2017 Reading Challenge: Week of June 19th, 2017



I finished The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg over the weekend.  I enjoyed this one about the life of the author, George Sand.  While I'm by no means an expert on Sand's life, it appeared that the author did a lot of research off primary source documents to develop her portrait of Sand and her contemporaries in the world of the French art circle - writers, actors, painters, musicians - and it felt like a "real" telling of Sand's life.  The last third of the book felt a little rushed to me.  I think I wanted more information on her relationship with Frederic Chopin.  Their relationship is mentioned in almost every historical reference I've seen on Sand, but it didn't seem to have that same weight in the book.   A nicely created world of early 19th century Paris as the backdrop for the story is a nice bonus. 

This week, I'm reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  This was a NY Times bestseller and an Oprah's reading list choice as well, so it comes with some high recommendations.  The basic plot line is a story about one woman's escape from slavery in Georgia, north towards what she thinks will be a better life.  I'm about 25% into the book, so I've got a ways to go.  The author has a deft usage of language and it's certainly a compelling story.  I'll wait to give a fuller summary once I've finished.  (Note:  I wouldn't recommend this for teens and younger - it's got a fair amount of intense violence and it's also fairly graphically described.)


The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016: The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel.
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view): Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce.
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E":  Longbourn by Jo Baker.
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017:  Olive Kitteredge by Elizabeth Strout. 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title: The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht.
8. A book written by a person of color: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list:
10. A dual-timeline novel: The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor.
11. A category from another challenge: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.
12. A book based on a myth:  Summerlong by Peter Beagle.
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character: The Ornatrix by Kate Howard.
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations:  Prairie Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before:  The Secrets of Wishtide, by Kate Saunders.
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list (
link)
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure: The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg.
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books (
link)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle):  I Shall Be Near to You by Erin McCabe.
33. A magical realism novel: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee (
link)
37. A book you choose randomly: A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell.
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator: His Bloody Project by Graeme McRae Burnet.
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold):  Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next" (
link)
45. A book with a one-word title: Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
46. A time travel novel:  Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon.
47. A past suggestion that didn't win (
link)
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) : Beyond the Woods; Fairy Tales Retold by Paula Guran.
52. A book set in a fictional location

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