It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

Another sweltering week where I kept inside with the air conditioner on and some great books for company. A grand total of five books read, but they were all quick reads.


Two weeks ago I was hooked on Georgian mysteries, last week it was Victorian ones. The cover of The Testimony of the Hanged Man by Ann Granger caught my eye at the library and as is usually the case, the first books in the series weren't available. Normally, I don't begin a series at book five, but found that once I'd checked out the first chapter I was hooked, then followed books 4 and 6. The great thing about these mysteries is that they are stand alone novels and there is enough back story in each of them to bring you up to speed with the main characters.

I also finished Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall. This is one of those stories that stays in your head long after the book is finished. It is sad and deeply moving.

On a brighter note, I also read The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham. What a delightful Georgian romance this was. Just what I needed to clear my mind.

This week I'm reading That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson, set in one of my favourite periods in history. I'm also struggling with Charles Dickens' Barnaby Rudge. It's been ages since I've read any Dickens so I'm still reacquainting myself with his style of writing. I think it will take me awhile to get through this book.


After this, as I'm still in the mood for mysteries, I'll be reading a Regency one that's been sitting in my TBR pile for quite a long time, The Sculthorpe Murder by Karen Charlton. This is the third of a series and once again I'm taking a chance by not starting with the first book.

What I Read Last Week

Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall

Kate and Harriet are best friends, growing up together on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. As daughters of the lighthouse keepers, the two girls share everything, until a fisherman, McPhail, arrives in their small community. When Kate witnesses the desire that flares between him and Harriet, she is torn by her feelings of envy and longing. But one moment in McPhail’s hut will change the course of their lives forever.





The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

Scotland, 1795. When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they're grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life.
As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there's something irresistible about a rogue.
Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed's best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?
Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham's paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the backroads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again


The Testimony of the Hanged Man by Ann Granger

A hanged man would say anything to save his life. But what if his testimony is true? When Inspector Ben Ross is called to Newgate Prison by a man condemned to die by the hangman's noose he isn't expecting to give any credence to the man's testimony. But the account of a murder he witnessed over seventeen years ago is so utterly believable that Ben can't help wondering if what he's heard is true. It's too late to save the man's life, but it's not too late to investigate a murder that has gone undetected for all these years, though convincing his superiors to allow him to investigate 'a cold case' proves difficult.
However, Lizzie is determined that she will look into it and what she discovers persuades Scotland Yard to take the matter seriously. But Lizzie, in making her enquiries, has entered dangerous territory.


A Particular Eye for Villainy by Ann Granger


When Mr Thomas Tapley, a respectable but down-at-heel gentleman, is found bludgeoned to death in his sitting room, his neighbour Inspector Benjamin Ross of Scotland Yard rushes to the scene. Tapley had recently returned from abroad but little else is known about the elusive man. Then, on hearing the news of Thomas's death, Mr Jonathan Tapley, QC, comes forward and the truth about his cousin's tragic past slowly begins to emerge.
Meanwhile, Ben's wife Lizzie is convinced that Tapley was being followed on the day he died and, with a bit of surreptitious questioning, she discovers that he received a mysterious visitor in a beautiful carriage a few days before his death.
As the list of suspects begins to mount, Ben can't help wondering how much of the truth is being revealed and who would benefit most from Tapley's unfortunate demise?


The Dead Woman of Deptford by Ann Granger

On a cold November night in a Deptford yard, dock worker Harry Parker stumbles upon the body of a dead woman. Inspector Ben Ross is summoned from Scotland Yard to this insalubrious part of town, but no witness to the murder of this well-dressed, middle-aged woman can be found. Even Jeb Fisher, the local rag-and-bone man, swears he's seen nothing.
Meanwhile, Ben's wife Lizzie is trying to suppress a scandal: family friend Edgar Wellings has a gambling addiction and no means of repaying his debts. Reluctantly, Lizzie agrees to visit his debt collector's house in Deptford, but when she arrives she finds her husband is investigating the murder of the woman in question. Edgar was the last man to see Mrs Clifford alive and he has good reason to want her dead, but Ben and Lizzie both know that a case like this is rarely as simple as it appears...


