Fun 2015 Reading Challenge that I’m going to do. Just look at how cool this one is!

by Maryse on January 8, 2015 · 101 comments

in What I am reading today

UPDATE: I’m still working on this 50-book list as we speak. I’m only halfway through choosing the books for each challenge question. :D I still have 18-20 books to choose…

Author Tammara Webber shared a fun-looking 2015 reading challenge, and after reading what I have to do to fulfill it, I just GOTTA DO IT!!! I think the search for the books to complete the challenge will be just as fun as reading ‘em. ;)

And you know me and lists. I just can’t resist making them. Plus, I think this is the perfect opportunity to expand my reading experience into different genres!

And I’ve already been asking for reader-help!

Sadie: Yay! Is this for the challenge. Billie, Cori, Kodi and I have been obsessed all day about the challenge lol. Tracie is going to do it too.

Billie: Yes… We are slightly obsessed with this challenge. And by slightly, I mean we are all-consumed and making word documents and talking about it 24/7. ;)

Maryse: Yes Sadie!! It’s for that reading challenge. I’m preparing the blog post right now, and as fun as it is… I’m being challenged already.

Maryse: Oh WOW!!! You guys are giving me AWESOME suggestions. YES YES YES!!!! *happy dance*

Kodi: We are very dedicated about this, Maryse! We have spread sheets going, word documents created. Next up is a power point…. Ok, maybe not a power point, but still! This is serious biz!

Maryse: This is gonna be SO fun! :) A brand new TBR list!!

So here I go… let’s see what I can come up with, shall we? If i’m iffy on one I’ll ask if you guys have a better option for me. UPDATE: I’m still working on this list as we speak. I’m only halfway through choosing the books for each challenge question. :D

