Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

2020 Weekly Checkins > Week 35: 8/20 - 8/27

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (last edited Aug 27, 2020 05:16AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6410 comments Mod
Happy Thursday!  We are getting some much needed rain here, and for some reason I tend to sleep late when it's rainy, so this post is getting a slightly late start.  It's so dark in here, thanks to the clouds outside, I can hardly see my keyboard!

I'm all off my game these last few weeks - we had a decent routine in place at home, then we left to visit my mother, and now we're back home but I'm still trying to be in vacation mode, except I've completely dropped the exercise portion of my day (gotta get back to that!  but not now, can't walk the dogs in the rain), plus we need to be getting ready for school (which starts in two weeks up here), and of course I've got that pesky full time job that I really enjoy receiving a salary from so I have to keep doing it.  So I feel like I'm not getting much of anything done well.

Admin stuff:  This is close to the end of the month, so get your August monthly reading finished, and get ready for September!  In September our group read will be Fahrenheit 451.  "It was a pleasure to burn" I think is how it goes? 

We still have openings for discussion leaders for October and November!

This week I read three books, one for this Challenge, so I am now 44/50.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia- I really enjoyed this book, loved the writing, but I found the foreshadowing was a bit too heavy-handed.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki - this was my book with a pink cover, and it was a good choice, since the color scheme for the entire graphic novel was grays, black, and pink.  This was a sweet coming-of-age story.

Host by Robin Cook - this was my medical thriller, and it was pretty bad.  Hopefully this challenge category never shows up again.

Question of the Week
(from Lauren) Do you read more, less, or about the same amount as you did 10 years ago? Have your reading tastes changed?

As a kid, like most of you, I read a ton, my mother used to tell me to stop reading (she still tells me that!), it slowed down a bit into adulthood, then it came to an almost halt when I married & had kids ... but ten years ago, my kids were becoming more independent, and my reading was on the upswing again. (And, actually, a lot of that is due to Goodreads!! I joined GR in 2008, reluctantly, at the invitation of a book club friend. Haha I cautioned her "I don't read much." But GR really inspired me. I loved tracking my reading. I loved searching for similar books.) 

In those years, I read mostly historical romances (at the time, historical romance was a new discovery for me - prior to that period, I thought I hated romances), with some mysteries and SFF thrown in.  

Today, I read a lot more than I read ten years ago (although this year I've noticed I'm reading less than I've read the last two years), and my reading tastes have broadened a lot.  For example, I used to avoid literary fiction as too depressing or difficult, and best  sellers as too vapid, but now I enjoy reading both (and this year I'm making an actual effort to read as many new publications and best sellers as I can).

message 2: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 747 comments I finished The Redbreast as my book with a bird on the cover. It was really good. On a side note, when it comes to the prompts that have to do with the covers, does anyone else feel like people are side-eying them or something, when the cover you have is different than the Goodreads cover?

I started Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as my book featuring one of the seven deadly sins. I'm about halfway through. I thougth it might be a good "snark read". It's really not that bad, though. Definitely not a 5-star read, though.

QOTW: I think I read somewhere around the same amount. I might have gotten in more this summer jut from lack of opportunities of doing other stuff. My mom has always called me an "eclectic reader." For fiction the only things I don't like are smut and gore. And for non-fiction, I do mostly tend to stick to history and Christian. I don't think that's changed.

message 3: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1188 comments I hope everyone is safe from extreme weather, viruses and whatever else 2020 decides to throw at us. The weather's pretty grotty here, but it's hard to complain when all that means is having to towel down a muddy dog.

The Constant Rabbit for made up language, brilliant satire, I love Jasper Fforde. The audiobook is excellent (narrated by one of The Archers' actors).

Break the Fall for ATY (2020 Olympics). I would only recommend if you have an interest in gymnastics as there was a lot about their routines, although I felt I knew enough to keep up only watching it every 4 years.

PS: 33/50 | ATY: 33/52 | GR: 73/100

I was about to say I didn't read huge amounts in my early twenties but I realised that's longer than 10 years ago now! I've always been a reader but what and how much has fluctuated over the years. I guess 10 years ago I was quite active in a book swapping site and I would get a lot of my books from charity shops so I tended to read what was available. I started up my blog 9.5 years ago so I have a good idea of what I was reading, more crime fiction and translations than now... I've definitely got more into SFF and non-fiction since. And YA didn't exist in my life back then either.

I don't read as much as I did when I was single and dogless, that's for sure.

message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1188 comments Katy wrote: "On a side note, when it comes to the prompts that have to do with the covers, does anyone else feel like people are side-eying them or something, when the cover you have is different than the Goodreads cover?..."

If none of the editions on Goodreads match my cover, I go find the right cover online and add a new edition. I don't care what anyone else does though, I would always assume they just had a different edition or were interpreting a prompt creatively.

message 5: by Ashley Marie (last edited Aug 27, 2020 09:35AM) (new)

Ashley Marie  | 465 comments It POURED rain here two days ago, which was fantastic. I've been doing my best the last few days to not ignore the news so much as absorb it and make sure I keep moving and do what little I can. I've never experienced such sustained anger as I have this year. In personal news, my best friend's wedding is this weekend! I'm excited and nervous and anxious all at once and not planning on staying long.

Finished this week:
Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn. 3 stars, this is probably my least favorite of the series so far, but there's only one book left so I'm totally finishing it. The "mystery" aspect felt very light in this installment.

I set aside Saga: Book One but will come back to it soon.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi. 5 stars. Top 3 reads of the year for sure. This book has given me so much to think about and so many other people/events/media to dive into.

Currently reading:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - I own a paperback copy and I'm listening to the 10th anniversary edition - need to double check and see if my physical copy is also the newer edition. 10 minutes into the preface and I already teared up.
Assata: An Autobiography - Still working on this one. I'm frustrated at myself because it's short and thus shouldn't take so long, but when I'm on the laptop I'm usually doing other things.
The Yellow Wallpaper - A quick reread because it's been years and this is such a good story.
Ink and Bone - Needed another comfort read after that last Raybourn book and I couldn't get to the library to get the next one, so rereading a favorite :)

(from Lauren) Do you read more, less, or about the same amount as you did 10 years ago? Have your reading tastes changed?
Definitely more than 10yrs ago - I was in college and had minimal reading time, but I like to think that college opened me up to everything that I wasn't reading before. I still tend toward fantasy, but I've gotten really into historical fiction and nonfiction, and it's been fascinating to see some of my favorite books show up on the reading lists of former high school teachers' classes.

message 6: by Nadine in NY (last edited Aug 27, 2020 08:23AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6410 comments Mod
Katy wrote: "I finished The Redbreast as my book with a bird on the cover. It was really good. On a side note, when it comes to the prompts that have to do with the covers, does anyone else feel like people are side-eying them or something, when the cover you have is different than the Goodreads cover? ..."

LOL no it never occurred to me! I put books on hold based on the GR cover, and sometimes the book comes from the library with a different color. Depends on how stuck I am for the category and on how much I really wanted to read that book, if I will stick with it or find another. Usually I'll read it anyway. But for my "pink cover" book, the book I got from the library had a BLACK cover! (Valley of the Dolls) Turned out I didn't actually want to read that book so much, so I sent it back and ended up with the graphic novel I read this past week.

message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 720 comments It’s been an interesting week for sure. Classes at my university started on Monday. Zoom went down the first day of classes, then we had an intense storm that knocked out power to campus. Various classes were cancelled for about a day and a half. What an auspicious start to the semester! Since I’m still working at home, though, my days have continued as usual.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I loved it! It’s different from The Hunger Games, but still very good. I enjoyed the nods to the original trilogy.

