Monday, June 04, 2018

It's Monday 6/4! What Are You Reading?

I missed last Monday's update because we were just a little bit busy here, hosting a big graduation party for our oldest son, who graduated from the University of Delaware last weekend! Last week was all about recovering and catching up!

I did find time last weekend to kick off my annual Big Book Summer Reading Challenge! Click the link to read all about this simple, easy-going, and fun challenge for summer. Then join the fun here on the blog or through the Goodreads group!

Here's what we've been reading the past two weeks:
  • I finished my next review book, The Possible World by Liesl O'Halloran Schwarz, which I was totally immersed in and loved! It's the intertwined stories of three people: a six-year old boy named Ben who witnesses a horrific mass murder at his friend's birthday party and loses his memory, an ER doctor named Lucy who takes care of Ben when he is first brought in and wants to help him, and across town, Clare, who will be turning 100 soon and finally decides to share her life story - including long-held secrets - with a new friend. It was just what I needed - hard to put down and engrossing.
  • I started my first Big Book of the Summer for my challenge: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, a YA post-apocalyptic novel that has been on my shelf for years. My husband and son both enjoyed it, so I was glad to finally get to it - that's what I like about Big Book Summer - clearing out some of those bigger books on my shelf! I loved it - it was just as good as everyone said - fast-paced and action-packed but also filled with warmth and heart. I had only planned to read the first book in the series, but now I want to read the rest - and see the movie, too!
  • Now, I am back to another review book (before continuing with my Big Book Summer): My Pretty Face by Robyn Harding. This is one of those domestic suspense novels that have become so popular, about two moms who become friends, though one is hiding a secret past as a murderer. I think I figured out most of it by about the halfway point, but we'll see if it still holds some surprises for me by the end.
  • I finished listening to Deadzone, book 2 in the Horizons middle-grade series. This is one of those series with a different renowned author for each book, and this second book was written by Jennifer Nielsen. It was action-packed, suspenseful, and twisty, like its predecessor, about a group of kids who are the sole survivors of a plane crash that went down in the Arctic but find themselves in a strange alien-like landscape filled with unique (and dangerous) flora and fauna.
  • This past week, I have been listening to The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Jean E. Pendziwol, an intriguing novel that reminds me a bit of The Orphan Train, with its mix of past and present. A modern teen is sentenced to community service at a retirement home and gets to know one of the residents, who is wondering about secrets from her own childhood spent on a remote island where her father was the lighthouse keeper. It's been good so far - and this one has surprised me!
  • My husband, Ken, finished The Troop by Nick Cutter, a thriller I gave to my dad as a gift that was among the many books we inherited from him when he died three years ago. Ken and I both love reading his old books because he shared our love of reading, and it makes him feel close. I have heard this one is a bit gruesome, but my dad loved it. Ken confirmed that when he said, "This is good, but I don't think you'll want to read it!"
  • Now, Ken is reading Burn by Nevada Barr, a book I gave to him for Christmas. He and I love Barr's Anna Pigeon thrillers because they are all set in National Parks (which we love), starring a park ranger. I chose this one specifically because it is set in New Orleans, where we used to live (and still one of our favorite places in the world!). And Ken chose it now because it is a Big Book!
  • Our son, Jamie, 23, the new graduate, finished reading book 7, A Crown of Swords, from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. He said he hadn't had much time for reading with finals, projects, papers, and graduation.
  • This week, moved back home and recovering from a hectic week, he decided to dive back into reading and is now on book 8 of the Wheel of Time series, The Path of Daggers. He loves this series. It's Big Book Summer all year-round for him; he rarely reads a book with under 400 pages!
Blog posts from the past two weeks:
Memoir Review: My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul - an avid reader's memoir of books

Middle-Grade Review: Posted by John David Anderson - warm, funny novel about middle school

2018 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge - Join the fun!

My 2018 Big Book Summer - some books I hope to read for my own challenge

TV Tuesday: The Crossing - intriguing sci fi thriller we are loving!

Did Not Finish: Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff - My thoughts on this unique novel and why I didn't finish it

Middle-Grade Review: Deadzone by Jennifer Nielsen - book 2 in the fast-paced, action-packed Horizon series

Booktopia 2018 - my summary of this annual event I love!

Saturday Snapshot: The Lushness of May - green and vibrant here in May

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

What are you and your family reading this week?  
You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.  

The happy graduate and his family last weekend.


  1. I was so glad to see you enjoyed Posted! I was pleasantly surprised by that book (still feel close to the characters even months later). I've also been considering jumping on board with your Big Book Summer Reading Challenge. I can't say that I have any more time in my summers, though. With my five Littles we have lots of hikes, yard work, outdoor ball games, swimming, park visits, and some major organizing projects. Winters seem to be my best reading time when we're trapped inside with no place to go. LOL Still, I have a couple big books I would love to get to. I'm thinking An Ember in the Ashes will meet the criteria. I'll link up when I finally get myself in order. Have a great reading week, Sue!

  2. My husband read the Troop too. I love Nevada Barr, but I think I'm a few books behind.

  3. Congratulations to your son, Sue! I read The 5th Wave a long time ago & enjoyed it. Hope you do, too. And I have The LightKeeper's Daughters on my long list, hoping to get to it this summer. Enjoy your summer reading!

  4. Happy graduations!!!!
    I need to read The Fifth Wave. I am a huge fan of Yancey's other work.

    Happy reading this week :)

  5. Congratulations to your son on his graduation! Thank you for recommending Posted. I've got a number of your suggestions on my summer reading lit.

  6. Congrats on your son's graduation, what a joyful celebration. I like the summary you give for The Possible World, you are making me want to read it.

  7. I saw a book friend post the entire Wheel of Time series on Litsy - wow. Looks like a series that demands commitment. :)