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, April 15, 2018

BW16: Red Shoe

Red Shoes by Lael Weyenberg



It's time for a mini challenge and an opportunity to complete the Red Shoe on the Cover category for 52 Books bingo.  Read a book with an image of a red shoe or a pair of red shoes on the cover or with Red Shoe in the title.  You can also mix it up a bit by exploring books with shoes in different shades of red as well. 
































Courtesy of Jennifer Weiner

Check out Goodread's selection of Red Shoes as well as Books with one shoe on the cover,   Find out more about the history of red shoes through Australian Ballet's Why So Fascinating, Sassy Bella's The Scarlet Heel, and Tales of Faerie's Red Shoes in fairy tales and history


For our Brit Trippers, trip on down to Tyne and Wear which is located on the Tyne River and on the North Sea making it historically a large center of shipbuilding for centuries.

Rabbit trails: Souter Lighthouse

*******************************************
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, April 8, 2018

BW15: National Poetry Month goes international.

Courtesy of Poets.org


In April 1996 the National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets for the purpose of introducing more people to the pleasures of reading poetry and to appreciate the achievements of American poets.  This year's celebration include the Dear Poet project and invites students to watch the chancellors read a poem, then write a letter in response.  The poster was created by graphic designer Paula Scher.  It celebrates typography and is concrete poetry and evokes Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

Included in the list of 30 ways to celebrate are

·         Buy a book of poetry 
·         Attend a poetry reading
·         reading Edward Hirsch’s essay “How to Read a Poem.
·         Read Allen Ginsberg’s classic essay about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” 
·         Recreate a poet’s favorite food or drink by following his or her recipe.
·         Watch or read Carolyn Forche’s talk “Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness.”
·         Read or listen to Mark Doty’s talk “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now.”
·         Write a poem of your own. 


Poetry is a way of celebrating and/or processing emotions: from the happy - full of laughter, to the sad - filled with angst, to the mad - fit to burst.  Npr's 2018 Poetry review runs the gamut of emotions with their selection of powerful books of poetry with The Personal is Always Political.  

According to Bustle, these are the 18 poets you need to read in 2018

Take a peek at the poets involved in Versefest 2018,  Ottawa’s annual International Festival of Poetry, which took place a couple weeks ago.  

We mustn't forget to celebrate English Poets and Poetry as well as other international poets including Icelandic poets such as Vatnsenda-Rósa,  Magnús Sigurðsson or  Gyrðir Elíasson, or  Gerður Kristný.  Don't forget to check out Hello Poetry's selection of Icelandic Poems.

Want to try your hand at translating a poem? Participate (online or personally) in the the poetry translation project - In Other Words - at the 49th Poetry International Festival taking place in Rotterdam on May 29th through June 3rd.

Celebrate poetry with me this month and read a poem or book of poems or read about the life of a poet. Try your hand at writing a poem and try different forms  including  haiku, free verse, sonnet or verse.





Blank 

What do you see,
When you draw a blank?
Letters, foggy and fuzzy
 Roam and flee.

Words, simple.
Yet not.

Like butterflies waiting to land.
Do you catch them or wait?
They sit on the tip of your tongue.
On the back of your hand.

Rhythm and rhyme,
Let it be.
Make you see.
Take your time.

Words, simple.
Yet not.

Pens bleed
Across the page.
Strokes and symbols
Take on need.

Blank and blind
Thoughts and letters,
Illuminate and illustrate
What comes to mind.

Words, simple.
Yet not.


~by Robin M~

**********************************************************
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, April 1, 2018

BW14: April backpacking coast to coast

Courtesy of Flowers Around The World 


We bid goodbye to March and Ireland as we begin April Backpacking Coast to Coast in Iceland with a grand  Góðan daginn.   We are going to follow in the tracks of our authors of the month - Arnaldur Indriðason and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir - as well as learn about Iceland's bookish history.  Plus spend some time exploring Reykjavik’s bookstores and the National and University Library of Iceland.   Watch and listen to what writers Sjon and Magnason have to say on how Iceland inspires their creativity

Check out the long list of nominees for the International Dublin Literary Award 2018 as the shortlist will be released on April 4th.  Icelandic Literature Center's From Sagas to Novels talks about how authors have made the world their subject. Get ready for your armchair travels with  What to read before going to Icelandbooks set in Iceland as well as Goodread's long list of Popular Icelandic Authors

Our flower of the month is part of the Rosaceae family - the Mountain Aven -  which is Iceland's national flower.  Also called the Dryas octopetala.  In Icelandic, the name of this species is both Holtasóley and Hárbrúða.  For this month's Blossom Bookology challenge, you need only spell out AVEN.  If you wish to challenge yourself, you may choose to spell out any of the related words.  