What I'm Reading Today

That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it's Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy's brother Ernest's curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear.

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their masters and Protestants clash with Catholics on the streets. And, as London erupts into riot, Barnaby Rudge himself struggles to escape the curse of his own past. With its dramatic descriptions of public violence and private horror, its strange secrets and ghostly doublings, Barnaby Rudge is a powerful, disturbing blend of historical realism and Gothic melodrama.

What I Hope To Read Next

The Sculthorpe Murder by Karen Charlton

Northamptonshire, 1810: As a new canal network snakes across the landscape, a vicious mob stakes its claim to the county. Every local constable is out on the hunt for the ruthless Panther Gang. When an elderly man is robbed and murdered in sleepy Middleton, the beleaguered magistrates send for help from London’s Bow Street Police Office.
Detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Ned Woods soon discover there’s more to William Sculthorpe’s demise than meets the eye. Mystery surrounds the old man and his family, and the stench of revenge hangs heavy in the air. Are the Panther Gang really responsible or is something more sinister afoot? As Lavender delves further into long-hidden secrets, Woods has demons of his own to contend with: ghosts from his past that stalk him through the investigation.
Uncovering decades of simmering hatred and deceit, Lavender and Woods must use all their wit and cunning to solve this evil crime.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017

Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2017
Sign-up: no official sign up, just download the checklist

I did this challenge last year and checked off 17 books from a list of 41. This year the list is similar in length (40 books), plus there is an Advanced section which will add another 12 books. If you check off both lists, you will have read a total of 52 books, which averages out to a book a week! I hope to improve on last year's result.

So visit the page, download the printable check list and get started. The details are HERE.

Historical Fiction Challenge 2017 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Passages to the Past.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2017
Sign up: anytime during the year

All the details are available on the sign-up page.

There are six different reading levels: 20th Century Reader (2 books), Victorian Reader (5 books), Renaissance Reader (10 books), Medieval (15 books), Ancient History (25 books) and Prehistoric (50+ books).


Any sub-genre is acceptable: Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Family Sagas, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult Historical Fiction, Military and Nautical Historical Fiction etc.

I'm signing up for the Prehistoric level (50+ books) and these are some of the books I intend to read for this challenge.



01. Coachman by Sue Millard
02. Late Harvest by Fiona Buckley
03. The Hourglass by Tracy Rees
04. The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin
05. The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor
06.
07.
08. May 1812 by M.M. Bennetts
09.
13.
14.
15.
16. My Father's Moon by Elizabeth Jolley
17. And Then Mine Enemy by Alison Stuart
18. The Currency Lass by Tea Cooper
19. The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham
20. My Love Must Wait by Ernestine Hill
21. Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall
22.
23. Ambulance Girls by Deborah Burrows
24. Whispers in the Wind by Janet Woods
25. The Bishop's Girl by Rebecca Burns
26.
27.
28.
29. The Unmourned by Meg and Tom Keneally
30. Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye
31. Land of Golden Wattle by J.H. Fletcher
32. From This Valley by Murray Harvey
33. For Two Cents I'll Go With You by Marcia Maxwell
34. Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
35. Perseverance by L.F. McDermott
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.






 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

I had an excellent reading week due to having some time off work and hot weather keeping me indoors. Four books finished, two historical mysteries, one historical romance and one paranormal romance/timeslip novel. The latter two were short, a combined total of 500 pages, making them quick reads.

Once again I enjoyed the Georgian world of Crowther and Westerman, Imogen Robertson's sleuths. Now I'm eagerly awaiting book number six in this excellent series.

I also enjoyed The Morning Gift by Diana Norman. I'm making my way through her back list of books, many of which are out of print. As yet I've not read any of her Mistress in the Art of Death medieval mystery series written under her pseudonym of Ariana Franklin.

