I’m backing off the heavy reading schedule for a while. July didn’t go well for me for a variety of reasons. I like to succeed with my goals. I don’t like failure. Sometimes that means being reasonable with myself. I feel like I’ve cut back a little, but you won’t believe it if you look at the book list on this page.
My August Word of the Month
My August Haiku of the Month
I don’t know the way
But trusting, He guides me so
I walk beside Him
Bible Verse of the Month
For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
My August reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
☆ – I own the book and am ready to read.
★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
↓ – I didn’t even start. Complete fail!
I really have to stop trying to read so much at one time. I had a bad, bad month for various reasons. Okay, to be more specific, a dearly loved family member passed away, a dearly loved friend has been in the hospital, I’ve had difficulties getting my van registered in this state (it is done now), I’m planning a big van conversion (to RV) and it has been time consuming with out of town trips to get the building materials. On the last day of the month my bank card was hacked and I’m still dealing with that. So altogether, not a very peaceful month! Therefore… I’ve decided to read only 10 books at a time instead of 14.
Getting Serious About the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge
I have only five more months to finish this challenge!!
There are quite a few books I have yet to read to finish this challenge. Here are four of them I’m already reading and hope to finish soon:
✓ Children’s Poetry: Falling Up, by Shel Silverstein
I’m reading this for the PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 26 – to read a book with an oxymoron in the title. Falling up? Okay, that’s an oxymoron! I started reading this in July. I decided to read just a few poems at a time, and to read out loud to myself. I’ve been loving these poems! They are good for a laugh. Laughter is good for the soul.
✓ History: The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience, by J.S. Holliday
This nonfiction history based on gold rush journals has taken me multiple months to get through. I’m reading this because I love learning about California history and because it is the thickest book I have right now… it is for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #41 – The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list. My plan is to read at least 4 pages daily. As of the beginning of July, I’m in the last chapter. After much terrible suffering on the overland route, William Swain, a diarist and gold seeker, is on his way home to New York via the Isthmus of Panama!
★ California Nonfiction: The Barbary Coast, by Herbert Asbury
I started reading this book years ago for novel research. Then it sat on my shelf neglected for years. Then it burned in the historic forest fire of September 8, 2020… just as I was considering picking it up again to read the rest. Well, I put it on my list for the Booktube Spin and sure enough – I had to buy another copy. I’m happy to be able to read it. I started from the beginning again and am currently in chapter five. This fits for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 49: A DNF book from your TBR list.
✓ Oregon Historical Fiction: The Valley of Little Rivers, by Wally Coleman
I’m reading this for prompt 47: A book from your TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing. This book doesn’t have an Amazon link because it isn’t sold there. My friend Judy, editor of Happy Camp News, bought this for me just north of here in Josephine County, Oregon. It is a local historical novel about pioneer life in the Illinois River Valley of Southern Oregon. I’m about half-way through it and am enjoying the story very much! I honestly don’t know where anyone could find another copy of this. My best guess is to ask the Josephine County Historical Society.
More books I want to start reading (and hopefully even finish reading) this month for the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge.
★ Christian Fiction: Jewel of the Nile, by Tessa Afshar
I’m reading this book for the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 1 – A book published in 2021. I’ve enjoyed the Christian romance fiction I’ve been reading the last few months (by another author) and decided to branch out and try a Christian novel by someone else – Tessa Afshar! Reviews are good, and I’m adventurous, so I bought a paperback copy of this book.
★ YA Fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
I didn’t actually get around to reading this a few months ago when I first had it on my list, so I’m giving myself another go at it. This is for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 10 – A bestseller from the 1990s. Popular thin fiction… should be a fast read.
★ Juvenile Fiction: Restart, by Gordon Korman
This book was recommended for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 11 – A book about forgetting, so I decided to go for it. I’m focusing more on juvenile fiction this year because I also have a goal to read Newbery list books. This isn’t one, but it does sound interesting. A boy named Chase falls off the roof and wakes up in a hospital remembering nothing at all. Amnesia!
★ Juvenile Fiction: Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos
I’m reading this for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 12 – A book you have seen on someone’s bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc.). I confess looking over the shoulder of a popular Booktuber. So many Booktubers like to make their videos while sitting in front of their bookcases. I wish I could do that but my lovely new white bookcase burned in the forest fire that ate my home last September. Now I live in a travel trailer where big bookcases are a no-go. This book is a Newbery Medal Winner.
☆ Juvenile Fiction: The Headless Cupid, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
I’m reading this for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt 23 – A book with something broken on the cover. I chose this Newbery Medal winning book for the older cover:
Obviously, something’s broken.
☆ Juvenile Fiction: Whittington, by Alan Armstrong
I’m reading this for prompt 40: Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge [2017 prompt 10: A book with a cat on the cover]. Besides which, who wouldn’t want to read a book about a beautiful cat? Right?
The Third Booktube Spin
The Third Booktube Spin happened at the end of June and I participated. I had to come up with a list of twenty books I wanted to read. Rick MacDonnell is the creator of this spin which has become very popular on Booktube. We apparently like the random surprise of having a book chosen for us. The appointed books are to be read during the next three months. Here’s my video with twenty books set in California:
The results? Rick surprised us…
Therefore, during July, August and September I’ll be reading:
★ California Fiction: California Gold, by John Jakes
I was SO EXCITED when this book was chosen. STILL excited. Even though this is the longest book on my list of twenty books, it is the one I wanted to read the most. Bill Ruttenberg, another Booktuber, inspired me to want to read this with a bookshelf tour video a year ago. FYI – I didn’t start reading this in July. Saved it for August and September.
