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Reading check ins 2020 > Week 2 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

Hope everyone is recovering well post-holiday season.

Having a little bit of a slow start to my reading year (for me). Hoping i can dig into some stuff that excites me more soon.

I finished:

Finale - counting this for popsugar - 4+ goodreads rating, and Read Harder last book in a series. I have to say I'm not as impressed with this series as a lot of people are. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't just amazing or captivating. Maybe it's because it was compared so much to the Night Circus, but it just doesn't match that vibe. This one in particular felt pretty weak, the ending just felt too pat and with a big bow on it. I have to wonder if she got pressured into a trilogy after the success with the 1st, had a good idea for the 2nd and then was at a loss for the 3rd and how to get it all tied up and just kind of forced it.

Empress Orchid - popsugar book (fiction or non) about a world leader. This was an interesting one for me. It was a bit slow going, and I was getting impatient for it to end. But it was interesting in terms of me knowing almost nothing about Chinese history, and seeing it from the perspective of a woman who managed to gain power in an extremely male dominated society. While it was fiction, it was based on a real woman. The author interview at the end was really quite interesting, apparently after being denied official permission to see records from the Imperial times, she managed to find a backdoor way to get in. She wouldn't give further details for fear of getting her contact in trouble, but she was able to read actual documents (or possibly copies, but they were of the actual documents) of edicts drafted by Empress Orchid. History painted her as an upstart concubine who was ruthless, power hungry, and destroyed China and their entire way of life. Her researches, and according to wikipedia a group of revisionist historians, seem to indicate that she was actually a pretty capable ruler, it's how she lasted 46 years. Her political situation was virtually impossible and she managed to keep her country limping along as best as she could with the situation she had. The author is a Chinese woman who eventually left China, even today there's a distinct disregard for women, so she wanted to write a novelization humanizing Empress Orchid, and showing her as a real woman with desires and needs who suffered for her country. So the history and descriptions were based on extensive research, but Orchid's and other character's thoughts were the authors construction based on her research. This was just book one, there's a second book, The Last Empress, which goes over her actual reign. This was her early life and how she came to be a concubine, and birth the heir to the throne, and manage to seize power for herself in he name of her child.

Currently reading:

Every Heart a Doorway - i read this a few years ago, but i want a refresher before I continue the series. I want to use the second one for Read Harder's fantasy novella. (i might fudge it a little, i think official novella page count is 120 and this one is 175. I'll see how long the next one is. In any case I want to read them).


How do you decide what to read next?

I tend to be a mood reader, in part tempered by library holds. I prefer to read depending on whatever I feel like at the moment, but sometimes you just need to get the stuff read before it returns. See reading Finale and Empress Orchid back to back without breaking it up with something haha. But now i'm reading some nice quick reads after a bit of slogging.

message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments At last check-in I was in the midst of The Outsider, which I ended up having to binge a bit at the end as my electronic loan was coming due and I didn't want to wait another four months to get it again! I really enjoyed it, and when I came to Goodreads to add my rating, I saw that there are other books about the detective that is referenced in part of the book, so I will definitely be seeking those out. Having now read multiple Stephen King books that I enjoyed over the past few months after a lifetime of not really enjoying his work, I think I enjoy him more as a mystery writer than a horror writer, as odd as that sounds since clearly the horror genre is working out for him. :) But his books that have some element of mystery aside from just who will live and die are so much more intriguing - I wish I had run into those first!

Speaking of mystery, I then moved on to A Man Lay Dead for IRL Book Club #1. I've always been an Agatha Christie fan and have read a fair assortment from that time period and genre, but oddly had never read Ngaio Marsh until now. I was 100% sold on about the third page when she started phonetically writing out Dr. Tokareff's accent, and even though I didn't completely understand all of the politics of the Russian secret societies, I loved it and can't wait to read more.

I'm currently reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed for the same online alumni book club that did The Outsider - but this time I actually got it from the library before the discussion starts, instead of a month after it finished! It is not something I ever would have chosen on my own, and the subject matter and writing style are not my jam...but it's an interesting perspective on life that I hadn't spent much time considering, and I am looking forward to reading other comments about it in the alumni group from people with different backgrounds.

