Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2020 Weekly Checkins > Week 4: 1/17 - 1/23

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy Thursday everyone!

We've finally gotten a true blast of winter temperatures here in Virginia (well, winter for us anyway). It's so bitter cold in the mornings that I just want to crawl back into my warm bed and stay there.

Admin note: Upcoming is the February group read of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah so get your copies and get ready! Discussion to be lead by Lynn.

Nomination polls are up for quarter 2 monthly reads. Remember, this round includes write-in book polls. You can select a book already listed as your nomination or you can write in your choice. This is not a final vote, only a nomination tally. These polls are open until midnight EST Tuesday 1/28. We should have the voting polls open by next Thursday's check-in.

On to the reading check-in!

I finished three books this week:

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. This book was charming and funny. I had only read one YA book by her before. Now that I have a taste for what she can do in an adult book I will absolutely be reading more from her! I'm using this for a book with the same title as a movie or TV show.

Roomies by Christina Lauren. Continuing in my binge read of all their books, this one is one of my absolute favorites! Irish guitar player, Calvin, has an amazing opportunity to perform on Broadway except that he is here illegally. Enter Holland (girl, not country) who has been entranced by his playing for some time. She offers to marry him so that he can achieve his dream. Sounds a little cliche, but the two main characters are just adorable and their feelings for each other so intense. It's a pretty standard romance, but the journey is beautiful. This is my book with a main character in their 20's (Holland is 25 or so).

The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky. This is a Peter Pan retelling that I stumbled across. I haven't made up my mind about it yet. I think she really nailed Peter Pan's attitude (if you've never read the original story, he's pretty darn cocky). I love the more assertive Wendy in this story. And for some odd reason, every time I read Hook's dialogue I heard the voice of Shere Khan from the Jungle Book movie! I will probably continue to read this series.


Currently reading:

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller. I just picked this up on audio yesterday. I am excited to start it today.

I will be picking up something in paper over the next couple of days, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

Question of the week:

If you had two hours of completely uninterrupted reading time, what would that look like for you? Where would you be? What would you be eating, drinking, listening to, etc?

My ideal would be curled up on the sofa, warm fuzzy blanket over my lap, mug of hot tea next to me, and an ASMR room playing on YouTube for ambiance. Sometimes I'll just read in silence, but I like the background of the ASMR rooms (if you don't know what that is just search that term on YouTube and you'll see).

message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 777 comments So back to work tomorrow for me so probably a lot less fun reading than this week or I'll get fired due to the y9s blowing themselves up while I'm not looking.

GR 19/75 PS 8/50 ATY 8/50
Finished How'd I Get Here? And Why Am I Stealing M&M's From Air Force One? for the journalist prompt.
Two Evils for the bird on the cover prompt (this may not be that edition but I'm in a hurry)
Legends of the North York Moors: Traditions, Beliefs, Folklore, Customs for anthology
I Am Legend for ATY (best book of the week)
Nothing Stays Buried for ATY

Almost finished Ready Player One as my last 2019 PS prompt and might do so tonight.

Also working through Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? which is disappointing as I thought I might learn something and haven't yet.

Usually sprawled out on the lounge with a cup of tea or a beer.

message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara | 122 comments I 100% agree about the bitter cold. It's been so cold that I thought I might never be warm again. I'm not a big fan of winter.

I finished four books this week, which is insane! I rarely finish this many in a week. First, I finished Dracula on audiobook. I had never made it through this book before, and I finally found a way to enjoy it. I have now embarked on Frankenstein in the same format to see if I can get through that one as well. Then I may continue on with some other classics. Dracula is not for any reading challenge.

I then finished Dead as a Doornail, which I read for ATY, and also because I'm just re-reading the whole series, and I put it in popsugar for a book by an author who has written more than 20 books. I love Sookie Stackhouse, and this book is great because I think we have finally met all of her men.

After that, I finished a re-read of Red, White & Royal Blue, which my library podcast is going to be discussing in the next week or two. I put that under the character in their 20s prompt. I love this book so much, I imagine I'll read it again in the future.

Finally, I finished Ayiti, which is another one that the library podcast is going to be discussing soon. I put that as a book by a WOC. I don't know that I have a lot of thoughts about this book yet, I just finished it last night and I want to think about it more. But I'm definitely looking forward to a book club discussion about it.

QOTW: For me, two hours of uninterrupted reading time is in my living room with a diet 7up and sports on the TV in the background.

message 4: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jan 23, 2020 05:22AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6333 comments Mod
It’s winter here for sure now, it’s been cold and snowing, the air is full of the sound of car wheels slowly rolling over snow, ice, and gravel on the roads.

I’m always excited to see the next round of group read nominations!!

This week I finished two books, & fit them both into the Challenge, so I’m 8/50, I think.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence- our January group read for “great first line.” I wasn’t crazy about this. It did have a great first line, though!

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater - book one in a new series following the Raven Boys series, this one is about Ronan and his dreams; several of the main characters were in their 20s (it’s not explicitly stated but I’m pretty sure Ronan turns twenty in this book, also).

I’d be lying on the couch or in bed with two dogs pressed up next to me keeping me warm. No sound, no drinks, no snacks, just a good book.

message 5: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1183 comments I think we had our first proper frost of winter this week. Very pretty but not nearly as cold as some of deal with. It's nice that the soggy weather finally relented.

Finished this week:

Hostage for a book which shares its title with a film. This is a graphic "novel" about a French charity worker who was kidnapped in Chechnya in the 90s. It's really quite tense despite it being about someone handcuffed to a radiator for most the book.

The Last Day for review and ATY (a time and place I wouldn't want to live). This was OK but too may things didn't quite seem right and a lot was infodumped. The stuff about Britain cutting itself was entirely believable though, so an extra marks for being topical.

The Calculating Stars for ATY (first book in a new to me series) and I adored it! I'm going to try and fit the next two books (3rd one is out this year) into my challenges somewhere.

Beware the Kitten Holy for no reason other than last week's QOTW reminded me I wanted to read more comics and graphic novels so I dusted off my Humble Bundle account and re-discoverd a massive pile of digital comics I haven't read yet. This was cute and I'll be reading more Lumberjanes.

Currently reading Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line for review and a book by a journalist, and listening to Enchantée for ATY.

PS: 4/50 | ATY: 5/52 | BR: 1/24 | GR: 10/100

In winter it'd definitely be curled up on the sofa with a blanket (and maybe my dog if she's feeling snuggly) and a black coffee or mint tea. I'm not bothered about background noise, usually if I'm reading that long uninterrupted it means my boyfriend is playing a game, so that'll be my audio! Might have Radio 2 on or otherwise I'm happy to read in silence.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 720 comments I found out this week that my work schedule is changing soon. I’m not happy about it. I’ve always worked regular business hours because so much of what I do involves contacting other businesses who work regular business hours. Oh, well. It is what it is. There’s not a lot happening here after hours so it might become prime weekday reading time.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (a medical thriller). I didn’t love this book. The writing was dry and limited in scope. This is the second medical thriller I’ve read. Now that I’ve read more than one, I’m comfortable saying I’m not a fan of the genre.

