Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Off The Shelf Challenge: June Progress and Recommendations

Well, here we are, moving right along with The Off The Shelf Challenge. I've buckled down - somewhat - and I'm tackling the piles of books waiting patiently to be read. Since summer seems to be the season of reading for so many, here's a question for you - how's your summer reading going? Tackling any big reading projects? Waiting anxiously for a new title to come out?

Challenge Books read in: 
January:  4
February:  5
March:  1
April:  2
May: 2


Challenge Books read in June:  3
Non Challenge Books read in June: 3
Total Books read in June: 6 


Total Challenge Books read so far in 2012:  17
Total Non-Challenge Books read so far in 2012:  16
Total Books read so far in 2012:  33

Standouts in June include:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I've already raved about it in this post but I just wanted to add a side note here. One of the things I liked about this book was the fact that the protagonists were not the, um, most likable people in the world. And yet I still wanted to know what happened in the end. My husband, on the other hand, couldn't get past his distaste for the characters and couldn't care less what happened to them. (They didn't pass his "elevator shaft test" = would he care if the characters fell down an elevator shaft? In this case, no, he would not.) He did agree with me regarding the writing and the plotting (though he missed out on some great twists!)

The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne - this dark novel has a rawness to it, and a desperate, ragged edge to the protagonist that makes you want to shake her and save her at the same time. I'm not giving you a spoiler here when I say there's hope in this novel - I'm offering you a lifeline; hold onto it as you wind your way through this heartbreaking, complex, layered story. Believe me, you'll need it.

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova - I wish I knew what took me so long to read this book. It's a wake-up call, a how-to on survival and being positive and forgiveness, with a few laugh out loud lessons about living and thriving when everything, and I mean, everything, changes. I've already put this author's other book, Still Alice, on my TBR list.


  1. Kudos! I'm a s-l-o-w reader, but I just started King's The Wind Through the Keyhole (a Dark Tower add-in), and it's been great to read about these characters again.

  2. Milo - I read the first book in that series a very long time ago and, although I liked it, I just never got into the rest of them. I'm considering revisiting the series one of these days... :)

  3. so many books! if i read 12 in a year i'm doing good...picking up gone girl, heard great things about it!

  4. I love the elevator shaft test LOL. I'm going to have to remember that.

    I've been in a reading mood lately and am tackling the Game of Thrones books. It's a huge undertaking but so far I love them and I'm a happy summer reader. :)

    Have a great weekend, Madeline!

  5. Tara - definitely get GONE GIRL - even if you end up not caring for it as a reader, you'll admire the plot twists, etc. as a writer. :)

    Julie - I've got the GAME TV series requested at the library - I've heard so many good things about that! But now I'm wondering about checking out the books instead... Sigh. So many books, so little time.

  6. There's so much to read and not enough time! :) I'm on the holds list for Gone Girl since you mentioned it earlier. Right now, I'm reading, Sea Change, by Karen White. (Southern fiction, family secrets, vivid sense of place in her writings). I'm about halfway through, The Plot Whisperer too. So far so good!

  7. Stacy - I hear you! I'm so glad you're on the list for GONE GIRL. Check out her earlier ones, too, when you get a chance. Dark stuff but really good. Oh, and for Southern fiction, I love Joshilyn Jackson's books. :)

  8. Those sound like quite tough reads, but hopefully rewarding. And your tally's on the up!

  9. Nick - definitely rewarding! And my goal is to have at least 25 of the 50 read by the end of the summer... ;)

  10. I'm reading at about the same rate as you, but I have this huge pile waiting for me...

  11. Simon - maybe you should consider The Off The Shelf Challenge, too. :)