Amy

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The day that we have all been longing for is here :)— The end of the Summer 2018 Reading Challenge. Like runners at the end of a race, maybe you have stumbled across the finish line and are now collapsed and gasping for air.

But once you catch your breath, HIGH FIVE TO YOU! You made it! I made it! We made it! On Tuesday as I checked into the gym, I chatted with the front desk gal about what I had going on this week. I mentioned writing this post about the end of our Summer Reading Challenge and told her the goal was 7 books, but that I had read 13 books. A trainer standing next to her looked at me like I am an alien and asked, “Do you have a job?!”

Ha!!! I do. But these challenges help me live into the person I want to be. So, I repeat. HIGH FIVES all around! We made it.

Well, how did it go? Remember, in The Summer Reading Challenge the goal was to read seven books between June 1 and August 17th. You enter for one of the ten $10 Amazon gift cards by leaving a comment on this post. Even if you didn’t read seven, still share what you read! This isn’t really a contest so much as a chance to share and a chance to see how many books we read collectively.

I’m going to put the categories here if you want to cut and paste them into the comments. Also feel free to just list books, whatever works for you.

  1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—
  1. A book related to history—
  1. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—
  1. A young adult (YA) book—
  1. A book recommended by a friend—
  1. A graphic novel—
  1. A book you’ve been meaning to read—
  1. A book published more than 100 years ago—
  1. A book recommended by a teenager—
  1. A biography—
  1. A play—
  1. A memoir—
  1. A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with—
  1. A book that won an award—
  1. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—
  1. A book that has been translated into English—
  1. A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)—
  1. A mystery—
  1. A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design)—
  1. A book by an author you know—
  1. Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) or Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction)—
  1. Penalty: subtract one book from the total. (You potentially could lose two book points if you select a long one)—

 

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1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—

The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter Drucker. A must read for every organization.

3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon takes place in Afghanistan and, as the title says, shows women entrepreneurs (actually they started as teens!).

4. A young adult (YA) book—

Hope Was Hereby Joan Bauer is a delightful book that is not your normal angsty YA novel. Add this to your “to read” list

6. A graphic novel—

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds . . . this is the way to read The Odyssey.

7. A book you’ve been meaning to read—

Can you believe I had never read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn? I can see why it’s a classic and I’m all the better for reading it, but I don’t think it should be required reading for high schoolers.

8. A book published more than 100 years ago— 

Here is another book I hadn’t heard of: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Written in the 1850s, the title refers to the North and South in England. If you like Dickens or books that were originally published in serial fashion, you’ll enjoy reading this. If you like BBC, Mom and I enjoyed watching too. Both are good! I blogged through reading this at Velvet Ashes.

12. A memoir—

I listened to So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta. I’m a fan of the TV show Parks and Rec, so I enjoyed hearing more about Retta’s job. But the language, people. I’m not around folks who that use that much profanity and for that reason, I can’t recommend it. Maybe it would be different to read it than to listen to it, I don’t know. She is funny! And I still love Parks and Rec.

15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. I first read this soon after I turned 40 and was living in Beijing, now at age 50 and after many changes, I think I got even more out of it than I did the first time.

16. A book that has been translated into English—

Laurusby Eugene Vodolazkin (Author), Lisa C. Hayden (Translator) wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but this is why I love (and need) reading challenges. Were it not for the challenge I wouldn’t have pushed myself to read this medieval Russian novel, and I’m glad I did.

17. A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)—

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. By far my crowning jewel book of the summer! I will forever associate this book with the summer of 2018 and reading with you. I’m going to write a separate post about this book. I’m so grateful I read it.

18. A mystery—

Not a traditional mystery, but My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman took a while to get into, but so worth it! Brilliant writing and translating into English. I’m blogging through it right now at Velvet Ashes.

19. A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design)—Is understanding yourself a skill? Okay, maybe I’m being fast and loose with this one. I read The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher L. Heuertz. If you are new to the Enneagram, don’t start with this book, but if you are looking to take the next step in understanding harmony triads and (as the subtitle suggests) ways to grow as a Christian and enhance your prayer life, this is the book for you.

20. A book by an author you know—I was asked to endorse The Seven Deadly Friendships by Mary DeMuth so read an advanced copy. Mark your calendars for October 2nd when this book releases!

22. Penalty: subtract one book from the total. (You potentially could lose two book points if you select a long one)—The Bully Pulpit, thanks to this category, you have moved from my “to read” list to my “read!” Take that and no points lost!

I have no category that fits with Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, but that’s my fault, not the books! Haruf is a master at powerful storytelling with sparse prose. If you want a quick read that will stay with your long after, this is your book.

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You can see I didn’t read in every category and I’m drawn to non-fiction more than fiction.

I come back to this not being a contest, if you read four books and that was your goal, great! I just find that I’m more likely to accomplish my goals if I tell people what they are.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve been reading. I’ll pick winners next Monday so you have time this weekend to leave a comment.

Thank you for joining in!

Amy

Leave A Comment

  1. Crystal Steinhauer August 17, 2018 at 7:06 am - Reply

    I have had a great reading summer! I read 9 books, most of them excellent.
    1) A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted): The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith. Short, but such excellent advice.
    2) A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with: Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. Race, exploitation, break-down of tribes and family structure, crime. So much to think about in this book.
    3) A memoir— Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr.
    4) A mystery—The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Set in London in WWII.
    5) A book related to a skill–Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn.
    6) A book by an author you know—Read Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie. Do I actually know her? I feel like I do because I faithfully listen to her podcast. I wrote a review of the book here https://www.mom-on-a-mission.blog/all-posts/2018/6/book-review-the-read-aloud-family.
    7) A book you’ve been meaning to read—Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner. This book had everything I didn’t want to know about processed food.
    Honorable Mention: This book doesn’t really fit into any of the categories, but it was so delightful I have to mention it. Miss Buncle’s Book by D. E. Stevenson. Miss Buncle writes a book about what she knows best–the people around her. When the book is published and the towns people begin to recognize themselves in its pages, pandemonium breaks loose.
    The Dressmaker of Khair Khana went onto my TBR list. Looks like one I’d enjoy.

    • Megan Smith August 18, 2018 at 7:05 am - Reply

      I loved reading the Read Aloud Family as well!