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (a book set in a country beginning with C)

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth (a book with a great first line)

I would be on my couch with my favorite cozy blanket reading in silence. I'm not big on eating or drinking while reading. I usually have a glass of water close by, but that's it. I don't usually turn on music or anything when I'm reading.

message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nadine wrote: "I’d be lying on the couch or in bed with two dogs pressed up next to me keeping me warm. No sound, no drinks, no snacks, just a good book."

I forgot to include my dog "blanket" or my cat "scarves" in my description. I don't mind the dog so much since she's usually next to me but not always on top of me. The cat, though, wants to sit in between me and my book. Unacceptable, you crazy feline!

message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 720 comments Sara wrote: "I finished four books this week, which is insane! I rarely finish this many in a week. First, I finished Dracula on audiobook. I had never made it through this book before, and I finally found a way to enjoy it."

I've started reading all classics this way. I don't have the concentration or energy to devote to reading classic texts anymore. A great narrator can draw me into a story in a way my own brain doesn't seem able to. Which version of Dracula did you listen to? It's on my list, but I haven't found a narrator I liked.

message 9: by Stacey (last edited Jan 23, 2020 06:03AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Happy Thursday Everyone!

This week I slacked immensely on reading! :( I had some company, a long to-do list and some migraines plus a random desire to binge some old seasons of Project Runway (haha!) so I only managed to finish 1 book. At least I've had some much warmer days lately unlike you guys! There was one day earlier this week that was -24C but mostly it's been around 0C to -10C this week and snowing a ton which is really nothing temperature-wise since it's not uncommon for me to see -30s or -40s this time of year.

Current Progress

PS 10/50 | HP 14/56 | ATY 14/52 | GR 14/100


The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood (on audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - This was different than The Handmaid's Tale but in a good way in my opinion. This was much more plot driven (and therefore exciting) and it was cool to learn more about the rise/beginning of Gilead through Aunt Lydia's perspective. If you go into this without any expectations, you'll enjoy it BUT if you're expecting the next literary masterpiece or a personal account from a handmaid then you'll probably be disappointed.
Used For: PS - 23. A Book that won an Award in 2019
HP - 24. Read a book set in multiple locations
ATY - 42. A Book that was nominated for one of the "10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World"

Currently Reading

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - yes, still!

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls


It looks just like this! Curled up on the couch with a blanket and my reading buddy (Dakota) and some kind of drink (usually water, tea or hot chocolate)!

message 10: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 740 comments I finished The End of Your Life Book Club as my book about a book club. It was really sad, and I'm questioning the wisdom of it as a reading choice for someone with aging, ailing parents.

Then I read The Parthenon Enigma as a book that takes place in a city that hosted the Olympics. Since I got my heart set on Athens, I had trouble finding something. This was non-fiction, but it was really, really interesting

I am currently reading The Chameleon's Shadowas a book I picked without looking. I wrote down all the headers of the stacks at the library and drew one out of a hat. I was worried I'd end up in gardening or poetry, but as luck would have it, I just ended up in the fiction section. It's pretty good so far, but I'm not sure what's happening.

QOTw: In a perfect world, it would be a nice cool (but not cold) day in the fall. I'd be sitting on a bench in the park, with some water, every so often looking up to see the leaves on the ground and in the trees, and there'd probably be other activity in the park also. I'd be enjoying the weather before it turns winter-y cold and immersing myself in a book that makes me happy to be outside.

message 11: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Jen wrote: "So back to work tomorrow for me so probably a lot less fun reading than this week or I'll get fired due to the y9s blowing themselves up while I'm not looking..."

That makes a fun imagery :)

message 12: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Sara wrote: "Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. This book was charming and funny. I had only read one YA book by her before. Now that I have a taste for what she can do in an adult book I will absolutely be reading more from her! I'm using this for a book with the same title as a movie or TV show."

"...and an ASMR room playing on YouTube for ambiance."

Yes!! I had only read Eleanor & Park in 2018 before picking up Attachments in 2019 and was also very pleasantly surprised! Attachments was one of my favourite reads last year! :)

I also love ASMR videos too! I'm usually someone who gets triggered by visual stuff and not necessarily sounds so I never get tingles if I have it on while reading but sometimes I like to use the inaudible whispers videos or videos in a different language for ambient noise while I read too! :)

message 13: by Brooke (last edited Jan 23, 2020 06:01AM) (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Hi everyone! I have been trying to get as much reading in as possible the last couple of weeks because the next 3 weeks I'm on various trips that will involve very little reading time. But I'm not complaining! I'll try to squeeze in some reading, even if it is just an audiobook while I am getting ready in the mornings. Saturday I leave for Denmark again for work training & meetings. Then the following week my team has their quarterly meeting in Napa (one of my favorite places!) and I'm staying an extra couple of days to see some friends from my years of living in N California.

But the best news of the week is that my Kansas City Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl!!! Because of the 2 work trips I am unable to go, but my boss promised that next year she won't schedule anything right before or after the game just in case they are in it again. LOL

6/50 for Popsugar
6/52 for Around the Year

Books I finished:
Stories I'd Tell in Bars by Jen Lancaster (AtY: A book first published in a year that is a prime number) This was okay, a nice breather in between a couple of heavier reads. I still like her early stuff (Bitter is the New Black, Such a Pretty Fat) better.

Long Bright River by Liz Moore (AtY: A book inspired by a leading news story) This was so good. I don’t know that I could recommend it highly enough. It’s dark and gritty, but it’s real. It is about family, two sisters specifically, who went in opposite directions as teenagers, and the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia.

Betrayal in Death by J.D. Robb (Popsugar #49: A book from a series with 20+ books) I started this series last February and just finished #12. There are over 50 books in the series, so I have a long way to go! I liked this installment. It focused on Roark again and was more personal than police procedural.

Cold Days by Jim Butcher (AtY: A fantasy) Once I started this book I couldn’t put it down! Excitement and action from page 1, as is the norm with The Dresden Files books. Each is getting more and more complicated, but I love the gray area that Wizard Harry lives in.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Popsugar #36: A book with a pink cover) This isn't nearly as good as the other books I've read by Reid. It took me about half of the book to care about the main character's troubles, and then everything magically worked out for them at the end.

I am currently reading:
Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben (Popsugar #48: A book published in the 20th century)
What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand (Popsugar #47: A book with 20+ letters in its title)
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (AtY: A book with an emotion in the title) - Just starting this today

If the 2 hours are during the fall or winter months, I'm usually on the sofa wrapped up in a blanket with football or college basketball on the television. In recent years, though, I've discovered that I can't be laying down while reading or I fall asleep! So I set up a nice little area on the chaise part of the sofa to still be comfortable while sitting up. (If it is really gray outside or I've had a long week, I sometimes still fall asleep, though!) No snacks needed. In the warmer months I'm still curled up on the chaise part of the sofa, just minus the blanket and an old movie I've seen a million times on the television.

message 14: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 765 comments Hi everyone!

