Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge (The List)

June 21, 2015 | 12 comments


Literary Ladies is an online bookclub hosted by Kay, Kari, and Kristen. In addition to the usual book discussions, there is also a reading challenge that runs from June 21 to September 21. Of course I cannot resist participating…

Here’s a very preliminary list of books I’m planning to choose from:

CATEGORY 1 | A Young Adult novel

Paper Towns by John Green (305 pages)

I need to read this novel about a boy following clues left by a girl before I see the movie later this year. I’m hoping it will be just as good, or at least almost as good, as Green’s masterpiece The Fault in Our Stars. (Also works for category 6.)

CATEGORY 2 | A novel written by a Non-US author

Svart Gryning (‘Black Dawn’) by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind (423 pages)

I had planned to read the third book about Oliva Rönning och Tom Stilton this week but did not have time to start it. Married couple Cilla and Rolf is one of the most recent additions to my list of favourite Swedish crime writers (since I read the first two books about Rönning and Stilton last summer) and since I have the book in Swedish, it definitely qualifies for this category.

Someone to Watch Over Me by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (336 pages)

In the fourth book about Thora Gudmundsdottir, a young man named Jakob with Down’s Syndrome has been convicted of burning down his care home and killing five people, but a fellow inmate at his secure psychiatric unit has hired Thora to prove that Jakob is innocent. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is one of my favourite Icelandic authors, and I really enjoy the alternative view in this crime series where the main character is a lawyer rather than a police officer.

CATEGORY 3 | A recommended book

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (372 pages)

This historical fiction is one of my friend Kendra’s all-time favourite books and I still haven’t read it, even though I’ve had it on my Kindle for over a year. I’m excited to see if it is as beautiful and amazing as everyone claims. (Also works for category 4.)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (487 pages)

My dear friend Anna loved this book (which means I will probably love it too). I borrowed it from another friend in November but still haven’t read it. It is probably time to move it to the top of the pile so I can return it soon. (Also works for category 4 and category 2 – Spanish author)

CATEGORY 4 | A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (335 pages)

I’ve had this historical fiction about a young man who jumps a freight train, joins a circus, and falls in love on my tbr-list for over a year and I even have it both in hardcover and on my Kindle so there really is no excuses why I haven’t read it yet. (Also works for category 4 – made into a movie in 2011.)

CATEGORY 5 | A novel with a kickass female character

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz (400 pages)

Genius-hacker Lisbeth Salander, from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, is the definition of kickass female character. In this addition to the trilogy, which will be released on September 1, Lisbeth once again join forces with journalist Mikael Blomkvist. (Also works for category 2 – Swedish author.)

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham (336 pages)

The second book about private investigator Veronica Mars, who this time is hired by The Neptune Grand to investigate a claim that potentially could ruin the hotel’s reputation. I loved the tv show that aired in 2005-2007 (starring Kristen Bell as Veronica), and the book series is a great continuation. Veronica Mars is still as kick-ass as when she started her PI career in high-school.

CATEGORY 6 | A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show)

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (546 pages)

I have a soft spot for epic love stories, and this one about time traveler Henry and his wife Clare sounds like the perfect book for me. I also love the movie adaption from 2009 starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams as Henry and Clare. I actually started reading this book once, but didn’t even make it through the first chapter before I got distracted by other books. Maybe it’s time I give it another chance. (Also works for category 4.)

CATEGORY 7 | A book written by a comedian or celebrity or a memoir

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston (352 pages)

I’ve wanted to read this memoir by Aron Ralston, who was trapped under a rock while hiking in remote Utah, for a long while but I’m not sure I’m ready for such an emotional book yet. (Also works for category 6 – made into a movie in 2010.)

The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year by Andy Cohen (352 pages)

If I get this one from the library, I might read Andy Cohen’s memoir. It has gotten quite varied reviews, so I’m starting to doubt if I should read it now or leave it for later.

CATEGORY 8 | A novel with a one word title

Dust by Patricia Cornwell (512 pages)

I used to really love the series about Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner, Kay Scarpetta, but several of the books have been disappointing. I’m hoping this one (nr 21 in the series, but I’ve been reading them out of order) will be one of the better ones. This time, Scarpetta investigates the murder of a computer engineer and there might be a connection between the case and Scarpetta’s niece Lucy.

CATEGORY 9 | A suspenseful book

Autumn Killing by Mons Kallentoft (464 pages)

The third book about Police superintendent Malin Fors starts with the discovery of a brutally stabbed body floating facedown in the moat of a castle. This is one of my new favourite Swedish crime series, and I’ve had Autumn Killing waiting on my bookshelf for over 7 months. It’s definitely time to read it. (Also works for category 2 – Swedish author)

The Silence That Speaks by Andrea Kane (336 pages)

Another book I had planned to read this week but never got around to starting. It is the fourth book in the Forensic Instincts series about a somewhat non-traditional private investigator firm. The previous books (with such great titles as The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, The Line Between Here and Gone, and The Stranger You Know) have been the perfect blend of mystery, romance and suspense.

CATEGORY 10 | A book in any way related to summer

On Sunset Beach by Mariah Stewart (384 pages)

Series like The Chesapeake Diaries – set in a small town where everyone knows everyone – is one of my go-to-picks when I need an easy read that I know won’t disappoint. They are the perfect summer reads and a great supplement to all the heavy historical fictions I have lined up for the next few months. I might even take this one to read on the beach.

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