Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2019 Weekly Checkins > Week 36: 8/30 – 9/5

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy September everyone! It's still hot here, but once September starts I'm itching to pull out my fall scents, food, clothes and reads. These things will be making an appearance in my house in the coming weeks!

I hope anyone in the path of Hurricane Dorian is staying safe and dry!

Admin stuff: Don't forget that our new group read discussion of A Discovery of Witches is open now: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

On to the check-in!


The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. I had written off this author a few years ago after reading (and hating) The Woman in Cabin 10. A friend convinced me to give her another try. Last week I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway and then I borrowed this one from her right afterwards. I loved them both! I took issue with the ending of The Turn of the Key. Not everything was wrapped up tidy, but I’m ok with that to a degree. What I had an issue with was it seemed like she threw everything but the kitchen sink in at the end and it just wasn’t a balanced, well-plotted ending. Still a good read though.

A Better Man by Louise Penny – I was so excited to return to the world of Three Pines, Inspector Gamache and all the characters in this series. I just finished it this morning and am still processing.

Currently reading:

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. It's a sort of retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale, but there's also a fictionalized storyline of the most well-known writer of the original text (not the first, but the one who created the story we know best today). We'll see how this goes!

Kristin Lavransdatter - I'm reading this as part of Currently Reading's "slow but steady". It's well over 1,000 pages so it's going to take me a while, but I really want to read it.

Question of the week:

How do you feel about authors reviewing their own books on Goodreads?

I think the author, like any other reader, has the right to review any book. I think they should declare within the text of their review that they ARE the author (and most of the ones I’ve seen have done this), but otherwise I see no issue with using that platform to help promote their book.

message 2: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Happy Thursday everyone!

This past week is always a bit of an unusual one for me. Last Thursday was my anniversary, Monday was Labor Day which I was surprised to have gotten off, Tuesday was my birthday and yesterday we found out the sex of our baby (boy). So kind of a fun week all in all. I finished two books this past week, both on the smaller side and have 3 in the pipeline.

I started the week off with The Joy Luck Club which I've been meaning to read for ages. Had a hard time rating this one as it's not the type of book that I usually enjoy. I tend to struggle to get through family saga type books or books that don't necessarily have a strong main plotline. I found myself lingering about picking it back up when I would set it down for the evening. Once I finished it, however, I was really glad to have read it. Individually, I enjoyed each of the characters stories, especially the mothers histories. Reading about the relationships between the mothers and daughters was interesting especially as you learned more about each character through the various memories.

I followed this up with A Court of Frost and Starlight which is a novella that I thought was supposed to be a bridge between the first three books and what comes next and I can't help but wondering where I heard that as this book was just kind of nothingness? I mean I enjoyed it, but there was pretty much zero plotline. It was just a book with familiar characters as they celebrate a holiday. I don't really feel like it tidied up anything or introduced anything new and maybe it wasn't supposed to. It was a bit like reading the first 200 pages of the next book with all of the main plot removed. I think perhaps if the next book was already out and I were able to read this just before moving on to that it would have had more impact. Maybe I'm just a little saucy that my favorite character was basically in the book for a total of 3 pages and his story-line wasn't really advanced that much.

Currently Reading:

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World - I may end up marking this DNF. It already auto-returned on my kindle and I've yet to re-check it out again. I really found this interesting but it's a pretty dry delivery. I'm not connecting with it in the way that I usually do when I find things interesting. Kind of bummed out about that.

Pieces of Her - Had to check this out based on Nadine's review of it last week. About half way through and am really intrigued to see where this thing is going to go as I'm a bit lost (which I think is exactly where Slaughter means for me to be).

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" - Just started this last night so not too far in at the moment. I was surprised to stumble upon the fact that this was published posthumously in the introduction so I'll be using it to check off that prompt.

As an aside, I just went to update my reading list post and found out that I already hit the character cap on comments (12,000). I'm tracking both ATY and PS challenges and guess I read a lot of books with really long subtitles this year!


I have no problem with it but agree that they should really disclose their conflict of interest in the review itself so that other readers are aware. It actually makes me happy to run across these reviews as you sometimes get a little insight into the authors personality and what that books means to them.

message 3: by Jen (last edited Sep 06, 2019 01:27AM) (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 777 comments Hello everyone,
Congratulations Brittany! On Monday I found out I could take 2 of my students to meet Prince Edward in a couple of weeks. I was invited over a week ago but they didn't say I could take kids till 4.30 pm Monday and I had to let them know by 5pm. Of course I was on the phone to parents straight away and lets just say they thought I had gone mad till they realised it actually was an invite. Managed to get the kids names in at 4.55pm so it should be way more fun now to see their reactions.

Read: The Walking Dead, Vol. 30: New World Order (haven't read 29 yet as it is on back order so this was a surprise)
The Walking Dead, Vol. 31: The Rotten Core

The Bus on Thursday which I read in a day and was left a little bit open to interpretation but with enough clues so that you were not too confused re what happened. Really should have been marking but this one captured my attention thoroughly even if the main character needed a good slap/locking up at times.

Cold Kill Missed this one out so had to edit....it was for my august Trim. Light weight and enjoyable. If you like P.J. Tracy you'll like this.

Currently reading solar car evaluations and global warming essays.

Don't read reviews except by a few people on here as my opinion tends to differ from the popular one, hence couldn't care less.

message 4: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 740 comments I finished The Nightingale as my book recommended by a celebrity. I loved it so much that I just ignored the plotholes, but I do admit they are there.

I am still working on The Best American Short Stories 2000 as a book of short stories. Some are better than others.

I have started Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Trilogy as my book with love in the title. Honestly not really loving it, but I think it's beautifully written. Either the author, or the translator, really has a way with words.

QOTW: I don't mind as long as they say they're the author. I don't put too much store in it though. Obviously an author is going to like their own work.

message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 720 comments I'm so happy it's September! We're getting close to sweater weather! I've decided to reread The Lord of the Rings beginning with The Hobbit. I always do this during September because September 22 is Frodo and Bilbo's birthday. Goodreads tells me the last time I read the series was 9 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long, but because it has been, I'm rediscovering parts I'd forgotten.

The Hobbit or There and Back Again by JRR Tolkien (a book with a million ratings on goodreads)

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. We're finally at the barricade!

I think it's fine if authors rate/review their own book. Most of them seem to use it as a way to talk about why they wrote the book or to thank readers for reading it. It's the most visible place for them to do that, so I think it's fine. I don't think I've seen an author actually critique their own work, so I think of their posts in the review section as more of an introduction.

message 6: by Nadine in NY (last edited Sep 05, 2019 05:32AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6334 comments Mod
Good morning! Today is the first day of school for my kids; younger kid was especially nervous since she’s starting junior high and doesn’t know the teachers, etc. Which means Thursday caught me by surprise this week! The asters just started blooming, and mornings are getting cooler, and it was completely dark when I got up this morning, so I guess it’s fall now.

I had a very “meh” reading week, although I read a lot. This week I finished five books and DNFed two. None of the completed books were for the Challenge, so I remain 47/50.

