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August 22, 2006

Goodbye to the summer reading challenge

Since the McKid is back in preschool, I think it's time to officially come to the end of my personal summer reading challenge. Here's how it played out:


My original list consisted of 10 books:

1. The Clearing by Tim Gatreaux
2. Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
3. Making Sense of Movies by Robert Henry Stanley
4. The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain
5. The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor
6. The Last Good Woman by William Luse
7. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
8. An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden
9. Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
10. The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

8 of them read, 2 will go back to the shelves. They were just not my cup of tea at the time.

In addition I read the following:

A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flag
The Laughing Sutra by Mark Salzman
Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell
Lord Peter by Dorothy Sayers
Three Philosophies of Life by Peter Kreeft
The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini

19 books over the summer. And not a dog in the bunch.

I really enjoyed making a list and trying to read from it. I'm going to do it again--but that leads to the next entry. My Autumn Reading Challenge!

Posted by MamaT at August 22, 2006 10:18 PM


I enjoy books by Alexander McCall Smith. They are reminicent of Agatha Christie books- which I am also a huge fan of. And Fannie Flag- well, she's a hoot! This is a great idea. I am motivated to make my own Autumn list.

Posted by: veronica at August 24, 2006 9:11 PM

I used to think I was a reader, but I am in awe of you. Was the Howells book one that you couldn't read? If so, what was the problem? (I've never read him.)

Posted by: William Luse at August 25, 2006 2:59 PM

Veronica--I really like Alexander McCall Smith, because I think he has a gift for character. Precious Ramotswe is, IMHO, a character that will stand the test of time. You just believe that she is *real* when you are reading.

Bill--I don't know what the problem was with Howells. I read the first couple of chapters two or three times, but just couldn't get the momentum to go past that. I plead heat prostration. I think that with the weather and some other personal uproar (not discussed on the 'blog to date) that was, and is, going on around here, I had to move my attention to lighter things. I will probably try him again in my Winter Reading Challenge.

I don't think my summer reading list was a particularly challenging one. Many were short. Several were funny or light confections that do the heart good in the midst of stressful situations.

And I don't read NEARLY as many books as Julie D. over at Happy Catholic does! She puts me to shame.

Your reading list probably is less in number, but higher in "smarts" than mine is!

Posted by: MamaT at August 25, 2006 4:01 PM

I adore the Number one ladies series. Very good reading.

Did you enjoy Pomfret Towers? It's been on my list for *months*, and I've yet to even purchase it.

Posted by: Carmen at August 26, 2006 2:20 PM

How did you like "Plainsong"? I read it back in March and reviewed here:

The lack of quotation marks bothered me as well as the way the book just ended with no resolution.

My reading goal this year was to read all five of Jane Austen's novels. Now that I've completed that, I'm kind of at loose ends. I like your idea of taking my "stack" of books and picking several to read through. I have a weakness for used book sales, especially the ones held by the "Friends of the Library". They have one in October--right after our parish's Oktoberfest which also features a Used Book Room. (I'm doomed...)

Posted by: March Hare at August 27, 2006 11:58 PM

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