Monday, June 11, 2012

I Dig Reading: May

In the I DIG READING CHALLENGE I pledge to donate a set amount of money for every book I read this year!

May was a great month in reading, because I was able to read 15 books-- but before you get unduly impressed, several of the Agatha Christies were more like novellas. 

Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie.

Set in Ancient Egypt, I honestly didn't think I would like this one, but once I gave it a chance, I did. 

I also read The Adventure of “The Western Star”, The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor, The Adventure of the Cheap Flat, and The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge by Ms Christie. She's excellent at what she does, but I do prefer the longer books to the novellas. I think she needs the extra space and time to give plausible reasons to suspect several characters. Just my two cents. :0)

The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle-- another classic Sherlock. I'm watching the new series from the BBC and loving how they integrate scenes and themes from the books into modern stories. So creative. 

Hushed by Kelley York and The Circular Staircase by Mary Rinehart Roberts, both reviewed here

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. WOW did this book blow me away. This is how dystopia should be. It was incredibly well written, compelling story-telling with fantastic world building. LOVED it. 

I re-read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets aloud with my kids. 

I completed the Tomorrow, When the War Began series by John Marsden, reading Darkness Be My FriendBurning for RevengeThe Night is for Hunting, and The Other Side of Dawn. I reviewed the series here. I could not love it more. 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I liked the first one better, but this was a solid follow-up to Divergent. I will be very interested to see how she wraps up the series. 

My donation this month will be to the Kindergarten Kickstart program-- the organization seeks to provide camp for kids in our neighborhood who are starting Kindergarten in the fall, with the goal of getting them ready to learn. SUCH a great program.


  1. I love that you change donation places every month. And I keep thinking...YOU'RE GOING TO AFRICA!!! Gosh, you must be getting really excited.

  2. Now I will admit to never having read Agatha Christie--which seems really wrong.
    When do you head out on your awesome trip?!

  3. Thanks Christa-- there are so many places I want to donate to... and so little time/money. :0) I know-- I keep thinking I'M TOTALLY GOING TO AFRICA. WOOT! I try to focus on all the crap I need to do first, so then when it's time it will surprise me!

    Rebecca, Agatha Christie is great, but I think you have to like that old school British formulaic mystery to get into her. It's definitely it's own thing. So, I will not judge if you haven't read her. :0) She is dated at times, especially in talking about people from different cultures. But that's another post. I leave at the end of June.

  4. I've only ever seen the CITY OF EMBER movie (loved it), but I do have the first couple of books on my shelf. If the movie is a good representation of the book, then I know it'll be fantastic! :)

  5. I also read INSURGENT last month and thought it was a pretty good follow up. I can't wait for book three!

  6. A great cause--Kindergarten Kickstart helps children prepare for school in a different way.

  7. I haven't read the Christie's that you read. I'll have to add them to my TBR list. My favorites of hers are the Tommy and Tuppence stories and Ten Little Indians.

    I liked Insurgent too. And the City of Ember.

  8. I have a list of books and authors I have tried reading, didn't care for, but have vowed to try again. Sometimes, I have found, I'm just in a different "place" when I reread, and something I loved, previously, I'm kinda lukewarm on, now, and something I felt "meh" about, I now love.

    AC is on my list to try again, someday. Good tip about the novellas though, I will stick to the full-length. Thanks!

  9. I think this is a fabulous idea. Donating money for each book you read. And it's quite an impressive reading list too, even if so many of them are novellas. There's something to be said for saying a lot in few words. Then again, I'm a poet.

  10. Jaime- you totally answered a question that's been on my mind since reading it-- I wondered if the movie was any good. I will have to check it out.

    Cool, Ghenet-- I'd love to talk about it with someone else who has read it!

    Isn't that a cool program, Susan? A lot of talk in Connecticut has been about the achievement gap- we are one of the highest ranking states overall, but there is a huge gap between the poor and wealthy communities. I'm in one of the poor communities, and this program is all about trying to close that gap as quickly as possible. It's inspiring to me!

    Connie, I loved, loved, loved Tommy and Tuppence. I need to read the Ten LIttle Indians!

    Beverly, that is such a GOOD point. We all say likes and dislikes about books are subjective, but it's interesting to realize ONE PERSON can feel differently about a book depending on what's going on in their life at that moment.

    Angela- I do believe less is more, and I tell my students that. I would much rather have a short paper than someone blabbing on just to fill pages. :0)

  11. What a neat idea! Now if I could just find the time to read more :)

    The "Tomorrow" series and "City of Ember" both sound fascinating! Thanks for mentioning them!


  12. Yay for Harry Potter rereads!
    My memory's like a sieve so I reread Agatha Christie a lot - I always (until about the fifth reread) forget who the murderer is!

  13. Jen- I get a lot of reading done while I hang with my kids as they play outside. :0) DO check out the Tomorrow books and City of Ember-- I'd love to see what you think.

    @Deniz- that is really cracking me up, because I can totally imagine doing the same. :0) She leads you down so many false trails...

  14. What a lovely cause :) I love Agatha Christie but I haven't read the stories you mentioned. I think I'll give Death Comes as the End a shot!

  15. I have Insurgent next to my bed, so I'm glad you thought it was a good sequel!

  16. Samantha- true! What I love about this group is that they're working right in my neighborhood, so I will get to see the impact in a way I can't when I give to something far away.

    Oooh, Sophia- would love to hear what you think. It's so hard to wait with these trios... I want to read them back to back!!!


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