Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2020 Weekly Checkins > Week 34: 8/14 - 8/20

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Hello all and welcome to another Thursday check-in!

We are rapidly approaching the start of the school year here, and my stress and anxiety levels are climbing. My daughter starts high school so this was already going to be a big transition year, and now she's having to learn how to do hybrid school (2 days a week in school, three days at home). I think it's only a matter of time before she has to quarantine at home due to positive cases at school. I am thankful that my job is flexible enough to allow me to work from home if necessary. I will be home two days next week I think. We'll see how this goes. On the plus side, while our days are still very warm, we have gotten a few cool (ish) evenings which just makes the world a more pleasant place in my opinion. Maybe tonight I'll pour myself a glass of wine and sit outside to read.

Admin note:

Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering as a discussion leader for October (Daisy Jones & The Six or November (Where the Crawdads Sing)! We are so blessed to have amazing members in this group, and the cream of the crop are those special people who offer their services to lead these discussions. We are so very thankful to all of you that have volunteered!


On to the check-in:

I have been struggling this month (and last month) to get back into my reading. After those early weeks of quarantine when I couldn't read at all things had started to normalize. Then I went back to working in the office and it just went straight down the toilet. I am trying to pick up the books I need to read to finish my challenge, but my lack of motivation leads me to either watching tv (way too much) or reading comfort reads. I need a reading weekend away from home and family where I can just lounge about all day and read. Maybe this fall I will rent a little cabin or tiny house somewhere and do just that!

Finished:

The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir by Michele Harper. This is a beautifully written memoir by an ER doctor who is also a woman of color (so there's two prompts right there!). Her writing is lovely, poignant and peaceful. She weaves together stories of patients in the ER along with her personal reflections on life, love, family and moving forward. I don't do flowery writing so I think she hit the balance point perfectly. This is in contention to be one of my favorites of the entire year. If you are at all inclined to reading memoirs I highly, highly recommend this one.

Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn. Book three in the Lady Julia Grey historical mystery series. I've been rereading these books (first time on audio though) and I love her and Brisbane just as much this time as I did the first time I read them! This is one of my favorite series.

Currently Reading

Mexican Gothic - I bought this book on a whim through BOTM last month. The cover is gorgeous, and it is touted as resurrecting the gothic novel. I'm good with that. It's also sometimes shelved as horror which makes me a little nervous. Noemi is a socialite in 1950's Mexico City. She receives a letter from her cousin that hints things are not all well. Noemi travels to her cousin's husband's family home out in the middle of nowhere to see for herself. Cue creepy house, weird dreams, weird relatives. I am not sure where this story is going, but it is very atmospheric so far.

43/50

Question of the week:

Does beautiful cover art ever draw you to pick up a book that you may otherwise have walked past?


Yes, see above comment about Mexican Gothic. Now, I would never choose a book that didn't interest me simply because I loved the cover, BUT I think sometimes cover art can catch my attention in a way that a title, or shelf location may not.


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary Hann | 239 comments This week I finished:

Britt-Marie Was Here: I don't know how a book can simultaneously be so much more than what you wanted, and also so much less than what you hoped for, but Britt-Marie accomplishes that. Someone who doesn't like to read can never understand what it feels like for someone who loves to read to fall completely in love with a book. I imagined what I would write in this review multiple times while still reading the book. My brain thought words like perfect and delightful. I thought I would talk about character development and how when your expectations for a book are so high because you love an author, you always approach that book with hope and trepidation, knowing it can't be as good as the others. Then it happens, and you fall in love all over again. This book was not what I hoped for; it was more. More smiles. More laughs. More tears than a book should be able to give. The trouble with falling in love with a book so early is that you start to imagine that the book will never disappoint you, which this book did too. I wanted everything for these characters and had to settle for less, but that's what real life is like and if the book had been everything I wanted, it wouldn't have been perfect.

Currently reading:

Grimm's Fairy Tales: For an old prompt. I'm reading them out loud to my dog, so I imagine it is going to take a very long time.

Find Me: This book is not turning out as great as I had hoped.

QOTW:
All the time. I'm a sucker for an eye-catcher, and I've found so many great books that way. Every morning when I go through the Goodreads giveaways, I scroll through looking for good titles/covers and if one catches my eye, I read what it's about.


message 3: by Ashley Marie (last edited Aug 20, 2020 10:40AM) (new)

Ashley Marie  | 465 comments Happy Thursday!

My nerves are on edge as well - our local(ish) motorcycle rally (usually early-mid September) was thankfully canceled, but I still have my best friend's wedding next weekend to worry about - is it bad if I say I'm not looking forward to it? It's at an indoor venue and I haven't heard anything about the size of the guest list, but both parties have large families so I'm nervous. Definitely getting tested once I get home.

On the book front, I've had a good number of DNFs just this month. Blaming it on Covid stress and planning on doing a reread of my favorite series once the series I'm currently plowing through is finished.

This week:
The Vagabond by Colette - 4 stars. Gorgeous writing, and only a six-hour audiobook. Looking forward to more of her work.
Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett - DNF. I loved the first book but my brain doesn't want to focus on the magic system right now.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy - DNF. I also apparently don't want to focus on this, even though it also has a beautiful style. I'll come back to both of these DNFs eventually.
Dancing with Cats - 4 stars, the funniest coffee table book I've seen in awhile and just what I needed last night. Dancing kitties!

Currently reading:
Assata: An Autobiography - This is slow going because it's an ebook and I don't usually read on my laptop
Dark Road to Darjeeling - Book 4/5 in the Lady Julia Grey series, and my current Covid pick-me-up
Saga: Book One - Comics seem to be the way to go on the weekends, and this one will take me awhile because it compiles issues 1-18
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America - Listening to this at close to normal speed (a rarity) because there's so much information and I can't afford to skim-listen.

QOTW: Does beautiful cover art ever draw you to pick up a book that you may otherwise have walked past?

