The day that we have all been longing for is here :)— The end of the Summer 2019 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 16th. 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.

A Biography
A book I already own
A book a friend recommended
A Young Adult book (YA)
A book with a great cover
A book of poetry
A memoir or autobiography
A graphic novel
A book you might disagree with
A book for professional development (loosely defined)
A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books)
A book with a verb in the title
A play
A book about a country or culture you have never visite4d
A book about history
A book that won an award
A classic
A novel by an author you have never read before
An audiobook
A book related to a skill
A book with an animal
A book less than 100 pages
A book you want to discuss with others
Self Assigned “Penalty Book” (if you don’t read, subtract two books you read from your total “books read”

A book I already ownThe Dark Heart: A True Story of Greed, Murder, and an Unlikely Investigator by Joakim Palmkvist and translated by Agnes Broomé. I bought this either cheap on Kindle or got it free on some international book day deal. I’m the worst about getting books for free and then never reading them. Glad to have read this true crime story.

A book a friend recommendedFathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev. This was recommended by my niece Emily who read it in school and my book group in Denver read it in July. He was a contemporary of Tolstoy and  Dostoevsky, but wrote shorter books than they did! Written in 1862 about the 1859 freeing of the serfs. Very readable and generated a lively discussion.

A book with a great coverInvited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness by Leslie Verner

A book of poetryLion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle. This is a young adult “novel” told through poetry, I did not know such a book existed. Cuba in the 1870s was a combo of Chinese indentured servants escpaing from California, African slaves (and former slaves), and those of Spanish descent. I don’t want to give the story away, but read it!

A graphic novel—Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Brenna Thummler. This is, hands down the best graphic novel every written. Stay tuned for more in another post.

A book for professional development (loosely defined)Developing Female Leaders: Navigate the Minefields and Release the Potential of Women in Your Church by Kadi Cole

A book with a verb in the titleHoly Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor

A book about historyCode Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

A classicThe Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The Blue Castle is the only book she wrote for grown-ups. Having read the Anne books in the summer as a child, this was a wonderful summer read.

An audiobookLean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

A book related to a skillHow to Write, Edit, and Publish Your Memoir: Advice from a Best-Selling Memoirist by Carolyn Jourdan. (You might recognize her name from Heart in the Right Place.)

A book with an animalBritt-Marie Was Here: A Novel by Fredrik Bachman has a rat (also made me laugh more than any other book I read this summer!)

Self Assigned “Penalty Book”—Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I think this is my favorite category because it kicks me in the pants to read a book I otherwise my drag my heels on . . . and then I am grateful and proud of myself for reading it.

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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 would not have read the fantastic Anne of Green Gables graphic novel and I’m 99% sure I would still be intending to read Leadership by Goodwin. Thanks to you, I read both of them.

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

Amy

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  1. Vanessa Samuel August 16, 2019 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Like you Amy I’m drawn to more non fiction than fiction these days.

    1. The girl of fire and thorns by Rae Carson.
    2. All things bright and beautiful by James Herriot (recommended by a friend)
    3. The 4 seasons of marriage by Gary Chapman.
    4. 100 ways to simplify your life by Joyce Meyer.
    5. A captain’s duty by Richard Phillips (autobiographical)
    6. The Lord God made them all by James Herriot.
    7. Letters to the church by Francis Chan.
    8. Crazy love by Francis Chan.
    9. Everybody wins by Gary Chapman.
    10. A case for miracles by Lee Strobel.
    11. Seize the day by Joyce Meyer.
    12. Sacred pathways by Gary Thomas.
    13. Not without my daughter by Betty Mahmoody.

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Oh “Not without my daughter” is a “classic” — not really, but I read it years ago and seeing it here is a lovely blast from the past :)

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    Rhonda August 16, 2019 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Rhonda contaced me ahead of time because today she is flying back to Mongolia!

