Book It – #ReadWomen

I adore December. Working for a University, I get 2 weeks off for the Christmas holiday.  It gives me lots of time to curl up on the couch with a good book, or three. This December is also #ReadWomen month, so I tried to stick with female authors this month. My exceptions were that Anthony Doerr book, which I actually finished in November, but not before my Book It post, and some Christmas stories.

reading-challenge

This is the final update for my 2015 Reading List from PopSugar, and I’m so glad I decided to give it a try.  The books and authors I’ve discovered this year have been great.

finished-reading

All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was my To Read or Not to Read Book Club book for November.  I finished it before the end of month discussion, but not before it was time to post my November reading update.

This book won the Pulitzer prize, and I certainly understand why. It was like reading poetry.  The story was beautifully lyrical, and I loved how all of the stories came together in the end.  I wasn’t happy with the endings that some of the characters got, but the book still gave me closure. And I think those endings I didn’t like reflected the reality of WWII, during which the book is set.

This book is a long one, but I still recommend that you give it a try.

Checked off the list:

  • A book with more than 500 pages
  • A book set in a different country – this book takes place mostly in France and Germany during WWII
  • A book a friend recommended – thanks book club!
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
  • A book with antonyms in the title
  • A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit – part of this book takes place in Paris, in particular at the Museum of Natural History, and I do love a good museum.
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before

faerie-bornFaerie Born

Faerie Born is the 1st book in the Azarian Chronicles by Alice Kasey. Kasey is a local author, whom I had the chance to meet during a signing at my local bookstore.

Since she is a new local author, I decided to do a full review of her book. You can read it here.

Checked off the list:

  • A book published this year
  • A book with non-human characters
  • A book by a female author
  • A trilogy (book #1)
  • A book with a love triangle
  • A book set in high school
  • A book with magic
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanI’m still working my way through re-reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. This month was the 3rd book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Being the 3rd book in the series, it follows Harry during his 3rd year at Hogwarts as he learns about Sirius Black – the only prisoner to ever escape Azkaban – and in turn, more about his past.

My favorite character in this book is probably Professor Lupin.  I feel like he’s the first father figure in the series who really cares about Harry without having some ulterior motive.

Checked off the list:

  • A book that became a movie – the 3rd of 7
  • A book with non-human characters – hippogryphs and werewolves, oh my!
  • A book by a female author
  • A book set in a different country
  • A book from your childhood
  • A book with magic
  • A banned book

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is Mindy Kaling’s 1st book. It’s been on my TBR List for ages, so I’m glad to have gotten around to reading it. In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, we follow Mindy through her childhood and adolescence as the nerdy kid, through her time at Dartmouth, living in New York with friends after college, creating her first play, and moving into her time writing for The Office.  It’s a lot of stuff, but it’s written in small bits. Short essays that you can take in easily.  I promise you’ll enjoy it, just be prepared not to be offended to easily.

Checked off the list:

  • A funny book
  • A book by a female author
  • A memoir

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a novel, by Annabel Pitcher, about a family that is falling apart.  It’s told from the perspective of 10-year-old Jamie. He has a sister, Jas, who was a twin until 5 years ago, when her sister died in a terrorist attack.  The book begins just as the problems this caused for the family come to a head, and follows Jamie as he tries to reconcile the things he has been told with the reality of his world.

I don’t want to give away the plot of the novel, but found it to be very on-topic with current events.  My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece has one of those endings that make you cry (I hope it’s not just me), but that is also perfect.  I think you should read it.

Checked off the list:

  • A book by a female author
  • A book set in a different country (England)
  • A book with a love triangle (important to the plot, but not a main part of the story)
  • A book that made you cry
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before

A Quest of Heroes

A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice is the first book in her Sorcerer’s Ring series, which currently contains 17 books.  A Quest of Heroes has been on my TBR list for ages, so I’m glad I got around to reading it as part of #readwomen this month. It’s fast paced and fun, with a cliffhanger ending.  I’m dying to know what happens in the next book. The digital copy is currently available for free on the kindle.

Checked off the list:

  • A book by a female author
  • A book set in a different country (or in this case, a different world)
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  • A book you can finish in a day
  • A book with a love triangle
  • A book with magic
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before
  • A book you own, but have never read

Life & Adventures of Santa Claus

Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is a lovely little children’s book by L. Frank Baum.  I’ve read this book before, but it’s been a while, so it was nice to pick it up for Christmas-time.  It’s a very different version of Santa’s life than any you’ve probably read before.

Checked off the list:

  • A book that became a movie (1985 stop-motion Christmas special)
  • A book with nonhuman characters
  • A book set in a different country
  • A book more than 100 years old (originally published in 1902)
  • A book you can finish in a day
  • A book from your childhood
  • A book with magic
  • A book set during Christmas

A Kidnapped Santa Claus

A Kidnapped Santa Claus is a short story about Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, based on his work Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.  It’s a quick read, telling of the kidnapping of Santa by the daemons of selfishness, envy, hatred, malice, and repentance.

Checked off the list:

  • A book with nonhuman characters
  • A book set in a different country
  • A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list – If I’d known it was so short, I’d have added it much sooner.
  • A book more than 100 years old – A Kidnapped Santa Claus was first published in the December 1904 edition of The Delineator, a women’s magazine.
  • A book you can finish in a day – more like half an hour
  • A book with magic
  • A book set during Christmas

Stone Mattress

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales is a book of short stories by Margaret Atwood.  I have to say that I enjoyed these short stories by Atwood much more than I enjoyed her recent book, The Heart Goes Last.  The first three tales in the book are related to each other, and when I realized that the 3rd story was also related to the first two, I thought all of the stories in the book might be related.  Instead, the last 6 stories stand alone.  My favorite story in the collection was Lucus Naturae, a tale about a girl who became something more.

Checked off the list:

  • A book with a number in the title
  • A book by a female author
  • A book of short stories
  • A book by an author you love that you haven’t read yet

The Book of DragonsThe Book of Dragons

The Book of Dragons is a book of short stories by Edith Nesbit. As you might have guessed from the title, each of the stories in the book features at least one dragon.  This book, originally published in 1900, would make a great book to read to children, but was enjoyable as a break from heavier tomes.  I also realized about halfway through the first story that I’d read The Book of Dragons before. It was still enjoyable enough to read again.

Checked off the list:

  • A book with nonhuman characters
  • A book by a female author
  • A book of short stories
  • A book set in a different country
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  • A book more than 100 years old
  • A book from your childhood
  • A book with magic

 

currently-reading

Other Books I’m Actively Reading

The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler
The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

Books I’ve Put Aside and Plan to Finish Later

To Read:

I have a rather large number of books in my TBR pile right now. A few of them include:

  • Mort by Terry Pratchett – I recently won a beautiful copy of this book, and I’m looking forward to reading it.
  • Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum – I have my mom’s collection of Oz books, but recently picked up a graphic novel edition of Road to Oz, which I’m looking forward to reading.
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