    • Amy Young August 20, 2018 at 7:24 am - Reply

      So many good books here Crystal! I’m glad you liked the Memoir Project, I did too :). And the Read Aloud Family sounds amazing, thanks for the link to your post about it!

    • Miriam G. August 30, 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      I really enjoyed Miss Buncle’s Book and am looking forward to starting the next one – thanks!!

  2. Jamie August 17, 2018 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Here is what I read:

    http://jannghi.blogspot.com/2018/05/summer-reading-challenge-2018-messy.html

    A book related to professional development(can be loosely interpreted): Breakthrough–Jack Andraka

    A book related to history: Girl With a Pearl Earring–Tracy Chevalier

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with: Carmilla–J. Sheridan Le Fanu

    A young adult (YA) book: Incantation–Alice Hoffman

    A book recommended by a friend: The Truth About Forever–Sarah Dessen

    A graphic novel: Disney Manga: Tangled–Shiori Kanaki

    A book you’ve been meaning to read: Crazy Rich Asians–Kevin Kwan

    A book published more than 100 years ago: Mary Barton–Eizabeth Gaskell

    A book recommended by a teenager: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List–Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan

    A biography: The Brontes–Rebecca Fraser

    A play: Pygmalion–Bernard Shaw

    A memoir: The Temporary Bride–Jennifer Klinec

    A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with:

    A book that won an award (Newbery): Sarah, Plain and Tall–Patricia MacLachlan

    A book you read years ago and have meant to reread: Prozac Nation–Elizabeth Wurtzel

    A book that has been translated into English: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao–Junot Diaz

    A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!): The Brothers Karamazov–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    A mystery: Knit One, Kill Two–Maggie Sefton

    A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design): Concerning the Spiritual in Art–Wasilly Kadinsky

    A book by an author you know: Piper Morgan Joins the Circus–Stephanie Faris

    Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) or Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction): Sliding Into Home–Kendra Wilkinson

    Penalty: subtract one book from total. (You potentially could lose two book points if you select a long one): Someone you might not spiritually agree with

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:32 am - Reply

      Jamie, I loved reading your blog post and this impressive list! It still amazes me how many books there are that I’ve never heard of :). Lots to add my TBR list from your reading!

  3. Miriam Goldberg August 17, 2018 at 8:42 am - Reply

    I loved reading what everyone read!
    2. A book related to history—Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz by Olga Lengyel
    5. A book recommended by a friend—Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series
    The funny thing re this is that I went to work and told a colleague, “Oh my goodness. I think you’d really enjoy this series!” and she says, “Yes! In fact I’m the one who recommended it to you!” LOL
    8. A book published more than 100 years ago—The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Dubois
    and so disturbing how accurate it still is. Sigh.
    12. A memoir—Rena’s promise : a story of sisters in Auschwitz / Rena Kornreich Gelissen with Heather Dune Macadam.
    15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—Incidents in the life of a slave girl / by Harriet Jacobs
    18. A mystery—Last Puzzle & Testament by Parnell Hall
    21. Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) or Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction)—The history of Mary Prince, West Indian slave
    I read lots, generally speaking, but read tons of fiction so I chose non-fiction.

    This reading challenge is a great idea! Thanks!!

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:35 am - Reply

      Miriam, so glad you joined in :). And I’m glad the challenge was a nice nudge to read other material (you know I need it too!). The W.E.B. Dubois book caught my eye, so may end up on my summer reading next year!

  4. Rhonda August 17, 2018 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Loved the challenge! I was hoping to fulfill each one but my time home was shorter than normal. I did read more but they fell into the categories already listed. Here’s my list:

    2. A book related to history. My book: Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong Retold by Wang Guozhen

    3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with. My book: Between Shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys

    4. A young adult (YA) book. My book: Luna by Julie Anne Peters

    5. A book recommended by a friend. My book: The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith

    6. A graphic novel. My book: Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises by Lee, Kline, McKinney

    7. A book you’ve been meaning to read. My book: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

    9. A book recommended by a teenager. My book: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

    11. A play. My book: Macbeth by Shakespeare

    12. A memoir. My book: Educated by Tara Westover

    14. A book that won an award. My book: Forgiveness by Mark Sakamato (2018 Canada Books CBC)

    15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread. My book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    16. A book that has been translated into English. My book: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Translated by Lucia Graves

    18. A mystery. My book: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

    20. A book by an author you know. My book: Love Amy by Amy Young

    21. Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) or Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction). My book:
    Non-fiction: Symphony of the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:39 am - Reply

      Rhonda, I think you are one of the few who earns an honorable mention for taking part of every one of the Summer Reading Challenges :). You go, you reader you! And the very day you posted this, a friend emailed me asking me if I had read “Educated” — so two mentions in one day is a sign :). I’ve placed a hold on it at the library.

      • Rhonda August 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm - Reply

        Thanks Amy! I come from a family of big time readers and grew up with a love of books and reading. :) I love the challenges. It helps to give more variety to my reading. Already have 16 books on my wish list for next summer.
        “Educated” was really good. I wasn’t sure at first but one I started it I just kept going. I read it because it was a book that several of my co-teachers mentioned at the end of the school. So got it, and enjoyed it. Brought it back with me so they can read it also.
        Would like to know what you think of it.

  5. Michelle Sessoms August 17, 2018 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I got a bit of a late start on this Summer Reading Challenge, but I’m so glad to have joined!

    1) A book related to professional development— “Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness, and Justice” by Brenda Salter McNeil. This book is a good first step to get churches and ministries thinking strategically about reconciliation (she slants toward racial reconciliation, but she also covers other areas). It sounds easy the way she explains it in her model, but so hard to implement. But, I do recommend this book!

    2) A book related to history AND A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with— “Hornet Flight” by Ken Follett – This was a novel, yes, set in World War II, yes (both of which I am familiar with), but it was about the role of the Danish Resistance Movement. I don’t know anything about that area of the world. It was a good read. Even though it was a fictional account, the Danish Resistance Movement was the real deal.

    3)A book recommended by a friend— “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” by Mark Sullivan. Another novel about World War II, but this was probably the best book I’ve read all year. And this one is actually a true story about an 18-year old kid in Italy who became a spy. It would all be hard to believe if it wasn’t true. It took until now for his story to be told. It’s raw (it’s a book about a terrible war) and it’s horrifying in places, but it’s a must read.

