Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2020 Weekly Checkins > Week 21: 5/14 - 5/21

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 21, 2020 07:40AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5900 comments Mod
Quarantine carries on, but now we are starting to hear murmurs about ending it soon, which I find very confusing because there are no dates or specifics. I had to drive into my office on Tuesday briefly and it was very weird, but also nice to sit in my cushy office chair. I never realized how cushy it is!!

The weather in NY has been springlike - leaves are popping out on the trees, my seedlings are coming up, etc. We are having a rare gorgeous sunny spring day today!

Admin stuff:

Our May read of The Tattooist of Auschwitz is on-going.

I finished two books this week, one for the Challenge, so I am now 32/50.

Network Effect by Martha Wells - I took my time with this, and I loved it as much as I expected to!!!! I love it when a book fulfills all my expectations! I checked off “AI/robot” with this book.

Aloft by Chang-rae Lee - this was really good (and the narration by Don Leslie was perfect) but ultimately unsatisfying, I didn’t feel like the protagonist changed or learned anything, he just sort of spent some time examining his unexamined life and then went back to blithely not examining it, even after what could have been a life-changing tragedy. Maybe I missed something.

Question of the Week
(from Jennifer W) do you have dreams about your libraries, bookstores, or books, characters, etc?

I don’t think I have ever dreamed about a library or book store or book character, but I do often dream that I’m reading. It’s always a really engaging story and when I wake up I’m annoyed because I wanted to know what happens next.

message 2: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 707 comments I finished Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony as my book by an author with flora and fauna in their name. It was really, really good.

Now I'm reading Life of Pi as my bildungsroman.

message 3: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie  | 371 comments Bars and restaurants are slowly opening here. The weather's been crap - a lot of rain - but we've been prepping to paint another room at home :)

I had bad reading luck this week and DNF'd three books, but I did finish and love The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - a Frankenstein retelling with (duh) Elizabeth as the lead. It's made me even more excited to reread Frankenstein come October. Book with a pink cover

Finishing today: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott. This one has been unexpected - I've owned it for years and started the audiobook on a whim yesterday, then tore through half of it. Doesn't count for the challenge, but it's been excellent just the same.

Currently reading:
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Homeland by RA Salvatore
The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien

QOTW: (from Jennifer W) do you have dreams about your libraries, bookstores, or books, characters, etc?
Yes! I just had a massive Harry Potter dream the other night, where I fought Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy during the Battle of Hogwarts, and rescued James and Lily (who were somehow alive?). The dream likely came about thanks to just having done a full rewatch of the films, but they were book characters first!

message 4: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 848 comments The weather in downstate NY has been unseasonably chilly. I love it!
I only finished 1 book this week, but last week I finished 5, so I guess it balances out.

Oona Out of Order I liked it.

Currently reading:
Dear Edward
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Book of Strange New Things

I am surprised I haven't dreamed about the library during this time, since I miss going there. I don't think I have ever dreamed about a book or character either.

message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 715 comments It feels like I'm making up for the weeks and weeks of reading the same book because this week I finished four books, and I'll probably finish another one today.

Entanglement by Martha Wells (your favorite prompt from a past popsugar challenge - 2017 - a book that’s been on your tbr list for way too long). I bought this book 10 years ago. It was time to read it. No surprise, Martha Wells wrote two of the best Stargate tie-in novels. I really enjoyed the story of the Quantum Mirror and liked the alternate reality on the other side, especially the Eidolon culture.

The Familiars by Stacey Halls (a book with a bird on the cover). This is a fictionalized account of the Pendle Hill witch trials. This book gave me a lot of feelings. I cared so much about Fleetwood and Alice. I’ve added the author’s other book to my TBR.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (a book with twenty in the title). Cripes, this was boring.

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (a book with a book on the cover). A solid mystery, but the pace was a little slow because Poirot got stuck and couldn’t solve the case.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (a book with a pink cover)

Persepolis Rising by James SA Corey (a book that has at least a four star rating on Goodreads)

Sometimes I dream about the book I'm reading. It's usually an aspect of the book rather than about the plot or characters. A few weeks ago I had a dream about snakes because of a snake bite scene in The Fiery Cross. When I reread Harry Potter last time, I had dreams set in a castle, but it wasn't Hogwarts.

message 6: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 738 comments Hi everyone,

Feels like spring's finally here for real, have some nice weather now!

My state is cautiously opening up, but frankly nothing is cautious enough for me. I don't think any state's met the recommended guidelines for opening, regardless of how much people WANT things to be open. My church is having masses this weekend but i'm 100% continuing to livestream, I don't think the precautions are anywhere near adequate.

this week I finished:

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - I think i finished this a few hours after posting here last week haha. But I loved this, it was such a good retelling. I really thought more motivations were given, and things made more sense in WHY people did what they did, while being almost more disturbing than the original. Counted for my book with a pink cover.

Sadie - Also finished right after posting last week. Loved the audio drama version of it. I really liked it all around, I don't know if it'd have the same impact read, really. the audio added so much to it! Loved it. Counted as my book with the same title as a movie or tv show, but unrelated. (there was a Sadie movie from 2018)

Frankenstein - The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein had the original tucked in at the end, so figured I might as well re-read it, it'd been a number of years. Really interesting reading after reading the retelling and watching the stage versions. Not for challenge

Aru Shah and the Song of Death - book whose author is in their 20s. I liked it fine. My only real qualm with the series as a whole is that she's a little TOO inspired by Rick Riordan, it feels like. If you had handed me an Aru book, with the author removed, I'd have just assumed it was Rick taking on the Indian mythology. Again, it's not that they're BAD, i just wish she'd change it up a bit. The humor and the plot beats just feel so very similar.

Euphoria - my book & brew read for next month. I wasn't really a fan of this. I honestly hated Fen so much from the moment he appeared on the page, and it spoiled anything else in the book for me. I'm counting it as my book with a vision impairment, Nell was very nearsighted and ended up being given glasses by the narrator guy.

The Night Circus - listened to the audio book as a comfort read while working on stuff. I don't really like the narrator, Jim Dale. Especially for any of the female voices. But it's always a great story.

Currently Reading:

The Count of Monte Cristo - read another few pages. Still plodding along.

Discount Armageddon - about to start this, will be my book by an author who's written more than 20 books.


I don't think so? Maybe, I tend to forget my dreams fairly quickly when I get up. lately they've been mostly animal crossing related.

message 7: by Sara (last edited May 21, 2020 06:53AM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments I've finally got my reading mojo back this week! I finished 4 books this week already and will probably be finishing a 5th one later today.

Also, it has been raining here for three days. My dog is climbing the walls wanting to go outside for some exercise. I'll have to take her for a long, long walk tomorrow when the rain is supposed to finally end.

You Were There Too - Mia has been dreaming about an unknown man for years. Then she moves to a new town and meets him in person. Then he confesses he's been dreaming about her too. This story didn't go where I expected it to, but it was a really emotional read. Five stars from me.

The American Heiress - a fictional story of 19th century American heiress coming to England for a husband. She finds the British aristocracy cold and difficult to maneuver through at times, but ultimately she finds her place. Kinda Downton Abbey meets a gossip magazine. I really loved Daisy Goodwin's novel, Victoria, and even though I didn't love this one quite as much I do like her writing style. Using for a book by an author with flora or fauna in their name.

The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History - A great peek into the world of animation, the struggles of female artists to break into the male-dominated industry, and the beauty of Disney magic.

Miracle Creek - I read this for my medical thriller. Part courtroom drama, part medical mystery. I enjoyed it.