Bury It poetry by Sam Sax - this was ok.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi - not as good as his previous book, but still really powerful.

The Grifters by Jim Thompson - I keep trying to like Jim Thompson, and I keep failing. (Or, he keeps failing me.) Now i want to rewatch this movie.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - this was okay, it kind of dragged on a bit too long.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older - this was disappointing. I would recommend it for middle school readers.

And possibly because I was so disappointed by most of my books, I had less patience than usual with mediocrity, and I DNFed both these books before I got past twenty pages. When you know, you know!
Dust by Joan Frances Turner - this zombie book was going to be one of my two books with the same title. I hated the writing. Luckily I’ve got several other “title pairs” to choose from, so I dropped this like a hot potato.
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen - this sounded like it would be a fun read, but it was pretty dull. I’ve got a huge pile of books waiting to be read, no sense making myself miserable by reading something I don’t want to read.

I hate it!!! If I see that an author has reviewed his/her own book, I will probably not read the book. If they are that insecure about their book’s success that they think they need to add their own review to pump up the rating, then the book probably isn’t very good. Self-promotion on other social media platforms, like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, is great, and often WILL get me to read a book, but reviewing their own book on a book-reviewing platform just crosses a line for me.

message 7: by Anne (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 49/50


Alexander McCall Smith’s My Italian Bulldozer was a cute journey of personal discovery for a man whose wife left him for a personal trainer. Seeing Tuscany through the eyes of a bulldozer gives him new insight into who he is.

Mrs. Morris and the Ghost was a first installment in a cozy series about a B&B in Salem Massachusetts. I almost bought a home there and my sister and her family lived in Salem for several years. It was pretty clear the author, Traci Wilton, wasn’t from the area. My library seems to have a glut of ghost cozies – I’d love less silly options. Mrs. Morris stumbles across the ghost of the victim haunting her B&B, which had previously been his home.

The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell was for my European reads as books set in Latvia are rare. It was another jaunt into the world of Nordic Noir – it’s not my cup of tea. The first 50 pages of the book had such promise – two well dressed bodies appear in a raft washed up in Sweden. The Latvian police officer who flies over ends up dead almost immediately upon his return home. Wallender, our Swede detective, goes to Sweden to investigate and the book stops being so intriguing.

Italian Iced by was the third in a series about a former cook to the stars making her way in a diner in Ohio. The star was found dead in her freezer. Brrr! I really liked this one – there were a lot of suspects from which to chose.

24.) Why We Broke Up was a book set in a day. Gosh, what a sad state of affairs this one is. I’m not a fan of teenage angst, swearing, and promiscuity, so this was just not the book for me. I would never recommend this for a young adult.

In Progress

The Egyptian Antiquities Murderby Sara Rosett is a 1920s set British house murder. It’s charming! Olive Bellgrave is assisting a friend in reopening the case of her uncle’s death. The predictably incompetent bumbling detective could care less and is fine with calling it suicide.

If the Haunting Fits, Wear It by Rose Pressey sucked me in with the Kentucky Derby and vintage clothes. Sadly, the rest of the plot is silly and the MC is named Cookie Chanel. Three ghosts are ‘helping’ Cookie, the protagonist’s grandmother is reincarnated as a cat, and Cookie has stolen evidence from the scene of the crime.

QOTWAuthor reviewing on Goodreads
I’m not a fan – the author should clearly state they are the author, but their review is inherently biased.

message 8: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 894 comments I only have 5 books left to complete Popsugar, and am similarly close to completing other challenges. I am very excited for this and looking forward to just reading whatever I feel like for a few months. Last year was my first year and I finished in December.

Sing, Unburied, Sing
Snow Country for book by author from Asia.
Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World for book about a hobby.
Freshwater I am including this one since I will be done later today. What a weird (in a good way) and interesting book. The author narrates the audiobook and does a really good job.

Currently reading:

Slightly ashamed to admit that I have still never written a Goodreads review, and rarely read them. So I don't have much of an opinion, although it seems like an odd thing to do.

message 9: by Brandy (last edited Sep 05, 2019 05:51AM) (new)

Brandy B (bybrandy) | 260 comments You are the 4th person this week that I've read is having a boy... odd streak. Congrats!

Another week of just one read for me... another odd streak.

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy which ticks a few potential boxes but I haven't figured out which box I'm ticking, yet. It was really a lot of fun if you like dystopian YA which, I do... and the cast of characters was wildly inclusive. I hope, however, that the characters get more to their personality than their gender and sexual identies in the next book,which I do fully intend to read.

currently reading
The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine by Jennifer Gunter

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

Snow White Red-Handed by Maia Chance


Unless it is clearly a joke and the author is all, "This book is a bit pants," I LOATHE it. Seriously, will not read. Nope. Out.

message 10: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 662 comments Hey y’all.

This week ended on a sucky note, so I’m going to forget about it by talking books. That always works, right?

Books read this week:

The Folded World -- sequel to The Habitation of the Blessed. Not quite as good as the first, but still a gorgeous and complicated tale. I really, really want the final book in this trilogy, dangit!

Treasure Island -- I read an illustrated version of this classic years ago, and watched two film adaptations of it (“Muppet Treasure Island” and “Treasure Planet”), but had never read the original before. Quite fun.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women -- non-fiction book about the “Shining Women,” radium-dial painters in the 1920s who were told for years that the radioactive paint they worked with was harmless, and the legal battle they fought with the companies that employed them when they started falling ill. This book was absolutely heartbreaking and made me angry plenty of times, but it’s ultimately a triumphant story about the human spirit as well.

Pumpkinheads -- graphic novel by one of my favorite writers, Rainbow Rowell. A sweet and lighthearted story about two teens enjoying one last night at the pumpkin patch they work at. And would work perfectly for “read a book during the season it’s set in,” whether you count fall as starting at the beginning of September or wait until the actual equinox to pick it up.


The Last Astronaut -- I was expecting a fun first-contact sci-fi story… I didn’t realize it was horror until I saw some Goodreads reviews. I didn’t get far enough to hit the horror bits, but it was just so DRY and boring and full of bland, uninteresting characters that I gave up before I got to that point.

Currently Reading:

Southern Bound
A Hundred Thousand Worlds


I personally don't like it -- there are other ways for authors to promote their book and connect with readers -- but so long as they're up-front about being the author I can mostly ignore it. But I've heard too many stories about authors artificially jacking up the ratings of their books via sock-puppet accounts (Glora Tesch and Robert Stanek come to mind) that it always makes me side-eye a book hard when an author posts a review on their own work.

message 11: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 202 comments Hello All!

I have had another week of mysteries and mind candy. That is fine for a while, but I am getting frustrated that I can't just sit down and focus on a book with a little more depth. Don't get me wrong, I love mysteries and read them frequently, but usually I have a nonfiction book I'm reading. I also usually have a little more variety in my fiction reading. Maybe next week.

This week I read:
A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder- a very light mystery. It is the second in a series, and I have read both. I'm not sure I'm invested enough to hunt down the next one when it is published (probably in a year).
Death in a Desert Land- the third in the series where Dame Agatha is the detective. I liked this one and the first one better than the second one. Again, I'm sure the next one will be out sometime next year- will I be looking for it? Probably.
And three of Amanda Quick's novels.