    4) A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)— “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett. This was a whoppin’ 850 pages about five families in World War I (if you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of the world wars) and how they intersected. Excellent read about things I had no idea were happening during the war.

    5) A book by an author you know— “The Life Jesus Made Possible: Embracing the Kingdom Within Our Reach” by Bill Randall. I knew Bill Randall when he worked with my dad at a college in Northern California. This is a great read about EXPERIENCING Jesus, not merely knowing about him. Have we had an actual experience and encounter with the Living God and what does it mean Ito have the Kingdom of God within our reach. Refreshing really.

    6) A book you’ve been meaning to read—”Becoming the Talbot Sisters” by Rachel Linden. I knew Rachel in grad school. Linden is a pseudonym because she and her husband do important work overseas, mostly in Eastern Europe. This is a novel, but it deals with issues of infertility, sibling relationships, Eastern Europe, and human trafficking themes. Very good book.

    I did read other books this summer (mostly historical fiction- I know I need to delve more in the nonfiction world), but I didn’t keep a list. Oh well. Still fun. :)

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:46 am - Reply

      Michelle, by your fourth book I thought, “She likes WW 2” and then you made that comment :). HA! But seriously, some great books on this list that I need to add to my TBR :)

  6. Kathleen M. Towner August 17, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Wow, people are waking up on the 17th and posting summer book reads!

    Okay, our summer ends in September! I think kids in Colorado are already back in school. In the wider Northeast part of the USA, kids go back to school after Labor Day (for parents, maybe their summer begins!) so it’s still summer here (I’m from Boston, but live in Hoboken, NJ.) Today, 90 and humid! But I love the Summer (Amy/Colorado) Reading Challenge.

    1) A book over 750 pages (nicknamed The Buddy book, reading this BECAUSE of YOU and WITH YOU!) – The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I still have 150 pages to go. I could still finish by midnight. Funny, I borrowed the ebook twice (they disappear immediately on the due date) from the library and the hardback twice (one can collect overdue fines and return it late) – it’s a long book to read, image, how long it took to write. I really knew nothing about Taft – interesting. Also, the McClure magazine – the founder and the writers of the magazine. Of course, interesting to read this book today – news organizations and the President. Roosevelt – I would like to visit Sagamore Hill in Long Island. Wish you lived near me and we could go together. My father and I visited his Birthplace in NYC a few years ago. My love of reading history is from my father!

    2) A book recommended by a friend – Outline by Rachel Cusk. Selected by a member of my book club. An author I had heard about. Would not have read it on my own, but glad I did. As always, a book club discussion adds dimension to a book.

    3) A memoir – The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya. A memoir of a young girl (she was 6 years old) and her sister who escaped the Rwanda Genocide. Written by a young woman, now 29 years old, a graduate of Yale. Often with memoirs about historical events, I like to read more expansive historical accounts. So, I may need to read again – We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda.

    4) Another memoir – Wedding Toasts That I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun. An amusing book on marriage. A book I will probably buy for my niece who is engaged.

    5) A book that won an award – The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013. I LOVED THIS BOOK! AMAZING, how he wrote this book. I’ll quote Zadie Smith from amazon:

    “The Orphan Master’s Son performs an unusual form of sorcery, taking a frankly cruel and absurd reality and somehow converting it into a humane and believable fiction. It’s an epic feat of story-telling. It’s thrillingly written, and it’s just thrilling period.”

    (Andrew Luck, Quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts (A quarterback who reads books! From a New England Patriots fan (me), Go Luck!), has an online book club http://www.andrewluckbookclub.com recommends two books a month – a rookie book and a veteran book. He selected The Orphan Master’s Son as a veteran book and interviewed Adam Johnson, Episode 10, who recommended the book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. Of course, I had to read it. WOW! Thinking of North Korea today and the recent negotiations, we need to remember the ordinary people living under the present and past dictatorships – brutal regimes!)

    6) Mystery – I know many people LOVE mysteries, but for some reason, I’m not a BIG mystery reader. I do think of mysteries as vacation/summer reads. So, I read Sunburn by Laura Lippman. A good writer. I liked how the story/plot unfolded. I would read another book by the author – maybe next summer. I did buy at a used bookstore in Minnesota – The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes (#41 – a Nancy Drew mystery) by Carolyn Keene. Remember my mother (who was from Scotland), giving me this book for Christmas many years ago. Again, my parents nurtured my reading habits!

    7) A book related to a skill – a layperson’s detective skills (okay, I’m pushing it, but…) I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. Fascinating because…she died while writing the book at the age of 46 (April 21, 2016), the book was released on February 27, 2018 AND on April 25, 2018, Californian authorities arrested Joseph James DeAngelo as the alleged Golden State Killer. CONFESSION: I love reading True Crime books. It’s a bit like eating twinkies, but more dangerous!

    8) A book related to history (or another non-fiction book!) – Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson. I learned so much from this book (because my father was in WWII and my Uncle (from Scotland) was captured outside of Dunkirk and was in a POW camp for 5 years in Poland, I’m reading/learning a lot about WWII) This book – the city of London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of six occupied nations — Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Poland — who escaped there to continue the fight.

    9) Fiction – Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I hate rating books on goodreads, but I gave it 3 stars (I’m in the minority, it averaged 4.15 stars). I liked her first book much better, Everything I Never Told You.

    ? I’m intrigued if anyone read from the category – A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with. My book…
    Amy, I do remember reading a couple of books in seminary classes and thinking, Really? I have to read this! And, I think we read too many books written by MEN!

    Loved reading and also the opportunity to think/reflect about the books I read this summer. Thank you Amy for spurring us on to read more and outside our default categories!

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:01 am - Reply

      Kathleen! Such richness here, where to start? First of all, The Buddy Book! I kept at The Bully Pulpit because (a) I’m competitive and having said I’d read it, by gum, I would, but more (b) because I knew you were reading too and I didn’t want to let you, or Teddy, or Bill, or all those writers down. I cannot imagine the research and writing process for this book!!!!!

      I didn’t know Andrew Luck was a reader! Remember when we walked by Eli Manning walking his dog :). So, we know that QB is a walker, wonder if he’s a reader.

      And this summer I didn’t get around to intentionally reading something by someone I spiritually disagree with (because of The Buddy Book). But I agree, what we read a LOT OF MEN in seminary and could have used more voices educating us.

      Thanks for participating and your great commentary!!

