Summer Reading Challenge


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Jill's Halfway Point!

I can't believe July is almost upon us, and therefore, we've reached the halfway point of this challenge! I am happy to report that I have more than half of my books read so far:

1) Looking for Alaska by John Green (completed June 1, 2007)
2) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (completed June 3, 2007)
3) The Black Flower by Howard Bahr (completed June 8, 2007)
4) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (completed June 11, 2007)
5) The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (completed June 16, 2007)
6) Wicked by Gregory Maguire (completed June 19, 2007)
7) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (completed June 24, 2007)
8) Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow (completed June 29, 2007)

Please visit my blog for my reviews and feel free to leave comments!

Left to read:
1) The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
2) Lamb: The Gospel Acording to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (READING NOW)
3) Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
4) Billy Bathgate by E.L Doctorow

Happy Summer Reading!
=) Jill

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Week 4

I did finish Water for Elephants in 5 days time! It was phenominal, you can see my review at my blog Shannon's Book Addiction. Then I started Entering Normal By Anne D. LeClaire. It was alright. It kept me intrigued, but I got frustrated with some of the characters. Some of their attitudes towards different events just seemed so fake. That was the only thing I really didn't like about it. Other than that, it was a good storyline, and it read quickly, I finished it in 4 days. And now I am reading Drowning Ruth. It is an Oprah's Book Club selection. So is alright. As of now I would rate it at a B-...but then again I'm only about 30 pages into it. It seems like one of those books that you read it once you sorta get it, but it takes two tries to really "get" it. There are shifts between the here and now and the past and some of them aren't too clear. Also it shifts between different character's accounts of the overall story, and if you aren't careful and miss a character shift then you get lost. But then again, like I said I am only 30 pages in and I started it sorta late at night, right after I'd finished Entering Normal. So right now I'm probably not grading it fairly, I need to give it more of a chance. So, I have two more books finished for this past week and am into the next. I hope to get some good chunks of reading time in this weekend.

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Week 4 - Kelly

I just posted a review of Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days here. I was very impressed by this book. It is very complex and intelligent, but still a great read. I'm also finishing up Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find for the Southern Reading Challenge. Not sure what my next pick for SRC2 will be. I'm contemplating The Book Thief... Enjoy your weekend reading!

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3rd and 4th Books

Book # 3 - 4th of July by James Patterson (Review)

Book # 4 - The Shape-Changer's Wife by Sharon Shinn (Review)

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

One Down!

Here's my list so far!

Finished: Mansfield Park

Partially Finished: The Mill on the Floss, The Return of the Native, A Passage to India

Still on my List:

Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Tender Is the Night
Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass,
an American Slave

I am doing so much better this year than last. I think it is because I have been using my ipod and downloading books from

I loved Mansfield Park by the way. Of course, every book that I read is usually my favorite at the time that I reading it!


One down for Gautami!

Finished reviewing Deadly Kisses By Brenda Joyce. It is supposedly one from the "Deadly Series" by her.

It begins with Francesca being summoned to the home of her fiancé Calder Hart's, ex-mistress. She finds Daisy's best friend, Rose, rocking Daisy's bloody corpse. Francesca is hired by Rose to find out who killed her one time friend and rival.....

For more, click here.

One down for the Summer Reading Challenge.


Week Four

This week I've felt like I've read less. I don't know if that is technically true or just general discouragement. Anyway, here are my reads and reviews:

For Becky's Book Reviews

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford
Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen Will Travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw
Once Upon A Crime (Sisters Grimm) by Michael Buckley
Girl Overboard by Aimee Ferris
Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

For Becky's Christian Reviews

The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth
Can We Trust the Gospels by Mark D. Roberts
A Taste Of Heaven by R.C. Sproul

I guess looking back, I read more than I thought. It's just been a tiring week. In the list of books I've read but not reviewed, add The Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney. And in case you're's a novelization of Macbeth.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Week 3/4 Janiejane

I'm currently reading "Children of God" by Mary Doria Russell, but real life is really cutting into my reading time. I think I'll still manage the challenge, but we'll see!

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Another Down

Another one down!

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling (Book On Disc-Currently Listening)
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austin (Just Started Reading - Got the Book on Disc for work)
The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton (Have to Purchase)
Nightseer - Laurell K. Hamilton (Been sitting on the Shelf For Years)
The Inferno - Dante Alighieri (Always wanted to read and purchased at a Book Sale)

For a review, see my reading blog.

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Another list of books for Summer Reading Challenge

This is in addition to the list I published in my Reading Room. Here I would like to keep my list to be varied.

1) Bill Bryson---Notes from a Small Island---half way through

2) Brenda Joyce---Deadly Kisses--finished--My views to come up soon.

3) Salman Rushdie---Fury

4) Antonia Fraser---Marie Antoinette

5) Truman Capote---In Cold Blood

This is only the beginning. I keep this list open. I will only add on it.


Mary Ann's 4th Week

Still working on The Year of Magical Thinking. . .had visiting mother-in-law.

Happy week!

Gogol's Diary of a Madman meets Terry Gilliam's Brazil

I've begun reading Jose Saramago's All The Names which I've posted on here.

I will be away a few days but probably back by July 9 or so.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Week 3 Lost in an illness

I'm still working on The Book Thief. Allergies turned into a cold and I've been recovering. Also, I re-read Enchantment by Orson Scott Card because I got [bought, stupid me!] the audiobook abridgement and I needed to get the bad taste out of my mouth /ears /head. I love the book, but the abridgement is an evil waste. It's not even cut well: things happen / are referred to later in the audio that were cut from earlier, and if the audio was one's only exposure to this book, it would have soured the person from ever reading the actual pages and have completely misled the reader about the quality and enjoyment of the book.

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`So far I have read:
Berry, Steve The Templar Legacy
Hess, Joan Closely Akin to Murder
Spindler, Erica Dead Run
Lewis, Beverly The Covenant
Jackson, Lisa Twice Kissed
Roberts Nora Chesapeake Blues
Craig, Philip R. Vineyard Blues
Gardener, Lisa Hide
Howard, Linda Cry No More

Are we suppose to do book reviews on them?

Monday, June 25, 2007

now that we're past week 3 ...

like i promised at the start, because this challenge started before the Spring Reading Thing finished, i spent the first three weeks reading some of my remaining SRT picks. the ones i read between june 1 and now were Hide by Lisa Gardner, The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, and The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. (the links are to my reviews.)

now that we're a third of the way through, then, i'm finally ready to tackle my SRC list of Jodi Picoult novels. i started Nineteen Minutes last night, and i'm heading to bed now so i can read some more of it ...

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Gautami's planned list of books

I have put up a list of books that I plan to read, on my blog. Do check that out here.


Elia Kazan - The Improvisation of our Lives

I've finished the critical biography of Elia Kazan by Richard Schickel - well worth reading if you are a fan of films, or interested in the whole movement of theater, film, and acting that sprang from Stanislavski's teachings and the work of the Group Theater in the 1930s. Well-reasoned, fair, richly contextualized historically and artistically, and paced with a driving energy. Here's my whole review.

I've begun reading my first Saramago book All the Names more on that in two weeks, after vacation (July 9).


1st and 2nd Books

Book # 1 - The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (Review)

Book # 2 - Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer (Review)

I'm reading my fifth book for this challenge but I haven't found the time to review the other ones. When the reviews are up I'll let you all know! :-)

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Into Week 3

Well, I've finished Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone. The story was good enough, I guess I just didn't jump onto the HP bandwagon when it all began. Maybe having watched the movies spoiled it a bit for me. I can at least cross one off my SRC list.

I will now move on to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. Though Jane Eyre or North and South seem to be waiting in the wings (my night stand) for me.

