It’s time for the next check-in for the Summer Book Challenge! I feel like I’ve been overdosing on reading lately (as if that’s really possible), but with the lack of quality programming on television and the miserable heat outside, what’s a girl to do?? (smile) I’ve really enjoyed this challenge so far and especially all of the great recommendations I’ve gotten out of it (double win)! The only thing I have left is to read two books with antonyms in the title…which is surprisingly more difficult to accomplish than one might think. I’m hoping to get some good ideas from the check-ins this month, but if you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!
10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born. – A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engles (256 pages, 2.5 stars).
I saw this book on someone else’s check-in last month and thought I’d give it a try (it worked for multiple categories which was a plus). Until that point, I had never heard of this book, although I quickly learned this put me in the minority! Apparently it’s a very well-known and beloved children’s book. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like it. I understand the allegory, etc. but I found it difficult to really enjoy. This was especially surprising given my affinity for sci-fi/fantasy books, but there you have it. I guess that again puts me in the minority. Oh well, I’ve nothing against the book as a children’s story, it just wasn’t for me.
10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore. – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (1st book in the Mortal Instruments series) (496 pages, 4 stars).
The thing about jumping on bandwagons, especially in the YA series genre, is that you never quite know what you’re going to get. Some of these series are great and some are, well, not so great. (I think it’s best I refrain from using examples here.) However, after some back and forth, I decided to give the Mortal Instruments a go. The first book, City of Bones, just became a movie not long ago I believe. I found the book easy to read and compelling enough that I finished it (and the next book in the series) rather quickly. It’s not Harry Potter, but it’s certainly better than a few other supernatural series out there…
15 points: Read a book on he NYT Best Sellers List when you begin reading it. – Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts (2nd book in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy) (353 pages, 2.5 stars).
This is one of those series that is actually a bit painful to read in parts (it can be a little corny in places), but I’m determined to finish it now that I’ve started it. The story follows three related witches and their significant others who must defeat a family foe who has been after the family’s magical powers for centuries. It’s light reading, has some cute romance plots, and is set in Ireland. You can take it from there (smile).
15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge. – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (755 pages, 3 stars).
I started this book in May and just managed to make myself finish it. A classic example of that whole bandwagon thing not working out very well. I understand that this, again, puts me in the definite minority, but the writing style for this book was just a bit much for me. I eventually started skipping paragraphs of descriptions because it became so redundant. Some books flow, some books take work. This one took work. I do feel like I accomplished something by finishing the book though (smile).
20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title. – The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston (411 pages, 4 stars).
This is one of those books that starts off in present day and then flips back to portions of the protagonist’s life throughout the story. Those types of books can really go either way, but I thought this one pulled it off really well. The book tells the story of Bess, a young witch who is left on her own after her family dies of the plague and her mother is hanged for witchcraft. Bess escapes but falls into the hands of a warlock. She eventually escapes him, but he proceeds to chase after her through time. So you get snippets of various points in history, which is fun. It’s an easy read and historical – win/win!
25 points: Read a book by a blogger. – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (384 pages, 4.5 stars).
This is a super amusing semi-autobiographical novel by The Bloggess. I’ve been a fan of her blog for some time, but never found her book in stock at the library when I thought to look for it. This time round I got lucky and had a great time reading it. The best part of this book is that you’re just never quite sure what’s coming up next or which parts are fact or fiction (smile).
Previous Points: 75
This Month: 95
Total Points: 170