  1. A book with more than 500 pages: Hrmm… so many options here. Maybe that new Anna Todd series? Each book is way over 600 pages. I am definitely open to suggestions with this part of the challenge. Let me know in the comments if you know one you think I will love. I FOUND IT and read it!! This one is almost 600 pages!! Book Review – Soaring by Kristen Ashley
  2. A classic romance: Hrmmm… I dunno. Gone with the Wind? I’ve never read it (nor watched the movie) and that is considered a classic for sure. Any other suggestions?
  3. A book that became a movie: YAY! FINALLY an EASY one!!! I’m absolutely finally, once and for all, gonna stop being a chicken (*pok pok*) and read The Fault in Our Stars. DONE!!
  4. A book published this year: <— That’s easy too. Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. :D P.S. It’s now LIVE on Amazon early!!! (Here’s my review)
  5. A book with a number in the title: Darn!!! I wish I could choose Fifty Shades of Grey!!! But I’ve already read it, and this is so I can EXPAND my reading so…. what to choose. What to choose? My aunt says she enjoyed this one: Two Tears in a Bucket (and that blurb sounds good to me!) I FOUND IT AND I READ IT! It’s The Five Stages of Falling in Love (<— my review!) by Rachel Higginson
  6. A book written by someone under 30: Well… our indie community sure has plenty of authors under thirty, so maybe I’ll wait before I choose one for this category and see what books come up. Oh!!!! Sadie and I are chatting and we suspect maybe that one of our FAV authors is under 30… so if that is the case, I have my definite choice for this section! Maybe in Another Life: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (it’s only out in July, but I am in no matter what section she fits in!). (Maybe in Another Life – my review)
  7. A book with non-human characters: Paranormal time!!! I’m gonna read Burned: Fever Series Book 7 by Karen Marie Moning. PERFECT!!! *happy dance* The Fever Series is one of my most favorite paranormal series in the world, and while some characters are human, most of ‘em are absolutely not. Barrons anyone? *squeeeee*
  8. A funny book: Well I wish I could re-read “The Plan” ’cause that one tickled me! But I’m open to suggestions here too. Oh I know!!! One that MichelleS and Claudia from Facebook loved and keep recommending… what was it again? YES!!! I found it! The Rosie Project: A Novel (Don Tillman Book 1). YAY!! Another one from my TBR list that will finally be read. :D (and here is my review!!)
  9. A book by a female author: Well that’s SUPER easy. I’ll just cross this one out after my next book. LOL!!! Here it is!! —> Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivec
  10. A mystery or thriller: Ooooh maybe a good Dean Koontz one. I LOVE him!! Oh wait!! My aunt and Debra just recommended this one (and my aunt is very excited that the movie is coming out. YAY ME!!) Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel. Debra says: “Before I Go to Sleep, I am reading it right now and it’s good, the movie is coming out soon” OH!!! Here is what I went with and OMG was it every a mystery-thriller!! MY REVIEW: Tight by Alessandra Torre
  11. A book with a one word title: Clean by Amy Reed <— I’ve never heard of this one before, but the book cover grabbed me, the title too! And that blurb is just about perfect for me. Doesn’t sound like our “usual”, romance-wise, but does sound like our angsty-YA real deep kind of read. Ya know? I’m in! And while I want to read Clean… here is my book for this category: Book Review – Confess by Colleen Hoover
  12. A book of short stories: ???? Not sure yet which one I’m choosing… help? I’m thinking Olive Kitteridge: Fiction (it won a Pulitzer prize), and I found it looking for a Pulitzer prize winning book for one of the challenge questions, below. But since this one is comprised of many short stories, I think it’s perfect for me, and still leaves my options open to choose yet another Pulitzer prize book to read for this challenge!
  13. A book set in a different country: My aunt tells me this one!!! The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. SHE LOVED IT!! Lots of great reviews and sounds deep, and it takes place in Burma. :D YES!!!!! I LOVED my choice for this one: Book Review – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  14. A non-fiction book: Ohhhhhh I LOVE autobiographies!!!! That’s what I’m choosing. I wonder which one. Back to my olden days of reading. That’s all I used to read. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Pepper singer autobiography) <— ROCK STAR BOOK!! Those used to be my favorites (I mean rock star autobiographies… annnnnnd rock star books).
  15. A popular author’s first book: ???? Not sure yet which one I’m choosing… help?
  16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet: EASY!!!!!! I still haven’t read Karina Halle’s final Experiment in Terror Series book because I’ve been so scared to let Perry and Dex go. *sigh* One of my all time favorite series n the world, I went NUTS over, and I’m one of the only mega-fans that hasn’t read the conclusion. It’s time, my friends. :)
  17. A book a friend recommended: My best friend Sherry has been recommending this one to me for MONTHS now saying “Therapy is the perfect angst filled book!”, and she knows I’ll love it. So THERAPY it is! And Whitney says: “Definitely a must read. This book is tragically beautiful. It will rip your heart out but leave you on a high.” And while I STILL INTEND on reading it this year, THIS ONE came highly recommended a TON, too. My Facebook crew and friends insisted and so I went in. AND I LOVED IT! Book Review – Kulti by Mariana Zapata. My friends were right, yet again!
  18. A Pulitzer-prize winning book: I’ve decided to choose the 2014 winner. Why not? Easy choice. It sounds great, and I keep seeing it in my Amazon suggestions feed, and I think I’m going to love it. —> The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction).
  19. A book based on a true story: WHOA! This one sounds crazy… so. This one! And I Don’t Want to Live This Life: A Mother’s Story of Her Daughter’s Murder
