Nightstand: June 2013

We are quickly approaching the end of yet another month and it’s time to check in with those fantastic ladies @ 5 Minutes for Books with a What’s On Your Nightstand? update.

If you’ve never participated before, it’s super easy – just answer some or all of the following questions:

What books have you read recently?

What are you reading right now?

What will you read next?

Basically what books are on your nightstand, either literally or figuratively.

Since we last talked nightstands, I read two books:
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  1. Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver – Finished May 29, 2013 – I put off reading this book for awhile, worried that it would be too depressing, given the way that book one ended, but I’m glad I finally picked it up. I think Oliver makes a few interesting decisions in her story telling that provide a less predictable plot and more realistic lives for her main characters. I’m interested to see what develops in the third book.
  2. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (June Book Club) – Finished June 12, 2013 – This is going to be one of those books that stays with me for a long time. The overall concept of this story is both fantastical and disturbingly plausible – the way any good dystopian kind of story should be. I think the author did a great job of fleshing out her story, providing a main character that was both realistic and likeable with plenty of side stories that had less to do with the world potentially ending and more to do with coming of age. This was a book that really sucked me in while I was reading it – I really liked it. – Full Review

Right now I’m reading The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart, which is the prequel to the incredibly popular Mysterious Benedict Society series. “Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he also has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments. Now he’s being sent to a new orphanage, where he will encounter vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances – and a mystery that could change his life forever. Luckily, he does have one thing in his favor: He’s a a genius.”   I’m only about 1/4 through the book (it is a pretty big book!) but so far enjoying it quite a bit. I think it holds up well as its own book so if you haven’t read the other books in the series, you could easily pick this one up first.

summerreading-buttonSo what’s on tap to read next? With Summer in full swing, I am holding my first annual Summer Reading Challenge. I decided to host a very informal reading challenge at my blog this summer, because why should our kids have all the fun? If you’d like to join in, you can link up your reading goals here. The challenge will run until September 1st and you can join in any time. I challenged myself to read 9 books this summer, preferably ones I already own.

The ones I’m most likely to read in the coming month are :

nightstand-june2013

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Book Club Pick for July) – “A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.”

The Selection by Kiera Cass – “For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – “Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach … Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby – young, handsome, fabulously rich – always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster – “This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment… It’s a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which “the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected.” In other words? The bitch had it coming.”

Or some combination of those… Or different books entirely – you never know with me!

What are you reading right now?

Do you like to make reading goals or just fly by the seat of your literary pants?

5 thoughts on “Nightstand: June 2013

  1. I don’t think I’ve read *any* of your pix! So many books, so little time 🙂 I did read Gatsby this month and loved it — anxious to see the movie now. And I’ve read the “original” Benedict Society book. I didn’t even know there was a prequel — I bet it’s good.

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  2. I was telling someone else I had never been drawn to read Gatsby before, but I might. I don’t think I’ve read any Fitzgerald before. The Selection sounds interesting.

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  3. Ooh, Gatsby! Great choice. I have read that one at least twenty times (I’m a high school English teacher who teaches that novel, so it’s actually less impressive than it sounds) and I always find something new in it.

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