Sunday, March 7, 2021

BW10: 52 Books Bingo - Cunning Caper

 


Are you in the mood for a sting, a heist, a hold up, perhaps a little breaking and entering and a five fingered discount? Perhaps a cozy mystery that is clever and adventurous, maybe humorous or audacious. Then join me for our next 52 Books Bingo category,  the Cunning Caper.   

There are a number of ways to go with an ensemble cast, a bungling burglar, a devious dog or even a rat, or cat, or two.  Throw in a bank heists, train robberies, book swindling, or perhaps a supernatural, magical or real life event and settle in for the ride.  Oh the drama of it all.  *grin* 

Discovered some inspiration with the 35 most iconic caper movies before you dive into your read.  

Florida Crime Fiction: A Guide to Madness

19 Heist Books That You Won't be Able to Put Down

Johnson County Library's the truth is stranger than fiction with nine real life heists

Genrify's Capers and Heists

Goodreads Listopia:  Speculative Fiction Heist/Caper Stories

Tor's Crimes, Capers, and Gentleman Thieves: 5 Must Read SFF Heist Novels

Read a book with caper, heist, sting, or robbery in the title and Have fun!

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong:

Chapter 13. The Hundred Days

Chapter 14. The Two Prisoners

Chapter 15. Number 34 and Number 27

Share your thoughts and comments on the story so far

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Sunday, February 28, 2021

BW9: Fictional Librarian - The Librarian once known as Dr. Horace Worblehat

Courtesy of Discworld Wiki
 

Goodbye February, it's been fun.  Grab ahold of the rope ladder and climb back aboard the good ship Pumdeg Dau o Lyfrau for our March travels through the parallel universe of  Terry Pratchett's Discworld.  Our guide is our fictional librarian of the month - The Librarian, once known as Dr. Horace Worblehat. He was changed into an orangutan by a beam of magic, decided he liked it and didn't want to be changed back to a human so had his name excised from all records. 

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:


  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title.


 
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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong:


We all got off to a slow start, so I'm throwing in a week to catch up and finish reading through Chapter 12. I'm enjoying the story so far.  The characters are fascinating, the imagery and emotions so vivid.  I'm reading it slowly, absorbing the nuances and tidbits, the  politics, the footnotes to history. The narrator's similes and metaphors add character to the settings.  What do you think about Villefort and his father.? The reasons why Villefort throws Dante in prison? Dante's reaction to Chateau d'IF?  I'm reminded of Sir Walter Scott's quote - "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive."  


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Sunday, February 21, 2021

BW8: Bridge to Nowhere

 

Happy Sunday, my lovelies.  Did you know Monday is Walk your Dog day, National Margarita day, and International Thinking day.  So grab a drink, take a walk with your fur baby, and ponder life, the universe and everything.  And don't forget to buy some Girl Scout Cookies since thinking day was created in 1926 during the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference Plus. And the 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale day so read a fairy tale or make up one of your own.  


Bridge to Nowhere 


On a bridge to Nowhere

To see No One,

Who could be Anyone,

Who has traveled,

Happy and safe,

Everywhere and somewhere.

Music leads Them

From near to far

Across the bridge

to Nowhere.

The sky is full of light

Sparkling and clear.

The air is full of love,

Plenty and dear.

There, They sing

And dance and play,

Making up lines

And have plenty to say.

Past the bridge that Leads 

to Nowhere.

They live to the rhythm

Of bass, cymbals, and drums

And maybe

A horn or flute or two.

Feet stamp, hands clap

And hips sway

To the beat

Of the drum.

Who laughs, What sings

And Baby laughs with joy.

And all the voices ring,


Welcome to Nowhere.


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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong 

You might have noticed I messed up the chapters last week (fixed the count in previous post) and repeated 7 and left out nine. I'm a bit behind myself so no worries and will add in an extra week to catch up if needed. 

X Little Cabinet in the Tuileries
XI The Corsican Ogre
XII Father and Son 

What things stood out in the last chapters read? Share your thoughts on the characters and their actions so far. 

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

BW7: Daughters of Mnemosyne - Erato

Courtesy of Greek Boston

 Happy Valentines Day! We are going to dive into the world of romance literature this week as well as love poetry.  Our next Daughter of Mnemosyne is Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry. Her name means the Lovely One and her symbol is the Kithara and she wears of wreath made from myrtle and roses. 

How do I love thee, let me count the ways!  