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Reconstructing The List

I don't know if this is allowed but I have found that I seriously have no desire to read:

1984 - George Orwell
Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

At least not right now. So I am going to reconstruct my list with books that I know I am interested in reading and intend to start right away.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling (Book On Disc-Currently Listening)
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austin (Just Started Reading - Got the Book on Disc for work)
The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton (Have to Purchase)
Nightseer - Laurell K. Hamilton (Been sitting on the Shelf For Years)
The Inferno - Dante Alighieri (Always wanted to read and purchased at a Book Sale)

So hopefully now I will not continue to be a pittiful slacker.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pheelya - Week 3

Finished Rain Villiage this morning over my latte. I really enjoyed this book. My sister gave it to me as a Christmas gift and it was signed by the author.

A great coming of age tale. Tessa Riley is a tiny 12 year who's unsure of herself due to being mocked by her family and those in her town. Because of her size her family thinks she is useless to help in any way. Her mother is also embaressed by her size and wants her to hang and stretch herself in the hopes of stretching to a normal size. Tessa feels all alone in the world. Then one day Tessa meets Mary Finn, the town librarian - sexy and alluring. Mary befriends Tessa. Mary teaches Tessa how to read, tells Tessa all about her home, Rain Villiage, and teaches her how to flying with the trapeze. Tessa soon becomes enthralled with the idea of the circus and that there could possibly something for her outside of her abusive father and bible thumping mother.

Then one day, when Tessa was 16, Mary committed suiced and Tessa felt all alone again. Till the Velasquez Circus comes around and Tessa takes off. Tessa finds acceptance, happiness and love when she joins the Velasquez Circus, but Mary's death leave a hole in her soul. Then one day a mysterious man comes to the circus looking for her and any information that she has on Mary, who turns out is the man's aunt. Tessa finds herself drawn to this man through the connection to Mary and soon they are heading to Ran Village where Tessa hopes to find answers once and for all about Mary, but ends up really finding herself.

1. The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
2. Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton **up next
3. The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian
4. Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
5. A Killer Stitch - Maggie Sefton
6. Mistreal's Kiss - Laurell K. Hamilton
7. Rain Village - Carolyon Turgeon
8. Black Moon Rising - Damien Ashton
9. The Demon Awakes - R.A. Salvatore
10. Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
11. Ophelia - Lisa Klein
12. Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
13. Wild Women's Weekend - Lynne Kaufman

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee **newly added and almost finished!

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Gautami reads!

I want to read assorted books. Fiction/non-fiction/poetry/romances etc etc. I will put up a post on all I plan to read soon on my blog. As I was out for a while I am lagging behind selecting books.

I have read and posted the review of The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt.

Please do visit and give me your inputs.


Finished my first book!

I have been so inundated with challenges recently, that I have been trying to fit this one around others, so I have now finally finished my first book, The Good Doctor. You can read my thoughts on it here: Adventures in Bookland.

After a few mysteries, I'll be back to this challenge with a vengeance, reading The House of Doctor Dee, by Peter Ackroyd.

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Jill's Week Three/Week Four

Hi everyone!

I finished Wicked by Gregory Maguire for the third week of this challenge (you can read my review on my LiveJournal page if you're interested).

For week four, I have started The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (so far, an excellent read). I also hope to start Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. If you have read any of these novels, please let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful week!
Jill =)

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Friday, June 22, 2007

2nd and 3rd books read

Here's the link to my second book for this challenge, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby...I loved it!

And my third, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, I like this series, they are always nice, easy reads.

Week 3 - finally finished my first book!

Yesterday I finished Sorcerers of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg. It's the first book in the Lord Prestimion trilogy, or the fifth book in the Majipoor cycle - whichever way you want to count. I've not read any of the Majipoor books - usually I like to read series from the beginning - but since this trilogy is a prequel, I went ahead and read it. I liked it overall, even though it was very long!

I'm currently reading Sweet Thames by Matthew Kneale.

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Week 3 Challenge Complete - Rhinoa

I finished my sixth book today and this completes my challenge woo!

I read:

1) Guilty Pleasures - Laurell K Hamilton
2) The Laughing Corpse - Laurell K Hamilton
3) Circus of the Damned - Laurell K Hamilton
4) The Lunatic Cafe - Laurell K Hamilton
5) Bloody Bones - Laurell K Hamilton
6) The Killing Dance - Laurell K Hamilton

For reviews see my blog Rhinoa's Ramblings I have had this series recommended to be by various people because I love Anne Rice. To be honest though when reading them, there wasn't too much in common besides involving vampires. I quite liked what I have read in the series, but I still much prefer Anne Rice. I will finish the series, but I need a break for a while. Having read a fair bit of urban fantasy, I can see where they got a lot of inspiration.

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Dana's Intro and Apologies

Greetings from perhaps your most prodigal member. I joined this group with high aspirations and excitement right at the beginning, and then lost a good friend on the 7th which really threw me off track for a bit. But I am here. Bright eye'd and bushy tailed and ready to leap into Summer Reading with both feet. I had originally made a list before I posted, then got completely off track, and now I have made a little mini-challenge to get me through the month while I get my reading plans in gear.
My first read was:
In Cold Blood
I had intended to also read:
Independent People and Water for Elephants this month for discussion.

Instead I am reading (and this also includes my little mini-challenge for the remainder of the month):
Black Swan Green
Poisonwood Bible
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

I hope to finish all of these in the next 8 days. Probably crazy but my husband is out of town so my evenings will consist of much reading.

Hello to all of you whom I have yet to meet. I am going to back track a little and catch up on as many posts as I can. I plan to be far more consistent now.


Week 3- Vasilly

I haven't read anything else this week for this challenge. I finished I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I stopped reading I am no one you know by Joyce Carol Oates. I just realized it, so I'll be finishing that up this weekend. This is what I read this week, (mind you I have kids):

Beautiful Lies -Lisa Unger (mystery. good book)
Pinkalicious - Victoria & Elizabeth Kann
Toot and Puddle - Holly Hobbie
Toot & Puddle: Top of the World - Holly Hobbie
Kitten's First Moon - Kevin Henkes
The Widow's Broom - Chris Van Allsburg
Zathura - Chris Van Allsburg
Don't let the pigeon drive the bus -Mo Willems
Zen Shorts - Jon J. Muth
The Read-Aloud Handbook - Jim Trelease (reading guide on how to get your kids to love books)
Mark's Messy Room - Geraldine Elschner
Jesse Bear, what will you wear? -Nancy White Carlstrom
17 things I'm not allowed to do anymore - Jenny Offill
My Friend Rabbit-Eric Rohmann
The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-be by Mini Grey

Maybe next week I can get more adult reads in.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Week 3 - A new challenge for myself

As we are in week three, I trudge along, reading my HP#1 in bits and pieces of time where I can. With a project I wanted to complete needing my full attention of vision, I picked up an audio book at the library.

Now, you may be saying to yourself...what challenge would that be. It's the audio part. I am a visual person, through and through. I have tried, many times over, to get into audio books so that I can enjoy a good story while pursuing the weeds in my garden or working on a handknit project. drives me utterly mad! I can go weeks driving to work and back, never turning the radio on. Weird, I know.

So, I have now completed A Christmas Guest by Anne Perry, my audio challenge!

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Benjie -- Week 3 Update!

I must confess that I completed Confessions of a Pastor. I read this one because I'm a minister. I suggest this book for anyone who wants to live life genuinely. I've now finished two of my list and am ready to begin more (more, more, more reading for the summer). To read my review of this book click here.

More to come

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Kelly - Week 3

While on vacation last weekend, I finished The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. This was a fantastic book that I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who loves fairy tales, fantasy and a good coming-of-age story. I have posted my review here. I also recently finished The Jane Austen Book Club, but I plan on reviewing that one at the same time as Mansfield Park, once I finish it. This week, I'm reading Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days and finding that he writes quite beautifully. A review of that will come in week 4. Happy reading everyone!

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Week Three

For Becky's Book Reviews, I've read and reviewed the following books:

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick

I've also read (but not yet reviewed)
Girl Overboard by Aimee Ferris
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford

I've also posted nine reviews of books that I had read/written up months ago. You can find them at my post on the Spring Reading Thing wrap-up.

For Becky's Christian Reviews I've read and reviewed the following books:

Taking Back the Good Book by Woodrow Kroll
In the Shade of the Jacaranda by Nikki Arana
Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finally a Finish!

Sunday evening I finally finished my first Summer Challenge book, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I wrote a litte bit about it on my book blog but there is still so much swirling around in my head about this it's hard to put down. I've also hit the halfway mark with Silent Spring so I'm feeling pretty pleased with my progress.

Pheelya - Week 1 & 2 catch-up

I'm a little behind on posts due to join a little late, but I have two books finished from my list.

The first is The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl. I picked up this book because I really liked his first book The Dante Club and because I love Poe. I wasn't as impressed with this book as I was his first. The book is based on my mysteries surrounding Poe's death. The setting of the book was mainly Baltimore, but there was an extended period in France. It's set back in the 1840-1850 as if it took place literally days after Poe passed. It was a bit dry in places. I find it somewhat hard to believe this was the same author at The Dante Club *highly recommend reading if you like mystery*

Next up is Black Moon Rising by Damien Ashton. If you like werewolf books, this is a must read! Terrifying! One of the best modern day horrors comparable to horror classics. The action in the book was intense and the descriptions are amazing.

The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton **up next
The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian
Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
A Killer Stitch - Maggie Sefton
Mistreal's Kiss - Laurell K. Hamilton
Rain Village - Carolyon Turgeon **almost finished
Black Moon Rising - Damien Ashton
The Demon Awakes - R.A. Salvatore
Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
Ophelia - Lisa Klein
Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
Wild Women's Weekend - Lynne Kaufman
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee **newly added and almost finished!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Let Me Introduce Myself

I'm Phoebe and I love to read (and knit blog revolves around knitting). I'm been keeping a reading journal for 8 years and over the last 2 years I've set a goal of reading 60 books a year. Came close last year with 59 but definitely wanted to achieve and/or surpass this year. My friend Jill also loves to read and enlightened me about all of the reading challenges on line so I signed up for Summer of Reading, which also led me to try my hand at the 48-hour Reading Challenge 2 weekends ago. I put a good dent in my original summer reading list, I read 6 books in 22 hours hours at almost 1650 pages. Books that are completed are bolded and so I'll be adding more to the list. My goal for Summer Reading was to not only get the pile of books stacked to the ceiling off my nightstand but also read the 4 books that I need to for the women's reading group that I belong to.

1. The Life I Longed For by Maribeth Fischer
2. Peony in Love (Advanced Copy) by Lisa See (about 60 pages from the end)
3. The World to Come by Dora Horn
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (reading group)
5. The Keep by Jennifer Egen (reading group)
6. Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern
7. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (just started)
8. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
9. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
10. The Birth of Venus by Sara Durant
11. In the Company of the Courtesan by Sara Durant
12. The Diary of Anne Frank (reading group)
13. The Boy Who Love Anne Frank (reading group)by Ellen Feldman
14. And last but not least, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by JK Rowling

I also read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen...very good YA book that is one of the books my son has to read for the summer.
Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to say hello!

Benjie -- Week 3

I've finished True Grit. It was refreshing to read a book that the movie had not destroyed, especially since the movie was part of my memory long before I read the book. To see my review click here.

In other news I'm almost finished with Confessions of a Pastor and should be starting more books in the next day or two.

More to come,

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Week 3

Well, I was happily reading through my old books when it dawns on me that "Wait a minute!! I have BRAND new books I could be reading!!! Why am I re-reading books that I have read before?" So, I chucked Mitford Years out the just kidding, I would never treat a good friend like that, and went to round up all the books I have on my shelves that still need to be loved...I mean read...I found 30!!! and then I went to the mall and Water for Elephants was on sale-40% off, you KNOW I had to get it! Within a day of buying it, I was half way through!!! It is a true page turner!!! I love it! So, I guess this means that my list for the summer challenge has changed yet once again...I am going for 8 of my new books to be finished. I feel like I wasted so much time reading those other books...and now I'm starting the challenge over, except for the fact that I can't rewind time and go back to week, I will just keep plodding on...what can I say? Too many books!!! How in the world did I justify re-reading old ones?! Oh well, I am on the right track now!

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Week Three

I've added Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking to my list. This is something I've wanted to read and an author I've only heard about. I'm thinking everyone else has read her except for me. The now much quoted first lines: Life changes fast; Life changes in an instant; You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends; The question of self-pity.
Difficult subject, her constant eye for details draws me in.
Happy reading!

Week 2 Progress

I got a little behind this week. I had expected to finish The Book Thief, but I'm only about 2/3 done. Not that it's a difficult, complicated read: it's not. I've had other things demanding my attention the past week, and an allergy attack (itchy eyes, nose running like a living creek, TMI, I know) that turned into a chest cold.

In any case, what I've read so far is very good. What's more, in terms of verisimilitude (and how real can it be to have Death narrating to the reader? I know), the illustrations/copies of the pages of The Stand Over Man that Max gave to Lisle was very moving.

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There is an American Culture - Elia Kazan, a biography

Richard Schickel has written a marvelous, well-contextualized, fast-paced biography of the great American film and theater director Elia Kazan. I got this book from my in-laws two Christmases ago and I'm getting around to reading it at last. I've posted my initial impressions here.


Monday, June 18, 2007

raidergirl3 update

Is it really week three already?
I've finished two of my books: The Translator and Flowers for Algernon. I linked my reviews from my site here if you want to read them. Both were good reads, but not what I would call beach reads or great summer books. I'm thinking my next book for this challenge, Good Intentions by Joy Fielding will be more engrossing. I also may add a few more books to my list, as I'm half done already.
Enjoy your books!

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Week 3

Week 3 of the summer reading challenge is now complete and I've finished two more books. I love that I picked mostly juvenile/YA's because I'm finally getting a whole bunch read that I needed to catch up on!

My first read was Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko, a book that I have passed by for the past year or so, never before being interested. Now that I'm actually working in a profession that requires my knowledge of books that have won awards and honors (this won the Newbery Honor), I finally picked it up and am SO glad that I did!

The story begins when Moose's family moves from San Franciso to Alcatraz Island in order for his father to begin a job at the prison. Moose hated leaving his friends behind, but soon begins making acquaintances with the other children living on the island. The only issue standing in his way to becoming a normal kid that fits in with the other kids is his very "abnormal" sister Natalie. In today's terms it would be said that Natalie had autism, but in the 1930's she is simply deemed as being odd and Moose is in charge of her well-being while his parents work. With Natalie constantly following him, Moose and his new friends make the attempt to make contact with some of the famous inmates of Alcatraz prison, including the infamous Al Capone.

Choldenko created a story that is very much a reality in a lot of kids lives, even in today's terms. The characters are real, as are their situations. Moose is a kid that really wants to fit in, meaning he will get himself into many mishaps, but always trying to do what is morally right. He loves his sister and only wants the best for her, vowing to do anything to try and get her a normal life. I really loved the characterization of this story, not to mention the unique plot line. I would definitely read other books by this author and hope she has something new out soon!

Next, we have Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I only recently got into the Shadow Children series, loving the first and second books and this third companion novel was no exception. It was fast paced, thrilling, and definitely a page turner!

Haddix takes a turn away from following the young boy, Lee Grant, and this time focuses on Nina, a shadow child that was arrested in the 2nd book. The reader watches as she is thrown and jail and threatened with execution if she does not find out information from 3 other shadow children being kept in the same jail. Nina is placed in a cell with them and bribed with food in order to get the 3 siblings to answer her questions. Nina, being a very moral individual, hates the idea of betraying others, especially those that have a background much like her own. When Nina gets the opportunity to escape the jail, we learn whether or not she has the ability to betray or instead will risk her own life to help 3 others.

I love this series because of the thrills it gives with every page. It is an awesome series for reluctant readers, with enough books to keep them occupied for awhile! I was very happy with this book and look forward to the next, Among the Barons, which is another Summer Reading Challenge selection.