    2019 SUMMER READING CHALLENGE
    Read seven books between June 1st and August 16th and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
    o A Biography: Sisters & Spies by Susan Ottaway
    o A book I already own: Mrs. Jefferies Stalks the Hunter by Emily Brightwell
    o A book a friend recommended: The Commandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff
    o A Young Adult book (YA): The Giver by Lois Lowry
    o A book with a great cover; Inside Out & Back Again by Than HHA Lai
    o A book of poetry: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
    o A memoir or autobiograph: By Chance Alone by Max Eisen
    o A book you might disagree with: Entering the Tao by Hua-Ching Ni
    o A book with a verb in the title: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
    o A book about a country or culture you have never visited: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday.
    o A book about history: Genghis Khan & the Quest for God by Jack Weatherford
    o A book that won an award: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
    o A novel by an author you have never read before: The Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morns
    o A book related to a skil: Stop the Junk by Rondea Wine (learning healthy life habits)
    o A book recommended by someone you know: The Guernsey Literary & Potato peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
    o A book with an animal: The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith ( a just for fun read)
    o A book You want to discuss with others: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

    • Rhonda August 19, 2019 at 1:20 am - Reply

      Thanks for posting for me Amy! Greatly appreciated.

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        Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:02 am - Reply

        Always happy to help you :). And welcome home!

  3. Jamie August 16, 2019 at 8:04 am - Reply

    My books:

    A Biography: Titian–Stefano Zuffi

    A book I already own: Welcome to Temptation–Jennifer Crusie

    A book a friend recommended: Keeper of the Light–Diane Chamberlain

    A Young Adult book (YA): Bloodrose–Andrea Cremer

    A book with a great cover: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating–Christina Lauren

    A book of poetry: Love–Pablo Neruda

    A memoir or autobiography: Courage to Soar-Simone Biles

    A graphic novel: On a Sunbeam–Tillie Walden

    A book you might disagree with: The Backstagers, Volume1–James Tynion IV

    A book for professional development (loosely defined): Creatocracy–Elizabeth Wurtzel

    A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books): The Tale of Genji–Murasaki Shikibu

    A book with a verb in the title: Faking It–Jennifer Crusie

    A play: Our Town–Thornton Wilder

    A book about a country or culture you have never visited: The Temple Dancer–John Speed

    A book about history: Roses and Radicals–Susan Zimet

    A book that won an award: Long Way Down–Jason Reynolds

    A classic: Jo’s Boys–Louisa May Alcott

    A novel by an author you have never read before: Rebel–Beverly Jenkins

    An audiobook: Do This For Me–Eliza Kennedy

    A book related to a skill: Integrated Robots–Erik Richardson

    A book recommended by someone you know: The Vineyard–Barbara Delinsky

    A book with an animal: How to Train Your Dragon–Cressida Cowell

    A book less than 100 pages: Piper Morgan in Charge!–Stephanie Faris

    A book you want to discuss with others: The Joy Luck Club–Amy Tan

    My Penalty Book: Bright Lights, Big A**–Jen Lancaster

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Jamie, WOW, this is an impressive list :)!

  4. Haley August 16, 2019 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I love book lists!! Thanks!

    I always choose NF so I challenged myself to relax and read a combo.
    Garbage Bag Suitcase, Shenandoah Chefalo which is true, and ridiculously hard to read, but important and good
    Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire, Rafe a good inspire teachers book
    Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys which is historical fiction about the Wilhelm Gustloff shipwreck during WWII- read it
    Outlaw, Ted Dekker – dystopian and mystical cravings which were satisfied by all of his books.
    Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Dusti Bowling -YA, great short read similar to Wonder, all the feels
    Water Walker, Ted Dekker
    Rise of the Mystics, Ted Dekker
    The 49th Mystic, Ted Dekker
    God Sees Me, Bill Johnson – everything he says radiates with deep revelation and truth
    Brave Surrender, Kim Walker Smith her autobiography, and good for hope

    • Haley August 16, 2019 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Oops.. I got so excited about lists I realized I didn’t fit categories. I’m so sorry lol! Delete delete delete. I’m a tad bit tired and overworked and just bawled my eyes our while I try to live in Uganda, so I was trying to cheer myself up. Carry on.

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      Amy August 16, 2019 at 10:23 am - Reply

      No worry about categories Haley! We are happy you are here. And many of us at The Messy Middle get the ups and downs of life on the field. We are your people!! I’ll look through your list when I have a moment! :), Amy

  5. Rachel Kahindi August 16, 2019 at 8:46 am - Reply

    I have The Dark Heart, too, and I haven’t read it yet! My summer books:

    1. A Biography: Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Dr and Mrs Howard Taylor — Such a great book for people who live by faith!