Been a gross winter week again, so tired of winter. Give me sun, particularly in the evening!

This week I finished:

The Outlaw Demon Wails - hollows readaling

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters - book with more than twenty letters in the title. I liked this, but maybe not as much as her previous book. This one had a lot of really heavy handed foreshadowing type stuff that always annoys me. I like foreshadowing that you don't really notice until it all comes together and you realize all the arrows that was pointing at it. Not stuff like "but WILL she do what her mother in law wants her to do?" without mentioning what the mother in law wants for another 100+ pages.

Strange Practice - Medical thriller. I know over in the medical thriller thread there was a lot of discussion on what is or isn't a medical thriller. But this was on the list of "Medical thrillers recommended by actual physicians" so I'm counting it. It's about a doctor, Greta Helsing, whose patients are various kinds of undead and supernatural creatures. A spate of deaths is sweeping London, and one of her clients was attacked. She gets wrapped up in discovering what is going on, using her medical knowledge to piece together clues. I think it counts. Might not be a pandemic or anything, but the fact that she's a doctor is vital to the plot and solving it.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer - short story that just came up on my holds so I read it. Short and bittersweet

Currently reading:

Gideon the Ninth - Not sure if this fits a prompt yet, mostly got it because I've wanted to read it since i heard about it, and it was on the new release shelf when I went to pick up Strange Practice. It might work for seven deadly sins, there's a lot of Pride involved. about halfway through, will probably make a decision when finished.


when I have a span of uninterrupted reading time I'm usually curled up in my recliner with a blanket, likely a cat, and if possible no noise. usually only happens if my husband goes to bed early/sleeps in late/is out of town. I don't tend to fuss with drinks or snacks if i'm sitting down purposefully to read, although I might read if i'm snacking if that makes sense.

message 15: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Hi all
Two week update for me.

For challenges I read:
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie for ATY - mystery and PS - set in the 1920´s. It doesn´t state that it´s set in the 1920´s but it is understood that it´s a contemporary setting and it was published in 1926, so I´m counting it. This has a great twist if you enjoy her mysteries and haven´t read it I´ll strongly recommend it.

Eventyret om Fjeren og Rosen (The tale of the feather and the rose) by Josefine Ottesen for PS - bird on the cover.
Eventyret om Fjeren og Rosen by Josefine Ottesen
Both of these books were for the kids/youth book clubs I run at work, and I´m happy they both fit the challenge. I like this first stage of the challenge where almost everything works.

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) by Robin Hobb by Robin Hobb for Bildungsroman. My first Hobb ever, and I´m confident we will have a long and prosperous friendhsip, her books and I.

Currently reading:
Watchmen by Alan Moore
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens on audio (still...)
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (just started)

This time of year: Curled up on my sofa with a blanket, a cup of tea or coffee, or a glass of wine, maybe a little chocolate. Usually something will be going on in the background, like my husband watching a football (soccer) game or playing the guitar or something. And our sons will be there in the background noise as well (I am very good at shutting out sounds. I´m part of a large rowdy family, also before having a family of my own).

message 16: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Read this week
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats It's poems about cats and it's delightful
Misfit City Vol. 1 & Misfit City Vol. 2 Its the Goonies and it's amazing! I'm reading their other comic Smooth Criminals and I really hope they go back to make a Misfit City Vol 3
The Tenth Girl I finished this out of spite mostly. It was so promising but the farther along I got, the angrier I got as well but I had already DNF'd a book the day before so I buckled in

Few of my currently reading
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club Reading along with the podcast As My Wimsey Takes Me which I 100% recommend
Smooth Criminals Vol. 1
The Starless Sea I had to return my copy to the library so I ordered my own and waiting for in the mail

I have a chair in my room by my window that I curl up on with a blanket or two. My hound lays on the foot rest. I'll have either tea or hot cocoa and a candle lit.

message 17: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 299 comments Good morning from Columbus! Not much to report here. Approaching finals for my nail tech program, I think I have about 100 hours left to complete. I’m in the home stretch so I’ve just been spending my spare time studying and getting in extra hours.

Truly Devious for a book that includes a map. This was very much in the YA category and I feel like I enjoyed it way more than I should have lol. Very Sherlock Holmes-y but meets modern true crime podcast in a fancy private school. So many secrets, so many mysteries. The book ends on several cliffhangers? How cruel, I most definitely need the next book in the series pronto.

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures for a book recommended by a podcast. Lore is one of the few podcasts regularly listen to. I love his voice and the music and the topics. He mentions his books pretty frequently so I figured they’d work for this prompt. I obviously did the audiobooks, and I wish they had the music in the same way the podcast does. The piano most definitely sets the mood. I very much enjoyed the book but I’m pretty sure most, if not all, of the stories were also in the podcast. I don’t mind the repeats because it’s not like I’m listening so intently that I commit the stories to memory but I think I had assumed the books were new material.

The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals not for a category but both audiobooks were available for checkout through overdrive so I went for it. Everything I said above applies here too lol. I’ll most definitely still want to listen to the third book, except it wasn’t on overdrive and I didn’t want to use an audible credit.

The Thirteenth Tale for the Bechdel test prompt. I’ve had this on my TBR forever, and I really enjoyed her other book Once Upon a River but idk, I just felt like this would be a daunting book to take on. It really wasn’t. It was long, sure, but not boring and it held my interest. I quite enjoyed this, I appreciated the ode to books that was the backdrop of the story. And I love a good gothic tale so this was right up my alley.

This brings me to 14 books read this year. 11/40; 0/10 for popsugar and 2/24 for book riot.

QOTW: this is my typical night, I get a good 3-4 hours in after my youngest goes to bed and it’s me laying in bed listening to an audiobook while I play a few games on my phone, or propped up in bed while I work out some nail art ideas on practice wheels. If we’re talking strictly physical books my preferred setting would be my favorite cafe, on the couch, kids with a grandparent for the day, a mocha and a donut on the table.

message 18: by Marissa (new)

Marissa (marissajeanine) | 8 comments This week I finished The Circle by Dave Eggers on audio for the social media prompt. Chilling and reads fast because it is a page-turner. I'm about to finish Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz for the bird on the cover prompt, which is a great mystery read. Upcoming is a book with a pink cover and a book with gold, silver, or bronze in the title.

Question of the week: I'd like to be stretched out on the couch under a quilt with my small dog and a cup of coffee. I do this on the weekends but often fall asleep, so it's not the most productive reading spot. Sure is cozy though!

message 19: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (mirandom) | 35 comments I only finished one book this week because my library ebook copy of Catch and Kill expired, but the e-audio book became available yesterday so I should finish it before the next check-in. I've also just been cast in a play so that's going to eat up a lot of my reading time.

Challenge Progress as of Week 4: 6/50

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie for the advanced prompt "A book from a series with more than 20 books." Expect to see more Hercule Poirot here because those books fill a lot of the advanced prompts.

