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JulieLill's 2017 Reading Challenge

Read it, Track it! (& 2017 12 x 12 Challenge)

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Edited: Dec 24, 2016, 5:06pm Top

Going to challenge myself by doing a pyramid reading challenge!

Edited: Dec 24, 2016, 5:09pm Top

#1 Author Challenge - Read a Charles Dicken's Book

Edited: Dec 24, 2016, 5:12pm Top

#2 Horror Challenge Read 2 horror books

Edited: Mar 16, 3:15pm Top

Edited: Feb 18, 3:45pm Top

#4 Young Adult Read 4 books
1) The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip M. Hoose 4.5/5 stars 1/5/2017
2) Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan 4/5 stars 1/16/2017
3)The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge 4/5 stars 2/18/2017

Edited: Dec 24, 2016, 5:15pm Top

#5 Crime Read 5 books

Edited: Dec 24, 2016, 5:25pm Top

#6 Romance Read 6 books

Edited: Feb 5, 2:59pm Top

#7 Science Fiction Read 7 books
1) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 4/5 stars 1/24/2017
2)The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks 3.5/5 stars 2/4/2017

Edited: Mar 15, 12:31pm Top

#8 New Authors for Me Read 8 books
1) Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt 4/5 stars 2/2/2017
2) Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso 2/5 stars 3/4/2017
3) The Bookman's Tale by Ronald Blythe 4/5/ stars 3/15/2017

Edited: Feb 11, 4:51pm Top

#9 Mysteries Read 9 books
1) Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley 3/5 stars 2/10/2017

Edited: Mar 25, 6:16pm Top

#10 Autobiographies and Biographies Read 10 books
1) Not Just Batman’s Butler: The Autobiography of Alan Napier by Alan Napier with James Bigwood 3/5 stars 1/17/2017
2)I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 5/5 stars 3/19/2017
3)Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick 4/5 stars 3/20/2017
4)Maude by Donna Mabry 3.5/5 stars 3/25/2017

Edited: Mar 3, 12:24pm Top

#11 Fiction Read 11 books
1)O Pioneers by Willa Cather 4/5 stars 3/2/2017
2)The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai 3.5/5 stars 3/3/2017

Jan 3, 4:13pm Top

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
by Kelly Jones
3/5 stars
Sweet book about a young girl who is uprooted when her father loses his job and they move to her mother's deceased father's farm. As they adjust to life in a new town, she finds one of her grandfather's chickens. This motivates her to start learning more about them when she discovers that her other grandfather's chickens have been stolen. She gets some help learning about the chickens and ends up making friends while recovering her grandfather's chickens. Told through letters.
Childrens Fiction #1

Jan 3, 5:12pm Top

>14 JulieLill: I like the sound of this book!

Jan 5, 6:14pm Top

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
Phillip M. Hoose
4.5/5 stars
This actually is a YA book and fairly short but nevertheless a fascinating story of a group of Danish teenagers that refused to accept Nazi occupation during WWII while most of the adults accepted the occupation and went along with it. Most of the books that I have read on WWII did not discuss Denmark so I found this very interesting.

Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon
by Torben Kuhlmann
3/5 stars
This is a children's book about a mouse who builds a space ship to travel to the moon. I was extremely impressed with the beautiful art work but the story was just okay for me

Edited: Jan 16, 12:26pm Top

Counting by 7s
Holly Goldberg Sloan
4/5 stars
Willow Chance is a unusually smart girl who is interested in plants and medical syndromes but not so much in making friends. This all changes when tragedy befalls her and she has to rely on the few friends she has to help her get through it. Funny and smart read-not just for teenagers. Young Adult/Teen

Edited: Jan 17, 9:06pm Top

Not Just Batman’s Butler: The Autobiography of Alan Napier
by Alan Napier with James Bigwood
3/5 stars
Alan Napier is probably best known as Alfred, the butler in Batman, the TV series but he had a very fascinating life and career outside of Batman. Born and raised in England, he was related to the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on his mother's side. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then spent his whole life acting on the stage, in movies and on TV. The book discusses his life, family and working in the entertainment field.