I really don't read the reviews of books unless the review is written by someone in my immediate family. So I guess I don't care if an author reviews their own work or not. Off the cuff I would say the idea of the author reviewing their own work would turn me off their book. If I decide to read reviews I will definitely watch for this.

Happy Reading!

message 12: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Good Morning,

It's been so beautiful the last few days. I got to wear a coat this morning and it wasn't too warm for it. I love fall weather!


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for a book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters. I really enjoyed this. I saw the movie when they first put it on Netflix (and I've watched it a number of times since) but wanted to read the book as well. Even though I adore the movie, it leaves so much out and changes a few key points. I'm so glad I read the book.

Northanger Abbey or a book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent. This was a re-read for me. I read it years ago and actually forgot a lot of what happened in the book. I still like it, it's still really funny in parts and Mr. Tilney is still one of my favorite Austen heroes.

Currently Reading:

The Clockmaker's Daughter for a book featuring an amateur detective. I've had this book, for what seems like, a while. It's pretty thick and from reading the first 20 pages, it's probably going to take a bit of time to get through it. I can't tell if I like it yet or not, I really am just 20 pages into it but so far it's fine.

The Right Swipe not for the challenge but because I saw it at my library and wanted to read it. I'm enjoying it. They haven't delved too much into the back story of why the heroine is the way she is yet (yes she's been burned but it must be more than that).

Born to Run also not for the challenge but I needed a new audiobook to listen to in the car and when I go to the gym. I've only gotten through an hour of it but Bruce had an interesting childhood.


If an author reviews their own book, I ignore it. It doesn't make me not want to read the book.

message 13: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3545 comments Mod
Brittany wrote: "Happy Thursday everyone!

This past week is always a bit of an unusual one for me. Last Thursday was my anniversary, Monday was Labor Day which I was surprised to have gotten off, Tuesday was my bi..."

Maybe I'm just a little saucy that my favorite character was basically in the book for a total of 3 pages and his story-line wasn't really advanced that much.

You made me laugh..."saucy"! ;)

message 14: by Gemma (last edited Sep 05, 2019 07:00AM) (new)

Gemma | 122 comments Finished: The Bookshop of Yesterdays for A book relvolving around a puzzle or game. This was not as good as I wanted it to be - although I still think it fulfils the prompt, the literary 'scavenger hunt' wasn't nearly as prominent as I thought it would be. I thought I was going to have a bunch of literary puzzles to try to solve alongside the main character, but I didn't really get that.

Started and finished: One Day in December for A book that takes place in a single day. Liked this one a lot - a cute, fun read.

Started: Black Sugar for A book with POP, SUGAR or CHALLENGE in the title. I'm not very far through this yet, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I rather liked the prologue, but so far the main body of the story hasn't grabbed me. But it's a relatively short book, so no doubt I'll just plough on through to get the prompt ticked off!

I hadn't even realised that this was something authors do, so I'm not I have an opinion on it other than to say I'm not sure why an author would do that?

message 15: by Libby (new)

Libby | 20 comments Happy Thursday! I always think I've read lots each week until it gets to these round-ups ... plus everything I finished reading was underwhelming.
My Sister, the Serial Killer (fits 2 prompts, published in 2019, author from Africa) was really disappointing and not at all what I was expecting ... much less of a satire/social commentary than I had anticipated.
Lost Children Archive (fits 4 prompts, multiple POVs, published in 2019, about a family, based on a true story) was also really disappointing for me, but also probably a really bad choice timing-wise as I am still very caught up in the situation at the UK-France border and reading about the situation in the USA is ... not really comforting.
The Wedding Party (a book that includes a wedding!) was fluffy and easy and almost interchangeable from all the other books in the series. Although I keep reading them.

hoping for a better reading week this week - reading Beloved & hopefully starting How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy if my copy ever arrives. Let's see how they are!

message 16: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 122 comments Milena wrote: "I only have 5 books left to complete Popsugar, and am similarly close to completing other challenges. I am very excited for this and looking forward to just reading whatever I feel like for a few m..."

I also only have 5 books left to go, and I'm starting to get excited about being able to say I've completed the challenge! It's my first year, and I've really had fun with it :)

message 17: by Laura (last edited Sep 05, 2019 07:06AM) (new)

Laura | 165 comments It's starting feel like fall, and I love it! Cardinals are in the post-season hunt, and hockey's getting ready to start again... my favorite time of year.

Challenge Progress: 44/50

The Wretched of Muirwood: Good foundational novel. You've got to read this one knowing that it's the first in the series, but Wheeler does a good job creating the world of Muirwood and introducing us to characters that we can root for. I'll probably continue on with this series. (A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent) ★★★

Clade: Great climate fiction! So many popular cli-fi books and movies focus on catastrophic events, but Bradley uses the slow, inexorable (and most likely irreversible) changes associated with climate change to examine humanity in an oddly hopeful way. (A "cli-fi" book) ★★★★

Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America: Ayaz Virji expresses so many of the frustrations and the anger I've felt ever since the 2016 election... and I'm not (usually) a target of the prejudices that so many people seem to feel empowered to display. I admire his courage and tenacity. ★★★★

The Swallows: Twisted in the best way. This isn't just the tale of a battle of the sexes at a third-rate boarding school. It's more. It's angrier... and although it's sometimes campy and snide, if you don't think this could really happen, you haven't been paying attention. ★★★★★

Currently Reading: Fix Her Up, Three Women, Before We Were Yours, The Huntress, I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life (a book about a hobby)

QOTW: Reviewing your own book? That's weird, right? Blog about it, answer readers' questions, maybe even engage readers who've written reviews... but I don't like the idea of publicly reviewing your own book.

message 18: by Libby (new)

Libby | 20 comments Anne wrote: "Happy Thursday! 49/50


Alexander McCall Smith’s My Italian Bulldozer was a cute journey of personal discovery for a man whose wife left him for a personal trainer. Seein..."

I absolutely loved Why We Broke Up when I first read it (admittedly, as an angsty teen!) & seeing you mention it here has made me curious to read it again & see if I still feel the same way!

message 19: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3545 comments Mod
Katy wrote: "I finished The Nightingale as my book recommended by a celebrity. I loved it so much that I just ignored the plotholes, but I do admit they are there.

I am still working on T..."</i>

Ooohhh...[book:Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Trilogy
looks to be a good read, but definitely not a "light" read!

And The Nightingale! I really want to get to this one this year!

Thanks for the recommendations/reviews!

message 20: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Weber | 264 comments Happy Thursday! Or at least, I'm choosing to be happy in hopes that it will be a good day.

I finished two books this week. First, I finished The Song of Achilles for a book recommended by someone you admire. I think JK Rowling recommended this one. I really enjoyed it. I liked seeing the Trojan War from a different perspective and I liked the romance aspect of it. It felt authentic without being so sappy and overbearing.

