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, August 12, 2018

BW33: Hugo Gernsback



This week, we are celebrating the anniversary of the birthday of Hugo Gernsback who was born August 16, 1884. 

Hugo Gernsbacher was born in Luxembourg and immigrated to the United States in 1904.  He was fascinated by electricity and invented a dry battery which he patented upon arriving in the United States.   He established a radio and electrical supply house called Electro Importing Company and developed a small portable radio transmitter called the Telimco Wireless Telegraph.    He went on to patent 80 inventions.

Gernsback  published a magazine for electrical experimenters called Modern Electronics which was later taken over by Popular Science.   To fill up some empty space in the magazine, he decided to write a futuristic story which ran in 12 installments. The story named Ralph 124C 41+ was later published in 1926. It was set in the 27th century and is still available today.  

He started a number of magazines including the first magazine dedicated exclusively to science fiction called  Amazing Stories in 1926.  Hugo coined the term scientifiction which later went on to be known as Science Fiction.

He unfortunately went bankrupt and lost control of Amazing Stories. He quickly bounced back and went on to publish three more magazines:  Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Quarterly.  Air Wonder and Science Wonder were merged into one magazine Wonder stories in 1930 and sold it in 1936 to Beacon Publications where it continued to be published for 20 more years.  Digital copies of Amazing Stories, Air Wonder, Science Wonder, and Wonder magazines are available to view through the Pulp Magazines Project. 

Gernsback is lauded as one of the fathers of science fiction. In 1960 he was given a special Hugo Award as The Father of Magazine Science FictionThe award were unofficially called the Hugo's until the name was officially changed beginning in 1993. 

Hugo Gernsback died in New York on August 19, 1967 at the age 83.  


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Our Brit Trip is continuing in Lincolnshire. Sir Issac Newton was born and educated in Lincolnshire at Woolsthorpe Manor.  Rabbit trails: Harlaxton Manor/College

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Link to your reviews. 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. If you don't have a blog, leave a message in the comments about your reads.   


Sunday, August 5, 2018

BW32: Blind date with a book



Happy Sunday!   This month we are going on a blind date with a book.  Your mission is to go on an adventure to the library or book store in search of a new book.    You may also use the internet by doing a google image search for  book covers.   Or play along using your home shelves if short of funds or time.

At the book store, pick a random book based on its position on the shelf.  To choose a book: decide in advance  (1) Genre, (2)  two number between 1 and 5, and (3) one number between 1 and 30. Using these numbers, find the chosen Genre in the book store or library, count over certain number of sections in the aisle, go down that number of shelves and count to the 3rd number and that's the book you'll get.  I'll be going to Barnes and Noble sometime this week and will let you know what I find.

I did a random search on google and these books attracted my attention: 








Spread your reading wings a bit and chose a genre you don't normally read. 


Our Brit Trip is taking us to Derbyshire this week: Derbyshire is primarily a rural county that boasts being the location of many pop culture references including – the home of Pemberly, the location for Georgette Heyer’s novel The Toll-Gate, and the filming location of The Princess Bride.




Have fun exploring!


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Link to your reviews. 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. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.  


Sunday, July 29, 2018

BW31: August trek around the Middle East

Courtesy of Kidspast World History


Time to say goodbye to July as we descend from the Alps for an August Trek around the Middle East.  We are going to wander through the fertile crescent which curves through the Middle East from the Persian Gulf, through southern Iraq, encompasses ancient Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and continues through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, to the Nile River in Southern Egypt

We are going to follow in the literary footsteps of two Egyptian authors:  Naguib Mahfouz who won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1988 as well as writer Nawal El Saadawithe voice of Egyptian feminism.  

From the ancients to the present, there are plenty of literary rabbit trails to explore from Off the Shelf's Six Novels, No Packing,  Goodread's Popular Middle East Fiction and Nonfiction, to ThoughtCo's 10 Indispensable Books on the Middle East

Our Blossom Bookology flower of the month is Jasmine which the people of Syria consider their national flower.  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.

