Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

I'm at it again. I completed the 2015 Reading Challenge ahead of the game. I read 53 books against a challenge of 50. This year I have upped that challenge to 60 books. So far this year, I've read 11 books which Goodreads says is 1 book ahead of schedule.

I hope this year to keep you guys more informed on what I'm reading and how I feel about those books. So, without further ado, here is the list of books I've read so far:

"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" by George R. R. Martin
This book was listed as a prequel to the Game of Thrones series. It was interesting but not a really good book. The story line jumped around a bit and I had trouble keeping track of who was who. It's the story of a hedge knight (one who sells his services to anyone needing a knight) and brings in some of the families from Game of Thrones. As I said, it was okay but not one I would recommend.

"The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton

Another wonderful book by a now favorite author. I love the way she weaves her stories and this one is by far, my favorite. It's the story of a little girl who is put on a ship in England headed for Australia. She arrives all alone and is taken in by the harbor master and his family. Her granddaughter inherits her home and a suitcase which was the only possession she arrived in Australia with. The granddaughter begins a journey to find out who her grandmother really was and finds much more. It is beautifully written and will tug at your heart. I truly did not want it to end.

"The Talisman (#1) by Stephen King

To be perfectly honest, this book wasn't started this year. I think I started it over a year ago and just finished it. It had its moments and I did enjoy parts of it but again, unless you are a huge Stephen King fan, I don't think I would recommend it.

"The Secret Keeper" by Kate Morton

This story took me by surprise. It starts in the middle past, then moves forward to the now, and then back again to the far past. Even though it jumped around, I had no problem following the story line and was very surprised at the ending. It is set in England and tells the story of a mother's past and her deep, dark secret. One daughter, a famous actress, starts researching and finds another side of her mother. Very, very good.

"Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly

This wasn't on my to read list but I was intrigued by the synopsis on Goodreads. I must say, Mr. O'Reilly did a great deal of research and uses many sources, including the Bible. The book details the events that lead up to the murder of Jesus and all the changes that occur that made it necessary. While I have a firm belief in God, I have no trouble reading books like this. I feel that we should be open to all information and to read and discern for ourselves what of that information to keep and what to toss away.

"Death Comes to Pemberly" by P. D. James

"A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.   It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.   Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.   Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it."  (Goodreads)  I thought this gave a much better description than I could. P. D. James died in 2014 at the age of 94 and she wrote right up to the end. I have enjoyed many of her books.

That's the first six I read this year. I was afraid if I did all 11, this post would get too long. As you can see, my reading is all over the place. I'm enjoying one right now that is set in Cambodia. I do need to say that all the books I've read so far this year, with the exception of 2 or 3, have been borrowed from my local library through their e book program. When they become available, if I have them on hold, I get an email and download from Amazon. It's a great program, free books and I don't have to get out in the cold, snow, rain or hot weather to go get them. Great solution!!!

That's all for now. I've made great progress on the Easter surprise and as soon as they are finished and mailed off to the kiddos, I will swamp you with photos. *smile*

Hugs, everyone


  1. While I have been reading bits and pieces of this and that you have read over 50 books! Good for you, Sharon. Thanks for sharing what you liked or disliked. Kate Morgan's work sounds like story telling I would especially enjoy reading, and your e-book sourcing is brilliant! xx

    1. I think you will enjoy Kate Morton's books. She tells a wonderful story.

  2. My goodness you put me to shame with all of your reading. I used to read so much more than I do now. My husband just finished reading "Killing Jesus". He's read most of Mr. O'Reilly's books in has gleaned a lot of information from them. I look forward to hearing what other books you decide to read this year.
    Blessings, Betsy

    1. I wasn't sure about the book but I did get a lot of information and a different perspective. I have another post to do on the last 5 I've read so far. Thank you for your encouragement.

  3. I've read nine books so far this year, but that's many more than I usually read. The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper sound like they may be books I'd enjoy, I shall bear them in mind.

    1. Good for you. I really think you will enjoy those books. I have become a great fan of hers.

  4. I have read both Kate Morton books, they were very good and so was Death Comes to Pemberly, I read that again this past year. Great job with the reading.

  5. Hi there! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  6. Hope everyone is okay over there. Happy Easter!