Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Redolent Mermaid 2017 Reading Challenge: Mid-Year Update

Hello fellow bookworm friends! I figured we are scootching up pert near close to the halfway point of 2017 and wanted to do a progress post of the Redolent Mermaid Reading Challenge. I am rating the books I have read up to this point: * = meh, ** = good, *** = love, please go read it now

1. Re-read a beloved book (or series!- give yourself credit for each one you read).

2. Art and literature. Graphic novels, art history, comics, even a doodle or two on a Wreck This Journal, as long as art is involved, count it. 

3. Magic. Witches and wizards, fairy courts or simply a story that enchants you.
Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker *** An enchanting tale of two unlikely friends, who also happen to be somewhat magical, and their journey in the Big Apple during the late 1800's-early 1900's. A story of immigration, love and tragedies. 

4. A book gifted or loaned to you.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs ** The sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, it picks up where the boat drifts off and follows the mad dash through many loops and time periods to save their headmistress in distress. Not quite sure how I felt about the hero honing his newfound peculiar skill so darn fast or a few other nit picks. But it was good.

5. A book that has been in your TBR pile but overlooked time and again. Read it!

6. A library find.
Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan ** This is one my daughter requested I read. It was a fun, fast kid angled book about a girl who's parents pass and years later she runs away with a circus, but not just any circus, a space circus full of Tinkers who are battling the Mandate in an effort to help keep individuality. 

7. A book to learn something from. 
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson ** An interesting dive into the cholera epidemic in London in the mid-1800's. Well written and fascinating given the subject matter. 

8. Cool book cover art that lures you in like bait. (Yes, it is fun to judge a book or wine by its cover).

9. A story that takes you to another place and time, real or imagined.
Wormwood by G. P. Taylor * A sci-fi thriller that tracks the coming of the comet Wormwood to London in 1756. The religious overtones are obvious. It just didn't thrill me like I could have. 

10. A book from a favorite author that you haven't gotten around to reading yet.

11. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title.

12. A memoir.

13. A fluff read. (Easy, fast, or cheesy).
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews *** A story that follows Kate Daniels, a magic and sword wielding heroine of the first book Magic Bites (see #18 below) through Atlanta, Georgia. This time in search of whomever is taking a murderous advantage of the fast approaching magic flare. Good gosh I am loving this series. 

14. A Steinbeck, Hemingway or John D. MacDonald creation or book about one of them or inspired by one of them.

15. A scarlet hued tome.
Poison Apples by Lily Archer * Three (four? sorry it has been a while) high school girls unite to terrorize their new and much hated step-mothers. I could not get on board. It was a fast read but just not fleshed out. The book looked cool though.

16. The next in a series you have read.
Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon *** Can I give 4 stars? Because... Outlander. This is the most recent installment and I savored every moment back with my beloved characters and their adventures. Roger and Bree looking for their son back in 1980ish, Jamie and Claire avoiding the American Revolution as best as they can, Lord John, William, Ian and more. The whole cast was there and alive for me once again. That ending though.... tears, tears, tears.

17. A tale that takes place during a war.

18. Female heroine triumphant. 
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews *** The first in a nice and fat series about Kate Daniels, a tough magically inclined mercenary that fights baddies in a much changed, futuristic Atlanta. This first book tackles a particular brand of baddie looking to eat the women-folk and breed. This series reminds me of the Jim Butcher Dresden Files, which I love. Funny, easy to read and I am already shipping creatures. 

19. A European setting.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro ** A medieval tale that takes place just after King Author has passed away, in the land of the Britons verses the Saxons. A fog has come over the land causing the people to forget. And old couple catches glimpses of their life, and son, before the fog and are determined to find him. A story that deals with the bliss of ignorance verses the pain of knowing. 

20. Female authored.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware *** A fast paced page turner revolving around a journalist who thinks she witnessed a murder and the lengths gone to convince her otherwise. Perfect for poolside or beach summer reading. Thrilling. 

