Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Welcome to the 2020 

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks 

Challenge




Also home to 

Well Educated Mind, Agatha Christie, Mind Voyages, 
Sounds of Silence, Brit Trip perpetual challenges 
as well as 52 Books Bingo and Ladies of Fiction Bookology 





The rules are very simple 


  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 
  • Our book weeks will begin on Sunday
  • Week one will begin on Wednesday, January 1 and run through January 11. 
  • 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, 2020
  • 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.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

BW21: Lamplight by May Wedderburn Cannan




Lamplight 

by

Source: Penguin Book of First World War Poetry




We planned to shake the world together, you and I
Being young and very wise;
Now in the light of the green shaded lamp
Almost I see your eyes
Light with the old gay laughter; you and I 
Dreamed greatly of an Empire in those days,
Setting our feet upon laborious ways,
And all you asked of fame
Was crossed swords in the Army List.

We planned a great Empire together, you and I,
Bound only by the sea;
Now in the quiet of a chill Winter's night
Your voice comes hushed to me
Full of forgotten memories; you and I
Dreamed great dreams of our future in those days,
And all I asked of fame
A scarlet cross on my breast, my Dear,
for the swords by your name.

We shall never shake the world together, you and I,
For you gave your life away;
and I think my heart was broken by the war,
Since on a Summer day
You took the road we never spoke of, you and I
Dreamed greatly of an Empire in those days;
You set your feet upon the Western ways
And have no need of fame ---
There's a scarlet cross on my breast, my Dear,
And a torn cross with your name. 

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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.



Sunday, May 17, 2020

BW20: 52 Books Bingo - Renaissance




Our next 52 Books Bingo category is taking us back in time to the Renaissance which took place between the 14th to 17th centuries and began in Italy with a humanism revolution bringing changes to art, literature, music, philosophy, religion and more.

Famous writers during that period includes William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, Niccolo Machiavelli, Francesco Petrarch, Dante Alighieri, and Geoffrey Chaucer to name a few.  Now would be a perfect time to continue my Dante's Divine Comedy read as I still haven't read Purgatorio yet and it's been glaring at me from my shelves. *grin*



Let's not forget the ladies with Shakespeare’s Sisters: A Celebration of Renaissance Women Writers

Renaissance writers who shaped the modern world

Biographies and history books on the Renaissance

Reading the Renaissance: the guilty pleasures of historical fiction

Sarah Dunant's top 10 books on the Renaissance

Popular 14th Century Novels, 15th Century, and 16th Century and popular Renaissance books.

While we are time traveling, try moving forward in time to the 1920's and the Renaissance Women: 12 Female Writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

I currently have several Renaissance books in my shelves including Dante's Purgatorio, Machiavelli's The Prince as well as historical fiction authors Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts as well as Stephanie Storey's Oil and Marble in my book shelves which I'm looking forward to reading soon.

Have fun armchair traveling through the Renaissance.


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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.


Sunday, May 10, 2020

BW19: Happy Mother's Day



Willow Tree - Tenderness


“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and 
sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity;
when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, 
still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts 
and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and 
cause peace to return to our hearts.” ― Washington Irving

This week is dedicated to all mom's everywhere including our angel moms. She who goes by many names including ma, mama, mum, mother, mumsy, mamman, mutter, mathair, mor, madra, majka, maji, mater and my favorite, she who rules the roost. Yes I made that last one up but it's true isn't it! My mother ruled the roost with love and schedules when I was growing up, keeping me and my four siblings in line. Which is probably why we are all so organized to this day with our day planners and white boards and charts. *grin*

Your mission this week is to read a book about moms or with mom characters or with mother in the title. Or spell out mother or ma or use one of the many variations, reading one book per letter in the title.

19 Badass Literary Moms Who Need To Be Celebrated





Who is your favorite literary mom? Two of my favorite moms are Molly Weasley from Harry Potter and Charlotte Mira in J.D. Robb's In Death series who later in the series becomes like a surrogate mom to Eve. So very sweet yet tough.

Happy Mother's Day, my lovelies. 

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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.



Sunday, May 3, 2020

BW18: Ladies of Fiction - Sharon Kay Penman



Welcome to May which is officially May Mystery Month as well as National Commitment Month which means it's time to reassess all those goals we made at the beginning of the year. Coincidently it is also Date Your Mate month. There are many fun things happening this week such as Bird day, plus May the Fourth be with you and a day long marathon of Star Wars. It's time to party on the 5th with Cinco de Mayo, then celebrate all our wonderful health care folks with National Nurses day on the 6th. National Tourism day on the 7th means lots of armchair traveling before No Socks Day on the 8th so you can play footsies with your significant other. Did anyone lose a sock? The 9th is Lost Sock Memorial day which gives you time to find the matches or discard those lonely unmatched socks. 

