Before I get to my month in review, remember to send in your past posts for the upcoming Bookworms Carnival. You have two weeks, and your posts can be from last year if you don’t have anything recent. See the details of what I’m looking for.

This list of my month in review makes it look like I read more in the past month than I have any previous month! If I add up the number of pages read, I sure did. But my books were shorter and more modern than I’ve been reading in the past months, so they went quicker. I also gave YA a chance, and there were a few children’s books and rereads. If I read modern fiction every month, I think I’d read this much every month!

I tried to go a little out of my comfort zone as I picked books this month. Most books weren’t for challenges either, and I certainly enjoyed the spontaneity of what I read.  I’ve indicated on the list below the books that I want to reread at some point. (I have a hard time limiting favorites, as you may see.) I also read a few books from a series, so now I want to read the sequels!

Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews

In July, I reviewed a few things I finished previously.

I also finished or reviewed the following:

  • *The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda R. Monk (263 pages; nonfiction). Began in June.
  • *Wit by Margaret Edson (85 pages; drama).
  • *The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (audiobook, 9 discs, about 10.5 hours total; fiction). Began in June.
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (230 pages; fiction).
  • *A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg (310 pages; nonfiction/memoir).
  • The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy (425 pages; fiction). Read in May, June, and July.
  • The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters (about 250 read of 500 pages; nonfiction/cookbook). This is a cookbook I’ve read and cooked from for the past six months.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (750 pages; children’s fiction) Began in June. Reread/no review.
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (150 pages; children’s nonfiction). Reread/ no review.
  • Lost Chicago by David Lowe (250 pages; nonfiction/coffee table book). I skimmed in places.
  • The John Cheever Audio Collection (audiobook, on 6 discs, about 6 ½ hours; fiction/short stories).
  • The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (350 pages; fiction).
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (425 pages; YA fiction).
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (160 pages; children’s fiction). Reread/no review.
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (345 pages; YA fiction).
  • *The Door by Margaret Atwood (120 pages, plus audio disc; poetry).
  • *Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (240 pages; fiction). I’m going to giveaway my copy on Monday!

Children’s Projects

In July, I didn’t read any of the classics on my list for my history of children’s literature project, but I did review a few of the picture books my son is reading these days.

Other Posts

Challenges Update

Past and Finished Challenges

Really Old Classics Challenge (until 31 July 2009). FINISHED! 5/5. This was a challenge that I hosted. For this challenge, I read Hippolytus by Euripides, The Iliad by Homer (trans. Robert Fagles) , The Odyssey by Homer (trans. Robert Fagles), Utopia by Thomas More , and The Arabian Nights, trans. Husain Huddawy. I loved The Iliad so much I plan on reading another translation of it next year. I really did enjoy all the books I read, and I look forward to reading more really old classics in the coming year. I want to continue to keep these books as a part of my general reading repertoire.

Martel-Harper Challenge (until 30 Sep 2009). FINISHED! 2/2. During second quarter, I didn’t finish one of my books, so I made sure I got this challenge finished very early this quarter! I read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and The Door by Margaret Atwood. I enjoyed them both.

Dewey’s Books Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). FINISHED!  5/5. I was going to make sure I read five books for this challenge that didn’t also count for a different challenge, but I’ve decided to count the challenge as done. The pressure of challenges is getting to me. I want to read what I want to read at random to a greater extend. At any rate, the books I read for this challenge were these:

There are dozens more books that Dewey reviewed that I’m dying to read, but I’m going to read them as I want to, not under the guise of a “challenge.” Some of them are these:  Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie; The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie; Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

New Challenges

No new challenges this month – I still have plenty of old ones to finish! See below. In fact, I’m going to hold off joining any more challenges as long as possible. (Yeah, right. I always say that!)

Challenge Progress

Some projects appear on more than one list because part of the challenge is timed, but the overall project is not. I’ve made a note if I’m currently reading a book that applies to a particular challenge.

Timed Challenges

Beowulf on the Beach Challenge (until 7 Sep 2009). 0/1
Summer Lovin’ Challenge (until 22 Sep 2009). 1/3
Take a Chance Challenge (until 30 Nov 2009). 0/10
9 for 09 challenge (until 27 Dec 2009). 3/9
BiblioShakespeare Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 3/6
Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 6/10
Everything Austen Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009) 1/6
Science Book Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 0/3
The Spice of Life Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 2/8
World Citizen Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 5/7

Personal Projects

HTR&W project: poetry. 0/21 poems
Nobel Challenge. 14/101 authors
Pulitzer Challenge. 11/82
Newbery Medal. 28/88
Caldecott Medal.  39/72
My Children’s Literature Project. 6/15 chapters
U.S. Presidential Reading. 2/44 presidents
Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1/15 presidents
My Short Story Author Project.
My Poets Project.
Favorite Authors to Read.

Classics/Must Read Lists

Beowulf on the Beach Challenge . 15/50
101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers. 42/101
Martel-Harper Challenge18/59

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. Wow you had a great month! I’m looking forward to reading Half a Yellow Sun and The Absolutely True Diary as well. The Grapes of Wrath is wonderful, I hope you enjoy it. I’m almost halfway through East of Eden now and it’s just as good. I love Steinbeck!

  2. What a great post. I don’t read that many books, and a month-post about my progress in various challenges would also be somewhat of a laugh 🙂 I have The Good Earth and Guernsey Literary…..on my TBR, and both seems like great reads 🙂

  3. Amanda, I loved East of Eden! It was one I read in the days just before I started blogging. I’ve been looking forward to Grapes of Wrath since, but I’ve never made it a priority. Shame on me!

    Louise, I would highly recommend both of those books. They’re very different from each other, but both good in their own ways.

  4. I’m finding East of Eden slower than The Grapes of Wrath. Not in a bad way. More that it’s easy to linger over. Or, sometimes I’ll read 100 pages in a day, and then nothing for 2 days while I just absorb. It’s really nice that way. The Grapes of Wrath, for me, was more driven, faster. I charged through it and loved every bit. I hope you enjoy it.

  5. Amanda, It’s interesting that you say that. I mulled over East of Eden for about three months when I read it. It was pre-blogging and I wonder if I’d have read it much faster now. I’m glad to hear that it is one that is meant to read slowly.

  6. Congats on getting so much reading done! Mine has really slowed down now that summer’s here and the garden is ripe.
    I didn’t finish my Really Old Classics Challenge on time, but I’m not giving up on it! Le Morte is the one dragging me out the most.

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