Dip your toes into Shakespeare's Sonnets, love poems of Rumi or Pablo Nerudaancient love Poems from Japan by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu to contemporary poetry written by Rupi Kaur

Romance novels come in all shapes and sizes and ratings from G to XXX, from the Victorian to the Contemporary, from the simple boy meets girl, to musically inclined heroes and heroines to those set in a fantasy world to the magical and mythical  to the not so lost in space

Read a book with Erato in the title

Read a book with roses on the cover or in the title.

18 Feel-Good Books That Will Make You Believe In Love

22 Books to Read on Valentine's Day—Before, After, or Instead of a Hot Date

Quiz Yourself on These Romantic Literary Quotes


Share your favorite love poem and have fun exploring rabbit trails. 

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

VII The Interrogation

VIII The Catheau D'If

IX The Evening of the Betrothal


When we practice to deceive... Danglers makes sure Caderousse is drunk enough not to interfere while he entices Fernand by writing a letter and throws it in the corner where he knows Fernand won't be able to resist retrieving and delivering it to the authorities.  Once Caderousse understands what Danglers and Fernand have done, why do you think he agrees to stay quiet?  Do you think Dantes is a bonapartist or innocently delivering a letter because he promised the captain.  Is the scene with Monsieur de Villefort, Marseille's Deputy Crown Prosecutor, a foreshadowing what's to come when Dantes is brought before him. What do you think he'll do?  Share your thoughts and comments about the story so far. 


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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, February 7, 2021

BW6: 52 Books Bingo - Alternate Reality

 

A Universe in Bloom by Kevron2001

I enjoy reading books set in alternative worlds which leads to our next 52 Books Bingo quest - Alternate Reality.  For argument sake, we could debate that any book of fiction is considered not true and based in an alternate reality. A reality not our own.  
However, alternate realities could be viewed as an alternate universe, worlds that may or may not co-exist with our own, perhaps parallel, where the laws of nature or totally different, or encompass the past or the present or the future, in which stories bend or fold around our reality and create or recreate  or toss history on its ear with what if's.   

What do you think the differences are between alternate reality, alternative history, parallel universes, or multiverses? How are they the same? 

Physicist Brian Green Explains Why Parallel Universes May Exist and how quantum mechanics and general relativity play a part.   

SyFy Wire in the Science behind the fiction talks about What's the reality behind multiverses and alternate realities.  

I was surprised to find that the very first science fiction book to delve into alternate realities was written by the Duchess of Newcastle in 1661 - The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish.  Which Sam Leith recommends as one of his top 10 outstanding alternate reality stories

Joanna Kavenna on Five Books, the Best Books on Parallel Worlds, recommends five books she doesn't consider well known.  Athough, I think we all are quite familiar with Philip Dick, Lovecraft, and Borges. 

Philip Dick's Man in the High Castle, which I have on my shelves and have been meaning to read for quite some time, but never quite gotten around to it,  has appeared multiple times during my internet wanderings today, which probably means the universe is telling me to read it now.  *grin* 

An eclectic mix of books to check out: 





Have fun following rabbit trails! 

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Count of Monte Cristo: Realalong 

IV The Plot
V The Betrothal
VI The Deputy Crown Prosecutor 


Did you finish chapters one through three?  My, my. We have an interesting group of characters.  What do you think of Dantes?   Danglars is quite manipulative, isn't he? Why do you think Danglars dislikes Dantes?   What's up with Caderousse taking advantage of the Dante's father while his son was at sea? Does it speak to the type of person he is and what can we expect from him in the coming days?  Does Mercedes think she has Fernand, who she considers to be "her friend, her cousin and her brother" wrapped around her finger and can control him? Dantes immediately sees to the heart of the man and sees an enemy.  Something else to take into account. Do you think their ages affect how they react? Share your thoughts and comments about the story so far. 


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Sunday, January 31, 2021

BW5: Fictional Librarians - Aurora Teagarden

 



Happy February, my lovelies. Continuing our year long celebration of librarians, this month's fictional librarian is Aurora Teagarden. Created by Charlaine Harris,  the cozy mystery series stars Aurora, a small town librarian in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She is involved in the Real Murders society, a group of crime buffs who love to study and discuss historical murders. 

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:

  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title

The series was also adapted into a tv series for Hallmark with Candace Cameron Bure portraying Aurora Teagarden.  Charlaine Harris is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse series and has written other series including Lily Bard Shakespeare, Harper Connelly, Midnight Texas, and her latest Gunnie Rose.  

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Count of Monte Cristo readalong:

  • I Marseille - Arrival
  • II Father and Son 
  • III  The Catalans
Things to think about while reading the story and the first three chapters:  The setting and context of French history and politics when the story begins.  How the setting plays a role in the story. How the narrator's description of events and imagery and references to literature, history, myth, politics, art, and religion. provides foreshadowing and subtext.  Have fun checking out rabbit trails along the way. 