Oh sure! Silent in the Grave's cover is half the reason I bought it. Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1) by Deanna Raybourn


message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Hello all and welcome to another Thursday check-in!"

Every single week, the first time I open my computer on Thursday and see the notification for this initial check-in posting, I say (usually literally out loud) to myself, "Oh, it is Thursday, isn't it?" LOL

Seriously, every week. Cracks me up! :)


message 5: by Sara (new)

Sara | 122 comments The past week has been a complete mess. We sold my dad's old house and bought his new one. But both closings were messy, there were issues with the lender, and there were just some weird hijinks in between. But, we got it all done, he's in the new house, and things should calm down a little bit.

I finished one book this week, The Tourist Attraction, which I used for the summer challenge as a book with something you would find at the beach in the title. I thought the story was kind of cute, but I had some issues with the characters. I just didn't think the two main characters were that interesting and I couldn't relate to either one of them. The side characters were definitely my favorite part. And the moose. But it was a nice distraction during a busy, stressful week.

I am currently reading way too many books at the same time. But the highlight right now is my August BOTM selection, The Space Between Worlds. It's spectacular and I am loving it.

QOTW: I enjoy good cover art and I have definitely picked up a book because of it. Fun story! I have a print on my wall that I purchased from the artist at an arts festival years ago. A few years later, I was walking through a bookstore and there was a book with that print on the cover. I definitely noticed that book!


message 6: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 263 comments School starts this week. We are face to face. We do have some kids doing all virtual. So, it’s stressful all around and I fell back on my favorite comfort read: historical romance.

written by a journalist

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow. Nonfiction about Harvey Weinstein. This book made me so angry and not just about the people who worked with Weinstein and ignored what was going on but the people at NBC who worked to protect him as well.

comfort reads that don’t tick off prompts

A Notorious Vow by Joanna Shupe. Historical romance. Set in NYC. Not my favorite one of hers but still enjoyable also has a deaf hero.

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe. Probably my least favorite of this particular trilogy but still enjoyable.

The Devil of Downtown by Joanna Shupe. Reformed bad boy trope which is probably my second favorite trope. One of my favorite Shupe books and I’ve been reading the heck out of her this year.

QOTW:
Absolutely. I’ve also bought based on the cover art. And I get upset when they reissue with new cover art. I really like the new cover art on the Cinder series. The Hunger Games got reissued in really simple buy shiny cover art that I loved each time I passed it in a store.


message 7: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 747 comments I finally finished Deep Space a book on a subject I know nothing about. It was way above my head.

I finished The Taming of the Queen as my book by an author who has written at least 20 books. not the best Philippa Gregory book, but pretty enjoyable.

I read Small Wonders as my book with a pink cover. Not my thing and I didn't really like it at all.

I have started The Redbreast as my book with a bird on the cover. Just started it, but it's holding my interest thus far. I just hope it's maybe slight less gruesome than Jo Nesbo's other books. But, I'm sure it's not.

QOTW: I'm not sure.


message 8: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Ashley Marie wrote: "Happy Thursday!

Dancing with Cats - 4 stars, the funniest coffee table book I've seen in awhile and just what I needed last night. Dancing kitties!"


This looks to be delightful! Thanks for mentioning it. Another one for my TBR listing!


message 9: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmyers) | 103 comments First time checking in. I finished 6 books this week.
The Bell Jar 3 stars - Read for Modern Mrs. Darcy - 9. A classic you didn’t read in school.
The Guest List - 4 stars - much better than I expected (not a thriller reader). Read for the Pop Sugar summer challenge.
The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life - 2.5 stars. Not particularly well written, but quick read, and interesting if you're a Jeopardy fan.
Ill Will - 3.5 stars. This author came to the college I worked at in 2004, so I was curious to read this. No more thrillers for a long time, though!
Kent State - 5 stars. Short book, written in verse, with numerous POV. Timely and moving.
Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café - 4 stars. I really needed something light after all the heavy reading I've been doing lately.

Currently reading:
Killer Summer, The Starless Sea, and Hild. The last two are long term reads.

QOTW:
When browsing, I am definitely influenced by covers such as:
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker , The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal to share a few.


message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 720 comments Now that the heatwave has passed and the evenings are comfortable again, I’ve been spending more time outside. I’ve been reading on my patio for an hour or so every night. It’s been really relaxing, and I hope this weather continues for awhile.

I finished one book this week and made good progress on another. My library due dates are looming, and I’ve reached my renewal maximum. I’m going to devote the weekend to reading so I can finish all my library books in time.

Finished
The Fifth Season by NK Jemesin. I didn’t really care for this book. One storytelling device that I just don’t like at all is multiple timelines, and this one has three. The world-building and characters were good, though.

Reading
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

QOTW
I'm so guilty of falling for cover art! I got sucked into reading Snow Like Ashes because of the gorgeous cover, and it remains one of the worst fantasy and YA books I've ever read. I knew better than to read that book. I could tell from the summary and map I wasn't going to like it, but ....

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1) by Sara Raasch

I really love the Penguin classics hardcovers, and they have motivated me to buy and read more classics so I can have those gorgeous covers. I probably should think more about editor, translation, etc. but I love those covers so much.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6) by Jules Verne


message 11: by Samantha (last edited Aug 20, 2020 06:23AM) (new)

Samantha (bookstasamm) | 176 comments Happy Thursday! This week seems to be going so slow, and I'm just looking forward to the weekend. In one of my FB groups, we're doing a readathon which I'm really excited about. I'm a little behind on my reading this month so I hope it helps.

Finished:
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America - I have wanted to read this book for a couple of years and finally got around to it. I thought it started off a little slow, and definitely preferred HH Holmes' storyline, but overall I thought it was a great read. 4 stars

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - I read this for a book club, and I honestly am still so shook up about it. That ending was indescribable and awful. I did like the author writing about the Holocaust from a child's persepective, but ugh. I couldn't even rate this book.

