Summer Reading Challenge Results

 


Summer Reading Challenge Results: Seriously, Sarah?

I would like to thank Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life for hosting a twice a year reading challenge. Last winter was my first participation, in which I I read everything within a month! It took two months this time, but I liked it because it pushed me to read books that I had meant to read or books that had been on my “I would like to read one day… maybe…” list outside of my comfort zone!

Here are the final results!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey (The Women of the Real Downton Abbey #2)

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

I was definitely disappointed in how much it overlapped with the first book in the series. If I could give half stars, it would be 2.5 because it wasn’t terrible, but there wasn’t anything earth shattering in the WWII research, of course, and there wasn’t even much detail on the clothes, manners, or things that I found fascinating in the first book.
Those things were mentioned, but inconsistently. It felt like if the author needed to fill some space, she’d throw it in there, instead of focusing on it.

Pages: 368


10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before. (Just go to a shelf and pick a book based on the cover, the title, whatever you want!)

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

Lessons from Madame Chic

I picked it up as a book that I had never heard of before. It seemed interesting. While it would be really easy to make fun of, I still didn’t mind it terribly. I did think it was interesting to read about an entire society of people who live with “capsule” wardrobes. [I’ve never been to France and cannot vouch for the validity of any of the book.] I hardly have one, but my closet has been whittled down due  to the fact that I’ve lost weight, so a lot of clothes went upstairs because they were too big and don’t need that many different outfits anymore, anyway.

Pages: 283


10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you’ve had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)

The Black Album

The Black Album

I purchased this novel with the short story at the end back in 2010 or 2011. I really bought it for the short story. I read that. So, for the summer reading challenge of reading something that’s been on my shelf for 2 years, I chose this novel.

Pages: 320


10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.

We Were Liars

we were liars

I have heard a lot about this novel. It won a Goodreads award, of course. I haven’t read anything similar like it in a long time, so I did enjoy it. I was a bit (and still confused) why the main character called her friends “The Liars” from the very first, but I’m sure that’s a spoiler. I read the Kindle version fairly quickly. It was short, interesting, and very trendy.

Pages: 227


15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.

Don’t Try to Find Me

don't try to find me

Decent coming of age/young adult novel. Don’t buy the publisher’s advertising. Nothing like Gone Girl/Reconstructing Amelia. Not innovative at all. This novel did fulfill a summer reading challenge requirement, which was a plus, since it was an easy read.

Pages:  384


15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)

Ruth
Ruth

Why so many sad stories for the Victorians? Hardy? Wharton? Stop it. I liked this right up till the end. Ruth, I love you.

Pages: 499


15 points: Read a book with “light” or “dark” in the title. (Or “lightness” or “darkness.”)

Where All Light Tends to Go

Where All Light Tends to GoI’m really glad that I took a chance on this novel. I did need something with “light” in the title for a reading challenge, but when Audible recommended it, it seemed to be the perfect Southern Lit book for me. I can’t wait to read more from David Joy in the future.
I have to say that the novel seemed all too heartbreakingly realistic. Joy did a great job writing beautifully about the messy side of life in the rural South.

Pages: 260


20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title.

Jamacia Inn

jamacia inn

Ehh, this has to be my least favorite du Maurier novel, and I love her novels. It was predictable and kind of cheesy.

Pages: 320


20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.

A Civil Contract

a civil contract

This novel, by an author that I obviously like, was read for the Summer Reading Challenge to fulfill the category for a novel with an animal on the cover. I listened to the version with the horse on it!

a civil contract animal cover

Pages: 320


25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1)

maisie dobbs #1

Solid 3.5, so I’m rounding up, since I rate everything a 3!
I put it down a few times, so it wasn’t as compelling as I would have liked, but I’m kind of burned out on books that take place during the World Wars.
The “mystery” wasn’t as much of a mystery as I would have liked, but I think it introduced readers to the main character and her background, nicely. I intend on reading the next book in the series!

Pages: 309 / At least 11 novels in the series


25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.

The Way We Live Now

the way we live now

Sorry, Trollope you could have cut this book by at least 1/4. However, I still liked it.

Pages: 1024


30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it’s worth the most points!)

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

I chose this novel because it has alliteration in the title. It was the shortest one I could find – I am kicking myself for reading Dear Daughter before the start of the challenge! It was funny and fit. Not to spoil a book that came out 20 years ago, but I don’t think the ending was very realistic, but I’m not a professionally trained counselor.

Pages: 369


 

Now, I’ll have to read books from my other challenges and maybe a few of my fun books from my Summer Reading list… or even some from my Spring Reading list!

 

 

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  • yay congrats on finishing! glad to hear you liked we were liars, it’s on my list. where all light tends to go sounds interesting, i went to add it to my list and it was there already haha. i’ll move it up!

    • You will probably think Americans are even weirder after you read Where All Light Tends to Go! Hahahaha. We Were Liars was a nice, quick, read. I want to read a few more YA novels now!

  • Oooh, Don’t Try to Find Me sounds up my alley, & the singer, Tori Amos, has a song called Jamaica Inn, based on that book. I have always wanted to read it!:)

    • Don’t Try to Find Me was pretty good! I listened to it and there were several narrators. When I go on Goodreads, it shows that Jamaica Inn is du Mauriers’s second most popular novel, after Rebecca, but I was surprised. I mean, I can see how it was good, but I did “figure it out,” which is always a turn off for me. I think My Cousin Rachel is my other favorite novel by her, other than Rebecca, but I really like classic Gothic novels.
      If you want to read it, I would recommend it!

  • Logan Cantrell

    I am definitely going to check out a couple f these books! You and I have very similar taste. I love reading historical fiction and chick lit! The Downton Abbey book looks really good!

    • Yeah, I liked the Downtown Abbey books (that was the second one). The first one was actually a little more interesting. I didn’t realize that the first Lord Carnarvan helped find King Tut’s tomb and all this crazy stuff!

  • I still have two books to read to finish this challenge, but I’ve been distracted by juggling other challenges too. I enjoy book challenges for the same reason that you stated – I like that they are incentives to push me to read books I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t or to stretch my horizons. Congrats on finishing!

    • Exactly! I have been stretching my horizons with all of these challenges! My mom suggested the Maisie Dobbs series to me, but I wasn’t actually going to read it until I needed a book from a series… then it turned out I loved it and I’m reading the second book right now! They push me to not waste time, either. Like, if I have a few minutes, I don’t just watch a few minutes of TV or stare at the wall in a waiting room – I read!

  • Oooo Summer Book Bingo! I’ll have to write that down to participate next year. Challenges are perfect because they make me read more, faster, and books that I meant to read, but were putting off or even find new ones outside of my comfort zone! I’ve learned that I like more than I thought that I did!

  • I hope you’ll like a few!

  • I fail fail failed at the reading challenge. I did read quite a lot of books the last few months but none of the right ones. lol. I’m more distracted by what’s on sale on Amazon these days.

  • Woohoo!!!! Congrats. 🙂 I’m so glad you read Picture Perfect for the alliterative title; Jodi Picoult is my FAVORITE author, and this one is near the top of my list. Granted, I read it in high school, so I’m curious to see how I would feel about the ending if I read it now. 😉 Thanks for playing along!