Currently Reading
Only When It's Us - holy steamy hot tubs batman! This book is incredibly steamy, a frenemies to lovers romance (my personal favorite). I expect to finish this book later today.

Silent in the Grave - This is my favorite series by Deanna Raybourn (sorry Veronica Speedwell), and I'm rereading book one on audio with Audible Escape. I love Julia and Brisbane so much!


I wouldn't say it's a regular occurrence, but I think I've had the occasional dream with characters from a book that has invaded my mind. I can't think of anything specific right now though.

message 8: by Stacey (last edited May 21, 2020 08:17AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Happy Thursday Everyone! Hard to believe it's already this time of week again, last week flew by! I hope that everyone is still safe and healthy and enjoying the warmer weather!

I had a productive and good reading week and read 4 books last week, including 1 of the longer books on my TBR and a 5 star read. I also knocked out the last of the Popsugar prompts that I thought were hard/it would be a bit tough for me to find a book for, so that feels great! :)

Current Progress

PS: 38/50 | HP: 46/56 | ATY: 43/52 | GR: 54/100

Read This Week

Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ While I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first two, it was still one heck of a ride and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! I'm excited to see where the story is going! I just wasn't quite as invested in this particular book because at times, things seemed a little too coincidental, far fetched or repetitive. I kind of expected more character development going in due to the time gap but I really didn't notice it that much and there were also a few choice moments where I definitely wanted more of an emotional reaction from Claire!
Used for: PS - 34. A Book you meant to read in 2019
HP - 40. Read a book written in OR set in your favourite decade (I loved growing up in the 90s!)
ATY - 14. A Book by an author on the Abe list of 100 Essential Female Writers

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is definitely one of the best thrillers that I have ever read! It was a gradual build up of mystery and suspense with these dark, gothic vibes where any ending could have been possible/believable and I really appreciated that. It was believable and well done and I thoroughly enjoyed the ending!
Used for: PS - 36. A Book with a Pink Cover Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
*Also, now that I have read it (and since there was some uncertainty), I can comment that I definitely think it would count for Medical Thriller and I explain why in a spoiler tag under that prompt thread. Having read them both recently, I would say it's a better fit for the prompt than The Silent Patient which is what I ended up counting for that, but oh well! xD

The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️I was excited when I heard that this was a romance that dealt with an already married couple and included a male POV because I think both of those are so rare! I thought the premise was super sweet and I was not disappointed, this was well executed! Not only was this super cute and sweet but both Gavin & Thea had to confront and tackle their own emotions and their relationship throughout the story. I definitely want to check out book 2 at some point!
Used for: PS - 4. A Book about a Book Club (this might be a gentle stretch because while there's definitely a book club and while it's an important plot point, it's not really the focus of the book so I don't know if it's really "about" the book club even though it involves one but since the second book follows a different member of the book club/their story I'd say that the series is about the book club. Hopefully that makes sense?) Either way it's a tough prompt to fill and will probably read book 2 this year as well so I'm happy counting it.
HP - 15. Read a book that involves a secret

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3.5 Stars. Listened to this on audio and I ended up enjoying it even though I wasn't super into the first chunk of it and thought it was a tad long. I particularly liked Celeste's POV in the second half. Also was Renata inspired by Cersei Lannister (because I seriously got those vibes about her, haha)?! because..(view spoiler)
Not Used for any challenges

Currently Reading

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Hunger Games #0) by Suzanne Collins - I'm only about 20% but so far so good, I'm enjoying it. This has a different pacing to it than the other 3 books so far but I'm okay with that (and the 10th games haven't actually started yet and we also haven't gotten into the main development that we all know is coming based on the first three books so it may pick up a bit more later). Also, if you thought that The Hunger Games experience was inhumane and couldn't get any worse for Katniss, well just wait until you read this! xD I'm getting a better sense of how the games evolved/changed and I'm remaining cautiously optimistic about Snow's story arc and I hope that there won't be one specific event that changes him into the guy we know him as and so far I can see that he's made some improvements to the future games in comparison - I'll let you guys know more of my thoughts next week once I'm finished.


I usually don't dream or if I do then I don't have any memory of having a dream most of the time so I don't really know!

message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather (eveejoystar) | 59 comments Finished:
-Dune by Frank Herbert
-Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Currently reading:
-The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
-Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
-Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

PS: 28/50 ATY: 25/52

message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 835 comments Hi everyone. The sun is shining here in Yorkshire so I'm happy we have a nice, big garden to enjoy during lockdown. Unfortunately my dreams of reading on the sun lounger have been frequently interrupted by my nephew wanting me to play so no finishes again for me this week.

I did start The Kon-Tiki Expedition but I left it lying around and my dad started reading it so I'll wait for him to finish it.

QOTW: Do daydreams about having that massive library from Beauty and the Beast count?

message 11: by Megan (new)

Megan | 307 comments Early check-in for me! :) I finished three books this week and used one for an open prompt. I'm now at 19/40 and 8/10 for this challenge, and am now at 60/100 for my overall Goodreads Reading Challenge.

* What You Don't See by Tracy Clark, which I used for "a book that's published in 2020" (its official publication date is this coming Tuesday);
* When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole, which was an advanced readers edition copy that I received via NetGalley courtesy of the Scene of the Crime Facebook page and William Morrow. Whoa. The ending was just as bonkers as other reviewers said it was going to be; and,
* Chinatown Beat by Henry Chang.

Currently Reading:
* The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, which is a NetGalley edition courtesy of the Book Club Girl Free Friday program and William Morrow. I'm planning to use it for a BookRiot Read Harder prompt, but don't have an open prompt that works for this challenge; and,
* The Lying Room by Nicci French, which is also a NetGalley edition courtesy of the Book Club Girl Free Friday program and William Morrow. I'm probably going to use this for the seven deadly sins prompt.

(from Jennifer W) Do you have dreams about your libraries, bookstores, or books, characters, etc? I'm sure that I do, but I can't recall any specific dreams that involved my library, bookstores, or books/characters.

message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura | 154 comments I think I'm in a bit of a reading rut. Nothing really seems to be catching my interest. I only seem to be able to read in 20 minute spurts. It's not the books' fault; I know it's me. It's hard to find a way to shake things up when everything's still closed down.

I'll just keep slogging along...

Challenge Progress: 44/50

Completed: Most of my reading isn't for the challenge since I've only got a few prompts to complete. I am doubling up on a lot of prompts trying to read both a fiction and non-fiction selection.

Real Life: "Perhaps friendship is really nothing but controlled cruelty. Maybe that’s all they’re doing, lacerating each other and expecting kindness back." Wallace is misunderstood, alienated at work and even among his friends. Real Life is a brutal examination of intimacy and violence, and while beautifully polished, it's hopelessly depressing. ★★

Chosen Ones: Sloane's PTSD (brought on by her experiences battling the Dark One prior to the main action in Chosen Ones) is what makes this book interesting. It's nice to have a flawed and complicated central character who's still strong and sympathetic. I'll read the next installment. ★★★

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories: So it seems like people really hate this book or they love it. I laughed out loud. It was snarky and sometimes almost too clever for its own good (which kinda made me like it more). If you thought "The Office" was just too weird, then this isn't the book for you. I liked it. (A book with just words on the cover, no images or graphics - FICTION) ★★★★

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History: I think Andersen has important things to say about current events in the US and how our fantasy-driven, alternative-facts present came about, but, boy, this is a rant of a book - attacking religion, Disney and other fandoms, homeopathy, supernatural beliefs - without any sort of documentation or footnotes. If you agree with him, it's a fairly entertaining read; if you don't... well, don't bother. There's no attempt to persuade here. ★★

Sin Eater: "Salt for pride. Mustard seed for lies. Barley for curses. There are grapes too, laid red and bursting across the pinewood coffin—one grape split with a ruby seed poking through the skin like a sliver through flesh. There’s crow’s meat stirred with plums and a homemade loaf, small and shaped like a bobbin…There are other foods too, but not many. My mother had few sins." Sin Eater is a dark and original story. May Owens, a young woman sentenced to a life of isolation and scorn for a minor crime, is a sympathetic and compelling character, and the practice of sin eating is fascinating. I was really intrigued by this one, and I'd read more about May if given the chance. ★★★★

Currently Reading:
Last Ones Left Alive
Cleopatra: A Life
The Sparrow (A book with a made-up language)
The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party
Rodham (A book about a world leader - FICTION)
Beautiful on the Outside
Blame It on the Duke
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World

QOTW: I rarely remember my dreams. I'm sure I dream about elements of what I'm reading but not in any vivid or visceral way.

message 13: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Sheri wrote: "Hi everyone,

Feels like spring's finally here for real, have some nice weather now!

