Spring officially came and went and with that, the Spring Reading Thing officially ended three days ago. I challenged myself to read 10 books this Spring and didn’t quite finish that goal, reading only 7 1/2 books.
The books I read were:
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (April Book Club Pick) – “Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.” (Finished April 16th – full review -)
- Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple (May Book Club Pick) “Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.” (Finished May 9th – full review -)
- The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (June Book Club Pick) “On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life–the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.” (Finished June 12th – Full Review -)
- The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen – Book two in a promising middle reader series, I’m very anxious to read this one. “A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen’s blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE! Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?” (Finished May 18th)
- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver – Book two in the delirium series. I have to admit, I’ve been putting this book off because the end of book one is majorly depressing, but I am definitely anxious to see where the series will go from here and I think this reading challenge is a great excuse to force myself to soldier on. Here’s a description of book two but there are spoilers : “After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the “cure” – an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love – but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.” (Finished May 29th)
- Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman – I actually started reading this already but since my current book club pick, Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling is a bit long and time consuming, I’ve temporarily set it aside so that I can hopefully finish on time. I’ll hopefully be reading this one again ASAP as I’m really enjoying it. “When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” French parenting isn’t a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren’t doing anything special. Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.” (Finished April 10 – full review)
- Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster – I kind of adore Jen Lancaster these days and I’m looking forward to diving into this book. “Think Jen Lancaster was always “like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?” (Jennifer Coburn) Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn’t know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life-and wardrobe-before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.” (Finished April 30)
I ended up abandoning The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling which my book club was reading in March. It was very slow going and had basically no characters that you would want to root for at all. When I didn’t finish in time for the meeting and then heard everyone else’s thoughts about the book, I opted to spare myself the pain and misery of finishing it.
I am currently reading The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart and very much enjoying it but had no chances of finishing it before the end of the Spring – it’s a lengthy book and summertime has seemed to result in less reading time rather than more so far. Boo!
The other book on my list was Vixen by Jillian Larkin which I’m still hoping to read, possibly this summer.
For more on my summer reading goals, check out my Summer Reading Challenge.