Friday, September 28, 2012

The Off The Shelf Challenge: September Recommendations and Progress Report

I've got 21 books left to go to reach my goal of 50 in The Off The Shelf Challenge. I'm considering dropping the number/level from "On a Roll" to "Making a Dint" but the competitive part of me says "Hell no!" so, for now, I'll keep "rolling" along.

As I look at the standouts below, it appears I'm on somewhat of an historical fiction kick. How about you - do you enjoy historical fiction? Any particular time period? Did you read anything amazing over the summer? 

September - 
Challenge Books Read:  6
Non-Challenge Books Read:  1

Year to Date - 
Challenge Books Read:  29
Non-Challenge Books Read:  25
Total Books Read:  54

Standouts in September:
The Sea Captain's Wife by Beth Powning - in the 1860s, women sometimes joined their sea captain husbands on year long journeys around the world. When Azuba Galloway joins her husband, Nathaniel, one safe, constant life ends and another - exciting, adventurous, terrifying - begins. I lost count of how many times my heart rose into my throat as I read this novel. Not only during the scenes on the high seas but also during the quieter moments - as Azuba tries to decide between a landlocked life and one at sea, as she contemplates her future and that of her family, as she struggles to keep her marriage alive and strong. At its heart, this novel is a love story - the love that exists between husband and wife, among a family, and for one's home - whether house or ship - and his or her place in it.

When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt - twenty-year-old Irma Vitale leaves her Italian mountain village behind for a new life in 1880s America. From the very first page I rooted for Irma. Throughout the novel, I cheered for her, wept with her, feared for her, and triumphed with her. When I finished the novel, the book was done but Irma's journey and her impression on me continued in my mind. She is an unforgettable heroine. If you enjoy historical fiction, and in particular the female European immigrant experience in America, pick up this novel. 


  1. way to go!
    keep reading =)

    and you make those books sound riveting!i will check them out.

    have a storybook weekend!

  2. Tara - thanks! A book only makes "standout" status if I loved it, so definitely check those two out. :)

  3. Go for it! I am sooooo far behind but still reading away, in case you need an insanely stubborn role model. ;-D

  4. Jillian - an insanely stubborn role model is the best kind to have. :)