Originally written by Napier, James Bigwood took over finishing the book and adding comments to the sections written by Napier. At times this was hard to put down especially when the book discussed his family and growing up in England but the discussion of his roles was a little overwhelming since most of his career he had small roles and a lot of them. But overall I enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about him.

Jan 25, 12:33pm Top

Ready Player One by
Ernest Cline
4/5 stars
Set in 2044, the world is a dark and horrible place to live in for most people. People rarely go out now but live, go to school and work on the internet and in OASIS, a virtual world. When a challenge is announced that someone will win millions of dollars in a game set up by the now deceased creator of OASIS, James Halliday, the world goes berserk in trying to find the prize. The book follows Wade Watts and a few of his online friends as they take up the challenge to be the first to find the prize.
This was a fast read and hard to put down. If you lived through the 1980s and love video games you will appreciate this book. Looking forward to seeing Spielberg's film version.

Jan 26, 8:49am Top

>19 JulieLill: - This was one of my favorite audio books a couple years ago.

Jan 26, 4:26pm Top

>20 Olivermagnus: This has been on my reading list for quite awhile and I was surprised I liked it so much.

Feb 2, 5:34pm Top

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
4/5 stars
This is a coming of age story of fourteen year old June Elbus in 1987. Her favorite person in the whole world was her Uncle Finn, a well-known painter and he too was in love with her. After his death from AIDs, the whole family falls apart. June and her sister Greta are fighting. Her parents are working too much and she has no real friends at school. Toby who was Finn's partner was persona non grata in regards to the family. But one day Toby sends her a gift and she agrees to see him though she is supposed to hate him. They begin a covert friendship but someone else knows about it. This was beautifully written and the angst of lost and heartache was palpable.

Edited: Feb 5, 2:59pm Top

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks
3.5/5 stars
Lemoncholy means to make the best of a bad situation and that is the philosophy of Annie Aster. In this story we find Elsbeth Grundy living in Kansas in the year 1895. One day she wakes up and finds that in her far backyard stands a home in her wheat field. She writes a letter to the occupant of the home and leaves it in her mailbox and thus begins a correspondence with Annie, a young woman living in a home in San Francisco in the 21th century that faces Elsbeth's home. But this is not a coincidence and they have more in common then they both know. You have to be able to suspend disbelief in this far- fetched but exciting tale of the two women who are destined to change their futures.

Feb 7, 1:43pm Top

Changed up my challenge a bit. I realized I did not have a section for fiction only so I made autobiographies and biographies into one level.

Feb 11, 4:50pm Top

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
3/5 stars
Flavia de Luce has returned to her home in England only to find her father in the hospital and herself embroiled in a another mystery over the death of a woodcarver in his home where she was sent to deliver a message. While I enjoy Flavia's ability to solve crimes, I despair to see the continued hatred of her sisters towards her and the way Bradley handled her father's illness. Will there be no love or sympathy in her family for Flavia?

Feb 14, 6:59pm Top

>25 JulieLill: - I completely agree. I loved the first few books of this series but now Bradley seems to hate Flavia. My heart broke with each of the last two books. I can't believe Esmeralda's sacrifice. Who will love Flavia now?

Feb 15, 12:17pm Top

>26 Olivermagnus: I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Feb 18, 3:43pm Top

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
4/5 stars
Faith Sunderly's life has been upturned. Her father, a minister, naturalist and geologist has died after uprooting his family to Australia due to a scandal. The villagers think he killed himself but Faith knows something is wrong and decides to investigate her father's death in a time period where girls were to stay at home and mind their place. Hard to put down! YA Award winning book.

Edited: Feb 21, 3:38pm Top

Born Bright: A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America
by C. Nicole Mason
3.5/5 stars
This is the true story of C. Nicole Mason who as an African American experienced life in poverty in Los Angeles, California during the 60s and 70s. She discusses what it was like to live in poverty, going to schools who did not encourage the academic growth of her race, struggling with moving from home to home and when she was determined to go to college, not knowing how to go through the ropes of applying for college since no one in her family or neighborhood went to college. She was able to beat the odds and got into Howard University and has made a success of her life. Very eye opening!