Currently reading
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow

I also started an arc of 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics, I probably won't finish it until after the book has been published but it's really interesting so far. I may use it for the Women in STEM prompt (forensic science is a science!)

Curled up on the couch with some sleepy kitties and a cup of hot chocolate, either reading a paper book or listening to an audiobook while I knit <3

message 20: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 662 comments Happy Thursday, y’all.

Because I am a dork, I've undertaken a project where I take photos of my challenge reads alongside robot figures from my massive collection of Transformers. XD If you're interested in seeing these photos, check out the PopSugar Reading Challenge FB page (though I'm also pondering an Instagram account...).

Books read this week:

And the Ocean Was Our Sky -- for “book with an upside-down image on the cover.” Wow… it’s basically Moby-Dick, or, the Whale but with the species swapped -- whales hunting human ships! And while the worldbuilding feels a little shaky to me (why would whales constantly be swimming upside-down?), the story is powerful and the illustrations are gorgeous. I’ve struck out on several of Patrick Ness’ books in the past (The Crane Wife and The Knife of Never Letting Go), so it was nice to find that A Monster Calls isn’t the only book of his I enjoy.

Severance -- for “book with only words on the cover, no pictures or graphics,” though could also count for “book with a pink cover” or “book by a WOC.” A different take on the apocalypse, told from the point of view of an office drone who tries to cling to her old routines despite the world falling apart around her. The storyline wanders a fair bit and the lack of quotation marks to indicate dialogue drove me nuts (especially since the book was already in first-person), but otherwise this was enjoyable.

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War -- not for the challenge, though could work for “book on a subject you know nothing about” if you’re not familiar with military science. A bit scattered but still an interesting look at the science behind the military, and the efforts made to keep soldiers safe on the battlefield.

Zodiac Starforce Volume 2: Cries of the Fire Prince -- graphic novel, not for the challenge. I really love this magical-girl comic series, and love seeing it continue and further develop the stories of the main characters. (view spoiler)

Regular challenge -- 8/44 (split the last prompt into five)
Advanced challenge -- 0/10
Not for challenge -- 5

Currently Reading:

The Stand -- for “book with a 4 or greater reading on Goodreads” (I swear I’ll finish this someday…)
Thrawn -- for “book by an author who’s written more than 20 books”
Myths of Origin -- for “favorite prompt from the 2019 challenge” (book based on mythology, legend, or folklore)
S is for Space -- not for the challenge


I'd be curled up in bed with a pile of all the books I'm currently working on, probably reading a bit out of each one because I'm weird like that. Some kind of chocolate on hand for snacking, and most likely one of the two cats pestering me to give them attention instead of staring at the paper with the funny markings on it. XD

message 21: by Mahi (last edited Jan 23, 2020 07:04AM) (new)

Mahi | 89 comments Hi everyone! We have a new community spreadsheet, and I would love to see more people use it. Come if you enjoy the community feeling of the challenge and if you want to see cool statistics!

Finished Reading:
1) Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (6A. A book by an author who has written more than 20 books) - I've loved all the Murderbot books and this was no exception. ★★★★★

2) Exit Strategy by Martha Wells (no prompt) - This was a perfect finale, especially in terms of Murderbot's character arc! I was going to use this for the seven deadly sins prompt because there's definitely a lot of greed exhibited throughout the book, but the main character never displayed any sins, so I don't think it's enough to fit the prompt for me personally. ★★★★★

*) Compulsory by Martha Wells - Extremely surprising that I didn't like this short story, but it was too barebones and unpolished while also being nothing different from the Murderbot books. It was also far too short, so much so that I wish I could decide to not count it for the overall Goodreads challenge. ★★★

3) Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett (12. A book that passes the Bechdel Test) - While I didn't love this like I expected to, Terry Pratchett doesn't disappoint. He's amazing at portraying realistic characters whose motivations and action makes full sense from their perspective even when they’re wrong. ★★★★

4) This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay ( 7. A book with more than 20 letters in its title.) - I read this yesterday and cannot get it out of my head. Though I was probably more personally affected by it than most because this is what I'm planning to do with my career, I found it equal parts hilarious, moving, informative, and terrifying. ★★★★★

Currently Reading:
Nothing, because I really should be focusing on my assignments instead of spending the entire reading (which is exactly what I did yesterday). I'll have to force myself to wait till the weekend!

I would be curled up in bed under a warm comforter, wearing my most comfortable indoor clothes (characterized by how soft, ugly, and mismatched they are and how often I wear them at home already). Background music doesn’t make much of a difference to me as I eventually tune everything out anyway.

message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 489 comments Heather wrote: "Which version of Dracula did you listen to? It's on my list, but I haven't found a narrator I liked."

For what it's worth, Audible's production was great!

I've been terrible about checking in - life has been so very busy lately.

So far I've finished:

Wakenhyrst - A book by an author who has written more than 20 books - LOVED it

A Christmas Carol - A book with a great first line - good, but I actually like the film adaptations better

The Wrath of Vajazzle - A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character - great silly fun

Currently reading The Widow Nash - A Western - I'm really into this book! Of course, it hasn't gotten terribly Western yet, which probably factors in. I'm still counting it though!

On the DNF bubble - Frankissstein: A Love Story - no quotation marks and it has randomly changing verb tense for no discernible reason. This may be too annoying to get through.


On a couch with a blanky, with tea, and instrumental music of some sort that goes with the mood of the book!

message 23: by Elena (new)

Elena Johansen Week 4
The Age of Innocence - The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed
The Black Tides of Heaven - A book by a trans or nonbinary author
Station ElevenStation Eleven - A book set in a country beginning with “C”

I actually had nearly two hours of uninterrupted reading time this morning to finish Station Eleven! I was lying on the couch, in my pajamas, under a fuzzy blanket. I started out with a glass of water and a bowl of tortilla chips (not a healthy breakfast, I know.) I don't listen to music while I read at home, only when I'm reading somewhere I have to be where music is unavoidable.

message 24: by Pam (new)

Pam | 38 comments This week I finished Verity. I do not even know what to say about this book, except WTF! I used this book for the best first line prompt.

I am currently reading, and I am almost finished with Life After Life. I am either going to use this for a book set in an Olympic city prompt or a book with an upside down image. This book is okay.

Question of the week:

Uninterrupted reading time would be with a blanket, and my cats on the couch.

message 25: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (bookstasamm) | 176 comments Happy Thursday! It's been so cold here too, but that's expected in New England! I finished three books this week. Two for the challenge and one I'm not sure if I'm going to use it or not. I won't get much reading done this weekend because I'm going to a food and wine festival (one of my other hobbies).