My final book for the week was Alison Stuart's Secrets in Time. I've read a couple of her books and found them entertaining and easy reads. Secrets in Time was no exception.

Skylarking, Kate Mildenhall's debut novel, is what I'm currently reading and nearing the end. It is a sad story, based on a true one, about two girls growing up in an isolated community and how their relationship changes as they become young women.

I'm not sure what I'll be reading next. I'm finding it hard to make a selection from my TBR pile, but I keep coming back to two titles, That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson and The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham.

What I Read Last Week

Circle of Shadows by Imogen Robertson

Death at the Carnival: riddle, ritual and murder.
Shrove Tuesday, 1784. While the nobility dance at a masked ball, beautiful Lady Martesen is murdered. Daniel Clode is found by her body, his wrists slit and his memories nightmarish. What has he done? Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther race to the Duchy of Maulberg to save Daniel from the executioner's axe. There they find a capricious Duke on the point of marriage, a court consumed by luxury and intrigue, and a bitter enemy from the past. After another cruel death, they must discover the truth, no matter how horrific it is. Does the answer lie with the alchemist seeking the elixir of life? With the automata makers in the Duke's fake rural idyll? Or in the poisonous lies oozing around the court as the elite strive for power?


Theft of Life by Imogen Robertson

London, 1785. When the body of a West Indies planter is found pegged out in the grounds of St Paul's Cathedral, suspicion falls on one of the victim's former slaves, who was found with his watch on the London streets. But it seems the answer is not that simple. The impact of the planter's death brings tragedy for Francis Glass, a freed slave now working as a bookseller and printer in the city, and a painful reminder of the past for William Geddings, Harriet Westerman's senior footman. Harriet is reluctant to be drawn in to the difficult and powerful world of the slave trade, but she and her friend, reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther, begin to understand the dark secrets hidden by the respectable reputation of London's slave owners. Together, they negotiate the interests of the British government, the secrets of the plantation owners, and a network of alliances stretching across the Atlantic. And they must confront the uncomfortable truth that some people are willing to do great evil when they believe their cause to be just.

The Morning Gift by Diana Norman

A Norman heiress was a chattel to be sold in marriage to the highest bidder. If one husband died she was up for sale again. Only the first of Matilda de Risle's husbands gives her anything back. His is the customary Saxon morning gift - the present to a wife if her lord finds her sexually pleasing on their wedding night. Matilda's morning gift was Dungesey in the Fens ... "a bolt hole, my dear, somewhere to hide should trouble come." And come it does. As the war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda in the 1140s tears England apart, Matilda de Risle has to fight for her land, her son's safety and her own life.

Secrets in Time by Alison Stuart

England 1995: Dr. Jessica Shepherd's peaceful summer afternoon is shattered by the abrupt arrival of a wounded soldier claiming to be from the seventeenth century.
If he is to be believed, Nathaniel Preston has crossed three hundred years bringing with him the turmoil of civil war and a request for help that Jess can’t ignore.
Falling in love with this dashing cavalier is destined to end in heartbreak as Jess discovers the price of his love is the knowledge that he will die in battle in just a few short days.
Can their love survive a bloody battle…and overcome time?


What I'm Reading Today

Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall

Kate and Harriet are best friends, growing up together on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. As daughters of the lighthouse keepers, the two girls share everything, until a fisherman, McPhail, arrives in their small community. When Kate witnesses the desire that flares between him and Harriet, she is torn by her feelings of envy and longing. But one moment in McPhail’s hut will change the course of their lives forever.





What I Hope To Read Next


That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it's Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy's brother Ernest's curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear.

The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

Scotland, 1795. When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they're grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life.
As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there's something irresistible about a rogue.
Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed's best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?
Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham's paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the backroads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again?

British Books Challenge 2017 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Chelley at Tales of Yesterday.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2017
Sign Up: Anytime during the year

Aim: To read and review at least 12 books by British authors throughout the year (a book a month)

For this challenge you can read any genre, for any age group, old and new titles, out of print books; whatever you fancy as long as they are by British authors. There are prizes too! 