  7. Bev Baird August 17, 2018 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Here are my 7 categories I chose to read for:
    2. A book related to history— The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck
    It moves back an forth between Revolutionary America and the present.

    4. A young adult (YA) book: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

    5. A book recommended by a friend— In a Heartbeat byRosalind Noonan

    7. A book you’ve been meaning to read— A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L”Engle

    10. A biography—Leonard by William Shatner

    12. A memoir—Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simeon

    16. A book that has been translated into English—The Little French Bistro by Nina George (translated from French to English)

    • Spring August 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      I also read a Wrinkle in time! How did you like it?

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        Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply

        How fun to find a fellow reader :)

  8. Christy J August 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I read 15 books this summer! And 3 of them were over 700 pages. It helped that I stayed in one place and didn’t travel. My feelings about all the books were really mixed, some I loved and some I really didn’t like. Thanks, Amy, for continuing this challenge. I love to see what everyone is reading!

    A book related to history. My book: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. This was a fictionalized account of the kidnappings and illegal adoptions done by the Tennessee Children’s Home. It was well written but really hard to read, knowing that so many children were actually ripped from their families and treated so badly by these people who were just out to make money.

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with. My book: Gap Creek by Robert Morgan. Okay, so I really took liberties with this category, because this book takes place deep in the Appalachian Mountains, which is technically in the US, but as I was reading about the culture and life of the characters, I felt like I was reading about a different country. It made me really grateful for all the conveniences I have, and that I don’t have to do things like butchering hogs.

    A young adult (YA) book. My books: The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. An enjoyable continuation of this series. I like this author’s use of imagination in her stories.

    Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. I liked this book okay, but wasn’t a huge fan of the political side of it. The overall message was a good one for young adults, though.

    Summerland by Michael Chabon. I really enjoyed this book. It combines fantasy and baseball. When I started it, I wasn’t sure how I would like those things together, but it was really fun. Chabon’s writing was excellent, even though this was a different genre than most of his books. It was fun to think about giants, fairies, and humans all playing baseball together in order to save the world from total destruction.

    A book recommended by a friend. My book: Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. This book was an interesting look at what life would be like for a dwarf living in Germany during Hitler’s time. I sometimes get tired of the overabundance of WWII books, but I enjoyed this one.

    A graphic novel. My book: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Also counts as a young adult book). I challenged myself to read a graphic novel this summer and found this one to read since I teach middle school. It had some great lessons for kids going through those difficult years of life when friendship becomes very complicated.

    A book you’ve been meaning to read. My book: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (This also counts as a book published more than 100 years ago and a book over 700 pages.) This was my penalty book. I’m glad I made it that, because I don’t think I would have finished it otherwise. I didn’t really enjoy it like I do a lot of classical literature. Too much detail about mundane activities in people’s lives.

    A book published more than 100 years ago. My book: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I enjoyed this one as I was interested in the characters and their cultural clashes, but I got quite frustrated with all the deaths, so I wouldn’t say it was my favorite.

    A memoir. My book: Once Upon an Expat edited by Lisa Webb. I got this thinking that I would love reading all the different stories written by people who live overseas. I found only some of the stories entertaining and relatable, though. I did really enjoy the one that was about Ghana, because I really was able to understand exactly what she was talking about from my own experience here.

    A book that won an award. My book: The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan (This also counts as a book translated into English and a book over 700 pages.) This was my favorite read of the summer by far! It is about a house where disabled children are sent to live, but it is strange, weird, fascinating, and unlike any other book I have read in a long time. It took me at least 1/3 of the book to really get a grasp on what was going on, and even at the end I still had lots of questions, but it really made me think. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone because there are some violent and intense parts and it is not the easiest read, but I am still thinking about this book over a month after reading it. I want to go back and read it again to get all the nuances that I missed the first time. I’m still pondering the ways we view and treat people who are different because of what I read in this book. I think it radically changed my perspective in many areas.

    A book that has been translated into English. My book: The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen. This was a kind of depressing book about a family who lives sealed in a basement for decades, told from the perspective of a young boy who has not known the outside world at all. It was well written and I’m glad I read it, but it was hard to think about that kind of life.

    A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!) My book: The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. This was one of my fun and lighter reads of the summer. It is an imaginative description of the bluebear’s adventures in a fantasy world. It also has great illustrations. I am glad I started with this one in the beginning of the summer when I was burnt out and exhausted from the year and needed something fun and easy to read.

    A mystery. My book: Still Waters by Viveca Sten. This mystery took place in Sweden. It was interesting, but not remarkable to me. I have read a lot of mysteries, and sometimes find them to be repetitive and unimaginative. This one was kind of like that, although it did have some cultural differences to consider.

    Other: Prophet by Frank Peretti. I couldn’t find any of the categories for this one. It was a critique of media and modern society on the issue of abortion. It was well written like all of Peretti’s books and I enjoyed it. It was a good easy read for my long plane ride.

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Christy, I love that we can stay in touch this way :). What you said about Gap Creek by Robert Morgan. . . . that’s how I felt when I read Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance — I had to keep saying out loud, “I can’t believe this was written in a modern era! I’d believe it maybe 50 years ago, it’s hard to believe this was going on during my life!!!”

  9. Darlene August 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I read 12 books!

    A BOOK YOU’VE BEEN MEANING TO READ: Run From Fear by Jami Alden (Dead Wrong, Book #3)

    2. A MYSTERY: Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton (Agatha Raisin, Book #27)

    3. A BOOK PLACED IN A COUNTRY THAT I’M NOT FAMILIAR WITH (SCOTLAND): Dark Side of the Laird by Eliza Knight (Highland Bound, Book #3)

    4. A BOOK RELATED TO HISTORY: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

    5. A YOUNG ADULT BOOK: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Unearthly, Book #1)

    6. A BOOK THAT WON AN AWARD (2010 NEBRASKA BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT): Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires, Book #1)

    7. A BOOK BY SOMEONE YOU MIGHT NOW SPIRITUALLY AGREE WITH: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

    8. A BOOK THAT HAS BEEN TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

    9. A BOOK BY AN AUTHOR YOU KNOW (I TOOK THIS TO MEAN THAT IT IS AN AUTHOR WHO IS NOT NEW TO ME, NOT NECESSARILY SOMEONE THAT I KNOW PERSONALLY): Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

    10. A PLAY (1943 PLAY, ALSO KNOWN AS AND THEN THERE WERE NONE): Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie

    11. NON-FICTION: Invisible Darkness: The Horrifying Case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka by Stephen Williams

    12. A BOOK RECOMMENDED BY A FRIEND: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

    Here’s my blog post:

    https://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2018/08/reading-challenge-summer-2018-wrap-up.html

    That was fun! Thanks for hosting

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Darlene, I read The History of the World in Six Glasses several years ago … thanks for bringing back a book memory :).

