Friday, May 31, 2024

Sisters' Summer Reading Challenge

Spring was crazy busy, but I managed to read some excellent books. Now I'm looking forward to summer reading! We are trying to keep it a bit lighter, but still looking forward to traveling to new places and meeting new people through books. 

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For summer, we have two new duet challenges, one solo challenge, a Bible challenge, and an activity. 

A duet challenge is two books that connect in some way. 

1. Choose a topic and read two books about it. 

This could be two nonfiction, fiction and nonfiction, or whatever. I think the best way to do this is to choose a book that you want to read, then pick another book also about that topic. You could choose grief, gardening, Civil War, or whatever topic has your interest right now.

A few examples: 

Alzheimer's-  Still Alice by Lisa Genova and APromise Kept by Robertson McQuilkin

Jewish history - Miriam’sKitchen by Elizabeth Ehrlich and  The Chosen by Chaim Potok

2. Choose a location and read two books that are set in that location. 

This could include a travel memoir, a biography, nonfiction, novel, historical fiction, a middle-grade novel, or a foodie book. You can find a bio of a famous leader or a missionary for about every area of the world.

Again, the easiest way to do this challenge may be to find a book that you want to read then find another book set in the same location. Ideally they wouldn't be the same genre. I could easily binge read on several books by one of my favorite English authors like Elizabeth Goudge or D. E. Stevenson. But I'd probably benefit more from adding a nonfiction also based on England. 

There are many historical fiction books set in Europe, especially World War 2 stories. These could be paired with travel memiors such as Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr,  A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (France), and Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (Italy).

You could also choose an area of the United States. There are great books set in California, New York City, and the South. Pick your home area, or somewhere you'd love to visit, or maybe some place you hope to never visit. Some well-written examples are Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (Minnesota), My Antonoia by Willa Cather (Nebraska), To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Alabama), and A Place on Earth by Wendell Berry (Kentucky).

A few examples of location book duets:

China: Peony by Pearl S. Buck, Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, Chu Ju's House by Gloria Whelan, or a bio of a Chinese missionary

Haiti: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder and Kidnapped in HaitiKidnapped in Haiti by Katrina Hoover Lee

Afghanistan: In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord, Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy, or The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Lemmon

Africa: Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton and The #1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Yorkshire, England: Miss Bunckle's Book by D.E.Stevenson and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

3. Read a book about animals or a book that animals play a large role.

This could be nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, or middle-grade.

Ex. Wind in the Willows, JamesHerriot, Summer of the Monkeys, Where the Red Fern Grows, Watership Down, The Yearling.

4. Read a book of the Bible and for each chapter, write down three words that describe the chapter.

Don't stress about finding the perfect three words. Just three words that sum up the chapter to you or share something about your impression of the chapter.

5. Write a note to someone and include a quote or verse. 

Ideally handwrite it and mail it, but if you must, share it by text.

Happy Summer Reading!


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