No, don't worry, I didn't enter Witness Protection. I disappeared for a few weeks because we were on vacation! Our vacations are mostly tech-free - long road trips cross country, camping along the way. We drove to South Dakota's Black Hills - one of our favorite places on earth! - to visit family and enjoy all the amazing scenery, and we made lots of fun stops along the way. Although I did miss interacting with friends online, I have to admit that I didn't miss all the obligations and responsibilities - of course, now I have 950 e-mail messages to wade through!
So, we read lots of great books over the past 3 weeks (it's actually been a full month since my last Monday update). We read far fewer than usual, though, because all of us were focused on some really BIG books - perfect for my Big Book Summer Challenge! Here's the run-down:
- Before we left, I finished Blood Red Road by Moira Young, a teen dystopian novel and my first Big Book of the summer, at 459 pages. It's an unusual novel, written in a unique style, but it grew on me - the story was gripping.
- During our trip, I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. At 850 pages, it lasted our entire trip (and I am still working on finishing it!). I am loving it - it is just as good as everyone has told me for years - an epic story about a woman in Scotland in 1945 who gets sent back in time to the 1700's.
- My husband, Ken, finished reading George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. He loved it but very kindly held off on starting Book 2 because he knew our son would fly through both books (he was right!).
- Next, Ken read Running Blind by one of his favorite authors, Lee Child.
- Jamie, 17, started the trip by reading and enjoying The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, a recent re-release by favorite author Nancy Farmer, while he waited (rather impatiently!) for Ken to finish Martin's novel!
- Next, as predicted, Jamie flew through George R.R. Martin's series, reading A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords (which we gave to Ken for Father's Day while we were away!). He loved the series and can't wait to read Book 4!
- After polishing off those three enormous novels, Jamie delved into the duffel bag of books he brought with him (he reads a LOT on our trips!) and started The Diamond Throne by David Eddings, Book 1 of The Elenium trilogy. Eddings is an old favorite author of my husband's, so he picked up two of his trilogies at the used bookstore for our son before we left.
- Craig, 14, started his assigned summer reading for school while we were gone with Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and was surprised to find it fascinating!
- In the car, we listened to a new teen audio book, Revived by Cat Patrick, a creepy sci fi/romance about a girl who is part of a secret government program to test a new drug that can revive people who have died. Ken and Jamie thought there was too much romance and not enough action, but we all enjoyed the intriguing and unique story.
It's still early in the summer - plenty of time left to sign up for the Big Book Summer Challenge if you haven't yet! It's an easy-breezy challenge - you only need to read one big book (over 400 pages) this summer to participate. Sign up today and join the fun! Here are a few pictures from our trip. If you are interested, you can see more at our trip blog.
|Ken and I at Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, SD|
|Craig and Jamie at Mount Rushmore|
|All of us at Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin|