The Starving Soubrette’s Summer Reading Challenge


Remember those Summer Reading Challenges for children at the Library? You’d read a bunch of books every week and get a sticker or something? I was never really great at them as a kid, but I was also a voracious reader and didn’t really need any extra motivation.

It wasn’t until my undergrad that I rediscovered reading challenges. My program was pretty book intensive and I never really had time for pleasure reading, so my friends and I would try to get as much reading done in the summer as we could. A group of us started our own summer reading challenge, we’d tweet our progress to each other, and try to read more than anyone else. The first year we counted books, but my friend Ben decided to read War and Peace that summer, so he technically lost even though he had probably read the most out of all of us. The following years we counted pages.

It’s been a few years since we’ve done a reading challenge, but I started thinking about it again after I was packing up my residence at the end of the school year and realized that I couldn’t fit all my books in the box that I brought them in. I hadn’t finished reading any new books, but I had accumulated at least 10 more! I decided that I wasn’t going to buy any new books until I had finished reading the ones on my shelves, and so the summer reading challenge was born again.

1. I can’t purchase or pick up any new books for myself.
2. Library Books are O.K. (I know it doesn’t help me read the books on my shelf, but Halifax just got a new beautiful library and it’s too tempting not to go)
3. Progress is counted in number of pages, not number of books.
4. I will donate books that I don’t love
5. The only exception is if George R. R. Martin finishes Winds of Winter sometime in duration of the challenge (I mean, it won’t happen, but still)

I’m going to try and keep you updated about the books that I’ve been reading by posting a review of the last book I finished every other Monday. This Monday, I’m going to talk about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

If you want to join me in my reading challenge, let me know in the comments or tweet me @jl_nicegirl with #SoubretteReads2015. I’d love to know how far along you are, and what you’re currently reading!

Photo by Lauren Bryant-Monk.  Edited with A Beautiful Mess phone app

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The Soubrette Speaks

Hello everybody!

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My name is Lauren, I’m an opera singer, and this is my blog.

Last year, I had a crazy revelation. I was sitting around, feeling unhappy about my life and slow (to me) artistic development when I came across a picture of myself in high school.


I thought about what she would think about my life. I realized that she would think my life is pretty cool, and that I had accomplished a ton of things that she wanted for her future.  Even if I am not quite where I want to be right now, where I am is still pretty cool.

After another unsatisfying year, I’ve had to remind myself of that truth again. And I’m going to use this blog to celebrate the fact and share it with all of you.

After all, my life sounds pretty cool on paper, so it must actually be pretty cool. Right?

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