What I’ve Been Reading and a Reading Challenge Comes to a Close

Hey there everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, hasn’t it? I am way overdue for a reading update! Well, I know I’ve mentioned before that my youngest daughter LOVES to read; so I do a fair bit of pre-reading children’s books. 🙂 These last few months I’ve read a number of children’s books along with other books for my own personal reading. So here’s a look at some of the books I’ve read since my last What I’ve Been Reading post.


The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster

I loved this book! This book is clever, witty, and altogether genius. One of the things we get each of our kids for Christmas is a book. I chose this one to give to my 8yo for Christmas this year. I’ve pre-read it and it is now packed away and ready to be wrapped and placed under the tree come December. 🙂


Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Well, I can finally say I’ve read a Jane Austen novel! Probably a year or so ago, I attempted to read Emma but ended up ditching it because I had a hard time getting into the book (even though I love several of the movie productions of this book!) Not so with Pride and Prejudice though! I really enjoyed reading it. It was so fun seeing how the different movie renditions lined up with the book. As I read the book, I remembered various scenes from my two favorite movie productions of this novel….those being the classic BBC production with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and the newer production with Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley. I like each of these movies for different reasons. But without a doubt, the BBC version is still my favorite. 🙂


by Holling C. Holling

I enoyed reading Pagoo and knew I definitely wanted to have it on the schedule this year for a nature study book for my 8yo daughter. So I scheduled the readings for Pagoo out over 12 weeks. However, my daughter loved it so much that she ended up reading it in a shorter time frame. She would tell me, “Mommy, I just HAVE to read another chapter!” I love that!


The Awakening of Miss Prim
by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

I found this book to be a delightful read and very much enjoyed it. In fact, it is one I would totally read again. I have only one complaint….I wish that there was a bit more to the ending. I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to give any of the storyline away in case someone reading this post might want to read the book. But a little more to the ending would have been nice. And a sequel would be even better!


The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame

This was a re-read for me. I read this a number of years ago as a read-aloud with my oldest daughter. This is such a classic. You can’t help but laugh and shake your head at the infamous Mr. Toad. I decided to choose it as one of the independent literature reads of this school year for my 8yo daughter. So I re-read the book first, and then it went on the school schedule.


Charlotte’s Web
by E. B. White

This was another re-read for me. This is the second independent literature read I picked for my daughter for this school year. I actually scheduled this out over a number of weeks on the school schedule; but the moment my daughter picked it up, she didn’t want to put it down. So she ended up reading it in just a couple of days. It was definitely a hit!


The Princess and the Goblin
by George MacDonald

Oh my how I loved this book when I first read it a number of years ago. In fact, there were times when I didn’t want to put it down. And it was just as wonderful to read it again as a read-aloud with my 8yo daughter. I love that she loved it just as much as I did! This was our latest read-aloud and we just finished it a few weeks ago. We are now reading the sequel called The Princess and Curdie. I hadn’t read the sequel yet so this is a new one for me too!

The Door in the Wall
by Marguerite de Angeli

This was a read-aloud pick in July. My daughter enjoyed this book. I, however, wouldn’t rank this one high on *my* list of favorite read-aloud books. Not that it isn’t a good book; just not my favorite for a read-aloud. For some reason, it felt a bit tedious to me in reading it aloud.


In addition to those, we read some picture book read-alouds together; and for myself, I’ve read some other non-fiction books as well as a handful of books that I started but didn’t finish. That leads me to share about the 2016 Reading Challenge. Last year, I attempted to do a reading challenge and failed miserably. I read one book that actually fit in one of the categories for that challenge. So this year, I wanted to give a reading challenge another go. Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge seemed to be more realistic for me. And over the course of the year, that has proven to be true. I am amazed at how many books I’ve read this year both for the challenge and in addition to the challenge.  This reading challenge helped me stretch myself to read some books that I may not have picked up otherwise. The Count of Monte Cristo was not one that I had much interest in reading; but because of the reading challenge, it was the book my oldest daughter chose for me to read for the category of “A Book Chosen for You by Your Spouse, Partner, Sibling, Child, or BFF.” And I’m glad I read the book. I’m glad I finally read a Jane Austen novel. I picked The Giver for one of the categories and went on to read that whole series. I tackled epic poetry and re-read a couple of favorite books. And now, I have decided to bring the 2016 Reading Challenge to a close. I accomplished all but two categories and that makes me happy. Why stop with only two categories left? Well, honestly, I’ve tried a number of books for those two categories and haven’t finished any of them. And I’m content to let those two categories go. So as a final wrap-up, here’s all the categories I completed for this year’s reading challenge: (By the way, for the books I wrote a post for, I’ve linked those posts.)

A Book You Can Finish In a Day
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
By Brian Selznick

A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Deconstructing Penguins:  Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading
By Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

A Book You Should Have Read in School
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

A Book Chosen for You by Your Spouse, Partner, Sibling, Child, or BFF
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

A Book Published Before You Were Born
The Boxcar Children (#1 in the series)
By Gertrude Chandler Warner

A Book That Was Banned at Some Point
The Giver
By Lois Lowry

A Book You Previously Abandoned
The Wizard of Oz
By L. Frank Baum

A Book You Own But Have Never Read
100 Best-Loved Poems
Edited by Philip Smith

A Book That Intimidates You
Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves:  Book I of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen
by Edmund Spenser, Updated and Annotated by Roy Maynard

A Book That You’ve Already Read At Least Once
The Reading Promise
By Alice Ozma

Will I do another reading challenge next year? I don’t know. I’m thinking that I may put together my own personal reading challenge focused on children’s literature. But we’ll see. 🙂

UPDATE ON DECEMBER 23, 2016:  I have now completed one more category for the challenge:  A Book Recommended by Your Local Librarian or Bookseller! Yay! I have updated my 2016 Books Read page to reflect that.

6 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading and a Reading Challenge Comes to a Close

  1. What a fun post! I love reading what others read. Your own reading challenge sounds great, I have that with my friend Kim, and I’m loving it. But I probably end up doing the Back to Classics, I don’t know, I love seeing what others are up to at the beginning of the year.Cheers to your girl loving Pagoo and other great books.


  2. Found you through Silvia! I love a lot of these books…thanks for sharing what you’ve been reading 🙂 I’ve always especially loved The Wind in the Willows. Nice to read about your selections!


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