      • Darlene August 20, 2018 at 9:28 am - Reply

        It was an interesting read, wasn’t it?

  10. Mabel August 17, 2018 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Amy,
    I love this challenge! I has helped me read several books I might not have.

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with— The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Lemmon This was truly an interesting book and I had no idea what was going on in Afghanistan during this time.

    A young adult (YA) book— Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

    A book recommended by a friend- Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle (a great recommendation from Marsha and Amy!)

    A book you’ve been meaning to read— 1984 by George Orwell (glad I read it and glad I don’t have to again) :o)

    A book published more than 100 years ago— The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (same notes as above)

    A book recommended by a teenager— Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli This was an interesting read. I am not sure I would let my 13 year old read it, but she and her younger sister just love this one.

    A mystery— City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

    Thanks for doing this great challenge Amy! I love seeing what everyone else reads as well as challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and read things that I normally don’t.

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

      Me too :)! On being nudged out of my comfort zone and seeing what others have read! Mom and I were saying that we need to refer back to this next time we are picking books. Keeping my eye out for a good play.

  11. Mary Raikes August 17, 2018 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    I love to read and have a TBR list that’s so long! Samples saved on my Kindle in different folders i.e. to read fiction, to read non-fiction, to read recommended. I’d love having a loose guideline to steer my reading choices :)

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with— My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante, about Italy
    A young adult (YA) book— When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon
    A book recommended by a friend— Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
    A book you’ve been meaning to read— Picture Perfect, Jodi Picoult
    A book published more than 100 years ago— The Golden Road, L. M. Montgomery
    A memoir— Talking As Fast As I Can. Lauren Graham
    A book that won an award— The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
    A book you read years ago and have meant to reread— 20 And Something, David Kim
    A book that has been translated into English— My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrick Backman
    A mystery— I Let You Go, Clare Mackintosh
    A book by an author you know— A Storied Life, Leigh Kramer, I follow her on Facebook and Instagram
    Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction)— More Precious Than Jewels, Cathy Houba

    So many good books! So thankful for my friend’s OverDrive account so that as a non-American living in Thailand I can read to my heart’s content.

    • Mary Raikes August 17, 2018 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      * I loved having a loose guideline

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply

      I love that you have access to Overdrive! I don’t know why that makes me so happy Mary, but it does :). Fun to read through what you read!

      • Mary Raikes August 21, 2018 at 12:46 am - Reply

        It makes my life so much easier! Especially when I get so many new book recommendations from modernmrsdarcy.com

        After reading everyone else’s lists I realised that Reading People, which I also read, fits into the skill category. A few categories I had double ups but didn’t list them. My next reads are Anna Karenina (over 700 pages), and Language Building Blocks

  12. Shelley August 17, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew. I read this in preparation for a student I will have in my class this year, and I think it will be helpful.

    A book related to history—Guests On Earth. This book is a historical fiction based on the story of Zelda Fitzgerald and the Highlands Hospital in Asheville, N.C. It was interesting as it gave some insight into mental health treatment 1940’s.

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—Born a Crime. These past few years in China I have made friends with White South African Refugees. Born a crime was of interest to me because it helped me understand the apartheid and now the results of the apartheid a bit better.

    A young adult (YA) book—The City of Ember. This book was one that I could not put down. It was a quick read, and I am excited to finish the rest of the trilogy.

    A book recommended by a friend—I Can Only Imagine. I would recommend this book if you like the song. It was interesting to find out the inspirations.

    A memoir—The Family Nobody Wanted. This book was just so so. I’m not sure if I would read it again. I found it a slow read, though it taught me a bit about the history fo adoption.

    A book that won an award—All the Light We Cannot See. This was another book I had trouble putting down. It is the story of a young bind girl during WW2. It gave me different perspectives than other stories I have read.

    A mystery—Death of the Red Heroine. This book was a really slow read and a bit disappointing though I enjoyed the historical setting.

    A book by an author you know—All the New That’s Fit to Tell and How to Tell it. This book was filled with stories and helpful hints. I will be using some of the hints this year as I write classroom newsletters.

    • Dorette August 18, 2018 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Hi Shelley, after reading your comment I think I need to move ‘born a crime’ to the top of my TBR list. I’m super curious if the white South Africans you met referred to themselves as ‘refugees’? I guess it makes sense because many South Africans leave due to the high crime rates etc. (I’m also a white South African, but my view was one of ‘going’ not leaving and it never even occured to me that I could also be considered a refugee.) This is why I love books and readers, with every page you get to see a little more of the world and your place in it!

      • Kathleen Towner August 18, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

        If you are able, LISTEN to the audiobook, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah!

        • Dorette August 19, 2018 at 6:46 pm - Reply

          Thanks, Kathleen – I heard the audio version is good!

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        Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

        And now I’ve placed “Born a Crime” on a hold at the library. Tried to get it in audio, but alas that wasn’t an option.

  13. Chris L. Pontius August 18, 2018 at 12:18 am - Reply

    I finally located my Instagram password, so I will be ready to post photos next summer (as @svanarunes)! I read 8 qualifying books but had to knock one off my count because I didn’t finish Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree for prompt #20 (by an author you know) in time. (Sorry, Jamie! I suck!)

    For a book related to history, I read The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. It wasn’t a super deep read, but it centered on WWII and the history leading up to it as well as the post-war culture. It’s set mostly in Paris but with significant scenes in New York, England, and Monte Carlo.

    For a book recommended by a friend, I read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, recommended to me by my friend Marta. It’s hard to describe without giving spoilers, but it’s an interesting twist on the dysfunctional family drama, and I thought Fowler did a great job with it.

    For a book you’ve been meaning to read, I read Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. Think And Then There Were None meets The Starship Titanic. I liked it overall but don’t understand how it garnered all the awards nominations it did.

    For a memoir, I read Satchmo by Louis Armstrong. This was a fascinating look not only at the early years of one of the greats of American music but the culture of early 20th-century New Orleans from an African-American perspective.

