't really care. I used it for #16 a book with a question.

Girl at the Grave: I really liked this book. It did keep me guessing until the end. Used for #9 meant to read in 2018.

Stalking Jack the Ripper: I also thought that this was a very good book and I plan at some point to read the rest of the books in the series. Used for #30 amateur detective.

Currently Reading:
The Bell Jar: Good so far, but depressing.
The Memoirs of Cleopatra: Listening to this as it is so long.

I do not know any.

message 24: by Mike (last edited Jan 10, 2019 06:19AM) (new)

Mike | 443 comments Still working on The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so still at 0/53.

QOTW: I asked because I know several, and I was wondering how common it was to know someone who's published something. I had considered suggesting it to PopSugar as a prompt (A Book by an Author You Personally Know), but didn't because I thought it was possible that I was the exception. So far, it looks like I am.

My list:

Tasha Alexander, author of the Lady Emily series of historical fiction. She was one of the roommates of a college girlfriend for a semester.

Andrew Grant (possibly the wrong link. I'll fix if I can). Married to my friend Tasha (above). She introduced me to him at a funeral a few years ago.

Edit: Andrew's link is incorrect. Here is his author's page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...

Tricia Zoeller, author of some good Supernatural YA books. Went to high school with her.

Teja Shankara just put out a book about spirituality. Went to high school with her too, when we knew her as Rachel.

Kurt A Schreyer is an English professor at U of Missouri at St. Louis. He and I were both chemistry majors in college together, and he published a book about Shakespeare a few years ago.

I think that's it. I'll come back and add any more that I may think of.

message 25: by Katee (new)

Katee (ktdakotareads) | 16 comments This week I finished The Queen of the Night. This was for a buddy read on Instagram and it's been sitting on my bookshelves unread for almost 2 years. I really enjoyed the story although it did get a little long in portions. I know it's loosely based on some historical figures but Chee took a lot of liberties especially with the main character, who is his own creation. I'm not a big opera fan so I like the feeling of being fully immersed in that environment. The book itself reads like an opera. It was my first book by Alexander Chee but I know it won't be the last. I used this book for the "a book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover" prompt.

Currently Reading:
Becoming I'm listening to the audiobook for this and am slowly devouring it. I'm really glad that Michelle Obama did the reading for it also since it adds another layer to her story.

All the Light We Cannot See I'm reading this as part of another buddy read on Instagram. I'm not sure where I'll fit it in for a prompt but I'll find a space. It has been on my bookshelves for a long time (seeing a trend this week) so I'm glad the buddy read gave me the push to pick it up.

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South This book is making me so mad. The writing is good but the who individuals covered in the book make me extremely mad for this arrogance which has led to so many individuals being falsely imprisoned among so many other things. I'm hoping I can finish this book over the weekend so I'm not in a feeling of constant rage when I read a book.


message 26: by Anne (new)

Anne | 70 comments It’s early yet, but I am happily 2 for 50.

I’ve finished #35, Initials with Graham Greene’s Travels with My Aunt – it was a challenging end for me personally, but most would enjoy it. I also finished a ridiculously easy one for me -- #5 – as I read C S Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
I also finished Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens for fun.
Next up, is #17, Sara Novic’s Girl at War for a college campus read. And Hide by Lisa Gardner for fun.

Question of the week:

Do any of you know an author personally? Question submitted by Mike.
Yes, I know a couple on here:
Kirby is the pastor of my church, Striano was a grad school roommate and dear, dear friend, and Frat was also a grad school roommate. Several more distant friends from college are also published, but I only listed those I have phone numbers for...

message 27: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments I am 1/50 for the PopSugar challenge.

This week I finished The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I really enjoyed this book. There are a lot of twists in the plot. Even right up to the end. This book I am using for the multiple POVs prompt.

I am currently reading WarcrossWarcross by Marie Lu, I am using this book fro the LitRPG book. I am almost finished and have been enjoying it. I hope to finish it by the weekend. I then plan to to start The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to fulfill the book about a game or puzzle prompt.

I am happy that I have been able to stay on track with my reading goals this year. I am planning to read 52 books this year. I love to read and have a couple of years recently that I have not read that much. I am trying this challenge to increase my reading and the diversity of what i read. So far I have been enjoying it.

QOTW: I have several friends that have self-published books.

message 28: by Megan (new)

Megan (MGHRT06) | 511 comments I'm reading two bigger books (big for me lol) so its taking me longer to make any progress on them. Hopefully this weekend I can get one (or both?) wrapped up.

Listening to Darker. Still have the same feelings on it. This will be one of my favorite prompts from prior challenge.

Reading Illuminae - I don't feel the love that everyone else does for this book. Unpopular opinion here... This will be my book set in space. I might try to audio book the rest of them in the series.

Still at 1/42 regular, 0/10 advanced, and no non-challenge reads.

message 29: by Kenya (last edited Jan 10, 2019 06:31AM) (new)

Kenya Starflight | 328 comments Happy Thursday, all!

Saw "Bohemian Rhapsody" this past weekend. Good movie. Now makes me want to binge-listen to Queen and/or find a memoir on Freddie Mercury to read...

Finished four books this week, three for the challenge:

Anonymous Rex -- "book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature," in this case a Velociraptor. The premise is absolutely goofy (dinosaurs living in secret among humans), but somehow the author makes it WORK convincingly, and just plain has fun with his premise.

The Invisibility Factor -- "choose-your-own-adventure book." Because I'm a dork and a Transformers fan, I picked up our library's lone Transformers CYOA book. The writing was abysmal and the nerdy fan in me kept nitpicking pieces of it ("Prowl and Galvatron weren't even alive at the same time!"), but I can see kids who don't care so much about continuity enjoying it.

Master of Reality -- "book written by a musician," in this case John Darnielle of the band The Mountain Goats. Short but surprisingly powerful read about a young man trying to explain the impact the band Black Sabbath had on his life.

Dragonflight -- graphic novel, not for the challenge. A graphic-novel adaptation of the first book in Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonriders of Pern" series, this was a delightful curiosity, though it feels a bit rushed to me and doesn't really bother to explain things too well to people unfamiliar with the series.

DNFed Less, which I'd picked for the "book involving a wedding" prompt. Just couldn't get invested in the story (what there was of it) or the characters. Ah well.

Regular challenge -- 2/40
Advanced challenge -- 2/10
Non-challenge reads -- 1

Currently reading:

The Book Thief -- "book with over one million ratings on Goodreads." Hope to finish this one today
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing -- "book you meant to read in 2018"


I don't know any authors personally, but I've exchanged correspondence with a few -- Tony James Slater, Andy Weir, James Dashner (WAY before "Maze Runner" became popular), Christopher Moore, and Ari Marmell.

message 30: by Maran (last edited Jan 10, 2019 06:30AM) (new)

Maran | 6 comments √ 4/50 read

Hey hey! I can't believe it's already time for the next check in. The week flew by. Sadly, I haven't been able to read much since classes started, especially because exams are coming up. However, I did finish a couple of books:

Artemis Fowl: for prompt 1. This one of my favourite series when I was younger. This particular book, however, was not my favourite. I'm also not a fan of audiobooks (I tend to tune out, which is a shame. Maybe someone has any tips on how to deal with that?). But yeah, it was nice to revisit this. Definitely makes me want to read the rest of the series again.

Style Yourself: for prompt 8. It was fine. I mean, I initially bought the book to look at the pretty pictures. And I do like fashion (I just don't care for trends, most of the time). I also like to use it as inspiration/reference for drawing, since there are a lot of different kinds of clothing and fabric in those pictures. But yeah, it didn't blow my mind or anything.

Harry Potter en de Steen der Wijzen: for prompt 2. This is the Dutch translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Again, not my favourite book of the series (I think for me that would be 4... if I remember correctly). Maybe I've got something against last and first books of series (but more against last books). I had a bit of a rough start (I never liked the beginning to begin with), but I ended up remembering why I love HP so much. And because of that, it ended up being a one-nighter.

Other than that, I'm currently reading the following books:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: for prompt 49. Eeehh, I'm not loving it so far. I did enjoy the couple of pages I read last week though, but this week I couldn't get into it. Although that might just be the exam-related stress. I tend to want to read different kind of stuff when I have to work a lot with scientific articles. But I want to give this book an honest chance, so that's why I've decided to take a bit of a break from it.

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic: for prompt 3. Now this one is perfect for the short attention span I've got going now. Also, I love fairytales.

