Friday, February 17, 2017

Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Reading Challenge: UPDATE

Finally I'm getting around to posting about this reading challenge that ended at the end of January. I think for my very first reading challenge I did a pretty good job. There were some books I just couldn't get to, but others I did get to read and enjoyed fully! I can't wait to join another challenge, if you know of any coming up throw 'em this way!

Megan, thanks for hosting a fun challenge and can't wait for more along the way!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews (464 pages)

This was my favorite book that I read. I've heard about it for a long time from other bloggers, but I didn't realize just how good it really was. I had this on audio-book and literally was captivated every time I was in my car. Sometimes I stayed out in my car once I got home just to listen to more. It was long, but so well worth it!

10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International.

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan (288 pages)

I picked this book because it sounded the most interesting out of the others, especially considering I've been to Delhi, India before. The beginning was very slow and hard to get to at times. I actually set the book aside for almost 2 weeks before just picking it up again one night and actually finishing it in the next 2 days. Although the beginning was slow and I almost gave up, I'm glad I continued reading because the ending really got me captivated!

10 points: Read a brand-new release (something published between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017).

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham (256 pages)

This book almost didn't happen because I was on a loooong wait list at the library. I was close to buying the book, but just decided I had plenty of others to read through that I could wait. When I finally did get my hands on it, I was excited. It was a short read and easy to read. I love that about autobiographies especially of people I really like. It was interesting to get an inside look into Lauren Graham's career, especially during the time while she was on two of my absolute favorite shows!!

15 points: Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you.

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero (257 pages)

I watch Jane The Virgin and the author is one of the actors in the show. I love her character and enjoyed getting to know more about her. This was the first book I read for the challenge and I started it on a high note. It is so tragic what happened to her at such a young age, I don't know how I would deal with something like that. I definitely recommend reading this because it's something that is happening in our society more and more especially with the Orange Ruler in power.

15 points: Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (336 pages)

I had been waiting for this book for a long time too at the library. I was so pleasantly surprised at this book. I appreciate Amy Schumer's humor and she shined through in the book. She is so real and down to earth, you almost feel like you know her after reading this book. Her humor didn't shy away either folks, if you want a good all around book, pick this one up!

20 points: Read a modern retelling of a classic.

Great by Sara Benincasa (272 pages)

I didn't get to this book and I was kind of bummed, I may still keep it on my reading list because it did sound like an interesting read.

25 points: Read a book with an alcoholic beverage (neat or cocktail) in the title.

The Final Summer of Vodka: The Marmaris Diaries by Louise Bell (182 pages)

I just couldn't with this book. I had it downloaded to my Kindle and I went back to the book over and over, but I had zero interest. It's kind of sloppy and blah, doesn't make you want to read it in the least bit. I'm glad it was cheap and I won't probably be reading it.

30 points: Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (326 pages)

Bummed I couldn't get to this book either, but with so many other long books on my list I just couldn't. I am still interested in either reading it or watching the movie because I heard good things about both.

30 points: Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects.

(NF) Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell (240 pages)


(F) The Devil Wears Prada by Laura Weisberger (360 pages)

Another 2 I couldn't get it. I figured if I did the below one I wouldn't be able to do this one. My time management didn't allow for it especially during my lulls during the holiday time. Will keep them in mind and definitely want to read Tales from the Back Row since I love reading more about the fashion industry behind the scenes. 

40 points: Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (440 pages)


The Dead Wife's Handbook: A Novel by Hannah Beckerman (424 pages)

I'll start with The Nightingale, this is another one I'm glad I heard on audio-book during my commute, I got through it quicker than if I were reading it and I really felt like I understood the characters more after listening to it. I loved the story and I'm not usually a fan of war/history books, but after all the great reviews on it I knew it wouldn't disappoint. It was so interesting how it all connected in the end and if you have thought about reading this one, I highly highly recommend it!!

The second book was good too, not one of my favorites that I read during this challenge, but still an interesting read. I felt like the main character was getting annoying at times, but I could see why she would feel that way. She did just die and get taken away from everything she knew. Still glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and read this one.


And that's that... I think overall I did a lot better than I thought I would have done during this challenge. 

5 + 10 + 10 + 15 + 15 + 40 = 95

Did you participate in this reading challenge? I'd love to see what you read and if you liked them. Any other fun reading challenges you know about, let me know below!


  1. Mary Kay Andrews is definitely one of my favorite authors. I would highly suggest checking out her other books, too! In the Country We Love sounds super intriguing - adding that to my reading list!

  2. holy crap you read a lot haha. i'm impressed. the weekenders looks like a fun one! and i really want to read the lauren graham book and the amy one. glad they were good and easy reads!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  3. You did really good during this reading challenge, and audio books really are the best when you have to deal with a commute! I'm glad that you liked The Nightingale, and I can't wait to read Lauren Graham's book! She's seriously one of my favorite actresses! You should look into Erin's Book Challenge! It's going on right now, but you could still join in. Hers goes for 4 months and it's a 10 book challenge. She has a Facebook group that you can join too!

  4. SO many great reads here to add to my growing list of must-reads! Thanks for sharing and way to go! Happy weekend friend! xo

  5. I've heard so many good things about The Weekenders! I need to pick it up next time I want a light read. :)

  6. I'll have to add the Weekenders to my list. I also enjoyed Amy Schumer's book and her sarcastic humor yet honesty and "realness".