I also finished Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession for a book based on a true story. This is based on the life of Henry VIII's second wife and I enjoyed Weir's take on her personality. I love reading about the Tudors. It never gets old.

QOTW: Wow, there's a lot of hate on authors. All the reviews by authors I've seen, I've enjoyed. They're usually tongue-in-cheek and if you're proud of your work, why not tell everyone else why? It doesn't make sense to me that you're allowed to promote your work on every other platform than the one devoted to books. But I particularly enjoyed Patrick Rothfuss's review of his book Doors of Stone because the book hasn't even been released and yet it has many ratings. He doesn't actually rate his book though, just writes a review commenting on the fact that time travelers seem to love his books.

message 21: by Tania (new)

Tania | 543 comments Hi! I agree, September is fall. There's an ongoing argument in my office about the start of fall, since I say it starts when the local Haunted House events open (which is tomorrow) and my co-worker likes to go by the "calendar." You might be thinking we would have better things to do but... it's all in good fun, lol. In my house, fall can never start too soon, it's such a fun time of year.

This week I read
Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior: From Seeds to Swords by Cube Kid - a great 2nd installment to the Minecraft series, I'm reading these and discussing them with my 8-year-old nephew, who loaned me the books. He's even teaching me how to play Minecraft. He does not like my playing style, lol. Apparently I'm not crafting enough for him, but after reading the books all you really want to do is battle.

I'm still 36/50 in the Pop Sugar Challenge. I did finish the A - Z places challenge last week with Hausfrau being set in Zurich, and I posted the last of my summer reading challenge (number of pages read of the summer) so that's two more challenges down. I'm resisting the urge to pick up any new quarterly challenges because I still have 8 yearly challenges to wrap up. Believe it or not, this year I managed to have the lowest number of simultaneous challenges going, I've stuck mostly to what I picked at the beginning of the year.

QOTW: I don't mind if they review it, but I agree they should disclose themselves. But an author reviewing their own book to me is like reading the book jacket, I assume it's a promo.

message 22: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments Hey all. It's been a slow reading week for me.

Currently reading:

Blackfish City - Eh. I'm 25% in, and I love the setting, but there's been literally no plot so far, just various glimpses of people's lives. I don't even know what the main conflict/objective is going to be. (Are we going to start a revolution? Cure a disease? Usher in the next stage of human evolution with nanobonding? Let's do something.) I'm trying to stick with it because the setting is great and I've heard the plot eventually gets good, but it's slow going.

My favorite character so far is the messenger kid Soq. None of the others appeal to me too much, but Soq is instantly likable.

"Two hundred thousand people on Arm Eight, if you believed the official statistics, which Soq didn't, and half of them fantasized daily about watching Qaanaaq sink beneath the waves. The other half dreamed of conquering it. A wonder it had lasted as long as it had.

Soq wondered which one they were, and decided they were both. I will dominate this city or I will destroy it, break its legs, send it sinking into the burning sea we stand over."

I like author reviews. Most of the author reviews I see on Goodreads are used for giving supplemental information about the book, which can be really interesting. (e.g. for Descendant of the Crane, I found the author's FAQs about usage of Mandarin names and terminology fascinating. A good read even if you haven't read the book.) I think it's a good way to reach readers, because I basically never look at authors' websites, but I often look at Goodreads reviews.

message 23: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments Charlotte wrote: "But I particularly enjoyed Patrick Rothfuss's review of his book Doors of Stone because the book hasn't even been released and yet it has many ratings. He doesn't actually rate his book though, just writes a review commenting on the fact that time travelers seem to love his books."

haha I love this

message 24: by Lauren (last edited Sep 05, 2019 08:28AM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 753 comments Ugh, it's still hottt here. Highs around 104. We really need rain (my front yard is yellow but I refuse to waste water on grass) but there's only a 20% chance on Monday. Hopefully it works out!

This week I read At the Bottom of the River which was mostly over my head. I enjoyed a few parts of it, but didn't really connect with the rest, even though I really wanted to "get it." :(

I finished Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions on kindle and it was a great followup to "Lost Children Archive." It's a difficult read, but short and to the point.

I listened to The Old Drift and wow, this was incredibly ambitious! It covers about a century of time, about a dozen characters (including some unique nonhuman ones), and about one million things happen throughout this story. I don't recommend it for those who don't like "sweeping family sagas" but it was quite impressive (and I usually do enjoy those). This is one I would want to go back and reread in print to capture everything, but its length might allow other TBRs to come before that. I'm glad the author will be speaking about it at the upcoming book festival so I can learn more about how she came up with all of this.

I'm currently reading The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America and When the Emperor Was Divine.

QOTW: I thought it was weird the first time I saw an author review their own book on Goodreads (and rate it 5 stars) but I guess I'm not opposed to it? I've seen good points on both sides in the comments above. ;)

message 25: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Hello from Columbus! I didn’t get as many books read this week, as I started Crime and Punishment and it’s taking up a lot of time (I’m about halfway through now).

The Prisoner of Heaven not for a challenge, I just really enjoy Zafón. This is one of the books in the same series as The Shadow of the Wind, I’m really enjoying the whole series so far.

Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything I read this at some point last year and realized I remembered absolutely nothing about what happened. The basic plot is a girl wakes up as a fly in her school’s boy’s locker room. It’s a short, amusing story. It’s by the same author who wrote We Were Liars.

110 books read this year, 26/40; 5/10 popsugar, 15/24 book riot, 2/10 back to the classics.

message 26: by Jai (new)

Jai | 119 comments Happy Thursday all. This week has flown by. I finished 1 book this week. I was so busy making hats for #hatnothate , which is an anti-bullying campaign that I didn't get to read as much. I managed to finish:
My Soul to KeepMy online book club read this. I liked it despite the author always referring to religion which was fine but I didn't understand how a story about immortality coincided with the story until someone pointed out how the characters had become immortal and what the blood signified.

Currently Reading:
Mockingjay for the prompt that has over a million ratings on Goodreads. Switching back and forth between listening and reading this. I feel bad for Katniss because of how much responsibility is placed on her. The Hunger Games Series started me on my love of Dystopian fiction but this last installment I'm just feeling not as excited.

How Long 'til Black Future Month? My book club read this and we already met. I'm still working through all the stories. I liked that I got a chance to discuss them so now I can go into a few of the stories with a clearer understanding.

I feel meh about authors reviewing their work, like why review it? You're not gonna say it was bad.

message 27: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (bookstasamm) | 176 comments Happy Thursday! I thought I would get to read more with Labor Day weekend, but that was not the case since I ended up being busier than I thought I would. I only finished two books this week.

The Outsiders - I re-read this for the Goodreads summer reading challenge. I've always loved this book and it still is great.

Saving Zoë - I got this through Book of the Month. I thought it was going to be a mystery/thriller, but it wasn't. It was a quick easy read though.

Challenge Progress:
Regular Challenge - 37/40
Advanced Challenge - 8/10
Total - 45/50 (no change since last week)

Currently Reading:
Warcross - I'm listening to this for the LitRPG prompt. I'm surprised how much I actually like it.