Mirror, Mirror by Sabine C. Bauer. I don’t like any of this author’s Stargate tie-in books. The plots are so dark, and there’s no team banter or humor to counterbalance it. This is the last of her books I own, so it’s the last one I’ll read.

Beatrice and Benedick by Marina Fiorato

In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops

I was in library school 10 years ago. A professor encouraged us to keep yearly reading lists for professional reasons. I kept the reading lists, but I don't think I've ever used them professionally. There is a lot of science fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy on my 2010 booklist. About the only thing starkly different is how much YA I used to read. I mostly stay away from YA these days. I've had a couple years of slow reading in between then and now, but I bounced back after joining this group.

message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 239 comments Good Morning friends!

I am a disaster today. Went to bed last night early and woke up at midnight. It is now 6 am and I wasn't able to get back to sleep. My 13 year old will be up in less than an hour for school so I cannot just sleep. Plus I have school. Ugh. Guess I will be sending the hubs out for startbucks.

I'm honestly losing track of the challenge a little. I am in the weeds with the categories I have left. Oh well.

I have been so slow reading. I've literally been working on The Vanishing Half for the entire month.

30/40 Regular
6/10 Advanced


Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1) by Sarah Addison Allen

Currently Reading
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams

(from Lauren) Do you read more, less, or about the same amount as you did 10 years ago? Have your reading tastes changed?

More for sure. I was a single mom with a 3 year old 10 years ago. Lol. I think I probably read 12 books a year based on my goodreads record. I have always liked reading but I have turned it into a competition with myself the last few years.

I am definitely more open to different genres now. I give books more leway as well. Back then if I didn't like the 1st page I wasn't gonna read it. I give a book 50 now.

message 9: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 768 comments Hi everyone,

Keeps wavering between bright, sunny, and hot and thunderstorms here. Hopefully my head stays ok, this kind of weather often gives me migraines!

Had a figure drawing group over zoom last night, that was cool to get to do some art in a low pressure setting. It's figure drawing, not supposed to be beautiful and finished!

This week I finished:

The Sparrow - This was my books & brew September pick , should make for an interesting discussion! Was one of the more interesting "first contact" books I've read. There were a lot of uncomfortable parts, but I think that'll be what's interesting to talk about. I was going to use this for Read Harder's doorstoper (book over 500 pages) written by a woman after 1950, but while it was listed as 515 in the page count and good reads details, the last 30+ pages were all authors notes and discussion questions and stuff. So the actual book was at least 10 pages under 500. I know that's not a drastic difference, but I did have other book options I want to read that are definitely over 500 so might as well use one of those.

The Tyrant’s Tomb - holds all piled in at once, but this was at least an easy read to get through. I liked it, although it seems like this Apollo series is even darker than some of the earlier ones. I also kind of feel like I missed a book that involved Camp Jupiter, but going through his bibliography I couldn't find anything that jumped out as "you didn't read this and probably should have".

currently reading:

Wow, No Thank You. - kept seeing this everywhere so put a hold on it, came up in the middle of everything else. I like it, it's funny, if not the usual sort of thing I read.

Nocturna - i like this, but it's slow going. I really wish i'd gotten print instead of audio, it's a bit too complicated of a story for me to really follow just listening for the first time.


Ten years ago I wasn't on Goodreads, so I wasn't really keeping any kind of track of what I was reading. I've always read a lot, my college years were probably the only time in my life where I didn't have a book in my hands at all time. Mainly because it was the first time in my life where a) I had a tv with cable that I didn't have to share with anyone (at least after freshman year), b) I had unlimited high speed internet access , and c) I had friends that didn't require driving somewhere to meet up so could socialize at the drop of a hat.

I would say 10 years ago I probably read less NEW stuff and much less diversely. I think I only started regularly using the library once I got a kindle which was, I think, within the last 10 years. The whole "being able to check out books without having to leave my house or remembering to return them" was a game changer. So previously I maybe only read 20-30 NEW books a year, and the rest of the time I'd cycle through re-reads of stuff I already had because hey, buying books at the rate I read would bankrupt me and my library wasn't very convenient to use.

Now that I can get tons of digital ones from the library free, plus a bunch of mailing lists for ebook deals less than 5 bucks, I only re-read a handful of books a year and the rest are new. Also not having to commit money to new authors means I can read way more diversely in terms of both genre and author, because I don't have to read the back and weigh if I think it sounds interesting enough to be worth paying full price for a paperback.

message 10: by Donna (last edited Aug 27, 2020 07:08AM) (new)

Donna (donna_egan) | 29 comments Happy Thursday! The sky is blue and almost clear this morning. Even though the Colorado wildfires are a safe distance away, the skies were very smoky the past 2 weeks. Temps are also a bit lower and air quality somewhat better. Rain would be awesome.

I finally finished a book:
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. This book fits the prompt - A book that’s published in 2020. The strong female character Lakshmi takes us on a journey of the culture, customs, traditions of Jaipur, India. The book is set in the 1950s. Family relationships are tested. There are cultural challenges throughout the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this first novel by Alka Joshi and hope there will be a second.

Still Continuing to read, just can’t seem to finish. I’m enjoying both of these, just slow reading.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The Goldfinch

I read about the same as I did 10 years ago. I sometimes fall into a reading slump, but I love to read. My reading taste hasn’t changed much. I’m hooked on historical fiction.

message 11: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn | 197 comments Ah, another glorious morning in the Pacific Northwest! Blue skies, cooler days (and nights) and a terrible reading week for me.

Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays by R. Eric Thomas (no prompt) I listened to this audiobook and Thomas is hilarious. I feel I wouldn't have gotten as much out of the book if I had just read it. I found myself nodding along with his stories and laughing (out loud) at most of the comments he makes. Highly recommend.

Currently (still!) Reading:
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed). I was so excited that this was the book I touched because I have been wanting to read it for so long. But then I opened the book and started reading it and snore! I was really struggling this week to DNF or not to DNF? I HATE DNF-ing a book especially when there is a mystery involved but this almost-500-page book is killing ME (mystery solved?) I finally made it past the 50% mark so I am going to keep at it but oh boy, I just can't wait to be finished.

I was an avid reader as kid for sure (flashback to me under the covers with a flashlight and the latest Goosebumps book). Then in my post-high school / early twenties I didn't read as much (at least not for fun - mostly college textbooks). Then in my mid twenties to now mid thirties I definitely read a lot. I never go anywhere without a book and I am always reading something. My mom is an avid reader and we swap books. COVID-19 definitely stepped up my reading game but usually I am always reading something.

message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex of Yoe (alexandraofyoe) | 158 comments The trees are starting to change colour ever so slightly here. I can't WAIT. Now if the temperatures would get the hint, that'd be great. I can't stand hot weather. Mid 70s is perfection. Let's get back to that, please!!

Finished 30/50

A Court of Thorns and Roses for "book you meant to read in 2019". Guys, I'm really sorry because I know this series has a large following but....I didn't like it. I really wanted to like it, but I didn't. Please don't kill me.