QOTW: I always prioritize the book clubs (IRL ones first, then online), so that fills up most of my reading calendar - obviously, I enjoy talking about books, so I really don't like showing up without having read the current selection. When I'm caught up, or waiting for library holds, I work through my TBR piles, both real and virtual. I usually start another book as soon as I finish the previous one, so whether the next one will be paper or electronic depends on whether I'm at home or somewhere else when I'm ready to move on.

message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo Oehrlein | 9 comments Last week I was in the middle of The Tiger at Midnight. I've finished it. It's about a female assassin and the male soldier chasing her and how he comes to realize that the "side" he's been on for most of his life hasn't really been telling him the truth. Of course, there's also romance. Very Indian-influenced.

Since then I've read a ton of picture books, including one I accidentally ordered in Spanish ( ¡Esquivel! Un artista del sonido de la era espacial. Pretty proud of myself for making it through that one.

I've also read The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad. It's another heavily Indian-influenced book, but fantasy this time with Djinn as a regular part of life. A human girl gets rescued by an Ifrit and ends up with the Ifrit's fire. That, in turn, saves her when Shayateen attack the city. Later, her adopted grandfather gives her a "gift" as he dies. I love the mix of languages and cultures, as well as the open discussion of consent.

I also read Strange Planet by Nathan Pyle. If you don't follow him on facebook to see his comics daily, you should. I *love* his comic strips. Much like Mork & Mindy or Third Rock from the Son, he uses aliens to point out funny things in our culture.

I re-read Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce for the gazillionth time. I've just started my re-read of Wolf Speaker, which is book #2 in the series. (I re-read the Alanna books in late 2019. There is a proper order for these things.) Originally, I liked Daine less than Tammy's other heroines, but she's grown on me over time. Daine has "wild magic" with animals, meaning (so far) that she can talk to them and heal them.

Currently, I'm reading How It Feels to Float. I think it's too early to tell what it's about or like. It has a teenage girl protagonist and is set in Australia.

I read partly what's due next at the library and partly what's calling to me at the time. I frequently have multiple books going at once.

message 4: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Last week I had just picked up After Alice, and I have to say I only got 15% of the way in before giving up. I loved the idea -- what happens when a friend of Alice's follows her to Wonderland? What is her family doing while she disappears? but I found the writing overly wordy and pretentious, and I just got bored.

I was already in bed for the night when I decided to give up, I still wanted to read something before turning out my lamp but I was too comfortable to get out from under the covers, so I chose something at random from my unread folder on my kindle and ended up racing through Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey in less than 24 hours. It's a thriller that's loosely based on real events that occurred in the author's hometown. The protagonist is a seventh grade girl who doesn't always understand the subtext of everything that happens around her, and it takes place in a midwestern small town in the early 80s. In hindsight there were some plot holes, but I loved the character of Cassie and I could NOT put it down. The main character is a teen but it's definitely not YA, there is some dark, adult content -- rape, murder, hints of incest.

I had kind of a crazy week and haven't managed to do much more with my free time than play dumb games on my phone, but I fully plan on picking up my next book tonight - I have Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker on loan from the library for my other Goodreads group. I'm also still reading Watership Down out loud to my third grader at bedtime :)

QOTW: I'm pretty random in my reading choices. I'll read book club selections from here and from the other group that I mod, and otherwise whatever strikes my fancy. I tend not to plan out my reading in advance outside of the book club picks, just decide on the spur of the moment what I'm in the mood for out of what I have available.

message 5: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Oh, and Sheri, I've been meaning to give that Seanan McGuire series I try...I LOVE her October Daye books!

message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Shel, I recommend it! I love the first one a lot, I mostly hadn't finished the rest of the series because I kept waiting for the second to go on sale. I love her writing, but i have a hard time playing full-length book price for a novella. Nothing against the quality, but for 12 bucks I want it to last more than a day. Last month Tor gave it away free though, and I'd picked the 3rd one up a while ago. So yay!