A Patchwork of Books

Dickens' Bleak House - The Classic Detective Story

I'm coming to the final pages of Bleak House and my last post on it as well. A suspenseful and insightful novel - I can't recommend it enough. It is 1,000 pages so you will need time to complete it, but the investment is well worth it!

I have 8 books to go in this challenge, so I had better get a move on!


Week 3 - Laura

I've finished my first book for this challenge! Here's my review of Janet Evanovich's Four to Score. I also made short work of an enjoyable NYT Notable book, Alentejo Blue, by Monica Ali. The review for that one is here.

I'm now reading Vanity Fair, which is a pretty long book so I expect it will take me a while.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Week Two/Three

So, I didn't realise that we were supposed to be keeping weekly bulletins. Whoops. Please forgive me-I'll be better from now on!

So far, I've read two of my picks-Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

I chose The Turn of the Screw because I wanted a little bit of horror on my list. I'm only reading classics for this challenge, and I'd read about The Turn in quite a few places-all I knew was that it involved a governess and ghosts. So, I felt that it was time to actually read it! Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it that much, but since it was a short novella, I want to reread it before posting an actual review. I really enjoys James in novel form, but this is the second novella of his I've read, and I just don't seem to get too much out of them. I'm hoping that a second reading, and this time reading the introduction in my version of it, will allow me appreciate it a little more. I'll keep you updated!

I loved Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I wanted to read it, because I've read Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Emily's Wuthering Heights, so it seemed only fair to read one of Anne's books. I chose it over Agnes Grey since it seemed to have a more interesting plotline. :) I really like Anne's writing style: she's more realistic than her sisters, and I suspect she had more of a sense of humour as well. For a full review, check out this post on my blog. It seems that most people aren't putting actualy reviews on this community blog, but please let me know if I'm wrong. :)

Next up is Les liaisons dangerueses. It should be an interesting switch, from an American gothic book condemning alcohol and lasciviousness to a French, decadent, eighteenth century novel glorifying corruption. At least, that's what I've heard. ;)

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One for the SRC2, but not on my list...

I took a break from Harry Potter Book 1 to read a little light bit o' romance.

The Perils of Pursuing a Prince by Julia London.

I do enjoy a quick read, one that I can finish within a 24 hour period.

A big thank you to my local county library for the new installation of "Books to Go". A great circular shelf full of new paperbacks by the entrance/exit, hence "Books to Go".

Now I will resume HP #1...Have a great week!

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Week 2 Progress

I finally finished a book- only took two weeks. The rest of you put me to shame reading many, many books.
Anyway, Pride and Prejudice was brilliant and caused me to fall head over heels for Jane Austen's poignant prose. She truly is a magnificent author. All of the characters come alive and I, of course, felt a certain kinship to Miss Eliza Bennett. Mr. Darcy is wonderful, too.
I've seen the A&E movie many times and finally read the book and it's infinitely better, of course. Though the movie will forever remain one of my favorites.
Now that I've finished one Jane Austen book, I've decided to read along w/ my Knit the Classics group which is reading Mansfield Park. Off to the used book store this afternoon!
Happy Father's Day to all!

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Introduction - Pheelya

I know I'm a little behind. I just got my invite yesterday and couldn't wait to get started. I'm an elementary school library media specialist and mainly read children's book through the school year. I use my summers to catch up on some adult novels. This this morning I perused all the goodies I have on my bookcases and chose the ones I would read this summer. Here is my list:

The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton
The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian
Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
A Killer Stitch - Maggie Sefton
Mistreal's Kiss - Laurell K. Hamilton
Rain Village - Carolyon Turgeon
Black Moon Rising - Damien Ashton
The Demon Awakes - R.A. Salvatore
Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
Ophelia - Lisa Klein
Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
Wild Women's Weekend - Lynne Kaufman

Happy Reading everyone

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Week 2 Vasilly

This week has been a pretty good week. I read The Napping House by Audrey Wood, which is a children's book that I've been pretty curious about for a while. I've also read a couple of stories from I am no one you know by Joyce Carol Oates. I'm going to let this book be a slow read. Now I'm reading I am the messenger by Markus Zusak which I absolutely love! Zusak is such a good writer. I'm going to start The Time Traveler's Wife in a couple of days.

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Now is the Hour / Week 2

I just reluctantly finished the 459 pages of Now is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer. Part 4 'Purple Haze' was the final leg of this ride with Rigby John Klusener into adulthood. It was charged with events that at once rattled me, saddened me and finally made me smile. I will miss this book.
Here is a bit of the excerpt from Houghton-Mifflin's site, the first page where Rig is hitchhiking outside of Twin Falls, Idaho:
It’s all pretty clear now. Amazing how clear things can get at night in the desert. The moon, a big silver dollar, so much light there’s a shadow of me across the pavement. A long shadow. My feet here on the gravel, my head all the way over there on the center line. George Serano told me once that you can tell how you feel by how your shadow looks. . .The desert’s even more quiet. The perfectly still sound of everything alive. Even the pavement, its dark ribbon going over the edge of the horizon, is alive. The horizon too, slow, sloping flat, every now and then an outburst of lava rock making a jagged edge. Sagebrush a darker shade of silver than the moon. Close your eyes here and take a breath, what you smell is sagebrush and bitterroot, what you smell is everything that’s possible.
Because the author is from my hometown, the setting throughout has pulled me back to my own time there at 16 and 17. His characters have a fitting connection to the Indian reservation nearby as well as the farm itself, all of the work and loneliness. Spanbauer's characterizations of Rigby's parents were especially poignant, especially as the story nears its ending. Please know this is not a gushy family novel, but gritty, complex and wonderfully written.

Week 2 Part 2

I finished two books from my list this week: What We Keep and Durable Goods, both by Elizabeth Berg. The review is here. Of the rest of the books on my list the only ones I actually have in my possession are The Hours and The Book of Ruth, so I guess one of those will be next!

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Week 2 - Stephanie

Sorry I haven't been around too much guys! I've had my hands full with work and other "Stuff". So......I'm hopelessly behind already! But I'm back. And I'm ready to go!

I did finish my first book. Death Match by Lincoln Child. I just haven't had the time to write a review yet.


Jill's Week Two/Week Three

For the second week of this challenge, I was in the land of Tudors, completing The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. If you're interested in reading my reviews, please check out my LiveJournal page.

This week, I'm off to see the wizard, reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I know this book has gotten mixed reviews on LibraryThing and other sites, but I will reserve judgment until I am at least fifty pages in. =)

Happy Reading!

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Week 2 round-up for Rhinoa

This week I got a lot more reading done than I planned! I thought picking 6 books to read for this challenge was going to be too many, but by the end of this week I have read 4 of my 6.

I have read:
The Laughing Corpse
Circus of the Damned
The Lunatic Cafe

All by Laurell K Hamilton in the Anite Blake Vampire Hunter series. It started a bit slow, but The Lunatic Cafe was really good. I will hopefully start book 5 in the series (Bloody Bones) next week and maybe even finish the challenge next week if work isn't too busy...

For reviews see my blog at Rhinoa's Ramblings

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Week 2 into 3

I confess, I have been slacking a bit in my reading. I did read two books in the first week though, so I am not too far behind. I think I am going to skip on to the next book on my list. Mansfield Park isn't catching my attention. I will begin 1984 tomorrow and hopefully get some serious reading in this weekend.

Glad to see everyone else is doing so well!


Friday, June 15, 2007

Hi. I finally finished Dante's Inferno. Exquisitely written/translated, even considering the horrid subject matter. Made me spend no small amount of time contemplating my less than saintly moments.

I have been taking time out to read lighter subject matter, such as Knitting from the Top by Barbara G. Walker, she of the treasuries of knitting patterns fame.


Week 2 - Athena

For week 2, I've been less reading productive as I hoped, but I did read Watership Down by Richard Adams on Monday. Last weekend, I reread Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in print and audiobook. Likewise, I'll be doing more reading this weekend with rereading HP2 and Twelfth Night. As well as starting another book or two.