21. Paranormal or supernatural phenomenon.

22. A book to make you belly laugh, guffaw or snort and chuckle along the way.

23. A book that will be a movie, you read, then watch. Preferably with friends then you can chat about how much better then book was (unless it was Maze Runner, then the movie was better).

24. A book with words in it. That should cover it.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler ** An accounting of the southern belle turned international high society life of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the many triumphs and tragedies they faced. Slow paced at first, then it gains momentum.

I did read another book Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig *** An encouraging book that talks about some triggers and solutions for keeping food from ruling one's life. Not exactly new information or innovative but sometimes I just need to read those things. 

So that is how my challenge is chugging along at the moment. Twelve books down and twelve more to go. This should be easy peasy given it is summer time and I am on a reading tear. It helps they are smaller books. What are you reading? Did you join the challenge and how is it going for you? It is never too late to join in! I am eyeing more Kate Daniels books and I did pick up a Hemingway memoir... which to put that one under... memoir I suppose since I do want to read East of Eden

What are you currently reading? I am reading Magic Strikes, book three in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Any recommendations that might fit my challenge areas?


  1. Great reads so far! I did just finish a poignant memoir. Apparently I enjoy sniffling along with tragic true tales. Mini book review up. Next I think I will read some lighter fiction.

    1. Thanks! I have been booking along. I just read your review! It is such a tragic story.

  2. I guess it wouldn't surprise you that I'm still on the same book I started in January! Haha! I've never been this bad about not reading. It's my absolute favorite thing to do when I'm not doing the wax thing. Note to self: pick the book up and read.

    Btw, is there a way to subscribe to your blog? I barely know how to comment. I have to physically remember to come here and read. I know zilch about the blogging world.

    1. Well, you HAVE been busy my dear. But yes, you do need to carve out some time to read and relax.

      You can pop on a desktop computer or switch to desktop version and on the right hand side of the blog you will see "Follow by email" and you can subscribe there. It will then start sending you my posts via email and you can read that way. I sub to a lot of blogs. It is a nice way to keep up to date. <3

  3. Holy crow, you've read a lot. I...have not. Still working on just my - gulp - fifth book. I just don't have that reading bug like I used to (hindered somewhat by the fact that one of my favourite reading spots, the balcony, is off limits because of ongoing construction.)

    1. I am riding the crest of a reading wave for sure. I ebb and flow when it comes to books and sometimes I pick really huge tomes that take me months to finish so it looks like I didn't read much. I am eyeing a few bigger ones here soon once I blow through these Kate Daniels books.

      Having a favorite reading spot off limits sucks. I hope you can get your bookworm mojo back. Maybe a park or something?

  4. This challenge doesn't stand a chance against your voracious reading! I've started sneaking reading at work if we are ultra slow. It's a debatable gray area on whether or not this is allowed. But it's a library, so I've got that going for me, and I've been so slow on finishing reads.
    Before reading this, I thought I was interested in every book you've posted so far, I didn't realize your preference for high fantasy, which I can't get into. Buried Giant sounds pretty intriguing though...
    You've inspired. I'm gonna get my challenge updating act together, post haste!

    1. I am thinking I will be able to make the challenge and then some this year. It is a good reading year. I vote reading at the library is always acceptable whether you work there or not. After all, you need to set the example.

      Hmmm... that stinks. I like to think I enjoy a very wide variety of genres and have pretty well rounded book tastes. I am reading Hemingway In Love right now which is a memoir. But I do very much enjoy my fantasy and sci-fi as far as wanting a true escapist experience. What better way than with the magic of fantasy? I am in a true love romance with those Kate Daniels books. So much guilty pleasure.

      The Buried Giant was interesting. Pretty deep if the symbolism is caught. I have a feeling that author has some highly intelligent literature out there.

      Looking forward to reading about your reads! <3