Also, I finished After Alice, but it was nowhere near as good as some of his other books. Although i haven't actually read any of those recently, i kinda wonder if I'd like them as much now as I did back then. Might have just grown out of that at style entirely.

message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Pace (space1138) | 127 comments It's been well below zero at my house for over a week now (it was -15F this morning), which means tons of reading time since I'm most definitely NOT leaving my house without a really good reason. This week...

Read The Eagles' Brood and started The Saxon Shore, numbers 3 and 4 in the Camolud Chronicles. Three generations since the start of Camolud, and a baby named Arthur has finally come on the scene. It's been quite awhile since reading this series, and I'm loving how much richness and nuance I'm seeing in characters that I'd taken for granted before, particularly in how Merlyn is adapted to a historical fiction setting.

Polished off Wasteland, and was impressed that it actually managed escape the cliche trainwreck that Hateful Things was. The series still isn't remotely five-star fantasy, but I'm still enjoying the premise, and am curious to see where this all goes.

What to read next depends a great deal on both mood and library holds- so yep, I'm in good company. I do try to be intentional about queuing up and suspending my holds though, so they arrive adequately spaced out and complimentary to whatever else I'm reading at the time.

I've also tried to be better about grabbing from the stuff floundering at the bottom of my TBR list, rather than always taking the stuff at the top that still has the draw of recent novelty.

message 8: by Jen (last edited Jan 10, 2020 11:42AM) (new)

Jen (piratenami) | 198 comments This week, I finished The Lady Rogue, which I'm counting for now as my Popsugar book with a 3-word title. It was a fun little Indiana Jones-style adventure set in the early 1900s, centered around Vlad Dracula, the historical figure, and a relic, a ring, that belonged to him. There's also a second-chance slow-burn romance threaded alongside it. The main character is the daughter of a Romanian woman and an American adventurer. Her father goes missing, and it's up to her and daddy's assistant (conveniently her ex) to find him. I liked the characters pretty well, and there was nothing really grating about it. I enjoyed reading, even if it was a little predictable. I gave it 3 (really 3.5) stars.

Right now, I'm reading The Song of Achilles, which I think is going to count toward the Popsugar bildungsroman prompt. I have loved Greek mythology practically my whole life, so I am really enjoying this so far.

QOTW: Same for me as most answers so far: what I read next depends mostly on mood and library holds.

I have been known to just return a book to the library if I'm not feeling it when my hold comes up, intending to go back to it when I'm in a better mood for it. I've also sometimes resorted to the old Kindle-in-airplane-mode trick, especially if there'd be a long wait time to get something back and I've already started it. Like Sarah, I try to be strategic about suspending and releasing my holds to time my library loans.

My reading speed also affects what I choose, sometimes. I have limited reading time now, so I only get through maybe a book a week or so. I also have trouble juggling more than one fiction book at a time. Although, I can do two books if they're different media, like a Kindle book and an audio.

message 9: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 53 comments I've been absent from the discussion board for a while (darn life interfering!), but am trying to be better this year. I ended 2019 with a binge-reading push to hit my Goodreads goal of 50 books for the year (revised from 60 cuz THAT wasn't going to happen!). So, I ended up plowing through about 4 books in the last week of the year. The best of that bunch was The Lies of Locke Lamora, a thick fantasy book set in a kind of medieval Venice-like location that is ruled by thieves guilds and a government on the take. It has utterly breathtaking worldbuilding, and while there are a lot of antiheroes (we are dealing with thieves and liars here), the characters are fully realized and very engaging. The book jumps between past and present, and over the course of 700+ pages, we get to see Locke and his fellow guild members ("the Gentlemen Bastards") grow up and grow into their roles. There's also a nice side-plot about a mysterious figure making trouble for the guilds. This is not your typical fantasy quest novel, and it's really worth the 700 pages to immerse yourself in the world Lynch has created. I saw Scott Lynch speak on a panel at the Tucson Festival of Books right after this came out, and the audience was so enthusiastic about the book that I had to add it to my TBR list. Incidentally, Lynch is in a relationship with Elizabeth Bear, another fantasy writer of some acclaim.