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Week 2 -- Dewey

I finished Ethan Frome last weekend but just got around to reviewing it. I did have an interesting discussion, earlier this week, with another blogger who had also reviewed it, but he's not participating in this challenge.

You can read my review here.

Next up for me is probably The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

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Week 2 - Wendy

I've finished book number 2 for this challenge: The Flea Palace, by Elif Shafak. I had high hopes for this novel as it was short listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for 2006. But, it didn't live up to my expectations, garnering a measly 2.5 rating. You can read my review of this book here.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Week 2 Update (from Texas)

I've nearly completed Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel. It is a thought-provoking book about being genuine in a world where we usually want to play games for acceptance. I can't wait to get home from this business trip so I can finish True Grit. Having been gone ten days (and leaving the paperback on a table somewhere in the house), I feel almost like I've been on a cliff-hanger season ending at the beginning of summer, waiting for the fall season to pick up to catch the resolution.

On this trip I picked up several new books that are work related. Some of them may make an updated list.

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Week 2 - Laura

I've been a busy reader trying to keep up with all of my challenges, but have only just started my first book for the Summer Reading Challenge. Since the beginning of the month I've read Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom (read my review here), and I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird (reviewed here).

Now let the challenge begin! My challenge goal is to read three of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. This series has proven to be a nice break from some of my heavier reads. I'm currently reading Four to Score, and will post my review when finished.

Happy reading everyone!

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Week Two

I've had a very busy week reading.

For Becky's Book Reviews:

One Naked Baby by Maggie Smith
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank
The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card
Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers
Louisiana's Song by Kerry Madden
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart
The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Bradley
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent
Tall Tales by Karen Day

And for Becky's Christian Reviews:

Sophie's Dilemma by Lauraine Snelling
Courting Trouble by DeAnne Gist

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Week 2

I'm still reading Sorcerers of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg. Good book, but long!

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Jenn's week 2

Hello! I am back from California, and unfortunately I didn't get as much reading done as I had hoped, but the trip was a blast! I finished Guardians, and am almost done with Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Also while on my trip, I started a book written by another one of my friends. It is called The Nomen Documents, and I love it so far!!! (like Guardians, it hasn't been published and I have her only copy, but maybe it'll be in bookstores in a couple of years :) ). As always, Happy reading!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Week 2 Progress

Well, while I've not finished anything on my list yet, I am making progress so I'm happy with that! I'm trying not to let all you super-fast readers intimidate me. LOL I've got about 75 pages read of Silent Spring byRachel Carson and I've started The Road by Cormack McCarthy. I hope to make more progress with The Road this weekend as it's going to need to be returned to the library very soon.

Weeks 1 and 2

I don't know where the time goes . . . it is all ready week 2 of this challenge?! Wow! Well, since the 1st of June I have read 3 fabulous books---
Veronika Decides to Die
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Killing Sea

Each of these books were compelling, but in different ways; each was well worth the read! Presently, I am about a quarter of the way through Mansfield Park (KtC's June selection) and last night I just started the newest installment of Maisee Dobb's=Messenger of Truth.

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The Setting as a Great Actor - Dickens' Bleak House

Dickens' Bleak House continues to delight me, not only for its story, but for the skill of the writing. You can see so much more when a writer takes some time. I've posted my full impressions here at bookeywookey.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Week 2 already?!

I can't believe it's the second week of the challenge already! Time sure flies, and all that jazz.

I read Susan Meissner's A Seahorse in the Thames this week; it's from my 2007 TBR Challenge list. It is a very good book. She writes excellent, above-the-norm Christian fiction.

The same can be said for my next read, a Summer Challenge book, Wishing on Dandelions by Mary E. DeMuth. Definitely excellent fiction, Christian or not. It's reminiscent of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, without being the same as that book. The same Southern flavor, a coming-of-age sort of novel, but with much more redemption and forgiveness. It's an excellent book.

I finished A Wrinkle in Time with my kids, too. That's from my Newbery Challenge list.

I also read a chick lit that was not even good enough to mention. Some are, this one wasn't.

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Week 2

Well I got two of my books off my challenge list this week, though being that most of my choices are juvenile or young adult selections, that isn't very difficult. Still, 2 is good! One of the books was great, the other, not-so-great in my opinion.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson was really a great book. It is labeled a YA book, as it should be, and I really enjoyed the story. The plot line was unique and the characters refreshing. Definitely a good "light" book.

Ginny's favorite aunt, who happened to be the most eccentric women Ginny knew, passes away and shortly after, a package arrives for Ginny containing 13 blue envelopes. In the first envelope, Ginny is instructed to purchase a plane ticket to London and then open her second envelope. The reader proceeds to follow Ginny on a spontaneous journey around Europe that interlopes her with people in her aunt's life, resulting in a love interest, the meeting of a new family member, scary hostels, and loads of interesting adventures.

Ginny shows the reader that even when we are frightened, it's still ok to take risks, simply because you never can tell what you'll find out when you're finished. Ginny was not only able to tour Europe and meet interesting people, she also overcame a lot of her fears and learned a lot about her aunt in the process. A really great book for teens or even mature middle schoolers.

Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse is the selection I really didn't quite as much enjoy, which is surprising because I love Karen Hesse. Basically, this short juvenile fiction novel tells the story of a family from the Aleutian Islands, that is forced to relocate to a camp after the Japanese attack. Hesse writes of the manner in which the family adapts to their new surroundings and the new hardships they are forced to live with. The book is written in unrhymed, very short vignettes, about 3 lines to a page, which I think is the part I disliked the most. I felt that it was ineffective and didn't allow the reader to get as close to the main character as possible, leaving a distance that turned me off. I didn't think the historical basis was very strong either and that a lot more could have been told within the story pertaining to this event in history.

The concept of this book was very good and I still think middle schoolers could benefit from the writing, even if I personally didn't care for it very much. Not to mention, the appeal to kids could go up simply because of the short pages. :-) Kids love that!

Hopefully I can get two more done for next week!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Week 2

Well, I gave up on The Plague Tales (my non-review is here). I started "Durable Goods" by Elizabeth Berg, and I will probably finish that tonight. I'll start the other Elizabeth Berg on my list - "What We Keep" and will probably review both later in the week.

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week 2

last night i read Morgan le Fay by nancy springer. it was a terrific read. it is a re-telling of the story of Igraine and her children, Morgan, Morgause and Arthur. it is from Morgan's point of view and starts shortly before her father's death at age six. it is an interesting character study of Morgan, her discovery of her powers and how the rivalry between her and Arthur began. she is a complex and sympathetic character. Merlin on the other hand is quite creepy. it was a fast and engaging read. i recommend it to anyone who likes stories from camelot.

the next books on my list are Many Waters and Witchery. Then i will start tackling the plays.

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Week One - Large Novel - Dragging my Feet

Fellow Read-sters! Hope the pages are turning.
I'm 3/4 of the way through my first choice, Now is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer. At this point I am totally involved with the details of the life of the main character, Rigby John Klusener, as he 'comes of age.' The novel begins as he has a flower behind his ear and his thumb out hitching a ride from outside of Twin Falls, Idaho on his way to San Francisco in the late 60's. Then the reader is gently taken back to the 1950's to 1960's and given a glimpse at the events shaping this sad, beautiful young person. I know I'm getting close to the end because he is spending one of his last summers working on his dad's farm and the characterizations become more vivid and poignant. A touching, sometimes raw, and rewarding read with an expert's hand at simple repetitive motifs such as how his arms get weak when he's afraid, the pain he feels next to his heart and how he loves God most when a bit of grace is thrown at him, usually in the form of some human touch. I know I'll be very sad to say goodbye to this odd, yet familiar, family.
I'll keep you posted!

