Monday, July 02, 2012

It's Monday 7/2! What Are You Reading?

No, don't worry, I didn't enter Witness Protection.  I disappeared for a few weeks because we were on vacation!  Our vacations are mostly tech-free - long road trips cross country, camping along the way.  We drove to South Dakota's Black Hills - one of our favorite places on earth! - to visit family and enjoy all the amazing scenery, and we made lots of fun stops along the way.  Although I did miss interacting with friends online, I have to admit that I didn't miss all the obligations and responsibilities - of course, now I have 950 e-mail messages to wade through!

So, we read lots of great books over the past 3 weeks (it's actually been a full month since my last Monday update).  We read far fewer than usual, though, because all of us were focused on some really BIG books - perfect for my Big Book Summer Challenge!  Here's the run-down:
  • Before we left, I finished Blood Red Road by Moira Young, a teen dystopian novel and my first Big Book of the summer, at 459 pages.  It's an unusual novel, written in a unique style, but it grew on me - the story was gripping.
  • During our trip, I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  At 850 pages, it lasted our entire trip (and I am still working on finishing it!).  I am loving it - it is just as good as everyone has told me for years - an epic story about a woman in Scotland in 1945 who gets sent back in time to the 1700's.
  • My husband, Ken, finished reading George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.  He loved it but very kindly held off on starting Book 2 because he knew our son would fly through both books (he was right!).  
  • Next, Ken read Running Blind by one of his favorite authors, Lee Child.
  • Jamie, 17, started the trip by reading and enjoying The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, a recent re-release by favorite author Nancy Farmer, while he waited (rather impatiently!) for Ken to finish Martin's novel! 
  • Next, as predicted, Jamie flew through George R.R. Martin's series, reading A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords (which we gave to Ken for Father's Day while we were away!).  He loved the series and can't wait to read Book 4!
  • After polishing off those three enormous novels, Jamie delved into the duffel bag of books he brought with him (he reads a LOT on our trips!) and started The Diamond Throne by David Eddings, Book 1 of The Elenium trilogy.  Eddings is an old favorite author of my husband's, so he picked up two of his trilogies at the used bookstore for our son before we left.
  • Craig, 14, started his assigned summer reading for school while we were gone with Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and was surprised to find it fascinating!
  • In the car, we listened to a new teen audio book, Revived by Cat Patrick, a creepy sci fi/romance about a girl who is part of a secret government program to test a new drug that can revive people who have died.  Ken and Jamie thought there was too much romance and not enough action, but we all enjoyed the intriguing and unique story.
So, that's about it.  I did manage to post two new reviews before we left:  The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern and The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez, a teen memoir.  I also posted a summary of Books Read in May...and now it's already time to summarize June!

It's still early in the summer - plenty of time left to sign up for the Big Book Summer Challenge if you haven't yet!  It's an easy-breezy challenge - you only need to read one big book (over 400 pages) this summer to participate.  Sign up today and join the fun!  Here are a few pictures from our trip.  If you are interested, you can see more at our trip blog.

Ken and I at Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, SD

Craig and Jamie at Mount Rushmore

All of us at Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin


  1. I hope you had fun everywhere but Devil's Lake isn't too far away from here. My son and his friends are there about once a week!!

    Have a great week!

  2. Thanks, Lori! We love Devil's Lake and often stop there on our way thru WI - awesome hiking, especially Balanced Rock trail (that's where the pic was taken). You're lucky to live so close to such a beautiful place!

    We also stopped at Mill Bluff State Park on our way out.

    Enjoy your books this week!


  3. GREAT photos - looks like your family is having a great summer :)

    Happy reading! The Brunette Librarian Blog

  4. I still need to write a post for the big book summer challenge. And thank your sons for me - I'm picking up Outlliers for my step-son today. I needed a non-fiction recommendations (so keep 'em coming :-)

  5. Great pictures!!! Looks like you had a great vacation. Enjoy your summer reading!

    Kristin @ Always With a Book

  6. Looks like a great place to get away from it all!

    Have a great reading week!
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  7. You guys are the same as me. Vacation time is reading time!

  8. Great pictures! Looks like such a great trip. I would love to go to Mt Rushmore someday!