Currently Reading

Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs for "book with a 3 word title" (I don't count subtitles). It's ok so far. I'm over halfway and HOPEFULLY will finish today. It's got some great principles but you could cut out half of it and still get the point across.

The Wilderness Journal: 365 Days with the Philokalia for "book who's title caught your attention". Today's entry wasn't too bad. But I'm over this book already. Siiiigh....


I was in college 10 years ago so...hard to say. I definitely read a TON back then, but it was all textbooks. I was in an honours Lit course so that bumped up my reading a lot. But I almost never had time to read for pleasure, and textbooks aren't quick reads. So as far as time spent reading, I think I read more then. As far as number of books read, I read more now. Does that make sense???

message 13: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 159 comments Morning!

I've been in a bit of a Benadryl haze the last few days. My allergies are going crazy right now.


Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - 3.75/5 - I really enjoyed this. I've been hearing about it for years and finally picked up the audiobook. It is steamy and funny and heartbreaking and surprising. One of the B story-lines happened and I was not expecting it.

Changeless for a book by an author who has written more than 20 books. I gave this a 3.25/5. The ending is what really lost me. I get conflict but it also felt too out of character. I love the character of Professor Lyall so I'll probably continue the series but not right away.

Currently Reading:

Columbine - My hold on the e-book came back so I was able to pick-up where I left off a few weeks ago. This is so well researched and written. There is so much that I didn't know about this, there is so much misinformation about this, it's kind of crazy.

The Glittering Hour for a book set in the 1920s. I'm really enjoying this. It was a Book of the Month pick for me at the beginning of the year and I was completely hyped about it but it fit this prompt. I'm glad I got it because it's so good.

A Tale of Two Cities for a book with an upside-down image on the cover. I'm listening to this one on audio and the narrator is very good. I've never read A Tale of Two Cities, it just wasn't one that I read in high school or college. So I thought, why not now. It's very good and I honestly don't know where it's going.

Two Rogues Make a Right - I'm really enjoying the Seducing the Sedgwicks series and was so happy when my library had this e-book available. I'm not super far into it but I'm really liking it so far. Will is the sweetest and it will be interesting to see a different side of Martin.


I for sure wasn't reading as much as I am now. I was in my late 20's and living in Chicago and going out a lot more than I am now. I read but not even close to what I've consumed the last few years. I also am reading different types of genres and authors and a lot more non-fiction. I've really tried to stretch myself over the last few years.

message 14: by Doni (new)

Doni | 253 comments I started way too many books this week and only finished two.

Finished:The Sea of Monsters (Re-read) I ended up enjoying this one even more than The Lightning Thief. It was very funny.

Our Town This is supposed to be the quintessential American play. I didn't get much out of it.

Started: Transfer of Learning: Cognition, Instruction, and Reasoning

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent

Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies

The Titan's Curse

QotW: In 2010, I read 26,472 pages across 80 books and this year I've read 25,667 pages across 89 books, so I probably will have a quarter more books read by the end of the year as I did in 2010.

message 15: by Kenya (new)

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

Lots of smoke in our area -- we live in a valley, so we're kind of collecting all the smoke from the various wildfires in the western US like a bowl. Not fun. At least the one fire that was relatively close to us (by "relatively close" I mean about thirty miles or so) was put out fast...

Books read this week:

American Wolf -- If you’re a wolf lover, read this book. It’s a surprisingly even-handed account of the reintroduction of the wolves in Yellowstone, and covers the successes and controversies of the wolf program. It gets heartbreaking and infuriating at times, and I wish it had contained photos, but it’s still a good read.

Hal Spacejock -- Okay but not great sci-fi caper. Why does it feel like so many space-adventure books feature Han Solo wannabe characters?

Enslaved by Ducks -- A funny account of the author’s life being taken over by pets -- parrots, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, and others.

Snapdragon -- Graphic novel. I seem to be really enjoying graphic novels about witches lately (The Witch Boy, The Okay Witch, Mooncakes, etc.). This one was really fun, though, and I loved the characters.

Currently Reading:

Four Past Midnight
The Mother Code
Will Save the Galaxy for Food


I think I read about the same as I did when I was younger, at least in quantity. The difference is that I'm reading longer books, and am no longer able to finish a thick book in a single day like I used to (though to be fair, I wasn't working full-time and bosses aren't as forgiving about you reading during work as a lot of my teachers were about me reading in class...)

When I was younger I read almost exclusively fantasy (and went through a phase where I only read books with the word "dragon" in the title and/or binge-read my favorite series), and I would re-read favorite books constantly. Nowadays I've branched out and sampled other genres, and I rarely re-read anymore. Too many books on my TBR for re-reads, heh...

message 16: by Ali (new)

Ali | 75 comments Finished
A Delicate Truth by John le Carre - my dad was shocked that I'd never read a spy thriller so decided to pick this up. It wasn't all that inspiring tbh but I think it was the subject matter so might try another one

The Body: A Guide for Occupants - I so loved A brief History of Nearly Everything so this was such a disappointment

She Speaks: The Power of Women's Voices by Yvette Cooper - anthology - FINALLY finished my anthology which was a lovely selection of impactful speeches from women and commentary

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler - I really liked this but kind of wish I hadn't read The Accidental Tourist so recently as they're very similar characters/family set up etc. This is probably my favourite Tyler so far

Currently Reading
The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

I guess it's not an original story but I read a huge amount as a child but pretty much stopped when I was about 17. 10 years ago I hardly read at all except maybe on holiday. I started reading again about 2 years ago and now read every day!

My tastes I don't think have changed although it's hard to tell. I definitely know so much more about my reading tastes now mainly because of the amount I get to.

message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 871 comments Hi everybody. I completely forgot it was Thursday today until I saw this thread!

This week I didn't finish anything. I was trying to plough through Island because it was the only book I own with a bird on the cover that I hadn't read yet, and boy was it tedious. Main character was in hospital and different various inhabitants of the island were visiting him but every single character gave an impassioned speech about politics or religion or healthcare out of nowhere. It was exhausting and repetitive to read. It's a shame because I remember really liking Brave New World

Luckily my library saved me! They've just opened for pre-ordered collection so I managed to pick up The Silence of the Girls which luckily also has a bird on the cover so I don't need to force myself to finish Island

QOTW: Ten years ago, I lived in a really rural area with no Internet and rubbish TV signal so I had a lot more reading time. I was a lot more pretentious too lol! I read a lot of those "books to read before you die" type books. I very rarely would have looked at YA or SFF but now I read lots of both of them.

message 18: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Hello everyone! We currently have a break from the smoke because of prevailing winds, so I have all the windows in the house open. They'll need to be closed in about an hour as it heats up, but I'm glorying in it now. Fresh aiiirrrrrrrrr!
Finished this week:
The Darwin Affair: suggested by my library. It was a fun historical mystery, didn't elicit any strong opinions
A Memory Called Empire: this was pitched to me as "John le Carre in space" and that's pretty accurate. I loved the simultaneous worldbuilding and espionage thriller aspects, and I will definitely read the next book in the series when it appears. My only criticism: it needed about 75% fewer italics. I am quite fluent in English, thank you, and I can decide where the emphasis in the sentence belongs by myself. Harrrrumph.