Week 2 - Ana

Although I'm enjoying a vacation at the moment I haven't been able to get much reading done, time has been scarce.
I just finished my first book for this challenge though, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip, this was my second book by this author and I'm in love with her fairy tale writing style. I'll be sure to post a review on my blog later this week.
And now on to my next read and I hope this week will be a lot more productive! :-)

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Dickens' Bleak House - cont'd

I am continuing to read Dicken's marvelous story, finding lots of contemporary psychological insights. See my thoughts here.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Week 2

Well, things are going quicker than I thought for me. I have already completed two books for the challenge...Anne of Green Gables, and What a Girl Wants, and now I am about a hundred and twenty pages into Mitford Years series book #1 At Home in Mitford. You know what is sorta sad? Everything I have read or am reading for this challenge I have read already! I think there is only like 3 of the 12 books I have chosen for this challenge that will be new reads for me...hmmm...? I don't know how that happened. But I am enjoying it nonetheless! I am hoping to finish At Home in Mitford, and start reading my next selection for week three.

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Week Two

I'm as slow as a turtle on a very hot day. Wow, everyone has really gotten a ton of reading done.

As of week two, I am a third done with HP Book #1. Lunch and before bed is all I've been able to do so far. Maybe with summer break coming up soon I will get more reading time in.

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Week 1

The first week I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which I absolutely loved. It's now one of my favorite books. I also read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, another new favorite. A pretty slow week.

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Week 1--Elusive Pimpernel & Broken for You

I finished two books in time for Week 1:
The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos.

I enjoyed reading them both. I'm moving on to The Book Thief next. It is an interesting connection that Broken and Book have a World War II & holocaust connection.

Review of the Week 1 books Here

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So Far...

I spent the first week reading something not related to this challenge. Yesterday I started reading my first book for the challenge, Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, and I finished it this morning!

If you are interested there is a full review at my blog Rhinoa's Ramblings and I hope to start the second book in the series next week. I am trying to balance my challenges so I can get through all of them, but I feel I might have taken on a bit too much!

I was worried I had picked too many books (the first six on the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series), but if I keep getting though them at this speed it will be fine :)

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At the End of Week One

I only have one book finished - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - I'll have to do better. It was a great, fun read, though. I'll have a short review on my blog later today or tomorrow.


I finished reading The Contrary Farmer at the end of week 1. I actually put off reading the last chapter just to make the book last a little bit longer, it was so good. It was a fantastic read: educational (from a farmer's point of view: that would be mine!), entertaining, eye opening.
More at Country Acres. I want The Contrary Farmer for my own library for reference!


Saturday, June 9, 2007

K list of Kucki

So I had some time today and figured out what books should be in my summer reading challenge. It was more difficult than I thought to find nine books with authors whose last name starts with K in my Mt. TBR, but that garantees I read some I would have left off otherwise. So here is the list:

1968 by Mark Kurlansky
Probability Moon by Nancy Kress
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The Briar King by Greg Keyes
English Passangers by Matthew Kneale
Das weissse Land der Seele by Olga Kharitidi
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Murder at the Manassas by Michael Kilian
Stormy Challenge by Jayne Ann Krentz

As you can see this makes quite a diverse reading and since all of them are in my house I assume I wanted to read them at one point or the other. Now seems like a good time.


Jill's Week Two Progress

Hi everyone! I finished three books last week: Looking for Alaska by John Green, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Black Flower by Howard Bahr. You can read my reviews on my LiveJournal page if you're interested.

This week, I am reading The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, and maybe, if I read super fast, I can start The Boleyn Inheritance by week's end!

Happy Reading!

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Friday, June 8, 2007


We left for a business trip (leaving early for a family emergency) and our packing got side-tracked. So here I am in Texas and True Grit is sitting somewhere in Illinois. I'll have to wait a week to finish and see how true the movie stayed to the book! And I only have a third left!

On the bright side--Confessions of a Pastor (also on my list) made it into the suitcase and I'm halfway through already. I'm looking forward to reviewing it on Book 'em Benj-O next week. So far it's been funny, engaging, challenging, and enraging, all at one time.

More to come,

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Starting the SRC!

My first book for the Summer Reading Challenge is The Sorcerers of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg. I started reading it earlier in the week and hope to end it sometime next week.

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finishing week 1, starting week 2

This week I read Marion Nestle's What to Eat, a book that I found fascinating, stuffed as it was with stuff about economics and politics and language. I also enjoyed a trio of mystery novels with plucky heroines. Sara Graves's Unhinged has a woman who is remodeling a 19th century house, and she does appear to be unhinged when it comes to questions of self-preservation. Miss Silver Deals with Death has not only a somewhat plucky young girl but also the splendid Miss Silver herself and a female master criminal. Made up to Kill is a Kelley Roos novel from the days when they knew what a plucky girl heroine really was. I have now begun Laura Levine's Shoes to Die For, so I will have run the gamut of plucky girl heroines of the 20th and 21st centuries.
For week two, I plan to read Bill Bryon's A Short History of Nearly Everything, and some more plucky girls mysteries. I've been posting photos of the places where I am reading over at my blog. Some folks did that last year and I found it intriguing. Not that the places where I have been reading are especially intriguing...

Week 1 Book

Well, today I began Pride and Prejudice. I would've read more if life hadn't gotten in the way. I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007


So it is Week One and I am finally figuring out my summer reading challenge. I am trying to get back into the Knit the Classics groove, read the books I purchased recently (or will purchase in the case of Harry Potter), and read the books that have been sitting on my shelves for far too long.

Here is my summer reading list!

Mansfield Park (Knit the Classics selection)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Knit the Classics selection)
Tender is the Night (Knit the Classics selection)
Galapagos (recently purchased for airplane reading)
Jurassic Park (recently purchased for airplane reading -- this is a reread for me)
The Great Train Robbery (recently purchased for airplane reading -- this is a reread for me)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I won't need too much motivation to read this!)
Smashed (on the shelf for too long)
The Devil in the White City (on the shelf for too long)
In Cold Blood (on the shelf for too long)


Week 1: Noir New York In Ninety-Nine

A vacation to Hawaii was just what Lily Quinn needed. As another semester ends, she still doesn't have enough credits to graduate from City College and dreads another summer of waitressing at the diner. Now that she's been dumped by her boyfriend, her rent on the apartment she shares with best friend Amy seems even more out of her reach. Sure, Hawaii means staying with her parents, who haven't been getting along since they bought the timeshare, but at least she'll get a decent tan.

When she gets back to New York, an NYPD detective named Spencer Patrick O'Malley is waiting in her apartment. Amy has disappeared, and O'Malley thinks Lily knows where she is. But to find out what happened to Amy, Lily and the detective will have to go back into her past, to find out why she might have disappeared -- and with whom.

Paullina Simons' A GIRL IN TIMES SQUARE is not always a fun read, but I was glued to its nearly 600 pages the entire time. The novel spirals outward from the life of Lily to her immediate and extended family, and to the career of Spencer, a former traffic cop who can't seem to file Amy's case away with the other "MPs." I definitely recommend this book to people who like their detective stories with a side dish of families in crisis.

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Week 1

Well this week I finished "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I enjoyed "The Secret Life of Bees." I'll review it later on my own blog when I have more time.

I also read "Somebody Else's Children: The Courts, The Kids, and the Struggle to Save America's Troubled Families." This wasn't on my list, but I'm adding it now. This was a great first-hand account by two journalists of the California Juvenile Court system. They personalized the stories of these kids, and tried to present a balanced picture. I'll write a full review of it eventually.

SO now on to "The Plague Tales" I think, unless something else grabs my attention first.

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i finished reading the Magic or Madness trilogy earlier this week. they were fascinating and quick reads. i devoured them all in two days. i will have my reviews up by tomorrow.
the next books on my list to read are Many Waters by madeleine l'engle and Witchery by amber benson. i might even sneak a couple of plays in there, too.

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Week One

For Becky's Book Reviews, I have read since last week:

The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Harmless by Dana Reinhardt
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (review not posted yet)
Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller
A Dog Needs A Bone by Audrey Wood
Letters From A Slave Girl by Mary Lyons (review not posted yet)
Letters From A Slave Boy by Mary Lyons (review not posted yet)
Gentle's Holler by Kerry Madden (review not posted yet)

For Becky's Christian Reviews I've read:

The Warrior by Francine Rivers
The Prince by Francine Rivers

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

I've just completed my first book of the SRC - better by Atul Gawande. An astute probe into improving success in the practice of medicine, both his own and in the field at-large. It's thoughtful, skillfully written, and a fun and fast read. My complete review is right here.


