Summer Reading Challenge


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

i did it!

i finished the fifth and final book of this challenge on sunday - so i could get started on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. i just now posted my review, so i'm officially done! woohoo!

i read five novels by Jodi Picoult. i liked them all, but in descending order, i'd rank them as follows:

  1. Nineteen Minutes
  2. Vanishing Acts
  3. The Tenth Circle
  4. Perfect Match
  5. Plain Truth
(the links are to my reviews.)

thanks for a great challenge, Amanda! it's been fun!

Labels: ,

Completion - 3M

COMPLETED the challenge!!
Reviews are below:

1. The Bone People by Keri Hulme (for BookAwards reading group)

2. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (for BookAwards reading group)

3. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (for BookAwards reading group)

4. The Sea by John Banville (personal TBR list)

Other books I read in June and July:
37. The Eyre Affair****
38. A Severe Mercy****
39. A Wrinkle in Time****
40. Number the Stars****
41. Wide Sargasso Sea ****
42. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell****1/2
43. New Testament*****
44. Coraline****1/2
45. The Bone People****
46. Wild Swans****1/2
47. The Sea**
48. The Door in the Wall****
49. Gathering Blue****1/2
50. Messenger****
51. The White Stag****
52. Stardust****
53. The Higher Power of Lucky****
54. The Blind Assassin ***1/2
55. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books***1/2
56. The God of Small Things

Labels: ,


Unfortunately I did not get through all of the books I set forth in the challenge. Although I am very proud of myself that I got through 5 of them at least. Usually I can't even get to one of them. I had a lot of fun and I can't wait to do this again sometime!

The Finished:

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
The Inferno - Dante Alighieri

The In Progress:

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin

The Unfinished:

The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton
Nightseer - Laurell K. Hamilton


Phoebe's Challenge Results

I had high hopes at the beginning of the challenge and June was great but July not so much.

Here is my original list:
1. The Life I Longed For by Maribeth Fischer
2. Peony in Love (Advanced Copy) by Lisa See
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
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

And here is what I ended up reading:
1. The Life I Longed For by Maribeth Fischer
2. The World to Come by Dora Horn
3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (reading group)
4. Hatchett by Gary Paulsen
5. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
6. Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern
7. The Keep by Jennifer Egen (reading group)
8. The Husband by Dean Koontz
9. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling (re-read)
10. Harry Potter& the Deadly Hallows by JK Rowling

I do have 60 pages left in "Peony in Love" (disappointed as compared to Snow Flower so it's been really hard for me to finish), half way through "Birth of Venus", and about 50 pages read of "On Beauty". I'm actually extending my personal deadline for the challenge to September 1.

Many great book ideas from this challenge and looking forward to Summer of Reading 2008!


Athena's completed challenge

Just finished rereading Twelfth Night. Here was my challenge list again and all read.

The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman
The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Rereading: Harry Potter Books 1-6 by J. K. Rowling for the HP Read Along
Rereading: Twelth Night by William Shakespeare

It's been a good couple of months. Looking forward to next summer as always.

Labels: , ,


Well I titled my last post as 2nd to last book, but it was really as my last because I read my bonus book rather than the last one in my challenge list. I didn't realize today was the last day of the challenge, so instead of trying to read that last book tonight, I'll just say that I was successful... because I was! I slated myself to read 11 books, plus 2 bonus or alternative books and I read 12 books altogether, 1 more than I promised myself. The titles I completed are:

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Gossamer by Lois Lowry
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney
Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Barons by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse
The Lost Flower Children by Janet Taylor Lisle
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

The only book I didn't get to was Inkspell by Cornelia Funke...simply because it was constantly checked out at work. Stupid Summer Reading Program! Hehe, just kidding! I'll get to it!

2nd to Last Book!

his series has its hook in me, that's for sure! This is the second installment in Scott Westerfeld's insanely popular series that began with Uglies. This one started off a little slower for me, but by the end the action and suspense were just as good as in the first novel.

Pretties continues to follow Tally Youngblood, a rebellious Ugly that was turned Pretty in the last novel. She is enjoying her new life as a Pretty, taking in all the party action and making friends with the very exclusive club, the Crims, when an old friend from her past life as an Ugly shows up. Tally is reminded of her trip to The Smoke and what she was actually doing in Pretty Town. Tally and Zane, a Crim, take the pills left by Croy and hope that they will be cured as the members of the Old Smoke had promised. When Zane has a bad reaction to the pill, Tally must find a way to get him to the New Smoke and the doctor that created the Cure.

In this novel, Tally wrestles with a lot of emotions including guilt, anger, and sadness. She feels horribly for betraying Shay, David, and the rest of The Smoke and wishes only to redeem herself. The only part of this book that I didn't care for was all the "pretty talk." It can get confusing and somewhat annoying when every other word is "bubbly." That alone is not a reason to avoid these books, as the plots are fantastic and very much original. I can't wait to read the last in the trilogy, Specials.

Last day of the challenge-Vasilly

Yah! I finally finished this challenge. I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This was my last book on my ever-changing list of books to read. I am so happy with this challenge. The rules were flexible and I could change what I wanted to read as often as I wanted to. The rule was just to read. I hope everyone had fun with this challenge.


Conclusion and Week 9

For Becky's Christian Reviews I've read two more books:

A Bride Most Begruding
The Measure of A Lady

For Becky's Book Reviews I've read
Diary of A Would-Be Princess

Week 9: 4 books
Week 8: 13 books
Week 7: 8 books
Week 6: 11 books
Week 5: 7 books
Week 4: 8 books
Week 3: 5 books
Week 2: 13 books
Week 1: 12 books

Overall, I'd say I've had a productive reading life.

Labels: ,

Finished! Dewey

My very first challenge, successfully completed. :) This was so much fun. I hope it's going to be an annual event.

Here's my review of Mockingbird, the biography of Harper Lee.

Here is an ongoing project connected to Wifework by Susan Maushart. Instead of the usual way of reading it and writing a review, I've been posting notes on each chapter. So far there are only notes on chapters 1 through 3, but if you're interested, you can keep coming back and joining in on the discussion. I think it'll take me weeks to get the notes for all 17 chapters posted. The link is to the category, so following the link will bring you to all the posts (so far) on the book.