I don't know any authors. At least, as far as I know.

message 31: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 143 comments I finished three books for this challenge this week:
#4 Should be a movie A Court of Thorns and Roses - It was ok, but if this does not become a movie or a CW tv series, I will eat the book. It hits all of the YA fantasy stereotypes and still is a decent story.
#9 Meant to read in 2018 A Closed and Common Orbit I really love this series. It's basically a character study set in a Sci-fi world that is not 100% human focused. I had no idea that I was missing this in my life before I read the first one.
#44 During the season it is set The Bear and the Nightingale I purposely wanted a winter book to get this out of the way early. I felt that it was too many characters that didn't get fully fleshed out or at least I couldn't follow closely enough to appreciate them. I have this complaint with some other Russian novels, so I guess that just means that it is true to its original material.

Currently Reading
The Labyrinth of the Spirits I got this just after 2019 started so I didn't have it in my plan for any of my challenges. I love this series, and tried to find Siempre and Sons when I went to Barcelona. Turns out while it is on Google Maps, it is not a real place. I'm sure the locals thought I was nuts just walking back and forth.

I know two writers. One was a guy who wasn't a friend but we ran into each other on a semi-regular basis. He had a book published that was relatively well received. It actually made things kinda awkward because I read it and had some major issues with it, but I didn't feel comfortable saying anything on Goodreads or any of my public forums in case he found it and then cornered me at a happy hour.

The other has a book that she finished a year ago and I get regular updates on how the process to get published works. It's been fascinating hearing her "speed dating" process to get an agent. Her book is a genre that I'm not a super fan of, so again, I'm really nervous about it being awkward when I finally read it. She's a good friend so I actually care about her feelings and I know that the two main characters are like her babies at this point.

message 32: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 488 comments Maran wrote: "I'm also not a fan of audiobooks (I tend to tune out, which is a shame. Maybe someone has any tips on how to deal with that?)..."

I had the same problem with audiobooks and only really got the hang of them last year. The narrator makes a huge difference, there are some accents that I just struggle to tune into, so try a few samples and see if there's someone's voice you just love listening to.

My second tip is to listen to them whilst doing something else that doesn't require much thinking. I listen whilst walking and washing up and the physical activity really helps for some reason. I cannot just sit and listen to an audiobook, my mind wanders.

message 33: by Errlee (new)

Errlee | 78 comments Kristen wrote: "Hey guys, happy check in! We were supposed to get some snow this weekend in CT but it looks like it’s gonna go out to sea. We’ve barely had any snow this season so I was looking forward to it.

No ..."

You can have some of ours! We've had snow all week. Actually though, I don't mind the snow, but the -18 Celsius we are getting for the next 3 days, along with gusting winds making it feel like -30, means I will (hopefully) be staying inside reading all weekend.

This week was so-so for actually getting stuff read. I spent a lot of my time planning my reading for a bunch of the challenges and ordering books, so now hopefully I can get down to reading them! On that note, I was reading all the posts about all the different ereading options out there and got excited about Hoopla, since I noticed our library has that as well as Overdrive (we are limited to 10 on that I think). So signed up and got a notice that not only is there a 4 item limit but NO BOOKS - only movies, tv and music. Sigh. So much for that.

As I said, didn't make a lot of progress this week.

Finished: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle for the monthly reading for January, and the puzzle prompt. I really enjoyed it but would have preferred reading it on hard copy rather than in eBook format because I kept wanting to go back and look over things and I find that too hard to do in an ebook (but I was so far down on the hold list - I was lucky enough to snag it on an ebook Express platform we have at my library - Cloud Reader. You only get it for a week though and no renewals or holds).

Currently Reading:
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. Didn't make any progress on this one this week since I was focused on finishing Evelyn Hardcastle before it self destructed on my iPad. Reading this for my book club and might slot it into the two-word title prompt.

What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal by by Zoë Heller for the 5Ws prompt for the ATY challenge. Might also use it for a title ending with a question mark prompt here but not sure how much doubling up I want to do yet. Just started this last night and so far I'm enjoying it - wondering though if some of the views on sexual exploitation etc. will feel outdated in light of current views (even though it's only from 2003) - haven't read far enough in yet to get a sense of it though.

