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Update on 2017 Sirens Reading Challenge progress

Figured it was about time to do a check-in on what I’ve read so far for the 2017 Sirens Reading Challenge (the full list for this challenge is here). Here’s what I’ve read so far:

Guests of Honor: Required

 Required Theme (category complete!)

Additional Theme Books: Select Five

Middle Grade/Young Adult: Select Five

Adult: Select Five

Eight more books to go (plus the one I’m currently reading) to complete the challenge! I’ll probably substitute a few new reads for the ones I’ve currently listed, given that I read quite a few of these last year. But I’m finding this charting of my reading rather fun 🙂


I just finished The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the fourth book towards the 2017 Sirens Reading Challenge.

I’ll have more to say about this book later, I think, but right now I will comment that  a story which is at its heart about lust for life is exactly what I needed to read.

Also, I would have guessed, I think, that this was an older book (it was published in 1997). Something about its style is different than a recently-published book would be. Can’t quite put my finger on what, thought.

Next up: Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola & Emily Carroll.

The Sirens reading challenge and ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY

As I posted on Twitter a while back, I’ve decided to do the 2017 Sirens Reading Challenge this year.

I’ve never done any kind of reading challenge before; usually I read plenty without structure. But between all the horrible world news and the general business of life, I haven’t been reading as much as I would like recently – and when I have been reading, I’ve been subject to periodic reading slumps. Some structure seems in order.

The Sirens Reading Challenge has five parts, two required (in which you read all the books in that part), and three where you have a choice. I am beginning with the “Required Theme” section. I’ve already read two (Chime by Franny Billingsley, an old favorite; and Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, which I read last year and very much enjoyed), which leaves me five more.

I began yesterday with Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky. There’s been a lot written about this one (here is the LA Times review) so I won’t rehash the plot points. What I will say, though, is (a) the writing is incredibly skillful and yet (b) the book overall kind of left me cold. It might be the science-vs.-nature setup (although Anders resolves this nicely, this dichotomy is one that bugs me). It might be that (again, given the awful news in the world) I can’t handle books with a dystopian bent right now. It might just be my mood.

Can’t say. I can say, though, that despite all this I did both enjoy and admire this book. Definitely it is worth a read.

Next up on the list is The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Stay tuned…