And we're off!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have started the first book for this challenge - very naughty as I have another challenge I should be finishing but I know I'll never get there as everything is very hectic at the mo and the and the last two books are ones which are difficult reads which I just don't have time to concentrate on at the moment. I've started reading The Book of Lost Things, I'm only one chapter in and I love it already - it now has high expectations to live up to!
I may go missing for a little while as I am moving house in the next 10 days so won't have internet connection for a good few weeks, I'll maksure I come on and update all my lists as soon as I can get back to a computer.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Week 1 - Kelly

Just finished the first book from my SRC list, Daphne Du Maurier's The House on the Strand. Although she is a very good author, this is not her best work in my opinion. I have posted a review here: The House on the Strand. I'm hoping for better luck with my other picks. Happy reading everyone!

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Week 1

I've already finished two of the books I mentioned for the challenge, The Tiger in the Well and The Tin Princess, both by Philip Pullman. I also read Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster for the fun of it. I'm going to start another SR challenge book Watership Down over the next couple of days. Since I've eliminated two books already and I just joined the Book Awards Challenge (begins in July), I am going to add The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy to be SRC list and add more from that challenge to this list as my readings continue. It's a good start to the month and the challenge, and I hope to keep it up for the rest of the summer. Cheers.

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Week 1 - Laura

Since the beginning of this month, I've been reading a book for the NonFiction5 Challenge: Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. It is really fantastic and very inspiring. I should finish in a couple of days and will include a link to my review in my next update.

Since I only picked 3 books for the Summer Reading Challenge, I have updated my list to show the other books I plan to read in June and July. That way I'll have something to say here each week!

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Introduction Kucki68


I am Karin in Germany and I need to decrease my Mt. TBR so I decided an additional challenge will help. I have decided to read 9 books by authors whose last name starts with a K (as does mine). I have not yet made a final decision on which ones, so no list just now.



Hello and Here's my SRC

I'm a librarian from the Pacific Northwest. I'll be reading some old books, new books, fiction and non-fiction.

My Challenge for this Summer is to read:

1. The elusive Pimpernel : a romance, by Baroness Orczy
2. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
3. Broken for You, by Stephanie Kallos
4. The raw shark texts, by Steven Hall
5. Memories of Philippine kitchens : stories and recipes from far and near, by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan ; photographs by Neal Oshima
6. Urban shaman, by C.E. Murphy
7. War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull
8. The Verneys : a true story of love, war, and madness in seventeenth-century England , by Adrian Tinniswood

I'm almost done with Elusive Pimpernel, and I'll get the first week post about it up shortly.
Hello again,

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Well, only Week 1 and already I am replacing one book on my list. I had the best hope of reading Natasha's Dance, for the last two summers, actually. It's not going to happen now. It's a pretty meaty cultural history of Russia. I'm really interested in this subject...but not now.
I had Atul Gawande's new book better on my library reserve list and it came in, so I picked it up today. I've already read about a quarter of it - how does he make a chapter on hand washing such a good read?
I've posted some more comments on it here.



Hi everyone! I'm Eva from A Striped Armchair. I haven't been able to begin reading yet (I graduated from college on the 2nd, and I've been moving since then), but I hope to start soon. In the meantime, I'll introduce my list. I decided to make the Summer Reading Challenge a sequel to the winter classics challenge. I love classics. :) Here's my list-I'm hoping to read all ten by the end of summer. We'll see!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Cecilia by Frances Burney

Emma by Jane Austen

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Candide by Voltaire

Cousin Bette by Honare de Balzac

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

The Scarlet Pimpernel by the Baroness Orzcy

The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

Dangerous Liasons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Meanwhile, I look forward to reading everyone else's entries!

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Vasilly's list, revised

I changed my list, so here it is.

The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (my review)
The Book Thief by Markus Zukas
The napping house by Audrey Wood
A Seperate Peace by John Knowles
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I am no one you know by Joyce Carol Oates
The Best Spiritual Writing 1998

alternates: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Translator by Leila Abouela

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1st book read- gods in Alabama

Here's my first book read for this challenge.


Week 1 - Wendy

I've finished my first book for this challenge - Slow Man, by J.M. Coetzee. My first Coetzee novel which I enjoyed (rated 4/5 or 8/10 - whichever rating scale you prefer).

If you'd like to read my review, you can see it here.

Next book for this challenge will be The Flea Palace, by Elif Shafak. I probably won't get to it for a few days.

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Monday, June 4, 2007

Jenn's update

Well, my weekend has been very busy, so I haven't had much time to read. I finished Prince Caspian and I am deep into The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (both by C.S. Lewis). I am only posting now because I am leaving on a road trip to California and will not be able to post this Friday. I plan to finish "Dawn Treader" before I leave, and I will bring The final two in the Chronicles of Narnia with me. Seeing as the long car ride will give me plenty of time to read, I will also be bringing a book titled, Guardians, which was written by one of my friends. (It hasn't been published yet, but we all have our fingers crossed), I am just borrowing her only copy to proof read and to give her tips and feedback. As always, happy reading, and good luck with the rest of week one and start of week two!!!

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Up to the challenge

Greetings from Manila in the Philippines!

My name is Roe and you can read more about me over at

This is my second time to join a reading challenge, the first one being the Spring Reading Thing 2007. I failed rather miserably. I finished one out of six on my list. Six books in two months was just a little too much for me, given that I had a lot of things happening at work and ministry. So, I will be careful not to overshoot this time.

Given that I have three whole months to accomplish my must-read list, I think two books a month is feasible. I am tempted to just put in three titles but since this is supposed to be a challenge, I will try live up to the meaning of the word.

Here is my list:

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
Ending the Search for Mr, Right by Michelle McKinney Hammond
A Good Year by Peter Mayle
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
The Creative Leader by Ed Young

Off and running on Week 1

Hello from the Pacific Northwest. Sherrill here. My challenge is to read those Harry Potter books. I did not jump on the band wagon when it was a big I'm a little behind, as per the norm in my life.

Besides my first time through the HP books, I have Mansfield Park, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Tender is the Night from the other book-blog I belong to.

I always read before going to sleep, but I'll need to step it up to get these books done before the end of the SRC.

Happy Week 1 to all!

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Scenes of Purpose and Drama - Dicken's Bleak House cont'd

What a dramatist Dickens is! I just read two terrific chapters in Bleak House that I have posted on at bookeywookey.


Hello! Pattie's Intro

Thanks for letting me play Summer Challenge with you all! I'm excited about finishing the spring books I didn't finish, and whittling down the Mt. TBR over the summer months.

Week 1 reading: PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern, My Heart's in the Lowlands by Liz Curtis Higgs, and A Seahorse in the Thames by Susan Meissner.

Summer TBR:
The first two Yada Yada Prayer books by Neta Jackson. The first one is a double-challenge book, shared with the 2007 TBR challenge. The second isn't on a challenge list, I don't think.

Others on the Summer TBR List, not currently on other lists:
Wishing on Dandelions by Mary De Muth
The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang
Wild Rose by Ruth Axell Morren
The Plight of Mattie Gordon by Jeanne Marie Leach
The Secret of Us by Roxanne Henke
What She Left for Me by Tracie Peterson

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Week One

It's Week One and I'm already done with two of my challenge books. It helps that they are juvenile fiction, meaning shorter books!

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney was one of those rare gems that you find once in a great while. In 1923, Eben, a young boy living on a farm in rural Missouri, is bored with his simple life, yearning to see the Seven Wonders of the World that he read about in his favorite book. He wants to see exotic places and learn about different people, something not in his future while living in Sassafras Springs, or so he thinks.