For our Brit Trippers, the next leg of our trip runs along Dere Street starting in North Yorkshire. Dere Street runs north towards Scotland and the Romans used it as a travel route for their legions stationed on the borderlands and on Hadrian’s Wall. Lots of things to explore in Yorkshire from the beautiful scenery to animals and authors including James Herriot.




Have fun following armchair traveling through Iceland and following rabbit trails! 

***********************************************************
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, March 25, 2018

BW13: Two Look at Two by Robert Frost


Deer Creek by Dona Gelsinger



Two Look At Two 

 by 

Robert Frost



Love and forgetting might have carried them 
A little further up the mountain side 
With night so near, but not much further up. 
They must have halted soon in any case 
With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was 
With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness; 
When they were halted by a tumbled wall 
With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this, 
Spending what onward impulse they still had 
In One last look the way they must not go, 
On up the failing path, where, if a stone 
Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself; 
No footstep moved it. 'This is all,' they sighed, 
Good-night to woods.' But not so; there was more. 
A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them 
Across the wall, as near the wall as they. 
She saw them in their field, they her in hers. 
The difficulty of seeing what stood still, 
Like some up-ended boulder split in two, 
Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there. 
She seemed to think that two thus they were safe. 
Then, as if they were something that, though strange, 
She could not trouble her mind with too long, 
She sighed and passed unscared along the wall. 
'This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?' 
But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait. 
A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them 
Across the wall as near the wall as they. 
This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril, 
Not the same doe come back into her place. 
He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head, 
As if to ask, 'Why don't you make some motion? 
Or give some sign of life? Because you can't. 
I doubt if you're as living as you look." 
Thus till he had them almost feeling dared 
To stretch a proffering hand -- and a spell-breaking. 
Then he too passed unscared along the wall. 
Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from. 
'This must be all.' It was all. Still they stood, 
A great wave from it going over them, 
As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour 
Had made them certain earth returned their love. 

*****************************************************


For all our Brit Trippers, keep following Ermine Street to York. We end the first leg of our trip in historic wonderful York! Famous for its walls, Roman history, Viking history, and War of the Roses. 



******************************************************

Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.



Sunday, March 18, 2018

BW12: March Equinox

Bluebells and Wild Garlic in Blarney - Courtesy of Vagabond Tours of Ireland


The March equinox is upon us and Spring is in the air in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern half of the world. I'm feeling a bit flighty this week so I have a mini challenge for you.  


Read a book with any of the following:


1) AIR in the title

2) Something AIR like in the title - Wind, breeze, Sky, etc. 
3) Something in the Air on the cover - Plane, clouds, birds, etc.
4) Subject contains something to do with Air - Man versus nature
5) Character has a job in the Air - Pilot, trapeze artist. etc. 
6) Read three books and spell out AIR
7) Contains Air within a word in the Title of the Book - stair, affair, millionaire, etc. 
8) Unscramble Air - Ria, Ira, Ari - and read a book with that word in the title or by an author with that name.
9) Substitute another word for air that relates to the March Equinox and choose any of the above. 
10) Choose any word relating to the March Equinox including Equinox, Hemisphere, Vernal, Autumn, flowers, etc and plug it into the Word unscrambler. Choose any 4 letter word and read a book with that word in the title. 

Use your imagination and have fun following rabbit trails of flight. 




Given angel's wings, where might you fly?
In what sweet heaven might you find your love?
Unwilling to be bound, where might you move,
Lost between the wonder and the why?...



*****************************

For all our Brit Trippers, keep following Ermine Street and travel East and West Riding of Yorkshire. Yorkshire is one of the largest areas in England and well … this will explain how it’s divided up better than we could!



***********************
Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.




Sunday, March 11, 2018

BW11: Maeve Binchy and John Connolly





Our author choices of the month are the literary novelist Maeve Binchy and crime fiction author John Connolly.  

Maeve Binchy was born May 28, 1940 in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Ireland.  She became a French language teacher and worked in a Jewish school. She was gifted with a trip to Israel and since she didn't have much money, went to work in a Kibbutz. She would send long rambling entertaining letters home to her parents which were so good, they sold them to the newspapers. Her writing career was born. She started working for the Irish Times in 1968 and My First Book, a compilation of the letters was published in 1970.  She wrote two short stories, Central Line in 1978 and Victoria Line in 1980. Her debut novel Light a Penny Candle was published in 1982.  She went on to publish 16 novels, various short stories, nonfiction and plays as well as write dramas for radio and television.  She passed away at the age of 73 in 2012.  Her very last novel, A Week in Winter was published after her death.  Chestnut Street, a collection of unpublished short stories she'd written during her life, was published in 2014. 




Find out more about Maeve Binchy with Piers Dudgeon interview,  Remembering Maeve Binchy, and Bookpages:  Maeve Binchy: finding the heroes among ordinary people.