I'm currently reading Tokyo Suckerpunch, which is a very different book from Locke Lamora. This one's kind of a screwball comedy featuring an American reporter in Tokyo. He writes for a teen magazine and is there to cover a teen handicapped martial arts competition, but gets sucked into all sorts of madcap adventures. I'm about 3/4 of the way through and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. It's good enough to keep reading, but I still can't quite figure out where things are going in the plot. There are several sequels, so if the author is able to wrap this story up neatly, I'll take a chance on the next one.

I have a library copy of The Calculating Stars waiting for me on my tablet as soon as I finish Suckerpunch.

QOTW: I'm very much an impulse reader. I'll literally stare at my bookshelf and see what appeals to me at the moment. I've also been on a quest to clear out the book clutter in the house (a multi-year effort), so at the beginning of each year, I print out a list of my TBR pile from bookcrossing.com. My goal is then to read and get rid of at least one book from every page of the list, so a lot of my reading is determined by which pages need to have some books crossed off the list. Thanks to my end-of-year reading binge, my list is one page shorter this year, so that'll make things a little easier :)

message 10: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (midwinter) | 53 comments Also, I'm very happy to hear I'm not alone in needing to switch off my wifi to get through library ebook loans after they're due!

message 11: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Oh I do the turning off wifi for check outs, too haha. I think my longest was trying to get through the Stand, I really hated that book but was determined to get through it. I think it took me like 2 weeks past the hold date, and i kept reading other books on my phone while stubbornly trying to get thing finished on my kindle.

message 12: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Also as a general note, that I forgot in my main post: If anyone has anything else to suggest to the next book selection, please do it soon! I think Monday I'll go ahead and make the poll. I'm going to add a note to the thread too, want to give the weekend to let any last suggestions/comments come in.

message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy | 5 comments Finished what I thought was book 3 of 3 this morning (King's Cage, Victoria Aveyard), only to realize there's a 4th book and a novella collection to round out the series. If I was loving it I would be excited, but I'm not so I'm not. I'll probably finish it because so far the series has popped up from my holds exactly when I had nothing else to read.

On a positive note, a hold I was anxiously awaiting came through last night so now I'm reading (listening to) The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks. It's book 3 (maybe 4, they all run together) of a fantasy series with a really unique magic system based on the light spectrum and mages who can channel different colors of light into solids and liquids with different properties. Its just over 29 hours on my 1.5 playback speed so it may take me most of the week to listen to it.

QOTW- I am often at a loss for what to read next. I get the buzzfeed books newsletter and often find a list that looks interesting and check my libraries to see what I can put on hold(I have two libraries I borrow from and my hold list is regularly full for both). I search FoE for book recommendations. I follow some of my fave authors on twitter and watch for them to make recommendations. I am almost exclusively an audio book consumer so that limits my choices. More often than not I simply scroll through the "Whats available" section of my library on random sort and click until something looks interesting. I go through audio books pretty fast, so when I see a week before my nearest hold is available that typically means I can finish two books in the interim so I read a lot of filler stuff that I wouldn't necessarily pick out if I wasn't bordering on desperate for something to listen to.

message 14: by CJ (new)

CJ FYI I changed my display name since last week. Also picture. I hadn't realised how out of date they were.

Anyway updates.
I just finished Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith. As the 17th book of the No1 Ladies' Detective Agency series it continues to be a fun read with interesting perspectives. It is also a pretty light and fluffy series that occasionally deals with heavier topics. They aren't long books, which is often a nice break, plus one of the few series I share with my mum, so I want to get them off my shelf and onto hers again!

Still reading Amberlough, but not got too much further with that. Got distracted from ebook reading by The Hustle appearing on UK Netflix!

I decided to pick up Early Socratic Dialogues by Plato, the Penguin Classics edition, as my new physical book. This is part of my ongoing attempt to read all of the books I bought while at Uni and only skimmed or read part of. In this case I was studying one of the dialogues but didn't read any of the others. I've only read the intro so far. But I'm expecting it to be slow going if interesting.