The Boy in the Red Dress - I finally finished this book! I thought the setting of 1929 New Orleans during prohibition was a great setting for a murder mystery. The author did a good job for a debut, but I just struggled to get into it at the beginning. 3 stars

Challenge Progress:
I'm still at 37/50.

I've been doing a summer challenge that I let take me away from this one so once this month ends, I can focus more on this challenge.

Currently Reading:
My Dark Vanessa - I'm reading this for my book club's summer reading challenge. I'm about half way done. It's very good, but also a very hard read.

The Magnolia Inn: A Sweet, Small Town Story - this is also for my summer reading challenge. It's cute so far.

QOTW - Does beautiful cover art ever draw you to pick up a book that you may otherwise have walked past?

One book immediately comes to mind with this question! Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

I fell in love with this cover and just had to read it! I actually enjoyed the book so it worked out!

I also agree that Mexican Gothic has a beautiful cover. Sadly, I did not love the story though.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


message 12: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Lynn wrote: "Sara wrote: "Hello all and welcome to another Thursday check-in!"

Every single week, the first time I open my computer on Thursday and see the notification for this initial check-in posting, I say..."


I understand! I literally have a reminder on my phone to post the weekly check-in every other week because if I didn't it would be who knows when before I realized it was Thursday!


message 13: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Heather wrote: "I really love the Penguin classics hardcovers, and they have motivated me to buy and read more classics so I can have those gorgeous covers. I probably should think more about editor, translation, etc. but I love those covers so much."

I get suckered into these as well. I don't worry too much if the book was originally published in English, but if it's a translated work I will usually do the research and find the best translation even if it isn't a beautiful cover. I'd still probably add the cover to my collection and get the better translation from the library (which I recognize makes no sense!)


message 14: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Samantha wrote: "I also agree that Mexican Gothic has a beautiful cover. Sadly, I did not love the story though."

This is my fear as well. I do have one trusted friend who enjoyed it so I'm holding out hope.


message 15: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 490 comments Yup Sara, I feel you on school. It's all just hard. We're doing our best.

This week I actually pushed to find reading time and make progress on the challenge. It feels good to have a little no-stakes project in my life, and I'm done with my The Good Place trivia contest* so I'm putting that energy back towards books!

Finished

Mexican Gothic ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I love when a trendy book is in my favorite genres! I feel so cool and with it. I loved this - it even inspired me to create a whole Girl vs. House bookshelf because I love that trope, whether it's purely mundane horrors or supernatural.

Currently Reading

Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis - kind of meh. I'm interested in discussing midlife challenges for GenX women, but I'm in a section that's just a litany of how bad everything was when we were growing up, how bad everything is for us now (economy, employment, gender equality, etc.) and it feels both depressing and a little whiny.

The Collapsing Empire - I'm really getting into this! But I have to finish Why We Can't Sleep first because it's from the library. This is going to be like dessert.

QOTW

Yes!
Monstress, Vol. 1 Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
Monstress was super disappointing because it was so, so gorgeous, but the story was shit.

Another vote for Wilder Girls!

I also bought a hardcover of The Supernatural Enhancements:
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

because the Kindle version was so ugly:
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

*got all 12 answers right, but didn't gamble my points as well as some others, so came in 52d out of 1200ish - I'll take it!


message 16: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Chandie wrote: "Absolutely. I’ve also bought based on the cover art. And I get upset when they reissue with new cover art. I really like the new cover art on the Cinder series. The Hunger Games got reissued in really simple buy shiny cover art that I loved each time I passed it in a store..."

Sometimes the new cover art is an improvement though! As Ashley Marie mentioned above, the new artwork for the Lady Julia Grey series is eye catching and much better than the original artwork for the first two in the series. They have updated the first four and I hope they do the rest soon.


message 17: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Christine wrote: "Yup Sara, I feel you on school. It's all just hard. We're doing our best.

On the plus side, this whole season has generated some of the best memes I've ever seen! I loved the Princess Bride one that was floating around over the last week or two. "Clearly I cannot choose the back to school plan in front of me. I also cannot choose the back to school plan in front of you."


message 18: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 254 comments Hello! I just found this group this week, and looking forward to connecting with the community.

Current Progress: The books I've already read this year knocked out 31/50, so I'm in good shape for some targeted reading the rest of the year.

Finished: All Our Wrong Todays - I've always liked time travel books, and I heard this one had a different take on it. Quite enjoyed it, and then realized it had a city skyline upside down on the cover, which let me use it for the challenge.

Claire of the Sea Light - This was for a different challenge, reading a book by an author from the Caribbean. It was told in a disjointed way, jumping around between years and people, and wasn't to my taste. The author is from Haiti, so it counts as a Woman of Color.

Girl with a Pearl Earring - This was a library book that came available, and was one of those "I really should have read this book already" reads. It was a good historical novel, but I couldn't connect to the main character or her choices. It qualifies as A Subject I Know Nothing About, because I didn't know anything about the painter.

A Raisin in the Sun - This was for another challenge, reading a play by an author of color. It's about a Black family in Chicago in the late 1950s, and it was an interesting read. I imagine the play must be pretty powerful to see.

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban - This was for another challenge, a book by a refugee and a memoir for a different religious tradition. It would count as a Book With a Map, or the 4star Rating. I enjoyed this book, especially the history of her country she gave.

Currently Reading: Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We're Taking Back Our Power - Also for another challenge, about a woman artist. This is the account of a street artist who makes posters calling out street harassment. I'm about halfway through, and enjoying it as much as you can when it's women telling their stories of sexual harassment in public.

The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II - I've had this book on hold for months with the library, and it's finally come available. Turns out it also counts with Silver in the title. Excited to read about the women pilots of World War II after reading Mary Robinette Kowal's Lady Astronaut series that mentions them so much.

Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East - another book I've had on hold for a while at the library that finally came available. The author is a journalist from Lebanon, and I'm looking forward to learning her take on the history of the Middle East in the past 40 years.