    2. A book a friend recommended: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi — I had low expectations for this one because it seemed to be such a fad when it came out, and fad books never live up to the hype. But I was surprised. It’s really great.

    3. A Young Adult book (YA): The Giver by Lois Lowry — Read for Velvet Ashes book club.

    4. A book about history: Man-eaters of Tsavo by Lt Col JH Patterson — The first half (about the man-eaters) was much more interesting than the second half (about further hunting exploits while he was overseeing the building of the railway in Kenya). But I’m glad I read it.

    5. A classic: Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray
    6. And: The Pursuit of Man by AW Tozer
    — not classic literature, but classic theology.

    7. A novel by an author you have never read before: The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

    8. An audiobook: Eric Liddell: Something Greater than Gold — I listened to it with my kids. I knew who Eric Liddell was, but I didn’t know his while story. This is the Christian Heroes Then and Now series, and it was well done.

    9. A book with an animal: Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia — I really liked it
    10. And: The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado by John R Erickson — because I told my niece I’d never read any Hank the Cowdog books, and she handed it to me and said I should read it.

    11. A book less than 100 pages: I read a lot of photo biographies getting ready for homeschooling, most of them under 100 pages. I’m counting Michelangelo by Diane Stanley because I liked it most.

    12. A book with a verb in the title: The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman — the third book in the Invisible Library series. Not great literature, but really fun.

    13. Uncategorized: The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz (the 4th Jane Hawk book)

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Rachel, you always read such interesting books :). and I love that your niece handed you a Hank book and said you should read it :)

  6. Bev Baird August 16, 2019 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Here are the 7 books I read for your fun challenge:

    A book I already own – The Wedding Date by Zara Stonely
    A Young Adult book (YA) -: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kiupers
    and, Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
    A book with a verb in the title – Storm Cursed, Frost Burned, Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
    A play – The Importance of Being Earnest by oscar Wilde
    A book about a country or culture you have never visited – Israel – Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman
    A book with an animal – A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron
    A novel by an author you have never read before – Several:
    Josie Blake (The Hygge Holiday)
    Elliott James (Charming, Daring, Fearless)
    Rachel Gibson (The Art of Running in Heels)
    Beth O’Leary (The Flatshare)

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:49 am - Reply

      Bev, I’ve been looking for a play to read! and then I read your list :). Would you recommend “the Importance of Being Earnest?”

  7. Hannah Ayena August 16, 2019 at 10:19 am - Reply

    -A book I already own: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

    -A book a friend recommended (wonder who that friend was 😉): Britt-Marie Was Here

    -A book with a verb in the title: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

    -A book about a country you have never visited: The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

    -A classic: The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

    -A novel by an author you have never read before: Praise Song for the Butterflies: Bernice L. McFadden

    -An audiobook: Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

    I didn’t plan out my books like I have in past years so I ended up not being very adventurous (lots of African lit and VA book club books). But it was still fun fitting them in the categories afterwards.

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Hey Hannah, I felt the same way :) . . . at the end of the summer, I read far more non-fiction that I would have read anyways than I intended :). But I did read a few I would not have read without the challenge, so there’s that! AND your Britt-Marie friend :) . . . she loved that book!

  8. Christina Grossman August 16, 2019 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    A Biography – The Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon
    A book I already own – The Cave of Time
    A book a friend recommended – Blindness
    A Young Adult book (YA) – The Hazel Wood
    A book with a great cover – The Iliac Crest
    A memoir or autobiography – Educated
    A graphic novel – The One Hundred Nights of Hero
    A book you might disagree with – Make Your Bed
    A book for professional development (loosely defined) – Baroque Folk
    A book with a verb in the title – Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
    A book about history – The Ghost Map
    A book that won an award – The Lincoln Lawyer
    A classic – Robinson Crusoe
    A novel by an author you have never read before – The Tea Shop
    An audiobook – The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
    A book recommended by someone you know – 17776
    A book with an animal – Life of Pi
    A book less than 100 pages – Green Eggs and Ham
    A book you want to discuss with others – Blood on the Tracks
    Self Assigned “Penalty Book” – FAIL – Trickster’s Choice

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Christina, I love that Green Eggs and Ham made your list :). And there’s always next summer for your penalty book :)