I also took delivery of a new bookcase today! It's not together yet, but if it's not too cold I do want to try and put it together over the weekend.

QOTW: I usually keep at least one ebook and one physical book on the go at a time and try not to read the same genre of book one after the other. Unless its the next book in a series I can't put down. Mostly I choose with that in mind and based on my mood. Sometimes I need to specifically pick something that's not going to be too big for my bag on a long journey (balanced with not too easy going or I'll just end up having to buy a new book).

Generally I'm only working on my own personal reading goals, so I can pick and choose as I like. Until it gets towards the end of the year and I realise I've failed at one or other of the minor category I try and include and try and rush to catch up!

message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Pace (space1138) | 127 comments Amy wrote: "Finished what I thought was book 3 of 3 this morning (King's Cage, Victoria Aveyard), only to realize there's a 4th book and a novella collection to round out the series. If I was loving it I would..."

I LOVED the Lightbringer series!!!! Glad you're enjoying it too!

message 16: by Jo (new)

Jo Oehrlein | 9 comments Sarah wrote: "I LOVED the Lightbringer series!!!!

Add me to the list of people who like Brent Weeks and the Lightbringer series.

message 17: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Klinich | 123 comments I am off to a slow start for the new year after binging toward the end because of travel and scrambling to meet my 2019 goal.
I just finished The Masked City. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first in the Invisible Library series, but it had one great line I really enjoyed: "The idea of a hot bath hung in the future like the promise of Christmas or a new book in a favorite series."
I read a lot of series, so this comparison really hit home. It is always a great feeling when I find something new I enjoy and have a bunch to work my way through. I am looking forward most to the next Charlaine Harris Gunnie Rose book.
I am lucky that my library has a "wish list" feature. Every time I see a book recommended here or on main FoE or elsewhere that might be a good fit, I try to add it to my wish list. When my library holds are caught up, I can switch to my wish list, see what's available, and move it to my request list. I am also trying to slowly weed my way through my personal collection and get rid of anything that doesn't get 4 or 5 stars.

message 18: by Dakota (new)

Dakota | 20 comments Hi All! Making my first couple of posts in here. :) I'm excited to share book love with other EPBOT people. Some of the books you all have been reading sound super interesting!

I have had some fits and starts to the start of my reading this year because I needed to work some late nights, which throws me off. I also have a pile of unread books to start the year off with, which is kind of unusual for me.

The adult book I just finished is The German Girl, which a friend of mine raved over but I felt like was just okay. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and felt like the author didn't go as deeply as he could have into the reactions of the women in the story... instead he just seemed to make them all either energetic powerhouses or helpless going-to-stay-in-the-dark-bedroom-can't-cope in turns. The plot had some promise... it contrasts a the story of a girl escaping from WWII with a girl who has been orphaned in 9/11, but it just didn't deliver for me.

I also read a couple of middle grade novels because I'm coaching a couple of Battle of the Books teams at my son's school. Basically it's a book trivia contest. There's a certain selection of books that all the teams are supposed to read, and then they answer questions based on those books. I've found that to be an effective coach I have to read the books along with them. It also helps me create practice questions for them. So I read "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" and "Real Friends" right after the New Year. Neither of them impressed me as much as some of the other selections have (the others I've read so far have been Amina's Voice, Ban this Book, Because of Mr. Terupt, Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers, The Night Gardener, Fish in a Tree). Origami Yoda has to do with a bunch of 6th graders who make fun of one particular kid, but this kid creates a (origami) Yoda puppet and starts giving advice to all the kids... and they believe him, and the crazy thing is that the advice is oftentimes pretty good. The book is the "case files" that one kid has put together to try and figure out if Yoda is "real" or not. I didn't like it as much because I felt it was more surface level than, say, Because of Mr. Terupt, which hits hard and deep emotionally and shows a greater range of *why* someone might be acting a particular way. I'm curious to see how my kids react to it. I also didn't like Real Friends as much... not that it's a bad book, just that again, I felt like it was a bit more surface level. However, two of the girls on my team absolutely *love* that book, so who knows what lurks in the minds of 4th grade girls?