Starting today: Love Medicine: This will be the first book I've read by Louise Erdrich, and I'm excited!

QOTW: I definitely read less than I did 10 years ago because at that time I was a full-time PhD student in German literature, so reading was basically my job. I'm now an editor, so you could argue that reading is still my job, but the sheer page count expected from me has dropped considerably (thank goodness). I do miss days where my "to-do list" just consisted of a stack of books and articles, but I also love the way my current career pays me a living wage and respects my work-life balance soooooo....

message 19: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments Happy Thursday, all! Still working from home, where one month is much the same as another. But I'll be glad for cooler weather. The air conditioner in my bedroom broke a few weeks ago, and I've been reluctant to call someone in to fix it because of covid.

Finished reading: (30/50)

This Darkness Mine (three-word title, passes Bechdel test, recommended by my favorite blogger (Elle)) - Contemporary thriller about a perfectionist overachiever who begins suffering mysterious blackouts/memory lapses, and things go downhill from there. This was wild and screwed up and a great ride overall.

Currently reading:

The Subtle Knife (banned book, published in the 20th century)

QotW: I was always a voracious reader as a kid, but I kind of...fell out of reading during grad school. I'm not sure why. Then I got my first real job and moved out to the big city and was preoccupied with other things.

A few years ago, I got back into reading and discovered my tastes have shifted. Fantasy is still my favorite genre, but I used to eat up "traditional" vaguely-medieval-Europe high fantasies (the king defends his kingdom from evil, the rightful heir regains the throne, etc.). These days, I'm more likely to seek out weird/unique/genre-bending stuff. I also have much more of a taste for antiheroes and morally gray protagonists (whereas as a kid, I just liked straightforward good guys).

message 20: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments Katy wrote: "On a side note, when it comes to the prompts that have to do with the covers, does anyone else feel like people are side-eying them or something, when the cover you have is different than the Goodreads cover?"

Personally, when it comes to cover prompts, I feel free to choose any cover that suits me (even if it's not the edition I read). I also sometimes just switch my Goodreads edition to my favorite cover art. Virtual bookshelf aesthetics!

message 21: by Melissa (last edited Aug 27, 2020 10:23AM) (new)

Melissa | 254 comments Hello! I'm getting married in two days and we're trying to finalize a house refinance, so things are a tad busy right now. I took off half of this week and all of next to make sure everything is ready and then for my "honeymoon" (we're not going anywhere, but I'm still taking a vacation from work), but I ended up reading all day yesterday. Should have expected that one, with a new book releasing Tuesday.

Finished: Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We're Taking Back Our Power This was for Reading Women about a woman artist. I had the ebook from the library, but I was happy that last third of the book was the portraits we'd been hearing about. A good conversation to have about street harassment.

The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II Book with Silver in the Title. I was surprised how much book was left when they were disbanded, which happened before the war was over (December 1944). A fair portion of the book was devoted to their fight for recognition, which was mostly achieved in the 1970s and then had to be fought again in 2008(!). Great read about a forgotten group of women.

The Singles Game Library book that came available and wanted to break up all the heavy stuff I've been reading. Quick read, followed the chick lit plot points, making it predictable. No prompt, glad I didn't pay for it.

Sapphire Flames / Emerald Blaze Emerald Blaze came out on Tuesday, so I had to read Sapphire Flames again to remember everything. Devoured both yesterday. Ilona Andrews continues to rock. No prompt for either.

Currently reading: Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East About 60% done with this. It's hard reading because I know little about the region, and there's a ton of people I'm unfamiliar with since the topic spans 40 years in like 10 countries. But I'm learning a lot and I should finish soon.

The Tale of Genji I needed to knock out the set in Japan prompt, and figured Reading Women's Translated from an Asian language prompt could be done at the same time. I thought this was the perfect excuse to read the world's first novel, which I was vaguely familiar with from a Carmen Sandiego video game ages ago. I got it at the library yesterday and it's huge. It's almost 1200 pages. Curse you Carmen Sandiego!

I also picked up I Love You So Mochi and Bronze and Sunflower for Pun in Title and Set in Country starting with C, which should be easier. :)

Read Harder: 13/24
Reading Women: 17/26
PopSugar: 36/50
Goodreads: 101/100

I didn't start tracking my books until 2011, but I know ten years ago I was reading almost exclusively romance and chick lit, with the occasional history book. I was starting to branch into fantasy, but I wouldn't fully embrace urban fantasy for another year or two. I don't read much pure romance these days, unless it's romance that's also science fiction/fantasy. I definitely still read non-fiction history.

This year my reading has been at an abnormally high level, for which I can blame the pandemic. I had expected to read less this year (I initially set my GR challenge to 70) because I thought I'd be working on wedding planning. Once the in-person wedding with guests and a reception got scrubbed, I threw myself at my books to distract, and have barely let up. I've also embraced the library this past year, at a level of engagement I haven't done since high school (when I discovered my library card worked at the bigger library in the next town over, and I didn't have to wait for interlibrary loan). So yes, I'm reading way more than I was ten years ago, but this year is an outlier.

message 22: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 729 comments Hi all! Temps and weather seem to be all over the place. Some days near 90, yesterday, I spent the day in sweats. Nadine, I saw there was a massive blob on the radar (technical, meteorological term, ;) over you this morning, it's been totally sunny here so far. I'm just an hour south of her as the crow flies! We need the rain, though, so I'm eager for it to get here. My yard is spiky and brown and I'm over it.

Didn't finish anything this week, but made some decent progress in Hunchback. Some things are happening and I'm enjoying it. But I have to wonder, did anyone at Disney even read this book before they made the movie?? Pretty much the only similarities are the names of the characters!

I started an audiobook of Serpent & Dove. It's not really my usual type of book, but that's the point, I was looking for different. I'm liking it well enough, but I'm kinda eager for the romance to start, so far it's world building and character development.

I have 2 books on order from the library. My library is quarantining books as they come in and go back out. So my orders are listed as "shipped" for a week now. They're probably sitting there, waiting.... I'm coming for you, bookees!!!! lol, when I get an email saying I can, of course! ;)

QOTW: I read less now. Having a 2 year old will do that... I used to read 80-100 books a year, now I'm aiming for a quarter of that. I don't seem to be able to sit down and binge read, either, anymore. I don't have those lazy Saturday afternoons where I just read, even if the kiddo is at Grandma's. Even if I take a day off work with the intention of falling into a good book, I end up cleaning or napping or something!

message 23: by Lynn (last edited Aug 27, 2020 10:57AM) (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
I'll plan to update for this week over the weekend, but wanted to make you aware of a virtual author event with Ibram X. Kendi sponsored/hosted by Purdue University, scheduled at 7PM next Wednesday, September 2. There are other virtual events with diverse authors during the fall 2020 semester for which you may register as well: Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter; Ben Crump, civil rights attorney and lead attorney for the family of George Floyd; among others. Here is the link. These are open to the public. You must provide credit card information although all the events are free, so the credit card will not be charged. (Mine wasn't and I registered for almost all the events.) The scheduling is done through Ticketmaster, so if you don't already have an account with them, you will need to create one.