  9. Bayta August 16, 2019 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I wasn’t really taking part in the challenge but thought it’d be fun to remind myself of the books I read over the summer. And actually, they do fit into enough of the categories, so maybe now I am taking part after all! 😊 Can you tell I’m mostly (ok, almost exclusively) drawn to fiction?!
    Recommended by a friend: Life After Life (Kate Atkinson)
    YA: The Giver (Lois Lowry)
    Book with a great cover: Behold the Dreamers (Imbolo Mbue). The cover actually drew me in when I spotted it on that bookshelf at our holiday cottage!
    Classic: Sense & Sensibility (Jane Austen)
    Less than 100 pages: Oggleswog the Dragon (Monique Amado)
    History: All the Light We Can Not See (Anthony Doerr)
    Book with an animal: Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett – I LOVE the Discworld series 😊) It’s all about dragons
    About a country I’ve not been to: Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi) Largely set in Ghana.
    Want to discuss with others: Metropole (Ferenc Karinthy). Utterly intriguing!
    I also read The Blue Castle (LM Montgomery) but that doesn’t really fit into any of the categories that are left.

    Also, I’m intrigued by the Anne of Green Gables graphic novel! I’m just reading through the whole series (in the “normal” format).

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:38 am - Reply

      Bayta, I’m not surprised you were able to fill in the categories :)! And I love that you read a book because you were drawn to the cover first!!! I think you would LOVE the Anne Graphic novel. It got passed around three generations in our neck of the woods, and we all kept raving about it :)

      • Bayta August 19, 2019 at 11:17 am - Reply

        Oh I can be quite vísual! An unattractive cover can really put me off a book! One more thing I like about reading on Kindle: you don’t see the cover very much :-)

  10. Emily Smith August 16, 2019 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    A book I already own: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    A book a friend recommended: Beautiful Scars by Emily Favero
    A Young Adult book (YA): The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson
    A book with a great cover: Uninvited: living loved when you feel less than, left out, and lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
    A book of poetry: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
    A memoir or autobiography: The Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
    A book you might disagree with: Girl, Wash your Face by Rachel Hollis
    A book with a verb in the title: Asking for a Friend by Jessica Weisberg
    A play: Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
    A book about a country or culture you have never visited: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    A book about history: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
    A book that won an award: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
    A classic: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    A novel by an author you have never read before: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
    An audiobook: Hunted by Meagan Spooner
    A book related to a skill: Dating in Black and White by Adonis and Heather Lenzy
    A book with an animal: A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy
    A book less than 100 pages: The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
    A book you want to discuss with others: Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham and Bill and Pam Farrel

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Emily, I asked Grandma last night if she had heard of the play “Disgraced” because someone read it in the Summer Reading Challenge, I didn’t remember it was you :). And now I’m wondering if two of you read the same play :)! What did you think of it? Would you recommend it?

  11. Jaime August 16, 2019 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Upon looking at my list I notice a pattern of memoirs…

    A book I already own: Another Quiet American, Brett Dakin
    A book with a great cover: The Broken Circle, Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller
    A memoir or autobiography: Lands of Lost Borders – Kate Harris
    A book with a verb in the title: Overturning Tables: Freeing Missions from the Christian Industrial Complex, Scott A Bessenecker
    A book about a country or culture you have never visited: Without a Country, Ayse Kulin (a fictional story about German Jews who moved to Turkey during the rise of the Nazis. Their story of adjusting to another culture was incredibly relatable)
    A classic: Mere Christianity, CS Lewis (also my penalty book)
    A novel by and author you have never read before: The Atlantis Gene, AG Riddle (I had to read the whole series because I couldn’t stop at just one book!)
    An audiobook: Ravenmaster, Christopher Skaife
    A book with an animal: Zoo Nebraska, Carson Vaughn
    A book with less than 100 pages: The 3D Gospel, Jayson Georges

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Jaime, I hadn’t heard of “Overturning the Tables” — what did you think of it? Would you recommend it? And “Without a Country” caught my eye and I passed on your comment to the Velvet Ashes Book Club ladies! Thanks for the idea :)

  12. Kimberly Greene August 16, 2019 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Penalty book Know and Tell
    A book you want to discuss with others- You and Me Together
    A book less than 100 pages- If
    A book recommended by someone you know- Keeping the Heart
    An audio book- Holy Grounds, Sticky Floors
    A novel by an author you have never read- Orphan Train
    A book about history- The Nightengale
    A book with a verb in the title- Listening for Lions
    A book with a great cover- Cozy Minimilist Home
    A Young Adult book- Hope was Here

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Kimberly, so many great books on your list :)! I havne’t read “Orphan Train” yet, would you recommend it?

