I’ve been meaning to do an update on my reading challenge since March. This spring really got away from me. I’m not quite keeping up with the pace needed to finish the challenge, but I have added 9 more books to the list.
- Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (Next book in a series you started)
This book took most of February to get through. Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive is not good for quick, light reading. In this third book, it took me a little while to figure out who was who again, since I haven’t re-read the first two books since they came out. Once I remembered who the characters were and what was going on, I enjoyed it greatly. Sanderson holds first place as my “Favorite Living Author” and he never disappoints.
- Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs (A book that’s published in 2018)
Patricia Briggs is probably second place in the “Favorite Living Author” rank. She usually has a book come out right around my birthday in March, so it’s a perfect time for me to grab the next one. This book focuses on her werewolf pair, Anna and Charles, and some troubles close to home. There was an absolutely fantastic twist that I didn’t see coming at the end of the book that made my jaw drop. I don’t think this is the best of her books, but I enjoyed it all the same.
- Luciana by Erin Teagan (A book you borrowed)
I borrowed this book from my oldest daughter. Luciana is American Girl’s “Girl of the Year” for 2018. My daughter recently earned enough money to buy her own doll and the doll also came with a book. Luciana Vega dreams of being one of the first astronauts on Mars and sees a first step towards that when she goes to NASA Space Camp. While this was a quick and simple read for me, I thought it was a great book for girls in our day and age, and especially a great one for my daughter, who’s been all about space since she was 5-years-old.
- Dangers in the Desert by Diamond Wilson (A book by a local author)
“Local” author is a little bit of a stretch, since Diamond Wilson doesn’t technically live here anymore, but Diamond and I grew up together, sharing classes, basketball practices, sleepovers, and all sorts of other adventures. Dangers in the Desert is her second book in the Quest for the Queen series, as a group of kids try to unravel the mystery of a missing piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The story bounces between the cold of Montana and dry heat of the Middle East and Diamond’s great descriptions give you a great taste of both of those places.
- Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser (A book with a weather element in the title)
I’m a long time lover of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House on the Prairie books. I’ve read the series countless times and I’m planning on visiting some Little House Museums during our upcoming vacation (you have no idea how excited I am about that!!!). Prairie Fires is a well-researched and detailed true account of Laura’s life and the creation of the Little House books. In it, you see what parts of Laura’s account were true, and what areas were fudged or tweaked around (or left out altogether). There’s a lot of focus on Laura’s daughter Rose and her influence on the books as well. Even though this was technically a non-fiction, long lovers of the series may find it very emotional.
- The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (A book set in a country that fascinates you)
New Zealand has long been a place of fascination for me, but I was rather frustrated when it came to finding a book set in that country. It seemed that I could not find many books available through my library that were set in New Zealand. I did come across this one, which is far more of a fantasy than anything else. A simple, short read, it painted an interesting picture of a small New Zealand community and it’s special relationship with whales.
- Life in a Medieval Village by Frances & Joseph Gies (A book you meant to read in 2017)
Okay, to be totally honest, I meant to read this all the way back in 2015 or so. Frances and Joseph Gies have several books out on Medieval life that I’ve intended to read for research purposes for quite a while. Though I occasionally got bogged down by names and dates, the overall information in the book was interesting and gave me a few good nuggets to remember and consider for worlds in my fantasy
- Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg (Nordic Noir)
I’ll tell you right off that Nordic Noir is not a genre I will be returning to anytime soon. While it was an interesting story, there were aspects in the storytelling that I didn’t care for. In it, a woman named Smilla goes on a mission to find out the truth behind the death of a neighbor boy. The story has a lot of twists and time jumps, so pay attention as you go.
- A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa (A book by an author of a different ethnicity)
A month or so ago, Amazon gave away a number of e-books that had been translated into English. One of them, A River in Darkness, is an autobiography of a man who spent most of his life living in North Korea before escaping. The book was a heartbreaking and sobering account of a brutal life that many North Koreans lived. It was hard to read and hard to fathom just how terrible it all was. With all of the talk in the news about North Korea, the timing on this was very interesting. While not an easy read, I highly recommend it.
So that’s 13 books down for the Reading Challenge. I’m open for other book ideas in the challenge, so comment below if you have any recommendations for me.