Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Monday 8/18! What Are You Reading?

I'm back! Did you miss me? Oh, didn't notice I was gone, huh? lol

I have been offline for most of the past three weeks, first on a camping vacation in NH and VT with my husband and sons, which was absolutely lovely - lots of mountains, waterfalls, campfires, and a bit of Ben & Jerry's! (watch for some photos on Snapshot Saturday) Then we unpacked all the camping stuff, repacked beach stuff and spent a weekend in Wildwood at the Jersey shore with extended family, a fun but exhausting couple of days. It was great to see everyone and relive our childhood memories of vacations in Wildwood.

So, now I am trying to get back into my usual routines, starting with a Monday What Are You Reading post. The 600 unread e-mails and dirty laundry can wait.

We read a LOT over the past 3 weeks, especially my oldest son who can read in the car without getting sick. Here's a recap:
  • I finished my third Big Book of the Summer, Good Fortune by Noni Carter, a teen/YA novel about a young African girl who is stolen from her homeland and brought to the US into slavery and following her into young adulthood. It was excellent - compelling and eye-opening.
  • I also read my fourth Big Book of the Summer, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, a novel I chose for our online family book group. It was a good summer book, starting with a group of friends who meet at summer camp when they are teens and following them through their adult lives.
  • And now I am reading another Big Book, though I may not finish it in time for the challenge. One of my book groups chose The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for early September. Ironically, this book is even bigger than the books I've been reading all summer for the Big Book Summer Challenge!
  • I also squeezed in a teen/YA graphic novel between the big books: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang, a great gaming story that addresses some serious real-life issues.
  • My husband and I continued listening to Uncaged, a teen/YA thriller by adult thriller writer John Sandford and co-author Michelle Cook. This is book one of a new series called The Singular Menace. We are enjoying it but didn't have much time alone in the car to listen (our sons don't like listening to audio books anymore).
  • My husband, Ken, finished The Hurt Machine, a Moe Prager mystery by Reed Farrel Coleman, on his Kindle and enjoyed it.
  • Next, Ken read City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, book 2 of The Mortal Instruments series, one of our son's favorites. He really enjoyed it and wanted to read book 3 right away, but we didn't bring it with us.
  • Instead, Ken chose another book on his Kindle, The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle, book 1 of The Origin Mystery series. He said the science in this science fiction novel is a bit lacking in credibility, but he's trying to go along for the ride and enjoy the story.
  • Jamie, 20, finished 4 long books and is on his fifth! He read A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan, book 1 of The Sorcery Ascendance Sequence. Next, he read Merlin by Stephen R. Lawhead, book 2 of The Pendragon Cycle, a classic Merlin series we got him started on last year. Switching to another classic character, he read Wolfshead by Craig Charlesworth, a novel about Robin Hood. Next, he read Blood and Iron (The Book of the Black Earth) by Jon Sprunk, a new epic fantasy series that is right up his alley. And, finally, he is now reading The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price by C.L. Schneider, which he was glued to even on the beach with his cousins all around! It's great that he loves reading so much - he's trying to cram in as much as he can before school resumes next week. I'm sure he will make good use of the Amazon gift cards he got for his birthday this weekend!
With no computer or internet, I didn't write many new blog posts, but I did manage a couple of reviews before we left and another one last week in between trips:

Review of UnSouled by Neal Schusterman, book 3 in the amazing Unwind teen/YA series

Review of Endangered by Eliot Schrefer, another great teen/YA novel

Review of P.K. Pinkerton and the Pistol-Packing Widows by Caroline Lawrence, a middle-grade mystery series set in the Old West

And I gave my teen cousins a bagful of books this weekend, including Endangered. I love sharing great books with friends and family and especially young people!

What are you and your family reading this week?    

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, with a kid/teen version hosted by Unleashing Readers.


  1. I thought The Interestings sounded good when I ran across it a while back. We've been reading Remarkable over here, which is a nice middle grade book. by Lizze K. Foley.

    1. I hadn't heard of Remarkable before - will have to look at it!

      I liked The Interestings - will be interesting (ha ha) to see what the rest of my cousins thought.


  2. The time camping in the mountains and relaxing on the beach sound wonderful! I loved ENDANGERED. I hope your cousins enjoy it. I'm impressed with your big books challenge. I'm not part of any challenge, but I am working my way through Les Mis. I hope to finish it by the end of the year.

  3. I agree. IRL is very real life (the title fits!).
    I'm so glad you enjoyed Endangered. It is by far in my top 10 YA/MG books. Brilliant. And I love that you shared it!

    Glad to have you back, but glad you had an amazing vacation!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  4. I am curious if your cousins all like The Interestings. I am only about a quarter of the way through, and I am trying not to make any judgments yet. I saw The Goldfinch, and I am wondering if I can make it through. I have heard very mixed reviews.

  5. I'd better add that Cory Doctorow book to my TBR pile. I can't believe that you have finished so many BIG books this summer. Way to go!

  6. Hi there Sue, great to hear about your trip, sounds like a blast.
    I just finished reading The Goldfinch several weeks back. It took me quite awhile to finish it, but it was so worth it, and I loved it. :)

  7. It sounds like you and your family have been creating wonderful memories!

  8. I'm jealous of your son! I can maybe get through a chapter before I have to put down my book while riding in the car.

    You are getting so much reading done. I hope the good streak continues!

  9. I love that you find time to read while on vacation! I always have the best intentions but then usually wind up reading little.