The Other People - I had an ARC of this and really liked it. It had so many twists and turns, and I couldn't figure any of them out. I could use this for a book with a three word title, but had something else planned for that so currently this book is not for the challenge. 4 stars

The Paris Wife - I read this for prompt #44 - a book set in the 1920's. I didn't really know much about Ernest Hemingway's personal life before reading this. It's about his life with his first wife, Hadley. I don't know how she put up with him as a husband, but would love to travel like they got to. 4 stars

The Sun Down Motel - I finished this book last night and absolutely loved it! I used it for prompt #50 - a book with a main character in their 20's. Both of the main characters are in their 20's so I thought this was the perfect book for this prompt. 5 stars

Challenge Progress:
Regular Challenge - 5/40
Advanced Challenge - 2/10
Total - 7/50

Currently Reading:
Size 12 Is Not Fat - I'm listening to this and the narrator is irritating to me so I'm not really enjoying it as much as I think I would if I read the actual book. This is not for the challenge.

The Perfect Mother - I have an ARC of this, and not reading it for the challenge.

QOTW - If you had two hours of completely uninterrupted reading time, what would that look like for you? Where would you be? What would you be eating, drinking, listening to, etc?

I would love two hours of uninterrupted reading time. For me it would be curled up in my bed, in my jammies, with my fuzzy blanket on, and a hot cup of tea.

message 26: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6333 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Nadine wrote: "I’d be lying on the couch or in bed with two dogs pressed up next to me keeping me warm. No sound, no drinks, no snacks, just a good book."

I forgot to include my dog "blanket" or m..."

Hahaha dogs are much more polite about that!!! Sometimes they peek at me over the book. If this link works, this is Molly peeking over one of my very first Challenge reads back in 2015.


message 27: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments Hello friends. It's starting to get warmer here which is nice. Sweater weather makes my dry cleaning bill annoying. lol

It has been a good week for reading for me.

4/40 Regular
1/10 Advanced


Vicious (Villains, #1) by V.E. Schwab
27. Featuring 7 Deadly Sins
To Be or Not To Be A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
40. Fave prompt from previous year
2019 - Choose your own adventure book
The Bad Seed (The Bad Seed, #1) by Jory John

Currently Reading
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Jeopardy in January (Calendar Mysteries #1) by Camilla Chafer
Tightrope Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof
Gone with the Gin Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist by Tim Federle


If you had two hours of completely uninterrupted reading time, what would that look like for you? Where would you be? What would you be eating, drinking, listening to, etc?

Oh man!!!! The idea of this is exciting!!! I have two possibilities I cannot fairly decide between. For a 2 hour span I would split it honestly.
Hot bath, candle, epsom salt, sparkling water, some face mask and a book.
Alternate sitting on my chaise covered in blankets and corgis (Bilbo and Baymax) drinking tea and chocolate with some classical music in the background.

message 28: by Ashley Marie (last edited Jan 23, 2020 07:26AM) (new)

Ashley Marie  | 442 comments Hey everyone! We had more snow in NE Ohio earlier this week and I happily spent Sunday reading with football on tv in the background. Took one of the cats to the vet last week after she started sneezing; she's all better but of course as soon as she healed the other two came down with it, so off to the vet we went again.

I finished four books (+ my first DNF of the year) this week:

- The Fellowship of the Ring, a reread and Book with a made-up language
4 stars and I am so glad to be revisiting Middle Earth after a 15-year hiatus. I've seen the films countless times but the books are a world-building wonder of their own.

- The Message, a reread and Book from a series with 20+ books
5 stars and I am still enthralled with this Animorphs reread. I think I forgot how dark these books are right from the get-go.

- Da Vinci's Tiger - DNF. I'd wanted to read it because I love the audiobook narrator, Elizabeth Wiley, but there wasn't much semblance of a plot going on and I have better things to waste time on.

- The Age of Innocence - Same title as a movie or tv show but unrelated
3 stars. I have a feeling I'll like this more when I reread it in a few years; not sure I was entirely in the mood for something like this right now.

- Medicus - Medical thriller
3.5 stars. Gaius Petreius Ruso is an army doctor for the Roman legion in Britannia. A mystery of dead slaves and sex workers drives the main plot. Solid first installment in a series.


Currently reading
- The Island of Sea Women passes the Bechdel test
- Gardens of the Moon
- Might start Brigid of Kildare tonight book with a three-word title

QOTW: If you had two hours of completely uninterrupted reading time, what would that look like for you? Where would you be? What would you be eating, drinking, listening to, etc?

You'd probably find me snuggled up on the sofa in my comfiest hoodie, probably with a cat next to me. Maybe water or a glass of wine (or whiskey), assuming the cat didn't get near it. No tv noises or music, thanks!

message 29: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Good Morning from Indiana!

I usually don't mind the cold/snow but last Saturday was a mess. I volunteer at an animal shelter every Saturday morning and the snow from the day before turned into pure slush and get the dogs in and out was a mess. The little guys hated it the most...I don't blame them. It looks like snow again this Saturday, I'm just hoping it's not too bad.


All the Light We Cannot See for a book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision). I loved this. It was such a beautiful and sad story. It's not like any other WWII book I've read before. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to read it.

We Ride Upon Sticks for a book you picked because the title caught your attention. I finished this one this morning. There were just over 50 pages left when I went to bed last night and plowed through them this morning. This book is 1980s, high school field hockey, big hair and teen witches. This book is fun but this book also delves into a lot of issues that teen girls and women in general have to go through. It's surprising and I recommend people pick it up when it comes out.

That puts me at 6/50 for the challenge.

Currently Reading:

Dr. Strange Beard for a book with a pun in the title. I love this series but I've been putting off reading this one because I really didn't care about Roscoe but I'm actually really enjoying it. Yes, reading this means I can finally get to Billy's story but I am enjoying Roscoe's book.

The Return for a book with a pink cover. I haven't started it yet, since I just finished a book this morning but this is next on my list to start tonight.


So, you're asking me what I did last night? On my comfy couch with my warm blanket over me, my dog hogging the ottoman, either a glass of cherry coke or a cup of Chai and the slow TV network from Pluto TV app playing a train going throughout Norway with random music and train noises as background noise.

message 30: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1183 comments Ashley wrote: "We Ride Upon Sticks for a book you picked because the title caught your attention. I finished this one this morning..."

I have my fingers crossed that a UK publisher picks this up!

message 31: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 18 comments Hello everyone!

It snowed all weekend so I was able to spend most of that reading!I managed to finish 4 books. Only two of them count towards a prompt in the challenge so I'm slowly making progress on that.


Blood of Elves for A book with a made up language. I don't have much to say about this one. It was pretty good and worth the read if you've been interested at all in the show.

American Wolf for A book with at least a four star rating on Goodreads. I listened to this on audio and I absolutely loved it.

One Dance with a Duke didn't fit with any prompts and it was a pretty standard romance.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me could have fit some prompts but I added the extra challenge for myself of not including graphic novels. This had a pretty good story and I enjoyed the art but it felt like it tried to handle too many things at once and it fell short.

Currently Reading:

The Wolf in the Whale. I'm not sure exactly what prompt I can fit this into. It's a pretty unique concept and I'm enjoying what I have listened to so far.

The Infinite Noise for A past prompt: A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist. I don't know what it is about this book but it's really slow going for me. It's just not holding my attention. I was really looking forward to reading this because the synopsis sounded fairly interesting but there's just something that I'm not meshing with.