QOTW: Doing so little strolling in person these days, I've been scrolling through library catalogs a lot. When library scrolling, it's super easy to get swayed by the covers. I'm fairly sure that's how I picked Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat .


message 19: by Nadine in NY (last edited Aug 20, 2020 08:01AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Thursday really snuck up on me this week! Our weather is starting to cool off, we were able to finally open the windows.  (But it’s supposed to heat up again today so I guess that’s that.)  It's a GORGEOUS day today, classic late August weather with blue sky, cool breeze, warm sun, with that certain slant of light that is specific to late August here in NY.  I went out and walked the dogs around the neighborhood early this morning (so then I was late for my 9am meeting - oops! the perils of WFH).

This week I finished two books.  (Would’ve been three but my audiobook loan expired mid-story SOB!). Neither was for the Challenge, but I did do a bit of rearranging, discovered that Rita Mae Brown wrote more than 20 books, so I am now 42/50.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 - this was pretty great, five stars.  If you like steam punk and alternative histories (with djinn, in Cairo), read this! Tor has some wonderful cover art for their books - even my mother (who does not like SFF at all) commented that this was a gorgeous cover.

Beach Read - this was a lot of fun, but I had a bunch of nitpicky complaints too. Without question, this is a book I was encouraged to read for the cover and for the title :-)

And I am also currently reading Mexican Gothic!  I'm up to Chapter 3 now.  So far I love it, it feels like a modern melding of The Yellow Wallpaper and Rebecca.  She's very descriptive, but the descriptions draw me further into the story rather than annoying me with wordiness. And yes, it has a gorgeous cover :-)


QoTW

YES!!!  I am a complete sucker for a gorgeous cover.  About 25% of the time, I end up loving the book, so I don't have a good track record with this, but I still can't resist the lure of a gorgeous cover.  (And I choose my books almost exclusively online.)

I love rich jeweltone colors (especially cobalt blue), crisp graphics (I'm loving the vector art trend for covers in the last few years), water, flowers & birds, beach scenes, and also dark, moody landscapes.

I still remember being so drawn to the covers of
All In (Only One Night #1) by Simona Ahrnstedt (that lush blue!!),
The Past by Tessa Hadley (I love the contrast of black with bright flowers),
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (that crisp icy blue! was it spruce tree needles, or waves, or frost, or an abstract design? I was never sure),
Wilder Girls by Rory Power (so gorgeous! so mysterious!)
and being deeply DEEPLY disappointed with each book.

A few books I've recently added to my TBR just for the cover:
Unburnable by Marie-Elena John Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth Find Me (Inland Empire, #1) by Anne Frasier Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim


message 20: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn | 197 comments Its a cool rainy day in the pacific northwest and I am loving it! A little muggy with the heat of this past week (80's and sunny) but I'm looking forward to fall! Only finished one book this week, but still chugging along!

Finished:
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison "A Western." I enjoyed this book a lot considering "western" isn't my preferred genre. The first half I devoured in a day but the second half dragged on and didn't go where I expected it to, which is okay. I liked the ending and felt the writing was poetic.

Currently Reading:
Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays by R. Eric Thomas. This isn't for a prompt - just needed a good audiobook and this one was highly recommended. Thomas's essays about struggling with his identity as a gay, black, Christian is both therapeutic and hilarious.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton "The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed." I read the reviews about this book before I started it and from what I gather most people either LOVE this book or HATE this book - no in between. Its a slower read for me, I find myself wanting to read it and when I sit down and crack the book open I get distracted. The writing is a little "flowery" for me (is flowery the right word?)

QOTW:
I am easily persuaded to read a book with a beautiful cover. I wonder to myself "how did someone come up with that beautiful cover?" One that easily comes to mind is "Circe" - I love the gold and black cover.


message 21: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Morning!

It's been a busy week but I've made good progress on reading this week.

Finished:

How to Be an Antiracist - I've been reading more non-fiction dealing with race recently and so far this one has drawn me in the most. Kendi's storytelling voice is wonderful and I'm looking forward to reading more of his work in the future.

Boyfriend Material - This was just so wonderfully sweet. I've seen a lot of comparisons to Red, White and Royal Blue but this had a very different feel to it. It was a slow burn and not super steamy. This is for sure worth reading, it would be a great beach read.

Currently Reading:

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - I checked out the audiobook of this one because it was available, I needed something new to listen to in the car and I've heard so many good things about it. I'm really enjoying it. The narrator is great and there's a sub-story in the book that I'm really interested in and can't wait to see where it goes.

Changeless for a book by an author who has written more than 20 books. I loved book one of this series when I read it and am really enjoying book two. I do love this story best when Connell and Alexis are together. The characters really bring out the best (or worst) in each other.

The Glittering Hour for a book set in the 1920s. I'm not far into this one yet, I've been focusing on Changeless more since my hold of the e-book is almost up. I do like what I've read so far and am looking forward to digging in more this weekend.

QOTW:

I love a good cover. I saw Mexican Gothic at C2E2 back in February and added it to my TBR just because the cover was so gorgeous. I'd like to saw that was the only time I've picked a book because of the beautiful cover but it's not. Most times it works out fine but others it doesn't.

Right now I'm really loving the Space Between Worlds cover.
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

How Long 'Til Black Future Month is beautiful.
How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

Ayesha at Last was a favorite read from last year and the cover was one of the reasons I originally bought it.
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is stunning.
Z A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler


message 22: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "... the highlight right now is my August BOTM selection, The Space Between Worlds. It's spectacular and I am loving it. ..."


I keep eyeing that book, but I'm waiting to read more reviews first ... it sounds like it could be awesome or it could be ridiculous.


message 23: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Heather wrote: "I really love the Penguin classics hardcovers, and they have motivated me to buy and read more classics so I can have those gorgeous covers. I probably should think more about edito...

