Reading on . . . the literature challenge

It’s been awhile — quite awhile — since I’ve posted about my reading challenge. I’m still working through my TBR (to be read) stack and completely enjoying the opportunity to meet new authors and find more great reads to cherish.

I’ve add 8 new titles since last I posted about this subject. My number is now up to 36 for the year. I haven’t calculated how many weeks I have to make in order to hit my 52, and frankly at this point, the number isn’t as important as the joy of reading each week.

Did you forget why I challenged everyone to read? My post on ILLITERACY explains the epidemic trend of ‘non-readers’ in our country. It also gives websites where we can all make a difference.

So what have I added since last I posted:

A PIECE OF HEAVEN by Barbara Samuel

— a redemption story for older love, set in beautiful New Mexico, dripping with actual problems that real-life characters managed to solve.

THE LONER by Geralyn Dawson

— another in Ms. Dawson’s ‘Good Luck Groom’ series. Her hero Logan Grey is the most unlikely groom I’ve ever met, which makes it simply delicious when Caroline Kilpatrick reels him in. There’s a kid, an old codger and loads of Texas on these pages.

THE OTHER WOMAN by Candace Schuler

— this is an old Harlequin Temptation that I’ve tucked away on my shelf. I’ve read it several times and love going back to it because it’s the Alpha male character who is felled by the love of a woman he never expected to deserve.

TORCH SONG by Lee Magner

— another oldie but goldie for me, this one is from the CandleLight, Ecstasy Supreme line. These are ones you either have or don’t. No more reprints of these babies. Again, the total Alpha male. But during this publishing era, artists were still allowed as focal characters. Today, we’d term this book squarely in the Romantic Suspense genre. Fun to read those that started the trend, without evening knowing there would be a trend.


Ms. McCoy was a former critique partner of mine — thanks Judi for nagging about all those ‘thats’ that (uh-oh) snuck into my writing. Ms. McCoy writes whimsy and HEA with the best of them. HEAVEN IN YOUR EYES deals with angels as they oversee the lives we so often ‘screw’ up. Gotta love those that are routing for us, without ever being seen.


— when Ms. Campbell was nominated for the coveted Romance Writer’s of America, RITA award, I knew this book deserved a second reading. Verity and Kylemore are two characters who should never have a chance at love, everything conspires against them. Yet, Ms. Campbell twines their complicated emotions around one another just as a vine clings to and grows with a massive tree. It becomes impossible to separate the two, and while society will never understand their choice for love, it is inevitable or irrevocable. Yep, it works for me.

THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

— I loved falling into the world of the nanny, and learning to hate the rich who have kids and then let others raise them. As this ‘hand-the-kid-off’ philosophy goes against everything I’ve pursued as a parent for the past two decades, it was easy for me to boo for these vain parents, and cheer for the nanny. That said, I wanted this nanny to stand up for herself. I understood that her choices were limited where ‘their’ child was concerned, but not once — even in the end — did she hold these adults accountable to HER. Perhaps, that is the characteristics of nannies, to be subservient to others, but her choices left me completely unsatisfied.

GRASS by Sheri S. Tepper

— WOW! is the start of how I felt about completing this book. This read is not for the faint of ‘reading-heart’. GRASS is a complicated science fiction read. Don’t expect to understand everything in the first 50 or even 100 pages. This book requires effort on the part of the reader, but the payoff for those willing to put in the time is tremendous. Excerpts from this book reminded me of Ayn Rand’s writing. Terrific symbolism and layered characters — some of who are not redeemed, and that’s perfectly acceptable in the course of the book. There is a poignant conversation between one of the main characters and God. The revelation that his ‘very small beings’ are not expected to understand everything He’s done or even His whys is beautiful written and made a lasting impression. GRASS was published in 1990, so it may be difficult to find. However, the book is worth the effort.

As an author I want everyone to believe that reading is fundamental. However, as a mom, a woman, a human being, I want everyone to experience the joy of great words. That can only happen if we continue to read and encourage our children to be readers as well.

Here’s to a happy and hopefully, storm-free, Sunday for all of you. Drop by my porch anytime.

Until later

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0 thoughts on “Reading on . . . the literature challenge

  1. Those sound like good additions for the most part and I’ve added Grass to my wish list.

    We’ve spent some time on the road lately, and in combination with the rainy weather and a virus going around, I’ve had a chance to do more reading than usual in the last month.

    I read Ringo and Weber’s entire “Prince Roger” series (SF/four books) and enjoyed every minute. Then went back and picked up the last three of the “Paladin of Shadows” (male fantasy) series.

    Also caught up on Briggs “Cry Wolf”, and Holly Lisle’s lastest, “Hawkspar”.

    I also read two anthologies from Fantasist Enterprises, “Modern Magic” and another one that I’ve loaned out and can’t remember the name now.

    I’ve also been reading Octavia E. Butler, “Wildseed” and I’ve ordered “Bloodchild”, but it’s not in yet.

    Oh! and “Quid Pro Quo”, the second book in Francis’ Admistration series.

  2. You’re right about the Nanny Diaries! It was like the whole book was racing toward a climactic ending then fizzled. Even though I truly enjoyed the book, I was so annoyed she never truly stood up for herself.

  3. What a great book list! I’m a Barbara Samuel fan also :). I recently read that memoir “Bringing Down the House” (the film “21” was based on it), a Jane Porter novel–“Flirting with Forty,” and Sara Lewis’s “Second Draft of My Life.” Enjoyed them all!

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