Since I will be reading How to Be an Antiracist for our White Racial Literacy Project book discussion and also Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America soon, I am particularly interested in the event next Wednesday.

message 24: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Katelyn wrote: "Currently (still!) Reading:
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed). I was so excited that this was the book I touched because I have been wanting to read it for so long. But then I opened the book and started reading it and snore! I was really struggling this week to DNF or not to DNF? I HATE DNF-ing a book especially when there is a mystery involved but this almost-500-page book is killing ME (mystery solved?) I finally made it past the 50% mark so I am going to keep at it but oh boy, I just can't wait to be finished."

I admit I felt much the same way at certain points during this book, but I felt it was all justified when I finished it. The ending "twist" was gratifying and very thought-provoking for me. I hope it is the same for you, or that you feel as if reading it was worthwhile once you finish, Katelyn!

message 25: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 694 comments Katelyn wrote: "I was an avid reader as kid for sure (flashback to me under the covers with a flashlight and the latest Goosebumps book)."

Hah - that reminds me of myself as a kid. I pretended to be scared of the dark for a good couple years so that my mum would leave the hallway light on and I could read by it.
Probably a contributing factor as to why I am practically legally blind as an adult... (Well, I would be if my left eye was as bad as my right.)

message 26: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (book_music_lvr) | 3573 comments Mod
Christy wrote: "A Memory Called Empire: this was pitched to me as "John le Carre in space" and that's pretty accurate. My only criticism: it needed about 75% fewer italics. I am quite fluent in English, thank you, and I can decide where the emphasis in the sentence belongs by myself. Harrrrumph."

You made me laugh! Love it!

message 27: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (bookstasamm) | 176 comments Happy Thursday! I had a virtual conference this week so I'm so confused what day it is! The weather has been so weird in Massachusetts. It's cold and rainy today, but was in the 90's earlier this week. I love fall so I'm okay with this weather though.

My Dark Vanessa - this book has such a hard topic, but I think the author did a great job with how she handled it. 5 stars

The Magnolia Inn: A Sweet, Small Town Story - this was a cute story, but there were a lot of editing issues. I will read the next book in the series to see if it improves since I love the setting. 3 stars

Challenge Progress:
Neither of these books was for the challenge so I'm still at 37/50. Once I finish my summer reading challenge I'll focus back on this challenge.

Currently Reading:
Firefly Lane - I'm reading this for my summer reading challenge. I love Kristin Hannah so was excited to finally get to this one.

28 Summers - this one is also for my summer reading challenge. I'm enjoying it so far.

Three Perfect Liars - I'm trying to get caught up on my ARCs so even though this was published already I figured I should start it.

QOTW - Do you read more, less, or about the same amount as you did 10 years ago? Have your reading tastes changed?

I really only got into reading a few years ago when I met some ladies who invited me to join their local book club so I read a lot more now. I do feel like my tastes change though with the season or with what's going on in my life.

message 28: by Harmke (new)

Harmke | 239 comments Melissa wrote: "Hello! I'm getting married in two days and we're trying to finalize a house refinance, so things are a tad busy right now. I took off half of this week and all of next to make sure everything is re..."


message 29: by Harmke (new)

Harmke | 239 comments Sometimes covid-19 has its blessings. We decided to do a family & good friends tour this summer and visit our brothers, sisters and good friends separately (we kept visiting our parents every 2 months or so). Last weekend, we visited my brother and his wife and had such a good talk! We realized that we didn’t had this kind of conversations before, because we only met at birthdays and holidays. So, a blessing in disguise!


Currently reading
The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West

I read more. I started to read again about 8 years ago. I loved to read as a kid, always checked out the maximum amount of books in the library and had finished all of them way before they expired. High school and its assignment in graduation year to ‘read-80-books-in-1-year’ (20 books per language) really ruined my reading fun. Okay, I didn’t read 80 books, I read 60 extracts plus about 20 books that I assumed my teachers would question me about. Then college wore me out, I had to read so much textbooks I couldn’t imagine myself reading for pleasure ever again and it got out of my system that I once enjoyed it so much. I read only 5 or 6 books a year.

About 8 years ago, a coworker asked me to join the company book club since they would read Anna Karenina and she knew about my love for costume dramas (we would visit the movie afterwards). I loved it, decided to read another book with the book club and so I went to the local library, totally got lost in this bookish paradise and went home 3 hours later with a piece of paper scribbled full of books I wanted to read. Goodreads was the last push I needed to rediscover my inner book nerd. So a big shout out for my coworker for making me start to rediscover the magic of reading.

My taste is still the same, but it broadened. I still love historical fiction and Isabel Allende. Now I also read non fiction, literature, biographies and I try new writers.

message 30: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 768 comments I will throw it out there that my entire book club didn’t like 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn hardcastle haha. The librarian who ran it/selected it didn’t even make it past day 1. So...I mean maybe you’d end up liking it but after reading it twice I’ll be on team dnf haha.

message 31: by Elena (new)

Elena Johansen Week 35
Homegoing -- A book by an author in their 20s

I definitely read more, and more broadly. Ten years ago I hadn't discovered Goodreads or book Tumblr, I didn't have a library card and the e-library benefits that come along with it, and I hadn't yet learned of the joys of my library system's used book sales. Before then, I bought new paperbacks from a handful of select "favorite" authors, only occasionally trying out new ones, and I reread those books constantly because that was all I had around. In the last five years I've read and reviewed around 800 books, which is so different from how my reading style used to be that it's almost impossible to remember what it used to be like!

message 32: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6410 comments Mod
Sheri wrote: "I will throw it out there that my entire book club didn’t like 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn hardcastle haha. The librarian who ran it/selected it didn’t even make it past day 1. So...I mean maybe you’d e..."

Yessss. I am firmly on Team No for that book.

message 33: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn | 197 comments Lynn wrote: "Katelyn wrote: "Currently (still!) Reading:
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed). I was so excited that this was the bo..."

Thanks Lynn! I am going to keep at it and hope that it ends up a decent read.

message 34: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn | 197 comments Sheri wrote: "I will throw it out there that my entire book club didn’t like 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn hardcastle haha. The librarian who ran it/selected it didn’t even make it past day 1. So...I mean maybe you’d e..."

Well now I have to finish it to see how it ends...it could be 100 pages less though...

message 35: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Harris | 460 comments Hi All, I read 2 books for the week.
Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. 4 stars. I liked it a lot. I learned a lot about books. I laughed out loud a few times. For some reason I read it slow but it was enjoyable.
Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. (Bromance Book Club #2)4 stars. I have enjoyed this series.
QOTW I definitely read more. A few years ago I thought I read a lot if I completed 20-30 books a year. Last year I read 90. I hope read 100 this year.

message 36: by Mary (new)

Mary Hann | 239 comments Hi everyone!

This was a good reading week for me. I finished:

Find Me: I got this as my Kindle First pick for the month (last month) as part of my prime membership. Is anyone else consistently disappointed with their picks for this? I don't know if I'm bad at choosing, or if they just choose subpar books to include in this, but I don't think I have really liked any of them so far.

A Breath Too Late: I am a pretty big fan of young adult audio books. They are just really impactful to listen to. This was written so beautifully that the only reason I can't give it 5 stars is because I needed a different ending.

Spite Club: I used to call books like this trash (in a really good, respectful way), but I now call them "mind candy." You know they aren't good for you, and you could "snack" on something better, but you're a sucker for them anyways. This one was good enough that I wanted to get the second one.

