12 Months of Reading

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Last January, I took part in Anne's first reading challenge. The challenge consists of 12 prompts to help you choose books that you might not necessarily read. I enjoyed it so much that I'm doing it again this year. Here's how last year's challenge went:

A book  you've been meaning to read. 

"The Doorbell Rang" by Rex Stout // Finished January 17 It took me a while to come to grips with Stout's style, but I came around! This was a great mystery. I love Wolfe's "rules" and Archie's way of describing things - especially women. I'll be back for more!

A book published this year.

"By Your Side" Candace Calvert // Finished March 2 This book with a nurse and a cop bulging his muscles on the cover was the last thing I expected to make me so eager to read again! Calvert writes a story that is easy to invest yourself in. She reminded me that with God there is always hope and that home is a blessing from Him. Full review here.

A book in a genre you don't typically read.

"The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde // Finished April 20 This book is a genre that I pretty much NEVER read. That being said, I really enjoyed it and I'm going to be reading more of Fforde's "Thursday Next" series sometime! There is some language, but it is few and far between. Even though the story is strange and a little hard to follow, I couldn't put it down!

A book from your childhood.

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry // Finished April 16 I first read this book with my friend Terry back when we were in 5th or 6th grade. We loved it. Reading it again with my book club was a real treat. It's short, but it provides readers with so much to sink their teeth into.

A book your Mom loves. 

"Gaudy Night" by Dorothy Sayers // This was the last category and as much as my Mom loves books, she usually only tells me about one at a time until I've read it. For years it was "To Kill A Mockingbird", then it was Rex Stout (but I had already used that category), so then she moved on to Sayers. I started this one on December 31 because I had been saving it to read over the winter and I decided that I would make a good dent in it that night and it WOULD count for the 2015 challenge. I finished it last night. Now, for my thoughts: I'm one to skip dialog. Sayers writes A LOT of it in and I found myself UNABLE to skip it. It is FANTASTIC! She writes bluntly in a way that captures human interactions that seem real. I laughed out loud often and smiled even more. She beat me with the mystery. I didn't have it figured out. I guess I was too busy enjoying the scenery!!!

A book that was originally written in a different language.

"A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman // Finished November 14 You must read this debut novel by a man who has a way with words and people. You will laugh. You will cry. You'll hate the way the book makes you feel and you'll have to force yourself to pick it up. Each time you crack it open, you'll realize that you don't want to put it down. All of a sudden you'll realize that you love Ove and you need to know more about his story. 

A book "everyone" buy you has read.

"All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr // Finished February 9 I think I read this book at the perfect time...I had just returned from three weeks in SC and it was the tail end of winter, I was missing my family and longing for WARM weather. I LOVED this book. It really moved me and it was one that took me a while to recover from. No book could compete with it for WEEKS.

A book you chose because of the cover.

"The Opposite of Loneliness" by Marina Keegan // Finished May 3 Marina led a life that was very different from mine. Her style of writing is raw, honest, unguarded, and even a little brutal. I skipped around, leaving quite a bit of her fiction and some of her non-fiction unread. Overall, I admire what she accomplished and the way that she went about letting her youthfulness be a part of her writing. She wasn't afraid to ask questions, to take her own red pen to her writing, or to put time aside just to write.

A book by a favorite author.

"A Severed Wasp" by Madeleine L'Engle // Finished February 14 I adore L'Engle. After reading this book's predecessor, I knew that I HAD to get to this one eventually. It wasn't worth the wait. It wasn't horrible, but I guess I had my own story in mind and this one just didn't quite line up with where I expected the characters to have traveled in their lives. You MIGHT like it, but I can't say that I did.

A book recommended by someone with great taste.

"Lizzy and Jane" by Katherine Reay // Finished January 8 I finished this book on a flight from Atlanta to Salt Lake City sitting next to Bryan (random guy). I probably won't be recommending this book only because I didn't LOVE it. I am willing to give Reay another chance. The book reminded that change can be good and that we should not be afraid to try new things (or go back to old things). Reading it when I did was very good! I was visiting family and starting to regret all of the years that I missed.

A book you should have read in high school.

"Watership Down" by Richard Adams // Finished June 15 I read this along with my brother and sister who had it assigned to them in school and needed to write essays about it. We all really enjoyed it. I found it interesting and classify it as one of my favorite books ever. According to the introduction, the novel started out as stories Adams told to his children who insisted that he write it down. Knowing that made it mean THAT much more to me.

A book that's currently on the bestseller list.

"The Melody Lingers On" by Mary Higgins Clark // Finished July 2 Mary Higgins Clark is my FAVORITE author. She released THREE new books last year and I read each and every one of them. I sped right through this one because I just needed to get to the bottom of things! To be perfectly honest, I kept waiting for someone to sneak up and murder someone, but this was more of a "who IS involved and who isn't involved" mind game based plot.

Are you taking part in this year's challenge

What are some memorable books that you read in 2015?


  1. I still need to get "All the Light You Cannot See!" I hate that I've been saying that for half a year, haha! Oh, and "The Opposite of Loneliness" has had my attention too.

  2. Seeing The Eyre Affair on your list reminded me that it is on my "to read" list...maybe I should bump it up to the top...

    I read Gaudy Night in college and loved it--I had wanted to re-read it a few years ago and was sad to discover that I couldn't find it. When my husband and I went to London a few years ago, I was on a mission to find it in England, and I did. I was very happy to start re-reading in on the plane ride home. Just as good as I remembered, maybe even a little better!

    I'm glad you're loving Jane Eyre. I also loved Villette, though it has been over 20 (!) years since I read it last. I recently tried The Professor, which is almost an earlier version of Villette. Give it a try!

    I love, love, love the Maisie Dobbs series! I don't think the MacNeal series is as good, but it's certainly worth reading.

  3. Oh, I just love The Giver! I read it in high school and loved it and then I read it again as an adult and loved it even more! Such a good one!

  4. I agree with your comments about All the Light and also about A Severed Wasp. I am really not that fond of L'Engle's fiction (A Wrinkle in Time being an exception of course).

    I must confess I have never read The Giver. I'll have to do something about that soon.

  5. What a fun challenge! I read two of the books, both of which I loved (All The Light We Cannot See and Lizzy & Jane). I think I read Watership Down, but maybe I just watched a cartoon version when I was younger because it seems so familiar!


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