I get suckered into these as well. I don't worry too much if the book was originally published in English, but if it's a translated work I will usually do the research and find the best translation even if it isn't a beautiful cover. I'd still probably add the cover to my collection and get the better translation from the library (which I recognize makes no sense!)"


Actually, that makes all kinds of sense to me! The best of both worlds! :)


message 24: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "... QOTW:
When browsing, I am definitely influenced by covers such as: ..."



They all have the same shape on their cover! Sort of like Moscow's onion domes, or a revolved parabola. Is there a word for that shape?


message 25: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I'm so guilty of falling for cover art! I got sucked into reading Snow Like Ashes because of the gorgeous cover, and it remains one of the worst fantasy and YA books I've ever read. I knew better than to read that book. I could tell from the summary and map I wasn't going to like it, but ......."



HAHAHA SAME!! I loved that cover, read the book, and oh it was sooooooo bad. So bad.


message 26: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "Monstress was super disappointing because it was so, so gorgeous, but the story was shit...."



Hahaha! I got sucked into that gorgeous art, too! And, yeah, hated that book. I remain mystified everytime I see it recc'ed on a list.


message 27: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Christine wrote: "Yup Sara, I feel you on school. It's all just hard. We're doing our best.

On the plus side, this whole season has generated some of the best memes I've ever seen! I loved the Princess Bride one that was floating around over the last week or two. "Clearly I cannot choose the back to school plan in front of me. I also cannot choose the back to school plan in front of you."..."




I have not seen that and it is PERFECT!! We go back to school first week of Sept, so we choose the plan now. And, there are no good choices. (My kids will be going one day a week. Maybe it's not safe, but they can't stand to stay home any longer.)


message 28: by Alex (last edited Aug 20, 2020 08:46AM) (new)

Alex of Yoe (alexandraofyoe) | 158 comments Fall is whispering in our ears and I am so excited. The burning bushes are starting to get the slightest red tint to them and a few trees have yellow peeping through. I CAN'T WAIT.
On the flip side, I'm so thankful my toddler is too young for school this year. I cannot even IMAGINE the stress and anxiety for kids, parents, and teachers going into this fall. Lord have mercy on you all. What a mess.

Finished 29/50

At this point, it'll be a miracle if I finish this challenge, but I am going to try!!

Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth for "book with a pun in the title". It was eh. Funny but the characters/plot really didn't grab me at all. Loved that the author included recipes of the dishes in the book! Fun touch!

Currently Reading

A Court of Thorns and Roses for "book you meant to read in 2019". So many people I know love this series, so I was curious to pick it up, and I finally got to it! I'm halfway through and so far it hasn't really grabbed me. :\

The Wilderness Journal: 365 Days with the Philokalia for "book whose title caught your attention". Still here...

QotW

Haha! Yes, covers influence me more than I care to admit. A pretty cover I can resist (it's hard though), but an ugly cover can totally turn me off. This is one of the reasons why I resisted Wheel of Time for so long. The original cover art is atrocious. The people are out of proportion, the style is 80s, and the characters look like they're in their 40s. I literally thought Rand was a 35-40 year old based off the covers and was SHOCKED when I finally picked it up and he's EIGHTEEN. After finally being persuaded to read the series, I found a newer edition with different covers that have MUCH better cover art, and I have since purged all the old ones from my home out of disgust. A series that good deserves better art!!


message 29: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "First time checking in. I finished 6 books this week.
The Bell Jar 3 stars - Read for Modern Mrs. Darcy - 9. A classic you didn’t read in school.
The Guest List - 4 sta..."


Ooohh..I'm preparing to read The Guest List in September! One of my fellow book club members read it and loved and loaned it to me! :) We are going to discuss it after I read it.


message 30: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "Yup Sara, I feel you on school. It's all just hard. We're doing our best.

*got all 12 answers right, but didn't gamble my points as well as some others, so came in 52d out of 1200ish - I'll take it!"


That sounds like an amazing finish to me! :)


message 31: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 667 comments Happy Thursday, y’all.

Still trying to take care of my mom, take care of our gardens and animals, and still work three days a week on top of all that. So understandably I snatch what reading time I can, heh... I ended up DNFing quite a few books this week for whatever reason too. Bleh.

Books read this week:

Black Beauty -- Somehow I never got around to reading this classic as a kid, though I’d seen film adaptations. Can be a hard read with the mistreatment of animals, but still a good book.

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden -- Not as good as the author’s previous book (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared), but still a fun book, with quirky characters and a hilarious story.

Darling Rose Gold -- The writing wasn’t the best, but HOLY FREAK this book gripped me. Knowing it’s based on a true story just makes it all the more chilling…

Nevertheless, She Persisted: Flash Fiction Project -- A collection of super-short stories by various authors, all based on the three lines “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” I liked some of these stories better than others and would dearly love to see some of them fleshed out more, but all in all a great collection.

DNF:

SODIUM Harbinger -- My heck, how do you make a first-contact alien-invasion story so BORING? This was only 160 pages and I still couldn’t bring myself to power through it. It was that boring.

The Cloven: Book One -- Thought it was going to be more lighthearted than it ended up being. Also the story came across as confusing (why is the protagonist seeking out his mom when his mom supposedly abandoned him at birth?).

Gideon the Ninth -- Just wasn’t holding my interest.

Currently Reading:

Four Past Midnight
American Wolf
Hal Spacejock

QOTW:

Quite a bit. There are some books that I'm drawn to because of gorgeous covers. I even sprang for a physical copy of Catherynne Valente's "Space Opera" instead of a Kindle version just because the cover was so darn pretty.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Wasn't there a prompt during one of the past challenges for "book you picked solely based on the cover?" Maybe we need to bring it back...


message 32: by Heather (new)

Heather (eveejoystar) | 59 comments Finished: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón/ started off not so sure about it but really enjoyed it by the end.

Currently reading: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

QOTW: if it has a nice cover I'm more likely to pick it up and read the synopsis.


message 33: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 768 comments Hi everyone!