  20. A book at the bottom of your TBR List: Okay. This one’s been floating for way too long on my TBR list and I’m thinking it’s time I get to it. Plus, everyone that has read it appears to love it, so what am I waiting for, right? Bullet to the Heart (No Mercy). Sounds right up my dark alley!
  21. A book your mom loves: My mom is telling me I should read Now and Forever by Danielle Steele. My mom said she read this one back when I was young, and she loved it so much she made a quilt dedicated to it. She wrote on the quilt “Now and Forever” and the marriage vows from that book.
  22. A book that scares you: Oooooh this one could be ANYTHING. Horror/psychological thriller (’cause of course that’s scary!!), or sordid and forbidden (those take me right out of my comfort zone, which scares me), or sob-inducing (crying scares me). I would have easy said The Fault in Our Stars ’cause I’ve been avoiding it due to me being a scaredy-cat, but I chose it for another option up there. So… any book that could scare me that you’d highly recommend? I FOUND IT!!! —> Still Missing <—I’ve had this one floating in my Kindle for awhile now, and OMG I was terrified. A kidnap read but scared me SO bad. Here’s my review.
  23. A book more than 100 years old: Pride and Prejudice <— I need to finally read this one, one and for all! How dare I be a romance reader and not have this classic under my belt! *slaps hands* I DID see the move though. That counts, right? Nooooooo? *hrmph*
  24. A book based entirely on it’s cover: Sooooooo…. I get to judge a book by it’s cover for this one? Choose it specifically because of the cover? Oh boy…. I have some browsing to do. And noooooo. I’m not necessarily going to choose one with the hottest hottie. ;) Tee hee!!!! I FOUND IT!!! Sweet Nothing: A Novel <— Plus it’s by one of my FAVORITE authors and OMG that blurb!!! So it’ll be this one. ABSOLUTELY!
  25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: Well… I think I read everything assigned to me in high school for school work, but I’ll take a look and see if there are any that I didn’t read that are part of high school curriculum and I’ll choose that. 1984 was NOT assigned to me to read (although many of my American friends say it was part of their high school curriculum), and I always wanted to read it. It sounds so crazy. So I’m choosing it!
  26. A memoir: Well… I already have 2 or 3 memories on here, but since I love ‘em, I’d be HAPPY to choose another. ;) YES!!! I found one. The wife of a rock star. Imagine that kind of story? I must read this! Fall to Pieces
  27. A book you can finish in a day: Pretty much any of my usual reads… so I’m leaving this open. ;)
  28. A book with antonyms in the title: Okay… I’m admitting it. What the heck is an antonym? *blink blink* I know. You’re all so ashamed right now. *snort* Okay well that’s what Google’s for. Ah. Okay. Now I know. ;) So did anyone else wonder what an antonym was? *blush* Sadie chose this book, so I think I’m following her lead on it. Mine too! —> Where I End and You Begin. It sounds SOOOOOO good. YES YES YES!!!
  29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: Ireland, Italy, France and Scotland. And England. :D Okay but I’m going to choose Adam Black’s book (The Immortal Highlander: 6) since I was thoroughly enjoying Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series and everyone tells me Adam’s book is THE BEST!! So it’s in Scotland and sounds like the perfect choice to me!
  30. A book that came out the year I was born: *gasp* Must I even go there??!! *hrmph* Okay this one. It was all the scandal back then, I remember. So I’ll read it now that I’m an adult. Fear of Flying: 40th Anniversary Edition by Erica Jong
  31. A book with bad reviews: Well. I mean all books have some bad reviews, right? My absolute favorites even do (*gasp!!*) Do they mean EXTRA bad reviews, or 1 will suffice? *sigh* Sadie chose this one. I’m thinking it’s gonna be good!! You Should Have Known. Done! I’m in!
  32. A Trilogy: YAY!!! Perfect excuse to finally read this game-changer!! I hear it IS AWESOME!!! Kane Trilogy. After all… Lis said: “I f’n loved Jameson! So sexy and dirty! *fans self* Another author who’s books I will automatically one click!
  33. A book from your childhood: One of the rare books that I’ve read and re-read over and over and over again… back in the days when I could totally relate to Margaret. So I’m going to get a kick out of rediscovering this one! YAY ME!! Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
  34. A book with a love triangle: Gah!!! I think I’ve already read ‘em all. Those are totally MY thing. Angsty romance involving love triangles. The best one of all time, in my opinion is Thoughtless but I’ve already read that one. *sigh* So now I have to choose another…
  35. A book set in the future:
  36. A book set in high school: I LOVED this one, and yes they are in their last year of high school, but it’s good enough for me! FANTASTIC READ! Book Review – Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott
  37. A book with a color in the title:
  38. A book that made you cry:
  39. A book with magic: YES!!! I know this one… I know it’s going to come as a shock to many, but I have YET to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, Book 1). *gasp*!!! I know. It is everyone’s FAVORITE book in the world, and yet… I… have not read it. But for this particular challenge, I’m reading it! :D YAY ME!!!
  40. A graphic novel:
  41. A book my an author you’ve never read before: I discovered my love of Elle Kennedy, this year! She’s got a ton of books, but I read her for the first time with this one: Book Review – The Deal by Elle Kennedy <—- and it was FANTASTIC! I will be reading more!
  42. A book you own but have never read: OH!!! I know which one I’m reading. My fellow Facebook readers have suggested SO many good ones, but it’s The Girl in 6E (A Deanna Madden Novel Book 1) that I’ve chosen. Absolutely THIS ONE! I’ve been dying to read it, and now I have the perfect excuse! :D
  43. A book that takes place in your hometown:
  44. A book that was originally written in a different language:
  45. A book set during Christmas:
  46. A book written by an author with your same initials:
  47. A play:
  48. A banned book:
  49. A book based on, or turned into a TV show:
  50. A book you started but never finished:


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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

bev January 8, 2015 at 4:07 PM

I’m doing my first challenge this year too. With Eleanor & Park I was able to check YA off. Yay!
So for a book over 500 I’ll throw Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson into the suggestions. I want to re read it so of course want everyone else to read it too, lol.
My fave classic romance is Jane Eyre, but think I might rec Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
I try and stay away from too scary of books but for my challenge I’m using Birdbox by Josh Malerman. I might not read it otherwise. One I read that I found scary is The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston. True crime scares me most of all so am not ssure why I read it.
I’m tackling The Goldfinch too for an award winner category.

bev January 8, 2015 at 4:11 PM

Whoa, Maryse. Just looked at pic. Your list doesn’t even cover all the tasks. Wow.

Maryse January 8, 2015 at 4:17 PM

I KNOW! I still have the other row to choose books for LOL!! I;m not done yet.

IsDonIsGood January 8, 2015 at 4:56 PM

Oh this looks fantastic!

I loved Wuthering Heights – far more ‘bold and the beautiful’ drama and excitement I thought, compared to Pride & Prejudice. Just my first thought :-)

My brother is reading the Red Hot Chilli Peppers book and the photos in that book alone shocked me. Hard core childhood!

MichelleS January 8, 2015 at 5:20 PM

I like this challenge list! I may just try it myself. Oh YAY! You added Rosie Project back in, I just adored that book! (another super funny one was Fate Book)… and Goldfinch…. I want to read that too. I am afraid I will be bored and then it will prove I have no taste! LOL! That’s why I haven’t read it.

bev January 8, 2015 at 5:41 PM

Oh, one more, lol. For a memoir Paris in Love by Eloisa James. It’s a lovely read and a pretty fast one, which may be nice with the length of this list.

Diane M January 8, 2015 at 5:58 PM

Bev & I already discussed Goldfinch lol, it’s looooong but you’ll learn all about restoring antiques, I’d love to hear how you guys like it though, Boris was quite a character. I’m going to read Middlesex this year, that won a Pulitzer, it’s by the guy who wrote the Virgin Suicides. i loved P&P and Wuthering heights, but probably Rebecca the best

Jodie January 8, 2015 at 6:11 PM

The challenge sounds like fun. I am going to suggest Heat by R Lee Smith for the over 500 pages book. I love this author. I started with Heat and then read all her other books.

Maryse January 8, 2015 at 6:32 PM

MichelleS!! I fear the same thing!!!!! :P *snort*

Maryse January 8, 2015 at 6:34 PM

I saw the Wuthering Heights movie too… and it was SO good. Okay so none of my choices are set in stone (although pretty darn close)… so if you guys have suggestions I am open!

Cheryl January 8, 2015 at 6:36 PM

Wow, this challenge overwhelms me. Lots to think about…

Melissa January 8, 2015 at 7:29 PM

You HAVE to read Gone with the Wind. One of my all time favorites!! It’s a long one too…almost 1,000 pages. Epic epic story!

Jote January 8, 2015 at 9:45 PM

Hi Maryse! Firt off i LOVE your blog….it gives me so many new reads :) i just wanted to recommend JJ Mcavoy’s “Ruthless People” as a potential read for a book written by someone under 30.

bev January 8, 2015 at 9:49 PM

Adam Black~MichelleS is going to be SO stoked, lol.
No clue had to Google antonym. Read definition and then like “um that makes sense, probably should of known that”, lol..

Becky Hester January 8, 2015 at 9:55 PM

I like how you have done your research and totally planned everything out ahead of time. You have given me inspiration.

Tessa January 8, 2015 at 10:17 PM

Oooh, this looks fun, and your choices so far are interesting. I’ve haven’t read Pride and Prejudice too. I did read Emma, but for some reason, not the one everyone speaks of. You’ll love the Kane series. It’s your type of book. The two characters are insane and it works. Good luck with Gone with the Wind. It was a DNF for me. I still have yet to see the movie too.

I can’t wait to see what else you pick.

IsDonIsGood January 8, 2015 at 11:01 PM

Pulitzer Prize – God of Small Things. Still get goosebumps.

Oh will have to check out Rebecca (P & P/ Wuthering Heights alternative).

I’m getting lots of ideas!

Fabi January 8, 2015 at 11:01 PM

No one has mentioned Pygmalion (My Fair Lady) for the classic? :-0 it’s my all time fav

Love this challenge but don’t think I have the willpower to stick to it. :-(

Fabi January 8, 2015 at 11:03 PM

Oh for goodness sake, antonym is the opposite of synonim. “Oppossite” get it? Easy to remember.

Fabi January 8, 2015 at 11:05 PM

Synonym (sp) gotta love auto correct…only works when it’s wrong

Michelle F January 8, 2015 at 11:16 PM

Daaaaannnnnnggggg! That list is epic. My hat is off to those that can complete this challenge. :D

Sar January 9, 2015 at 12:35 AM

Ohh, just an idea for the “book set in a different country” category — I recently read an EPIC new adult second chance romance set in Budapest! It came out a few weeks ago and it was really unique — the heroine is studying abroad there and meets a mysterious *swoonworthy* stranger. It’s called Erasing Faith :)

MichelleS January 9, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Bev – hahaha – you know me so well….. do I make it THAT obvious that Adam Black is the ultimate make-no-apologies hot fae alpha dude? Even hotter than Ryder and Rain. Who didn’t shed a tear at the end of his book, huh? He melted me….

I’m in Texas, where it is supposed to be all sleety and cold and gross this weekend, so it’s going to be the PERFECT reading weekend!! Can’t wait. What I wouldn’t give for a 5 star read… you know, that After Hours surprise, or Golden Dynasty wowza!

Jean January 9, 2015 at 9:03 AM

Wow I love this challenge…. now I’m going be thinking about it all day.

Maryse! You never read or saw Gone With the Wind? An all-time favorite!

Kay Camden January 9, 2015 at 9:33 AM

I started reading Gone With The Wind in October. And I’ve barely made a dent. LOL
(But, to be fair, it’s in hard copy which means I’m not carrying it everywhere and reading a minute here and there all day like I do with all my Kindle books.)

drea January 9, 2015 at 9:49 AM

Gone with the Wind= best. book. ever.
Pick that baby up now!!

Lia January 9, 2015 at 11:07 AM

I love this reading challenge…

Lia January 9, 2015 at 11:36 AM

A book from my childhood I love,read and ‘re-read many times: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery .I want to read it again.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 11:40 AM

I’m obsessed! Just printed the list and laminated it (hey it has to last the year right?) A couple that will be hard for me, classic romance…. Pulitzer prize winner…not sure…. 100 year old book…. Book from school….. A book the year I was born ugh….book turned TV show… A graphic novel (what is that?)…. Book originally written in different language.

I will be looking and depending on recommendations from you guys!!

Kay Camden January 9, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Jean, here’s a highly recommended graphic novel for you. Raphael was my first brooding bad boy crush!! I’m not kidding!

Amy January 9, 2015 at 12:14 PM

OMG, how fun!! I’m in. :D

I didn’t know Taylor Jenkins Reid had another one coming out…YAY!! *skipping around*

bev January 9, 2015 at 12:24 PM

Jean, I’m doing a challenge that has a graphic novel too. I know nothing about them but have seen a lot of buzz and good things for Saga so I think I may go with it.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 12:55 PM

Kay, TMNT?? Really? Bev, I’ll have to check Saga out too. So graphic novel is like a comic book?? I feel stupid!

Amy!!! Is that you?? Missed ya! Wait, did I miss a comment about Taylor Jenkins Reid book?

Tracy January 9, 2015 at 1:21 PM

Jean – if you haven’t read Girl with a Dragon Tattoo yet that would be a great book for nor originally written in another language.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Tracy I have read it and loved it….. much better than the movie!

bev January 9, 2015 at 1:57 PM

Tracy, Thank you. One of my tasks is another language also. That was one of the first books I downloaded and didn’t even think of it. Finally time to read it. I watched the movie, Daniel Craig one, and liked it, though one part was hard to watch, so can’t imagine reading it.

Kay Camden January 9, 2015 at 2:07 PM

Oh yes TMNT. The original graphic novels are nothing like what TMNT is now. The original story is very dark and quite violent and brooding. That’s how I remember them, at least. My 25-year-old hard copies are packed away with all my cherished old books: original Vampire Diaries, Scarlett, A Wrinkle in Time… I need to dig them out and reread them!

Mindi January 9, 2015 at 2:12 PM

I need help with A Popular Author’s 1st book–I can’t find anything that looks good!

bev January 9, 2015 at 2:15 PM

C’mon Jean they’re heroes in a half shell.
. Never read the comics but man the toys, movie, etc so popular when I was a kid.

Tessa January 9, 2015 at 2:16 PM

*looks at Maryse innocently* Fallen Crest High is set in a high school. Just saying…

I’ve got a good start on this. I’ve read a book released this year (Falling Away), and a one word title book (Insight by Jamie Magee). I bought Maze Runner (book to movie) since it looks so good, and was only 1.99. Dead of Winter fits at least 3 categories so I’m holding off on placing that. I’m with you Maryse on non-human…Burned! *squee*

Oh, Pulitzer prize choice, To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve yet to read it or see the movie, but it sounds good.

bev January 9, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Tessa I know everyone says it but To Kill a Mockingbird is my very very favorite book.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Bev, lol I do love them. Michelangelo was always my favorite!

I haven’t read To Kill A Mocking Bird either.. Hmmmm..

Kay, A Wrinkle in Time! Loved that book!

I would like some suggestions on a popular author’s 1st book too!

Amy January 9, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Jean! *hugs* The book by TJR is Maybe in Another Life. Maryse linked it above and OMG does it sound good!!

Mindi and Jean, any particular genre for a popular author’s first book?

I’m loving all of these suggestions from you ladies! :D

Tessa January 9, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Loved a Wrinkle in Time, though I associate it with earthquakes. I had ordered it with those reading program things in school, and the day I got it was the day of the Whittier earthquake.

First books.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 3:18 PM

Amy, preferably “our” kinda genre! Lol! I was hoping there was some hidden gem out there by one of our popular authors that I just didn’t know about!

Mindi January 9, 2015 at 3:20 PM

Amy–I’m thinking like Jean for the “our” kind genre!

Amy January 9, 2015 at 3:32 PM

Hmmm…okay, so are we looking for angsty, emotional, make-us-cry books? I need to do a little digging, but off the top of my head I can think of Pulled. It’s not crazy angsty, but there were a couple of parts that made me cry. I am pretty sure it was A.L. Jackson’s first book. Not sure if she’s considered a “popular” author, but I’ve liked her books. Which should be reason enough, right? *snort*

Amy January 9, 2015 at 3:34 PM

Oh, and check out the link from Tessa…it’s perfect! Sea of Tranquility is listed there. *sigh* I LOVED that one.