Rewrite The Stars - I have an ARC of this, and I'm having a hard time getting into it.

QOTW - How do you feel about authors reviewing their own books on Goodreads?
For some reason it's weird to me to see authors review their own books. I feel like they do it to bump up the ratings, but they have as much right to review as I do.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Still mostly reading graphic novels, but starting to edge in a little bit more non-illustrated reading. Of course, I have more of an excuse to be distracted this week, as there's been what I'll call a 'change in my husband's employment situation'. It's not actually been stressful but there has been a lot of planning and looking at our budget and expenses and all of that.

Finished Reading:
Teen Titans, Volume 1: It's Our Right to Fight I didn't love it, but it picked up toward the end, and I did really like the character of Red Robin, so I'll probably keep going with the series.

A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael Finally finished this one and got it back to the library! (It's a good thing my local branch doesn't charge fines...) Excellent missionary story with a side of history of India.

Tetris: The Games People Play I was surprised how much international politics played into the development and marketing of tetris, and it was great story to read. Surprisingly, got quite dark in a couple places, but the author handled those places with as few details as possible.

Pashmina Didn't love this one.

My Stroke of Luck Apparently biographies/memoirs are the one thing besides graphic novels I can actually finish. This was a short memoir of Kirk Douglas's experience recovering from a stroke. I really enjoyed some parts of it, three stars overall.

Currently Reading:
Continuing to dabble in just about all 9 of the books that are on my currently reading list, and then lose interest in most of them, but not decisively enough to just DNF them.

I am actively (though slowly) reading The Lido and read most of Art Matters yesterday.

Muppets Meet the Classics: The Phantom of the Opera I would watch the movie if there was one, but the writing quality or style or something just wasn't working for me.

The first time I saw an author review their own book it seemed a little odd, but then as I saw it over and over again I figured it was just a standard practice. Until I saw people complaining about it here, and then I had to actually think it through. :-)

Most of the author's reviews I see are humorous, or at least, as someone else mentioned, extra notes on the books. It seems like a fun way to interact with the readers where they actually are, instead of counting on the readers coming looking for you on a blog or publisher's website.

The ones that are just a five star rating without a review I still find a little odd, but it's not offputting to me. Maybe because I read a lot of self published authors, and I know that marketing can be rough for them, and those first few ratings can make a big difference in whether people pay any attention to their book or not. If the authors are excited about the books they write, want to interact with fans, and love what they do enough to want to get more readers and do more writing, that seems like more of a good sign than a bad sign to me.

message 29: by Ali (last edited Sep 05, 2019 09:24AM) (new)

Ali (aliciaclare) | 153 comments Happy Thursday! I had a really great three day weekend and got to work from home yesterday & so I'm just trying to carry that positive energy into the next weekend!

This week I finished, 3 books and a novella, none counting for Popsugar. I did finish my proposed NEWTs track for August which was very exciting! I picked up a book this week which count towards a challenge, so I'm hoping to knock off my final 6 or 7 prompts quickly!

First I finished Space Opera by Cat Valente which was fine. it was my NEWTs read for Defence Against the Dark Arts, A. I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy last year for Popsugar and felt very meh about it and this book is so deeply inspired by Hitchhiker's that it really tamped down on my enjoyment. I still think Valente's a brilliant writer & master of prose, but this wasn't for me.

Next was What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young, which was a NEWTs read for Defence Against the Dark Arts, E. I LOVED this. I'm also from Pittsburgh, although I grew up in white upper class suburb, so basically the opposite of Young. I went to a book event for him in my town two months ago, and thought he was so smart, and I'm happy to have finally read this. Young is a really smart and funny writer and I loved how Pittsburgh was a central character to his life.

Then I finished The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn, the last book in the Lady Julia Gray series, but I really hope she returns to these characters one day!! This one was much darker, but I loved how much the characters had grown. I'm such a sucker for these books!

i also read a Lady Julia novella, Silent Night, which was cute and sweet. I own the other two novellas, and I'm planning on finishing them up this weekend since they're only 50 pages.

QOTW: Honestly I'm shocked people hate this? I think reviews by the authors are cute and fun, and I really think there's nothing wrong with rating it 5 stars! I've never seen an author *not* disclose they're the author, and it's really harmless! Goodness knows if I spent all that time and effort writing a book I'd absolutely go and rate it 5 stars!!!! I think engaging in false ratings boosting is terrible and deceitful, but that's a different thing. Just leaving a review doesn't affect the books averages.

message 30: by Bree (new)

Bree (breemw) | 92 comments Hey all, happy Thursday! Jealous of all you who are transitioning into fall--it'll be at least in the 80s here until December most likely. I had a pretty good reading week!


No Tomorrow: I'm a big fan of Killing Eve, and the novellas are a little different but just as good. I'm looking forward to the next one.

The Gifted School: this was meh. I kept waiting for all the parents to do something truly terrible, but nothing they did had much impact, it was all just the usual stuff you get from rich people overly concerned about their children's education. Having grown up in a similar environment there was nothing new in this book.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive: I think I checked this out because of the Obama summer reading list? It was good, I finished it pretty quickly.

Think of England: I prefer less danger in romance novels than this, I think.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy: In the end I liked this, but I did feel like I was being hit over the head with the "women can do anything!" sentiment. Probably better for girls younger than I am.

Currently reading:

A Memory Called Empire
Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers

QOTW: I don't mind if an author leaves an unrated review saying something short about the book. I do side-eye it if they give an actual star rating. Particularly if the book doesn't have very many ratings. The opinion of the GR populace should speak for itself.

message 31: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 765 comments Hi everyone!

Where did my summer go? I swear it was June yesterday. Partially because we were dealing with all the remodel stuff, which JUST NOW finished. I should have final inspection today, crossing fingers it finally passes and we are DONE.

I had a really slow reading week, all I finished was Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11. It's my book club read, and honestly if it wasn't for that I'd probably have DNFed it. I like science fiction, i love space. I really don't like reading a lot of nonfiction. I really need there to be some sort of narrative to keep me interested. The nonfiction I like tends to do that. This felt like it SHOULD be able to have a narrative, but the way it was written felt more like a text book. Every time I sat down to read i could only get through a page or two before getting distracted and browsing my phone instead or doing literally anything else. Finally just sat down and powered through it.

Currently reading:

The Wicked King - this came up in my library holds so reading it before I lose it. I really enjoy the series, fun fantasy romp with faeries.


I don't think I've come across it a whole lot, aside from the Patrick Rothfuss review mentioned. I guess I don't mind it if it's a no-ratings review that just serves as a place to give specific thoughts about the book in question, and it's made clear that it's the author writing it. I feel like giving a rating to your own book is a little dubious. Even if you're really proud of it, you're not exactly objective.

message 32: by Bree (new)

Bree (breemw) | 92 comments Sara wrote: "Happy September everyone! It's still hot here, but once September starts I'm itching to pull out my fall scents, food, clothes and reads. These things will be making an appearance in my house in th..."

I'm really excited to see someone else reading Kristin Lavransdatter! It took me about a year to get through, at a very leisurely pace, but it was worth it. I hope you like it, Sara!

message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 867 comments Brittany wrote: "Happy Thursday everyone!