My state is cautiously opening up, but frankly nothing is cautious enough for me. I don't think any state's m..."

I read The Night Circus years ago and loved it and last year I decided to use it as my re-read and listened to it on audio and I agree, I didn't love Jim Dale's narration. If it was a full cast recording and he was just narrating the book with other doing the voices of the characters, it would have been great. But everyone just sounded like an old man. I couldn't get into it the way I did when I read it.

message 14: by Sara (last edited May 21, 2020 07:43AM) (new)

Sara | 122 comments I finally had to actually work from home this week and I absolutely hate it. I can't wait to be back in the office on Tuesday. But, with less commuting time, I have had more reading time. So, I've done a fair amount of reading this week and finished four books.

I finished:
You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. This was a group read in Arlington County. The library provided unlimited copies and then invited the author to do a virtual Q&A. It was pretty neat. I enjoy presidential biographies, and I particularly enjoyed reading this one, because there are so few presidential books by women. I hope she writes more.

Jurassic Park. What a great book. So good. Where is our modern Michael Crichton? I feel like there are other authors out there who try, but no one is quite as good as Crichton. I may go back and re-read more of these.

Deathtrap. This is a play, and it's the latest installment in my Eight Perfect Murders reading project that I'm doing with my husband. It was okay, not my favorite. I would be interested in seeing it on stage, so I guess that's something.

He Knew He Was Right. I love how Trollope's books are basically soap operas. This one was ridiculous and I enjoyed it very much.

QOTW: I do sometimes dream about being at the library. I love the library and I miss it so much. I can't wait for them to reopen. Maybe sometime in June?

message 15: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5900 comments Mod
I'm just catching up on local news here, and I'm very excited to learn that my local library will open up for "Library Takeout" (which is basically the way I use my library anyway: putting books on hold and picking them up. Except now they will check them out for me and just hand me a bag. And they will quarantine returned items for one week.) on June 1st!!!

I actually have plenty of books to read, and I can find enough new material via Overdrive that I'm fine, BUT it's movies I want. We have Netflix and Netflix got its start being that company that had All the Movies and you could borrow anything, but now their selection absolutely sucks, all they have is original content, they never have the older movies I want. But the library does!

message 16: by Ashley (last edited May 21, 2020 07:51AM) (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Good Morning,

I got a bit read this last week.


The Holdout - As of right now, I'm not using this for any prompt. I kind of enjoyed this, I gave it three stars. It honestly lost a star for me for the way the author treated the Rick character. He made Rick seem too out of character for me by the end of the book.

Heartstopper: Volume Two & Heartstopper: Volume Three - Not for the challenge, just because they finally came in the mail!! I loved every second of these and am now going to be reading it weekly on Tumblr so I can keep up with it.

Artificial Condition & Rogue Protocol - OMG I love Murderbot even more than before. The story is moving along nicely and you can see Murderbot grow (even though it would claim it's not growing at all...just leave it alone and let it watch it's shows!!). I'm waiting to get the next one from my library and can't wait to continue the series.

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors for a book by a WOC. I know a lot of people loved this book (the podcast When in Romance raves about it) and I can see why people love this book. It's very well written but I didn't love it. I kinda hated almost everyone in the book. The constant miscommunication/no communication throughout the entire book was so frustrating. By the end, I honestly didn't care if they got together or not.

Currently Reading:

Little Women for a book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it (there was a reality show that was called Little Women, that was not related to the book at all). I'm still working my way through my re-read of this. It's funny how much of the actual book I've forgotten. I'm hoping to finish this up during the love weekend.


I actually don't ever remember my dreams. If I do remember anything it's just bits and pieces.

message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex of Yoe (alexandraofyoe) | 136 comments We are moving to yellow phase tomorrow! Meaning retail can open (with safe practices in place) and we can have gatherings of up to 25 people and the stay-at-home order is lifted, though anyone who can work from home is encouraged to do so and restaurants and salons remain closed. My hair is getting really long (I usually have a pixie), so I'm eager to see my stylist again. But I'm also concerned about reopening too quickly. It seems like no one really knows what to do anymore, so we're all just making this up as we go. It's not very comforting.

Finished 18/50

I Live Again: A Memoir of Ileana, Princess of Romania and Archduchess of Austria for "book about a world leader". This was an amazing read. It's the autobiography of a Princess who witnessed the Nazi take-over of Austria and the Soviet invasion of Romania first-hand. It's so inspiring. She details all the myriad of ways she tried to resist both evil governments and work to save and help her people, often at great personal cost. Absolutely the role model and leader we need today. Highly recommend.

The Silver Chair for "book with gold, silver, or bronze in the title". Not my favourite Narnia book, but still so magical and beautiful. This series always does my heart so much good. Narnia will always be my home.

Currently Reading

The Holy Angels for "book written in the 20th century". My now-virtual church book club is currently reading this. I read it last year, and it's so good. It was actually written by Princess Ileana (tonsured Mother Alexandra) who's autobiography I just finished, so it's nice reading it again knowing the author better.

On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom for "book featuring one of the deadly sins". I literally look forward to reading this every day. It's amazingly powerful. Wow.

The Wilderness Journal: 365 Days with the Philokalia for "book who's title caught your attention". Still working on this....


I don't really dream about books or libraries but definitely characters! Harry Potter dreams are my favourite. They're so exciting and fun. Usually I'm dreaming about resisting Voldemort and it's very epic. Once I dreamt about Narnia and that dream has never left me, it was so amazing. Like dreaming a story. I might actually turn it into one some day.

message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex of Yoe (alexandraofyoe) | 136 comments Sarah wrote: "Hi everyone. The sun is shining here in Yorkshire so I'm happy we have a nice, big garden to enjoy during lockdown. Unfortunately my dreams of reading on the sun lounger have been frequently interr..."

I too daydream about that library....... *siiiiiiiigh*

message 19: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Harris | 356 comments Hi All. It’s raining & cold here. It’s the third day of rain. I completed 3 books for the week. Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward not for PopSugar challenge. Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1) by Vivien Chien.for a book with a pun in the title. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Not for this challenge. Currently reading What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About by Michele Filgate (Editor). I’m using it for an anthology. I’ll also use it for a book with only words on the cover,no images or graphics. The words have color but this is as close as I’m getting to filling this prompt. If later in the year I read a book with no color on the letters I will switch books.
QOTW: no I don’t dream about books,libraries, or reading. I do play a game if I can’t sleep where I think about my current read analyzing the characters,plot,etc. I fall asleep quickly doing this.

message 20: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 628 comments Happy Thursday, y’all.