All the details are here on the sign-up page.

These are the 12 books I'd like to read for this challenge, all in my favourite genre of historical fiction. I've tried to mix them up a bit by selecting some old and new titles, some yet to be released, some by male authors and some by female authors. I'm not going to read them in any particular order and my list may change during the year.

01. Coachman by Sue Millard

02. Late Harvest by Fiona Buckley
03. The Hourglass by Tracy Rees
04. The Vanishing by Sophia Tobins
05. Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato
06. Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine
07. The Witchfinders' Sister by Beth Underdown
08. May 1812 by M.M. Bennetts
09. A Column of Fire by Ken Follett
10. The Devil's Feast by M.J. Carter
11. The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor
12. Set in Stone by Robert Goddard

Back to the Classics Challenge 2017 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Karen at Books and Chocolates.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2017
Sign up: by 1st March, 2017
Aim: To encourage bloggers (and others) to read more classics.
 
More information and how to sign up can be found here.


As last year, reading and posting a review for a minimum of six books will get you an entry into the prize draw for a $30.00 gift from Amazon or The Book Depository. Reading and reviewing more books will get you additional entries into the prize draw.

There are 12 categories, but you don't have to do them all. You can select which ones appeal to you and still qualify for the draw. If you complete six categories, you get one entry; complete nine categories, you get two entries and if you complete all twelve categories, you get three entries!

Here are the categories and the books I hope to read for each one. I'm not sure if I will manage to complete all 12 categories, but I had fun searching out the titles. I'm aiming for at least six, to be read in no particular order.

01. A 19th Century Classic: BARNABY RUDGE by Charles Dickens (first published 1841)

02. A 20th Century Classic: THE NEBULY COAT by John Meade Falkner (first published 1903)

03. A classic by a woman author: DEERBROOK by Harriet Martineau (first published 1838)

04. A classic in translation: WITH FIRE AND SWORD: AN HISTORICAL NOVEL OF POLAND AND RUSSIA by Henryk Sienkiewicz (first published in 1884

05. A Classic originally published before 1800: THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD by Oliver Goldsmith (first published 1766)

06. A Romance Classic: MARY BARTON by Elizabeth Gaskell (first published 1848)

07. A Gothic or horror classic: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE USHER by Edgar Allan Poe (first published 1839)

08. A Classic with a number in the title: THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES by Nathaniel Hawthorne (first published 1851)

09. A Classic about an animal or which includes an animal in the title: THE NEST OF THE SPARROWHAWK by Emmuska Orczy (first published 1909)

10. A Classic Set in A Place You'd like to visit:  THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR by Sir Walter Scott (first published 1819). The story is set in Scotland.


11 . An Award-winning Classic: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE BY EDITH WHARTON (first published 1920, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1921)

12. A Russian Classic: HOME OF THE GENTRY by Ivan Turgenev (first published 1858)

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 - My Sign Up Post

Hosted by: Australian Women Writers.
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2017.
Sign Up: Throughout the year until 30th November, 2017.

Aim: To help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women.

All the information about the challenge and how to join can be found here.

This year the challenge has changed slightly by encouraging participants to also read and review one or two classic novels as well as contemporary ones.


Again there are four levels:

Stella: read 4 – if reviewing, review at least 3
Miles: read 6 – if reviewing, review at least 4
Franklin: read 10 – if reviewing, review at least 6
Create your own challenge: nominate your own goal

Last year I opted for Miles and easily read six books, but didn't manage as many reviews as I would've liked. This year I'm being a little more daring choosing Franklin. 


Here are the books I hope to read and review (in no particular order) for this challenge. I've selected a mixture of old and new releases and some yet to be released in 2017.

