I feel bad for falling so far behind on my Reading Challenge posts. We have had a busy summer around here. Hubby has gone to several book sales in the past two months, which means we have had a lot of books to list and get out the door to Amazon. My father also passed away on Father’s Day. While my dad had not been in good health for about twelve years, he had been doing very well lately. So, his death was a bit unexpected. I feel like I’m still playing catch up on some things as I go through the grieving process. All of this combined has left less time for blogging lately.

Anyway, back to the Reading Challenge. For May, one of my friends chose the category “a book you own (preferably for a while) but have never read.” I try to keep only books I plan on re-reading sometime in the next five years or books I haven’t read and plan to read in the next few months. I had already ear-marked my unread books for other categories for the reading challenge. This left hubby’s books for this category. Most of hubby’s books fall into one of three categories: comics/humor (think Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side), non-fiction, or music.

FreakonomicsI chose to read Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephan J. Dubner. Here is the summary on Amazon: “Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

“These may not sound like typical questions for an econo-mist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

“Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics.”

I found the information the authors presented interesting, but I think they left out some potentially key information in some of their conclusions. For example, the authors neglected to mention some of the negative side effects women can experience when they have abortions, such as guilt and decreased fertility. To me, this decreased their credibility. Overall, I found their theories interesting and would recommend this book.

The books my friends chose for this category include:

  • The Sandman series books 1&2 by Neil Gaiman
  • The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
  • Apologetics Beyond Reason by James W. Sire
  • The Simarillion by J.R.R Tolkien

For June, one of my friends chose the category “a book published before you were born.” I intended to read A Midsummer’s Tempest by Poul Anderson. I tried to read this book about a week after my dad had passed away, and I just couldn’t get into the book. I just wasn’t ready for it. I ended up reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (read my review here) during that week instead. Once I finished reading Kondo’s book, I remembered I had read Agatha Christie’s Murder at Hazelmoor (also known as The Sittaford Mystery) at the beginning of the month, which was definitely published before I was born.

The_Sittaford_Mystery_US_First_Edition_Jacket_1931Here is the summary of the book: “Mrs Willett and her daughter host an evening of table-turning, a séance, on a snowy winter’s evening in Dartmoor. The spirit tells them that Captain Trevelyan is dead. The roads being impassible to vehicles, Major Burnaby announces his intention to go to the village on foot to check on his friend, where he appears to find the prediction has come true. Emily Trefusis, engaged to Trevelyan’s nephew, uncovers the mystery along with the police.”

I enjoyed this mystery. I was completely surprised by the ending. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a well-written mystery.

The books my friends chose for this category include:

  • The Sandman series books 3-6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
  • The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
  • The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis