SCWBC15: Final Update

As I’ve posted before, I’ve been trying out a reading challenge for the first time these last few months. It ended January 31, so it’s time to update my Semi-Charmed Winter 2015 Book Challenge progress. I didn’t enjoy the books I read in this last month as much as I did my earlier picks, but I’m glad to be going through my shelves and reading things I might not have picked without the challenge.

10 points: Read a book that someone else has already used for the challenge. — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher Kristen @ See You in a Porridge.
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell (445 pages, 3 stars)
I know so many people who love Rainbow Rowell’s books, so I keep reading them, and I keep not loving them. I have Carry On already, and if I still feel the same after reading that one, then I think I’ll go on a Rainbow Rowell break for a while. I find it funny that I loved her first book Attachments when I read it before she became so well-known, but nothing by her since then has come even close to the same level of enjoyment for me.

15 points: Read a book with a one-word title.
Rook – Sharon Cameron (456 pages, 3 stars)
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway months ago. I’d felt slightly guilty about not reading it, so I’m glad I can move on from that. I was initially drawn to this because of the references to The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I did enjoy that and the setting, a post-apocalyptic France. The negative for me was the pacing. The book is less than 500 pages, but at times, it felt like twice that long because there were long stretches of nothing much happening.

30 points: Read two books with the same title (by different authors). — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher bevchen @ Confuzzledom.
Claimed – Evangeline Anderson (321 pages, 3 stars)
The Kindred are huge alien warriors who have saved Earth from an invasion. Their reward? A bride lottery is created for them so that they can find human mates. This is the first book in a series, and while I didn’t love it, I did enjoy it enough to read more books in the series whenever I’m in the mood for some science fiction mixed in with my romance.

Claimed – Elle Kennedy (368 pages, 3 stars)
This one is also the first in a series, but I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of it. There’s a dystopian setting after a war has devastated most of the world, and earthquakes have dropped part of North America into the ocean. The generically named Global Council runs the world, and Enforcers keep survivors in line. This a darker, more erotic romance, and maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time because everything about it just felt a little flat to me. Perhaps the setting is more detailed in future books, but I just don’t care enough to continue the series.

30 points: Read a nonfiction book and a fiction book about the same subject.
nonfiction: The Invention of Murder – Judith Flanders (576 pages, 3 stars)
The subtitle of this is “How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime”, and that sounded fantastic to me. I love fictional murder mysteries set in the Victorian era, and I enjoy reading nonfiction about the time period too, so I thought this would be a great read. It ended up being too repetitive for me, and it also felt like one of the academic papers I edit instead of a book for a general audience. After reading about so many murders and how each became part of popular culture, she still never lived up to the title’s promise of how Victorians invented murder and/or modern crime.

fiction: A Curious Beginning – Deanna Raybourn (337 pages, 4 stars)
Victoria, our heroine, is a little odd and a lot sassy, and I love her. Although the mystery that drives the plot is enjoyable, I was most interested in the dynamic between Victoria and the mysterious Stoker. This is another first in a series, and I will definitely read them all to get more of Victoria and Stoker. Allow me to share one of Victoria’s many moments that made me laugh as I read:

“I am quite determined to be mistress of my own fate, Mrs. Clutterthorpe, but I do sympathize with how strange it must sound to you. It is not your fault that you are entirely devoid of imagination. I blame your education.” ― Deanna Raybourn, A Curious Beginning

previous points: 115
total points: 200

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