Reading Challenge 2015

Now that the Tour de Fleece is over, I'm going to try to get back to my normal posting here on the blog.  I've done a LOT of reading over the past 3 weeks.  I'm down to 11 books left to read before the end of the year, and I've started The Small Rain by Madeline L'Engle already off the short list left, and I may start yet another book this week.  The few chapters I've read so far as a bit stilted in terms of the language (it was the author's first book and she was working in the theater when she wrote it and a lot of it reads like on-stage dialogue to me).

Some highlights from the last 3 weeks:
Iceland by Betsy Tobin.  LOVED this book - the author combines the myths of Freya and other Norse gods along with historical events like a volcanic eruption and the yearly Icelandic counsel of tribesmen.  Really nicely done and incredibly engaging.

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. I was already a fan of this author, so it didn't take much for me to like this book - I enjoy her writing style.  This book is set mostly on the island of Haiti, with some final chapters taking place in New Orleans.  Set at the end of the 18th century, it's a story of one of the plantation owners on Haiti, his wife and children, and several slaves.  The background are the slave revolts - which prompt the main characters' move to New Orleans eventually.  Tons of historical detail and information wrapped up into an engrossing story.

And a note.....Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.  This is a retelling of the Robin Hood tale with Will Scarlet as a girl masquerading as a boy.  Billed as a young adult read, I thought the premise was intruging, but I'm not really sure it would qualify as a good read for anyone under 17.  There are some topics and violence in it I don't think I'd want my middle school kid reading - FWIW.  

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. FINISHED.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.  FINISHED.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  FINISHED.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May. FINISHED.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. FINISHED.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day:  India Black by Carol Karr.  FINISHED.
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin. FINISHED.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.  FINISHED.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  FINISHED.
42. a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford. FINISHED.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. FINISHED.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker. FINISHED.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. FINISHED.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes. FINISHED.

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