Labels: , , ,


Whoops...forgot this ended tomorrow! I'm still working on my list, though.

The first two Yada Yada Prayer books by Neta Jackson. Actually read all six; book 7, the conclusion, is slated to be published this fall.
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
Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini
The Secret of Us by Roxanne Henke
What She Left for Me by Tracie Peterson

The other books will be read in August, since I thought that is when the challenge ended. I have read 81 books so far this year. Yay me!

Labels: ,

Monday, July 30, 2007

Final lists

Well, I didn't get all the books on my list read because I wound up changing my mind, adding new books that friends told me about, and of course totally forgot about HP 7 coming out! I still can't believe that one! But I am still happy with what I did get to read so far this summer :)

Here is the finally list of what I have read!

The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton
Rain Village - Carolyon Turgeon
Black Moon Rising - Damien Ashton
Wild Women's Weekend - Lynne Kaufman
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
HP and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling

Still on my nightstand and intend to read soon:

The Demon Awakes - R.A. Salvatore **currently reading
Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
Ophelia - Lisa Klein
Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian Twilight - Stephanie Meyer A Killer Stitch - Maggie Sefton Mistreal's Kiss - Laurell K. Hamilton


Mary Ann's last week

I don't think I'll make it but I gave it the ol' college try. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I fell in with some new writers.

Originally I was hoping to read:

1) Love of Impermanent Things (finished half and had to return it for the next reserve reader)
2) Life of Pi / Yann Martel
3) Riders of the Purple Sage / Zane Gray (didn't look so interesting after all)
4) something by Beth Nugent (couldn't get my hands on a copy)

but what really happened is:

1) Now is the Hour / Tom Spanbauer
2) The Hours / Michael Cunningham
3) Breakfast at Tiffany's / Truman Capote (my interest piqued by a fellow SRC reader)
4) Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
5) The Year of Magical Thinking / Joan Didion

Spanbaurer and Hempel opened up a whole new world of reading and writing to me, an epiphany of sorts. I do want to add Life of Pi for August reading anyway.

Read on, Friends!

Progress Continues

I've been out of town, so I am a couple of weeks out of the loop. However, I am still making progress. Here's from my original listing:

Leading from Your Strengths by John Trent, Rodney Cox, & Eric Tooker completed but not reviewed--I'm still struggling with how to review this book on leadership that didn't lead.
Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel completed & reviewed
The Kingdom Focused Church by Gene Mims currently reading (about halfway done)
True Grit by Charles Portis completed & reviewed
Skin by Ted Dekker currently reading (about 1/3 finished)
The Great Giveaway by David Fitch this one was recommended by a friend. I haven't found it in the bookstores yet.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson completed, reviewed, and watched the movie--a pleasant surprise (see the movie review here)

I've also had the opportunity to read and review a bonus book. So I'm happy with the progress so far.

Labels: , ,

I can't believe we are at the end of the Summer Reading Challenge. This week I finished The Devil Wears Prada and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, so I guess I have completed my challenge, though I will still be reading. The Summer Challenge adds to the fun!
Does this mean summer is over, though? No more Mai Tais on the deck, put away the tube tops, quit sleeping in, clean out the fireplace.... Sigh.

Ted's Challenge

Well, the Summer Reading Challenge is drawing to a close. I set myself a list of 10 books:

Bleak House
The Symbolic Species
Memory, Brain, and Belief
Beyond Black
All the Names
The Unconsoled
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
The Author of Himself
Elia Kazan

5 fiction, 3 non-fiction, 1 biography and 1 autobiography. But along the way I just couldn't keep my promise about The Symbolic Species or The Unconsoled which were replaced. Finally, I only had Memory, Brain and Belief remaining, but I have so much non-fiction reading I need to do for work that I just couldn't warm to it. So here's the way it turned out:

All The Names


Beyond Black

Bleak House

Elia Kazan

Memory, Brain, and Belief

The Author of Himself

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Seven Lies

The Yiddish Policemen's Union

I could have replaced Memory, Brain and Belief with Veronica and The Ice Palace, which I read during the challenge time, but I'd done enough replacing. It was a productive summer nonetheless - 9 books, over 4,000 pages, and 19 posts.

And now - off to the Summer Poetry Challenge over at my place - if you like poetry, or just want to expose yourself to some because you're not too sure, pay us a visit.

Thanks for hosting, Amanda! And it was a pleasure to read in all your company.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Different Seasons by Stephen King--Challenge completed

Title: Different Seasons
Author: Stephen King
ISBN: 0670272663
Publishers: The Viking Press/1982
Pages: 527
Format: Hardbound

I was never a fan of Stephen King. I read two of his books (I do not remember which) long time back and did not get back to him. I picked this book from one of the roadside book sellers as it was dirt cheap and looked good. I am so very glad that I bought it.

A general view is that novelist Stephen King is a horror writer. However, with ‘Different Seasons’ he shows that he can craft stories dealing with hope, love and redemption. This compilation has four "seasons": Hope Springs Eternal, Summer of Corruption, Fall from Innocence, and A Winter's Yarn, all of which vividly portray the human spirit. Sometimes collections like this can be hard to judge as one story may appeal to one audience and other appeals to a different one. Different Seasons should appeal to just about everyone.

For more, click here...

Labels: ,

Challenge complete

My original list was:

1) Bill Bryson---Notes from a Small Island

2) Brenda Joyce---Deadly Kisses
3) Salman Rushdie---Fury
4) Antonia Fraser---Marie Antoinette
5) Truman Capote---In Cold Blood

I finished

1) Deadly Kisses by Brenda Joyce

2) The Bafut Beagles by Gerald Durrell

3) Defy The Eagle by Lynn Bartlett

4) Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

5) Fury By Salman Rushdie

6) Thousand Years Of Good Prayers By Yiyun Li

7) Innocent Erendera By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

8) Mary Antoinette-the Journey by Antonia Fraser

9) Different Seasons by Stephen King

I could not read Capote otherwise I am satisfied with my list.

Do click on the above titles to read the book reviews. Do check out My Own Little Reading Room for more reviews.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Re-reading Harry Potter 1-6

That's what I've been doing through July. I'm 200 pages into Half-Blood Prince, ready to start the new one next week!

