Saturday, September 10, 2016

Recap: Summer Reading Challenge

I am pleased with my finish to the Summer Reading Challenge. Not all the books I pulled from the shelves for it got read, but I usually heap too much on my plate.

Nevertheless, my main goal this summer was to finish reading Pat Conroy, and I did. (Actually, I've not read The Boo, but it is unavailable for all practical purposes, and last year I abandoned South of Broad halfway in.) I had two books left, The Lords of Discipline and Prince of Tides. I intend to post about the books individually as soon as some time frees up. These two books combined totaled 1240 pages, and I read them back to back. I love Conroy's writing, and by this I mean his wordsmithing, but his subject matter can undo his reader. I'm so glad that I had read his My Reading Life first (besides The Water is Wide, read long ago). Had I not understood from his narrative in MRL about all the stuff in all his life, I think I would have quit him and never looked back. But because I had that background knowledge of his life, his subject matter was easier to understand and put up with. And I'm glad I am done. That is, until I get my hands on a copy of the new book of his writing excerpts, A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life which comes out in October.

My 2016 Summer Reading Challenge accomplishments / stats:
15 finished (print and audio)
4 abandoned
(3 print / 1 audio - though I might finish the audio at some point)
3321 print pages

1566 audio pages listened to
4887 total pages June-July-August
Quick comments on the (descending August-June) list below.

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (Gates)
Audio. Very long. Worthwhile, even though much of the pre-1990 history was lost on me.

The Letter Writer (Rinaldi)
Print. Juvenile historical fiction. I always enjoy and learn a lot from Rinaldi.

Strong Medicine (Hailey)
Print. I was drawn to this because I'd read his Hotel as a teenager and liked it. This one is focused on the pharmaceutical industry. Interesting.

The Prince of Tides (Conroy)
Print. Long. Took a while to get into this one, but it was my last, and I was determined to conquer it.

Crazy Busy (DeYoung)
Print. Thankful it was short.

A Country Doctor (Jewett)
Audio. Most interesting and a good listen.

The Lords of Discipline (Conroy)
Print. Hard, hard subject. Distressful much of the time. Another Conroy.

Lone Survivor (Luttrell)
Audio. Autobiography. Captivating.

Wonder o' the Wind (Keller)
Print. Autobiography. One of the best books I've read. Loved learning his background. More extensive review later. 

Beach Town (Andrews)
This beach read settled that Andrews is off of that yearly list. I'd read one of hers before that was okay, but this one just had too much indulgent-everything for me.

In Mozart's Shadow (Meyer)
Another juvenile historical fiction. I don't think I've read any Meyer before (and I have a few more on my shelves). Seems well-researched and plausible and gives a look at the young Mozart with understanding.

Note to Self (Thorn)
Daily read type book was extremely short daily reads. Too short and too milky.

The Butterfly's Daughter (Monroe)
Another beach read by an author that's not disappointed me yet. Story about a young woman discovering her family background interwoven with the migration of the Monarch butterflies. 

Keep It Pithy (O'Reilly)
Audio that was short and moved right along. 

Return to Sullivan's Island (Frank)
Print. Typical beach read. I'd read one of hers in the spring, and this one was a good story, yet too much of the indulgent-everything for me.

Plantation (Frank)
Print. Abandoned after a chapter. 

The Influenza Bomb (McCusker) 
Print. Abandoned. Just could not get into this. I read his other one last year (The Gabon Virus) and struggled to get into that one too.

The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay (Jensen)
Audio. Abandoned after more than halfway through. I might return to it one day, but the "hardscrabble" was too much for me. 

Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl (Wilson)
Print. Abandoned. I don't even know where to begin to describe why I could not continue this, and believe me, I tried many days to read it. The writing style is beyond explanation for me. So, all of you who love it, bless your hearts. 


Carol in Oregon said...

HOW did you get that wonderful visual?

Janie said...

LOL! I took the circuitous route! . . . I took a screenshot of my summer list at Goodreads, cropped and enlarged it, saved it as a jpeg, and there you have it! And the "how" was much easier typed than done! :)