Regular: 5/40
Advanced: 0/10


I would be sitting in my recliner with my favorite fuzzy blanket and my cat on my lap. I'd have an iced chai latte and some good chocolate. Usually when I'm reading, I like to play some music in the background.

message 32: by Errlee (new)

Errlee | 131 comments I forgot to check in last week, but not a big deal since my reading seems to be going so slowly this month. I spend more time trying to figure out what to read for the various challenges than actually reading these days, which is not a good thing. I don't know what's up but I just can't seem to decide what to put where. It's driving me kind of crazy and I'm not sure why it's different this year than other years.

Finished (since the first week):

The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz - this was on the NYT's 100 notable books for last year and I hadn't heard of it before, but I quite liked it. Used it for ATY author with one syllable

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller - this was a really powerful book, and exceeded my expectations. Highly recommend. Used it for three-word title.

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell - I read Carry On and Fangirl last year, and just find the whole Simon Snow thing completely enjoyable, even though I rarely read YA . Used this for ATY tied to something you read in 2019

Currently Reading:

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner - I'm enjoying it so far but finding it a bit slow. Using it for up-side down cover

The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson - so I was thinking about using The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton for the medical thriller prompt, but my library doesn't have a copy and then I saw this on the Express shelf. It seems Wilson was contracted by Crichton's family to write a sequel. But I can't ever read books out of order - so my husband convinced me to watch the 1970s movie based on the book instead - it was VERY 1970s :) So now I have started the sequel and it seems like a good fast paced thriller. I've enjoyed Wilson's other books -Robocalypse etc).
But I feel like it isn't really a medical thriller and more of a "techno-thriller" - so I think I am going to use it for ATY instead - set in a place/time you wouldn't want to live in -it's set deep in the Amazon jungle - and also involves some alien pandemic thing - so think it fits.


Like most, on the couch with a blanket and a dog on either side of me (although my 60 pound dog thinks she is a lapdog and is jealous of books so has been known to try to crawl ON my lap and insert herself between me and the book), and the fire going. Tea or wine, and maybe some almonds for a snack. My most preferred though is in the summer out on my deck (again with dogs and then maybe a gin and tonic depending on the time of day). I can't have music in the background at all but sometimes a hockey game is okay - depends on what I am reading and what teams are playing!

message 33: by Naina (new)

Naina (naynay55) | 113 comments Hello from freezing Washington, DC. I traveled for the 3 day weekend to Florida and was able to get some reading done on the flights and the beach.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance - title with more than 20 characters; 5/5
I loved the magic in this book. Weylyn is such a lovable character, and I really enjoyed the way Ruth Emmie Lang laid out his story.

You Were There Too - no prompt; 4/5
The last half of this book had me highly emotional. All I can say is prepare yourself for some surprises and lots of tears.

I'm at 7/52.

Currently Reading:
Tampa - book with a pink cover
Still taking my time with this one. I can still only take pieces of its disturbing story at a time before I feel gross.

Normal People - book by an author in their 20s
This book got a lot of hype last year and Obama included in his list of books for the year. I've enjoyed it a lot so far and am nearly done with it. I'll need to discuss it with others who have read it!

message 34: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments So this morning, I was taking the train to work, and there was some kind of snafu with the train lines up ahead. They ended up dropping us all off 11 blocks from my station, saying "sorry we recommend you get a cab or an uber or something." I ended up just walking. It was snowing.

People were grumbling about wanting refunds, but I don't think they're going to get any, haha.

Currently reading:

Hollow Kingdom (bird on the cover, meant to read in 2019) - A crow's-eye view of the zombie apocalypse. I'm not usually into zombies but I love S.T.'s narrative voice and his unique take on all things human.


The Black Company - Grimdark military fantasy sounds like it'd be cool, but this was just dull. Nobody had any personality and the writing style was weirdly choppy/sparse/distant.

QotW: I'd probably just be at my computer, reading on the Kindle app, listening to music on youtube. (I mostly listen to metal; lately it's been Within Temptation and Kamelot.) Nothing too fancy.

I like listening to music while I read because I associate those songs with the book, and it becomes like the book's soundtrack. Months later I'll be listening to a song and it'll be like "oh hey it's the Raven King theme."

message 35: by Mary (new)

Mary Hann | 239 comments This week I read:

December: A book with a main character in their 20s and the end to a series I've been reading my way through.

Lock Every Door: A book with a pink cover; I had super high expectations for this one and was a little let down by it, but it was still worth reading.

Currently reading:

Texas Ranger: One shot to clear his name…: A western. I really enjoyed the main character right away. I got about 20% of the way through and then got distracted through no fault of the book. I've been binge watching tv instead.

Question of the week:

Two hours of uninterrupted reading isn't that hard to come by for me. I'm single and I don't have kids, so as long as my phone is off/away and my dog is being chill, I have a decent amount of free time to read. Generally my most enjoyable reading is sitting on my couch, with Buddy (my giant dog). I have to have tv or pandora on in the background for him (but I prefer total quiet while reading). I generally don't eat while reading. I take eating breaks and I only drink water.

message 36: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3545 comments Mod
Also working through Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? which is disappointing as I thought I might learn something and haven't yet.

Oh, my! I am so looking forward to reading this, but perhaps it will disappoint me as well... :(

message 37: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3545 comments Mod
Sara wrote: The cat, though, wants to sit in between me and my book. Unacceptable, you crazy feline!

Oh, no! We have 3 cats in the house and none of them does this! Though the youngest did actually sit ON my book a couple of times early on and quickly realized that was unacceptable! ;) (I think my gasp and swipe at her helped... ;))

message 38: by Donna (last edited Jan 23, 2020 08:40AM) (new)

Donna (donna_egan) | 29 comments Good morning all! It’s a sunny day in Estes Park, Colorado.

I finished 2 books this week. I felt both were 5 star books.

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. - book by WOC.
I love Allende’s storytelling. This book follows the life of a slave from Haiti. The author captures both the horrors of slavery and the culture of Haitian’s. I knew so little about Haiti before reading this book.

Educated by Tara Westover- book published in birthday month.
I couldn’t put this book down, yet the physical and emotional abuse, made for a difficult read. This book is a story of perseverance.

Currently reading:
The Absolutist by John Boyne - book with a pink cover.

I’m curled up on the couch with a cat, blanket, drink, dog at my feet. Life is good.

message 39: by Errlee (new)

Errlee | 131 comments Sara wrote: "Sometimes I'll just read in silence, but I like the background of the ASMR rooms (if you don't know what that is just search that term on YouTube and you'll see)."

I have never heard of these before but they sound interesting! I usually can't read with music etc - anything with words makes me lose concentration - but when I am home alone (not that it happens that often), I also find the quiet disconcerting. So might have to try some of these (there seem to be an inordinate amount of Harry Potter themed ones!)

Any favourites that you listen to?

message 40: by Amy (last edited Jan 23, 2020 08:47AM) (new)

Amy | 29 comments Happy Almost Friday!