Labels: ,

Wendy's Book Review: Birds Without Wings

Original review on my blog.

"Man is a bird without wings," Iskander told them, "and a bird is a man without sorrows." -From Birds Without Wings, page 44-

"Well, the mystery is a shallow one, and not very difficult to fathom, Polyxeni Hanim. I clip their wings because most people don't want to buy a bird that might escape so that they have to sprout their own feathers in a flash and take off in hot pursuit. Most people couldn't be bothered, you see. People make odd birds; they don't fly much." -From Birds Without Wings, page 50-

For birds with wings nothing changes; they fly where they will and they know nothing about borders and their quarrels are very small. But we are always confined to earth, no matter how much we climb to the high places and flap our arms. Because we cannot fly, we are condemned to do things that do not agree with us. Because we have no wings we are pushed into struggles and abominations that we did not seek, and then, after all that, the years go by, the mountains are levelled, the valleys rise, the rivers are blocked by sand and the cliffs fall into the sea. -From Birds Without Wings, page 550-551-

This is not a novel which can be read quickly. It must be read slowly and contemplatively to fully enjoy its message. There were several times I almost stopped reading - but, because this was a challenge read, I kept plugging along. And I am glad I did. Louis De Bernieres' thoughtful novel - Birds Without Wings - is one that deserves to be read and considered in light of the history it is based on.

In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a small village in southwestern Anatolia is home to a fascinating cast of characters: Philothei, a beautiful Christian girl in love with Ibrahim - a Muslim; Drosoula, Philothei's homely best friend; Karatavak and Mehmetcik who play their bird whistles and pretend to fly; Rustem Bey and his beautiful mistress Leyla Hanim; The Dog - who lives among the dead and flashes his ghastly smile; Iskander the Potter; Velad the Fat; Ali the Snowbringer; and a real person from Turkish history, Mustafa Kemal, who is known for his famous statement: "I am not ordering you to attack, I am ordering you to die. By the time that we are dead, other units and other commanders will arrive to take our place." -From Birds Without Wings, page 314-

Told in alternating points of view over a span of more than twenty years, the novel is a series of glimpses into village life, the horrors of trench warfare, and the political and historical events which define the story. De Bernieres gives the reader insight into the villagers, using humor to soften the sometimes brutal reality. When war comes to Turkey, no one in the village is not spared the consequences.

I was most touched by the boyhood friendship between Karatavak (the blackbird) and Mehmetcik (the robin). One Muslim, the other Christian, they maintain their friendship despite being separated by war and geography. Karatavak's recollections of the battles in Gallipoli are shocking, brutal and filled with sorrow - and yet, he also shows the survival of humanity amid the tragedy.

The novel also explores the conflicts between Muslims and Christians, Turks and Greeks and Armenians, the working classes and those with education and money. De Bernieres seems to be making a statement about the pointless and arbitrary nature of war and conflict between countries and races.

The Greek Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos, submits a memorandum in which Greece lays claim to Thrace and to western Anatolia. he proposes a voluntary exchange of Turkish and Greek populations. The idea seems terribly sensible, as if it is a perfectly acceptable idea that the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals should be arbitrarily disrupted in the interests of nation-building. -From Birds Without Wings, page 401-

De Bernieres brings a strong sense of place to his novel - from the idyllic setting of the village of Eskibahce...

The town itself rose up to the left-hand side, occupying a concave hillside that was like a vast amphitheatre. In it our ancestors could have built the biggest theatre in the world, had the idea occurred to them, because down at the bottom was the meydan, which might have been a natural stage. In the meydan, and I swear this is not some mischievous traveller's tale, there was actually a family living with an asthmatic donkey in the hollowed trunk of an enormous tree. More than anything else this illustrates how quickly civilised standards tailed away the further you got from Smyrna. This was the kind of place wehre you might find beehives actually inside people's houses, and people making cattle food in their kitchens, consisting of cakes made of apricot and walnut leaves. -From Birds Without Wings, page 236-237- the impoverished streets of Galata...

Emaciated dogs squabbled with naked infants and pigs over heaps of rubbish, offal and excrement. Prostitutes, filthy, flaunting and inebriated, howled and catcalled from the doorways and balconies. Tattered chickens with bleeding rumps scratched in the gutters. A dead cat lay swelling on the cobbles, circled by crows. Rats preened their whiskers in the cornerways. Shutters and doors sagged from their rotting frames on broken hinges, roofs patched with packing case and cardboard caved gently in up on their beams, and dead-eyed drunks swerved along the straitened alleyways or slept stupefied in the gutters, their mouths working soundlessly, their chins flecked with spittle. "At least," thought Rustem Bey, "there is no one here who will endure the pains and troubles of growing old," but it was so grim that he found himself thinking that there was nothing to do with such a place, except burn it to the ground and start again. He gave thanks to God that it had not been his destiny to live in such a hell of desperation, filth and iniquity, but it did not yet strike him as paradoxical that he had come here in order to seek his happiness. -From Birds Without Wings, page 160-161-

This is not a novel which was easy to read - although I enjoyed the occasional humor and insights. At over 550 pages in length with very small print, it took me more than a week to get through. In the end, I was left with a good sense of the history of Turkey in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. I'm glad I took the time to read this fascinating novel.

Recommended. Rated: 4/5

Labels: ,

Wendy's Introduction and Challenge List

I have completed this challenge today: July 28, 2007!

Hello everyone - I'm excited to be here. You can also find me at Caribousmom (my blog) as well as at A Novel Challenge and some of the other challenge blogs (Dystopian blog, NYT Most Notable Blog, and Something About Me blog).

I almost didn't do this one - I'm a little "over challenged" right now! BUT, Amanda is being very generous with the I think I can pull this off.

My goal is to read some of my book group reads (which I've been struggling to keep up with lately). I have two months - I'm choosing four books. Here they are:

1. The Flea Palace, by Elif Shafak (completed June 15, 2007)
2. Slow Man, by J.M. Coetzee (completed June 4, 2007)
3. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (completed July 13, 2007)
4. Birds Without Wings, by Louis de Bernieres (completed July 28, 2007)

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 27, 2007

coming down the home stretch

i finished the fourth of my five Jodi Picoult novels and have started on the fifth! i just might make it through this challenge!

my review of The Tenth Circle is here.