This past week is always a bit of an unusual one for me. Last Thursday was my anniversary, Monday was Labor Day which I was surprised to have gotten off, Tuesday was my bi..."

Congratulations, Brittany!

message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 867 comments Heather wrote: "I'm so happy it's September! We're getting close to sweater weather! I've decided to reread The Lord of the Rings beginning with The Hobbit. I always do this during September because September 22 i..."

I hope you have tissues for the barricade! I sobbed!!

message 35: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 708 comments Hi all! I'm still protesting the cooler temps, and they're not getting any warmer...
Next week I start working Sundays-Weds 10 hour days. It's because of babysitter drama (ugh), and I'm not sure how I'll take to it, but we've got to try something.

Congrats Brittany! But... boys!! I've known 6 people personally who have had babies in the last year and they've all been boys. I have a closet full of cutesy, frilly, dressy pink girl's clothes and no one to pawn them off to! Next spring I'll have a yard sale.

I did finish a book last night, I'm not sure if it works anyplace, I haven't even checked. It was cute, but I think I might reread it already just to try to follow it a bit better. The Cat in the Box

Otherwise, still working on Born to Run and Mortal Heart. Also picked up The Witches of St. Petersburg (I love me some Russian Revolution history). A couple of us are going to try to peer pressure each other into finally reading Love in the Time of Cholera, others are welcome to join us! https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

QOTW: I don't mind authors reviewing their own books. Most of them that I see say "I wrote it, I love it, I hope you love it, too". What actually irks me a little more is when I review a book and then the author emails me to thank me. It feels a little creepy to me for some reason...
I was in a group read on goodreads years ago where the author participated in our book club discussion about his book (Andrew Davidson author of The Gargoyle) and he was great because he explicitly said that he was not going to answer any questions or reveal anything about "what he meant by...." because he felt it was up to the reader to decide. I need to reread that book....

message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 867 comments Hi everyone. Summer feels well and truly gone now. It's cold, there are leaves on the ground and my little nephew went back to school yesterday looking super cute in his uniform.

This week I finished three books (which is a lot for me) and I finished Pop Sugar and ATY reading challenges. Woop woop!

First up was The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings. I enjoyed a lot of the stories as most of them were completely new to me but this book really need a who's who at the beginning or end. It never explained who was the god/goddess of what or who was related to who so other than Loki and Thor I was a bit lost at times.

Dating an Alien Pop Star was next. This was really badly written but I really struggled to find something for the "pop sugar or challenge in the title" prompt that my library had. There were a few insightful bits sprinkled here and there (like I found the main characters hang ups about sex quite realistic and there were one or two genuinely funny moments) but most of it was really cheesey and contrived - but with a title like that you can't expect much different. I guess my main issue was the "villain." (view spoiler)

Lastly I finished 13 Minutes. I had planned on reading a different Sarah Pinborough book because I needed a psychological thriller for the ATY challenge but it isn't my favourite genre. I had a quick look to see if it was on the shelves on my library when I was picking up some holds and came away with this one instead. Boy, am I glad I did. This book was great! The dynamics of this book reminded me a lot of my friendships (and enemies) back in school. I don't think many YA books get it as right as this one did. At one point the list of suspects in my head was nearly every character in the book, which is a good thing for me. I did figure out the ultimate outcome but I had very different motivations in mind so that was interesting to unravel.

Currently reading: Finale. I haven't got very far yet. It's a big clunky hardback so I can only really read it at home but the parts I've read have been good so far.

QOTW: I've only ever seen authors do this as an obvious joke (like Patrick Rothfuss) or when they give updates about a book (like when the cover art is released etc.). I've never seen an author post an actual review of their own work. Maybe that would be weird

message 37: by Cornerofmadness (new)

Cornerofmadness | 431 comments It's been a very slow reading week mostly because most of my current challenge reads are all 500+ pages. eye rolls.

For the prompt of a book recommended by a celebrity you admire I read The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang
(rec by Rebecca Roanhorse) which is an Asian inspired, gender-self determining society with queer relationships (and is own voices) and very enjoyable but dark.

QOTW I'm not really a fan but if they're going to do it, they need to be sure to say they're the author. I can tel you that in many author circles it's considered gauche to do it and the current school of thought is to not do it.

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Posting is getting so slow lately! A couple months ago I was actually appreciating that check-ins had slowed to a manageable pace from where they were in Jan/Feb. Now I check the thread and only have a couple more posts to read, if any...

message 39: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments Hey! Like a lot of you, I am itching for fall. However, I am in Vegas so it probably won't arrive til October. Boo! Trying to balance out fun reading with my course load. I think I will get it figured out to at least make it through the regular challenge at the bare minimum (fingers crossed).

27/40 Regular
5/10 Advanced


Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
4. I think it should be a movie. As an actor I would LOVE to play Hannah. OMG, such a great character. Great book overall.

Currently Reading
Naked Money What It Is and Why It Matters by Charles Wheelan
For my Anthropology course
* Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan
* Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute
*Research for upcoming production in my Theatre program

Bunny by Mona Awad
I won this thru goodreads and I'm not sure I will be able to get through it. Certainly not right now.


How do you feel about authors reviewing their own books on Goodreads?


message 40: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 183 comments Thanks for all the congratulations!

Brandy wrote: "You are the 4th person this week that I've read is having a boy... odd streak. Congrats! "

Jennifer W wrote: "Congrats Brittany! But... boys!! I've known 6 people personally who have had babies in the last year and they've all been boys."

You know it's funny that you guys mention it but now that I think of it of the 4 acquaintances that I know who are also pregnant, all of them are having boys as well! It's been a while since I've known someone to have a girl. I'm thinking it was my cousin nearly a year and a half ago.

message 41: by Mary (new)

Mary Hann | 239 comments This week I finished:

The Walking Dead: Volumes 1-10: I had never read a graphic novel before, assuming it was not my thing, but I really enjoyed these and got through all 10 volumes in a little over a day. They were free with my Unlimited subscription and I needed to read 2 graphic novels for previous years challenges, but I ended up finding prompts that all 10 would fill. =)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Continuing my audiobook journey through Harry Potter and loving it. Syfy had a marathon of all the movies this weekend, which I also turned on and partially watched. Hogwarts is my home.

Currently reading:
The Perfect Roommate: Minka Kent’s books are really hit or miss for me. I loved Stillwater Girls earlier in the year, but I have not finished others of hers that I’ve started. I’m almost half way through this one and still have no clue what the point of the book is. I think it’s supposed to be a slow burn, but I’m getting bored.

A Light in the Attic: I found this at a library book sale and it brought back childhood memories, so I’m reading it for fun.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: I’ve been listening to this one at work and it makes my job much more enjoyable.

Question of the week:

How do you feel about authors reviewing their own books on Goodreads?