Used to be friendly with Joanne Proulx Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet and We All Love the Beautiful Girls. Her kids are same age as mine and we used to be in a group of women who, instead of a book club, did "cultural" outings - plays, dance, museum etc. That was a few years ago though and from what I've heard, she's gone on to become pretty rich and famous :) Well as much as us Canadians ever are - believe her first book is being made into a movie.

message 34: by Liz (new)

Liz Fothergill | 27 comments Finished WARLIGHT, which was a book recommended by President Obama. I have to say I was disappointed after all of the glowing reviews. Oh well, it happens. Next finished DEFY THE STARS for a book set in outer space. Quick read and entertaining. Just finished INKHEART, which was a book about someone with a superpower. This book could also work for magical creatures, and satisfies my January book for the unread shelf project. A bit of a slog at 500+ pages, even for a middle grade book. Yesterday I made a stop at the local library and picked up PRIDE by Ibi Zoboi which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I’m still on two waitlists for a copy of the January book-THE 7 1/2 DEATHS...hopefully that will come through soon as I’ll be away for a week soon! SMALL FRY, NOTORIOUS RBG, and THE LIBRARY BOOK are also checked out so I better get reading! Best wishes fellow bookworms!

message 35: by Storm (new)

Storm | 44 comments 1/50

I finished Mary Poppins for the family prompt.

I am currently reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle for the game prompt.

I know some people who are published for academics and poetry but no novel authors.

message 36: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 115 comments Katee wrote: "The writing is good but the who individuals covered in the book make me extremely mad for this arrogance which has led to so many individuals being falsely imprisoned among so many other things. I'm hoping I can finish this book over the weekend so I'm not in a feeling of constant rage when I read a book."

I've been reading a lot of books recently that have led me to feeling this way. I get so mad at past societal norms and the bigotry and greed that some people have.

message 37: by Hope (new)

Hope | 100 comments Finished 5 books this week, 3 of which I started last year or they would have worked so well for some of the prompts! Alas. As it is, I still got 2 prompts covered, which puts me at 3/50.

A Dragon of a Different Color- (started last year) I'm disappointed in this one because the first 2 books were so good, but this book is mostly dialogue and info-dumps with no moving forward on the plot.

Dead I Well May Be- (A book you meant to read last year) The author was allergic to quotation marks, which put me off at first, but then it sucked me in and I was up in the wee hours reading.

The Night Circus- (Started last year or this would have been perfect for a book that should be made into a movie!) At first the 3rd person present tense made my eye twitch, but Jim Dale's narration made it tolerable. It's beautifully written and I would love to see it on a screen! The aesthetics here are the best part of the book.

Last Dragon Standing- (A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature) I figured I might as well finish out the series since it's on kindle unlimited, but like the previous book, characters spent most of their time talking and not doing.

Romeo and Juliet- (started last year or it would have worked for common phrase/idiom) SOOO sad but SOOO good!

Alas I don't know any author personally, unless you count a college classmate who had a short story in an anthology.

message 38: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 3038 comments Mod
Mike wrote: "Still working on The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so still at 0/53.

QOTW: I asked because I know several, and I was wondering how common it was to know someone who's published s..."

my goodness there must be something in the water where you live!! that's a lot of authors! do you feel extra pressure to read all their books?

message 39: by Laura//lauralovestoread (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:07AM) (new)

Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas       | 81 comments 8/100

Week 2 was another good reading week for me! Back to the grind after the holidays so I was worried my reading would take a hit, but I was still able to get in my reading and hit other new year goals too. I’m still reading prompts by the order they come, and having success doing this so far, since I went all out of order last year and struggled towards the end.

Books Read:
I ended up reading a total of 4 books this week! I read one from my oldest TBR, and a new release, as well as the Popsugar Book for January.
Walking Disaster⭐️⭐️⭐️(Oldest TBR)
Children of Blood and Bone⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
True Places⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (New Release)

Currently Reading:
A Spark of Light
The Wicked King
When It Rains (week 2 prompt)

Question of the week:

Do any of you know an author personally? No but I wish that I did! How fun that would be to pick the brain of a writer and authir

message 40: by Tracy (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:13AM) (new)

Tracy (TracyIsReading) | 523 comments Happy Thursday everyone!!!! Wow that one dragged for me. I have caught a miserable cold and I haven't stopped sneezing for the last few days :-(

Ive been doing equal parts Netflix binging and reading lol, but I did get a few done.

@Jen: How scary!!! I'm glad you're Ok and that they ran from you. Lucky girl!! I would have had trouble sleeping as well.