Labels: ,

Finished Harry P - one to go!

I've finished Harry Potter!!! Yay. And enjoyed it thoroughly.

This also means I've finished number 9 of the 10 books on my list! We'll see what happens in the next few days with that last one. I've only done little posts on Harry here and here, but I would be glad for some interaction to start a dialogue.


Final week

I had to take some time off from reading to focus on the bar exam, but I still did okay with the challenge:

The Plague Tales - Ann Benson (read half and gave up)
The Mermaid Chair - Sue Monk Kidd (finished and reviewed)
Children of God - Mary Doria Russell (finished, but not reviewed yet)
What We Keep - Elizabeth Berg (finished and reviewed)
Durable Goods - Elizabeth Berg (finished and reviewed)
The Book of Ruth - Jane Hamilton (read half and gave up)
Harry Potter 7 - J.K. Rowling (finished, but not reviewed yet)
The Hours - Michael Cunningham removed from list due to time constraints

Not bad. I'm ready for another challenge!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ms. Jane Austin

I am trying to squeeze in one more book before the Challenge ends. I am currently listening/reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. I find that it's easier to actually listen to her writing than to actually read it. Although if I pick up the book right after listening to the CD, I find I understand her a little better. I admit, the only reason I picked up this book was because I wanted to see if it was the same as the movie. I like finding the differences and similarities between the written and film versions.


Week 8, Becky's Book Reviews

I have read quite a lot since last Thursday though not everything has been reviewed for my site Becky's Book Reviews yet.

Salome (not posted yet)
Leepike Ridge
Tasting the Sky
Rising Star of Rusty Nail (not posted yet)
Love Is A Many Trousered Thing
Exploits of a Reluctant Hero
At the Firefly Gate
Grief Girl
The Super Secret Society of Heroes: The Great Cape Rescue
All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten (not posted yet)
So Many Books, So Little Time (not posted yet)

For Becky's Christian Reviews

Fair Is The Rose
Whence Came A Prince

Labels: ,

Ted's new arrival

I just couldn't help it. I had to make another list change because my copy of Harry Potter arrived. There is no way I am going to finish Symbolic Species anyway, so Harry replaces it and then after that I have just the book on memory to read. I'm really down to the wire!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

almost finished -- Dewey

I've finished one more book, but I haven't posted my review of it yet. It's written, though, and I'll come back here when it's posted.

I'm also in the middle of reading my last book, Wifework by Susan Maushart, but I'm posting notes about each chapter as I read it. So far, only one chapters' notes have been posted, but more will come. If you're interested, click the title link there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mary Ann's week 6&7

Finished up 'The Hours' and am glad I added this to my list. Michael Cunningham's writing is elegant and minimal. I was thinking that both his descriptions and characters flow like unrolling a bolt of sheer rainbow-colored silk -- one beautiful fold and color after another. I will definitely re-read this.
I've been unable to locate any Beth Nugent books at the local libraries or bookstores (older and out of print) but will replace her with Amy Hempel.
Dog days here in Minnesota, suited for staying in and reading.

Gautami reads! Almost finished.

Title: Marie Antoinette-The Journey
Author: Antonia Fraser
Pages: 544
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0385489498
Publisher: Anchor Books/2002

Genre: Non-fiction/Historical

Antonia Fraser's book is historically fascinating, well written and researched. It also is a very moving and unforgettable story. One will never think of Marie Antoinette again without feeling acutely the last sad and proud moments of her life. One can also intensely feel how tragically and wrongly, history has judged her. The tragedy of her life is a haunting one that does not go away.

For more, read Marie Antoinette-The Journey By Antonia Fraser on my blog, My Own Little Reading Room.



Wow! All kinds of people are finished! My summer reading challenge was just reading and posting about two books a week, so I won't be finished till it's finished, but I am enjoying it. My two books this week are Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (reread) and Grave Apparel by Ellen Byerum. I'll read the new Harry Potter when my kids are through with it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

three down, two to go

i've just finished the third of the five Jodi Picoult novels on my SRC list - Vanishing Acts. i've posted a brief review on my book blog.

before that, i strayed from the list and read Stephenie Meyer's New Moon so i could discuss it with my daughters. you can read about that on my book blog too.

now i'm going to try to finish at least one of the two remaining books on my list (Plain Truth and The Tenth Circle) before August 1!

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

All done!

I finished my last book on Friday, July 20th! Here are the last three books I read for the challenge - links are to my reviews:

Richard Rayner. The Cloud Sketcher. Historical Fiction 4*/5 (great)
Matt Ruff. Fool on the Hill. Fantasy 3*/5 (good)
Kate Pepper. Five Days in Summer. Mystery 3*/5 (good)

Thanks for this challenge. I had fun participating in it.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Three books left!

Two Down From the Previous List

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Animal Farm - George Orwell

The Updated List

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton
Nightseer - Laurell K. Hamilton
The Inferno - Dante Alighieri

For a reviews, see my reading blog.


Athena's Week 7

Been another busy week so I only managed to reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (spoilers as usual). I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows under an hour ago. No idea if I'll make a blog post about it yet as I'm still take a breather after years with these books. Now, all I have to read for the SRC (from my original list) is rereading Shakespeare's Twelth Night. Have a good last full week of July everyone.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Almost Done!

Well I finished two more challenge selections this week and that leaves only two more left. I'm getting close! My reviews of the latest two books:

Gossamer by Lois Lowry


Among the Barons by Margaret Peterson Haddix

are here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vasilly-Week 7

I have been a very bad girl. I haven't left a post here in weeks. I've changed my list (again). I just lost interest in the books I had planned on reading for this challenge. In the last week I have read:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
and now I'm reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Last week after a three year absence, I suddenly realized I missed Mr. Potter, so now I'm almost finished in re-reading the series. Since my last post about a month ago, I've also read:
Chocolat by Joanne Harris - such a great book
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux

I think the last book I will read for this challenge will be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Labels: ,

Week 7, Becky's Book Reviews

I have really gotten behind in reviewing books for my website. But I have read quite a few this week:

Bad Tickets by Kathleen O'Dell
All the Other Things I Really Wanted To Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek the Next Generation
Better Than Life by Daniel Pennac
Cassie Was here by Caroline Hickey (review to be written and posted sometime)
Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz (review to be written and posted sometime)
AngelMonster by Veronica Bennett (review to be written and posted sometime)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (review to be written and posted sometime)

I've only read one book for Becky's Christian Reviews this week:

Thorn in My Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

soleil's reads

i have finished Play: Journal of Plays for the challenge. almost all of the plays were really good. my review is here. and tonight i finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince just in time for the book release friday which has accomplished the personal goal of re-reading all of them before the 21st, although i did not include them on my challenge list.