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Sunday, January 24, 2021

BW4: Alexandre Dumas and The Count of Monte Cristo Readalong



“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, 
be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is 
what you do when that storm comes.”
― Alexandre Dumas


Next week we begin our read of the adventure novel  The Count of Monte Cristo written by Alexandre Dumas

Book Synopsis:  "Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration."

Written in serialized format in 1844 -1845, the story is inspired by real life events which took place between 1815-1838 and real life people, among whom is Alexandre's father Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, who was the highest ranking black officer during the Napoleonic wars, and thrown in prison,  along with fellow sailor and scientist Déodat de DolomieuThe story behind the story  is taken from the life of shoemaker Pierre Picaud, who was engaged to a rich woman, and falsely accused by three very jealous friends of spying for England, and is thrown in prison for a period of time, and uses his exploits during and after. 

We're going to take it slowly with plenty of time built in to talk about the story. The Count of Monte Cristo is composed of 117 chapters and we'll read three chapters a week, (approximately thirty pages give or take a few) and get to know the characters, dig into the themes presented, and allow us to explore rabbit trails. The page numbers are based on the Penguin Classics paperback version, translated by Robin Buss.

  

 

Chapters

Pages

 

 

01 – 03

07 - 32

04 – 06

33 - 61

07 – 09

62 - 88

10 – 12

89 -111

13 – 15

112 – 147

16 – 18

148 – 186

19 – 21

187 - 211

22 – 24

212 – 235

25 – 27

236 - 266

28 – 30

267 - 299

31 – 33

300 – 358

34 – 36

359 – 412

37 – 39

413 – 435

40 – 42

456 -484

43 – 45

485 – 524

46 – 48

525 – 557

49 – 51

558 – 581

52 – 54

582 – 620

55 – 57

621 - 652

58 – 60

653 - 677

61 – 63

678 – 704

64 – 66

705 – 732

67 – 69

733 - 760

70 – 72

761 – 773

73 – 75

774 - 820

76 – 78

821 - 860

79 – 80

861 - 895

81 – 83

896 – 931

84 – 86

932 – 962

87 – 89

963 - 986

90 – 92

987 - 1012

93 – 95

1013 – 1039

96 – 98

1040 – 1056

99 – 101

1069 - 1090

102 – 104

1091 - 1115

105 – 107

1116 – 1150

108 – 110

1151 – 1173

111 – 113

1174 – 1206

114 - 116

1207 – 1229

117

1230 – 1243



Alexandre Dumas was a prolific writer and if you've already read The Count of Monte Cristo, and don't want to reread it,  dive in to any one of his stories. If you have a hard time deciding, Molli of Discover Walks Blog suggests 5 Best Books Written by Dumas.   Bill Morris of the Millions explores Seven Reasons Why Alexandre Dumas Will Never Die.   

The story is available to read online through multiple resources including Gutenberg and the Literature Network  as well as in audio format.  


Do you have any preconceived notions about the story?  Have you watched the movie with either Richard Chamberlain or  Jim Caviezel?   

Please join me in reading The Count of Monte Cristo. 

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

BW3: Daughters of Mnemosyne - Kalliope

This week we begin our journey exploring stories and books influenced by the Nine Muses of Greek mythology, the Goddesses of the arts and sciences, who loved to sing and dance.  We'll delve into mythology, fictional retellings of the myths, the science of memory, climb up to the stars, dive into history, delight in comedy, indulge in music, dip your toes in poetry, the complexity of tragedies, and the beauty of ancient love poems. Analyze, question, and explore the symbols of each muse. There are a number of ways we can go with this challenge.  Learn more about the nine muses and follow your imagination. The possibilities are unlimited.  

We start with Kalliope (Calliope) who is the muse of epic hero poetry and eloquence. Her name means beautifully voiced and her symbols are a wax writing tablet and stylus. 


We turn from the antihero of last week to the hero who plays a huge role in epic poetry,  characterized by his superhuman strength and valor.  From Homer's Iliad and Odyssey to Ezra Pound's Canto's there are a wide variety of epic poems to choose from. This year also happens to be the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri and Italy is celebrating the Father of the Italian language 2021 and even Pope Francis hopes Dante's epic Divine Comedy inspires a whole new generation to engage with the poem.

The wax writing tablet was used for writing everything from lists to homework and Ancient Roman Tablets Reveal Voices of the Earliest Londoners.  

Read about The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired

Read a book which includes Calliope , other Greek Mythological Names, nine muses,  or muse in the title or a character in the story.  

