Remember that time I mentioned trying out a reading challenge and then read a lot less books? I did manage to read 7 books in December though, so I thought it was time to update my Semi-Charmed Winter 2015 Book Challenge progress. Most of these books had also been on my shelf for quite some time and were so much fun to read that I wonder what other gems might be hiding in my stuffed bookcases.
10 points: Read a debut book by any author.: The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (387 pages, 4 stars)
This book was on my shelf for almost 4 years before I read it for the challenge, and it ended up being one of my favorite books of the year. People had been telling me I’d love it, and it was beautiful. Reading the book felt like being reminded of a long-ago dream, and I highly recommend the book to anyone who thinks mixing Victorian England, a circus open from sunset to sunrise, and real magicians sounds intriguing.
15 points: Read a book published under a pseudonym. — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher Megan M.: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith (455 pages, 4 stars)
Here we have a book that was a gift and sat on my shelf for 2 years before I finally read it. I’m someone who enjoyed Harry Potter but didn’t throw myself headlong into the fandom or anything, and I’d tried Rowling’s Casual Vacancy with no luck, so I didn’t feel strongly about reading another book by her. The story reminded me that I should read more mysteries, and I’m looking forward to reading more about the detective Cormoran Strike and his employee Robin Ellacott.
15 points: Read a book with “boy,” “girl,” “man” or “woman” in the title (or the plural of these words).: The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen (269 pages, 4 stars)
One down, and six to go. Yes, I owned 7 books by an author I’d never read. I kept hearing good things about her, and the books sounded like my kind of thing with the mix of small towns and family magic, but I just never got around to reading any of them. Reading the others will be a higher priority now that I’ve read this one because it was adorable. Read this if you like a little romance mixed with small town secrets and touches of magic.
20 points: Read a book with a person’s first and last name in the title.: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton (301 pages, 4 stars)
I picked this up on a whim because of the gorgeous cover, and now I can say that the story is also gorgeous. The imagery and language have really stayed with me since reading it, and it’s another of these picks that ended up being among my favorite books of the year. Although Ava Lavender stars in the title, the story begins in the early 1900s with her great-grandparents. We then see how the loves and sorrows of each generation play out over time.
20 points: Read a food-themed book. — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher Jamie @ Whatever I Think Of!: Come Here, Cupcake – Crissi Langwell (352 pages, 3 stars)
I had intended to read another book for this category, but I had read so many good books with elements of magical realism that I wanted to try to stick with some kind of magic. This book popped up in my Kindle Unlimited recommendations and seemed like a good fit for the category and that desire for some magic. It was my least favorite book of the month but still an enjoyable read. The heroine Morgan has discovered that she can infuse her baking with her emotions, and she is trying to deal with family secrets and her powers while falling in love. I enjoyed the magical elements, but the romance felt a bit flat to me. It’s interesting how many books have explored this idea of food-related magic in such different ways.
previous points: 35
total points: 115
15 points: Read a book with a one-word title.: Rook, Sharon Cameron (456 pages)