Red Sister prompt "book with great first line" and January Read
- I really wanted to like this book. It was a long one, I couldn't get into the story much might just be the mood I'm in now.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson prompt "title caught your attention" 4 stars Really enjoyed the book, easy read.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates prompt "suggested by vlog, podcast, online book club" - 5 stars LOVED this book. Great story and great writing.

Currently Reading:
Fahrenheit 451 prompt "book with a book on the cover"
White Fire by Douglas Preston
no prompt just needed a different kind of read
Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ prompt "Three word title"
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson prompt "four star rating on Goodreads"
Tampa by Alissa Nutting
prompt "pink cover"

QQTW: I'm a bit spoiled, I often get a couple hour block of time to read. I have to say I read in silence. I get to distracted if there is noise going on around me, can't have kids playing games, can't have the TV on, can't have my husband watching video's on his phone. I'm always fascinated by people that can tune the noise out! I'm usually reading in my bed or on the recliner all cozy in a blanket. If I'm listening to an audiobook I'm doing something with my hands, mindless games on my phone, a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes I find it hard to read a book after listening to a few audiobooks, like my hands need to be doing something.

message 41: by Jai (new)

Jai | 119 comments Happy Thursday Everyone! I'm so happy it's the end of the week. It's January in N.E. Ohio so it's cold and snowy...mehhh! I'm so used to it now. It has been good weather to snuggle up and read books in.
Their Eyes Were Watching God for prompt #6 A bildungsroman. The main character Janie definitely did alot of growing up and searching for love.
Gender Queer for prompt #2 A book by a trans or nonbinary author. I really loved this book. It was a memoir but in graphic novel form about the author's life and journey. Mainly it focused on how they viewed gender and them ultimately coming to terms with their own identify and sexuality.

Currently Reading:
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) I'm going to use this for prompt # 28 A book with a robot, cyborg or AI character. My IRL book club is reading this and I just started yesterday. I like it so far.

I Am Legend and Other Stories I'm listening to this and it's not a book for the challenge but for my own personal challenge to read books that have been turned into movies.

Untold Stories: Life, Love, and Reproduction for prompt #25 A book with only words on the cover and no graphics. I could also use it as an anthology. Untold Stories Life, Love, and Reproduction by Kate Cockrill


If you had two hours of completely uninterrupted reading time, what would that look like for you? Where would you be? What would you be eating, drinking, listening to, etc?

During the weekend I have hours of uninterrupted reading time and it generally looks like me wrapped up in a blanket, on my couch with coffee or some Earl Grey tea. If I'm listening to an audiobook I'm most likely knitting or doing other crafts. My tv might be playing in the background if others are woke in the house, otherwise it's just quietness.

message 42: by Tracy (last edited Jan 23, 2020 08:58AM) (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 605 comments I promised myself I would keep up with check ins this year, but I can't remember when I last checked in. I know I missed last week :/

We've had some snow here too, but in between we're at 40 degrees which is very nice. I've been pushing along with my challenges at a good pace, but migraines and fatigue are hitting me the past two weeks so I've had a few days where I haven't read at all. It's stressful here at home as usual. I wish we could stack comments here because there are so many of you that I want to reply to, about books you're reading or things that you're going through, or just how much you all are rocking the reading this year :-)

Challenge progress so far:
ATY: 4/52, 3 in progress and 2 waiting in my TBR stack
PopSugar: 2/50, and 3 waiting in my TBR stack
BookRiot: 2/24, 1 in progress, and 1 waiting in my TBR stack
ReadingWomen: 1/26, and 1 waiting in my TBR stack

What I've read so far:
The Old Man and the Sea ( A classic book you've always meant to read)- Had to get this out of the way first, and was happy that it was a novella. I thought it was a pleasant read considering it was about a fish and a shark.
Drama ( A book about the arts)- I am in love with Raina Telegmeir's graphic novels. This one was cute, as expected.
The Whisper Man ( A book from the GR Choice Awards 2019) -Creepy. I couldn't figure out who the child snatcher was at all, which is unusual.
Pumpkinheads ( A book you can read in a day)- This one was super adorable and I want to read it again. I loved the fall theme.

Ninth House ( A book with a character in their 20's)- Don't get me started 5 stars and I can't stop raving about it. I absolutely loved this book and I couldn't put it down.
White Bird ( A book with a bird on the cover)- not my original choice so I still may read The Unhoneymooners, but I had to read this. I always think I can't read any more WWII fiction, but this made me cry. They always make me cry.

The Things She's Seen ( A book in any genre by a Native, First Nations or Indigenous author)- I thought this could have been so much better! I wasn't invested until the last chapter, how does that even happen. The Post Script by the authors explaining the Australian Aboriginal meanings behind the themes in the story was especially good ( best part of the book haha)
The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees ( A book by or about a refugee)- This was just upsetting but an important little non-fiction graphic novel. The kind I want my girls to read when they're ready.
Also an edition of BookPage ( An edition of a lliterary magazine) but I don't think this really counts because its just book reviews ( Hello, TBR) and a few author interviews, so I'm also working my way through a magazine called "The First Line", then I need to cancel, because I'm not paying for subscriptions.

Where the Crawdads Sing (A book that's frequently recommended to you)- I wasn't as impressed as I expected to be. I loved the early chapters of the book and the nature aspects, but was completely underwhelmed by the "mystery" and the wrap up.

In Progress:
A Game of Thrones ( A fantasy book)- I love this so much! And I'm watching episodes of the show while I'm reading.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (A book related to the 2020 Olympics Summer Games in Japan)- I'm surprised I'm enjoying this so much, since I never gave a thought to rowing...ever...but there's a lot of interesting backstory here.
With the Fire on High ( A second pick for A book from The GR Choice awards 2019)- this is a quick read and so far I think it's pretty cute. I had a moment last night with the chapter "Black Like Me". I like how she explained her identity.

Maggie & Abby's Neverending Pillow Fort- as a read aloud with the girlies at night before bed. (This is on my backlist of previous challenges). My 10 year old is really enjoying this and it came up as a theme while they were playing before school today. I really want a pillow fort with portals to the museum and Alaska now :-)
The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone on audio and I am stuck on repeat with chapter four. I think I need to stick to memoirs for audio and then just give up completely.

My TBR stack from the library ( OMG):
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson Meet Cute Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout Elevation by Stephen King Envy by Sandra Brown The Binding by Bridget Collins The Farm by Joanne Ramos Sadie by Courtney Summers Dumplin' (Dumplin' #1) by Julie Murphy
These all cover various prompts for my challenges, except Sadie, which is on my challenge backlist, but I really wanted to read it.

QOTW: 2 hours of reading? (If I don't want to fall asleep) at the kitchen table with some re-runs playing on the tv for background noise, coffee and my heating pad, otherwise, in bed under my weighted blanket with lots of pillows ( usually on my kindle) and the dog next to me. Last weekend I made some time to read in the bath with some epsom salts and a bath bomb, but its hard for me to relax. I should probably practice...that's what my physical therapist told me, LOL.

message 43: by Brandy (last edited Jan 23, 2020 02:05PM) (new)

Brandy B (bybrandy) | 260 comments Hey, had an okay week reading but had a book check itself back into the library before I finished with it too. Might have to purchase it is a 6th month hold.