Shane January 9, 2015 at 3:49 PM

Great list… I love your blog Maryse….. Thanks for all the great recommendations…..

K January 9, 2015 at 4:06 PM

Olive Kitteridge is a very good book, but I don’t really think of it as a collection of short stories. Perhaps, it is more a collection of episodic, united stories centering around the life and evolution, or lack there of, of a single character. I’m assuming a collection of short stories is what is meant by a “book of short stories.” If you are looking for a collection of short stories try Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. Like Olive Kitteridge, it also won the Pulitzer and is very good. Also, Tenth of December by George Saunders got a lot of attention a couple years ago. It is a collection of short stories and a National Book Award finalist.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 4:09 PM

OK Amy I have to check out Pulled. Don’t think I’ve read anything by that author but I could potentially have downloaded some of her books! Haha! Oh I do have Come to Me Quietly and the Regret series, neither of which I’ve read. Let me look at Pulled.

Loved, loved, loved Sea of Tranquillity…. Well never forget it!

Tracy January 9, 2015 at 4:09 PM

These categories are making me remember so many good books. I got to thinking about an authors first book and what my first “romance” novel was and it was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E Woodiwiss. I remember hiding them from my mom. I’m pretty sure I devoured all of them and thus began my romance with romance novels! ❤️

Mindi January 9, 2015 at 4:10 PM

Thanks Amy & Tessa–Night Owl is going to my top spot for author’s 1st book!

bev January 9, 2015 at 4:18 PM

Question. Does anyone know if the author of SOT plan to write another?

Jean January 9, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Thanks for that link Tessa! I’m thinking Gabriel’s Inferno, Beautiful Bastard or Consequences. The only one I don’t have downloaded already is Gabriel’s Inferno. Which one would you guys pick?

Amy January 9, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Night Owl…MANATEE!!!!!!

Jean, I also read AL Jackson’s Take This Regret series and When We Collide, and they were pretty good as well.

Bev, SOT?

Amy January 9, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Tracy, I hid Flowers in the Attic from my ultra-conservative mom. *giggle*

Mindi January 9, 2015 at 4:33 PM

Jean–Beautiful Bastard was good!

I need some recommendations for a book with bad reviews–this is a hard one!

Tessa January 9, 2015 at 4:42 PM

Beautiful Bastard was good. Very alpha romantic. Consequences… Mind messery for sure. I kept reading it, asking myself, why am I reading this? I swear, it was great, and horrible at the same time (definitely dark). I still cant believe people thought Anthony was bbf worthy, but it was one of those books that was good enough to stay with you. Gabriel’s Inferno… Blah. Lots of people liked it, but I thought the heroine was snooty and acted way too much like she was better than everyone else.

Jean January 9, 2015 at 4:50 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I’m thinking Beautiful Bastard it is!

bev January 9, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Amy Sea of Tranquility. I was being a lazy typist.

Amy January 9, 2015 at 5:31 PM

Ohhhh, got it now Bev. But I don’t know if she is writing any others…

K January 9, 2015 at 10:53 PM

I love a good book list! A couple titles that have romance elements that would fit in different categories…

Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie – It’s nonfiction, the story of Czar Nicholas and his wife Alexandra (though you probably already guessed that). Even knowing what was going to happen, it was really very engrossing. At its heart, it is a great, if tragic, love story.

Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie – It won the Pulitzer in 1985 and is a pretty short (about 300 pages), easy, witty read.

Cindy January 10, 2015 at 9:12 PM

A Book that scares you: Heart Shaped Box is soo good! It’s a very cool story and freaky too! Also, just read one called Afraid by Jack Kilborn … I sincerely cannot read this at night.
Love Triangle: you could continue on with the Kathleen Turner series. They get better and better each book!
Wild by Cheryl Strayed,… Fantastic writing! True story! It’s awesome!
:) this is fun

Lyndsi January 10, 2015 at 9:24 PM

I already know which book I’ll be reading for “A book that scares me.” I’ve read it before. Back in high school I think and it horrified me. It’s the only book I still remember as truly terrifying me. It’s The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum.

I mean, how do you know the book scares you unless you’ve already read it?

Cindy January 10, 2015 at 9:36 PM

Ya you’re right Lyndsi! Maybe it should be “A Book You Are Afraid To Read”. That way you can read something new as opposed to one you have read. I was always afraid to read The Exorcist… But read it anyway and it was fantastic!

Holly January 11, 2015 at 3:23 AM

A book you started but didn’t finish….. Does this mean I’m going to have to finish Forbidden?? No, I can’t do it! Lol.

Nikole W January 11, 2015 at 11:04 AM

I am so excited about this!!