It's lovely here too, cooler than it has been but sunny and with a nice breeze. been good for walking and running!

This week I finished:

Ninefox Gambit - Read harder debut novel by a queer author. This was a slow burn for me, started out slow but by the end I couldn't put it down. I went ahead and grabbed the second one too, although it might be a bit before I get to it.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - just wanted an easy audio book to listen to over the weekend, and it'd been years since i read this. It's not my favorite Gaiman, but it was nice to listen to him reading it.

Currently reading:

The Sparrow - next book & brew pick. I'll also count it for read harder's doorstopper written by a woman after 1950. I'm about halfway through, it's really interesting so far. There's some parts I have issues with but that'll make for good discussion. Interesting take on the whole concept of making contact with aliens.

Nocturna - current audio book, not very far yet. Found it on a list of fantasy books centered on non-European cultures. This one is a Latinex magic story, not very far yet.

QOTW:

Lovely covers certainly capture my eye and make me more likely to pick it up to read the blurb, but I usually won't base my decision to read solely on the cover. However a book with a beautiful cover I'll be more likely to buy a physical copy of rather than a digital one, just to have it on my shelf. Also I totally re-bought Neuromancer just to get the cool foil-embossed version I found. I also bought a weird basket ball wizard book conceived of by Kobe Bryant just because it was velvet covered and foil embossed and generally gorgeous. The woman running the counter swore it was good. I still haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but it's gorgeous. So I guess I do make exceptions sometimes, haha.


message 34: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 768 comments I happen to love both the art AND story of Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, guess I'm the person you don't get haha. Although I do admit I like the art MORE than the story, but I wouldn't read it if I didn't like it.


message 35: by Shannon (last edited Aug 20, 2020 09:42AM) (new)

Shannon | 539 comments I feel so much for all of you with school-aged children as well as all the teachers out there--including those who work in higher ed and are being forced to go back (although that appears to quickly be crumbling as institutions are seeing what a poor decision it is). I am grateful daily that I work for a med school that prioritized health over everything else. There are certainly challenges we deal with, but at least I know my institution prefers NOT to put people in danger.

And if I were a parent, I have no idea how I'd handle any of this. Good luck to all of you! I hope none of you are ever made to feel guilty about your decisions during this time because there aren't any ideal options.

Finished (yay! I actually finished one!!):
Uprooted by Naomi Novik: This book confirmed that Noami Novik is now one of my pre-order authors (and I have almost none of those). I was worried because so many people kept saying it was decent but not as good as Spinning Silver, but for me, it was just different. Once I stopped trying to compare them, I fell hard for this book. Both are five stars for me. This filled my "book with a book on the cover" prompt.

Currently Reading:
My Calamity Jane: This will be my western and I'm loving it so far! I think the audiobooks are the way to go with this series. The humor comes through so well with the spoken word in a way I'm not sure would work written down.

Victorian Fairy Tales: I'm about halfway through and it's been fun--most are original stories, not collected ones like what you find with the Grimm Brothers. I'm still reading it to my cats, although they've made it obvious they're not very interested in it haha!

Up Next:
My Plain Jane: This one came in after My Calamity Jane, so I'm reading the books out of order. Luckily, they're not connected to each other, so it should be fine! This will be my "book with a character who has a vision impairment or enhancement."

QOTW:
100000%. It affects whether I read the blurb, whether I want to purchase it or just get it from the library, and sometimes, whether or not I want to read it. I, too, fell in love with the cover for Wilder Girls and, even though it's not my typical genre, I'm planning to read it this year.

I have a huge collection of fairy tales, but I definitely saved up for the hardcover of the Victorian Fairy Tales book I'm reading because LOOK HOW PRETTY! Victorian Fairy Tales by Michael Newton

Honestly, if I weren't so swayed by cover art, I'm not sure I ever would have read what is probably my favorite book: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

I despise the new covers they have for that series, though, and I'm still angry that the last book ONLY came in the new cover version. That is a huge pet peeve of mine--when they change the style partway through a series (and usually they change it to something tacky that I hate) so they don't all match. They did this with the Georgia Nicolson series too--the first five or so books have fun drawings and the books themselves are PLAID (so flipping cute!). The new publications all have photos and boring black bindings.

I am not a fan of the YA/middle grade trend of putting photos of actual people on the cover like it's a movie poster. I find it so tacky! (And don't get me started on how I feel about them putting non-removable "soon to be a major motion picture!" spots on books...the short version is that it makes me very angry.)


message 36: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
Shannon wrote: "That is a huge pet peeve of mine--when they change the style partway through a series ..."


Yes why do they do that?? I've seen so many readers complain about it.

I read Spinning Silver after Uprooted, and I spent the first quarter of the book confused because I thought it was a sequel. I enjoyed both books, I think I liked Uprooted a little bit more.


message 38: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 129 comments Tough week here, we had a horrible wind storm called a derecho. Never heard of it before this week, but it did some damage. My tree is on my neighbors garage, and I lost power for 5 days. Not very pleasant in the heat of an Iowa summer. We are cleaning up, restocking our freezers and enjoying the now cool weather. School starts next week, and I feel for students and teachers, it seems we are all just bracing for a new Covid spike. 2020 has been a challenge for sure....

I did get a far amount of reading done as we had no tv or internet! For the challenge:

The Unseen World. - I’m using this for a a book with AI character. Although it is a bit of stretch to call the AI a character, it plays a key role in the story, and as I really don’t care for science fiction, this is the best book for the prompt for me! I liked this book a great deal, I read Long Bright River this year too and Liz Moore can write a great story! This is really a family story, about a father/daughter relationship with a little mystery mixed in. Really good!

Beach Read Book on the cover. I read this like many people here, and enjoyed it.

Open Book- Book recommended by a podcaster. Several of my podcasts recommended this Jessica Simpson biography. I hadn’t thought about her in years, but this is a really interesting book! Her thoughts on fame, body image and relationships kept me reading!