I'm reading about all of this snow and wondering when we will get some here in CT?? It feels more like a cool spring here so far, temps in the 40s and sometimes 50s and rain. Lots of rain!! My yard is just mud. I hate snow, but I would have liked to see some this weekend.

I finished 3 books this week and have 3 on the go...

His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. I really loved Uprooted by this author so I expected to enjoy this much more than I did. My problem seemed to fall in the middle, which was when I had a lot of personal stuff going on at home, so I wonder now if I just wasn't in a good mental place to enjoy it. Looking at my notes, I loved the beginning and the end. This was a carry over from 2018 ATY for Alternate History, where talking Dragons are used as vessels to fight the Napoleonic Wars. I did love reading about the dragons, and I loved Temeraire. My biggest issue was the way his rider spoke to him ( a lot of " My Darlings" ).... However I'm still thinking about it, ( The ending was amazing), and I know I missed a lot in the last 3rd of the book, so I'm feeling more and more like this may be a re try for me in the future?

84, Charing Cross Road for an epistolary novel. This was short and sweet and I spent a really cozy hour on the couch reading it. I loved Helene's letters. Very sassy. Didn't realize this was non fiction, which really made the book for me! I love that she developed a long distance relationship with all of the people in the book. It was like her friendship just spread.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret for a book that makes you nostalgic. It worked!! This brought back so many memories for me. Its a book that I read over and over in my pre teen years and loved. Still loved it :-)
I have one more book from my childhood to pick up from the library so I'll be doubling up on this prompt ( it might turn out to be my favorite) Behind the Attic Wall. I'll have that done by next week, since it will be a quick read.

Right now I'm working on:
The Westing Game for the game prompt. I'm about halfway through and will most likely finish tonight. I had never heard of this, but to all who said it was a great book, you were right! I'm enjoying it very much! I'm curious to figure out what the puzzle is.

The Marrow Thieves ( for ATY, won an award in a genre you enjoy). I always love a good dystopian. Still waiting for this one to grab me, I'm about 1/4 in.

and If I Could Turn Back Time by Nicola Doherty ( for ATY, an author with ATY in their name). I saw this on my feed and it looked cute. Its a time travel theme/ love story and I adore time travel. Also the MCs name is Zoe ( which is my daughters name). Just about 1/4 through this one too, and so far its cute and quick.

I'm trying to prioritize all these library holds I have here. I'll have to renew them next week. I have so many sitting on my table. OOPS :/
I have waiting
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
Swan Song ( almost 1000 pages !!!!!)
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Woman in the Window
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
The Book of M
Scrappy Little Nobody
and I have to go pick up The Perfect Nanny
Also #6 on hold for My Sister, the Serial Killer

Many of these are not priority or are backups/second choices for categories, so they may just get returned. I really need to get on it LOL. Thank god for interlibrary loans :-)

QOTW: I don't know any authors personally, but my ex's old co worker wrote and published a self help book. I just found this out recently so I'm sort of curious to read it. ( Ha! No time for that though)

message 41: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 3038 comments Mod
Ellie wrote: "... My second tip is to listen to them whilst doing something else that doesn't require much thinking. I listen whilst walking and washing up and the physical activity really helps for some reason. I cannot just sit and listen to an audiobook, my mind wanders. ..."

SAME!!! I'm a very visual person, I cannot just sit and listen to someone without something to look at to hold my attention (college lectures without visual aids were death for me). So I used to think I could not like audiobooks UNTIL I figured out that I can listen to them while I drive! that part of my brain that needs something to look at is also the part of my brain that drives the car, and the part of my brain that can become immerse in a story is NOT used to drive the car. This was a very happy discovery for me! Then I found other things I can do while I listen to audiobooks: wash dishes, wrap presents, and mow the lawn. I hate mowing the lawn, but that's a good few hours of audiobook time every week in the summer. (I tried listening to an audiobook during a bus ride but I kept falling asleep so that was sort of a fail, but also okay because I didn't like the audiobook and was glad to just Get Through It, even if I was asleep for part of the story. It was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - ugh that book was so tedious.)

message 42: by Brooke (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:16AM) (new)

Brooke | 218 comments @Nadine, I believe it about the snow reaction in North Carolina. My corporate office is in South Carolina and I get 3-5 weather updates from HR on days that could possibly involve inclement weather. And I live in Dallas, so there is massive panic if there is even a hint of snow or ice/freezing rain in the forecast. We do have a lot of elevated roads, overpasses and on/off ramps stacked 5 high (so very elevated...the one closest to me is actually nicknamed "The High Five"), so I understand it. But since I grew up in the Midwest where weather is a part of life, I still get amused.

message 43: by Brooke (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:26AM) (new)

Brooke | 218 comments Hi everyone and happy check-in day! Work has been completely bonkers since the 1st. My industry is busier in the winter months and one of our veteran team members just gave notice, so it will be busy for a while. I'm really looking forward to this weekend.

