Reading Challenge – Summer & Fall Recap

2016 Reading Challenge 1

I’m very behind on blogging about my 2016 reading challenge so today is the day to catch up! I purposefully decided not to recap each month in the summer and to do an end of summer recap but that really should have happened back in September. C’est la vie.

As part of my summer reading, I put together a Summer Reading List and I was able to read three out of the six books on that list. Unfortunately, I found that the other three were not available at my library or through Audible so I ended up reading others instead.

the-nightingale-kristin-hannahThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (Book Club)

This fast became one of my new favorites. I listened to this on audio, which I would highly recommend. The audio version gives you the appropriate accents and pronunciation for the French which is more impactful than stumbling over foreign words. With two and a half hours left in the audiobook, I couldn’t put it down and just sat on my couch and wept as the story concluded. It’s really wonderful, go to audible and download it now… Learn more about The Nightingale.



A Homemade LifeA Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen by Molly Wizenberg (Summer Reading) (Book Club)

Not exactly what I was expecting but I liked it none-the-less. I was expecting something a little more akin to Julie and Julia (i.e. memoir, blog style with a narrative). This book is a collection of essays each with a recipe or two (or three) at the end. Everything sounded amazing and I want to cook every recipe in the book! Perfect for reading around the holidays and trying new recipes. I think I would read this slower, maybe one chapter per week and then try cooking the recipe rather than reading it the way I did. I was desperately trying to finish it before my book club meeting… Learn more about A Homemade Life.

The Here and NowThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares (Summer Reading)

I really wanted to love this because I love Ann Brashares, but it was not my favorite of hers. Really great concept but I think it was not as developed as I’d like or maybe it was purposefully undeveloped for the younger audience? This is a story about time travel, billed as an unforgettable epic romantic thriller, but in all honesty, I can barely remember the details… Learn more about The Here and Now.



The BooksellerThe Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson (Summer Reading)

Really interesting, “Sliding Doors” type of story with two concurrent realities for the heroine. Not incredibly surprising in the end but still solid and I liked the characters a lot. It was the premise that sparked my interest and it was a little bit mysterious. Easy listening/reading for sure… Learn more about The Bookseller.




lair-of-dreamsLair of Dreams by Libba Bray

I’m a big Libba Bray fan and am loving this new series about Diviners. This book did not disappoint. I actually bought it for my kindle when it came out earlier this year and hadn’t picked it up yet (probably because it was on my Kindle so felt less urgent than a physical book). Then, I saw that it was on Audible and I snatched it up. I’ll definitely be listening to the next book on audio as well. I love these characters and their voices with their 1920’s slang. If you’re a fan of young adult fiction and fantasy, you will really love this. I can’t wait until the next book in this four book (yes, FOUR books) series comes out. Whenever that may be… Learn more about Lair of Dreams.

pretty-girls-karin-slaughterPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

This book is so disturbing and twisted. And then just very long. I really enjoyed it but I was ready for it to be over. You know from early on who the “bad guy” is and it is definitely a thriller, rather than mystery which is fine but it got a little long for having no real mystery to solve. All kinds of messed up, though, if you like that kind of thing… Learn more about Pretty Girls.



Finished Series:


Cress by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I’m just going to talk about these all as one. This was a great series. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it (although it is always handy when the full series is out and I don’t have to wait for new books). There are a lot of characters here and somehow, it’s easy to love and understand them all. It did take me a little longer to read Winter. It was slower for me, maybe because there is so much and it’s so long. Do people ship these characters? I might be way out of the loop but I’m team #Thress (Thorne & Cress) all the way. Side note: Read this series in order of publication Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter. Even though Fairest is a prequel and doesn’t follow the progression of the overarching storyline, it’s still best to read it before Winter. Just my two cents.

You’ll probably note that a lot of my “read” this summer and early fall were really “listens”. I did a lot of audio book listening because I was moving and didn’t have a lot of time to sit and read. I wish I was a little farther because, with less than three months until the end of the year, I still have 9 books to read. But I’m on track to meet my 2016 goal and I’ll just be reading away until the end of the year. Look for a final recap of my 2016 reading challenge after the New Year!


27/36 books (75% and on track)