Sarah's Book Challenge - Catch Up



Oh but I’ve been appalling at keeping up to date with all things Sarah’s Book Challenge. Absolutely awful.

You may (or may not, it’s been that long) remember me talking earlier this year about the awesome Christmas present from my pal Sarah, which was composed of a pile of envelopes – one to be opened on the first of each month and a few ICE envelopes for good measure. Each envelope contains a bookish challenge for that month. I know right, amazing gift is amazing. My plan, initially, was to blog about this challenge every month but then The Bad Thing happened and it all fell apart, all my grand plans came to naught because heartbreak. I’ve still been opening my envelope every month and I’ve still been doing the challenge I just haven’t been doing that good a job at recording any of that. That’s what this post is. A catch up of the months I’ve missed, ready to post about June’s challenge at the end of the month.

So, are you sitting comfortably because let’s be real here: this may take a while.


In March I had to choose a book with the initials JW. 

Those are my initials, if you were wondering, so not that random at all. It’s not even that hard. So many people have the initials JW. So many. Jeanette Wintersen, which would have been an amazing choice because I really really want to read Why Be Happy…., or John Wyndham (except I’m still totally scarred from Chocky) or even Jacqueline Wilson. It felt too easy though, to go for one of those, to choose somebody I hadn’t even had to think about. I figured it might be more of an actual challenge though, to choose somebody new, so, off to Waterstones in the Trafford Centre I went. I ended up going for We Live in Water by Jess Walter. It’s still on my currently reading Goodreads shelf, because I started it….and then I lost it. Seriously. I have no idea where this book is and this is a mystery to me. My house is not that big. I pretty much only ever read in bed. If I leave the house my book goes in my bag, which is not the bag of either Mary Poppins or Hermione Granger so where the fuck is this book? Who knows? Anyway, it’s a short story collection and until it got lost I was really liking it. I’m very cross about the whole situation. Let’s not talk about it.

I also opened the first ICE envelope in March because nothing says emergency more than being dumped, does it? Nosiree. The bookish cure for my broken heart was a book with a pretty cover, which HELLO YES PLEASE. I was immediately tempted by Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things which is super pretty and has a ferris wheel on the cover and is all dark shades and prettiness and sounds like everything I love in a book AND has a main character called Coralie, which coincidentally is the name of Sarah’s daughter. Coralie is as unusual a name as Josephine and so it kind of felt like a sign. I bought it. It’s on the TBR.

April was lovely, because April’s Challenge was a book bought in a second hand bookshop and so Sarah and I took the day off, headed to SilverDell Bookshop in Kirkham for coffee and cake and books. Super lush. I picked up The Bone Dragon because it’s pretty and The Ladies of Grace Adieu because it sounds amazing.

On April 30th I opened ICE2 because it was my birthday, my first as a singleton and I was moping. & the best cure for moping that I know of is books. Sarah prescribed a book by or about somebody/something that I admired. I got Richard Siken’s new poetry collection War of the Foxes because Siken. If you don’t know how much I loved his first collection, Crush, well, you can find out here, but here’s a clue: it’s a lot. & though I don’t read much of it, I do love poetry, and I have so much admiration for people who can make me feel things using so few words. Siken is like a freaking genius I swear to God, Crush affected me on so many levels (ALL THE FEELS) and yeah okay, maybe I used my ICE as a kind of excuse to buy this book but isn’t that kind of the point?


Find a book with a bronze theme Sarah said, for May, because May is her 8th wedding anniversary (bronze, she’s so clever.) And so I did. I found – and by found mean was already drooling after – the Penguin Hardback Classics edition of The Last Tycoon, which happily for me has a stunningly gorgeous bronze cover so you know, WHY WOULD I NOT. It’s so pretty and I love it. I LOVE IT. I do love me some F Scott Fitzgerald.

& that brings us to June’s challenge. Which I will come back and talk about in 3 weeks. I promise.

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