I finished quite a few books this week. I've been spending evenings reading to decompress from hectic days, so I read more this week than my norm. I am now at 3/50 for Popsugar and 3/52 for Around the Year.

Books I finished:
Those Girls by Chevy Stevens (Popsugar #31: A book about a family). Three teenaged sisters barely escape a couple of bad situations. Flash forward 18 years and there is still trouble. I should’ve DNF this one; it made me angry and I might have yelled at the pages (and threw the book) once or twice. I only finished because I’m stubborn and kept hoping someone would finally make a good decision. Not really.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman (Popsugar #25: A debut novel). I watched the Netflix movie over Christmas, which I enjoyed for the most part, which was the push I needed to finally read this book that I’ve owned for over a year. There were a lot of changes from book to movie, but I didn’t really have a problem with any of them. Both are good on their own merit.

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher, Dresden Files #11 (Around the Year: 2 books related to the same topic/genre/theme). I originally planned to take a break to keep it fresh, but at book 11 it still hasn’t slowed down. Very few series can incorporate as many characters and as much action without getting trite or formulaic as this one. This story was one of my favorites so far! So, of course, I had to continue the series with…
Changes by Jim Butcher, Dresden Files #12 (Around the Year: 2 books related to the same topic/genre/theme) This was a page turner, and all of the action and decisions Wizard Dresden made had very real, very serious consequences. And it ended with a major cliffhanger, so now I have to read #13. Obviously.

Her Last Word by Mary Burton (Around the Year: Book where the author’s name contains A, T, Y). This was just okay. A high school girl went missing after a party, and 17 years later one of the women she was with is investigating the case via podcast. The chapters alternate between present day and podcast interviews, which was a bit distracting in this story, even though I usually like that style.

I am currently reading:
The Martian by Andy Weir (Popsugar #20: A book set in space). I should finish this tonight.
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (Popsugar #36: A ghost story)

QOTW: I know a few people who have published books, but none of them are greatly known as authors, at least. One of my uncles has published a few things related to his field (he is a genius electrical engineer who owns over a dozen patents). And a few years ago I dated a guy who is Director of a luxury travel agency, so his clients are all of the “who’s who” in the Dallas area. Many of our evenings out involved drinks with clients who used to play football or own big companies and have published things or dinner at a restaurant owned by someone who has a couple of published cookbooks. I know all of them enough to talk to at a party, but I wouldn’t call them anything more than an acquaintance.

message 44: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 121 comments Good morning all! The temperature here has been very up and down. We had a blizzard a week ago so the fluctuating temps makes it very very icy. It's an adventure walking my kid to school.

This week I finished:

The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman- for ATY
Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun- for ATY
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (fits PS4, 19, 20, 46) - A book with no chapters
Talon, Volume 2: The Fall of the Owls by James Tynion IV- for ATY
Artemis by Andy Weir- Meant to read in 2018

Nobody well-known. My English professor from when I was in college has a few published poetry books. My dad had a few short stories published in magazines. He wrote a book but it never did get published.
Lots of peer-reviewed-journal authors.

message 45: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 3038 comments Mod
Hope wrote: "... Dead I Well May Be- (A book you meant to read last year) The author was allergic to quotation marks, which put me off at first, but then it sucked me in and I was up in the wee hours reading...."

GAHHHH what is with this new trend of just skipping the quotation marks?? why, authors? WHY??? I've read three books in the last two months that do this. Are new young authors just too hip for standard punctuation? Am I now an old curmudgeon?