01. My Father's Moon by Elizabeth Jolley
02. And Then Mine Enemy by Alison Stuart
03. The Currency Lass by Tea Cooper
04. Daughter of Mine by Fiona Lowe
05. My Love Must Wait by Ernestine Hill
06. Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall
07. Mayfield by Joy Chambers
08. Ambulance Girls by Deborah Burrows
09. Whispers in the Wind by Janet Woods
10. Tiger Men by Judy Nunn


Aussie Author Challenge 2017 - My Sign Up Post


Hosted by: Jo at Book Lover Reviews
Challenge period: 1st January to 31st December, 2017
Sign Up: Anytime during the year
Aim: To showcase the quality and diversity of the books being produced by Australian authors.

All the information and how to join is here on the sign-up page.


There are three levels to choose from and, as last year, I'm opting for the lowest level, Wallaby. To successfully fulfill this level I have to read and review three titles written by Australian authors, of which at least one of those authors are female, at least one of those authors are male, and at least one of those authors are new to me, fiction or non-fiction, any genre.

These are the three books I've selected for this challenge, all are fiction:

This will be my third year participating in the Aussie Author Challenge. My previous two attempts have been failures due to reviews not being posted, but this year I hope to be better organised and, as a result, successfully finish this challenge.

2016 Reading Challenges - Wrap Up

Here is my wrap-up post for the various challenges I participated in during 2016. A mixed result, with some successes and some failures - well, mostly failures. Reading has not been the problem. Writing reviews is where I came unstuck, but I plan to be better organised in 2017, that is, write my reviews as soon as I finish a book. That's my New Year's resolution for 2017 and my only one because I usually fail at keeping those too! Anyway, onto the challenges.


AUSSIE AUTHORS CHALLENGE

2016 was my second year participating in this challenge. I opted for the Wallaby level, which meant I had to only read and review three books. While I read the three books I'd nominated and more, reviews did not get posted.

A quick check of the books I've read this year showed that twenty-five were by Australian authors, a mixture of male and female. This total is ten up on last year, a great result.

I'm signing up for this challenge again in 2017 and hope to do better.

AUSTRALIAN WOMEN WRITERS CHALLENGE

2016 was my third year participating in this challenge. The level of participation I opted for was Miles: read six – if reviewing, review at least four. I managed to read more than six novels, a mixture of old and new publications, but only reviewed one. Technically this challenge was successfully completed. I have reviews to be posted, but these have missed the challenge completion deadline so won't count.

Looking through my list of books for 2016, I've read a total of 19 books by Australian women authors.

BACK TO THE CLASSICS

I didn't do well in this challenge at all. None of the books I'd nominated were read, but I did read three 20th century classics, two Georgette Heyer novels (The Nonesuch and The Unknown Ajax) and one by Catherine Gaskin (Blake's Reach).

I'm determined to successfully finish this challenge one year. Hopefully 2017 will be that year! So yes, you've guessed, I'm signing up again.

BRITISH BOOKS

I easily read the twelve books needed to complete this challenge, but only reviewed half of them. So another failure, but I'm not discouraged. I'm signing up again in 2017.


GOODREADS

Yay! A successfully completed challenge. Not much to say about this one other than I'm signing up again for 2017 and increasing my target slightly from 110 to 120 books.




HISTORICAL FICTION

My goal again for 2016 was 50+ books, which I read comfortably, but didn't review as many as I would've liked. I'm determined to successfully complete this challenge so I'm signing up again in 2017.







POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

As always this challenge was a bit of fun. I ticked off 17 out of 41 books. Not a bad result. I'm participating in this challenge again in 2017. Let's see how I do this year.







READING ENGLAND AND READING YORKSHIRE


I successfully completed the Reading Yorkshire 2016 Challenge  by reading and reviewing one book!

I failed the Reading England 2016 Challenge. Even though I opted for the lowest level (1-3 counties), I didn't read any for this part of the challenge.

I'd like to sign up again for this challenge in 2017, but as yet haven't seen any posts about it. Hopefully it will be offered again this year.


Well, that's it, my wrap up for 2016. Not a very successful year for challenges, but another great reading year filled with lots of interesting and exciting books.