#45. Complete the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge

I came across the idea for reading 52 books in 52 week on this website.  I really liked the idea so I added it to my list, with some tweaking.  A book a week is a great goal, but there are some weeks that are busier than others and there is simply not enough time to read a whole book.  Other weeks may be more laid back.  I remember the days when I used to read a book in a day!  Therefore, my goal is to read 52 books in 52 weeks, but not necessarily follow the strict one book per week schedule.

I’ll update my list of books as I read them.

1. Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (finished in Jan. 2013)

I really enjoyed the first half of this book, but the “twist” ending left me somewhat disappointed.  It was obvious throughout the book that there was to be some sort of surprise at the end, but all that built up suspense was not worth it.  I felt that there was way too much telling at the end rather than showing.  Also, as a Jane Austen fan, I may be too attached to the Pride & Prejudice characters to say this but there were certain facts and personality traits from P&P that just did not match up with Death Comes to Pemberley.  Overall, not a bad read.  It kept my interest for the most part, but it’s not a book I would read again.

2. Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery (finished in Jan. 2013)

This book was wonderful.  I highly recommend it, especially to any Anne of Green Gables fans.  I found myself putting the book in my purse and carrying it everywhere I go, so that I could steal a few minutes with Emily whenever I got the chance.  I laughed and I cried, and read some lines aloud to K just because I loved them so much and needed to share.  This is book one in the trilogy.  I started the second book as soon as I finished the first.

3. Emily Climbs by L. M. Montgomery (finished in Jan. 2013)

Emily Climbs is the second (of three) in the Emily series.  I loved Emily in the first book, but I completely fell in love with her character in this one.  Once again, as with the first book, I was brought to tears at times and I laughed out loud at others.  There was also a particularly terrifying part – I felt for a moment as if I were reading a thriller!  L. M. Montgomery had a true gift for transporting the reader into her world.  When I finished the book, I sat for several minutes in silence, still lost in Emily’s enchanted “Land of Uprightness”.

4. Emily’s Quest by L. M. Montgomery (finished in Jan. 2013)

I loved the first two Emily books, but this one.  Wow.  It was absolutely fantastic.  I read half of the book in one morning.  I just couldn’t put it down.  The Blue Castle (also by Montgomery) is still my all time favorite book, but Emily’s Quest is a close second.  L. M. Montgomery writes in such a way that the reader feels every emotion that Emily does.  I laughed with her, cried with her, feared with her, and hurt with her.  At the end of the book, when I read, “Don’t tell me you can’t love me. You can, you must, why Emily” – his eyes had met the moonlit brilliance of hers for a moment – “you do,  tears ran down my face.  The characters became so much more than just lines in a book – they became real.  Now that I’ve finished the series, I feel as if I’ve lost very dear friends.  I actually want to re-read them right away!  It was truly an incredible read.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  Just…wow.

5. Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery (finished February 2013)

Such a great book!  I definitely enjoyed this Montgomery book, just as I did the others.  She is fantastic.  I can’t say enough good things about her writing.  Jane was a very likeable character and she had a unique story.  The best part was that it ended happily.  I like books that when I finish the story, I can close the book with a smile and feel content.  There are enough sad and stressful things in life… I would rather not have a book end tragically, too.  I recommend Jane of Lantern Hill, it was such an endearing tale.

6. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (finished February 2013)

I had dinner this week with my little sister (sorority) and she was currently reading Safe Haven.  She thought it was really good and I remembered that I had it on my book shelf, but had never read it.  I guess the movie is coming to theaters in the next week or so.  I decided I would read it before going to the movie.  It was good, definitely held my interest.  I finished it in only two days!  Some of the Nicholas Sparks books are just too tragic for my taste (like Message in the Bottle!  That was horrible!) but I did like this one.  I couldn’t put it down!

7. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (finished February 2013)

This was my first Agatha Christie book and I really liked it.  I was very surprised at the end.  That’s all I can say.  Read it!

8. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson (finished February 2013)

I came across this while K and I were at a thrift store.  The description was intriguing, so I bought it and ended up reading the whole thing later that night.  Although it was a fast and easy read, I can’t recommend it.  The main storyline just wasn’t believable to me.  However, to be fair, it did get great reviews on Amazon.com, so take my personal review with a grain of salt.  Maybe I set Suzanne’s Diary up for failure by reading it immediately after an Agatha Christie mystery…

9.  Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery (finished March 2013)

This was a really sweet love story.  As always, L. M. Montgomery held my interest!  It wasn’t my favorite of her books, but it was enjoyable.  I liked that I got to read a book written by her that was from a male perspective, as her heroines are usually female.

10. Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick (finished March 2013)

I read this book when I was in high school and I really liked it.  I came across it at a thrift store and was so excited to read it again after all these years.  It was good the second time, but not as good as I remember it being…  If you are into Christian romance books, definitely give this a try, though.

11.  The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (finished April 2013)

This book was okay and held my interest for the most part, but I wasn’t really a fan of the constant switching of voices between all the characters.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, either.  This book just didn’t come alive for me.

12. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (finished May 2013)

This book took me a long time to finish, mostly because I just didn’t feel that into it.  The description on the back cover looked intriguing, but the writing style inside was hard for me to follow.  The main character’s voice was all over the place and her thoughts jumped from topic to topic with no clear transition.  I can’t recommend this book.

13. Coming Up Roses by Catherine Anderson (finished June 2013)

I really enjoyed this book – couldn’t put it down!  It was fast paced and exciting, and of course I do love a good love story.  🙂

14. The English Wife by Doreen Roberts (finished July 2013)

This was one of my garage sale finds.  The description looked intriguing, but once I started reading, the plot was a little hard to get into.  There were several things that just didn’t feel believable to me.  Not one of my favorites.

15. Look for Me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn (finished August 2013)

Really liked this one!  I was really surprised about one of the characters… I love when something happens that I didn’t see coming.  🙂  I couldn’t put this one down.  It also reminded me of how much I like The Highwayman poem.  I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.

16. You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs by Laurie Graff (finished August 2013)

This book grabbed my attention while I was browsing at a thrift store not too long ago.  The plot seemed really interesting.  However, you can’t judge a book by how intriguing the back cover is.  I finally finished this book, but it definitely wasn’t one of those stories that makes you want to hurry back to it.

17. A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay (finished August 2013)

This book was just okay.  I had a hard time getting into it or feeling passionate about the characters.  To be honest, I felt more relieved when it was over than satisfied.

18. Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark (finished September 2013)

This was a book I couldn’t put down.  I read this thrilling mystery from cover to finish in less than 24 hours.  I just had to know what happened next.

19. Don’t Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub (finished September 2013)

This was a fairly good mystery.  I was definitely surprised at the end.

20.  Daddy’s Little Girl by Mary Higgins Clark (finished September 2013)

It didn’t take me long to read this book.  Another great Clark mystery.

21.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (finished September 2013)

Came across this at a thrift store and decided that I would pay the 99 cents to see what all the hype is about.  To my surprise, I did really get into this book and was excited to get the sequel.

22.  Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James (finished October 2013)

Not as great as the first one, but still good.

23.  On the Street Where You Live by Mary Higgins Clark (finished October 2013)

Took me awhile to get through this one.  There were a lot of characters to keep track of and if I went a few days without reading, it was a bit confusing to try to pick up where I left off.  Overall a good read, though.

24. Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark (finished November 2013)

I read this one in a day.  Very suspenseful, I couldn’t put it down!  It has been a long time since I stayed up past 1:00 a.m. to finish a book.

25. A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist (finished November 2013)

Oh my goodness, absolutely adored this book.  So, so good!  I read it in a single day.  I even continued to read while eating lunch – just couldn’t put it down.  I was on pins and needles for the last few chapters, but I shed happy tears at the end.  I’m really excited to read more books by this author.

26. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (finished November 2013)

The back cover seemed interesting, but I hated (!) this book.  The characters didn’t feel genuine to me and the author’s writing style was confusing at times.  The whole book was just bizarre and unbelievable.  Don’t waste your time.

27. A Bridge Most Begrudging by Deanne Gist (finished November 2013)

I really liked this book, although the ending caught me by surprise (and not in a good way).  I didn’t love it as much as my first Deanne Gist book (see Number 25), but overall, I enjoyed it.  I became very attached to the characters, which made this an emotional read at times.

28. Faith by Lori Copeland (finished November 2013)

This is the first in the Brides of the West trilogy.  Good book!

29. Hope by Lori Copeland (finished November 2013)

I liked this Brides of the West book better than the first.  Great storyline.  Apparently this is actually the third in the series, but since the main character is different in each of the three books, reading them in order isn’t really necessary.

30.  June by Lori Copeland (finished November 2013)

I had a harder time getting into this one compared to the other two in the series.  It was just okay.

31. Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James (finished December 2013)

The first book was still the best.

3 thoughts on “#45. Complete the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge

  1. Pingback: Try, try again. | Castles in Europe

  2. Pingback: Crafting, cooking, and blogging, oh my! | Castles in Europe

  3. Pingback: One Day at a Time | Castles in Europe

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