Wow, I had fun this month. I stopped “worrying” about challenges and read what I wanted to read. And then I ended up with tons of things read in the end. At the same time, I have been negligent in leaving comments on your wonderful blogs: I still feel like I’m trying to catch up. I hope that April finds me commenting on your blogs far more often!

Note that some of the books in the lists below had many illustrations. I have also listed some books that I’ve been reading for a number of months. It’s really not that crazy around here.

Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews

In March, I reviewed a few things I read in February.

I also reviewed the following in March.

Children’s Projects

I reviewed just one children’s picture book (although I mentioned a few more on that post).

Challenge Update

1st Quarter Ended Challenges

I failed to complete any of my chosen books for the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge. I began reading The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters in January, and I’m still reading it, little by little. It’s a cookbook, so I’m enjoying cooking some of the recipes. For the challenge, I also chose The Flavor Bible (a cooking help book that I’ve already browsed through) and The Art of Eating, which is a collection of essays about food by M.F.K. Fischer. I have a great list of other cooking and eating books that I want to read, so I’m still eager to get to them in the future, challenge or not!

I did finish the Martel-Harper Challenge for 1st quarter. I read Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges and Animal Farm by George Orwell.

2nd Quarter Challenges

I’m joining my own Martel-Harper Challenge for 2nd quarter as well. I will probably read Julius Caesar and Short and Sweet: 101 very short poems, edited by Simon Armitage, but I have others in a pool on my current challenges post. To join the Martel-Harper Challenge for 2nd quarter, see this post.

I’ve also joined the Once Upon a Time III challenge for The Journey. This means I’ll be reading one book of fantasy, fairy tale, folklore, or mythology during the second quarter. I’m intending to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That doesn’t mean I don’t have dozens I want to read. In fact, I’ve already started a different book that will count. I’ve added some more books I’d really like to read to my current challenges post. I also may share some stories on Mondays for the Short Story Weekends portion of the challenge.

I’m also going to join (attempt) a one-month reading challenge. Myrthe alerted me to the Global Voices Book Challenge: Read Your Way Around the World challenge. The idea is that people around the world read a book about a country that you have never read about before by April 23 (UNESCO day). I want to read about Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Although I’ve read some books about that region, my reading has been limited to half of a novel (The Kite Runner) and a memoir about an American (Three Cups of Tea). Technically, those count as “having read about the region,” but I don’t think they should. For this project, one book I’d like to read is Benazir Bhutto’s autobiography. She was the first woman prime minister of Pakistan and that sounds like it will be an interesting twist on the region. (Does anyone know if Daughter of Destiny is the same as Daughter of the East? I can’t tell if they are the same book in a different package or two different biographies.)

I may not get this book read by April 23 (I’m still waiting for it via ILL from the library), but I’m still grateful for the challenge to get me thinking of this book. I’ll try to get it read this quarter. (If you want to join, include the keyword gvbook09 as a tag on your post so they can find you in the blogosphere.) Does anyone have any other suggestions for good nonfiction books about Afghanistan or Pakistan?

New on Rebecca Reads

I’ve added a few pages to my site. First, thanks to Rose City Reader, I added a listing of “101 Books Recommended for the College Bound.” This is a very comprehensive list of classics that I feel I should read. While I am certainly beyond college, there are a number I have yet to read!

I also worked on my Reviews by Title Archive: I added a list of reviews with the picture books and then a list with only picture books. I think that may make it easier for you to find book you are interested in. Note that the non-picture book list still has children’s literature on it, just not the picture books.

I’m considering doing weekly “Sunday Salon” posts; it would be nice to reflect each week on my reading. However, I rarely have time to post on the weekend, so I may make it a mid-week “Reading Journal” instead.

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 love that in response to not finishing several challenges, you signed up for more! 😉 Back when I was trying to read through all of the books in this year’s Tournament of Books, I felt my reading really began to suffer because I felt so restricted and reading began to feel like a chore. I wasn’t reading the books I wanted to read, and felt like I was going through the motions. That experience really taught me that I’m not a challenge reader. I like looking at people’s challenge lists and getting ideas for my own reading, but I don’t want to ever feel like I HAVE to read anything.

    In other news, I enjoyed that 101 book list you posted… though there are a bunch on there that I haven’t read, but would certainly like to. I can’t imagine having read all of those prior to college!

  2. I swear I commented on this post last night but I still had it starred this morning. I guess thinking it doesn’t make it so. I solved my challenge reading problem, by only signing up for challenges that every book will fit: love your library, read your own books, new author. I took the easy way out!

  3. Ladytink, Thanks!

    Kathy, Well, like I said, this month I stopped “worrying.” I’m just treating my challenges lists as things I’d really like to read and it’s nice to have a personal guideline as to when I’d like to read it by. I agree, though, that challenges sometimes make reading stressful. Not what it’s supposed to be!!

    Amanda/Steph, yes, I can’t believe that list is supposed to be read before college! Yikes. Steph, I agree reading shouldn’t be a “chore” but at the same time, some of the “hard books” are well worth reading, even if it’s hard to get through them. A personal challenge to read something that’s challenging could be a very good thing, I think.

    Natahsa, That’s kind of what I’m doing. Except of course, I want to read every book, so I’m still just overwhelmed. Oh well, it is fun in the midst of it!

  4. Thanks for the mention!

    You had a very busy month, for someone just going with the flow!

    I avoided challenges this year because they caused me stress. But I am having similar feelings of frustration and reading restriction caused by the pile of ARC and other “to review” books on my nightstand. I am going to have to slow the pipeline on those so I can turn to books I want to read.

  5. I know what you mean about not commenting as often as you’d like. I made it one of my goals – a “challenge”, if you will – to comment more during the month of April. Maybe I should even make myself a little button, since I seem to be collecting those at an amazing rate!

  6. Rose City Reader, That’s exactly why I will not accept ARCs! I never want to feel obligated to read a book, even if it’s free: I’d rather pay money or use the library copy when I feel like it.

    Penny, I likewise should do that. I’ve just not been on top of the commenting game lately!

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