Hey there! How are you today? I have some good news in regards to the reading challenges I set myself this year and wanted to share with you guys before I get started.
The entire point of these reading challenges is to encourage you to read more than you normally would. As I’ve done for the past few years, I set a goal of reading 50 books a year, and thanks to the Fruits Basket volumes I’ve been rereading, I recently accomplished this goal! If I take away the manga, however, my real read count is 40 out of 50 books, but that’s still really good for me! I definitely think doing these reading challenges has sped my reading up, not dramatically, but enough to make a difference, so I’m super happy about that.
As I stated in the last challenge, I won’t be including the Fruits Basket volumes anymore in the challenges because they’ve fulfilled all the challenges they could possibly fill, but let it be known that I read eight entire volumes in August. Yiss!
Onward to the books!
The Five-Star Favs
- An author who uses a pseudonym – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019
While not writing under a pseudonym for Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire has penned books under the name of Mira Grant and will soon write a book under the name of A. Deborah Baker. This book raised the bar from Every Heart a Doorway, exploring a world I’d grown fascinated with in that story, the Moors. It was dark and gruesome, and I came to understand Jack and Jill much, much better. I do wish more about the Master and Dr. Bleak had been explored, but there’s only so much you can do with a novella.
- A book with “pop,” “sugar,” or “challenge” in the title – PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019
Finally, I’ve got this particular challenge covered since “sugar” is in the title! Beneath the Sugar Sky has surprised me by being my favorite of the Wayward Children novellas so far. It was much more immersive than the two before, with more character interaction and a fun quest. Being able to see Nancy again and her Underworld was a special treat as was seeing the Nonsense, candy-coated world that Sumi was from. I truly had a blast with this one. I read it in a day!
- A book with a title that contains “salty,” “sweet,” “bitter,” or “spicy” – PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019
- The retelling of a well-known story – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019
Listen, “salt” counts as far as I’m concerned. As a retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” House of Salt and Sorrows comes out of the gate swinging with a funeral, a mystery, and a horror story all in one. This haunting debut novel took me places I truly did not expect, and I cannot recommend it highly enough! [Review]
- A novel based on a true story – PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019
While The Dragon Republic is as much a fictionalized fantasy based on historical China as its predecessor, The Poppy War, the conflict within the narrative is based on the Second Sino-Japanese War during the Republican era of China, and it does not hold anything back. Not about war and not about consequences. [Review]
- A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter – PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019
- Book by a local author – Pingel Sisters 2019 Reading Challenge
Sparrowhawk‘s author Delilah Dawson has both that name alliteration going on and lives local to me in Atlanta. Sadly, that’s all I can remark upon as I didn’t care much for this particular graphic novel. It just wasn’t for me. [Review]
That’s all for August! The Dragon Republic was a huge undertaking for me, but I’m still proud of how much I accomplished in reading while also tackling such a large book with heavy subject matters. I don’t have any huge reads on the horizon for September, so I hope to accomplish even more for this month.
How are your reading challenges and goals going? What did you read in August? Any surprising finds and recommendations? Let me know!