QOTW: I usually chose based on how I feel or how quickly a book has to go back to the library! I have "Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath's Guide To Evading Relationships That Drain You And Restoring Your Health And Power" checked out right now... so that's on my immediate "next" list! Otherwise I tend to chose books that will help me feel the way I want to feel... not sad, for example, or I'll pick up a romance or a TNT if I want something easy and light to read.

This year might be a little different since I'm trying to actually track the reading I do, and also because I created an entire shelf of books to read written by women of color (personal challenge). I'm not usually so strategic about my reading, but I think that's going to force me to be. Some haven't been released yet and I'll have to figure out how get enough through the library to meet my goal.

message 19: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Hi! How old is your son? I'm always looking for book suggestions for my third grader and the Origami Yoda book sounds like something he might get a kick out of :)

Also, if you're looking for books by women of color, I can't praise N.K. Jemisin enough. Nnedi Okorafor is also excellent.

message 20: by Kathy (last edited Jan 11, 2020 07:06AM) (new)

Kathy Klinich | 123 comments Shel wrote: "Hi! How old is your son? I'm always looking for book suggestions for my third grader and the Origami Yoda book sounds like something he might get a kick out of :)

Also, if you're looking for books..."
My boys are now 18bot and 21bot, but I made this list of books we all enjoyed in elementary/ middle school, which should be publicly available. https://aadl.org/user/lists/10835

message 21: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Thank you!!

message 22: by Dakota (new)

Dakota | 20 comments Hi Shel! He is 9 (in 4th grade) and I'd love to share with you what he's loved... what is your kiddo into and what's his reading level-ish? (Should we put this convo in a different thread? I'm not sure) Mine is super into dragons, so I swear half of what he reads involves them in some way or another. *laughing *

Origami Yoda is pretty funny, I think, for that age group. It does involve boys and girls liking each other, which I think my kiddo is just on the cusp of understanding. But kind of the basic humor/way the characters talk to each other seems pretty "true" to what I've observed at the school.

If it helps, here's the link to the full list of Battle Books this year: https://sites.google.com/view/akaslba...
And here's the books from last year: http://www.anchoragelibrary.org/media...

I remember my kiddo really liking Fangbone the Third Grade Barbarian (I think it's a graphic novel), NERDS (which is actually a series), and Upside Down Magic (also a series).

But if I know more about what your kiddo likes, I'm happy to suggest more based on what we've found!

message 23: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Dakota, has your kid read Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville? That was my favorite as a kids, and I read it again a couple years ago. Still holds up! Coville was my gateway of learning to live sci fi and fantasy!

message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 265 comments Dakota, I'll second Bruce Coville. All of it. We used to listen to his books on audio on road trips and they engaged the entire family. Same with Gary Paulsen. The Hatchet series and others are fantastic. They just pull you in, kids and adults alike. My son loved the Redwall series too.

message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 265 comments For my check-in this week, I had to return The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet before I finished it. I have put in another request for it again. I also have a request in to the library for The Starless Sea.

In my audiobook, I started listening to the 2nd Interdependency Scalzi book, The Consuming Fire. It is taking a different slant than I expected at the end of the first book so I'm interested in seeing where this goes.

While waiting for the library books to arrive, I picked up a book we have at home. I got it from my husband last year for Christmas (2018) and read some of it. So right now I'm reading Math with Bad Drawings. It is easy to pick up or put down if the others arrive. It is a lot of fun and an enjoyable read about math, and it has bad drawings. It is a bit hard to describe but it is a great, nerdy, non-fiction book about math.

Like others, mood mostly guides my book selections. I tend to oscillate between a bunch of non-fiction and then cleanse the palate with a few fiction books (often offsetting the non-fiction with an quick, fluffy romance novel). Then diving back into non-fiction.

message 26: by Madison (new)

Madison Thomsen Hi BOTS' this is my first check in.

