It's officially time for Bout of Books!
Favorite Photo Challenge by Once Upon a Chapter
My challenge is fairly simple: take a photo of your favorite read so far in Bout of Books 13 and share that link with me.
Color Cover Challenge by Wishful Endings
Pick a color. Find four books with covers almost completely in that color/those colors and share the covers.
These are four books that I've read and enjoyed (or will read soon!). All have very dark/black covers. Quite the selection, isn't it?
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
King Lear by William Shakespeare
From Modern to Classic by Ranty Runt of a Reader
Share one book that you believe will be considered a classic in 100 years time. Simple? I do have a few caveats, the book must have been published in or after 2005 and you need to provide two reasons for why this book will be a classic.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The author tackles the truth of a difficult time in American history with realism and humor. The writing is near perfection—switching between multiple POVs and dialects. It's a book I hope becomes a classic so that people won't forget the pain of racism as we move forward.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book perfectly portrays the horrible mix of feelings that kids with cancer experience on a day-to-day basis. It's perfectly positioned to help kids explore their emotions and provides courageous characters that they can identify with. I've known quite a few (more than normal!) kids battling cancer, and this book is important because it gives their struggles and feelings a voice.
Book Haiku by Kristina Horner
Write a haiku about whatever book you're reading right now.
I've done these little book haikus before and they're always so fun. I even started a "Haiku in Review" feature once but only did a couple. Maybe I'll have to bring that back! Since I've been reading two books (so far!) today, here's a haiku for each. What do you think? Leave me a link in the comments if you wrote a haiku. I'd love to read it!
Character Face Off by LuLo Fangirl
Create the ultimate character face-off. Pick two of your all-time favorite characters. They can be from the books you chose for the read-a-thon (or not — totally up to you). Even though they are both your favorite, you HAVE to choose one as the winner. And tell me why. Sell me on why this ONE character is your favorite character of ALL characters.
I'm terrible at choosing favorites, so I don't know that these are my absolute favorite characters, but these guys are definitely some of my favorites! And, because I'm an overachiever in EVERY sense of the word, I'm doing a three-round face off! (Think like a bracket for the basketball tournament.)
The Christiansen Family series by Susan May Warren is truly one of my favorites. I thought it would be fun to pitch the guys against each other and choose a favorite from the four books that are out so far.
Round One: The Brothers
DarekWho: The eldest Christiansen sibling. Runs the family business, the Evergreen Resort. Widower and single father to five-year-old Tiger.
Pros: Loyal to family. Puts the needs of his son above his own. Wants to belong and provide a place of belonging for a special someone.
Cons: Struggles with unforgiveness and anger. History of poor decision-making.
CasperWho: Christiansen sibling. Aspiring archaeologist.
Pros: Sweet and kind. Refuses to give up on the woman he loves. Turning over a new leaf and be reliable and trustworthy for his family.
Cons: Flounders professionally. Hot tempered (sometimes with good reason!).
Winner: DarekWhy: There's maturity in Darek that is extremely likeable. And while loyalty is a trait that the entire family shares, Darek exhibits it in every aspect of his life—even allowing loyalty to trump his anger and unforgiveness. By the end of his story, he has grown into the type of man that I would hope my friends would fall in love with . . . which is always a plus in a romance novel!
Round Two: The In-Laws
JaceWho: Professional hockey player. Love interest of Eden Christiansen.
Pros: More sensitive than he lets on. Kind, protective, selfless. Uses his celebrity for good when given the opportunity. Loves freely once people get past his barriers.
Cons: Aggressive and bad-tempered. Prone to assume the worst of others—and oftentimes of his friends.
MaxwellWho: Professional hockey player. Amateur chef. Love interest of Grace Christiansen.
Pros: Protective and selfless, especially towards Grace. Excellent tour guide. Fun loving.
Cons: Fearful of the future. Big barriers in place to keep others out.
Winner: Max . . . by a hair. :)Why: This one was nearly too close to call, but Max won me over. He truly is a fun character, and despite his personal struggles (major!), he is conscious of the need to move past the fear and allow himself to live.
Round Three: The Finals
Darek Christiansen vs. Maxwell Sharpe
Winner: Maxwell SharpeWhy: Both of these guys are amazing and love their women SO well. And they both have a lot of trauma in their pasts—which of course contributes a lot to the men they are today. But Max has overcome a lot and still has to face a lot in the future. There's just something about him that makes my heart squeeze just a bit. I hope Susan treats him well in the rest of the series!
There are still two more books (so two more amazing men!) to come, but I don't know if it's possible to throw Max over for another. I guess I'll just have to wait and see! And now, I'm in the mood for a Christiansen story. Perhaps start re-reading at the beginning? :)
Bookish Survey by Writing My Own Fairy Tale
1. How do you organize your shelves? I'm not sure it's accurate to say that my shelves are organized. :) Hubs organized our main three shelves (in the dining room turned library) by genre. Books by the same authors are grouped together, and they are generally in some sort of height order. Then there's a smaller fiction shelf in the library, a bigger fiction shelf in our bedroom, baskets of books in every room, books on night stands/tables/chairs/and pretty much every other surface. So, organized? Not so much, but I've definitely surrounded myself with books!
2. What is one of your favorite books that’s not in one of your favorite genres? Probably The Fault in Our Stars. I don't read a ton of YA fiction, but this one was pretty much life-changing in the best possible way. (Is that totally cliche?)
3. What is the last 5 star book you read? This one's easy since I just finished it! The Inn at Ocean's Edge by Colleen Coble. You can read my review here.
4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon? The next one? Which will probably be No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason. Can't wait!
5. What book do you recommend the most? Such a hard question! I typically recommend whatever I'm reading at the moment (or something in the very recent past). But over the past year or so, I've consistently recommended A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson. And I gave it to nearly everyone for Christmas. Seriously, you should read it. Ooh . . . maybe that's my favorite book outside of my normal genres.