Reading Challenge: May 2016

2016 Reading Challenge 1I’m a little late in posting my reads from May but I got in a few really good ones! I also recently subscribed to Audible and 2 of the 3 books read in May were on audio, both of which were very well done! I really like listening to historical fiction this way, particularly when accents and foreign languages come in to play. It could be argued that all of the books in May are historical fiction, even though one is children’s literature. Here are the books I read in May:

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

I have read a couple of Kate Morton’s books before, I started with The Forgotten Garden which I really liked and in listening to the podcast What Should I Read Next, heard the host recommend this as one of her favorites by Kate Morton so I decided to give it a try. It was really good! The story is multi-generational and is told from the perspectives of a few different characters. As a child, Laurel witnesses her mother murder a man who intruded on their property. It was deemed self defense but years later Laurel recalls that the man had known her mother by name. She delves in to an investigation as to who this man was and how he was connected to her mother. The mystery is unveiled to the reader both by Laurel’s research and by the narrative of her mother’s past during the London Blitz during WWII. I’ll admit that I suspected partly what ended up happening but was surprised by how they got there so the twist was good. I would definitely recommend! … Learn more here.

Emily’s Runaway imagination by Beverly Cleary

Recently Beverly Clearly turned 100 years old and it got me remembering how I fell in love with reading when I read Ramona Quimby, Age 8. While at the library I decided I would look for another Ramona book Ramona The Brave. Unfortunately, the library didn’t have that one but they did have Emily’s Runaway Imagination which I had never heard of but was intrigued by the title. This was a very sweet book about Emily, a young girl living in a small town in Oregon called Pitchfork sometime around the 1920’s when automobiles were first becoming popular and how her imagination tends to runaway with her. Very cute, although slightly racist toward her Chinese neighbor. This book was written in 1961 around the same time that Mickey Rooney was getting praise for his portrayal of a Chinese character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so I guess that explains that. Not as wonderful as Ramona but solid Beverly Clearly material! … Learn more here.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen grissom

This is another one that I heard about through What Should I Read Next and I’m so glad that I found it! I really enjoy historical fiction but find myself mostly drawn to the WWII time period so I wanted to try something different! This is the story of an Irish indentured servant (Lavinia) and the lives of all the people connected with the plantation that she lives on. Starting in the 1790’s and going through the first part of the 1800’s, it tells the story of Lavinia’s upbringing with the slaves who become her family and what she has to do to secure a future for herself. Told through both Lavinia’s perspective and the Captain’s illegitimate daughter’s (Belle). I don’t know how to do it justice but trust me it’s a good book, one that had me crying in the car while I listened!  … Learn more  here!

Because 2 of my books were on audio this month, I felt like I didn’t read as much. I also started a couple of others that I decided I didn’t’ enjoy enough to finish so that took up some of my physical book reading time. I’m working on my own summer reading list for June, July and August and will post a blog with my selections soon in case you want to read along with me!


18/36 books (50% and 3 books ahead of schedule)

  1. Read a book published this year (CHECK – Lady Midnight)
  2. Read a book you can finish in a day (CHECK – If I Stay)
  3. Read a book you’ve been meaning to read (CHECK – Cinder)
  4. Read a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
  5. Read a book you should have read in school
  6. Read a book chosen for you by your spouse, sibling, or BFF (CHECK – Troublemaker)
  7. Read a book published before you were born (CHECK – Emily’s Runaway Imagination)
  8. Read a book that was banned at some point
  9. Read a book you previously abandoned
  10. Read a book you own but have never read
  11. Read a book that intimidates you
  12. Read a book you’ve already read at least once (CHECK – Clockwork Princess)
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