The Female of the Species: I really don't know how to review this book. It had me up waaaaay past my bedtime trying to find out what was going to happen. I am new to the Mindy McGinnis fan club, but she has a really incredible way of telling a story. The wrap up of the book was not what I was looking for at all. I don't think it was bad, but I think the story had a lot of potential beyond that ending, which is why I couldn't give it 5 stars, even though it took over my life for about 5 hours.

A Kind of Paradise: I did an audiobook for this one as well, and I thought it was really simple and sweet. It wasn't earth shattering or super unusual, but it was solid from start to finish.

Currently reading:
Grimm's Fairy Tales: I have stalled out on this one, but I am going to persevere.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America: I am audiobooking this one, and so far it hasn't fully captured my attention. It seems more like background noise to me, and I really wanted to like it. It's a little too textbooky for me.

The Me I Used to Be: I just started this one today, and I think I'm going to enjoy it.


I was in undergrad 10 years ago (that makes me feel really old), so I know I was reading a lot, but hardly at all for pleasure, so I would say I read a lot more now, because I read a lot for my job as well.

message 37: by E.R. (new)

E.R. Griffin (egregiouserrors) | 134 comments Hi everyone! Hope you've all had a good week. I'm trying to stay cheerful but there's so much craziness going on. Sort of wish I could look forward in time and see how the world looks a year from now, but also don't want to know. Yay for crippling anxiety!


Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey Smith (for a book on a subject I know nothing about). It was interesting at times, really dry at others. And not really about octopuses all that much? Which is a bummer because I think octopuses are really cool. Octopi?

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman. Another animal intelligence book, but this one I listened to on audio, and I enjoyed it more than the octopus one. Lots of smart birds out there, apparently!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Fantastic. I love a good revenge narrative.

Currently Reading

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. Also fantastic thus far.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. It's pretty good. There's a lot more deep stuff than I was expecting, so it's a mix of funny and "oh, wow, damn."

Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages by Gaston Dorren (book with twenty in the title). Just started this, but I've always had an interest in linguistics, so I assume I'll enjoy it.


Let's see, ten years ago, I was eighteen (lemme pause to weep for those simpler times) and I read a lot. Like, it's what I did instead of dating or having friends lol. But I know I've read more this year (possibly due to the end of the world going on outside) than, like, any other year. Generally though, I'd say I read more as a college kid--between school books and the endless spread of YA fantasy I was going through. I didn't have Goodreads in those days, so I can't reference :(

message 38: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6410 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Find Me: I got this as my Kindle First pick for the month (last month) as part of my prime membership. Is anyone else consistently disappointed with their picks for this?..."

Yes! I keep trying them, since they're free, and ebooks take up no space, so what's the harm, but ... I haven't been reading them lately, because I don't want to waste my time. (I think I chose that same title, too.)

message 39: by Cornerofmadness (last edited Aug 27, 2020 04:12PM) (new)

Cornerofmadness | 436 comments I start back to class on Monday, face to face in an area where no one believes masks are needed so I'm a little too anxious to read much. Sigh.

I did however finish one book (I think I'm at 35/50 now) For the prompt A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club I read Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie. I forget where I got the rec but I was seeing it everywhere earlier in the year. It was good but I'm just not in the mood for SF war stories and genocide.

QOTW I usually read well over 100 books a year but lately in the last few years it's been dropping. This year I'll be lucky to make 80. My genres have been unchanging since I first learned to read. Mystery, SF, fantasy and urban fantasy

message 40: by Kendra (new)

Kendra | 307 comments Happy Thursday. After being in a bit of a reading slump I rebounded and finished off books this week. I don't want to blame the one book I was reading, but the second I decided to DNF it, I started reading again. I think it was just a matter of I was forcing myself to read something I didn't want to read and it made me not want to read at all, not that the book was bad.

Books I DNF'd:

A Star Is Bored by Byron Lane A Star Is Bored - The title made me laugh, and at first it was good, but then it ended up just being kinda depressing...

Books I finished:

Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4) by Ilona Andrews Steel's Edge - And my reread of this series is done.

Beach Read by Emily Henry Beach Read - My sister had recommended this, but I was still hesitant because sometimes the hype about these types of books is more a sign that I won't like them. Not this time. And it just left me feeling positive about new books again.

The Summer Deal (Wildstone, #5) by Jill Shalvis The Summer Deal - I picked this book solely because I needed a book with summer in the title, and this looked the least objectionable when I did a library search. It was funny and sweet. The ending fight was a bit redundant.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - I wasn't planning on rereading this this year, but then it was the book of the month here....

How You Say It Why You Talk the Way You Do—and What It Says About You by Katherine D. Kinzler How You Say It: Why You Talk the Way You Do—and What It Says About You - It's been a while since I read a book on language so I picked this up. It was mostly about bias and prejudice against people for their accents.

A Nation Worth Ranting About by Rick Mercer A Nation Worth Ranting About - I miss the Rick Mercer Report. This has been sitting on my nightstand for a couple of years, and I final picked it up and then finished it in less than a day.

Books I made progress on:

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3) by Darynda Jones Third Grave Dead Ahead

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1) by Ilona Andrews Burn for Me

About 2 years ago I joined Goodreads, started borrowing books from Overdrive and joined this group, and my reading went from about 60-90 books a year to 160-190 books a year. I'm not sure what the bigger cause was, but I'm still reading a lot of urban fantasy and doing a lot of rereads. My non-fiction has increased, although I always read some non-fiction. I haven't been watching as many movies or TV shows for the last 2 years though too.

message 41: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Cornerofmadness wrote: "I start back to class on Monday, face to face in an area where no one believes masks are needed so I'm a little too anxious to read much. Sigh.

I'm so sorry, that sounds really scary.

message 42: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 694 comments Evenin'.
These last couple weeks have been more eventful than usual.
It was my dog's 10th birthday on the 17th of Aug, he's a grompy old man now.
Finally left the house the other day, for the first time in about 6 months. Took a short walk across town. It was the first time I'd worn a mask which was a nightmare, but I think it was just the wrong size of mask - accidentally bought a "junior" size. Had a bit of a claustrophobia attack. So, locking myself inside until either this is all over or I can get a mask that won't suffocate me...
And my legs ached for over a day after just that one walk, so it's a good thing we bought a treadmill recently, I think my body is atrophying.

Books finished since my last checkin:

This Is Happiness - This was wonderful, and beautiful, and so quintessentially Irish that I could hear the brogue. I immediately purchased 2 of the author's other books because I can tell he's going to be a new favourite. I think I'll save them for comfort reads.

Wilding - This was interesting and I definitely want to visit Knepp now, but it was a little more heavy nonfiction than I was expecting. I thought it was pure memoir, but Isabella Tree goes deep into all the science of rewilding, down to explaining micro-organisms in the soil and carbon sequestration and pages upon pages of climate statistics. Which is relevant and fascinating and very valuable information, but my brain was not really prepared for it.

The Ravenmaster: Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London - Whereas this was... a little lighter than I was expecting. Most of it is just explaining different facets of the job as Ravenmaster and anecdotes of the ravens being cute. I enjoyed it but it felt a wee bit insubstantial.
Whenever I go back to London, post-plague, I'm gonna try to sneak in some Pringles for Merlina. I wonder if visitors are allowed to donate dog biscuits for raven food...

