Book Challenges- Week 18

I’ve gotten a bit off track with book challenges. It’s because when life is stressful, I basically stress consume books in the way other people might go for pizza. (Though, truthfully, I do that too.) But starting next week, I’m getting back on track. Actually, I’ve already started The Stand. Hopefully it won’t take me much longer than a week, but we’ll see. It’s an interesting book, but so loooonnnngg.

Popsugar Challenge


While I Was Reading Challenge

(4/12)- No progress this week

The Unread Shelf

Running Total: 3 Um… is that really all? I’m not doing so well on this one.

5 Classic Books

(0/5) No progress… I think I’d better get started.

Miscellaneous Reading


Mr. Darcy’s Diary, by Amanda Grange (romance): This book is one of my secret pleasures. It’s like watching a bad movie while eating an entire bag of M&Ms. Not to say the book is bad; it isn’t. But it’s obviously a rip-off of Pride and Predjudice, focusing on the “good parts” with Elizabeth and Darcy but skipping over all the fluff in between. I usually end up reading this book when I need something mindless and enjoyable.


I Hunt Killers, Game, Blood of My Blood, by Barry Lyga (YA mystery/ thriller): These books are a trilogy about Jasper Dent, the son of the world’s most prolific serial killer. He killed a known 126 before he was caught, and he was teaching his son everything he knew. Jasper didn’t want the legacy; he just wants to get through high school and not kill anyone. But when a series of murders happen in his small town, he believes he’s the only one who can catch the killer.

The first book started off slow. Not slow enough to stop, but I did think about it. I liked the characters enough to keep going, and once I hit a certain point, it was a thrill ride. Each of the three books is better than the last (which is rare for a trilogy). The second one required a bit more suspension of disbelief than the other two (one of the characters does some “too stupid to live” stuff), but I went with it. I loved the conclusion to the books, and if there was ever a book where grown up Jasper Dent becomes an FBI agent or something, I’d be all in.


Lucky Day, Career Day, Neutral Mask, by Barry Lyga (YA): I included these separately becuase they’re short prequels to the I Hunt Killers trilogy. They’re not essential to the series, but if you’re like me and can’t get enough of characters you like, they’re worth reading. I got Lucky Day from the library (it’s a novella), but I had to join Wattpad to get the other two (they’re short stories). Of the three, I especially liked Neutral Mask, which is from Connie’s point of view.


None this week.

2018 Running Total: 53

Have you made any progress on your TBR or book challenges?

10 Books to Read If You Need a Break From Politics

img_7024My social media feeds are still full of politics and politician bashing from both sides. The election is over, and I need a break. If you do too, here’s my list of recommendations to take you away from it all for awhile.

  1. If you like horror… Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King. It was an anthology of short horror stories. They were little bite-sized pieces of madness.
  2. If you like short science fiction… Six Days, Three Months by Charlie Jane Anders. This was such an interesting premise, about a couple who both see the future and the end of their relationship, but date anyway.
  3. If you like YA… Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. When I read this, I was vacationing with a friend, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s about a girl who’s allergic to literally everything, and she has little contact with the outside world. Until a boy moves in next door, and she starts straining against her boundaries.
  4. If you like urban fantasy… The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern. This was an original idea with lots of great imagery. My only caution is to read the book version. I originally read it on my Kindle, and because the story isn’t told in a linear way, I got frustrated that it was hard to skip around and refresh myself on what happened when.
  5. If you like books with a paranormal element… Graveminder by Melissa Marr. After the death of her grandmother, Rebekkah Barrow returns to her hometown and learns that in order for the dead to stay put, a Barrow woman must tend to the graves. It was a fun, immersive read.
  6. If you like characters struggling with mental health issues… The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. I read this because I saw the movie, and it’s somewhat different. I liked both, but in a different way.
  7. If you like memoirs… Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen Hawking by Jane Hawking. I’ve always been interested in Stephen Hawking and his life. When the movie came out, I went looking for a book on his life. This was a fascinating read.
  8. If you like books that will make you a little crazy trying to figure them out… John Dies at The End by David Wong. Yes, there was a movie. No, it didn’t do the book justice. Read the book. It was better.
  9. If you like serial killers… Dexter by Jeff Lindsey. Again, it’s only somewhat like the TV series, and the series didn’t do justice to my favorite part of the books, Dexter’s Dark Passenger. The books are full of dark comedy.
  10. If you’re feeling nostalgic… Remember Me by Christopher Pike. This is still one of my favorite YA books ever.

What are you reading to avoid getting too caught up in reality?

Smoke Alarm Adventures

Allow me to set the scene for you.  It was my Friday night, and Dexter Season 6 had just arrived from the library on DVD.  I got home after midnight, and we stayed up until 3 a.m. watching.  I fell into a peaceful slumber almost right away, dreams of serial killers in my head.

6:30 a.m.  Ripley nudges me until I wake up.  I try to ignore her… but I can’t.  Then I hear it!  Beep… beep…

You see, my fearless German Shepherd mix doesn’t like the smoke detector beep, and felt it was enough of an emergency to wake me.  If there’s a concern of a security breach, she wakes my husband.  Any other issue, she wakes me.  She only does it if she really feels there’s a problem, maybe 6 or 8 times in her four years with us.  So, I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to hunt down the offending smoke detector.  There wasn’t just one going off… no!  There were two!  So I had to find and climb a ladder in the middle of the night.

I made it back to bed as the sun was coming up, and Ripley curled up on her dog pillow, knowing all was well for another night.