This month we celebrate our Ladies of Fiction with Sharon Kay Penman who has written multiple historical fiction novels including the Welsh Trilogy set in 13th Wales, and Angevin Novels set during the time of the Plantagenet Kings, as well as a historical mystery series Justin De Quincy set during the 12th century. Her newest novel The Land Beyond The Sea is also set in the 12th century and surrounds the the reign of King Baldwin IV, the King of Jerusalem.



I'm not a big fan of dry history books so am really picky about historical fiction. I fell in love with Penman's writing years ago with Here Be Dragons. Her books are meant to be savored and read slowly as they are rich in detail and imagery and makes history come alive. After I finished the Welsh trilogy, I wanted to read When Christ and Her Saints Slept which has been on my shelves forever but just hadn't gotten around to it. Now is the perfect time to dive into the world of the Plantagenets.

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

  • Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
  • Read one or more books written by the author.
  • Read a book written in the country or time period of the author or novel.

Learn more about Sharon through an interview with the Literary Librarian, the Historical Novel Society, and Goodreads Ask the Author.

Happy reading! 

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

BW17: Notes on the Art of Poetry


As we wind up April and National Poetry Month, I'll leave you with a couple more tidbits.


Notes on the Art of Poetry


I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.


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Book Lover


I keep collecting books I know
I'll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never head.
"Please make me," says some wistful tome,
"A wee bit of yourself."
And so I take my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?"
"some day," I say, "I will."
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distrest that I
Am such a busy man.

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;
To savour Swift I'll never learn,
Montaigne I may not know.
On Bacon I will never sup,
For Shakespeare I've no time;
Because I'm busy making up
These jingly bits of rhyme.

Chekov is caviare to me,
While Stendhal makes me snore;
Poor Proust is not my cup of tea,
And Balzac is a bore.
I have their books, I love their names,
And yet alas! they head,
With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James,
My Roster of Unread.

I think it would be very well
If I commit a crime,
And get put in a prison cell
And not allowed to rhyme;
Yet given all these worthy books
According to my need,
I now caress with loving looks,
But never, never read.

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

BW16: Bookish Potpourri





Hello my lovelies. Did you know today is World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day? How about just a plain old planting day. When I met my husband 28 years ago, he had two huge Hawaiian Schefflera plants growing in his shop and by the time we moved the business last October to our new building, it was still alive (barely) root bound, a messy clump of limbs and leaves, with its fair share of aphids, that none of us wanted to move. He saved a clipping and low and behold, roots began to grow and the plant lives on. I think it's time to repot, dontcha think?



Ramadan is coming up on the 20th and April 22nd is Earth Day and Arbor Day on the 24th. I think I jumped the gun on National Zucchini Bread day on April 25th because I baked a couple loaves of zucchini bread this past week of which we have devoured one loaf and the other is in the freezer for later. 




So get to planting and cooking while listening to some great audiobooks or bookish podcasts.

Also consider reading a book which was written 50 years ago in 1970, 75 years ago in 1945, or maybe a 100 years ago in 1920, plus learn about 30 Newsworthy Anniversaries in April 2020.

Cuddle Up With the 25 Best New Books Coming Out in April 2020

We have several anniversaries of well known authors birthdays this week including William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Henry Fielding, Halldor Laxness, Dame Edith Ngaio Marsh, Daniel Defoe, and Anthony Trollope to name a few.



It's National Library Week and many libraries are providing online services.

Please also support your independent bookshops and help them stay afloat.


Don't forget it is still National Poetry Month. Bustle provides an interesting list of reads, and poets are taking open mic nights and readings online during April. Plus learn to write your own poems as well.


HOPE WAITS

I'm here, she says
Lean on me. Wait, don't go.
I have much to teach,
We have far to row.

I'll do my best for tomorrow
There is hope in my sorrow
We look, we listen, we wait.
We do our best to bear the hands of fate.

We are saved. I am here.
No more pain, no more fear.
Yes, I'll wait.

Stand tall, it's not too late. 

Hope waits, hope gives,
Sorrow passes, hope lives. 
Don't worry, don't hate
Sorrow walks alone through the gate.

Remember, no matter what
The door will not shut.
Nothing is beyond my reach. 
I have much to teach. 

Don't worry yourself so.
Save the tears for tomorrow.
Hope tells the tale, 
blessings prevail.
Hope waits.


Blessings and good thoughts winging your way for a bright tomorrow! 