Our Brit Trip is taking us to Leicestershire this week.  Leicestershire holds an interesting spot as being the origins of things we think of as classically English– fox hunting, Taylor’s Bell Foundry, stilton and red Leicester cheese, and pork pies. It is also where King Richard III met his Bosworth.


Have fun exploring!  

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Link to your reviews. 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. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.  








Sunday, July 22, 2018

BW30: Bookish Birthdays and News




It's time for another round of bookish birthdays and interesting book news!

The 32nd winner of the Arthur C Clarke Science Fiction award is  Anne Charnock for her novel Dreams Before the Start of Time. 

Check out the next generation of Instant Pot Cookbooks.

The Man Booker Prize just celebrated its 50th anniversary and awarded the Golden Man Booker Prize to Michael Ondaatje for The English Patient. 

Barnes and Noble's reads present 10 Books That Will Make You Smarter in Every Way

Debbie Macomber, one of my favorite authors, shares her summer reading list. 

The Conversation's Playing Detective with Canada's Female Literary Past.




Author Birthdays 

July 22 -  Emma Lazarus, whose poetry is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:


The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


July 23 - Mystery Writer Raymond Chandler and literary novelist John Nichols .

July 24 - French author Alexander Dumas and Danish Author Henrik Pontoppidan who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917.

July 25 -  American novelist Robyn Carr and  Bulgarian Elias Canetti who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.

July 26 -  Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 as well as English writer Aldous Huxley

July 27 - Italian Poet Giosuè Carducci who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1906 as well as Anglo-French poet Hilaire Belloc.

July 28 - English writer Beatrix Potter  and victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins


Our Brit Trip is taking us to Gloucestershire this week:  

Gloucestershire is the picturesque home to the Cotswold towns and villages. The area is also the country residence of Princes Charles at Highgrove.


Have fun following rabbit trails this week! 

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 Link to your reviews. 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. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.  



Sunday, July 15, 2018

BW29: Sonnet by Alice Moore Dunbar Nelson

Courtesy of Blackpast.org



Sonnet

by

July 19, 1875 - September 18, 1935


I had not thought of violets late,
The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet
In wistful April days, when lovers mate
And wander through the fields in raptures sweet.
The thought of violets meant florists' shops,
And bows and pins, and perfumed papers fine;
And garish lights, and mincing little fops
And cabarets and soaps, and deadening wines.
So far from sweet real things my thoughts had strayed,
I had forgot wide fields; and clear brown streams;
The perfect loveliness that God has made,—
Wild violets shy and Heaven-mounting dreams.
And now—unwittingly, you've made me dream
Of violets, and my soul's forgotten gleam.


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This week our Brit Trip is taking us for second visit to Dorset.  During WWII its location allowed it to be involved in the preparations for the Normandy Beach invasion.

Rabbit trails: Exercise Tiger


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Link to your reviews. 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. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.  



Sunday, July 8, 2018

BW28: 52 Books Bingo - Cartography

Courtesy of World Atlas 


Explorin' we shall go!  One of our 52 Books Bingo categories is Cartography which is the art and science of map-making.  Read a book about maps or map-making, written by or about cartographers, historical, present and literary cartography as well as fictional maps.  Books I have enjoyed in the past are:




"The Island of Lost Maps tells the story of a curious crime spree: the theft of scores of valuable centuries-old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada. The perpetrator was Gilbert Joseph Bland, Jr., an enigmatic antiques dealer from South Florida, whose cross-country slash-and-dash operation had gone virtually undetected until he was caught in 1995–and was unmasked as the most prolific American map thief in history. As Miles Harvey unravels the mystery of Bland’s life, he maps out the world of cartography and cartographic crime, weaving together a fascinating story of exploration, craftsmanship, villainy, and the lure of the unknown."



