2015 reading challenge: the first four books



As I previously written, I decided to dig in and participate in the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2015 Reading Challenge this year. I started a bit earlier this spring and am four books deep. A third of the way through seems pretty good for only having a few weeks under my belt!

2015-Reading-ChallengeSo without further ado…

a book that was originally written in a different language

My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante

my brilliant friend

Finally read this gem of a novel, and I can’t wait to read the next two in the trilogy. The writing is vivid, the emotions are real, and the recent past is rebuilt for the reader beautifully. If you are looking for an enthralling, tightly personal book, I highly recommend My Brilliant Friend. The characters are (muah, Italian chef stereotypical kiss-off). You will want to go to the dirtiest parts of Italy.

a book by a favorite author professor
Love & Happiness – Craig Werner

love and happiness

My senior year of college, I took an amazing and surprising seminar called “Soul Music and the Civil Rights Movement.” The readings, music, and conversation were unlike anything I’d experienced in the previous four years, and I loved every minute of the long weekly sessions. I wrote essays, made an art book, and asked the professor about a bazillion questions.

The professor was Craig Werner, and that semester he told me about the book he was working on — this book! He mailed it to me this spring (three years later, ahh, it has been so long!), and I really enjoyed reading it. Smart and academic, but not too heavy or inaccessible, and on some of my favorite topics: music, love, God, and literature. It was like stepping back in time to his office hours. I ate it up.

a book recommended by someone with great taste

Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel

station 11

JUST DO IT. I told you already, I don’t want to tell you anything about this book! READ IT, AND CALL ME ON THE PHONE. If you comment, I will honest to goodness email you my phone number. Or just add me on gchat. Either way.

a book that’s currently on the bestseller list
Dead Wake – Erik Larson

dead wake

Are you nerdy? Me, too! Dead Wake (sheesh, what a morbid title) and some other non-fiction. One of the recommendations over there was originally a class text for the seminar I took with Professor Werner back in the day! This is my #2 favorite Larson book now, after Devil in the White CityIn the Garden of Beasts was all right, but just skip Thunderstruck, in my opinion.

My most recent reads (Brideshead Revisited, Life After LifeLove Does, Better than Before, most of Divergent) and my current reads (The Return of the Prodigal Son and Forming Intentional Disciples) are not part of my challenge list, but I am going to work on Big Girls Don’t Cry soon, I swear. I have a feeling that after that, I will need something lighter, so my eye is on Death Comes to Pemberley as the follow-up to those heftier projects.

I will also be updating my Goodreads, so you can follow along there, too! I also linked up today over at WWRW (late for June, but at least it’s a Wednesday!) and Quick Lit.


6 thoughts on “2015 reading challenge: the first four books

  1. What a great challenge! Hadn’t heard of it, but so fun! With four little ones I haven’t read much since I got married (sigh) but you inspired me to at least read one good book this summer…I hope…

    1. My two big must-reads right now are All the Light We Cannot See and Station Eleven. Both are excellent AND thrilling. Definitely will keep your attention and make you want to get back to making time for reading!

  2. I loved Station Eleven but find it a hard one to describe to others! I’m glad to hear Dead Wake was good. I’m not a non-fiction reader but I want to gift it to someone who is crazy about World War I history. I’m always nervous to give a book unless I’ve read it but there’s no way I’ll have a chance to read this before their birthday!

    1. I think it would definitely go over well! Larson does a good job giving an inside peek into the lives of interesting people — especially President Wilson and the Lusitania’s captain.

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