      • Kimberly Greene August 20, 2019 at 7:11 pm - Reply

        Yes, I enjoyed it. It is a tragic story, but a good message running through it.

        Thank you for the challenge. I did it last year, but never posted. But I was looking forward to it this year. I love reading all the variety of books people read.

  13. Jennifer August 17, 2019 at 1:32 am - Reply

    This was my first ever summer reading challenge and I loved it! Read so many great things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read. Here’s my list…

    1. Looming transitions (not a suck up, I promise! This was my professional development book, as we just started on the field a few months ago).

    2. Hillbilly Elegy (memoir)

    3. Inspired by RHE (cool cover)

    4. Jesus feminist by Sarah Bessey (book I might disagree with)

    5. The emotional life of the toddler (audiobook)

    6. The Giver (award winner)

    7. The Hate U Give (YA novel)

    8. The Sower by Gary Hogue (book under 100 pgs)

    9. Shortest way home by Pete Buttegieg (book to discuss with others)

    Sadly, I didn’t finish my penalty book (it was just a 40 day devotional!), but I made up for it with the extras.

    Once I got started reading, I couldn’t stop! Almost finished 3 other books not listed here. Thanks for the inspiration!

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Jennifer, I loved your list :) . . . and thanks for reading Book 1 :). In theory, I want to read devotional books, but I don’t have the best track record :)!

  14. MaDonna August 17, 2019 at 2:14 am - Reply

    I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped, but I finished the challenge. Thanks again, Amy. I love the categories that challenge me to read beyond my favorite genres.

    1. YA Book~ After the Dancing Days by Margaret I. Rostkowski

    2. Book already own~ Grace in Disguise by Chistine Dillon

    3. History ~ Liberty’s Torch by Elizabeth Mitchell

    4. Work related~ Missionaries are Real People by Ellen Rosenberger

    5. Want to discuss~ Finding Home by Rachel Jones

    6. Play~ Tragedy of Macbeth by Shakespeare

    7. Skill ~ The Nuts and Bolts to Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:26 am - Reply

      MaDonna, “The Nuts and Bolts to Writing Picture Books” has me wondering if you’re wanting to write one :)!! I haven’t read “Missionaries are Real People” yet, what did you think?

  15. Shelley August 17, 2019 at 5:13 am - Reply

    I was disappointed when the challenge ended this year. It is always fun.

    1. A book I already own: Tangled Vines by Kay Bratt. It is her second book in the series Tales of a Scavenger’s Daughter. I couldn’t put this book down because it followed the lives of abandoned at birth girls in China. The whole series is fascinating.

    2. A Book for Professional Development: Lucy Calkins Phonics. This was a book I read for school. It’s new curriculum. Lucy is wordy, but I like her thoughts.

    3. A book about a country or culture you have never visited: I Should Have Honor. I should have Honor was about honor killings in Pakistan. Many parts of this book broke my heart as I learned more about life for women there.

    4. A Book about history: Forty Autumns. Forty Autumns was about the Berlin wall. It follows a family that was separated. This was also one that I couldn’t put down.

    5. An Audio Book: Educated; A Memoir. Educated follows a Morman family in Idaho. The Father is a religious fanatic and keeps his kids at home not putting them in school.

    6. A Book Recommended by someone you know: Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine. I loved Eleanor she was very quirky and I love how the book shows her personality develop.

    7. A book with an animal: Guinea Pig in the Garage. I love Guinea Pigs so I had to read this book to see if I could read it to my class. It was a cute story about a kid who wanted a pet guinea pig.

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:24 am - Reply

      I love your enthusiasm Shelley! and the variety you read :). Happy a guinea pig made your list!

