In June, I started a new feature on my blog: Reading Journal. I have always wanted to do a weekly update, like Sunday Salon, but I don’t have time on the weekends. So I started a midweek one for myself.

I have enjoyed reflecting on my bookish thoughts, especially since I didn’t have many reviews to post. At the same time, it made my month very full of non-review posts. (In total, I had 10 non-review posts versus 10 review posts, although two of the reviews were for the same book and one was a summary of a few children’s books.) I have a goal of having more review posts than non-reviews, so I don’t want that overabundance of book talk to become a habit!

Do you mind non-review book talk? Do you have any content goals for your own site? Although I try to remind myself that my books blog is for my personal development, I do often consider the readers and the book blogging community. And I fear I am boring the readers I do have.

It may be a moot point. I’m hoping July is full of “lighter” reads, and so I’ll have more reviews than I did in June. I’m going to take things easy (other than finishing The Arabian Nights). I’m looking forward to this new adventure in reading.

As always, thanks for reading along with me.

Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews

In June, I reviewed a few things I read in May:

I also finished the following:

Children’s Projects

As a part of my history of children’s literature project, I reviewed some Robinson Crusoe Adaptations for Children (including a detail page for anyone interested). I also read a number of picture books, which I didn’t review.

Other Posts

Challenges Update

Past and Finished Challenges

Once Upon a Time III Challenge: The Journey (until 20 June 2009). 12/1 FINISHED! I really enjoyed this. Although I only was going to read one item, I read many more! I read Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino; The Green Knowe Chronicles by L.M. Boston (six children’s books); Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury by Betty MacDonald (three children’s books) ; The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi; and Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault. It was surprisingly easy to read twelve fantasy books in three months, especially when most were children’s books.

Martel-Harper Challenge (until 30 June 2009). 1/2 NOT FINISHED. I studied Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare in depth, but I haven’t yet finished The Good Earth, which is my current audiobook. This challenge repeats every quarter, though, so I can finish it and count it for 3rd quarter. If you haven’t checked out Martel’s list lately, you may be surprised by the variety; he adds to it every two weeks, so the reading list just keeps getting longer. It’s now 59 books long.

Reading with Kids Challenge (until 30 June 2009). FINISHED! I had a lot of fun reading with my son. Although I stopped counting my minutes after April, I’m sure we read more than we did before these three months. Reading is a habit, and he looks for and loves books. I’m amazed at how interested he is when I pick up a book to read to him. Even though he doesn’t always appear to be paying attention and he’s playing, when I stop reading aloud, he stops playing, looks at me, and says “More?!” (Especially with Winnie-the-Pooh, this month’s full-length book.)

New Challenges

Summer Lovin’ Challenge (until 22 September 2009). 0/3. I plan on rereading three favorite books. I could just keep adding to this list! I love rereading books. Here are some options, all from my own shelves:

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison. It’s been five years since my last reread, and this used to be my favorite book. Ever.
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I haven’t reread it since college. I loved in high school; I liked it in college; I wonder what I’d think now.
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman. This book is just fun, and I love the movie as well.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I enjoyed this when I was in high school, and wonder what my adult thoughts are.
  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. When I first read it, I told myself I’d reread it in a few years and probably enjoy it more. It’s been more than a few years.
  • Wit by Margaret Edson. This play was great the first time I read it.

Martel-Harper Challenge (until 30 September 2009). 0/2. I plan on finishing The Good Earth and then reading The Doors, a collection of poetry by Margaret Atwood. But, I may read a completely different option instead, depending on my mood.

Take a Chance Challenge (until 30 November 2009): 0/10. I’m not very daring in my reading choices. With summer, though, I’m looking to read some lighter novels, and I thought I’d take a chance as I do so. I hope to do at least two of these random book selections by November. (Click on the link for more details.)

The Spice of Life Challenge (until 31 December 2009): 0/8. I am joining my own challenge for “a feast.”  I want to read and review at least eight books, with at least one in each category. See my post of choices here.

Everything Austen Challenge (until 31 December 2009): 0/6. Read or watch six Jane Austen-themed items, be it the original Austen works, movies, or biographies of the author herself. I’m going to play it by ear and hopefully have fun. I like how watching movies counts for this challenge!

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. I realize this looks insane. I’m probably not going to get everything finished, though, and I’m okay with that!

Timed Challenges

Personal Projects

Classics/Must Read Lists

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. I often prefer non-review book posts. I think it is good to have a mix of the two and you seem to have a good balance.

    Congratulations on keeping on top of your challenges. I really need to spend some time organising mine and working out what I need to read to finish them.

    Have a great July!

  2. Good luck with all of the challenges – I just signed up for 2 and I’m already wondering what in the world I was thinking.

  3. I love non-review book talk! 🙂 I try to keep a balance on my blog, but it’s difficult because I’ve been reading so many great books there isn’t enough time to review them all!

    Here’s my ‘ideal’ posting schedule, that I often end up not following:
    Mon-short story review (haven’t done this in awhile!)
    Tues-book review
    Wed-Library Loot with vlog
    Thurs-free for all
    Fri-book review
    Sat-anything but a book review
    Sunday-Salon, in which I do mini-reviews of all the books I haven’t gotten to

    I try to add some personal stuff in my book reviews, just to try to keep a balance.

  4. I don’t mind your non-review posts at all. For me, it depends on the blogs and the content of the non-review posts, so I couldn’t really give a blanket answer. But I like yours.

    You know, I could probably take that Austen challenge because I’m part of a Jane Austen book club that reads her books, watches movies, reads sequels, etc, but I’m not really up for another challenge, so I’m just letting this one slide for now. Ah well. I guess it’s good to learn to control the challenge amounts, yes?

  5. I have to say I enjoy your reading journals. I like seeing what you’re reading, whether you’re enjoying it, what struggles you have. It makes the eventual review more meaningful to me.

    Congratulations on your challenges progress!

  6. Oh I’m glad to hear that the consensus is that some book talk is preferred! I feel like my blog keeps going through morphs — from only reviews to tons of memes back to only reviews. Now I think it’s starting to balance a bit.

    Eva, I’ve tried to have a schedule in the past, but then life jumps up and gets in the way! So I give up.

    Amanda, that’s why I joined the Jane Austen one — I can always just watch some great Austen movies! But yes, probably better not to put it on a to do list because then, like me, you’ll become overwhelmed every few days!

  7. I don’t participate in any memes, but I do post some non-review posts, and they are often my most commented-on ones! I do book-related lists, and I always post about the challenges I join.

    That reminds me–have you figured out your list for the Take a Chance Challenge yet? That’s been the funnest (yes, I just said funnest) part!

  8. J.T. Oldfield, I’m finding that non-review posts do get more comments! I guess because I don’t always read and review books others have read.

    I’m holding off on the choosing for the Take a Chance Challenge until I know I’m going to read the books! But I’m glad it’s so fun!

  9. It depends on the blogger, whether I read non-bookish content, I think. I read them from bloggers I’ve developed relationships with through their great book reviews, and usually skip over them for bloggers I’m not as familiar with.

    As for me, I try to post one review a week, and then at least try to keep other posts related to bookish things. Sometimes they have a personal element — a question about my own reading or a story about books related to my life — but usually I don’t stray too far away.

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