"Maps of the Imagination takes us on a magic carpet ride over terrain both familiar and exotic. Using the map as a metaphor, fiction writer Peter Turchi considers writing as a combination of exploration and presentation, all the while serving as an erudite and charming guide. He compares the way a writer leads a reader though the imaginary world of a story, novel, or poem to the way a mapmaker charts the physical world. "To ask for a map," says Turchi, "is to say, ‘Tell me a story.’ "    With intelligence and wit, the author looks at how mapmakers and writers deal with blank space and the blank page; the conventions they use or consciously disregard; the role of geometry in maps and the parallel role of form in writing; how both maps and writing serve to re-create an individual’s view of the world; and the artist’s delicate balance of intuition with intention.A unique combination of history, critical cartography, personal essay, and practical guide to writing, Maps of the Imagination is a book for writers, for readers, and for anyone interested in creativity. Colorful illustrations and Turchi’s insightful observations make his book both beautiful and a joy to read."


as well as playing with 




"Travel through the exciting world of cartography with Map Art Lab. This fun and creative book features 52 map-related activities set into weekly exercises, beginning with legends and lines, moving through types and styles, and then creating personalized maps that allow you to journey to new worlds. Authors Jill K. Berry and Linden McNeilly guide readers through useful concepts while exploring colorful, eye-catching graphics. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on creative experiences. Map Art Lab is the perfect book for map lovers, creative/DIY-inspired, designers. Artists of all ages and experience levels can use this book to explore enjoyable and engaging exercises. Everyone loves maps. And what's not to love? They are beautiful and fascinating, they teach you things, they show you where you are, places you long to go, and places you dare to imagine."


Check out Goodread's list of Cartography books and have fun following maps of thought.  


Plus our Brit Trip is taking us down Fosse Way to Devon:  Devon has the special distinction of being the birthplace of two English greats – Agatha Christie and Devonshire cream tea.




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Sunday, July 1, 2018

BW27: July Quest Across the Alps

Courtesy of Geographical 

Grab your backpacks and your hiking boots and get ready to go mountaineering, armchair style, for our July Quest Across the Alps. We are headed to the Alpine region of Europe which runs through 8 countries:  Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Whether you choose to take a guided or self guided tour through the region, go on a video quest for Alpine literature with Valere Staraselski, Ales Steger, Helena Janeczek, and Bernhard Aichner.  Learn more with Literature of the Alpines, Eight books inspired by chilly Switzerland,  Rick Steves Recommended Books and Movies of Switzerland and Austria, and NPR's This Trip Through the Alps is a Little Bumpy.  Also travel in the footsteps of our author choices of the month with Umberto Eco and Simonetta Agnello Hornby.  


Our Blossom Bookology flower of the month is Edelweiss which is the national flower of Austria  and a national symbol for Switzerland of rugged purity. 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.


Our Brit Trip is taking us to Fosse Way where we start in Cornwall.  Located in the southwest corner of England it is surrounded by beaches and is one of the sunniest locations in England. Not surprisingly it also has a higher than average percentage of retired people as its population. It is also the setting of the English fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer.



Whether you are traipsing through the mountains or strolling the beaches, remember to stop and smell the flowers as we welcome in July and another new armchair travel adventure. 




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Sunday, June 24, 2018

BW26: Halfway Down

Artist Ernest Shepard - Halfway Down




Halfway Down



By 


A. A. Milne




Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn't any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I'm not at the bottom,
I'm not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up
And it isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
It isn't in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn't really
Anywhere!
It's somewhere else
Instead!


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Sunday, June 17, 2018

BW25: June Solstice




Happy Father's day to all our dads. The June Solstice is upon us as of the 21st and we are celebrating the beginning of Summer or Winter depending on your location.  

What do you look forward to doing during summertime or wintertime?  Summer makes me think of lazing about by the pool or a beach or maybe hanging out on the patio.  Perhaps imbibing in a cocktail or a cold glass of ice tea.  During Wintertime - bundling up, brisk walks, sports, roasting coffee beans and fireplaces.  And of course, reading:  I'm in the mood to revisit some old friends, learn something new, do a bit of armchair traveling,  maybe experiment with new recipes, and follow a few rabbit trails. 