    For a book by someone you might not spiritually agree with, I read Strength and Compassion by Eric Greitens. Yes, the former governor of Missouri. This is a collection of his photos and essays, and weeks after finishing it, I’m still not sure what to make of it.

    For a book that won an award, I read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, a middle grade fantasy from the ’80s. I forget what award. It’s kind of weird and meandering, but despite having a few issues with it, I thought it was fun and charming. The book is definitely better than the movie.

    For a book you read years ago and have meant to reread, I read L’invitation au voyage by Charles Baudelaire. Yes, it’s just a single poem, but this edition has vintage photos (odd selections, but atmospheric) and an English translation (which I mostly ignored). I think I first read it about 15 years ago. I love Baudelaire, so I am glad I hung onto this elegant volume.

    For a mystery, I read Witchmark by C.L. Polk. This is a debut novel that is also gaslamp fantasy and gay romance. It throws together a lot of cross-genre elements and it actually works! I enjoyed the heck out of it.

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:25 am - Reply

      I’m with you, Chris, some books I just don’t get how they win so many awards :)!

      It looks like you read some really good books :). Can’t wait for next summer too!

  14. Megan Smith August 18, 2018 at 7:03 am - Reply

    I loved this reading challenge. I love to read lots in the summer since I am off work but this also helped inspire me to read more and watch less TV/movies. I also love trying to read out of my normal comfort zone. I read more books than I listed here but they didn’t quite fit in the categories :)
    1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—
    Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenize –I read this because I am always looking for more reasons to both read-aloud in my classroom and encourage parents to read-aloud in their homes. It was great reading thinking back on my growing up years nad the many books that our family enjoyed together.
    2. A book related to history—
    The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman –I actually read this because I was looking for a book that was turned into a movie and I came across this book. Non-fiction is not my favorite genre so I am glad I came across this book. It is a great look at what life in Poland was like during WW2
    4. A young adult (YA) book—
    Dangerous by Shannon Hale –It was so nice to be in my passport country with access to the library this summer. I have read every other Shannon Hale book and was excited to read one that focused on Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy. It was not my favorite book of hers but it was a great read.
    5. A book recommended by a friend—
    Faithful by Beth Fellor Jones—My sister loved this book and got me to read it. It is a short book on the Theology of Sex. I thought it was an interesting read that I never would have picked up on my own so I was grateful to this challenge for making me ask for book requests.
    6. A graphic novel—
    Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton by Matt Phelan—Truth be told, this was my least favorite book of the summer. I have tried to like graphic novels and have not found one I like yet. I would rather do the imagining in a book but I learn about Vaudeville.
    7. A book you’ve been meaning to read—
    Watership Down by Douglas Adams—This book has been on my shelf all year since I bought it from someone leaving the country. It has long been on my to read list and I have always wondered about the title (thinking it had something to do with ships). It was mind-blowing to discover the title referred to the place the Rabbits lived.
    8. A book published more than 100 years ago—
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell—I read this book for the Velvet Ashes reading club (since I have the time this summer). I loved it and couldn’t get enough. The main characters were lovely and charming in their mindsets that were so focused on their separate cultures.
    9. A book recommended by a teenager—
    Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card—Since I started this teenager on his Ender reading bend I thought it might be good if I read the book in the series that I have missed. It was great to get back into a world I haven’t read about since I was a teen.
    12. A memoir—
    The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy—I am not normally picking up memoirs to read but this one was free on my kindle. It was a quick read and let me learn a little about what life was like growing up in an upper-class large family.
    15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—
    Sandry’s Book by Tamora Pierce—I love all Tamora Pierec books and have been missing them since I have moved away from home. They always stand up to a reread and I love getting lost into characters that I love and feel like I grew up with.
    18. A mystery—
    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins –This is less of mystery and more of a thriller but it was much more appealing to me to pick up than any of the mysteries on the list. It kept me engaged every page and had an amazing plot twist that I didn’t see coming.

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Megan, I’ve only read two of the Ender books, but you’ve inspired me that I need to read more of them :). I enjoyed both, so not sure why I haven’t read more!

      I’m thinking about some new categories for next summer — what categories would have helped with some of the books you read but that didn’t fit in a category :)?

  15. Dorette August 18, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

    This was fun! And this thread is any booklovers dream ;)

    A book related to professional development – Building a story brand

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with – Longing for Paris

    A young adult (YA) book— Hope was here

    A book recommended by a friend — The piano tuner

    A book you’ve been meaning to read— Ended up listening to Pride and prejudice

    A book published more than 100 years ago— Also listened to North and South

    A book recommended by a ‘toddler’ ;) – Pigs in Pajamas (haha, we need a special category for a children’s books you memorized).

    A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with— The Sacred Enneagram (only realized this a few pages in, and if it wasn’t such an interesting topic it would’ve made it to my very short list of books I DNF ;)

    A book you read years ago and have meant to reread— I read Radical years ago and Radical Together was a good recap of the same ideas with more practical applications

    A mystery—

    The hangman by Louise Penny

    A book related to a skill – Read aloud revival (reading and parenting game changer)
    Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) — Home James
     
    A memoir – Jesus, my father and the CIA

    • Rachel Kahindi August 18, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

      A book recommended by a toddler! Lol!

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        Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:25 am - Reply

        Best line, isn’t it :)!

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Dorette, what did you think of Building a Story Brand — I’ve been wanting to read it :).

      And I’m curious about your take on The Sacred Enneagram :). I found the part on silence, solitude, and stillness to be the takeaway nugget — that every person may relate to God differently based on personality and wiring.

  16. Rachel Kahindi August 18, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    I know I read more than 7…but I stopped counting. This was super fun! I read a lot of books I’ve wanted read but never found time for. Here’s my list:

    A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—The Locust Effect or Serving with Eyes Wide Open by Gary A Haugen (important point, but sub-par writing)

    A book related to history—Past Crimes: A Compendium of Historical Mysteries by Ashley Gardner (was free for Kindle, easy reading and easy to put down)

    A young adult (YA) book—Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

    A book recommended by a friend—The Great Divorce by CS Lewis

    A book you’ve been meaning to read—Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    A book published more than 100 years ago—North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

    A biography—Martin Luther:A Life Inspired by Wyatt North (also free for Kindle and was very short)

    A memoir—Things as They Are by Amy Carmichael

    A book that has been translated into English—The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and also The Trial by Kafka

    A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)—11/22/63 by Stephen King… My vacation book, which was not intended to be part of my Summer Reading was also a 700+ page Stephen King: Duma Key

    A mystery—Fear Dreams by JA Schneider

    • Rachel Kahindi August 18, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Oh! I also have an Honorable Mention/Other. I really liked The Book of M by Peng Shepherd, but it didn’t fit into any categories.