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga I read it for bookriot (book about a refugee). Lovely book written in verse about a young girl who comes to the US with her mother but not with her father and brother to avoid the strife in Syria and her adapting to life in the united states with a separated family.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei They Called Us Enemy by George Takei for bookriot's graphic memoir. I've read lots on the japanee internment camps so none of this was new to me. But the book is well done and I like that Tekai is able to reflect on he felt about certain things from a child's perspective, a teenager perspective, and now as a mature man.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes bookriot historical fiction not set in WWII. I'm reading this entirely, though, because of the controversy about this and Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek. Will read the other book, eventually as well. I want somebody to visit me once a week and bring me free books they thing I might like.

The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #3) by Amanda Lovelace The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace (and others). (Either bookriot last in a series or listen to a book of poetry). This one didn't work for me. I liked the other two in the series but this one was meh. I wonder if it was the format (audiobook) or the poems themselves that didn't speak to me.

currently reading
It Ended Badly Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright which is a real hoot.

currently on hold for 6 months
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

2 hours free time. Cup of tea. Whatever is currently most likely to check itself back into the library.

message 44: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 765 comments Brandy, I think maybe The Mermaid's Voice just wasn't as strong. I still haven't read the first one, but i LOVED the second. I don't really like reading poetry that much, but that one just was amazing. The Mermaid one took me much longer to get through and it just didn't speak to me as much.

daniela (daniela_nieblina) | 23 comments If you had two hours of completely uninterrupted reading time, what would that look like for you? Where would you be? What would you be eating, drinking, listening to, etc?

Very similar to you, I would be on a comfy couch, wrapped up in a blanket, with a table next to me with some coffee/milk and cookies. Preferably those super unhealthy sugar cookies from Lofthouse. I'd be playing soundscapes, like rain forest or rain fall or crashing waves... whatever fits the book the best. A smoky candle, soft lighting, glasses. And sorry, but my dogs do not let me read, so it would be a room with no pets. But I rarely get to physically read, and even rarer when its uninterrupted and not in the middle of the night.

Nothing this week. I have many interests, and one of those is Chinese dramas. I binge re-watched Love 020 the show, and that's taken all my extra reading time at home. I just finished it today, so I hope I can get back into some physical reading.

The Shadow of the Wind - I'm finally getting somewhere with this book! I'm still not halfway into the book, and to be honest it really drags. There's great moments, and I like some of the characters, but I'm not really touched by any of the romances. The mystery is the only thing keeping me from DNF-ing the book.

Gods of Jade and Shadow - Same place as I was last week.

daniela (daniela_nieblina) | 23 comments Jai wrote: "Happy Thursday Everyone! I'm so happy it's the end of the week. It's January in N.E. Ohio so it's cold and snowy...mehhh! I'm so used to it now. It has been good weather to snuggle up and read book..."

I didn't realize the We Are Bob series was also a book! I thought it was one of those audible orignals. We are Bob is one of my favorite science fiction series, its a very original premise and even though you would think reading about a man all by himself should be boring, its really not. I have yet to read All These Worlds, I have to get on that.

message 47: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Harbeke | 368 comments Finished:

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager (Prompts: three word title, book by a journalist, recommended by online book club, book published the month of my birthday, passes the Bechdel test, book with a pink cover)

23/50 prompts done with double dipping

I give the story 3/5 stars. It made me want to keep going until the end, so it did its job on that front. It also makes you think about people on the margins of society who can use a helping hand, so it is good on a social level. I wanted there to be literal, supernatural de-aging somewhere in the story because that would have been more interesting than the actual revelations of the story.

I will be starting Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien this week.


Given a block of reading time, a comfortable place to sit and read is the most important thing. I like to read either with silence or some classical music playing.

message 48: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments It's full blown winter here in Iowa as well, I would love to live somewhere more remote where I could just be snowed in and not need to deal with it... but oh well, lots of shoveling and ice melt this past week and in the future.

Because of the snow and cold, I've finished a number of books this week:
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story- I'm currently using this for written by a WOC, but it could fit a good number of places. I absolutely love Hyeonseo's voice, her descriptions of her privileged childhood in a family of high class in North Korea are delightful, and she has a poetic voice throughout the description of her accidental defection and its consequences. While a challenging topic, I'd say this is generally really a pretty happy book- Hyeonseo's ingenuity throughout is great. This is a compelling story and very well told, I'd highly recommend!

The Dark Is Rising: I've been reading this with my mom and we finished Sunday. I'm using this for a book with a made-up language. While they don't use words from the made up languages in the book, there are frequent references to in "the language of the light" and in "the language of the dark" so unless I find something better, I think that counts.

The Andromeda Strain: I received this as a gift years ago, and the "Medical Thriller" prompt finally gave me motivation needed to read it. I'm a research scientist (although more w/ data/numbers than lab work) so I found this to be a really fun quick read. My husband and I re-watched the 1971 film after I finished up and it was a lot of fun to see with movie with the context of having just read the novel. In general, I think they did a pretty good job, and really approved of the movie's replacement of one of the male scientists with a woman.

Currently reading:
The Bartered Brides: I generally enjoy this series, although I enjoyed the earlier books more, but find the retellings of Sherlock Holmes cases interesting as well. I'll likely use this for a book by an author who's written more than 20 books.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row: I've been wanting to read this since last year, so am excited to have it on audio. Just starting but this promises to be excellent.

War and Peace: Still slogging through with my husband. We've slowed a bit as we're in a bit of a classic movie kick.

QOTW: I had Monday off, and with a big snow storm, got my wish of a majority of the day free to read. Love snuggling up on the couch with my pooch, a microfiber blanket, a large thermos of English Breakfast Tea, and an excellent book. Pure delight!

message 49: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3545 comments Mod
Stacey wrote: "Happy Thursday Everyone!

This week I slacked immensely on reading! :( I had some company, a long to-do list and some migraines plus a random desire to binge some old seasons of Project Runway (hah..."

I love Dakota! (That is my oldest grandson's name, BTW!)

message 50: by Errlee (new)

Errlee | 131 comments Karen wrote: "In general, I think they did a pretty good job, and really approved of the movie's replacement of one of the male scientists with a woman. "

I mentioned this in my earlier post, but I also watched this movie this weekend because I had wanted to read this for the medical thriller prompt but my library doesn't have it, nor did my local second hand book store. I didn't realize the woman scientist wasn't in the book itself and glad they changed that - I thought her character was one of the best.

FYI, a sequel has been written by Daniel H. Wilson - The Andromeda Evolution, which I stumbled upon at my library, and am reading that now and it's a pretty decent read (although I am only 25 pages in or so). That's why I watched the movie - I hate reading books out of order so that's the best I could do.

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