For anyone looking for a non-fiction book I HIGHLY reccomened ‘Tuesday’s with Morie’ by Mitch Albom. It is one of my all time favorite books and I will pick it up from time to time just to read a chapter because the messages in the book are amamzing and you can apply them to your everyday life.

bev January 11, 2015 at 5:37 PM

Harry Potter, yes yay you. Great book great series that just gets better and better.
So, the book that makes you cry, is it suppose to be a re read or just take chances on books you think has the potential to make you cry?
So, the home town I’d think some of you would have to stretch that to State or another close town or city?

Brandi Bradford January 11, 2015 at 6:15 PM

Maryse… For number 37 The Color Purple, For a book that scares you…maybe The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro

Fabi January 11, 2015 at 7:05 PM

Oohh I read the strain a while back. It was wicked.

Mary January 11, 2015 at 7:16 PM

The Law of Attraction by NM Silber would be great for #8, Maryse. Her series, Lawyers in Love, is hilarious!

Stacy Sanders January 11, 2015 at 7:41 PM

As for funny, anything by N.m. Silber rocks. She writes the Lawyers in Love series.

cindy reifel January 11, 2015 at 8:23 PM

The Law of Attraction by n.M. Silber.
She is a fairly new writer and she is HILARIOUS and HAWT!!!

Tessa January 11, 2015 at 8:42 PM

Again, High School… Fallen Crest High.

On a more serious note, I’ve been wanting to read Vampire Knight. It’s a graphic novel that sounds right up my alley, but just hearing graphic novel just makes me anxious. This is the perfect reason to read it.

Tara January 11, 2015 at 9:27 PM

I can’t believe you haven’t read anything from Barbara Speak yet! Omg you need to get on that girl! They will leave you breathless I PROMISE!

Dawn M. January 11, 2015 at 10:57 PM

I would suggest reading The Last of the Mochicans followed by Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. There are six books in this series and it is set after the time of Last of the Mochicans. I loved the movie so much I was hungry for this series set in this time. It could fit into a couple categories on your list. I think I might try this challenge too. My book club read Before I Go to Sleep and it was good.

Donna Sanderson January 12, 2015 at 2:35 AM

Can I suggest Razorblade Kisses, it can be for a book that made you cry or an author you haven’t read before. The author is RL Griffin, the book was released on 8th Jan and is a fantastic read x

bev January 12, 2015 at 1:28 PM

Color in title….have to say it, Written in Red.
Highschool ( feel like I need to duck from Tessa) Eleanor & Park.

Tessa January 12, 2015 at 6:12 PM

Noooooo!!! *grins* Okay, I haven’t read Eleanor & Park, so I have no opinion. Maybe I should add that to my HS choice.

Amy January 12, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Eleanor and Park?? That one was good! I felt so bad for Eleanor with her situation, but it was so sweet. I was a kid in the eighties, and all of those things like mix tapes and Walkmans and the clothes (oh lord *shaking head*) felt like a flashback.

bev January 12, 2015 at 7:44 PM

Hurt for her and choices she had to make. Loved, loved Park. The comic books and tapes, the reader & music lover in me swooned at those,lol.

Maryse, I’m having so much fun looking at your choices as you put them up.

Maryse Castel January 30, 2015 at 4:46 PM

I spent the good part of a working day today with my colleague deciding which books will fit each catagory. We’re so excited to be doing this and I’m starting with my first book tonight, a book that was published the year I was born. Lucky me that was Roald Dahl’s Boy. Thanks so much for sharing this challenge. I’m going to post it far and wide.

Teresa February 1, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Since finding Goodreads and your blog 2 years ago, I’m getting a lot more pleasure (and sometimes pain too

Teresa February 3, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Maryse, I love your blog and I hold you personally responsible for increasing my reading pleasure for the last three years. This challenge is wicked. I’m in too. I’m only starting in February, but I discovered I’ve already ticked some of the boxes in January. You are right that it is fun planning what to read too. I had a day off today and worked on my list. I’m still struggling with some categories.
I’ve been very scared with Mud Vein in January, I gave it 5 stars, but since I read it before finding the challenge, I’m going to be brave and choose another one. Can please someone recommend a 5 star horror or dark-scary theme which you would say is a 4.5 or 5 star read, preferably with some romance in it? I would recomend Love Remains by Glen Duncan. It is not horror, just shocking to the bone. It left me psychologically numb and horrified. I think the end was controversial and not so great, but the subject matter was and it gave me one of the first book hangovers I’ve ever had. I was devastated and enraged about it. I could not stop thinking about it for weeks, and I came to it time and time again in my head for years to come, especially in the context of my work as a Psychotherapist. I even discussed with a friend things about one of the characters, like: “could you remain non-judgemental about what this guy did, if you were his therapist?” A difficult one. So please people, suggest a good book to be scared about (better psychologically than dismemberment, please)

Thank you guys, you are great and I took copious notes about recommendations already

Teresa February 3, 2015 at 12:19 PM

For American readers, I would recommend Five Quarters of an orange by Johanna Harris, the woman who wrote Chocolat, for the “book set in another country” it’s set in the UK during WWII. It is unforgettable. Also Chocolat will do. I love this author. All 4-5 reads

Amy February 3, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Hi Teresa! I don’t read a lot of “scary” or suspenseful books (I prefer to get turned inside out with angst ;) ), but there are some great ladies on here who could probably give you some good recommendations in that category. And, of course, Maryse always has an abundance of info available. Right now there is a lot of chatter on the bargain post from last Friday, so I would try posting this question over there.