Sing, Unburied, Sing Bird on the cover. Don’t know why I waited so long, but this is a great book.

QOTW- yes! I love a pretty book! I’m reading one now!
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


message 39: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny  (poshpenny) | 1850 comments Hello! A week of half dose anti-depressants makes a world of difference! Soon I go to full dose. I'm finally on my week off of work. Too bad I have to go back. Ugh. Still waiting on delivery of some fabric so I can start my Frankenstein stitching book club project. I like the look of the denser fabrics, but it's been soooo long since I stitched a thing, and not knowing how my eyesight will get along, I just got the basic 14-count stuff. When I was young I liked working with it but never liked the look of it. I'll either get over it or not. Wondering if the finished piece would make a cute pillow or something.

I've no idea what my number is, I haven't checked this week. Not too bad I'm sure but should be mindful of picking things up for prompts now that we are sliding to the busy time of year at work.

Finished: Everything was fine.
Money for Nothing - finally!
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act
Vicious
Mouse Guard Vol. 3: The Black Axe

Currently Reading:
Three Men in a Boat - Not enjoying this
Phoenix Extravagant
Forward: Stories of Tomorrow
The Periodic Table


QOTW:
I am the biggest sucker for a cover. I will buy books for the cover alone. I might not even want to read the book. Don't even get me started on sprayed edges. I have been known to order a book from the UK if their cover is better. Recently with Cinderella Is Dead

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron Meh US cover
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron Gorgeous UK cover

I do have a favorite cover artist/designer. Will Staehle. I wish there were a way to look up covers as easily as authors. Sigh.

The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean Circe by Madeline Miller Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab Empire State (Empire State, #1) by Adam Christopher Unseemly Science (The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire #2) by Rod Duncan Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez


Some recent eye-catchers:

Feathertide by Beth Cartwright Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi Burn by Patrick Ness A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians A Novel (The Shadow Histories Book 1) by H.G. Parry The Honey and the Sting by E.C. Fremantle This Lovely City by Louise Hare D A Tale of Two Worlds by Michel Faber The Island Child by Molly Aitken


message 40: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1188 comments I forgot it was Thursday. Made some good progress this week, it helped the weather was terrible so I just sat indoors and read all weekend. I even dusted off my blog!

Finished:
The Court of Miracles for a book with a map. This kinda ties in with the qotw, I pre-ordered the pretty Waterstones edition, then saw loads of disappointed reviews. However I went in with low expectations and enjoyed it. I don't know if it helps that I know nothing about Les Mis. I did get the Jungle Book references though and I always love an alternative Parisian setting.

Miracle Creek for ATY (a genre starting with a letter in my name). This was a surprising hit for me, was gripped and saddened.

Between the World and Me for text only cover (and ATY NYT list). I think this would have had more impact on me 5 years ago as I feel I've been exposed to more people discussing racism lately. Glad to have finally read it.

The Dawn Chorus not for any challenges and I realise I need a series recap before the next book in the series comes out as I was a bit confused.

PS: 32/50 | ATY: 32/52 | GR: 71/100

QOTW:
I am such a sucker for pretty or well designed covers. If I hate a cover I am much more likely to get the ebook, but I love fancy editions with sprayed edges, lovely endpapers and great artwork. Covers definitely draw me in, but it still has to be a story I'm interested in.


message 41: by Lynn (last edited Aug 20, 2020 10:28AM) (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Hello! I just found this group this week, and looking forward to connecting with the community.

Current Progress: The books I've already read this year knocked out 31/50, so I'm in good shape for ..."


Welcome, Melissa! You just added more books to my TBR listing!

All members of one of my book clubs really enjoyed The Girl with a Pearl Earring. We all felt it transported us to that time and place so well!

I read A Raisin in the Sun last year and thought it was so very powerful! Definitely made me curious about Lorraine Hansberry!

I have yet to read I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban and really need to do so, especially if there is history included since I am so ignorant about that region. :) Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East looks as if it would also expand my knowledge base.

I would also love to read The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, especially since MRK does have so many female characters in the Lady Astronaut series who served in this corps in WWII. And I imagine there were many more males who committed sexual assault against these females just as the "first astronaut on the moon" did... (Can't remember that character's name right now.)

I think you will be influencing me in my "want-to-read" additions! I'm not sure whether that is good or bad, but it is fun! :)


message 42: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie  | 465 comments Shannon wrote: "Uprooted by Naomi Novik: This book confirmed that Noami Novik is now one of my pre-order authors (and I have almost none of those)."

I loved her Temeraire series! Uprooted didn't work for me but I still want to try Spinning Silver, and she has a new book due out in about a month too!


message 43: by Sarah (last edited Aug 20, 2020 11:05AM) (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 871 comments Hi everyone. I am so tired at the moment. I'm supposed to be working part time at the moment but I keep getting called in on my days off.

This week I finished Spiral. These books are soooooo different to the Ring films. I enjoyed it but it is missing some of the great moments from the movies.

I also finished Eric which is my first ever Terry Pratchett. I was not a fan. I was not in the mood for the teenage boy style jokes and I am not really the target audience for them even if I'd been in a more jokey mood.

Currently reading: My library is still closed so I've scoured my shelves for books I already own that fit the challenge prompts and finally found Island for my book with a bird on the cover. I have only just started it so I don't know how it is going to go yet.

Side note - whilst searching my shelves I realised I somehow own two copies of Crime and Punishment. I could have sworn one of them was War and Peace!

QOTW: I love a pretty cover and I'm a sucker for anything shiny. Some of my favourite covers I've read recently
The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor, #1) by Katherine Addison The Girl King (The Girl King, #1) by Mimi Yu A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia The Magic Thief by Kendall Kulper The Bees by Laline Paull Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg Dreadnought (Nemesis, #1) by April Daniels


message 44: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Alex wrote: "Fall is whispering in our ears and I am so excited. The burning bushes are starting to get the slightest red tint to them and a few trees have yellow peeping through. I CAN'T WAIT.
On the flip side..."


