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For the past two summers, I have given myself a reading challenge consisting of 10 books to finish within 4 and a half months. Although this seems very reasonable since I tend to read at least 20-30 books during the summer (on average), I don’t always follow my own reading challenge. Honestly, my whole life could be summed up in this quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:alice-in-wonderland-30327_1280

She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

My own disregard for my own rules surprises me sometimes…

For my 2017 (April 15 – August 31) spring-summer reading challenge, I planned to read the following books:For a brief introduction to my spring-summer reading challenge 2017: click here.

  1. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
  2. The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë – Daphne du Maurier (Finished) 
  3. Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam (Tokyo Fiancée) – Amélie Nothomb (Finished)
  4. Night Magic – Charlotte Vale Allen (Finished)
  5. The Life of Charlotte Brontë – Elizabeth Gaskell
  6. The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman
  7. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (Finished)
  8. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  9. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (Finished)
  10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs (Finished)

Greatest disappointment: Night Magic – Charlotte Vale Allen

man-158329_1280I could probably rant on and on about how disappointed I was by this book (don’t worry, I promise I won’t). I had been waiting an entire year to find a copy of this book. Now I realize why it is so hard to find a copy of Night Magic… because it is awful! Night Magic was advertised as a retelling of Beauty & the Beast, and The Phantom of the Opera. Once I reached the end of the book, I felt as if the magic from both stories had been drained out of Night Magic. The title of the book should look more like this Night Magic. Also, the romance between the two main characters was just too creepy to be taken seriously.  For more of a cohesive explanation of my disappointment, please see my review on Night Magic.

Greatest surprise: Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

british-2023201_1280I’d like to believe that I am a very organized person who takes her responsibilities as a university student seriously. But who am I kidding! When it comes to summer holidays, the last thing I want to do is catch up on assigned reading. I had promised myself to read Vanity Fair (assigned reading for a course on Victorian novels) by the end of May. After all of my procrastinating, I finished Vanity Fair at the end of August. Once I got to the end of Vanity Fair, I realized that I actually enjoyed every minute of the book. Yes, it is a large hulking novel which would intimidate many readers for its sheer size. Once I got into the novel, I found myself actually laughing out loud. I would definitely recommend Vanity Fair to fans of Victorian novels (such as Charles Dickens’ novels, the Brontë sisters’ novels, Gaskell’s novels, and so on).

Books I still really want to read: Outlander – Diana Gabaldon & The Light Between Oceans – M. L. Stedman

Four months and a half apparently isnt long enough to read everything I want to read. For Outlander, I ended up reading up until page 75 or so. It is not that I disliked Outlander, it is that I found myself overwhelmed by this large volume and thought that I would “get to it later on.” As for The Light Between Oceans, it is still on my book shelf awaiting to be read, maybe next summer.

So, what else have I read during spring-summer 2017? Check out my reading list page. I am always looking for new books to read, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me and suggest a book.

For last year’s list (2016) click here. For last year’s results (2016): click here.

Until next time,

-Alice

 

 

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