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:37 am - Reply

      Rachel, The Metamorphosis!! Wow. I tried to read it about ten years ago — and all I remember is that I failed :)

  17. Raven August 18, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    So, this summer I did not do as well as I intended. After traveling to the States and back, surviving summer graduate school, and planning a wedding and getting married, I did well enough to read two books! However, I love that I have everyone’s lists to look through for recommendations. Not sure if anyone would find any interest in my two books though. So without further ado my two books were:

    A book related to professional development: Theory & Practice of Group Counseling by Gerald Corey

    A book that is more than 700 pages: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition

    Yes, both of those were textbooks for class. So maybe that’s a bit cheating? I did just finish reading the instruction manual to my new pressure cooker yesterday. Does that count, too? :)

    Anyways, I hate that I did not get to participate in the way I wanted to this summer. However, I still have a week and a half before this next semester begins so you bet that I’m going to finding myself a good cup of tea and a nice book to enjoy before my books get chosen for me in the form of required reading for class.

    • Spring August 18, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      I don’t think that is “cheating’! :) You read them didn’t you?

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Raven, some summers are just super full with other parts of life. Getting married and working on an MA doesn’t happen every year (Lord willing :)!). And the DSM, girl, you earned a brownie with that one!

  18. Amanda Wu August 18, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I didn’t make it to seven, but I did pack up and unpack an entire house and started crocheting as a result of one of the books. And, I really enjoyed the push to read and as you said become the person I want to be.

    Here’s what I finished:
    1. Stargirl, YA novel
    2. Reset by David Murray
    3. The Hiding Place
    4. Tramp for the Lord
    5. Devoted, a collection of biographies of moms of great men

    Here’s what I’m still reading:
    North and South
    In His Image
    Safe in His Arms
    9 Marks of a Healthy Church

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:20 am - Reply

      Well, that definitely adds up to seven :). Glad you participated, Amanda!

  19. Spring August 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    A book that is more than 700 pages—Ben Hur! As you know this was my bane, I was quite sure that I just wouldn’t get it done. The excessive descriptions were what drug me on. That being said, I completed it Thursday! I am honestly so thankful I took on the challenge! Ben Hur is one of those books that one should read at least once in their life. Some points really touched me, the descriptions of Christ, imagining him standing in the midst of my own messiness and pain, and his immense love were motive enough to have read the book.

    A book published more than 100 years ago— Swiss Family Robinson. I really haven’t even seen the movie of this one. I was unaware of the comparisons to cross cultural living. It was really interesting I spoke to a member care person who said the “average” time for an expat to feel comfortable in their new culture is 4 years, and this is the time that the Robinsons feel at home. I was struck with the different attitudes about animals and plants. I was offended that in the end of the book, they referred to the indigenous people as “savages”. They also implied that the “savages” had less intelligence.

    A memoir—To The Mafia with Love This was written by a woman I met in Mexico. She was a former Columbian and met Jesus in jail. What a story of God’s love and faithfulness!

    A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—A wrinkle in time. There were a lot of parts I had forgotten, but it was a good one to return to.

    And suddenly I realized with horror I had thought it was 6 books instead of 7. Oh well! Thanks for the challenge and thanks for the help to read Ben Hur. I wouldn’t have done it without this Challenge.

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      Amy August 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      BEN HUR counts for two :)!! I’m so impressed :)

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:17 am - Reply

      I haven’t read A Wrinkle In Time in ages! (um, we are talking DECADES — I think I’ll reread it next summer thanks to your comment!)

  20. Elizabeth Smith August 18, 2018 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    1. A book related to professional development(can be loosely interpreted). – PARENTING
    2. A book related to history. – SALT TO THE SEA (Great!)
    3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with. – DRESSMAKER FROM KHAIR KAHHN (Informative)
    4. A young adult (YA) book. – RULES OF THE ROAD (Love YA!)
    5. A book recommended by a friend. – WISH YOU WELL (No thanks.)
    6. A graphic novel. THE ODYSSEY; THE COUNT OFMONTE CRISTO (Wow. 36 characters?? Confusing.)
    7. A memoir. – I CAN ONLY IMAGINE (What redemption!)
    8. A book that has been translated into English. – IN OTHER WORDS (So so.)

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Now I’m curious to read The Count of Monte Cristo in a graphic novel! But with 36 characters, I’m fairly certain I’d be lost :)

  21. Emily Smith August 18, 2018 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—Reading People, by Anne Bogel (very interesting)

    2. A book related to history—The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (bleh. Had to read for school. Also read the Zookeeper’s Wife this summer, and that was much more enjoyed. Grapes of Wrath was just long and sad.)

    3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce (touching)

    4. A young adult (YA) book—Nyxia Unleashed, by Scott Reintgen (2nd book of a fantastic YA series)

    5. A book recommended by a friend—The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (really good, but I’ll have to keep reading)

    7. A book you’ve been meaning to read—A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman (wow. Leapt into my top five ever books)

    12. A memoir—The Times of my Life, by Navius Zephirin (Haitian writer) (really good–and the second half was his Creole poetry translated into English.) :)

    13. A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with—And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman (great. Highly recommend to anyone working with older people or an elderly family member…even though our views of death aren’t the same)

    14. A book that won an award—The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer (yep!)

    15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—The Heist Society, by Ally Carter (inspired by watching Oceans 8, I had to read it again)

    16. A book that has been translated into English—The Girl from the Train, by Irma Joubert (origionally in Afrikaans) (so good)

    18. A mystery—Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie (meh)

    21. Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction)—The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin (sweet)
    Non-fiction (if you tned to read fiction)–Live Fearless by Beth Clark and Sadie Robertson (awesome)

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Reading Ove and Harold in the same summer? How fun :). Those two reminded me of each other! And I”m glad in the midst of “mandatory reading” you got some books you wanted to read checked off your list :)

  22. Sarah August 19, 2018 at 2:54 am - Reply

    This challenge was so much fun! I look forward to this each summer, and I think this one was the best. I read 19 total books and finally got to read some that I have been meaning to for awhile.