Yesssss what is the DEAL with the old Wheel of Time cover art? Why is everyone's head the wrong size for their body? Who looked at that and was like yes this evokes what happens in the book and is also well drawn? I could hardly bear to pick up any of those books even when I was obsessed with them, because the cover art bothered me every single time.


message 45: by Lilith (new)

Lilith (lilithp) | 816 comments Good afternoon all,

I feel for all of you teachers and parents of school-aged children. My daughter is grown, so I’m grateful I don’t have to decide about her options for going back to school. I’m so aware that there is no perfect option, and you can only make the decision best for your loved ones.

I feel like I’m living in a poorly written pandemic/ dystopian novel! We have 3 small areas in our city (too small to be called ponds) where mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus live. No outdoor fun between dawn and dusk, unless you wear long trousers, socks and long-sleeved shirts with high necklines. Uh, not in this weather.
We also have the excitement of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Thank, mosquitos. If anyone tried to publish this month as a novel, they’d be met with “no reader will find this believable”.

Finished:

Say Yes Summer– I’m seeing a trend of parentified kids finding themselves the summer before college in the book I am reading for prompts! Hmm, hits close to home. I liked the book, but didn’t love it. YMMV.

Works for PSS prompts: Summer in title , book set in summer before college, or summer romance.

Currently Reading:

Know My Name – beautifully written and powerful! I'm captivated by her narrative and writing, but yes, best if you can alternate with some lighter reading

QOTW:

I’m a sucker for a pretty cover. Barring a book about my line in the sand (and I don’t have many), I’ll give it a try. Very hit or miss, but I’ve covered some prompts this way. Discovered Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger , one of my all-time faves, and Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan which was just meh.


message 46: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Things have been rough in Sacramento, between the horrible heat and all the wildfires. The smoke blocked the sun a bit so we're back in double digit weather, and as of today we no longer have the worst air quality in the world, so...that's an improvement? 2020: an exercise in lowering the bar for gratitude!

Finished this week:
Cranford: oh this was just so gentle and comforting. I nearly cried at the end from the reminder that there are good, caring people in the world and other people who appreciate them. Highly recommend, especially if (gestures vaguely at everything) is getting you down.
Clouds of Witness: I like Lord Peter Wimsey so I liked this book, though I will say the mystery itself wasn't all that intriguing.

Currently reading:
The Darwin Affair: My library is having a big read for this, so I'm trying it, and it's pretty fun.
Annie John: This is like the third fraught relationships between Caribbean mothers and daughters book I've read this year, so I'm a little over it. Don't get me wrong, it's beautifully written, but I might have to pause it for a while to properly appreciate it.

QOTW: As you can see above from my diatribe about the Wheel of Time covers, the art does affect me. I'm much more likely to avoid than buy based on cover, though. I generally dislike a movie tie-in cover, and I feel a little insulted when a publisher has clearly tried to visually inform me that X book is similar to Y book by using similar cover art and font. I know that's just smart business, but it makes me feel manipulated and thus resentful of the book.
On a positive note, the German Harry Potter covers are delightful and I've always loved them.


message 47: by Megan (new)

Megan | 325 comments How is it Thursday already?! I feel like I missed a day somehow this week. Anyway...I finished two books but neither fit any of my open prompts, so I have had no movement on this challenge since early July. I'm still on track to finish by the end of the year, but I am tired of being stalled out at 23/40 and 9/10. I'm at 86/100 for my overall Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Finished:
* My Life as a Villainess by Laura Lippman; and,
* Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen, which was one of my book club's picks for August. We'll be discussing it on Saturday, so I'm looking forward to that. My other book club seems to have gone into hibernation, so I set aside that book for later.

Currently Reading:
* The Killings at Kingfisher Hill: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah, which I *should* finish over the weekend;
* Marlene: A Personal Biography of Marlene Dietrich by Charlotte Chandler, which I will be able to use for an open prompt (HOORAY) and also works for one of my other challenges; and,
* One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie, which *might* work for another open prompt.

QotW:
Does beautiful cover art ever draw you to pick up a book that you may otherwise have walked past? Yep! Probably the most recent example is one of the books I'm reading right now -- One Year of Ugly. The artwork made me click on the description when I saw it on the Giveaways list. The description intrigued me enough to enter and now I have the vibrant cover sitting on my couch! :)


message 48: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 896 comments Nadine wrote: "Shannon wrote: "That is a huge pet peeve of mine--when they change the style partway through a series ..."


Yes why do they do that?? I've seen so many readers complain about it.

I read Spinning..."


I also liked Uprooted slightly better, but I really liked both.


message 49: by E.R. (new)

E.R. Griffin (egregiouserrors) | 134 comments Hi everyone!

Finished

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. I feel about this the way I did about Twilight--fun and interesting in the first half, but grinds to a halt in act two and never picks back up.

The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained by Colin Dickey. This was good! A little dry sometimes, but I find the topic fascinating. I'm using it for my book recommended by a blog/vlog/podcast.

Currently Reading

Vicious by V.E. Schwab--amazing so far!

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Kinda boring at times, but the topic is intriguing. I'm using it for my book on a subject I know nothing about.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. I'm starting this today and I'm really excited!

QotW

I've bought a few books for the cover, but it hasn't always paid off! I've been able to stop myself more recently since I've paid full price for books I hated just because they were pretty. I'm utilizing my library a lot more these days.


message 50: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6409 comments Mod
poshpenny wrote: "I do have a favorite cover artist/designer. Will Staehle. I wish there were a way to look up covers as easily as authors. ..."


Those are some sharp covers - did he also do the original cover for The Sisters Brothers? Seems a similar style.

I also wish there were a lot more information on cover artists/designers, and ways to look up other covers they've worked on. (Same goes for cover models.) Publishers are really letting us down here. I LOVE cover art, but I don't know much about it.


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