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

BW15: 52 Books Bingo - Transformative and Mysterious

Butterfly from adult coloring book


Happy Easter to all who celebrate. I have to admit we are all experiencing a time in which the people of the world are in the midst of a huge change. At the end of this pandemic we will all come out the other side, transformed, changed for the better I hope. We have more time to look inside ourselves and think about the who and the what and the why. We are in the midst of the mysterious and the transformative which are two of our 52 books bingo categories. Apropos, huh? From the serious to the humorous to the quirky to the scientific to the religious, there are a number of ways to go. You can go with the literal, symbolic, synonyms, or something inferred.

Transformative: That causes transformation.  To change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose; to change in condition, nature, or character; convert; to change into another substance; transmute.

Literature in and of itself is transformative.

Transformative books - literature to change your lives

8 Transformative Philosophy Books That Will Change How You Think

17 of the Best Christian Books that will leave you inspired



Mysterious:  F
ull of, characterized by, or involving mystery; implying or suggesting a mystery;  of obscure nature, meaning, origin, etc.; puzzling; inexplicable.



“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
 It is the life of all art and science.” ~ Albert Einstein


Have fun following rabbit trails!



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Sunday, April 5, 2020

BW14: Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring





This week we start our read of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

"In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose."

Take your time. Read it fast or slow, by yourself or aloud with your family. We have the whole quarter, April through June to read it.

Redditor Finds Rare 1st Edition Copy of The Fellowship of The Ring…in a Doritos Box

Owlcations discussion questions and perhaps try out the scone recipe.

Consider watching the movie or if you've already seen it, rewatch it with an eye to the differences with the book.

Gorge of the Rings: Eat your way through the book or movies.

George R.R. Martin talks about Lord of the Rings

Youtube audiobook narrated by Steven Garnett or listen to Audible's Rob Inglis

Happy Reading!

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

BW13: Ladies of Fiction - Elizabeth Hunter



Welcome to April and National Poetry MonthNational Humor Month, International Guitar Month, and as well as Stress Awareness Month and Lawn and Garden Month.  What a great combination!  The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day so grab your walking shoes and enjoy some fresh air.  Reading, music, humor, poetry, walking and gardening will help relax you mind, body, and soul. 

This month we celebrate our Ladies of Fiction with novelist Elizabeth Hunter who has written over 30 romance, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal mystery novels.   She resides in California and traveled extensively, researching world mythologies, history and the bonds of friendship, love, and family.  I discovered Hunter's books a few years ago when I read The Scribe in her Irin Chronicles series and was hooked.  I also have the Elemental Mysteries series as well as a couple books from the Elemental world books in my virtual stacks. I'm looking forward to reading her newest book, Suddenly Psychic, released February 16, 2020 and available on Kindle Unlimited.

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
Read one or more books written by the author.
Read a book written in the country or time period of the author.

Learn more about Elizabeth through interviews with She Wolf Reads, with Susan Illene of Dark Fantasy, and Book Reader Chronicles.

We are also beginning our readalong of  J.R.R. Tolkein's Fellowship of the Rings for this quarter and I'll post more about it next week. 

Stay safe, be well, and happy reading!


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Sunday, March 22, 2020

BW12: Happy Birthday Billy Collins







Marginalia
by



Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
'Nonsense.' 'Please! ' 'HA! ! ' -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why wrote 'Don't be a ninny'
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.


Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls 'Metaphor' next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of 'Irony'
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
'Absolutely,' they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
'Yes.' 'Bull's-eye.' 'My man! '
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written 'Man vs. Nature'
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird signing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
'Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.'

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

BW11: March Equinox





Welcome to my virtual parlor, dear hearts.  How is everyone doing?  We operate an audio repair shop which is constantly busy and we've been hearing all kinds of stories from our customers. A musician today said he's torn about whether he should cancel his latest gig or not as music brings happiness and keeps people from getting depressed. As it is a small venue, he says the people can practice social distancing.  

As Plato said: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”  

The same can be said about books too!  So this week we are celebrating the vernal equinox,  here in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.  Nature is in a state of glorious metamorphosis, a transition. 

While we all hibernate as best we can, your mission this week is to read a book about things to do with nature, both physical and spiritual, seasons, spring or autumn, or transitions and all the wonderful synonyms that go along such as upheaval, growth, conversions, flux, etc.   You may also consider reading a book with Spring or Autumn in the title or spelling out the word Spring and/or Autumn.

Spring reading: 10 book being adapted for tv/film.

44 Books To Read Over Spring Break If Your Travel Plans Are Canceled

100 must read books about nature.

Popular Nature Spirituality Books

Autumn reads

Authors with seasons in their names

Stay safe, be well and have fun following rabbit trails! 


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