Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge




Welcome to the 2018 

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge


Also the home of Well Educated Mind, 52 Books Bingo, Blossom
Bookology, Mind Voyages, Dusty and Chunky, and various mini challenges. 


The rules are very simple and the goal - read 52 books.


  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. 
  • Our book weeks will begin on Sunday
  • Week one will begin on Monday, January 1st. 
  • Participants may join at any time. 
  • All books are acceptable except children books.** 
  • All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  • Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2018 
  • Books may overlap other challenges. 
  • Create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  • Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" in the sidebar
  • You don't have a blog to participate. Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  • Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the each weekly post for you to link to reviews of your reads. 

All the mini challenges are optional. Mix it up anyway you like. The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you.




**in reference to children books. If it is a child whose reading it and involved in the challenge, then that's okay. If an adult is doing read aloud with kids, the book should be geared for the 9 - 12 age group and above and over 100 pages. If adult reading for own enjoyment, then a good rule of thumb to go by "is there some complexity to the story or is it too simple?" If it's too simple, then doesn't count.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

BW50: Bookish Birthdays and News

Treasure Hunt Puzzle 


It's time for another round of author birthdays and bookish news. We're approaching the end of the year and best of lists are in the news.

Bill Gates narrows it down to the 5 books I loved in 2018

New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018

New Yorker's Best Books of 2018

Mental Floss's 56 Best Books of 2018

New York Public Library's 2018 Best Books for Adults

School Library Journal's The Best of 2018

Five Books best of for Science, Philosophy, Politics, and Nature.

Smithsonian.com’s Chief Digital Officer Shares His Favorite Books of the Year.

Indigo's Best Books of 2018.


Literary birthdays this week include 

12/09: Poet John Milton and Samuel Washington Allen


12/10: Poet Emily Dickinson, Nobel prize poet Nelly Sachs, and Scottish Fantasy Author George Macdonald

12/11: Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz and Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

12/12: French novelist Gustave Flaubert and English playwright John Osborne


12/13: German poet Heinrich Heine and American Poet Kenneth Patchen

12/14: Short story writer Shirley Jackson and American essayist Stanley Crouch


12/15: Irish Author Edna O'Brien


Have fun following rabbit trails

Brit Trip

We're traveling on Watling Way to Lancashire.  Lancashire was not recorded in the Domesday Book which makes it one of the younger counties in England.

Rabbit trails: Birds Whooper Swans Lancaster Castle



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Saturday, December 8, 2018

2019 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks







Are you ready for another round of Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks  Our reading quest began ten years ago and during that period of time,  our armchair travels have taken us all over the world and back again.  This year we are going to ramble and rove around the globe, following multiple rabbit trails. Whether you are a fan of fiction or nonfiction, like to juggle multiple books at once, love to reread favorite authors over and over, explore different genres, new to you authors, or stick to the tried and true, this is the place for you.   The rules are very simple. The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you.  

We have a variety of challenges including a new 52 Books Bingo as well as A to Z, Chunky, Dusty and Feed Your Muse to assist us in our reading adventures.  

Whodunit Bookology Spelling and author of the month --  Follow in the footsteps of Agatha Christie and her charming detective Hercule Poirot as well as variety of  bookish detectives, sleuths, and private eyes.

Brit Tripping --- A year long mystery read traveling the Roman Roads through England reading reading a book from each of the 45 counties with a few extra trips to London.  (Perpetual)

Agatha Christie  --  read at least three of her books per year.  Read the books in chronological order as listed, group by detective or collection, or randomly if you choose. (Perpetual)

Well Educated Mind --  Continue to explore the classics in 6 categories: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama, Poetry and Science. (Perpetual)

Since it is our Tenth Anniversary, there will be a variety of Ten themed mini challenges throughout the year.  


The mini, weekly and monthly challenges are all optional, Mix them up anyway you like or follow your own path in the quest to read.  

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. 
  • Our book weeks will begin on Sunday
  • Week one will begin on Tuesday, January 1st. 
  • Participants may join at any time. 
  • All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  • Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2019 
  • Books may overlap other challenges. 
  • If you have an blog, create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  • Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" in the sidebar
  • You don't have a blog to participate. Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  • Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the each weekly post for you to link to reviews of your reads. 






I'm participating in 2019




I'm participating in 2019 




Sunday, December 2, 2018

BW49: Frosty December




Welcome to Frosty December!  In our case it's rainy and chilly at the moment which means curling up with a nice soft blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and a good book or two or three.  *Grin*   Tell me about your favorite comfort read authors or books for rainy or chilly days. 