A Kind of Spark - OUCH MY FEELINGS.
This week was... emotionally not good from an autism perspective. Lots of tragic and dehumanising news (Dylan Freeman's death, DNR orders being applied without consent to disabled adults in the UK).
And then there's this book.
A Kind of Spark is a wonderful book.
It also punched me right in the childhood.
I have been Addie. I've had crappy teachers and bullies and been alienated and never good enough, never normal enough. And aaaaaall those emotions got dragged out to play, and the protective instincts flared up as if I could stop a fictional child experiencing the same bad things I did. Plus mix in a little lump of jealous regret over the fact Addie has an awesome autistic big sister and role model, which I could've really done with as a kid.
Ouch. But also some catharsis.

I uh, I really recommend it if you're looking for an OwnVoices autism book. The actual storyline is not perfect, but the portrayal is... spot-on. Although I don't know how it'll hit if read by someone who doesn't have all my emotional baggage - I could see it being a 3-star, taken more objectively.

I read about 40% of, then temp-DNFed, The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment. Again very important subject matter but I had a huge problem with the tone - it's written from a very... how to word it? Distanced, privileged, naive viewpoint. There's a constant undercurrent of "well, this could all be sorted out if the bigots and the victims sat down over a nice cup of tea and talked". And no. That's not how the world works. You can't have a polite conversation with a bureaucracy and government who either don't care at all or actively want to throw you out of the country.
And that's before you find out - by your own research, mind you, the book never mentions it - that the author is married to a Tory MP. Specifically, her husband is the brother of Boris Johnson, the current Tory Prime Minister. So, the regime that she's roundly, and correctly, lambasting for its xenophobic and dehumanising policies... includes her own family. Which obviously doesn't mean she's complicit or has to agree with it, but it seems a little bit deceptive that she presents herself in the book solely in her role as a journalist for the Guardian, apparently stumbling across the whole Windrush situation by happenstance.
I don't know what to make of it from an ethical standpoint, but the whole thing made me uncomfortable and while I very much want to inform myself about the Windrush generation, this particular book bothered me too much to continue with it.

Currently reading Outlander. Yeah. Um.
I... suppose I quite like it. I get the appeal. Jamie's a good character, so's Claire mostly. Writing's decent.
There's some bits of dialogue that are quite homophobic that I've been side-eyeing - I've had a few Hannah Gadsby "that was a decision" moments. But that's really the only thing I take issue with. Though I gather it's going to become a biiiiiig issue by the end of the book.

QOTW: I... don't know. I'd've been in my teens, can't really remember what I would've been reading, I didn't keep a record at that point. I did get stuck in a bit of a rut around then, obsessed with The Lord of the Rings, so I guess I would've been rereading that a lot and not really venturing far beyond that particular niche of high fantasy - it was LotR, Dragonriders of Pern, maybe Song of Ice and Fire, and not much else.
I'd guess I read more now. Definitely far more diversely, in many senses of the word.

message 43: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1777 comments Greetings from NYC! We have a sunny day although at this point the wind is kicking up so I expect the nice day to end soon. But it has been HOT & HUMID! I hibernate in hot weather - loathe it and do not adapt well. But that's turning me into a complete hermit because with WFH, I practically don't leave the apartment!

I was sucked into a series this week that had me binge reading and tossing to the side all other current reads. What series you ask? The Modern Witch series by Debora Geary. Alas, I discovered after reading the first, A Modern Witch, which was lurking in my ebook TBR since a friend recommended it several years ago, that these were self-published via Amazon and that in 2014 or so she stopped writing and publishing them. Thanks to a bit of google time, I found free online copies to read of each of the remaining 6 books, simply requiring me to read them in my tablet browser.

The books revolve around two witch families living today in Berkley and Nova Scotia. The Sullivans in Berkley are very 'of today' and in fact are the designers and coders behind a popular online role playing game around magic, warriors, and witches. The Walkers in Nova Scotia are more traditional, intent on healing magics. The families are interrelated and act as one giant clan. Each entry in the series focuses on a journey of one witch -- some discovering their powers for the first time, others learning to control or use their powers, Many personal journeys are followed as well - a foster child finding home, a young witch accepting her different power, another letting go of the tragic past to embrace a future. Many wonderful characters - including children - are introduced with my favorite having to be curmudgeonly Uncle Marcus. The interweaving of the role playing game into the story lines is ingenious. There is romance but rarely in the center of the plot and totally about loving. There is no actual hot and steamy sex described, and it is not needed. There are many powerful moments but not ones involving demons or evil, but revolving around the power of magic, the life/death risks of using it, and the need to control it. I am NOT a fantasy reader but I loved this series. Books read in series this week (all - there are 2 shorter related series as well but I'm taking a break):

A Modern Witch
A Hidden Witch
A Reckless Witch
A Nomadic Witch
A Different Witch
A Celtic Witch
A Lost Witch
Novellas: A Witch Central Wedding and Swordfights & Lullabies

I also read Hoot which I thoroughly enjoyed.

QOTW: I always read a lot so it has not increased in the last 10 years. What has changed is my reading is much more diverse. 10 years ago I was mostly reading cozy mysteries, suspense, thrillers and contemporary and historical romance. An occasional classic or contemporary literary book. I was also buying a lot of other genres of books to read, but they were sitting looking pretty on my shelves and TBR Towers. Then I was lured in 2016 to doing Pop Sugar and because I felt in a rut with my reading, I jumped into my first challenge. I have never looked back -- using the annual challenge as a way to read finally all those awesome diverse books I've accumulated. I still disappear into fluff reading binges - like the one I reported this week - but to date I've managed to read probably at least 500 of the books I've accummulated in my multiple TBRs.

message 44: by Lauren (last edited Aug 27, 2020 04:35PM) (new)

Lauren Oertel | 757 comments A tough week in what I might argue is the most insane year in modern history... trying to stay grateful for what I have, but it's hard when so many people don't have what they need right now. :(

I'm now done with both the regular and summer challenges though, so yay.

This week I read:

Fever Dream was weird and creepy, but it worked for me (and I needed to read it for the Super Rooster Tournament coming up soon). 4 stars

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States - wow this should be required reading. Such important history we all need to be aware of. 5 stars

Redhead by the Side of the Road was a nice light read to break up heavier stuff, but it was pretty low on the "important" scale that some consider with lit fic, and I'm confused about how it's up for the Booker. Oh well, at least it was pleasant! 3 stars

The Murmur of Bees was for a book club and I liked the end, but it was longer than it needed to be and there were some concerning aspects, but I'm choosing to give the author the benefit of the doubt, assuming she included certain things for the reasons I hope she did... 4 stars

Tyll is probably better read in print than audio. It was pretty unique and caught my attention in pieces, but it was tough to put it all together and follow the storyline. 3 stars

How Much of These Hills Is Gold likely also would have been better in print. The beginning hooked me, but the timelines didn't quite click. 3 stars

A Long Petal of the Sea felt like Allende's modern novels in a few ways, which is mostly a positive thing. What really got me was the historical importance woven into this story. So much to think about and it made me miss Chile (post-dictatorship, of course). 4 stars

I'm currently reading Fiebre Tropical in print and listening to Luster.