Edited: Feb 23, 5:30pm Top

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom #1
by Christopher Healy
3/5 stars
This is a fun children's book about the unsung heroes of fairy tales, the princes, who are often unnamed or just go by Prince Charming. The bards of the area have all been kidnapped and the princes gather together to rescue them while fighting witches, dragons and more. This is the first in a series of books about the League of Princes. Loved the illustrations.

Edited: Mar 2, 6:35pm Top

O Pioneers by Willa Cather
4/5 stars
Cather follows the lives of Alexandra Bergson, an immigrant, her family and friends who live in Nebraska working the land as farmers and dealing with the ups and downs of pioneer life, some succeeding, some not. Beautifully written and compelling. Love Cather's writing. Cather lived for a time in Nebraska and you can tell by her writing how it influenced her.

Mar 3, 12:23pm Top

The Hundred-Year House
by Rebecca Makkai
3.5/5 stars
Set in Illinois at the Laurelfield estate, the author takes us through the history and drama of the happenings at the estate including housing an art colony, a suicide and a mystery. Told backwards, the author slowly unravels the fascinating story of the lives that inhabited the mansion.
I wish I had more time because this book deserves a re-read because I think more would be revealed with a re-read. Fiction

Edited: Mar 4, 6:48pm Top

Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso
2/5 stars
This graphic novel about opposing clans whose heads are artichoke like came highly recommended but I really had a hard time following the story lines plus everyone looked alike so it was hard to tell them apart. Adult content not for kids. New Authors to Me - Graphic Novel

Edited: Mar 9, 4:47pm Top

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer
4/5 stars
This is the story of Abdel Kader Haidara, a historical archivist from Timbuktu and his fellow patriots who saved the centuries old, rare manuscripts of Mali twice. Abdel's initial project was to find and store books from his countrymen and build libraries to showcase them in the 1980's. Unfortunately, he would have to do it a second time when Al Qaeda came to Mali and attempted to destroy their books and heritage. I found this a fast and amazing story which also covers the takeover of Mali by Al Qaeda. Hard to put down. Non-Fiction

Mar 15, 12:33pm Top

The Bookman’s Tale
Charlie Lovett
4/5 stars
Peter Byerly is a mess. After the death of his beloved wife, he moves to England to mourn his wife and to continue in his job collecting and restoring rare books. Upon finding a painting inside a old book that looked like his wife, he tries to find out who painted the picture and who the woman in the picture was which lead him further into the mystery of who really wrote the plays that are attributed to Shakespeare. Not perfect but I had a hard time putting this down. Authors New to Me

Edited: Mar 20, 10:34pm Top

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou
5/5 stars
This is the first autobiography of Maya Angelou in which she tells the story of her life from birth to young adulthood and the birth of her son Guy in the early 40's. I was blown away with her writing and her recollection of a severe and difficult life growing up in America as an African American child and young woman. She is an amazing writer and I am looking forward to reading more of her books. Autobiography

Edited: Mar 20, 10:35pm Top

Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick
4/5 stars
Comedy writer Adam Resnick, who has written for David Letterman and Saturday Night Live, now writes about his life in a series of essays that are fabulously funny and yet disturbing. I could not help but laugh through these stories and some hit very close to home. Recommended to those not afraid of dark humor. Autobiography

Mar 25, 6:14pm Top

Maude by Donna Mabry
3.5/5 stars

This is the story of Maude, a woman born in the late 1800s and written by her granddaughter. The reader is taken on a nonstop journey that was Maude's life-from losing her parents early and then her first husband, marrying her second husband because of the social mores at the time and dealing with the major events in her life time from WWI, the flu epidemic, the depression and WWII. Life was hard for Maude but she kept her spirits up and kept going. A fast read and a very interesting look back at a woman's life in the 1900s. Biography


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