Making the Corps- A look at Marine Corps Boot Camp at Parris Island in the mid 1990s and how the Marine Corps navigated changes post-Vietnam War.

Braving the Wilderness- This was my first time reading a book by Dr. Brene Brown. I really enjoyed her writing style, mixing research in with real-world personal situations.

The Handmaid's Tale Graphic Novel- I really enjoyed this, but it was a much shorter read than I was expecting. I will have to read the original format as well. I read The Testaments last year for the Barnes & Noble Book Club.

Currently Reading: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

I read based on interest, recommendations from authors, friends, and even the Barnes & Noble "If you liked ____, try these books" emails. It also depends on my mood- sometimes, you just need to reread a series you know like the back of your hand, other times you need to read something different and new. I tend to read YA Fiction, but I also enjoy historical fiction & nonfiction, and some fantasy & sci-fi.

message 27: by Dakota (new)

Dakota | 20 comments @Sheri and @Susan, no! haven't read Colville. We'll have to check that out, thank you! He does have Hatchet on his shelf, and I am pretty sure another Paulsen that I picked up this summer (can't remember which one right now though). I don't think he's read it yet, which is funny because he was in a big "survival" kick over last summer, and read My Side of the Mountain over and over again. So naturally I found Hatchet and Julie of the Wolves and a few others and did he read them? No, no of course he didn't. *laugh* He reads like I used to though... browses his shelf and then suddenly something will call or to him and he'll get obsessed with it. I got him Flora and Ulysses two years ago and he finally picked it up a month ago!

message 28: by Dakota (new)

Dakota | 20 comments @Susan... LOVE your description of romance novels as "fluffy!"

message 29: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Also for covill fans, there’s a movie of Aliens Ate My Homework on netflix, with William Shatner as Phil. It’s super cheesy, and they got rid of Snout which is kinda baffling to me, but it did follow the overall story about how I remembered it!

Trying real hard not to go re buy all his books again so I can wallow in nostalgia haha

message 30: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 162 comments After a raring start to the year with quiet time to read after the holidays, I have just one finish to report this week - Nothing Lasts Forever, which is the inspiration for Die Hard. It's quite dark. You can see where Hollywood crept in to make it one of the best Christmas movies ever (dont @ me! LOL)

QOTW: I'm definitely a mood reader. I have an extensive TBR stack of physical books, a bunch of free stuff downloaded on Kindle, and two vast libraries from which to borrow, so I'm rarely at a loss for very long.

That said, I'm a competitive reading challenge tracker, so I make sure whatever I pick up fits one of my open prompts, which gets trickier as the year progresses!

message 31: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 844 comments Mod
Die Hard is 100% a Christmas movie!

I cut down on my challenges this year, after several years in a row of steadily increasing them, last year I just got really frustrated by July/August, having prompts left and just wanting to read what I felt like. I’m hoping to finish PS and Read Harder by June, or at least end of

message 32: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Dakota wrote: "Hi Shel! He is 9 (in 4th grade) and I'd love to share with you what he's loved... what is your kiddo into and what's his reading level-ish? (Should we put this convo in a different thread? I'm not ..."

Different thread is a good idea! On it :)

message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 265 comments @Dakota, if you can find the Paulsen books on audio, they make great car trip listening. Way back when our kids were younger, about 15 years ago, we were on a road trip back from Florida up to Massachusetts. Our original plan for the first day was to make it to the VA/NC border and we had a hotel reservation. We got there, about 2pm (having left at maybe 4:30am) and the kids were like, "Let's keep listening, don't stop!" so we moved the reservation another hour up into VA and again we got "No! Don't stop, we're almost done, we have to finish!" and again we moved the reservation north and made it all the way to Washington DC. All because they wanted to finish the book.

message 34: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Susan wrote: "So right now I'm reading Math with Bad Drawings. It is easy to pick up or put down if the others arrive. It is a lot of fun and an enjoyable read about math, and it has bad drawings. It is a bit hard to describe but it is a great, nerdy, non-fiction book about math."