Read a book set on a beach such as Roxanne St. Claire's Barefoot Bay series or with a beach on the cover.  Better yet, read a book set on an island for 52 Books bingo.   Cozy up for some wintertime reads, put on your snowshoes for a trip through the Arctic, or pretend to go skiing.  

Read a book with summer in the title such as Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer or Ben Aaronvitch's Foxglove Summer  or winter in the title such as Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale or Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler

Whip up a summer or winter cocktail and learn about mixology, discover a new to you recipe, or get ready and fire up your grill.  Discover the delights in roasting your own coffee or becoming a tea aficionado

Put on your garden gloves and get ready to dig in the dirt with The 10 Books Every Gardener Should Read or The Best Vegetable Gardening Books.  


Our Brit Trip armchair travels are taking us to Suffolk this week. Suffolk has been the home to many noted British artists and composers – Thomas GainsboroughJohn Constable, and Benjamin Britten.




Join me in a bit of Summer and/or Wintertime reading fun! 

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

BW24: 52 Books Bingo - exploring the 17th Century



One of our 52 Book's Bingo categories is the 17th Century. You may read a book written by an author or about the era or in which the story took place in the 17th Century. 

Dive into 17th Century Belguim, the Dutch Golden Age or Luxembourg,  or take a look at Stuff You Missed in History Class as well as go back in time to England. 

The 17th Century began with the Jacobean era in England and led into the Caroline,  Interregnum, and Restoration periods.  We had the emergence of John Milton, John Dryen, and John Bunyan as well as Daniel Defoe plus metaphysical poets such as Englishmen John Donne, John Cleveland,  Andrew Marvel, and Abraham Crowley.  The female writers of the time were Anne BradstreetAphra Behn,  Lady Mary Wortley MontaguMary Astell,  and  Madame de La Fayette.


Our Brit Trip is taking us to Essex this week, so dip into Wellcome Library's Local History: East Anglia and Essex for local family and individuals to read about.  Also check out Goodread's Essex, England,  Essex Life's Literary Inspirations and the Author who put Colchester on the Crime Writing Map.


Essex is located between London and the North Sea and when it united with the other Anglian and Saxon Kingdoms it created the single country that is now England. It is home to the oldest recorded town in England, Colchester (Camulodunum).


Rabbit trails: Hedingham Castle  Audley End House  Hylands House  Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall

Have fun armchair traveling as you travel through the 17th Century or following rabbit trails on the Rebels bus or exploring Essex on the Detective Bus.



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Sunday, June 3, 2018

BW23: June sojourn by bike and barge



Purple Tulip by Ozugun 


Welcome to our June sojourn by bike and barge through the western Europe's low countries of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.  We are going to take our time and explore literary landmarks in Amsterdam, literary treasures in Belgium, and the voices and literature of writers in Luxembourg.  Plus cycle in the footsteps of Georges Simenon's fictional detective Jules Maigret and look into the heads of characters with Renate Dorrestein who recently passed away on May 4th.

We missed the beginning of the 49th Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam. However, we'll begin our literary adventures in Trompenburg Gardens for the last day listening to the poetry of Joost Baars and more.  Jump on your bike and check out  Expatica's Guide to Dutch Literature, Owlcation's Belgian Literature: Some Classic Authors and Works You Might Wish to Know, Literary Institutions of Luxembourg, as well as Goodread's Best Dutch LiteraturePopular Belgian authors, and Around the World in 80 Day's Books set in Luxembourg discussion.  

Our Blossom Bookology flower of the month are Tulips which are the national flower of the Netherlands. 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.

Our Brit Trip on  Ichnield Way is taking us to Hertfordshire.  Some fun literary tie-ins to Hertforshire include: Pride and Prejudice, Howards End, and Animal Farm.  

Not Hertfordshire specific but an interesting article on famous houses inspiring literary works. 

Have fun armchair traveling and following rabbit trails as you travel through the low  countries on the Rebels bus or Hertfordshire if you are on the Detective Bus.

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Link to your reviews. 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. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.