    A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)— The Literacy Coach’s Survival Guide by Cathy Toll (this one was for a grad school class; not horrible, but definitely not fun.)

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (I learned a lot about Singaporeans and the crazy rich snobbery present there. Can’t wait to see the movie)

    A young adult (YA) book—War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (The conclusion to the series and kind of a lousy ending by my opinion)

    A book recommended by a friend—The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (SO GOOD!)

    A book you’ve been meaning to read—So many in this category: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Things Fall Apart, The Mermaid Chair, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Sun is Also a Star, The Starbound Trilogy, Fish in a Tree (HIGHLY recommend this one)

    A book recommended by a teenager—Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon (Recommended by one of my middle school students; a nice twist on Oliver Twist)

    A mystery— Us Against You by Fredrik Bachman (This is a loose fit in this category, but I couldn’t wait to read the sequel to Beartown. Both books have brilliant writing)

    A book by an author you know—The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim (I went to college with her and she is a brilliant writer. This also counts as a re-read, but totally worth it. It’s a modern re-telling of the Scarlet Letter set in an old-order Mennonite community. If you haven’t read it, you should!)

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:43 am - Reply

      Sarah, I’m glad it was such a good summer for reading :)! I love those :). So many good books — and new to me — on this list! I eager to get reading again! I’ve been wanting to read the Bachman books, so this is a good nudge!

  23. Jessie Oliver August 19, 2018 at 9:07 am - Reply

    1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)— “Praying for Your Children” by Elmer Towns and David Earley
    I wouldn’t recommend this book. While it contains some great Biblical truth and some good tips, there is a lot of fear-based praying. We must pray for children because the world is a scary place that will goble them up – mentality.

    2. A book related to history— “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
    Very interesting read.

    3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—”Stars between the Sun and the Moon: One Woman’s Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom” by Lucia Jang and Susan McClelland
    This also could count in the memoir category. I learned so much about the difficulties in this part of the world and how to pray for North Koreans from reading her story.

    4. A young adult (YA) book—”Lets Get Lost: A Coming of Age Novel” by Adi Alsaid
    If you are looking for a entertaining YA book, this fits the bill.

    5. A book recommended by a friend— “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman
    Can I call Reese Witherspoon a friend? My real-life friend Sandi gave me this book to read – and it was so interesting. And there were several twists I didn’t see coming.

    6. A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design)— “The Single’s Guide to Thriving” by Lina AbuJamra
    This book is a list of ideas. Quick read – not a lot of new information.

    7. A book by an author you know— “Scary Close” by Donald Miler
    Great book about relationships. Donald Miller’s storytelling wins again.

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      Amy August 20, 2018 at 7:37 am - Reply

      Of course, you can count Reese as a friend, don’t we all :)? And thanks for the heads up on the prayer book — I’m with you, we need to be wise, but not feed fear!

  24. H August 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Was glad for the push to get back into reading
    5 a book recommended by a friend: A wizard of earthsea (if only I remembered which friend had me put it on my list)
    8 a book published more than 100 years ago: North and South
    12 a memoir: Just Mercy
    14 a book that won an award: To kill a Mockingbird (there were parts of Just Mercy that the references made more sense having just read this)
    18 a mystery: Mysterious Affair at Styles
    19 a book related to a skill: Love Amy
    20 a book by an author you know: a beautiful disaster

  25. Rachel Olson August 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    I loved having the extra incentive to read more this summer! I still have several half-read ones in progress, but these are the ones I actually finished:

    A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)— Reckless Faith: Let Go and Be Led (Beth Guckenberger)

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with — Agape’s Children: Freed from the Streets (Darla Calhoun)

    A book recommended by a friend— Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard (Jennie Allen)

    A book you’ve been meaning to read— You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are (Rebekah Lyons)

    A memoir— Flight of Passage: A True Story (Rinker Buck)

    A book related to a skill — All the News That’s Fit to Tell and How to Tell It :-)
    Loved it! Will definitely be coming back to this for reference. Especially the part about killing darlings.

    Fiction — The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (Mary Ann Schaffer) – finally got around to reading this one!

  26. Michele August 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I thought this sounded fun, an then thought I probably wouldn’t participate because my summers tend to be more hectic and I couldn’t keep up. I looked at this post more to just see what everyone else was reading (as if I don’t have enough on my ‘want to read’ list)! It turns out I kind of did cover seven of the categories, so here’s my list:

    A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—Poisonwood Bible by Karen Kingsolver- This could have fit several categories, but I definitely have never been to the Congo, though I now have very dear friends from that country.

    A young adult (YA) book— Hope was Here by Joan Bauer- VA Book Club read I wouldn’t have otherwise picked up, but it was light and sweet and set in Wisconsin where I am now staying with family.

    A book recommended by a friend— The Sacred Enneagram- Actually recommended through blog of ‘friends’ I only know online, but I’m going to count it here. I’m still pretty new to the Enneagram and can’t quite figure out my number, but I like the idea of using it to develop intimacy with the God who made us so uniquely.

    A book you’ve been meaning to read— Thirst by Mary Oliver- finally. I checked it out of the library and may need to buy a copy because some of the poems moved me so much I want them always.

    A book published more than 100 years ago— North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell- Another VA Book Club read- LOVED it and especially enjoyed the discussions we had on it.

    A memoir— Same Kind of Different as Me- I thought it was fiction till I was well into it! It was a good one- love the concept of a dual author memoir!

    A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with— Tears we Cannot Stop- A Sermon to White America- I didn’t know there were things I’d disagree with till I was reading it, but I think it fits that category. It’s kind of hard to read (for a white American), but in a good way and I’m glad I did.

    A book you read years ago and have meant to reread— Maniac Magee- Another YA novel, actually- reading it with my nine-year-old niece. I read it to my very first students, two TCK’s in Kenya, in 1995. When I got in touch with them through Facebook a few years ago, I saw they’d both listed it in their profiles as a favorite book!

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    Amy August 21, 2018 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    What great fun! Thank you all . . . winners have been drawn and notified :)

  28. Miriam G. August 30, 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    This winner says thanks! And I’m even happier that I’ve started reading some of the books mentioned here. Whew – lots more to go!

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