The Burlesque Press Reading Challenge Update by Jeni Stewart

oldbookphotoGreetings Burlesque Press readers! Earlier this year we introduced a reading challenge and I just wanted to check in and post where I’m at with that, and see how you’re coming along as well.  In addition to the books I read in the original post, I have since read:

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden – I’m not going to say more about this now, because it comes out in May and we’ll do a review then.  Suffice it to say, though, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, though in the interests of full disclosure, I do know the author….  And it is available for pre-sale here in the US now 🙂

Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson – a somewhat lackluster Scandinavian mystery, I’d still recommend it for a book to keep you company when travelling.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – Slavery, the Civil War, and all that goes with it.  Told from a dual perspective I found it rather engrossing, though the end was a bit unsatisfying to me.  But can any end of a book where slavery still exists be satisfying?  Probably not.  I’d still encourage a read on this one.  But kindle readers beware – there’s a version of the book Oprah felt the need to extensively annotate with her thought son it, and I’d, ahem, avoid that one if I were you.  Apparently it’s difficult to read the actual text around Oprah’s thoughts…(note: this link is for the unannotated version of the book)

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold – this one was a fun read if you’re in to magic tricks.  I’m not, really, but I still had fun getting in the head of a magician.  I mean, who doesn’t want to do that?

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan – the most disappointing of all the books in this post.  It read far more like a biography than a work of fiction, and I frankly couldn’t wait for it to finally be over.  It was simply dull – and I feel it didn’t have to be.  Still, there were a lot of interesting tidbits about Robert Louis Stevenson, and it might be worth the plodding for that.  Or, you could just get a good biography.  The man did lead an interesting life!

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon – loved it!  It’s a literary leaning good old fashioned ghost story, and at just over 300 pages you can knock it out pretty quickly.  I actually found myself creeped out, and I’m not easy to creep out when it comes to tales of ghosts and ghouls.  I liked this so much, though, I’m planning on checking out more of McMahon’s work.  So forgive me in advance if you see her listed three times on next month’s post 😉

I’m currently reading Longbourn by Jo Baker.  It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ perspective.  Which would be interesting if the author hadn’t tried to copy exactly the plot of Pride and Prejudice, or pretty nearly.  I am a third of the way through, and alreaduy looking forward to my next read.

What will yours be? What are you reading now, and whats your #readwomen2014 count?  How about your #read50booksin2014 count?  My female author count for this round: 5 female authors to two male for this go round, and overall 9 women to 3 men.  I’m on book 12 for this year – so far so good!  And for those of you out there who are curious, the 2013 VIDA count is out.  Take a look.  We still have a long, long way to go.

And hey?  Interested in supporting VIDA? I got one of their snazzy t-shirts at AWP, and you can order one from their website.  You totally should.  Also, you should order one of ours, in case you already haven’t! And tweet us pictures of you wearing it in fun places!  We’re @1burlesquepress on Twitter.  Want free shipping? Email me at and mention this post!

See you next month with a new update! Race me to twenty books?


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