Had an unusually rainy week here in Idaho. Today's the first halfway sunny day we've had all week. At least we got most of the gardens in before the ground got too muddy to work, heh...

Books read this week:

Into the Drowning Deep -- for “book by or about a woman in STEM.” A long read, but the science is fascinating and the mermaids are terrifying! A thrilling read.

Come Tumbling Down -- not for the challenge. Aaaaaaaaaaaah, I love the Wayward Children series! And now I’m crushed that I’ve come to the last book and have to wait until next year for the next one!

Muse of Nightmares -- not for the challenge. Greatly expands the world of the first novel (Strange the Dreamer), and while I was skeptical at first, I ended up loving this one just as much as the first book. Maybe I need to give Daughter of Smoke & Bone another chance...

When Stars Are Scattered -- graphic novel, not for the challenge. A heartbreaking but powerful story about a Somalian refugee growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Regular challenge -- 39/44 (split the last prompt into five)
Advanced challenge -- 7/10
Not for challenge -- 40


The Extinction Club: A Tale of Deer, Lost Books, and a Rather Fine Canary Yellow Sweater -- not for the challenge. Non-fiction writers, here’s an idea -- WRITE ABOUT THE FREAKING TOPIC THE BOOK IS ABOUT instead of writing about you writing the book! I picked this book up to learn about the Pere David’s deer (a.k.a. milu deer), not you struggling with writer’s block. Fascinating topic, horrible execution.

Burning Chrome -- not for the challenge. Between this and Neuromancer, maybe I just need to own up to the fact that William Gibson isn’t my cup of tea. (Then again, apart from Snow Crash I just find I don’t like cyberpunk in general, so…)

Currently Reading:

Network Effect -- for “favorite prompt from the 2016 challenge (a science fiction novel)”
Red as Blood, or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer -- not for the challenge
The Last Necromancer -- not for the challenge


I dream about the library ALL the time, but mostly because I work there. I occasionally dream about books I've recently read too. In fact, just a few nights ago I had a dream that mashed two books I've read very recently together -- the crew of the "Melusine" in Into the Drowning Deep being rescued from the killer mermaids by the characters of the Strange the Dreamer books. Why? I don't know, but I'd sure as heck read that crossover...

message 21: by Donna (last edited May 22, 2020 04:38PM) (new)

Donna (donna_egan) | 29 comments Good morning. Blue skies, warm temps in Colorado. Planted some flowers in pots yesterday. Felt good. I finished one book this week. I’m really hoping to find a book I enjoy in the coming weeks.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. This was an audiobook. I didn’t enjoy this book at all. One of the main characters truly disturbed me. This is a book I wish I had DNFd. This is a book with an upside down cover.

The Hamilton Affair
The Alice Network
There There

I’m not sure. I think I dream of characters. If I read a thriller or disturbing book, I will have nightmares.

message 22: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 738 comments Ashley wrote: "I read The Night Circus years ago and loved it and last year I decided to use it as my re-read and listened to it on audio and I agree, I didn't love Jim Dale's narration. If it was a full cast recording and he was just narrating the book with other doing the voices of the characters, it would have been great. But everyone just sounded like an old man. I couldn't get into it the way I did when I read it.

Yeah, exactly. I mean i still finished it because the story is fantastic, but it was nowhere near as good. Sadie was an amazing book with the full audio drama style cast, I'd LOVE to hear a Night Circus audio drama recording. Especially if they put the effort they've done for Gaiman's audio dramas.

message 23: by Ali (new)

Ali | 75 comments I'm getting close to that point in the challenge where I only have some quite specific prompts open or things that aren't really in my usual taste. I've done 35/50 now but I'm at the point where I'm only ticking off about 1 a week!

I have some books I'm looking forward to that fit into most of those I have left but I can see I'm putting off an anthology and book set in Japan in particular as there's nothing really shouting out to me that I want to read. I'm setting the goal of choosing a book for one of those this week and at least placing a hold on it.

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel - can't believe I hadn't read this trilogy before. Am completely loving it, impatiently waiting for my library hold on the third one to come in now

The Pelican Brief by John Grisham - published in 20th century - Hadn't read this before, but I always love John Grisham. I listened to Anne Bogel raving about it on One Great Book so decided to pick this up (so guess it could also slot into recommended by podcast)

The Clutter Corpse by Simon Brett - disappointing read, not totally sure why the author wrote this. Almost all the key characters are women but it's been written in such a way that I actually don't think it passes the Bechdel test

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo - won an award in 2019 (Booker) - just finished this today and loved it. I guess I think the way the stories came together at the end was a little twee but that was literally just the last chapter. Really powerful book about the history of attitudes towards black women in Britain.

Currently Reading
Long Bright River by Liz Moore - picked up after I saw it on the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist but only just started this one today

Then 2 books I started but don't really want to pick back up that I might DNF for the time being:
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet

I'm always so jealous of people's dreams as I never ever remember mine. Like I've never in my life remembered a dream. I'm not sure if they're anything like day dreams. Strangely enough, since I've started wearing a fitbit, looking at my sleep tracking, I don't seem to have a lot of REM sleep so maybe I really don't dream a lot!

message 24: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Harbeke | 345 comments I'll start with the QotW. I rarely remember my dreams, so I cannot answer definitively. I don't think I have dreamed about libraries, books, or characters.

I share Sarah's amazement at the library in Beauty and the Beast. Since I don't like ladders, though, I would imagine something more like a Barnes & Noble layout with that same quantity of books.

I am currently finishing up the Star Trek: Prey trilogy by John Jackson Miller that starts with Hell's Heart. It brings together many aspects of Star Trek but mostly Klingons. The short chapters and sections give it the pacing of a great technothriller. My rating of 4 stars on the previous read is still holding true.

Collision Course by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens was the latest book I finished. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. You will get more out of it if you love the characters of Kirk and Spock and want to see them brought together in highly contrived and outlandish ways.

message 25: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 696 comments whoa it's Thursday, I had no idea - I was like "why are there so many new posts?"

Finished reading:

Killing Gravity (AI characters, passes Bechdel test) - Cyberpunk novella about a fugitive supersoldier with telekinetic powers. I got this as a Tor.com giveaway. Fast-paced, lots of action, nothing deep but a good junk food read.

(Also I've already filled both applicable categories so this is my first book this year that doesn't go anywhere! Unless I end up using it for one of my wildcard/free slots, i.e. past prompt and seven deadly sins)

QotW: Near the start of quarantine in March, I dreamed I was at a big social event at a library with my extended family. I was just hanging out, chatting with my aunt about books, eating ice cream, when I realized WE SHOULD BE SOCIAL DISTANCING so I panicked, dropped the book I was holding, and ran outside into the pouring rain.

Other than that, if I'm up late reading a book I often dream about the world/characters/situation all night, but I rarely remember those dreams in detail.

message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments Hello. Phase 1 is going and it seems people in the area think it means business as usual. The numbers are climbing everyday but who cares about science and facts when they need applebee's. Sorry. Well I got a book finished this week. Finally.

21/40 Regular
3/10 Advanced


You Never Forget Your First A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe
30. Book about world leader
Biography on our (US) first president, written by a woman. Very engaging.

Currently Reading
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

(from Jennifer W) do you have dreams about your libraries, bookstores, or books, characters, etc?

I don't really remember my dreams very often so I do not know.

message 27: by poshpenny (last edited May 21, 2020 02:32PM) (new)

poshpenny | 1772 comments Greetings! It's been a great reading week for me. I finished ten books! I enjoyed most of them! Woohoo!