Eben's father challenges him to find his own seven wonders right in Sassafras Springs, promising him a train ticket to see relatives in Colorado if he meets the challenge in seven days. Eben sets out across all of the different farms, asking folks whether or not they have a Wonder for him. In the process he learns a lot about his neighbors and does find a few wonderous things in Sassafras Springs.

I really loved this book and the character of Eben. He reminded me so much of myself a couple of years ago, always wanting to leave the small town I was raised in for something more. Once I did leave, all I've wanted to do is go back, forgetting how many Wonders were in that town. I would recommend this book for young readers, ages 8-12 or so, and of course us adults that love these types of books!

Just this morning, I sat down with another wonderful book, finishing it in one sitting. The Lost Flower Children by Janet Taylor Lisle. I've read her books before, all being delightful and this one didn't disappoint.

Motherless Olivia and Nellie are heartbroken when their father drops them off to stay the summer with their Great-Aunt Minty. They want to spend time with him, but he just doesn't seem interested in them anymore. The younger Nellie, has attached herself to Olivia, looking to her as a mother and refusing attention from anyone else. Olivia is incredibly lonely, wanting to make friends and have fun, but too busy mothering Nellie.

When the girls find a story on Great-Aunt Minty's shelves based on the garden in the backyard, the girls set out to find the magic described in the book. As their search continues over the course of the summer, the girls change and grow, not only closer together, but also closer to others and learn to let go of each other.

Lisle definitely didn't disappoint with this short novel. I read the entire thing with a smile on my face and could feel the magic of the story. I loved the book and look forward to more from this author. Another great selection from the 8-12 category.

A Patchwork of Books

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Week 1

Well, I decided to continue reading Anne of Green Gables, which I am almost finished with, I would have already finished it, except I reached for "What a Girl Wants" so, I am working on two books at once...but they are both fast reads. Both books I have read before. The Anne of Green Gables series is one I haven't read in ages and thought it'd be fun to revert into my childhood for a lil' jaunt, and What a Girl Wants is the first of a series by Kristin Billerbeck, and I had read the first two when they first came out, but then I had to wait awhile to get the third, and so I decided to re-read the first two of the series, to have the story fresh in my mind before I start the third. So, I am less than 100 pages away from finishing Anne, and half way finished with What a Girl Wants. I am sure I will have a review of them for next week, and probably be onto my next selection... who knows what that will be, probably the following two books in both these series. Or maybe Mitford Years series #1...???

"Shannon's Book Addiction"

PS...I have also added the other two in the Ashley Stockingdale series to my list of books to read for this challenge, I thought about replacing two others with them, but thought "Heck, it's a challenge, right? So lets just pile 'em on!"

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Books Added to My List

I found three other books I hope to complete by the deadline:

  • Leading from Your Strengths by John Trent, Rodney Cox, & Eric Tooker
  • Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel
  • The Kingdom Focused Church by Gene Mims

In way of report for week 1, I'm about halfway through with True Grit. It seems that the movie industry tried to stay pretty close to this one. In that respect it's difficult to see the characters as described because Rooster Cogburn just looks like John Wayne.

More to come


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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hello, and I'm Starting

My name is Benjie. I blog at Loom & Wheel, and review at Book 'em Benj-O. I have a tumbling to be read pile, but here are the first picks for the summer:

  • (currently reading) True Grit by Charles Portis (recommended at The Rap Sheet)
  • Skin by Ted Dekker
  • The Great Giveaway by David Fitch
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (this is a re-read, before renting the new movie)

More to come as I dig into the pile.

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Janiejane's List and Introduction

Hi there! I'm Janiejane and I blog over at So Many Book Reviews.

I'm going to give the Summer Reading challenge a try, even though I am also studying for the bar exam. So here is my modest list:

The Plague Tales - Ann Benson
The Mermaid Chair - Sue Monk Kidd
Children of God - Mary Doria Russell
What We Keep - Elizabeth Berg
Durable Goods - Elizabeth Berg
The Book of Ruth - Jane Hamilton
Harry Potter 7 - J.K. Rowling
The Hours - Michael Cunningham

I will probably read more than that, but at least it is a goal!

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Week 1

So I must admit that I have been a very busy reader and I may need to add a couple more books to my list at the rate I am pushing through them.. I suppose it helps that I have been sick for the last two days.

I finished "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" lastnight. It was a very good book. Depressing but very good. It raised a couple of questions... Can one ever really beat the "boss"? The entire book is based on McMurphy trying to one up the Head Nurse for the sake of the weaker around him. However in this battle he sacrifices his strength to the others and in turn takes there weakness upon himself.. He may have helped others but he did not succeed in beating her. I rant a little more about this book on my book blog.

So with that under my belt I started reading "Animal Farm". It's a decent book so far and I anticipate having it done by tomorrow. It's only 170 pages so it's not really a big read. It amusing to me that this book is a smack in the face at Communism (which was it's original purpose) but how much it resembles our own society in a way. I haven't finished it yet so I won't rant to much until I have read the ending. However, I am at the middle and the Pigs essentially taking everything and making it look like it is for the good of the people, reminds me of some things I saw on the news the other night.

Hope everyone is enjoying their reading as much as I am!

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Greetings. I am Barbara from Nova Scotia. This challenge will be a good opportunity for me to add some quality to my reading. I have been lurking and reading from Knit the Classics, and I will continue to do so as well as getting through this list:
  1. The Divine Comedy by Dante (I was late starting the Inferno; only at CANTO XII, which was May's selection for KTC, but my intention is to read the complete Divine Comedy)
  2. The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon
  3. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  4. Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
  5. The Osterman Weekend by Robert Ludlum

If I get side tracked by any other book(s), as I so often do, I shall confess.

Happy Reading!


Friday, June 1, 2007

Jenn again

I wanted to post a list of a few books that I have realy enjoyed in the past:

1. Harry Potter (all of them)
2. A Great and Terrible Beauty, and Rebel Angels (a series by Libba Bray, the third, The Sweet Far Thing, I believe is due sometime in August? or maybe September?)
3. Anything by Michael Chrichton, especially Next, and Timeline
4. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
5. Anything by Jodi Picoult, especially My Sister's Keeper
6. Anything by Kazuo Ishiguro, especially Never Let Me Go



Jenn's week 1 list

Hello all,
My name is Jennifer, and I came across this blog while randomly searching for lists of good books! I decided to join, so here I am.
I have always wanted to read the whole Chronicles of Narnia series but I have never gotten around to it, so my first goal for the summer was to read all 7 books. I have completed the first three so this week I will be reading:

1. Prince Caspian
2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
3. The Silver Chair
4. The Last Battle

(All by C. S. Lewis of course.)
They are actually quite entertaining and quick reads too!

Happy Reading!

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time to read ;)

this week i am anxious to start the magic or madness trilogy. if it is as good as i have been told and they read fast i might get all of them read. i would also like to get a couple of the individual plays read. i have been anxious to start all week!


Patti's Week One

Well I stopped at the library on my lunch hour today and The Road by Cormac McCarthy was on the new book shelf so I picked that up. I had planned to start Silent Spring as my first challenge book but I think I will start both of them! I only have three weeks for The Road so I will make that my priority. Everyone has some really great books on their listss and I look forward to reading the forthcoming reviews.


Stephanie's List and Hello!

Hi all!! Yes, it's me!! Another challenge!! Well, I figure I have a lot of book club reads this summer, as well as a stack of books that I need to review. Figured this is a good way to get through some of them! Here's the list of books that I have chosen to read for this challenge:

  • Marked: A House of Night Novel (Book 1) - P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  • The Screaming Room - Thomas O'Callaghan
  • Death Dance: A Novel (Alexandra Cooper Mystery) - Linda Fairstein
  • Monster Island: A Zombie Novel - David Wellington
  • Death Match - Lincoln Child
  • The Coffee Trader - David Liss
  • The Years with Laura Diaz - Carlos Fuentes
  • Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  • The Fire Rose - Mercedes Lackey
  • Naked in Death - J. D. Robb

Yeah...I think that will keep me busy for awhile. Stop by and check out my blog and see me!!