Welp, just added that to my wishlist - that's my kind of book :D

message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 16 comments Well I gave up on both Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (page 35) and The Bride Test (page 30) for the same reason, just couldn't get past the writing. Sometimes the plot or humor will carry it, but in this case meh for both. I'm changing my strategy for reading the NPR book concierge categories--if possible I'm picking books that are both in the required category AND in the Seriously Great Writing category...hopefully that works out a little better.

That plan worked out for the book I did wind up finishing, Fleishman Is In Trouble. It was ok, but not a book I would recommend to people--I like my books to carry me away and this is in the category of Realistic Fiction which is the opposite. It's basically a 'coming of age' style novel but with middle age crises instead. Lots of internal drama for all characters, not tons of plot. So I guess I'm glad I can check that category off.

I also finished the Calculating Stars, which I saw several people recommend in other posts and really enjoyed it!

QOTW: I mostly choose books by whatever comes available on my library hold list...which comes from the infinite Amazon wish list that I've generally forgotten why they got put there. Sigh. But not infrequently I just default to Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers or Ngaio Marsh...because when I'm tired it's easier just to read the comfort food books than try a few to find something I enjoy. I'm trying to fix that at least a bit this year, and be a little more willing to at least start books that aren't old standbys.

message 36: by Dakota (new)

Dakota | 20 comments Susan wrote: "@Dakota, if you can find the Paulsen books on audio, they make great car trip listening. Way back when our kids were younger, about 15 years ago, we were on a road trip back from Florida up to Mass..."

That is so funny! I have to be honest... we don't listen to audio books, which is all my fault. I just can't track stories when listening like that, so I never think about it for the kids.

message 37: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 234 comments Dakota wrote: "I have to be honest... we don't listen to audio books, which is all my fault. I just can't track stories when listening like that, so I never think about it for the kids...."

We save audiobooks for road trips. Last year we listened to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on our drive to visit relatives for Thanksgiving and both kids loved it. My son asked for it because his second grade teacher was reading it to the class, but he often missed that reading time because he was pulled out for OT a few times a week. It's a lovely story. I enjoyed it as an adult!

message 38: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments Kathy wrote: "I am off to a slow start for the new year after binging toward the end because of travel and scrambling to meet my 2019 goal.
I just finished The Masked City. I didn't enjoy it as ..."

I'd never heard of that series, but based on that quote, I'm definitely going to seek it out - I want a plaque of that for the bathroom!

message 39: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jenniferle) | 26 comments I haven’t checked in for a very, very long time. Last year was ... rough. I barely made my challenge goal for 2019. But, I’m back to reading regularly.

Earlier this month I finished a book I enjoyed but started back last July. \"Artful: A Novel\" by Peter David. It took the Artful Dodger from \"Oliver Twist\" and made him a vampire hunter. It was fun, lively, and entertaining.

I also finally read volume 8 of the Lumberjanes series. I was never a huge comic book fan till I started reading a few of the Marvel ones after watching the movies, and then I found Lumberjanes and got hooked.

Earlier this week I finished my first Brandon Sanderson book, \"Skyward.\" I do a book club of sorts with my nieces, who are 16 and 13. We take turns picking books and then discuss at family gatherings. This was the younger one’s pick. At first I wasn’t sure because I was not crazy about Sensa, but as soon as I finished I checked out the next one in the series. So, safe to say I’m a fan now.

Tonight I read the first Princess in Black book to my kids for bedtime. They loved it and it was fun to read, so I’ll be looking into those more too.

message 40: by Samantha (new)

Samantha MacMillan I've been slogging through "The Disappearing Spoon". I say slogging because I never took more than the minimum of chemistry in school so it's stretching albeit interesting. I have "The Testaments" to pick up when I'm done so I'm looking forward to that.

QOTW: I choose what to read next based on my digital or physical holds as they come in, or something in my pile that's waiting to be read. I usually have a non-fiction and a novel on the go at the same time. I lean towards historical fiction so I'm trying to alternate it with other fiction types more to widen my reading.

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