  16. Mitzi August 17, 2019 at 8:14 am - Reply

    These books represent 16 of the categories:
    The Nature of the Beast – Gamache 11 Louise Penny
    A Severe Mercy Sheldon Vanauken
    Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens
    I’d Rather Be Reading Anne Bogel
    Arriving Well multiple
    A Great Reckoning – Gamache 12 Louise Penny
    A Ring of Endless Light Madeleine L’Engle
    Garden Spells Sarah Allen
    Maisie Dobbs Jacqueline Winspear
    Learning to Speak God from Scratch Jonathan Merritt
    Taste and See Margaret Feinberg
    The Lost for Words Bookshop Stephanie Butland
    Ayesha at Last Uzma Jalaluddin
    Glass Houses – Gamache 13 Louise Penny
    The Farm Joann Ramos
    Sourdough Robin Sloan
    Bud, Not Buddy Christopher Curtis
    I Owe You One Sophie Kinsella
    Kingdom of the Blind – Gamache 14 Louise Penny

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Mitzi, your list reminds me that there are so many books I’ve never heard of :)! It’s good to share these lists and learn from each other :)

  17. Rachel August 17, 2019 at 9:23 am - Reply

    This challenge was exactly the kick in the pants that I needed to start reading again more. I finished my last book at 10pm on the 16th!

    1. A book I already own: Reclaiming Our Roots: An Inclusive Introduction to Church History (Volume 1) by Mark Ellingsen. An old textbook from my religion class in university–it was a great review of early church history.

    2. A YA book: Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery. A great find at used bookstore here in Southeast Asia for $2.

    3. A Memoir: I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee. A light and funny read.

    4 and 5. 700 pages++: The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefoire. My mom got me this book for Christmas two years ago so I was happy to finally read (and more importantly, finish!) it. The best afterword I’ve ever read–he tied in modern-day politics of Russia to the history of the czarist autocracy.

    6. A book about history: Phnom Penh: A Cultural History by Milton Osborne. I read this years ago when I first moved to Southeast Asia and it was wonderful to read again with different eyes.

    7. A book for professional development: Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel. I am reading this with my leadership team at work and we’ve already had some great discussions about the joys and challenges of leadership.

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:21 am - Reply

      Rachel, What a fun list to read through! I’m intrigued by “The Romanovs” and should read it some day!!! Also, glad that the challenge helped get you reading again. Your comment made my day!

  18. Christy J August 17, 2019 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I am super proud of myself for finishing the challenge this summer since I made an international move, got a job in a new city, found an apartment and a car, took a family vacation to Canada, drove a U-haul across 4 states to move into my new place, went to Ohio for a wedding, and then started a new job all within the 2 months of this challenge. And I even managed to read a book that was more than 1000 pages along the way! Reading was one of the things that kept me grounded during all the craziness, so I am thankful for that. Here are my books (without comments this time since I am still super busy):

    • A Biography and my Penalty Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    • A Young Adult book (YA): The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
    • A book longer than 700 pages (counts as two books): The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
    • A book with a verb in the title: Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
    • A book about a country or culture you have never visited: The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble
    • A book recommended by someone you know: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
    • A book You want to discuss with others: Broken Veil by Jeff Wheeler

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:19 am - Reply

      OH MY WORD. I”m super proud of you too Christy :)! And especially to get a 700+ page book read in the midst of all you had going on. Massive HIGH FIVE to you!

  19. Sarah Reese August 17, 2019 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    1. A book I already own—Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
    2. A book a friend recommended—My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
    3. A Young Adult book (YA)—Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
    4. A book with a great cover—The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
    5. A memoir or autobiography—Hidden Girl by Shyima Hall
    6. A book with a verb in the title—Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
    7. A book about a country or culture you have never visited– The Broken Circle by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller
    8. A novel by an author you have never read before—All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
    9. A book with an animal—Woman Without A Past by Phyllis A. Whitney
    10. A book less than 100 pages—I Survived D-Day by Lauren Tarshis
    11. A book you want to discuss with others—The Farm by Joanne Ramos

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Sarah, I”m intrigued by “I survived D-Day” — would you recommend it?

  20. Diane Treat August 18, 2019 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    A book I already own – Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
    A young adult book – Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
    A memoir – Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
    A book with a verb in the title – Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg
    A classic – Persuasion by Jane Austen
    A book related to a skill – Travels in Blood and Honey by Elizabeth Growing
    A book less than 100 pages – The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:05 am - Reply

      Hope Was Here is one of my favs :)!