(By the way, I TOTALLY count books towards the challenge even if I started them last year. You know. If one of those reads was really perfect for this year's challenge or something.)

message 46: by Elizabeth (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:28AM) (new)

Elizabeth Singleton | 4 comments I've read A Game of Thrones (reread of a favorite), and I'm going to finish Circe (book inspired by myth/folklore/legend) today. I'm also wading my way through Where the Crawdads Sing (a book you meant to read in 2018). I'm honestly having trouble getting through it, despite the reviews, but I go back to it every now and then!

message 47: by Fannie (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:36AM) (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 373 comments Hello,

We're in the beginning of a cold front here with temperature near -30°C (-22F) for the next few days. It will be a good excuse to stay inside and read.

I like stories about snow in places where it doesn't snow often. It's not easy when you're not prepared and you don't have the infrastructure. Good luck to all of you. This is what it looks like here the day after a snowstorm:

I didn't finish anything this week.

Currently reading:

Le Tour du monde en 80 jours for the nostalgia prompt. I used to watch a cartoon based on that book when I was young and it was one of my favorite.

Maybe there was an English version? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nk3a...

It's a re-read for me and still love that book. I could have finish it already, but I want to take my time.

We Are Legion - We Are Bob for the prompt of a book set in space. I am loving that one too. It's everything I like in science fiction. Space exploration, aliens, geeky references, sarcastic humor.

QOTW: My husband's uncle published children's books, but I have never met him.

message 48: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 124 comments My kids finally went back to school today! Woohoo! I do love spending time with my kids over the break, but it's just so hard to get things done, so I'm happy to be back to our normal routine.

Pachinko (39. Book revolving around puzzle or game. Could also be used for book about a family or author from Asia) I just finished this last night and I'm still processing my feelings about it. It's the story of 4 generations of a Korean family from 1910 to 1989, and takes place mostly in Japan. From reading the Acknowledgments, I learned that the author wanted to explore what it was like for the Korean Japanese from this time period and the ongoing discrimination they faced in Japan. She lived in Tokyo for a time and interviewed many people about their own experiences, which served as research and inspiration for the book and it's characters.

Challenge Progress
1/50 completed

Currently Reading
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (31. book about a family)
Ariel (13. book published posthumously)
The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament (26. book published in 2019)

I know two authors personally, and I knew both of them before they were authors.

Aubrey Sampson was my college roommate and is still a close friend. Her second book, The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament, comes out on February 5th. I'm reading it right now and it's so good. I know I'm biased, and I can't separate my feelings about her from my feelings about the book, but she's just such a genuinely beautiful person and so is the book.

I met Tom Leveen in high school and was in a small theater company with him for awhile, and maybe dated him for like a month when I was 18. He writes primarily YA and horror, and I read his first YA novel, Party, for the PopSugar challenge last year and enjoyed it. I hadn't seen him in 18 years (except for on Facebook), but then I ran into him at the park just last week! It was really fun to see him again and to catch up.

message 49: by Ellie (last edited Jan 10, 2019 07:49AM) (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 488 comments Fannie wrote: "Le Tour du monde en 80 jours for the nostalgia prompt. I used to watch a cartoon based on that book when I was young and it was one of my favorite. Maybe there was an English version?

Yes! It was called Around the World with Willy Fog and I adored it. I think it was by the same people that made Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds...

message 50: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Sweeney Campbell | 8 comments This is my first Pop Sugar Challenge, and I am already having a ton of fun reading/researching books to fill the prompts.

I started with:
The Other Woman - A book with an item of clothing on the front cover (Wedding dress). It was an exciting read, so I got through it quickly. Overall, it wasnt my favorite book, but it was entertaining enough.

Next was The Sun Is Also a Star - A book that will be a movie in 2019 (release date in May I think). This YA book melted my heart. I am a scientist, so something about the female protagonist really resonated with me.

#3 - Less - I had been on the waiting list for this book at my local library for a long time. I still havent decided which prompt I want to use this for. 1) A book I meant to read in 2018. 2) A book that includes a wedding. I'm not sure if this is too much of a stretch. The plot circles around the main character traveling the world to avoid an ex-lovers wedding.

#4- I am currently reading America's First Daughter - A book with two female authors. This is a historical fiction novel about Patsy Jefferson, daughter to Thomas Jefferson. I'm about 1/2 way through and I enjoy it greatly. I have been doing some background research on events within the book, and I think the authors took a few liberties with the facts. I might not recommend it to true history buffs, but if you like historical fiction, I would put it on a MUST READ list.

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