*************************************



John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968.  After graduating from Dublin City University with an Masters in Journalism, he became a freelance journalist for the Irish Times.  He began writing his first crime fiction novel and introduced Charlie Parker to the world with Every Dead Thing in 1999 and he was awarded the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel in 2000.  He's written 17 books in the Charlie Parker series as well as other series - Chronicles of the Invaders with author Jennifer Ridyard,  Samuel Johnson, and standalone books including The Book of Lost Things.   His latest novel in Charlie Parker detective series, The Woman in the Woods will be released April 5th in the U.K and June 12th in the United States.  




Be sure to check out both Maeve Binchy and John Connolly soon! 

******************************************


For all our Brit Trippers, this week we'll be travelling through Nottinghamshire which is the famous home of everyone’s favorite outlaw and an interesting connection to the Pilgrim fathers.




******************************************

Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.



Sunday, March 4, 2018

BW10: March footpaths from Dublin to Dorsey



Oscar Wilde - Courtesy of  Sandro Schachner


Time to bid February adieu as we say Dia Dhuit to March. Are you ready to walk in the footsteps of  Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Frank McCourt, and Maeve Binchy?  We're going to follow the footpaths from Dublin to Dorsey, exploring both classic and contemporary authors from Ireland. We have much to celebrate this month including Women's History MonthIrish American Heritage Month, St. Patrick's Festival, plus International French Language Day,  Forests,  Nowruz Day, World Poetry Day as well as the March Equinox.  


Our author choices of the month are Maeve Binchy and John Connolly who I'll talk about more next week.  Meanwhile, let's take a book tour with Ireland by the BookBlue Book's Literary Tour, or Culture Trip's Literary Tour of Dublin with Yeats, Joyce and Swift. Learn more about Irish authors through Irish Central's Irish Authors and Writers You Should Know, or Twenty Irish Novels You Should Read Before You Die.  Also check out Goodread's Best Fiction Set in Ireland as well as Popular Irish Mystery Books

Our Blossomology challenge takes us back to Ireland's ancient Druids.  Our flower of the month is a three leaf clover plant commonly called a Shamrock. Not to be confused with the rare four leaf clover.  The Shamrock comes from the gaelic word 
seamróg which means little clover.  The shamrock is the unofficial national flower of Ireland.  Three was an important number to the druids who considered the plant to be sacred.  St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland used the three leaves to explain the Holy trinity.  It became a symbol of rebellion when it was adopted as the emblem for the 1777 Irish Volunteers. The Nationalist's movement in the 19th century used the shamrock and harp as one of their emblems.   

There are a number of directions to go with this challenge. You may choose to spell out the Shamrock or Clover.  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.  


For all our Brit Trippers, whether you are on the Detective or Rebel bus or hanging out with Bertram Wooster, this week we’ll be traveling through Northamptonshire and Rutland, the English counties where George Washington’s ancestors immigrated from. More important it’s the location of Princess Diana’s childhood home.   

Rabbit trails: Peterborough Cathedral

Have fun following rabbit trails and see where it takes you. 


*******************************************************************

Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.




Sunday, February 25, 2018

BW9: I think Continually by Stephen Spender



Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica
Sir Stephen Spender  
(28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995)




I think Continually


by

Sir Stephen Spender 



I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's centre.
Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honour. 



Read his poems and learn more about Sir Stephen Spender through Poemhunter.com, WWD's   Family Unit: Matthew Spender on His Parents’ Marriage.  Also listen to his BBC Desert Island Disc's Podcast conversation with Sue Lawley about poetry, his favorite music and life which is quite interesting as well as humorous. (Click download to listen)

**********************************************************
Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

BW8: Munching through England and Scotland

Scotch Eggs - Courtesy of Natus


Are you ready to munch your way through England and Scotland?  The fun part about traveling in countries different from your own is the food. Whether you're an armchair traveler or on vacation and like to cook or prefer someone else do the work, it's time to explore some foodie books.

We are going back in time with Dorothy Hartley's Food in England: A Complete Guide to the Food that Makes Us Who We Are.










as well as An Comunn Gaidhealach Recipes for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland









Then there's a new look at the old and the new with The British Table by Colmen Andrews.




For a brief history of each country, plus their contemporary food and traditions, check out The Spruce's The Food and Cooking of England as well as Scotland.    Then check out Goodread's Popular British Cooking Books.

I'm totally starving now.   I've got bangers and mash on my mind, plus I just read about Scottish eggs and potato scones which sound super delicious. I just got back from the grocery store which included picking up bacon, sausage, potatoes, and onions.  Hubby  advised he will be quite happy to be my taste tester.   *grin*  Join me this month in reading a foodie book about England and Scotland and/or trying out a new recipe or two.  Are you hungry yet? 


**************************************************************
Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.