  21. Elizabeth S August 18, 2019 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    A great summer of reading! Thank goodness for camping and down-time in the mountains. :-)

    1. A book I already own – “The Spirit of the Disciplines” (Dallas Willard) – This was my penalty book. A very cerebral, sloooooow read. Parts of it really really good, and parts kinda, well, dry.

    2. A book a friend recommended – “The End of Me” (Kyle Idleman)

    3. A graphic novel – “Anne of Green Gables” (Mariah Marsden) FABULOUS.

    4. A book that won an award – “Just Mercy” (Bryan Stevenson) This book’ll make you a little crazed. In a good way.

    5. A classic – “Fathers and Sons” (Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev)

    6. A novel by an author you have never read before – “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” (Gail Honeyman) Made me think of Fredrik Backman. Good, quirky, redeeming.

    7. A book you want to discuss with others – “Ella Minnow Pea” (Mark Dunn) I thought this was going to be a cutsie, light read. It was brief (yay!), but it was much more engaging and thought-provoking than I expected. A welcome delight!

    I read others, but here’s my qualifiers. ;-)

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:04 am - Reply

      I agree, I think that Anne graphic novel is my fav graphic novel of all times :)!!

  22. Anna Smith August 18, 2019 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    1. A book I already own: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
    2. A book a friend recommended: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    3. A Young Adult book: Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky
    4. A book of poetry: Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill
    5. A graphic novel: Sheets by Brenna Thummler
    6-7. A book longer than 700 pages: Winter by Marissa Meyer
    8. A book about a country or culture you have never visited: Lion Island by Margarita Engle
    9. A book about history: Code Girls by Liza Mundy
    10. A book that won an award: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    11. A classic: A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:03 am - Reply

      I like your graphic novel :) . . . actully it wasn’t that great of a read (kind of weird, I thought!), but I like that you picked it up for me at the library and read it before you handed it over :)!!

  23. Corrine Haning August 19, 2019 at 7:13 am - Reply

    1. A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman (award)
    2. Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow (an audiobook)
    3. A Long Way Gone – Ishmael Beah (a place you have never been)
    4. Thank You for Being Late – Thomas Friedman (book I already own)
    5. Work. Pump. Repeat. – Jessica Shortall (book with verb in the title)
    6. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (YA)
    7. Parenting From the Inside Out – Daniel J. Siegel (Professional Development)
    8. Yes Please – Amy Poehler (a memoir)

    This was so fun, and my first time participating! While some of my books will carry over into a personal “fall reading challenge”, I also plan to continue to select books based on other categories the list you provided. Thanks, Amy!

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      Amy August 19, 2019 at 8:01 am - Reply

      Corrine, with three kids and a busy phase of life, I’m impressed with all you read!! Amy :)

  24. Mary Raikes August 21, 2019 at 7:59 am - Reply

    I love the sound of that graphic novel! I read a graphic novel earlier this year, or maybe last year? called My Boyfriend Is A Bear. It was both very sweet and a little bit strange.

    Each year I try to complete Anne Bogel’s Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge, and this year have added the Reading Women challenge, as well as yours. Clearly reading is my main hobby.

    My list:
    A book I already own – The Mothers by Brit Bennett
    A book a friend recommended – Daughter Wait! by Carly Riordan
    A Young Adult book (YA) – The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (loved this! And then Everything, Everything too)
    A book with a great cover – Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalalludan (Muslim and modern remaking of Pride and Prejudice. I am here for this).
    A memoir or autobiography – Grace, Gold and Glory by Gabrielle Douglas (Wow, Olympic gymnasts put in so much work from such a young age!)
    A book with a verb in the title – Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
    A play – A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
    A book about a country or culture you have never visited – Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
    A book that won an award – The Giver by Lois Lowry (thanks Velvet Ashes for this rec)
    A classic – The Blue Castle by Lucy Montgomery (and this one. She is so full of spunk, I love it!!!)
    A novel by an author you have never read before – Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
    An audiobook – The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (Draws you in so cleverly)
    A book with an animal – Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (that pesky croc haha)
    A book less than 100 pages – Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman (Just part of my daily life as a preschool teacher, but a fun read nevertheless).

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