"The holly and the ivy, 
When they are both full grown, 
Of all trees that are in the wood, 
The holly bears the crown: 
O, the rising of the sun, 
And the running of the deer 
The playing of the merry organ, 
Sweet singing in the choir."

--- English Folk-Carols 
H. Wadsworth, Birmingham, 
1814-1818



Our Blossom Bookology flower of the month is Holly. There are a number of directions to go for this month's challenge. Read one book per letter using either the title and/or the first or last name of the author. Yes, you can mix it up. You may read a book with the name of the flower, color of the flower in the title, or on the cover. Another possibility is a book which takes place in the time period or flower's country of origin or has some cultural significance and/or symbolism of the flower. The choices are unlimited.

This month is full of celebrations beginning with Hanukkah, Advent, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, Christmas and Boxing Day, the arrival of Winter as well as Festivus for the rest of us.  And we can't forget the wonderful reading tradition in Iceland - Jólabókaflóð.   

Time to update your Amazon and Goodreads wish lists for the coming holidays as well as next year.  Or pay it forward and send a few reads to new homes.  


Brit Tripping


We're traveling on Watling way down through Manchester.  In the early 1800’s Manchester grew substantially as people immigrated there from Scotland, Wales, and Ireland to work in the growing textile industry. The large influx of working class people gave rise to poverty and discontent and has an interesting history as the meeting place of Marx and Engles. 




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Sunday, November 25, 2018

BW48: The Tyger by William Blake



Courtesy of William Blake Archive


In honor of William Blake, who was born November 28, 1757



The Tyger 

By 



Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand, dare seize the fire? 

And what shoulder, & what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 

When the stars threw down their spears 
And water'd heaven with their tears: 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 

Tyger Tyger burning bright, 
In the forests of the night: 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


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Brit Tripping

Our Brit Trip on Watling Way is taking us to Merseyside. Merseyside has produced one of the biggest musical cultural icons for the 20th Century – The Beatles.

Rabbit trails: More Beatles  Liverpool

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

BW47: 52 Books Bingo - Philosophical and Self Help




Philosophy begins in wonder.  And, at the end, when philosophic thought 
has done its best, the wonder remains.  ~Alfred North Whitehead


Two of our 52 Books Bingo categories fit in perfectly with our nonfiction November theme - Philosophy and Self help - which could actually be one and the same, depending on your point of view.

According to the Book Genre Dictionary:

"Books in the philosophy nonfiction genre are about the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence as an academic discipline. The books in this genre also explore fundamental truths about one’s self, the world, and their relationships. They also delve into and argue the answers to life’s most basic questions, literally exploring the basic fundamentals of knowledge and existence."

"Books in the self-help nonfiction genre are based on one’s own effort and resources to achieve things and goals without relying on the help of others. The books in this genre can be about self-guided improvement in one’s economic standing, their intellectual state of being, and in their emotionally and self-worth state of being."


Dive into the history of Philosophy and Self help with Guide to the World's Philosophers , A Short History of Self Help and American and Japanese Self Help Literature and check out Yukichi Fukuzawa's An Outline of a Theory of Civilization

Best Philosophy Books for Beginners

Best Modern Philosophy Books

70 Philosophical Books Everyone Should Read

Popular Nonfiction Philosophical books

The 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

Popular Self Improvement books

110 Of The Best Self-Improvement Books You’ll Ever Read


Have fun following rabbit trails!

Brit Trip

Our Brit Trip on Watling Way is taking us to Cheshire. Cheshire has a long industrial and transportation background as it was the largest train manufacturer in the 1800’s and also claims the invention of Cheshire Cheese, first stagecoach run, and the first neighborhood watch program in the UK.

Rabbit trails: Chester Rows Virtual Tour Roman Amphitheater Lyme Hall - Pride and Prejudice Capesthorne Hall

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

BW46: Armistice Day







The Soldier

by


If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

In honor of  all those who fought in World War I, read the poignant poetry of soldiers and volunteers who served.

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Pan Macmillan's The Poetry of the First World War

Poetry Foundation's Poetry of World War I

Poet Luke Wright pens tribute to World War One soldiers and more from BBC

Brit Tripping 

Our Brit Trip is taking us down Watling Way to Shropshire. Shropshire is one of the most rural and sparsely populated counties in England and is well known for its hills and other natural landmarks.

Rabbit trails: Caedfael Virtual Tour Barbara Pym Wilfred Owen Edith Pargeter (aka Ellis Peters)


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Sunday, November 4, 2018

BW45: Welcome to Nonfiction November

Courtesy of Libraryskills.com

Welcome to Nonfiction November. This month we are jumping into the world of nonfiction which encompasses a wide variety of categories including but not limited to -  memoirs and essays, history and geography, comedy and cookbooks and crafts, language and technology, religion and philosophy, music and art, to law and political science, self help and travel, to writing and reference books.   