I did not even know that was a thing. I think it is fine for them to do it, but I don’t know why anyone would take their review seriously.

message 42: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! I'm getting really close to finishing my challenge, which has never happened this early in the year before. I'm usually down to the wire, so I'm feeling very proud of myself. (Also, I achieved my goal of going to the dentist after ::mumble::, and I don't have any cavities! Yay conquering fears!) ANYHOO...
Finished: Whose Body? (question in the title), which was utterly charming and so fun to compare to Smilla's Sense of Snow, which I read right before. It's funny, I like mysteries but I am realizing I so rarely care about the actual mystery plot at all. In fact, if too much time is spent on the mystery itself, I get bored! It's all the other things that are brought to it that interest me. Both of those books were really good at making the circumstances of investigating the mystery fascinating, but in very different ways.
Currently reading: To Green Angel Tower (not for challenge): It's so fun to hang out with Simon and Binabik again. I'm gonna be rill rill mad if something happens to either of them.
Circe (retelling a classic): this is my audiobook, and it's very well performed.

QOTW: Authors review their own books? What could they possibly have to say other than "I tried my best"? I certainly think they should be *allowed* to review their own works, but I can't imagine what insight they could contribute; they are much too close to the work to evaluate it properly.

message 43: by Sara (new)

Sara | 122 comments I usually check in before I leave the house in the morning. But I completely forgot it was Thursday. Holiday weeks really get me turned around sometimes.

I did not finish any books this week. I was in New York for five days watching some world class tennis with my dad. It's one of our annual traditions that I love. Partly because I love tennis, and partly because I love hanging out with my dad. But, we spent most of our time hanging out and watching tennis so, while I did some reading, I didn't do much and I certainly did not read a whole book.

One thing I did do, though, was finally find something to read for the Scandinavia prompt. That one has been my biggest struggle for some reason! I think because I've already read A Man Called Ove and have limited interested in further books by the author; I've read the Millenium Trilogy and loved it but I'm not ready for a re-read; I've read the Harry Hole series and loved it but I'm also not ready for a re-read. So, what else is there? I mean, I know there is a lot, but I have been having trouble finding something that catches my fancy. In trying to find a book, I turned to the group and I have really enjoyed the thread for the prompt. I have learned a lot about Scandinavia in there and I love how people are really concerned about properly identifying Scandinavia. Which, I fully support, since I grew up in Pennsylvania and had to explain to certain Southerners that it is not in New England and now I live in Virginia, which refuses to consider itself part of the South half the time. So, I completely get wanting people to properly identify you geographically, and I'm just loving the whole thread! Anyway, one of the BOTM books for September takes place in Sweden, which is properly located in Scandinavia, and I am going to get it and read it. Prompt solved!!

I'm currently reading The Song of Orphans, which is a book I meant to read in 2018. And I'm reading The Girl in the Tower, which is not for the challenge. I'm hoping to finish at least one book this weekend.

QOTW: I don't really understand why an author would review his own book, but if that's the only way for the author to say something they want to say, then I think it's okay. I do enjoy that, early on at least, when you would review Sylvain Neuvel he would like your review and start following you. I assume he has too many people reviewing his books by this point to keep doing that. But it seems fun.

message 44: by Stacey (last edited Sep 05, 2019 02:45PM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Hey Everyone!

I'm happy to see that you guys are all happy about the fall. To me it's always a more bittersweet time of the year. I'm happy because all the tourists & cottagers have gone home and won't be back until next spring (May/June) so things are peaceful and quiet and relaxing but I'm always sad to see summer end because it's my favourite season and some of the fishing seasons are over! Being from the north, summer isn't long or super hot and is more enjoyable. Also summer here this year ended soo abruptly, she didn't stop to say goodbye she just packed her bags and LEFT! One day it felt like summer and the next fall was here for sure. It is definitely sweater weather! It's been around 15C/60F all week during the days and chilly at night - I have already broken out my fuzzy socks, my moccasins, my throw blankets, my winter PJ bottoms and my giant mug! If only I could hang onto this weather for the next while it would be happier but I know that at the end of October I'll have snow & I won't see any hints of next summer until at least late May as well.

I'm thrilled to be back reading again and have delved straight in these last couple weeks! I just started the 2019 PS challenge towards the end of August but my current progress is already: 14/53 !
I read like crazy again this week & managed to finish 7 books. =)

Read This Week

The 100 (#1) by Kass Morgan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for 25) A Debut Novel - I really liked this book & I thought it was SO much better than the Netflix show! I can't believe that Glass & Luke don't exist on the show; Glass's chapters were my favourite! I have plans to read the whole series for my PS challenge this year and am excited to continue it soon!

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank ⭐️⭐️ for 40c) 2017 prompt: (49/A9) A Book you got from a used book sale - I really disliked that the perspectives and narration bounced around to different people with no warning and no context and on occasion no relevance either. This would have been a one star read for me if not for the last and final segment. Honestly if I had creative control I would sum up 90% of the book in about 2 quick chapters then go into the final segment and expand on that A LOT more. It could have been witty and hilarious but this was mostly kind of a bore. All in all I thought this was just another over-hyped popular book that was a disappointment for me (at least until the end).

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5 Stars) for 29) A Book with "love" in the title - I thought it was slightly less exiting than the first book of the trilogy but it still had a lot of things that I liked & that made me nostalgic (such as the game of "assassins" - my friends & I definitely played this too when we were teens except we used water guns)! I'm a little disappointed with the way this one ended but I'm hoping that it's either a setup for the third book or that the events of the third book will change my mind (in which case all will be forgiven)! :P

Carrie by Stephen King ⭐️ for 14) A Book you see someone reading on TV/in a movie (Read by Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls) - If there was a rating that meant - ughhh, this was cringy & one giant eye roll, that would be how I'd rate this book. This was my first King novel and I have to say that I was highly disappointed. This was the first book I've read in eons where if I didn't know who the author was, I would already be able to say for certain right from the start that they were male. While the premise of this book is great and intriguing and should have made for an excellent story, I was incredibly disappointed because I feel it could have been done in such a better way! This book jumped around timeline wise AND from perspective to perspective without much context and laid out all the events in a pseudo-scientific way which drove me nuts on so many levels; there are tidbits of context and inner narration in here but there are also key, pivotal moments where decisions are made and no reasoning/line of thinking to explain the character's decision is presented thus major decisions and turning points seemed so random or even at times implausible to me!! I honestly just wanted to facepalm reading this! Another annoyance I had with this book is that much of it seemed overly and unnecessarily sexual in nature, which I don't mind in the right context but it just seemed weird and pervy to me in this case. (I'm not really interested in several long, mostly irrelevant descriptions of teenage girls breats tyvm...) I think that this is actually intentional - it seems like between the twisted cult which is just termed regular religion here and the abusive situations that occur in this book the reader is meant to feel uncomfortable to say the least; but as a reader, I don't enjoy feeling uncomfortable in such an indirect way. I want a book to play on my emotions because of the storyline itself not because of the writing like this one did! Perhaps King's books are just not for me? I'll give him another shot as I also have Misery slotted in for this year. /End Rant...XD

Beartown by Frederik Backman ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ for 23) A Book set in Scandanavia - Beartown hit especially close to home for me since I'm a Canadian girl from a very small town in the middle of the forest where hockey is really important to the community! (There are several people who grew up here that went on to play in the NHL, for Team Canada or in leagues overseas). There were a lot of tidbits in this book that I could relate to for sure! I loved that this book touched on issues I really didn't expect it to but I also wish this book would've delved into hockey (the game itself) so much more than it did! I was hoping for a bit of play by play hockey game narration to help sustain me until NHL preseason starts later this month. (Go Jets Go!) Also, what's up with the team goalie not being mentioned by name or being a prominent character? It felt like quite an omission to me! I also wish that the book was slightly less political and slightly more emotional at times especially given the contents although some might argue that it was as emotional as it was because of the political content. I'm definitely planning on reading the sequel eventually. :)

If I Stay (#1) by Gayle Forman ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ for 24) A Book that takes place in a single day - I thought this book was just average honestly and I didn't have any strong feelings about it one way or the other. Perhaps because it's very short for a novel (around 150 pgs) or maybe because I just ran out of strong opinions after everything else I read this week, haha! I will say as a word of warning to anyone else considering picking it up that it does have a couple short, graphic, somewhat gory descriptions that some people may not appreciate if they are really adverse to reading anything of that nature but I don't think it would bother the average person.

Murder at the Vicarage (#1) by Agatha Christie ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ for 50) A Book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage or convent - Although I'm not a big fan of less modern books (with all the language) this one wasn't too bad. I really liked all the twists and that everything was neatly explained at the end. It felt good to tick off this prompt since this was one of my planned books that I wasn't too sure about.

Currently Reading

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager for 30) A Book featuring an amateur detective - This is another one that didn't have me super excited when I added it to my PS list last Nov. but I'm in the mood for mystery after Murder At The Vicarage so I'm rolling with it and knocking it out! :)

The Name of the Wind (#1) by Patrick Rothfuss - VERY SLOWLY as a non challenge read! Boyfriend & I read this out loud to each other before bed a few chapters at a time a couple nights a week. It's long but we're up to 61% on it this week! It's his favourite series ever (reread for him) & I'm enjoying it so far...I'm thinking it's going to end up being a solid 4 star read for me even though it took me a while to get into it!


I rarely actually read reviews so I don't have a strong opinion on this one but I imagine that I would like it as long as they declared that they are the author. I would enjoy the extra perspective/insight into the book most likely. =)

message 45: by Lisa (last edited Sep 05, 2019 03:04PM) (new)

Lisa | 109 comments Hi all- this is my favorite time of the year. When it’s crisp and cool in the mornings and warm but not hot in the afternoon. I’ve been on call the past week and it’s been crazy- so not a lot of reading completed.

This week I finished:
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland which I really enjoyed. Lots of great stories. This was last weeks audiobook.

Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up. I listened to this after finishing with the book above. I LOVED this book. It was hysterical and depressing all at the same time. The narrator was perfect for the book.

September Mourn. I didn’t really like this book at all. It reminded me why I don’t really like cozy mysteries. But I also didn’t like any of the characters in the book- and I think I was supposed to like the main character and her sister but the were both really annoying. I would have DNF but it was the last book I needed to read to finish Popsugar for this year. I read it for the prompt of a book set in the season it was written (fall). I read all of the seasons and was struggling to find a good fall book. This one was even written during and just after Labor Day- so perfect timing.

Books I’m currently reading:

The Calculating Stars so I was hooked before the end of page one on this one but it’s taking me a while to finish it. Part of that is because I own it and a library hold came in and prt is because of a new release from 2 favorite series. I’ll finish it soon- I need to dedicate myself to it because it is the last book I need to finish Popsugar 2016.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts so I have to say I’m shocked that I’m listening to a book about the history and current state of specific fonts and really enjoying it! I think this may cement my “nerd” status if it needed cementing (it doesn’t). I have just recently learned that my favorite font is part of a font war and is not well looked upon by people who know a lot about fonts because it’s considered a rip off of another font. Oh well!

Vendetta in Death. This is one of the two new releases from a favorite series. Almost done with it. These books are guilty pleasures. The characters feel like family and I love revisiting them.


I don’t know how I feel about this. It feels a little like cheating but I usually just roll my eyes and then disregard anything in the review. I don’t like it at all when they don’t mention they are the author (or the authors spouse).

message 46: by poshpenny (last edited Sep 05, 2019 03:46PM) (new)

poshpenny  (poshpenny) | 1847 comments Helloooo! Happy Freddie's Birthday!

I've put myself in a bit of a spot. I do love reading exclusively for the heritage months, but dagnabbit, I ordered some books from Book Depository and now I want to read my pretty new books from the UK, but they do not fit the month. Ppfftt! Talk about a first world problem.

Don't Touch the Blue Stuff!

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor

Currently Reading:
The Westing Game

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

I don't mind it. I assume they will give it a star rating. Writing an actual review seems a bit odd, but whatever. Now, if they write "This is my book and it's AWESOME!! *emojis*" then I will roll my eyes and assume the book sucks. But whatever. Do your thing, baby.

message 47: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 542 comments Hi everybody!

The temperatures have definitely cooled off up here in Wisconsin. Alas, summer was just too short for me. And of course fall will be even shorter. I want my warm sunny days by the pool back!

I had a monster reading month in August doing the NEWTs. I read a ton of books, but now I am tired. So I'm taking it easy this month.

Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff: This was so freaking stupid. The author had nothing to say but still managed to spend so many pages saying it. And the tone of the writing...I think she thinks we're all too dumb to figure out how to decorate our houses.

QOTW: I don't mind if authors write a 'review' that is basically an author's note. "This is my third book...I was inspired by...I'm so grateful for all my readers..." That's fine. But an author actually reviewing their own book? Cringey. Giving yourself a 5 star rating? Tacky. Every once and a while I'll come across an author's "review" of their book and it's so full of advertising lingo that I just know it was actually written by the publisher's marketing team.

message 48: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 765 comments There’s tons of babies happening around me, but most of them are girls, haha. Three friends are having/just had girls, my cousin just had a girl. My fitness instructor is having a girl. My husbands two cousins are having twin boys and a single boy though. Still 5-3 though

message 49: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6334 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "I have just recently learned that my favorite font is part of a font war and is not well looked upon by people who know a lot about fonts because it’s considered a rip off of another font. ..."

I MUST KNOW WHICH FONT THIS IS!!!! I also have favorite fonts, and I become unreasonably upset when people pick on them hahaha

message 50: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments Jackie wrote: "QOTW: I don't mind if authors write a 'review' that is basically an author's note. "This is my third book...I was inspired by...I'm so grateful for all my readers..." That's fine. But an author actually reviewing their own book? Cringey. Giving yourself a 5 star rating? Tacky."

Come to think of it, I've never actually seen an author write a "real" review of their book. They've always been author's notes (just in the "review" portion of Goodreads). Also Goodreads automatically tags author reviews as such so there's no confusion.

But I think giving it a 5 star rating is okay. If you've written a whole book (much more than I've done in my life!) you deserve to pat yourself on the back a little bit.

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