Labels: ,

raidergirl3 update

I've finished my list. Yay, me! I didn't pick too big a list, because I have some other reading challenges going on, and I tried not to overlap too much with my books.
My books were:

  1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Kayes
  2. The Translator by Leila Aboulela
  3. Good Intentions by Joy Fielding
  4. Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

All are linked to my reviews. I liked Arthur & George the best. It's the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji and how they met and the terrible crime that connected them. Part mystery, part biography, the tale is based on a real life event. Very readable.

Good Intentions would be a great beach read; kind of chick lit, as the women get empowered and deal with the idiot men in their lives.

I had a great time; this challenge was great and it was nice to meet y'all. See you at the next challenge.

Labels: ,

Finished Another One.

I guess I am not doing quite as badly as I thought I was. I forgot about the two books I read from the original list I posted here. Now that the Half Blood Prince is done, I am going to start The Harlequin! My Swap Partner got it for me. -=does a dance=-

Two Down From the Previous List

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Animal Farm - George Orwell

The Updated List

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton
Nightseer - Laurell K. Hamilton
The Inferno - Dante Alighieri

For a reviews, see my reading blog.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Challenge Completed!

I finished my 12th and last book for this challenge: Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow. Please visit my blog if you would like to read my review.

The Summer Reading Challenge was my first book challenge, and I enjoyed it immensely. One of my goals was to clean out my TBR pile in a purple basket that used to be a sleeping spot for my cat. Well, the basket is now empty, and my cat couldn't be happier.

Thanks to Amanda for hosting this challenge, and have a wonderful summer of reading!

Happy Reading!

Labels: ,

The Fall after The Wall - Seven Lies - James Lasdun

An East German boy, Stefan, falls in love with a beautiful actress. He has a history of posing as a poet in order to gain acceptance. He did so to gain the approval of his mother's arty friends and does so again to gain the love of the actress. They escape to New York prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1980s New York, he trades stocks and his life falls apart and he wants to commit suicide (you will find most of this out in the first 20 pages of James Lasdun's Seven Lies, so I don't think I'm spoiling anything).

All in all, I was taken enough by the story to keep reading, even though the style of the writing held me at a frustrating distance. You can read my full thoughts here.


5th Book

Book # 5 - The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly


Monday, July 16, 2007

Ted's List

Well, it's not that I'm not making good progress - but, having looked over The Unconsoled, there is just no way I'm
a) in the mood and
b) going to finish it before the new Harry Potter arrives.


So I've substituted Seven Lies by James Lasdun for Unconsoled and if Mr. Potter gets here soon enough. I may add it!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Country called literature ( The Author of Himself, The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki)

Polish born in 1920, Marcel Reich-Ranicki was raised and educated in Germany. The Nazis deported him back to Poland just prior to the 1938 invasion. There, although his parents and brother were murdered, he and his wife survived the war, first in the Warsaw Ghetto and later, sheltered by some decent Poles who felt it was the small way they could defy Hitler and the Germans. Out of loyalty to the Russian army who liberated them, Reich-Ranicki lived in Communist Poland, first doing intelligence work and then writing literary criticism on German literature. In the late 1950s he once again left nearly everything behind, defecting to Germany where he built a career as a powerful, popular reviewer of German literature in the leading German magazines, newspapers, and later on television. He is now serving the role of an elder statesman of letters.

Ranicki writes how when he was denied by everyplace he could have called home, it was literature that helped him survive. This is a memoir of an impressive life and the role literature played in it. You can read my complete thoughts here.


Week 6 - Laura

I've just read my last two books for this challenge: Janet Evanovich's High Five and Hot Six. I'm participating in several challenges so I only read three books for this one, all from the Stephanie Plum series. I enjoyed them all and found them perfect summer reading.

Here's my review of these last two. Best of luck to everyone in completing this challenge!

Labels: , ,

Only one more book to go!

I am very excited to have one book left for this challenge: Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow (which I am reading now for this challenge and the Book Awards Reading Challenge).

Last week, I read Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler. Overall, I was disappointed with this book. You're welcome to read my review if you're interested.

Have a great week!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

One more book down...

I finished The Thirteenth Tale a few days ago.
I'm having a hard time keeping up with all my challenges. Here's my post.


Week 6 - Athena

For week 6, I reread Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (spoilers therein) and read Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. Going to reread HP6 this week, and possibly Beowulf and reread Twelth Night. I'm getting busier in real life, but my SR list is going along well.

Labels: ,

Mary Ann's Weeks 5/6

Moving right along slowly. I've finished Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and am nearly finished with The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Time to soon move on to a little brighter topic I think.

Week 6

I've recently, through all the challenges I'm involved in, trying to catch up on the books that have seemed most popular within the YA, Child, and Adult lit world. Books I feel I'm the last to read. The sci-fi series by Chris Westerfeld, beginning with Uglies, is definitely one of those last to get to reads. I started on Thursday evening with Uglies and was done with this chunk of a book by Friday afternoon. I loved it and can absolutely see why everyone else does as well. It was unique, incredibly thrilling, and emotional in a way that teens and adults can definitely connect to.