Have you ever read a random little thing in a book and become ridiculously happy about it? This is me today. More on that below.


Long Story Short: 100 Classic Books in Three Panels - fun

North Korea Journal - I had the audio for free but wanted to see the photos, so I also got the hardcover and tried the whole reading along with the audio thing. I found out that's not my thing. Interesting book, great cover.

Almost American Girl - I moved and changed schools a lot, but I can't imagine doing that in a new country where I don't speak the language.

Coming Home Again - Essay about losing his mom, and cooking.

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches - I was feeling my mood needed a pick-me-up, so I turned to John Hodgman.

More Bedtime Stories for Cynics - This must have been free... good.

The Serpent's Secret - I didn't love the "talking to children" voice the narrator used. The audience for this book is not that young.

Finna - I really like the concept and would have enjoyed more action in a longer version.

Top Secret Smackdown - Mac B. Kid Spy #3 This series just cracks me up, mostly because I went to an author event for an earlier book and Mac was hilarious trying to convince those kids he had really been a kid spy.

Girls of Riyadh - I really enjoyed this. It's also the book in which the random little thing made me happy. It's from Saudi Arabia, and quite far into the book there is a passing mention of it being Ramadan and one of the women "preparing the Vimto." I had to put on the brakes and make sure I heard that right. I did. I freaking love Vimto and I'm the only person I know who drinks it. There are cans of it in my fridge right now. (They are hard enough to find, I never see the cordial.) I thought this was a pretty random brand name to drop so I looked it up and learned it's practically the official drink of Ramadan!

So there you go, folks. This is one of the little joys I get from picking out books specifically for the heritage months. APIHM means I have a lot of ground to cover. I wanted a book from the Middle East. Specifically Saudi Arabia, because I'm shallow and it will fill in a big space on my book map. I found one that sounded good and WHAM! I learn that possibly my favorite soft drink is the Thanksgiving turkey of Ramadan. The Gulf is the largest market outside the UK (where it's from). Isn't it fantastic when you read about people who's lives are so different from yours but you find things you have in common? Especially the silly little things like both loving a berry-flavored drink from England. This explains why the only place in town I've found Vimto is the tiny Middle Eastern market near one of my bus stops.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Currently Reading:
The Tea Master and the Detective - Currently at 35%

Money for Nothing - Bedtime Wodehouse

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return - Another graphic memoir for APIHM

I probably do, since I usually fall asleep listening to a book. By the time I wake up though, I don't remember doing so.

message 28: by SadieReadsAgain (new)

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Checking in, on a Thursday, and all my books are up-to-date. Man, that feels good...it's been a while. And I'm ahead of schedule for the challenge!

I've got four books to update on, three of which were challenge reads taking me to 24/54 (21/44, 3/10) and I'm on book 33 of the year. Ye-haw.

My first book was for prompt #36 pink cover and was Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want by Ruby Tandoh. This book was so much more than I hoped it would be. I saw Ruby on the Bake Off and really liked her, and when I heard this book being discussed on a podcast I knew I needed to read it. They'd discussed how this book reaches deeper than just recipes, and it so does. This is a book about how food is part of and contributes to everything in life. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and extremes of weight all my life, this is something I struggle with. Ruby understands that, her writing is rooted in the dichotomies so many of us wrestle. But she always makes a compelling case for food being the angel rather than the devil on our shoulders, and I felt that like a bear hug. This book covers so many topics - religion, family, emotion, class...its scope is so wide. But it doesn't feel like it's overreaching, it's a cosy and succinct read with a gentle flow. Ruby is a talented writer, with a sense of humour. Like many foodies, she romanticises food. But the food she romanticises is the stuff in your cupboards, or at the very least in your local Spar, and it's through her understanding of those ingredients that the love comes through. This is such a warm, comforting book...and her recipes are the perfect accompaniment.

Next up was for prompt #7 first book you touch with your eyes closed - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Someone tell me why I resisted this book for so long? I was so busy claiming not to like fantasy that I nearly missed this absolute treasure. But what could be more fantastical than an enchanted circus, the monochrome arena for a contest between two wielders of stunning magic and their shady puppet masters. The true magician here is Morgenstern, as even for a sceptic like me none of this felt unbelievable. I had no doubt that everything in this book was real. And maybe that was me being enchanted by the circus, perhaps I was also under a spell. Because I can acknowledge that the characters were not as deep as they could have been, that the romance felt a little cool for the stakes. But it didn't matter. And why? Because this book isn't a love story, it isn't a character study, it is a pure celebration of the power of magic. The beauty of illusion...when that illusion is completely real. The joy of something without purpose, which exists simply for the enjoyment of being in it. What begins as a competition between two egomaniacal old sorcerers becomes something so much more, so separate from them, that it has to endure. At any cost. Stunning.

Next was a book I read not for the challenge, The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. I went into this book expecting Scottish folklore and fairy tales...I didn't get that, at all. Instead, I got something I didn't even know I wanted, and I'm so glad for it. A world flooded, where people identify not by country or religion or colour, but whether they live on the little land that is left or whether they make their life at sea. A sailing circus, with genderbending acts and a girl with a bear, run by a deep-hearted ringmaster with a misplaced trust in his arrogant wife. A banished woman who makes her life as a Gracekeeper, putting to rest the bodies of the sea-dwellers and tending to their watery graveyards. I read this at the same time as The Night Circus, and it was as if they were ganging up on me to prove see, you do like fantasy. Say it!! Turns out, an otherworldly circus is totally my jam. North and Callanish are two women caught between land and sea for different reasons, brought together by the mysteries of the water. The world building in this book is incredible, and Logan's writing has such a clean beauty about it that I was utterly mesmerised by this book. The ending would have broken me if it weren't for the hope that lay within it. I want to cuddle in to North's bear and read the next book, as my coracle is gently rocked by the sea. I would definitely be a dampling.

And finally, for prompt #1 published in 2020 I read Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes, which was a NetGalley. Clio Campbell is a one hit wonder and political activist, who dies by suicide after turning 50. This is the story of her life, told through the eyes of those who knew, loved or hated her. It spans from her upbringing between two very different, separated parents in the midst of miners strikes and folk music in a Scotland stricken by Thatcherite politics, to her brief fame as a beautiful young pop star with an anti-poll tax rally cry, to her messy adult life struggling with the injustices of the world around her and the struggle to hold on to her music and sense of self. I adored the way pieces of her life slowly slotted together through the memories and experiences of those around her. At first the sheer number of characters and time periods were a mystery, but as it all came together I too loved and hated Clio for the impact she had on others, and the toll it took on herself. The cultural references and underlying story about a group of idealistic but often misguided squatters in London made this book so rich, and the story of Uncle/Godfather Donald really broke me. Clio is, ultimately, not a warm or likeable character, but when you understand what it was that drove her political rage and musical decisions, you can't help but feel some compassion for her. This book is a real gem.

QOTW - do you have dreams about your libraries, bookstores, or books, characters, etc?

Nope 😥 My dreams would be a heck of a lot more interesting if I did. I don't usually remember my dreams though, so who knows? But the ones I do remember are usually about people in real life, and are either upsetting or just weird.

message 29: by Doni (new)

Doni | 215 comments 30/40

Finished: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire This is the first Harry Potter book I truly enjoyed (although I enjoyed Lupin's character and the more detailed descriptions of the classes in the third book as well.) Probably going to count this for banned book even though it's not banned book week yet, but I will likely be done with the challenge before September.

On a side note, I don't really think Harry Potter should count for book with a made-up language because it doesn't ever include any words in Parsec.

The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop Per Child Using for Woman in STEM field. My friend wrote this and she did a good job with it.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages Re-read.

Started: Thought and Language This is a re-read as well. This edition includes the more Marxist-related passages that were edited out when the book was first translated into English.

Unscripted Learning: Using Improv Activities Across the K-8 Curriculum Re-read. I'm starting a project where I discuss improv techniques for parenting and education

QoTW: Bookstore dreams are the best! My idea of heaven. Or even better.. a library. Then you can get them for free! (Our county library is opening back up next week and I'm excited.)

Last night, I had a dream involving a book and a video game. The latter is strange for me. While playing the game, I noticed a doorway that led to a shortcut for the end of the game. In the new screen, I could pick between three objects: a book, a piano, and I don't remember what the other object was. I picked the book. It was an ice cream recipe book.

message 30: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3373 comments Mod
Drakeryn wrote: "whoa it's Thursday, I had no idea - I was like "why are there so many new posts?"

Finished reading:

Killing Gravity (AI characters, passes Bechdel test) - Cyberpunk novella about a fugitive supersoldier with telekinetic powers. I got this as a Tor.com giveaway. Fast-paced, lots of action, nothing deep but a good junk food read."

"good junk food read" is my newest phrase to use! I love it!

message 31: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3373 comments Mod
poshpenny wrote: "Greetings! It's been a great reading week for me. I finished ten books! I enjoyed most of them! Woohoo!

Have you ever read a random little thing in a book and become ridiculously happy about it?

Girls of Riyadh - I really enjoyed this. It's also the book in which the random little thing made me happy. It's from Saudi Arabia, and quite far into the book there is a passing mention of it being Ramadan and one of the women "preparing the Vimto." I had to put on the breaks and make sure I heard that right. I did. I freaking love Vimto and I'm the only person I know who drinks it. There are cans of it in my fridge right now. (They are hard enough to find, I never see the cordial.) I thought this was a pretty random brand name to drop so I looked it up and learned it's practically the official drink of Ramadan!"

That is absolutely amazing! How cool! Good for you for purposefully expanding your reading horizons and what a surprising connection! YAY!!

message 32: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3373 comments Mod
Doni wrote: "30/40

Last night, I had a dream involving a book and a video game. The latter is strange for me. While playing the game, I noticed a doorway that led to a shortcut for the end of the game. In the new screen, I could pick between three objects: a book, a piano, and I don't remember what the other object was. I picked the book. It was an ice cream recipe book."

Upon reading this, my first thought was, "Wow! How random...", but then I thought, "No, really...how specific!", then my final thought was "Perhaps that is just randomly specific!" lol You made me laugh! :)

message 33: by E.R. (new)

E.R. Griffin (egregiouserrors) | 131 comments Hello!!! Hope everyone is hanging in there and enjoying their books!


A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. Amazing. Utterly fantastic. It was the perfect conclusion to a perfect series. I used it for the prompt “book with a made-up language.”

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson. This was really good. Tough to read at points, and I still don’t know how I feel about the ending... But overall a great book. I used it for the prompt “a book by a WOC.”

90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality by Allison Yarrow. This was a feminist book about how 90s culture had a huge backlash against women coming to power, even as movements like Riot Grrl made attempts at progress. I was a kid in the 90s so it was interesting—and a little disheartening—to revisit the decade and see where so many things went wrong. I used it for the prompt “a book with only text on the cover, no graphics or images.”


The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz. I’m intrigued so far. I was drawn in by the jacket copy—Riot Grrl concert, murder, time travel? Yes please! So we’ll see where this one goes.

QOTW I actually dreamed of the characters from ADSOM after finishing the series. I was just checking up on them to see how they were doing after everything they’d gone through lol When I woke up, I missed them terribly. I guess that’s part of the book hangover!

message 34: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Things are still weird but we're hanging in there. We have something to look forward to as we just picked out two kittens that we expect to bring home in a week or two! The kids (and me) are very excited. And I read some really great books this week, so I suppose it's been a good week over all.

Finished this week
Lovely War I read this for the Modern Mrs Darcy book club and really enjoyed it. Several Greek gods get together and tell the story of some young couples in WWI. It really worked for me, and I decided to use it for the set in a city that has hosted the Olympics prompt because parts of it take place in both London and Paris.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold I was thrilled when this came out because I hadn't been able to find a book for the book with gold, silver, or bronze in the title prompt that appealed to me, and this one did appeal to me. I loved it. The writing is beautiful and I was drawn into the story of two Chinese children who grew up in California during the time of the gold rush. It is definitely literary fiction and sometimes moves slowly, but I loved it. It would also fit into the western prompt so if you've been looking for a non-traditonal western written by an author of color and you like literary fiction, this might be a great one.

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower I loved this one too and used it for the seven deadly sins prompt because rage roughly equals wrath. I loved Cooper's reflections on feminism and race and it gave me a lot to think about. Highly recommend.

The Choice: Embrace the Possible I read this for my IRL book club. We all loved it. Dr. Eger survived Auschwitz as a teenager and later went on to immigrate to America and become a psychologist and speaker. It's a book full of trauma but also hope and healing.

Currently Reading
Little Women
Another Country
Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays
The Murder Stone

I don't think I do have dreams of books or characters. But now I want to!

message 35: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 692 comments Evening...
man i'm bored. Quarantine hasn't been too bad so far, but now I'm just getting so fed up and there's this weird feeling of unreality. I have these moments of shock every now and again, where it dawns upon me afresh that I'm not just staying at home because I like it, there really is something out there and thousands of people are dying in horrific ways. But it feels so remote, as if I'm in a bubble away from it all.
Emotionally it's tricky too. I feel, generally, quite happy, but I'm experiencing all these side effects of stress, like inability to concentrate and hardly being able to read or do any activity aside from sitting on the computer all day, and playing Animal Crossing. And as for sleep, I normally have no pattern anyway, but now it's even more haywire. The only temporal landmarks are those built into the aforementioned Animal Crossing, and the livestream schedule for my favourite Booktuber.

Speaking of livestreams, lately I've been spending a lot of time watching two from a cat rescue called "Tiny Kittens", who, appropriately enough, stream 24/7 footage of the mother cats under their care. Links here and here if anyone needs some fluffy goodness...

And now that I've used y'all as my personal therapists, let's talk books. 😋

Finished this week:

Raptor Red - Dinosaurs, for me, cure all ills (so to speak). This was no exception. Very successful escapism and I loved it. It's pretty much a Walking With Dinosaurs special, but in novel form. Highly recommend.
Used for Popsugar prompt #9, book with a map - it has several, showing the continents as they were in the Cretaceous period.

The Poppy War - Didn't quite click with this book. Something felt kind of... maybe "disjointed" is the word? I can't put my finger on it. Perhaps the pacing.
Or it could've been the concept altogether - it's basically 20th-century Chinese history, including unimaginable atrocities committed during warfare between China and Japan, but transposed into a secondary world with a fantasy veneer over it, which feels... disrespectful? uncomfortable?
(I can't words good right now.)
I already have the second book on my Kindle, so I miiiight read it eventually, but I'm not enthused.
Used for Popsugar prompt #34, "meant to read in 2019" - the author was nominated for a Hugo, so as a Worldcon 2019 member I really should've read it, but something went wrong with my copy of the ebook. 🤷‍♀️

When Breath Becomes Air - Beautiful memoir about a horrific thing.
Used for Popsugar prompt #21, "published in your birthday month".