★ California Nonfiction: The Barbary Coast, by Herbert Asbury
I already mentioned this book earlier in the page. I’ve read the first four chapters so far – though some of it was really sad as this is mainly about the criminal elements of early San Francisco waterfront life.
Newbery Variety Challenge
I’ve been doing the Newbery Variety Challenge with a small group at Goodreads. So far I’ve read 16 books for the challenge this year. This is my 17th, and final book for that challenge.
★ Juvenile Nonfiction: All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, by Christina Soontornvat
This book is a 2021 Newbery Honor Book. It is full of photographs. This is about a group of thirteen boys – mostly teenagers – who were trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand, behind flood waters. The book tells about every aspect of the rescue.
Big Book Summer Reading Challenge
I’m still reading big books this summer. So far I’ve finished five:
The Masterpiece, by Francine Rivers (512 pages)
Lark Rise to Candleford, by Flora Thompson (544 pages)
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers (464 pages)
Roughing It, by Mark Twain (424 pages)
Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, by David Talbot (480 pages)
Here’s Sue’s video explaining the challenge she created.
★ California Fiction: California Gold, by John Jakes
This John Jakes book has 663 pages.
Another book I’m reading for the Big Book Summer Reading Challenge is The Stammering Century.
∅ Nonfiction: The Stammering Century, by Gilbert Seldes
Still reading! Slow going! This is novel research. It is about cults, cranks, manias, and religious fanaticism of the 1800’s in the USA. I love that folk art was used for the cover! [later] Currently stalled to make room for other books on my TBR list of ten. I hope to get back to this book before the end of the year.
Christian Books I Want to Read
✓ Christian Allegorical Fiction: Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard
I’m still reading this from last month. It is the July choice for the Sisters in Christ Book Club at Goodreads.
✓ Christian Fiction: Shepherds Abiding, by Jan Karon
I’m still participating in the “A Year in Mitford Readalong” and this is the eighth book in the series.
✓ Christian Fiction: Christy, by Catherine Marshall
I’m audio-reading this classic fiction based on the life of the author’s mother, whose image is on the cover of the 50th anniversary edition. Originally published in 1967.
★ Christian Nonfiction: Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, by Jen Schmidt
I joined the Sisters in Christ Book Club at Goodreads and this is the August monthly selection for a group read.
★ Christian Nonfiction: Discovering the Joy of Jesus, by Stonecroft Ministries
I’m reading this for a local women’s Christian book study group.
∅ Christian Fiction/YA: The Tender Years, by Janette Oke
I got only about three chapters into this when I decided to stall on it and read something else. It wasn’t entertaining me. It was a slowly, slowly developing teen story that I didn’t identify with. I may someday go back to it. This was my first try to read a Janette Oke book and I probably didn’t read far enough in for it to get good.
Random Audiobook Selections
I always have to have an audiobook in process and never plan this out ahead of time anymore. When I finish one I’ll seek out another for entertainment.
✓ Music History: Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise, by Joel Selvin
I listened to most of this while driving to Yreka and back on two different days. It was a revealing look at the Southern California music industry in the 1950’s and 1960’s focusing throughout on Jan and Dean, but including many other related musicians.
★ Writing/True Crime: Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders, by Billy Jensen
Fascinating, but dark. Normally I avoid the true crime genre but got sucked into this memoir because I like to know about writers.
My August 2021 Reading Diary
August 1 – My goal for today is to finish making this page and then to set my mind onto the project of making a wrapup/TBR video for Booktube.
August 2 – With any luck I might get a chance to read for a while today. So far I’ve read less than two pages of The Valley of Little Rivers. There’s a lot of other things happening right now.
August 3 – I finished reading In This Mountain by Jan Karon – the 6th book in the Mitford series. I reviewed it at Goodreads. I also filmed and published my July reading wrapup video.
August 4 – Today I got all ready for filming a TBR video then tried to turn on the camera (I use a GoPro) and the battery was totally drained! So now I’m sitting here waiting for a camera battery to charge. Such is life. Today I read a bit more of Hinds Feet on High Places. I’m only two or three chapters from the end.
August 6 – My TBR video for this month:
August 9 – I finished audio-reading Shepherd’s Abiding and replaced it with an audiobook version of Christy. I also finished a paperback: The Valley of Little Rivers and reviewed it on Goodreads. I replaced that with California Gold, by John Jakes. It is the thickest book on my TBR and I thought I’d better get started on it sooner rather than later. I’m keeping to my 10-book limit, not adding anything new until I can take something off the “currently reading” list at Goodreads.
August 13 – After six months and seven days I finally finished reading The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience, by J.S. Holliday today. What an amazing reading experience this has been for me! Here’s my review of *The World Rushed In* at Goodreads. 580 pages, but the readable text was only 465 pages. The rest consists of notes, sources and an index.
August 26 – I’m so happy.. I finally finished reading The Power of a Praying Woman and here’s my Goodreads review. Now I get to add another book to my “currently reading” list at Goodreads. I’ve been really good at keeping it down to 10 this month – though maybe six would be more reasonable. I’m adding The Perks of Being a Wallflower.