Tally is Ugly. She will be Ugly until she turns 16, when the government of the futuristic world she lives in will turn her Pretty. And Tally is completely alright with that. She feels like she is the last of her friends that has not yet turned 16 and is thrilled to be Pretty in just a few short weeks. It is the only life she has ever known until she meets Shay. Shay is also 15 and sharing the same birthday as Tally, will be made Pretty at the same time, unless she runs away. Shay does not want to be made Pretty, as she believes that life as an Ugly would be more pure and free than to be made into a person that is exactly the same as everyone else. She tries to convince Tally to run away with her, to a village called the Smoke, where other Uglies live their lives in peace, without surgeries. When Tally refuses and is then asked to betray Shay and inform the leaders of the city as to where she has gone or never be made into a Pretty, Tally needs to decide what is more important: friendship or becoming what she has always dreamed of.

This book was fantastic and of a completely different level than anything I've read in a very long time. The underlying metaphors about being unique or becoming like everyone else are very strong, but in a way that is not blatant or in-your-face. Westerfeld created characters that are just like teens today, with strong feelings, interest in the opposite sex, and the yearning to be popular, but allowed the plot to take these characters into realms previously unknown, just as teenagers often face the unknown in their daily lives, often choosing to take the path that everyone else takes. I can certainly see how everyone seems to love this series and I cannot wait to get to the 2nd in the trilogy, Pretties. Thanks to all of the bloggers that reviewed this book and drew me to it. I knew I would enjoy it, but didn't know how much!

Pheelya - week 6

I've fallen a little behind on my reading. I am currently working on The Demon Awakes but I also checked out The Thirteenth Tale from the library and got so engrossed in that one! Oh, So many books so little time!!

1. The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
2. Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton
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 **up next
10. Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
11. Ophelia - Lisa Klein
12. Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
13. Wild Women's Weekend - Lynne Kaufman

Added:Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee **added after list was created

Labels: ,

Friday, July 13, 2007

Gautami's Reviews

Two more books may be added to my list

1)A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li

2)Innocent Erendira by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Chk for those reviews on my Reading Room


Week 6 - Wendy

I've completed my 3rd book for this challenge - Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. A classic - simple yet tragic. To read my review of this book you may go here.

I rated it 5/5 (or 10/10 depending on the rating scale you prefer).

Next up for me, and my final book for this challenge is: Birds Without Wings, by Louis De Bernieres.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Finished! I miss it already. Read my review at my blog, Reading is my Superpower.

Benjie's Bonus Book

As promised, I've finished a bonus book--Bill Engvall's Just a Guy. I've reviewed it here, and would recommend it for a good laugh especially to those "guys" out there.

Up next: Skin.

Labels: ,

Week 6 - Kelly

I finished up The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and posted a review yesterday. I was very impressed. This is probably one of my favorite books of all time.

Labels: ,

Week 6

For Becky's Book Reviews:

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Star Trek by Dave Marinaccio
Beige by Cecil Castellucci
Broken Moon by Kim Antieau
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher
Hitler's Canary by Sandi Toksvig
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary by Candace Fleming

For Becky's Christian Reviews:

by Cathy Marie Hake
What Is A Healthy Church by Mark Dever
Sarah My Beloved by Sharlene MacLaren

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

week 6

i finally finished reading Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle. The review is here.

i will be re-reading The Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of book seven releasing next week and some more plays for week 6.

Labels: ,

Playing Catch-Up

Catching up from vacation, and not sure which week we're on right now? Five or six? I'll tag both, I guess.

*Wishing on Dandelions by Mary E. De Muth. Excellent book, difficult subject matter (teen recovering from child abuse)

*The Plight of Mattie Gordon by Jeanne Marie Leach. A Christian historical western.

*The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer. Hollywood a la Sex and the City

*Straight Up by Lisa Samson. Just amazing. I can't even begin to describe.

*How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life by Mameve Medwed. This was a great read, from the B&N summer clearance shelf. Intellectual chick lit, if there is such a thing.

*The Yada Yada Prayer Group and The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down, by Neta Jackson. I'm planning to read all six in the series in the next couple of weeks, thanks to and the local library.

Labels: , ,

40s noir in Alaska - is it kosher? (The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon)

I've finished Michael Chabon's noir mystery, post-divorce love story, comdey, historical revisionist novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union. It is 400 pages, fast-moving and funny. Chabon mines the incongruous marriage of noir, Alaska, and Yiddish-speaking Jewish culture for every comic possibility and he does create characters I cared about. See my complete review here.


Monday, July 9, 2007


I went on vacation with every intention of reading on the way there, during and on the way back. I didn't read one book. I am seriously behind on my goals. I need to play some serious catch-up.


Week 5 catch-up / Start of Week 6

Last Friday I finished Aphrodite by Russell Andrews, a good biomedical thriller.

My current challenge reads:
  • The Cloud Sketcher by Richard Rayner
  • Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff

Labels: , ,

Ghosts of Ourselves - Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

I've never read Hilary Mantel before and I found Beyond Black a smart, entertaining, provocative and fast moving.

A professional medium, Alison, seeks to help others via what she hears from the voices of the dead. However, she is haunted not merely by these voices but by her own private ghosts who have imprisoned her in a relationship with her life that is no longer to her liking. My complete thoughts are here, but in short, Mantel is an observant and delightfully funny writer who I look forward to reading more of!


Ted's Summer Reading - Saramago, Mantel and Chabon

Saramago, Mantel, and Chabon - sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?

I've returned from a trip to Ireland having completed two more books - Jose Saramago's All the Names, see my thoughts here, and Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black. I've also read about half of Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union, which I hope to post on by the end of this week. I'm interested to catch up on how everyone's reading is progressing!


Gautami's Reviews

Finished reading Fury By Salman Rushdie. Another down from the list!

Click the link for the review.

Fury opens with Solanka living alone in a Manhattan apartment, and he roams the streets, raging silently over the glitziness and falsehoods, present-day society offers up as a reason to work, a reason to deny the truth. Solanka has come to America to 'erase' his earlier self ...........

For more click here...

Two more left from my list here...

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 8, 2007


this play was a riveting and disturbing read. robots are being manufactured to replace workers so that humans can live in a utopia free of labor. the robots are fashioned after humans. they look like them, speak like them, barely distingushable from them except they have no feelings, no desires. they never smile. they don't think for themselves. they are stronger and smarter but do as they are told. a few years down the road the experiment goes awry and the robots hate the humans for their inferiority. they revolt and kill all of the humans except one. they they start to die out and have no way to manufacture themselves. they turn to their lone human for aid but can he help them?

this play was written after WWI. R.U.R. stands for Rossum's Universal Robots and it was this play that cemented the use of the word robot in our language.