Convenience Store Woman - Liked the protagonist and her narration, didn't like the plot. Keiko seems to be autistic (though the word is never actually used) and while our experiences don't exactly match, there's a lot of moments that are very relatable on that front. There's one paragraph early on, describing a phase in her teenage years during which she decided not to speak unless it was absolutely necessary, and it hit me hard because it was exactly me at that approximate age.
However, the most major secondary character is an incel. There's no other way to put it. Views women as commodities and constantly rants about "the Stone Age", how "the strongest hunter gets the girl", and stuff about those who aren't "normal" getting "exiled from the village". Keiko doesn't buy into the ideology per se but she ends up (view spoiler). It was so incredibly frustrating to watch.
Used for Popsugar prompt Advanced #5, "set in Japan".

Currently reading Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?. Just started it yesterday, only 40 pages in. It's a little bit dense, but interesting.

QOTW: Yeah, I have bookish dreams occasionally. I remember hearing that it's impossible to read in dreams, but then only days or weeks later having a dream about a bookshop and being able to read the titles perfectly.
My best dream ever was about a book character actually - Maglor, one of the elves in The Silmarillion. Must've been literally about a decade ago. The entire dream was just the two of us, sitting on a ledge of a cliff, watching a sunset. Not even talking or anything, simply sitting there. But there was this deep overwhelming sense of joy and contentment and peace, a very specific sort of emotion that I've only ever felt while dreaming.

message 36: by Harmke (last edited May 21, 2020 01:00PM) (new)

Harmke | 195 comments Happy Thursday!
We just came home from a bbq at my sister’s garden. So nice to see them again! And such nice summerly weather.

I finished 1 book this week (actually: today). My reading goes extremely well this year. I'm 2 books ahead of schedule to 35 books this year. Maybe, just maybe, I can finish this challenge...
Small treat yesterday: our local library re-opened yesterday. I could finally pick up all the books I put on hold in February.

Little Women. Finally read this classic. Never finished it at high school. O, what an old-fashioned, moralistic story. But it was a nice, pleasant and comforting read.
Prompt: a bildungsroman, a book that passes the Bechdel test

Currently reading
The Eighth Life

Probably I do dream about books, or characters, but I can’t tell you which. I always forget what it was about, only a vague notion of ‘something to do with’.

message 37: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 487 comments I don't think much is required to be closed here anymore--I know hair salons and even bars can be open with up to 25% capacity (no clue how they're supposed to monitor it).

Some jerk-face decided to have a warehouse party with around 500 people last weekend, most of whom are apparently service industry workers. So yeah, that doesn't make me want to go out and support them (even though that's something I've been trying to do with ordering out and getting gift cards and such). The guy's been bragging about it all over social media and getting his followers to mock anyone who dares to speak out against him.

He owns a local bar. I sincerely hope it shuts down. But I imagine he'll get support from all those others who think staying at home is an infringement on their freedom. *major eye roll*

I digress.

Nothing. Again. But I'm hoping to finish my current book today or tomorrow, and I'll be listening to an audiobook this weekend (just have to choose which one).

Currently Reading:
Lingo: A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe: Since it's non-fiction, I don't like to read too much at once, otherwise I won't absorb the information.

Victorian Fairy Tales: This one will go for a long time since I just read a story or two before bed. I still only have one cat invested in listening, but maybe the other will start to enjoy it too.

I know I definitely have dreamed of all the above. I've always had vivid dreams. My mum was our town librarian while I was growing up, and I know I had dreams of that library, and I've had dreams in the couple of libraries I've worked in. I've had dreams where I switch back and forth between reading a book and actually being in the book, as well.

message 38: by Alison (new)

Alison | 31 comments Well, this is my first check-in in a very long time...I have been following each week and have added to my TBR with some of the books you all have been reading, however! I don't know why I haven't actually checked in but will be more diligent in the weeks to come! I will post below the books that I finished this week but as of now, I am 34/50 on the Challenge.

Things here in Santa Fe are slowly gearing up...things are opening up on a limited basis. The Spring weather here is gorgeous and everything is blooming/putting out new leaves!

The Red House Mystery...for #44 (a book set in the 1920's). I read this in preparation for reading Eight Perfect Murders later on this year...I want to read all the books in the synopsis of Eight Perfect Murders before I read the actual book. I also didn't know that A. A. Milne wrote a mystery (I believe, from the introduction of this book, that this was the only mystery he wrote).

The Wicked King...for #23 (a book that won an award in 2019). This won the 2019 Goodreads Choice Award for Best YA Fantasy. I had read the first book, The Cruel Prince, when it first came out...I really like this second book so much better and look forward to reading the final book of the trilogy, The Queen of Nothing this summer!

A King So Cold...this was not for the Popsugar challenge but does count for a space (The Gym..read a book with a gorgeously dressed person on the cover) on my Romanceopoly board. I had come across this book somehow (I believe maybe a recommendation from Goodreads), read the blurb and went into this not knowing much about it. I also had never read Ella Fields before... I gave this 4.5 stars and will definitely read this author again!

The Guy on the Right...again, not for the Popsugar Challenge but for a space (New View...NA friends to lovers book) on my Romanceopoly board.

A Study in Scarlet Women...I am doing a mystery challenge in the 2020 Reading Challenge group and this checked off one of my prompts. This was a great twist on the Sherlock Holmes mystery theme and a great introduction to a series!

Currently Reading:
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief...I am doing a personal challenge this year to try to read a spiritual book per month and this is my May book.
Crime and Periodicals...reentering the world of Green Valley, TN
Empire of Storms...I am trying to finish this series this year and will use this for #33 (a book with at least a 4 star rating on Goodreads)

QOTW: I do dream about books sometimes! Horror books really effect me and I tend to dream about them when I read one! Not to say I don't enjoy an occasional horror story but for some reason, they make me dream!

message 39: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1706 comments The only progress to report here in NYC is that my favorite neighborhood Greek restaurant has reopened for deliveries! I indulged dinner last night and included one of their salads for lunch today! Ever notice how much better a salad tastes when someone else prepares it?

No finishes to report here. Still inching through Proust.

QOTW: Not that I recall. However when trying to calm my mind for sleep, I often think about favorite scenes and endings of books, even imagining what their HEA is like.

message 40: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 18 comments Happy Thursday!

I finished 4 books this week! That's probably the most since quarantine has started!

Wild at Heart (no prompt) - This wasn't as good as the first one but I still enjoyed it a lot! I ended up staying up till 4am one night because I couldn't put it down!

Becoming (A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader) - I consider Michelle Obama to be a world leader so I picked this up. I absolutely loved this. She is so well-spoken and she gave a lot of glimpses into her life and gave very meaningful advice driven by her own life experiences. I highly recommend this to anyone who is even slightly interested in her.

Fair Game (no prompt) - I don't have much to say about these except they're fun and quick and they're not too deep.

Silence Fallen (A book set in a country beginning with C) - This was set in the Czech Republic.

Currently Reading:

Technically, nothing! I'm waiting for some holds to come in from the library. Other than that, I might start The Two Lives of Lydia Bird but I haven't decided yet!

Regular: 22/40 (More than halfway done! Yay!)
Advanced: 5/10

I usually don't! I might have a dream about characters from a story I'm making up but nothing that other people have made!

message 41: by Lynn (last edited May 21, 2020 03:49PM) (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3373 comments Mod
Shannon wrote: "I don't think much is required to be closed here anymore--I know hair salons and even bars can be open with up to 25% capacity (no clue how they're supposed to monitor it).

Some jerk-face decided..."