QOTW: I also read a ton as a kid, had a bit of a dropoff for my teens and college years, and ten years ago I was in grad school so pleasure reading was pretty limited at that point, but it started picking up from there, and then I just went crazy the last few years reading too much. ;) I used to read about half self-help or Malcolm Gladwell-type nonfiction and bestselling fiction, where now I'm reading about 70% lit fic and 30% history/justice-related nonfiction. I'm reading more short stories and poetry than before, and also putting more effort into diversifying my reading than I did ten years ago.

message 45: by Heather (new)

Heather (eveejoystar) | 59 comments Finished: We Were Liars by E Lockhart- I absolutely loved this one!

Currently reading:
The Thousand Orcs by RA Salvatore
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander(it had to be returned so now I have to wait to get it back)

QOTW: 10 years ago was the year I graduated. I feel like I read a decent amount then. Then the next 9 years I barely read anything. This year is definitely the most reading I've done, I think.

message 46: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 708 comments Sheri wrote: "I will throw it out there that my entire book club didn’t like 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn hardcastle haha. The librarian who ran it/selected it didn’t even make it past day 1."

Nadine wrote: "Yessss. I am firmly on Team No for that book."

So all this Evelyn Hardcastle talk made me remember I have a copy of the book and made me curious...

Currently at the beginning of day 2. I'm intrigued by the plot but kind of hate the main character already.
- Something about his narration irks me; he's such a pretentious drama queen about everything. I mean, the events themselves are dramatic enough, we don't also need a single tear slowly sliding down your cheek at the sight of a dead sparrow.
- He's also incredibly judgy. He sees a fat guy playing chess and immediately makes like 20 snide mental comments about his weight (and I hear this aspect gets a lot worse later). Later, (view spoiler)

Initial theory btw (view spoiler).

message 47: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1225 comments Rumor has it that the heat levels will finally go down next week. Can't wait! We've had a lot of smoky air come here from California and Nevada fires (and a few of our own) which really played havoc with my lungs. My heart goes out to any impacted by the week's natural and man-made disasters.

I finished three books this week:

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham - 5 stars; PS Summer #12 (black history in America)
I'm doing the summer challenge to read some lighter stuff, but then this category comes up. I had never heard about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 until earlier this year, which is distressing and highlights one more reason for the equal justice calls now. This is a fictional account in two timelines, one obviously being in 1921. This gave me all the feels.

The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse - 4 stars, PS Summer #9 (release date in June)
Story of 5 recent high school grads on a 2-week trip to Europe and how their relationships change. I liked it better than I expected.

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand - 4 stars, PS Summer #7 (body of water on cover)
Story of identical twins who each went with one parent when they divorced (one on Nantucket and one on Martha's Vineyard) and how their lives grew apart. Kept me interested in seeing how it all turned out.

Goodreads: 75/90
Popsugar: 37/44, 10/10
PS Summer: 12/20

One more reason to love Goodreads - I can actually see what I read 10 years ago. In 2010, I only read 22 books. That's astounds me that it was so little. When I look back at the reading stats, you can chart what was going on in my life by how many books I read each year (the year I broke up with a boyfriend I read a lot more than I had during the relationship, etc.) I've already read 75 books this year, and have read an average of 100 books for the past five years - which correlates exactly to when my health issues cropped up. As for what I was reading, that year was a lot of series (Hunger Games, etc). I now read a wider variety of books than I did then, but I've never stuck to just one or two genres.

message 48: by Stacey (last edited Aug 27, 2020 07:54PM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Happy Thursday Everyone!

This week my update will be pretty boring because I didn't read at all last week. I was slumping a bit, then chose to watch some playoff hockey rather than read and then just had too much going on to be able to really concentrate on a book.

We were finally able to have a proper memorial service for my grandma! She passed at the end of February and we were planning on something smaller in May since the ground would have been frozen until then anyways but covid changed that of course and we figured we would wait it out a little more so that we could have the family together for it. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people finally became legal here in the second week of August so we went ahead and quickly planned/did a graveside memorial this past week and then an outdoor luncheon down at the bay (on my uncle's property) just for the extended family and the odd close family friend. Most of us were already in the same bubble anyways since most of us live on the same street and own a different section of the same private beach/water access. Our community hasn't had any active cases for months now, none of us had been travelling outside of town recently or working with large amounts of the public and only one family member came in from out of town but they stayed distanced so the whole thing was extremely low risk.

Grandma's death was very bittersweet since she had a long life (she was 96!) and she had been suffering from severe dementia for years and was in a long term care home. It felt strange because most of us really grieved her 10 years ago when her dementia became really severe but it was really nice to finally come together as a family and reflect on the incredible lady that she was and the wonderful memories we all have. I think most of us have more of a sense of closure now.

Current Progress
Exactly where I was at last week...

PS: 47/50 | PSS: 16/20 | HP: 54/56 | ATY: 49/52 | GR: 93/100

It's not looking like I'll finish everything in August anymore like I had hoped but oh well, sometimes life's like that. There's still plenty of time left in the year anyways and I can probably manage to finish something on the list before month's end! :)

Read this week

Absolutely Nothing

Currently Reading

I started a book and I'm enjoying it so far!! :) Some progress - yay!
Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker - I'm about 100 pages in. :)


10 years ago I was a university student and working 2-3 jobs every summer to pay for it. I was reading plenty for school but I only read a handful of books a year for enjoyment back then and I no longer have any 12-16 hour work days so I can safely say that I read a TON more now. xD

message 49: by Erica (new)

Erica | 761 comments Happy Thursday.

The Fiery Heart 2 stars
So I thought I would read the library book that has been in my house for weeks., unfortunately it was this book. This series has good characters and the first three books have been good. Book #4 was a dud and I may be done with the series. It was just character drama/feelings and no actually story arc for this book.

Third Grave Dead Ahead 3 stars
This series is has so much sarcasm that at times it's painful. Yet it follows the grim reaper and is unpredictable, to me at least. Also so much coffee love from the mc especially this book.

Emerald Blaze 5 stars
I finished book four of this series last Thursday and I have been impatiently waiting for book 5's publication. It lived up to my expectations and had a good cliff hanger for the next book.

goodreads 144/175
PS 2020 47/50
PS Summer 19/20
PS 2016 33/40

Currently Reading:
Midnight Sun half done

I read a lot more now than I did 10 years ago. I didn't start keeping lists of what I read throughout the year until 2012. Back then I read urban fantasy, preferably series that I would reread. Joining goodreads pushed me to read regularly and to read outside of my comfort zone. Last year I didn't really do any rereads but this year rereads have been important in curbing anxiety.

message 50: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 128 comments Hello everyone! It's been quite a few weeks since I last checked in. Oops. I've been very distracted by ancestry research lately and haven't been reading very much. I need to get back on track.

Anyway, here's everything I've read in the last month or so.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch 48. A book published in the 20th century

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything 24. A book on a subject you know nothing about

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood - ATY 40 Place name in the title

I don't think any of these fit a prompt
Heartstopper: Volume Two
Through the Woods
Mostly Harmless
Esio Trot
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

PS - 35/52 | ATY - 32/52| BR - 14/24

Currently Reading
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
His Hideous Heart
The Place of Broken Things

According to Goodreads, I only read 2 books in 2010. lol Pretty sure I read more than that, but probably only around 10-15. I read way more now. At least 100 books.
My tastes haven't changed too much. I still enjoy reading the same genres and still read YA and middle grade. I do read a much wider variety of genres now, though and I really like reading non-fiction now.

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