Labels: , ,

another good play

i just finished reading Anna in the Tropics, a play by Nilo Cruz. it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. and wow, it is really good. the dialogue is so lyrical and beautiful. it was a very quick and engaging read. lovely and tragic and heartbreaking. it is set in 1929 in tampa, florida in a cigar factory. this factory holds to the old ways of employing a lector to read stories to them while they roll and bunch cigars all day. the story opens with the arrival of a new lector. he reads Tolstoy's Anna Karenina to them. and in doing so passions are stirred and events triggered. each of the characters relate and allude to one of the characters in AK and the love triangle plays out with a devastating and surprising ending. this is a recommended reading.

one of my favorite parts is when marela is walking with juan julian. i really like the way she describes moments and how in the present she is. she is joyous and light-hearted.

MARELA: Oh, I don't want this night to end. I could stay up all night. I don't want to sleep. We sleep too much. We spend more than a third of our lives sleeping, sleeping. Darkness descends and everything is a mystery to us. We don't know if trees really walk at night, as I've heard in legends. We don't erally know if statues and spirits dance in the wqaures unbeknown to us. And how would we ever know if we sleep? We slep and sleep. . .

JUAN JULIAN: Oh, I want to have what you drank. What did you drink?

MARELA: Oh, I didn't drink. I just feel gladness. Papa was so happy. I like to seee him that way. And Mama waas so full of joy. She's the one who drinks a little too much.

JUAN JULIAN: It's good to drink a little once in a while.

MARELA: Yes, we deserve a little drink. We work hard enough. We deserve all that life offers us, and life is made of little moments. Little moments as small as violet petals. Little moments I could save up in a jar and keep forever, like now talking to you.

JUAN JULIAN: So you are a collector. And what sort of things do you like to collect besides a night like this one.

MARELA: The first time you read and the day you walked me to the pharmacy.

JUAN JULIAN: So I'm in one of your jars.

MARELA: In many.

Labels: , ,

Jill's Week Four/Week Five

Hi, everyone! I finished two books last week - Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend by Christopher Moore (review) and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (review). Two different yet enjoyable books.

I am currently reading Anne Tyler's Ladder of Years, and I hope to start on my last book of this challenge, Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow, later this week.

Happy Reading!
=) Jill

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Week 5 - Athena

This week, I read Diary of Anne Frank and A Visit to William Blake's Inn by Nancy Willard. I just finished rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (spoilers as usual). This means I only have to reread the two Harry Potter books and Twelfth Night as well as reading Book 7 to finish the challenge. This week, I plan to read Bridge to Terabithia as well.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 6, 2007

Benjie's Week Five

I've finished Katherine Paterson's award-winning Bridge to Terabithia. Read the review here. Now I'm ready to watch the video of the recent adaptation. I'm expecting to be disappointed because of the great writing in the book. I've also been disappointed in the previews of the movie which depict more of a fantasy picture made from a book that is more of a coming of age story.

Coming up, a review of the bonus book my children gave me for Father's Day and Ted Dekker's Skin falls into the queue.

Labels: ,

and onto the plays

so last night i got back on track with my summer reading challenge reads. i read seven one-act plays by wendy wasserstein. for the most part i didn't like most of them. i was really looking forward to reading Waiting for Philip Glass but i was sorely disappointed. my two favorites are Medea and Boy Meets Girl.
Boy Meets Girl seems to be a satire on modern life. It begins with a narration that ends by saying, "What follows is a Love Story in One Act and Six Scenes between two of these sabra professionalites: Dan and Molly."
Everything is very specific down to the description of the characters:

Molly is a 33 year old S.S.D.B.G. (Single/Successful/Desperate/Bachelor/Girl) waiting for a discriminating Root Canal Man to invite her for an unfulfilling weekend at his summer share in the Hamptons.

Dan is a single 32 year old creative director at an advertising firm. Every night he eats poached salmon on kiwi fruit with a bunch of artists. And every night Dan vows that one day he will give up his job to become an artist.

They meet, fall in love, refuse to admit they are in love, take turns having crises of commitment and ultimately get married.

"Dan and Molly become bi-island (Manhattan and Long), with bi-pointe three children (a girl, a boy and an au pair), and bi-career."

Medea is a comic retelling of Medea. The actors are self-aware and present themselves as much. The acting style of the chorus and Medea is supposed to be traditional Greek which juxtaposes nicely the silliness of their lines. Jason contrasts their serious with his conversational tones. A deux ex machina in the form of an angel appears at the end. A nice spoof on classical theatre. One of the best lines of the play is from the messenger "Lady Teazle wishes you to know that Lady Windermere and Lady Bracknell are inviting you and Lady The-Scottish-Play to tea with her cousin Ernest, if he's not visiting Mr. Bunberry." The messenger is in the habit of giving his messages to the wrong people. All in all, this was a very delightful sketch.

I have started reading Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends (A Final Evening with the Illuminati) but am finding it difficult to get into. It has its comic moments but it is still a rough read.

Labels: ,

Gautami's Reviews

I finished two books from my list and two others which were not on the list. Posted reviews on my Reading Room blog.

1) Deadly Kisses By Brenda Joyce
2) The Bafut Beagles by Gerald Durrell
3) Defy the Eagles By Lynn Hartlett
4) Notes from a Small Island By Bill Bryson


Week 5

Well, I have no finishes to report for this week, I am trying to get through Drowning Ruth. It has gotten better from the report I gave last week, I am almost to page 200 now, but although it is good, I keep setting it down...I don't know why. I have been sorta busy lately maybe that is the cause of it taking me so long, but anyway, I will just say "The book is good, it's just going slow!" And that is it for me this week! Hope you all have a great week!

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Week 5: Dewey's progress

I finished The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood last week (week 4) but only just today posted my review here.

I'm halfway through my books for this challenge, with the challenge more than half over, so I need to get caught up! Unfortunately, I have library books that have other people waiting for them, which I need to read first.