I'm sorry, but I really have trouble believing such people are alive and well. Not only the organizer, but those who participated. What do they hope to prove? I just don't get it...but I guess they have a right to put themselves at risk. I just hope I don't have to inadvertently deal with any of them.

Shannon wrote:
I know I definitely have dreamed of all the above. I've always had vivid dreams...I've had dreams where I switch back and forth between reading a book and actually being in the book, as well."

I find that fascinating! I don't recall ever dreaming in that fashion... How cool! :)

message 42: by Kendra (last edited May 21, 2020 03:56PM) (new)

Kendra | 278 comments Happy Thursday. They've started phase 2 opening here so I actually got to go see my Aunt and Grandma which was great, but did cut into my reading time.

Books I finished:

Ebola The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus by David Quammen Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Continuing my morbid streak of reading about disease outbreaks during the quarantine. Wasn't the best, wasn't the worst and was interesting enough. But it was funny because he spent some time putting The Hot Zone down, and then after I finished reading this book, my hold on The Hot Zone came in. Even if the science isn't quite right, I still think I like Preston's writing style more.

Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane, #5) by Jaye Wells Blue-Blooded Vamp ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - And my reread of the series is done.

Books I made progress on:

Firefly The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove Firefly: The Magnificent Nine

The Hot Zone The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus by Richard Preston The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Book characters, book stores, libraries and books in general end up in my dreams so often. Most recently I had a dream where all the stores opened up from quarantine and I went on a shopping spree and then when I woke up I was disappointed to realize I hadn't managed to get all those books. 😋

message 43: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3373 comments Mod
Alison wrote: "A Study in Scarlet Women...I am doing a mystery challenge in the 2020 Reading Challenge group and this checked off one of my prompts. This was a great twist on the Sherlock Holmes mystery theme and a great introduction to a series!"

Ooohhh...I will be reading this soon. Glad to know you enjoyed it! :)

message 44: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments I finished only one book this week, but that's ok because I'm enjoying my current longer books.

Finished: Convenience Store Woman (set in Japan): I enjoyed this small, slightly strange book, though I did feel that things got wrapped up a little too abruptly. It ended up feeling like about 3/4 of a story, not the whole thing.

Currently reading:
A Tale of Love and Darkness: I'm loving this one. The structure is variable, sometimes telling the story in disconnected vignettes, sometimes holding with the same story through multiple chapters. There's an ebb and flow rhythm to it that I really like. Also, there's quite a gentle, calm tone to the book that I enjoy. There is most certainly suffering, but there is also acceptance of suffering. As you can probably tell, it's a difficult book to describe, but I do heartily recommend it.
All Systems Red: this is my new audiobook, and so far it's fun. I'm going to do a jigsaw puzzle tonight and listen more, and I'm looking forward to it. Simple pleasures. :-)
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: I put this book aside at the beginning of quarantine because I was having trouble concentrating on it, but I've returned. I do have such a soft spot for eccentric, bookish, elderly main characters, so this is just right for me.

QOTW: I have vivid dreams about pretty much anything I think about while awake, so definitely books feature often. That's mostly fun, though the one time I stayed in a cool vintage hotel right after reading The Shining, I was less pleased with my brain's dream choices.

message 45: by Teri (last edited May 21, 2020 05:09PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1146 comments Spring has been quite lovely this year, and my allergies are finally reduced to a sneeze and a sniffle on occasion. I can live with that. My 5th floor office overlooks a park, and it is beautiful right now. I may be isolated here in my office, but the scenery makes up for it.

I put way too many books on hold at the library while it was closed and I'm able to pick them up now. I need to spend this entire weekend reading to even have hope of catching up.

I finished two books this week:

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare - 2 stars; not for challenge
This is one of his earliest plays, and it is violent and misogynistic and rather horrible. I'm so glad he got better as he went along. I haven't seen this at the theater, and will likely avoid it.

Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie - 4 stars; not for challenge
This was set in Jersualem and then Petra (the Rose City) in Jordan. I had never heard of Petra before, and I don't know how I've missed such an interesting place (seriously, look up some photos). I love it when novels are set in new places to me as I then embark on an internet journey. The mystery itself was okay with some very interesting characters, but the location is what enchanted me.

Goodreads: 32/90
Popsugar: 18/40, 7/10

I know I have had dreams where I've been a character (or at least an observer) inspired by whatever I read just before bed, but I can't think of any examples.

message 46: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments This week I finished:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah- From all the hype, I was expecting to love this, the first half fell flat for me, the voice seemed very present day American to me. I stuck through it though, and the second half was much better, so glad I read it.

message 47: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1146 comments Sarah wrote: "Do daydreams about having that massive library from Beauty and the Beast count?"

Right? That is my dream library as well.

message 48: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments currently reading:

the book woman of Troublesome Creek- I was going to use this for book with a book on the cover, but it has a lot of information about things I didn't even know existed (pack horse librarians and people with naturally blue skin) that I think I'll use it for a book about something I knew nothing about.

The bitter side of sweet- this helps me with around the world reading and checks off ivory coast. Not sure where I'll use it for Pop sugar.

QOTW: I've never dreamt about libraries, but if I'm really into a book, have spent too much time reading it, and the plot is at an intense point, I will dream about the plot of the book, usually with myself inserted into the story, but sometimes just of the characters

message 49: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 636 comments Upstate NY has been just beautiful these past few days! Sun, temps in the 60s, bit of a breeze! I feel like it's been years since I've seen this weather!

I didn't finish anything. I'm kinda bouncing around trying to find the next book after Anna Karenina. I haven't watched the movie yet, either, as the weather's been so nice, who wants to be indoors?

A few that I'm trying: Proxy could work for a book by a journalist or upside down image.
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls for a book about a book club.
Love in the Time of Cholera because, darn it, I'm going to finish this book!
On the Laps of Gods: The Red Summer of 1919 and the Struggle for Justice That Remade a Nation for a subject I know nothing about.
I'm waiting for an ebook hold to come in of A Wrinkle in Time because I want to lose myself in an old favorite, plus reread the book before I see the most recent movie version of that one, too.

QOTW: I feel so bad so few of you remember your dreams! I have book based dreams fairly regularly. Mostly libraries and book stores. Just this past week I dreamt the library reopened. They did some remodeling (I specifically remember spinning benches, though why anyone would ever need such a thing...) But there were tons of people in there and I was shocked that no one was wearing masks or social distancing, but I was just so happy that it was open, I really didn't care!

When I read and reread the Harry Potter series, I had to give myself at least an hour before bed or I would have very strange intense dreams. I don't remember them, but I remember they were very vivid. I also sometimes dream about HP characters.

Finally, I every so often dream about reading Ulysses. I started it several years ago, but put it down and never got back to it. I think my dreams are nagging me to finish the darn thing!

message 50: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1146 comments Alex wrote: "We are moving to yellow phase tomorrow! Meaning retail can open (with safe practices in place) and we can have gatherings of up to 25 people and the stay-at-home order is lifted, though anyone who can work from home is encouraged to do so and restaurants and salons remain closed. My hair is getting really long (I usually have a pixie), so I'm eager to see my stylist again. But I'm also concerned about reopening too quickly. It seems like no one really knows what to do anymore, so we're all just making this up as we go. It's not very comforting."

I think my state is reopening too quickly, but I've decided all I can do is take care of myself in the best ways I can figure out as I'm in a high risk category. My short hairstyle is now awful, but I'm not ready to brave a salon. I had to take scissors to it myself as I needed to see past my bangs, and it already needs another whack. I'm trying to decide if I'm brave enough for the sides and back. I mean, really, who sees me anyway?

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