This year I’ve joined Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge to give me a bit more structure in my reading life, and somehow we’ve reached the halfway point of 2017 already! Let’s check in for a status update on the Reading for Fun challenge, shall we?
Checked Off in the Second Quarter:
A book recommended by someone with great taste:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
This series completely took me by surprise; the retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale was so much fun when you have a badass protagonist and hedonistic fairy warriors battling it out. The first book is so-so, but it sets the stage for an AMAZING second book, and the third book is on my TBR list… I’m just waiting for my library to wise up and put it on the shelves!
A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able:
Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel
A story of ancient alien artifacts and the geopolitical race to figure out where the technology came from (and why), told in a series of mysterious interviews, was indeed un-put-down-able. Unfortunately as soon as it was over, it was also a bit forgettable… although I was eager to read the sequel, it went back to the library un-finished because too many other good books came along instead.
A book about a topic or subject you already love:
No Scrap Left Behind, by Amanda Jean Nyberg
I love Crazy Mom Quilts’s blog, so I treated myself to her second book for my birthday, and it didn’t disappoint! I love her scrappy, happy style that fuses modern and traditional quilting, and there were a number of quilt patterns that are calling my name now!
A book you chose for the cover:
The Nightingale, by Kristen Hannah
The cover of this WWII novel is so striking, especially on the hardcover jacket, and it’s been recommended to me over and over again. I have the hardcover but I’ve been putting it off until I finally started listening to the audiobook… and it’s so good! I’ve been listening to it on walks, in the car, while cross stitching, and any other chance I can get.
A book you’ve already read:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay
Re-reading the Harry Potter series used to be a summer tradition that I’ve dropped in recent years; in fact, I haven’t re-read anything in quite a while, so I was happy to see this category on this list. Sam has given me the new illustrated editions when they’ve released the last two years, and the third one is coming out this October, so I need to catch up! Jim Kay’s illustrations are lovely, and I love how they’re woven throughout the book. Another bonus is that this is the original British version, which I’ve always wanted to read. I’ve read this series so many times that it’s not hard to spot the subtle differences from the American version. I’m taking my time with this one, so it may take me all summer to finish, but I love the nostalgia it conjures up.
Books Read in the First Quarter:
A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit:
In the Woods by Tana French
This murder mystery that takes place in Ireland fit the bill perfectly! It had just the right amount of atmosphere and small details that made it feel suitably Irish, although if I do get to visit some day I hope the grisly murder is not included! I loved most of this book, but the unresolved ending really bothered me. Fortunately, the sequel was much stronger, and I’d still put myself in the Tana French fan club.
A juicy memoir:
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Every time I think I’ve grown tired of the female comedian memoir genre, I read another one and am reminded of how much I appreciate a good laugh. Comedians can usually write well, and actually have something to say, which is a plus!
This category is definitely in my comfort zone… I had a few other titles in mind, and I ended up reading all of them!
I listened to this on audiobook and it was a fascinating deep dive into the making of the first Oxford dictionary, and the compelling stories of two men involved: one, a prominent editor; the other, a prolific contributor who also happened to live in an insane asylum.
A book in the backlist of a new favorite author:
The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
By reading this pleasantly intriguing romance, I finally read all of Liane Moriarty’s backlist! What Alice Forgot is still my favorite, but it’s hard to go wrong with Moriarty. The characters and dialogue are always fun, and this one was no exception. Sometimes a tidy ending is just what you need.
Still to read:
A book in a genre you usually avoid:
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
It’s not that I avoid Science Fiction, but it’s not normally a go-to genre for me. But my friend Sarah gifted me the entire trilogy and said it had the best world-building… so I want to give it a go!
A book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Have I missed the boat on this one? I’m intrigued but also not sure if I have the fortitude to purge my entire house, so I’ve been putting this one off… but I’m still dying to know what all the fuss is about!
A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet:
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
I was so excited to pick up a stack of books from a visit to McKay Used Books this past summer, but I still haven’t gotten around to reading a single one!
That’s the book I originally put on the list, but there are a ton of other books that could also be put in this category. I have a bad habit of never finishing the last book in a series… I don’t know why! Maybe I’m scared that it won’t end well, or maybe I just hate goodbyes.
Whatever the reason, here are a few other last-book-in-a-series that I want to read for this category:
- The Magician’s Land, Book #3 of the Magicians series by Lev Grossman
- Winter, Book #4 of the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
- A Court of Wings and Ruin, Book #3 of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
I’m right on track with three (almost five) more books read in the second quarter, which leaves 3 to go in the next six months of 2017… definitely doable!
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