Labels: , ,

Week 5

For Becky's Book Reviews I have read and reviewed:

Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
My Very First Book of Animal Sounds by Eric Carle
First Light by Rebecca Stead

For Becky's Christian Reviews I have read and reviewed:

Loving Liza Jane by Sharlene MacLaren
Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, Janelle Bradshaw
Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake

Labels: ,

Pheelya - week 5

Wild Women's Weekend is finished and posted on my book blog.

1. The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
2. Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton
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 **up next
10. Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
11. Ophelia - Lisa Klein
12. Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
13. Wild Women's Weekend - Lynne Kaufman

Added:Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee **added after list was created

Labels: ,

Heidijane progress

Progress is slow at the moment, as I'm reading furiously in various challenges, however, I did manage to plough my way through The House of Doctor Dee, although I wasn't particularly impressed with it. Hopefully things will pick up soon!


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

alison's progress

i'm making slow progress . . . life just keeps interfering with my reading time, it seems!

i spent week 4 reading Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes - the first of the five Picoult novels that comprise my list - and i really liked it. (you can read my review here.) week 5 will be spent on Perfect Match.

Labels: , ,

Two more books finished!

I finished the books Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World's Most Dangerous Waters by Derek Lundy. Both were very good.

My current challenge reads: Aphrodite by Derek Lundy and The Cloud Sketcher by Richard Rayner.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Bone People by 3M

Here are all my June reads, but the only book officially on this challenge was The Bone People. Click on the titles to see the reviews.

37. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde ****
38. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken ****
39. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle ****
40. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry ****1/2
41. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys ****
42. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke ****1/2
43. New Testament *****
44. Coraline by Neil Gaiman ****1/2
45. The Bone People by Keri Hulme ****
46. Wild Swans by Jung Chang ****1/2

Labels: , , , ,

gautami's reads

I finished Reading The Bafut Beagles by Gerald Durrell today. It was not on my list though. Consider another down!

This book chronicles Gerald Durrell's animal collecting expedition to the British Cameroon, in the late 1940's. It has interesting characters, human and animal....

To continue reading the review, click The Bafut Beagles.


Week 4

Another delightful children's book from the shelves at our library! This is probably one of the best books I've read this year and I believe it's the first in a series, which, of course, puts a big smile on my face. I love series books and I know this one can make it big.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart follows 4 children, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance, that are all orphans of a sort. The children participate in taking a series of tests to determine if they are right for very mysterious positions that requiring "gifted children looking for special opportunities." Once chosen for this society (and only these 4 are chosen), they begin learning more about what their leader, Mr. Benedict wishes for them to accomplish.The children set off to Nomansan Island, where a very peculiar school resides, under the leadership of a Mr. Curtain. The children must go undercover to the school and find out just how and why Mr. Curtain is planning to take over the world, as well as foil the plan. The children get into all sorts of scrapes and mishaps along the way, but always stick together, as true families do.

This book really is going to get big in the children's fiction world. I loved this book and stayed up quite late just to finish it all. The characters are fantastic and deep and extremely well contrived and the plot is unique and fast-moving. Definitely a page turner. If your child enjoys Harry Potter, the Spiderwick Chronicles, or A Series of Unfortunate Events, he or she will love this book. It's clean in language and a wonderful selection for bedtime reading. I really did enjoy this book and hope more people will pick it up in the future.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Week 4 The Book Thief

Progress Report:
1. The elusive Pimpernel : a romance, by Baroness Orczy
2. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (book review here)
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
Enchanted by Orson Scott Card Re-read because I needed to

I'm starting War for the Oaks next because I haven't read it yet and I've intended to for years. I'll say at the beginning that the magic-music connection makes me think of Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier (which, of course, was written years after War for the Oaks.

Week 4 Update - Patti/CasaPearl

I finished Silent Spring by Rachel Carson which makes two down and eight to go for my list. I had hoped to have finished a southern reading book during June as well but that was not to be. I'm going to start the first of those this week - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.

Week 4 catchup / Start of Week 5

Hi! Last week I finished Sweet Thames by Matthew Kneale, an historical fiction set in London, 1849, during a cholera epidemic. My review is here.

I'm currently reading three more challenge books: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Aphrodite by Russell Andrews, and Godforsaken Sea by Derek Lundy.

Labels: , ,

Benjie - Week 4

I'm this close to finishing Bridge to Terabithia. It is better than I remember it. I plan to rent the new movie as soon as I'm finished reading (the review to follow will probably lambast the movie in favor of the book). I've also completed my reading of Leading from Your Strengths. It is a small volume based on a leadership seminar. I can see how the seminar might be helpful, but without it the book lacks some luster. I'm still debating on whether or not to post a review.

In other news, I'm also approaching completion of a bonus book (a gift for father's day). More on that when the review is done.

More to come.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 1, 2007

distracted. . .

i have been distracted from my list by re-reading harry potter in anticipation of the book seven release. i just finished book 4 and am on to book 5. i also hope to finish many waters this week as it has been neglected since i have taken up harry potter. that's really all i can hope to accomplish this week because i cannot rest until i finish OOTP and HBP. then next week i will plow through the remainder of my challenge reads.
happy first week of july. my how fast this summer is passing.

Labels: ,

Laura - Weeks 4 & 5

Well, I've been hard at work on Vanity Fair since week 3, although I was not reading it for this challenge. Here's my review for anyone interested.

For the Summer Reading Challenge, I'm reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (books 4-6), and need to read two in July. But first I need to take on a couple of other challenge reads. This week I'll be reading Alice Sebold's Lucky. It looks like a short book so I will probably at least start Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man as well. Then maybe it will be time for Stephanie again ...

Happy reading everyone!

Labels: , ,

Pheelya - Week 4

Danse Macabre is finished and reviewed on my blog. I have also finished Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting but haven't reviewed it yet.

1. The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl
2. Danse Macabre - Laurell K. Hamilton
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 **up next

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee **added after list was created

Labels: ,

Athena's Week 3 and 4

Happy Canada Day and early 4th of July! Onto the books, I did not blog in Week 3 because all I did was rereadHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling. I was much more productive in the fourth week as I reread Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (review has spoilers), read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, finished Best American Travel Writing 2006, and started reading The Diary of Anne Frank and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I'll have more books to read this month as the Book Awards Challenge begins today. Have a good first week of July, everyone.

Labels: , ,