Oh, and Love Remains sounds like it’s right up my alley but I don’t see it on Amazon. :(

Amy February 3, 2015 at 12:29 PM
Teresa February 3, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Amy, I only have Love Remains on paperback. Not sure if it’s ever been on digital. I have a well thumbed copy I could definitely send it by post if you want.

Teresa February 3, 2015 at 8:09 PM

Amy, thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I think I’m going to go for Gone Girl. It was already in my TBR but I’m a bit afraid of going there in this category, I end up being scared, battered and bruised by many books but I don’t know it before hand.
Happy challenge. And I would recommend the Regret trilogy for the din-fest. Love them all. Pulled is also good. I love AL Jackson, all her books are 4-5 star reads for me.

I’m also struggling to think if a banned book. Not sure if it means a book currently banned in the “free world” or one that has been banned at some time in some country, in which case it might be easier to find (After all I grew up in 1960s Spain with an almost illiterate dictator, so it should not be difficult at all. So far I can only think of Last Tango in Paris or Lady Chatterley’s lover. Any other ones?

Teresa February 3, 2015 at 8:13 PM

Yeah, I prefer angst too. I’m addicted to it actually. In January. It seems that I won a jackpot already: Mud Vein, The Opportunist, Dirty Red and the thief!!!! I’m ticking a lot of boxes with those 4. And something never before experienced. Four books with a perfect 5-star score for me. And all by Tarryn Fisher. I’m in awe of her talent!

Teresa February 3, 2015 at 8:16 PM

I think I’m getting too excited about this challenge. Three posts in a row ;)
I found this other book blog which us all about books from different countries

Amy February 3, 2015 at 10:50 PM

How sweet of you to offer that, Teresa! :D The Opportunist series, Mud Vein (I equally loved and hated that book…definitely a 5-star) and AL Jackson??? Oh, you are a kindred spirit!! I *love* both of those authors. I read Pulled and liked it so much that I tried her Regret series and When We Collide (it was actually when they had the old cover pictures), and they didn’t disappoint.

The only banned book I can think of that *I* have read is Her Master’s Courtesan by Lily White, but that was just banned from Amazon so I’m not sure if it counts. But it traumatized me. Seriously. And I like dark reads. I’m pretty sure Maryse read and reviewed it but can’t remember for sure.

Hang out some more and you’ll see that the lovely ladies here get excited like that about what we read…you’re in good company. ;)

Sheri March 2, 2015 at 6:29 PM

I’m working on this list too and since I have such similar literary taste and obsession with books as you do, here are my suggestions:

#35 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Wil Wheaton reads the audiobook and is AMAZING!!! I struggled to get into this book when I read it but when I listened to it I could NOT STOP!!! 5 stars on my Goodreads list!

#40 How about The Exile by Diana Gabaldon?

I don’t know where you’d put it in the list but what about Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore? I haven’t read it yet but the Goodreads reviews look great and it looks hysterical and unique!

And one more that I highly suggest if you haven’t read it yet, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls…my all time fav non-fiction (memoir).

Oh wait, one more…Dreams of Joy by Lisa See…fits a couple categories and SO good!

Sheri March 2, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Gah! How could I forget my fav fav?!?! Put this somewhere, anywhere, on this list!

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle) By Patrick Rothfuss

How about #41?! Unless you’ve read this book, you haven’t read this author! Or technically it fits in #36 as well. Or boot Harry and put this at #39…its so much better!!!

Sheri March 3, 2015 at 3:04 PM

#37 book with color in it…have you read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier? It’s the first of a trilogy. It was originally written in German so it fits #44 as well.

Lisa April 23, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Short Stories – I read True: 3 Short Stories by Barbara Cutrera. Having problems finding a Play as well as written in a different language.

Going to read Harry Potter for my banned book.

PS – Kim Jones is under 30 so read Red for that one though it could have gone under several others.

Fabi April 23, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Harry Potter was banned? I’d never heard that.

Maryse April 23, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Was it? Whaaaaaaa?

Sadie April 23, 2015 at 9:58 PM

Yay! Love seeing your updates. I have quite a few to get through too but we got this! Marrow was my one word title ;) How was the one that got away (yellow cover) – I just checked out that one…heard it might be a fit for one of the categories.

Audra Spencer June 12, 2015 at 9:57 PM

I am so on board with this.. Hopefully it will broaden my horizons, I feel like I’m in a book funk

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