Read about a character with a beautiful voice or is a musician

And just for fun  Write A Romance Novel And We'll Tell You Which Greek Muse You Are and share the results. 

Have fun following rabbit trails! 

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

BW2: 52 Books Bingo - Antihero

 



I have anti-heroes on my mind today and have been thinking about the differences between the antihero and the villain, or between the hero and the anti-hero.  My son and I have been watching you-tube videos by Harry Potter Theory about the Harry Potter series and they've posted several videos discussing Severus Snape, which has given me quite a bit of insight about the man. You never quite know whether to trust the man. What are his motives?  Is he good or bad, working for or against Harry?  

Joe Bunting from the Write Practice says:  "Snape, like all Anti-Heroes, represents what society detests: cruelty, cowardice, self-interest, and dishonesty. He is the opposite of the hero, a villain, and yet somehow he’s a villain on the good guys’ side."   

We love to hate them, but then again we have to trust that the good side will outweigh the bad side and they'll redeem themselves in the end. 

Since one of our 52 Books Bingo categories is the Antihero, your mission is to read a book with an antihero. 

Anti-heroes: The good bad boys of literature

Blurring the Lines: What Are Anti-Heroes and Anti-Villains?

Modern Literature's Greatest Anti Heroes And Unreliable Narrators

10 Literary Anti-Heroines That Make Their Male Counterparts Look Conventional

Best Anti-Hero Fantasy Books

The 20 Best Anti-Hero Books Ever Written

The Top 10 Fictional Antiheroes


Who is your favorite anti hero? 

Thanks to the theory videos, I'll be looking at Snape in a whole new light while rereading Harry Potter. 

Happy Reading! 

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Friday, January 1, 2021

 WELCOME to the 2021 

READ 52 BOOKS IN 52 WEEKS 


Also home to 


Well Educated Mind, Agatha Christie, Mind Voyages, 

Sounds of Silence, Brit Trip perpetual challenges 

as well as our annual challenges 

52 Books Bingo, Fictional Librarians Bookology, and Daughters of Mnemosyne 


  • The rules are very simple 
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 
  • Our book weeks begin on Sunday
  • Week one begins on Friday, January 1st and run through January 9th
  • 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, 2021
  • 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
  • If you don't have a blog or any social media account, 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. The link widget closes at the end of each book week

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



**in reference to children books. If a child is reading the book 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 over 100 pages. If you are an adult reading for your own enjoyment, a good rule of thumb to use:  "is there some complexity to the story or is it too simple?" If it's too simple, then it doesn't count.

BW1: Welcome to our Infinite Sky Reading Adventure



“Smell the sea and feel the sky, Let your soul and spirit fly.” – Van Morrison


Happy New Year, my lovelies!  I'm excited this year since our armchair travels are taking us around, over, and across the world again as we fly above the seven seas, through clear blue skies on the good ship Pumdeg Dau o Lyfrau airship, for another round of read 52 books in 52 weeks.  We'll be taking advantage of Hermione Granger's Time Turner,  Well's Time machine as well as Doctor Who's Tardis, all without upsetting the space time continuum of course, in our travels to go hither, thither, and yon.  

The goal is simple. Read 52 books and how you get there is entirely up to you. You can even set your own goal if you like. Read what you want, explore and dive into those longer books, engage your mind and soul and don't worry. Do your best, challenge yourself and you may be surprised to discover how many books you end up reading.

Our Fictional Librarians as well as the Daughters of Mnemosyne will be our guides this year, mixing fact and fiction, the old with the new, the magical with the technological, and the arts with the sciences.  If you are joining us for the first time, we have a number of challenges to entice you, including 52 Books Bingo with 20 bonus squares and side trips roaming the old Roman roads of England, exploring the Nobel prize winners of Literature, diving into the greats with Susan Wise Bauer's Well Educated Mind, or take a Mind Voyage through fantasy and science Fiction.  Plus the Dame Agatha Christie would like your assistance in solving a murder or two.  

All our annual and perpetual challenges as well as weekly or seasonal mini challenges are optional and meant to tickle your reading taste buds. Which generally results in having fun, getting lost (in a good way) following rabbit trails and an ever expanding list of books to read.  

We're going to dive right in and begin our adventure with Librarian Madam Irma Pince who will help you jump into the magical world of  Harry Potter, created by J.K. Rowling.

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:

  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title

Our first book week will run through Saturday, January 9th.  

Grab your backpacks, scarves and goggles, a good pair of walking shoes and climb aboard and settle in for the ride. Please share your reading plans for 2021 and/or your reading wrap up for 2020 or tell us the books you are currently reading.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing our reading journey!  

 ~Cheers to a wonderful new reading year!

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.