Nonfiction is no longer full of dry facts and figures and has expanded quite a bit over the years with the advent of literary or creative nonfiction essay writing which uses the literary styles and techniques of fiction to tell a factual story. 

There are a wide variety of writing books that teach the art of creative nonfiction which includes Dinty Moore's Crafting the Personal Essay and Flash Nonfiction, Peter Turchi's Maps of the Imagination, Jack Hart's A Writer's Coach, and  A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University Telling True Stories.   There are plenty of entertaining, well written creative nonfiction stories such from  Joan Didion's Slouching towards Bethlehem, to Annie Dillard's The Writing Life and Anne Lamont's Bird by Bird.  Can you tell I have writing on my brain today? *grin*  

Take a look at Goodread's long list of Popular Creative Nonfiction reads and check out the variety of authors from Truman Capote, Barbara Kingsolver,  Maya Angelou to John Berendt, Frank McCourt, Neil Gaiman, and John Muir.  Take a look at Esquire's picks of the 40 Best Nonfiction Books in 2018 so far, as well as 25 Best True Crime books, plus Barnes and Nobles 50 Nonfiction Books that will make you Smarter in 2018.


Flower of the month

Our Blossom Bookology flower of the month is the Daisy.  There are a number of directions to go for this month's challenge. Read one book per letter using either the title and/or the first or last name of the author. Yes, you can mix it up. You may read a book with the name of the flower, color of the flower in the title, or on the cover. Another possibility is a book which takes place in the time period or flower's country of origin or has some cultural significance and/or symbolism of the flower. The choices are unlimited.



Brit Tripping

Our Brit Trip is taking us down Watling Way to Staffordshire. 

Staffordshire has a history of being a significant pottery center for centuries.



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Sunday, October 28, 2018

BW44: 52 Books Bingo - Elephant on the cover







I have heffalumps and woozles on my mind. One of the things I enjoyed when my son was young was rediscovering Babar and Horton and Dumbo. And in my recent interweb wanderings, enjoyed going down memory lane with 10 Pop Culture Elephants courtesy of mentalfloss.

Since one of our 52 Books Bingo bonus mystery squares is Elephant on the Cover, read a book with a picture on the cover, or elephant in the title, about an elephant as well as explore non fiction reads on conservation, rescue, and research. to history and culture.

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one-hundred percent!” \ Dr. Seuss - Horton Hatches the Egg


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Brit Tripping

Our Brit Tip on Watling way is taking us to West Midlands this week. West Midlands has been a center of industry since the Middle Ages and the growth of the area exploded during the Industrial Revolution.

Rabbit trails: Coventry Cathedral Back to Back Terraces Cadbury More Chocolate Coventry History Sarehole Mill Wightwick Manor


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Sunday, October 21, 2018

BW43: Shakespeare week - Sonnet 43







Sonnet 43

by

William Shakespeare 

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see, 
For all the day they view things unrespected; 
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee, 
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed; 
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright, 
How would thy shadow's form form happy show 
To the clear day with thy much clearer light, 
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so? 
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made 
By looking on thee in the living day, 
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
   All days are nights to see till I see thee,
   And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me. 

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Our brit trip on Watling way is taking us to Warwickshire, home of a fairly well known playwright - Shakespeare.


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Sunday, October 14, 2018

BW 42: Happy Birthday, P.G. Wodehouse






“What ho!" I said.
"What ho!" said Motty.
"What ho! What ho!"
"What ho! What ho! What ho!"
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.” 
― Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves

This week, we are celebrating the anniversary of the birthday of Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse who was born October 15, 1881 and passed away at the age of 94 on February 14, 1975. He was the author of numerous books, plays, magazine stories, play lyrics and and the creator of Jeeves and Wooster, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner,

Dip into some of his stories online through the Literature Network, find book lists and more at Plumtopia's World of P.G. Rodehouse, and read Paris Review's 1975 interview the Art of Fiction with P.G. Rodehouse, peruse international sites dedicated to Wodehouse in the Netherlands, Russia, Italy and more. Browse Merriam-Webster's Words at Play highlights 9 Words of P.G. Wodehouse, and explore a bit of history with Orwell Foundations In Defence of P.G. Wodehouse.

Rodehouse will be honored with a memorial plaque in Westminster Abbey some time next year. 



Brit Tripping

Watling Way: Worcestershire

J.R.R. Tolkien’s aunt lived in Worcestershire and it likely is the inspiration for The Shire in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Also known for this sauce.

Rabbit trails: Witley Court and Gardens More Sauce! King John Cotswold’s Broadway


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