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, January 19, 2020

BW3: 52 Books Bingo - Four Corners




Our first bingo category is Four Corners and there are a number of ways to go with this. Explore different countries, cultures and archaeological sites, people, and with Four Corners in the title.

A quadripoint is a point on earth which intersects with four distinct territories. The first one that comes to mind is Four Corners region, a quadrant in the southwestern United States where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah intersect. The land and Four Corners Monument is maintained by Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation and serves also as a boundary between the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mount Ute Tribe reservation.

Read stories set in Four Corners Country, or mysteries set on Native American Reservations or set in the Navajo Nation, poems by Four Corners Poets, as well as check out Four Corners Press. Learn about the Ute's and other Native American Tribes and Nations.

The second quadripoint is the Four Corners of Africa,where the Chobe River flows into the Zambezi River - Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Explore art books published by Four Corners Books, armchair travel to New Guinea with Kira Salak in Four Corners: Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea, explore basketball with FOUR CORNERS: How Unc, Nc State, Duke, And Wake Forest Made North Carolina The Crossroads Of The Basketball Universe or delve through the Library of Congress 4 Corners of the World: International Collections for book ideas.


Our second 52 Books Bingo category is Fourth in a Series which can be the fourth book in any series or books such as Isaac Asimov Presents the Golden Years of Science Fiction Fourth Series or Five Anonymous Plays (Fourth Series) by John Stephen Farmer. Or the fourth man or woman or musical note or something with four corners.



“I sailed a bit as a child, but it wasn't until I was around 40, when 
I was halfway through Patrick O'Brian's 'Master and Commander' novels,
that I had the sudden epiphany that I had to go sail on a square-rig ship.”

-- Billy Campbell


Let your imagination be your guide and 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.

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, January 12, 2020

BW2: Hero's journey - The Hobbit





“As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things 
made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, 
a fierce and a jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then 
something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and
see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees, and the waterfalls,
and explore the caves, and wear a sword, instead of a walking-stick”  


Happy Sunday!  Did you know January is National Hot Tea month?   Please join me for a delicious hot cup of your favorite tea while we go on a hero's quest!  A few weeks ago, I watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy with my son who hasn't read the books yet. He prefers to see the movies first which is the opposite of me as I like to read books first, then see the movie and have much more fun comparing the two. It has been ages since I’ve seen the movies so most was long forgotten and it was interesting experiencing them through his eyes. It had also been decades since I read the books and in trying to answer all his questions, it put me in the mood to reread the series and where better to begin than with Bilbo Baggins in the prequel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

"Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum."

Speaking of Bilbo's pantry, if you want to eat like a hobbit, be sure to dip into An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery, then join me for elevenses while we read.

Both The Hobbit and the Unexpected Cookbook are available to read or listen to free on Kindle Unlimited right now.

If you'd would like to learn more about the Hero's journey, check out Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and/or Hero with a Thousand Faces, or follow another fictional character as they are put to the test.

Are you ready to answer the call to adventure? 


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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.



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

BW1: Happy New Year - Our Journey continues

Courtesy of Julia Blackshaw - 
Places I've Never Been Before



I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else. ~ Neil Gaiman


Happy New Year! Cheers to another year of armchair traveling with 52 Books and welcome to all our newbies and everyone joining in for another round. I'm looking forward sharing our reading adventures together.

Thanks to this challenge,  over the past few years my reading choices have become rather eclectic. My shelves reflect my various moods which have segued from science fiction and fantasy to mystery and romances to historical fiction to non fiction, which means I have a wide variety to which to choose. I'm looking forward to reading all the whimsical and entertaining, historical and fantastic, adventurous and literary books on my shelves as well as the new shiny ones about to be released.

As hard as it is to resist buying new books as soon as they come out, I promised my ever expanding library of virtual books as well as my dusty and chunky books, I'd read them first before I added more. Poor babies are feeling neglected at the moment. Part of the fun is reading through them alphabetically and discovering old friends. My muse was definitely not amused during 2019 so I will make an extra effort to pay him more attention.

The grand Dame Agatha Christie requests your presence and invites you to have a cup of tea or a whiskey, if you prefer, while you discuss the meaning of an Well Educated Mind or which Nobel Prize Winner she thinks you may enjoy reading. Maybe she'll join you on a Brit Trip But first, she may choose to enjoy a moment of Silence, before she gives you clues to 52 Books Bingo or shares a bit of news about our Ladies of Fiction. and gives away Whodunit!

We also plan to have a J.R. Tolkien Readalong starting with The Hobbit during the first quarter of the year, and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the remaining three quarters. I'll post more about it next week.

The goal is simple. Read 52 books and how you get there is entirely up to you. 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 want list of reads. 


(I'll tell you a secret. Shh! Don't tell anyone else she whispers with a wink!) 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.

It has become a tradition with 52 Books to begin our travels in the Far East, generally with Haruki Murakami, and I currently have Killing Commendatore on my virtual shelves. However, I'm going to start with our Ladies of Fiction author of the month, Banana Yoshimoto, and her debut literary novel, Kitchen. Plus I'm two thirds of the way through Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and currently reading #11 Knife of Dreams.

 Instead of having a very short week one, our first week will run until Saturday, January 11th.  

Are you ready to dive in?  Please share your reading plans for 2020 and/or your reading wrap up for 2019 or let us know which book(s) you are currently reading.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts about your reads. 


~Cheers to a wonderful reading new year~ 


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For the first week, link to your I'm participating post, reading plans or to your most current review. 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 your blog or book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

2019 Year End Reading Wrap Up




“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” ~ Annie Dillard


Happy Solstice!  Join me for a cup of tea, a glass of wine or your favorite beverage as we reflect on our 52 Books rambling reading adventures the past year. Can you believe we are not only winding up 2019, but the end of a decade. We have traveled around the world and the universe. We wandered the deep blue sea and climbed the highest mountains and even explored the limitlessness of outer space. Our armchair travels have taken us through different time periods, through fictional, magical and historical journeys along with pioneers and astronauts, historians and time travelers, villains and sleuths. Ah books! The spice of life! 


Tell us about your reading year? What was your goal this year and did you have a plan, and/or follow rabbit trails or wing it?

Where did your armchair travels take you? Which books stood out, made an impression and/or stayed with you the longest? What did you learn from them?

Which book had the most original, most unique story?  


Which book made you laugh? Which one made you cry?

Which book did you like the least and why?

Which new to you authors did you discover and would you read another book by this author?

Did you try any of the main or mini challenges? If so, which Bingo category did you like the most and the least and what did you read? Which authors and/or detectives would you like to continue exploring from Whodunit Bookology.

Please share your book lists, stats for the year, favorite quotes, and/or favorite book covers.

Congratulations to all our readers and those who followed our progress. Neil Gaiman once said "Read. Read anything. Read the things they say are good for you, and the things they claim are junk. You’ll find what you need to find. Just read.” Whether you read fast or slow, listen to audio books; read fluffy, light romances or heavy classics, comedy to drama, urban fantasies to thrillers, or nonfiction to comics, the most essential thing is reading.



I appreciate each and every one of you and hope you had fun along the way. I have enjoyed sharing our reading journey and look forward to more bookish adventures. Many wishes for a happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Jolabokaflod, Christmas or Festivus to you all and cheers to a happy, enlightening, and inspiring reading new year!

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Link to your reviews and/or year end wrap up. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book or wrap up in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.






Saturday, December 21, 2019

2020 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks




“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, 
leading out into the expanding universe.” Madeleine L’Engle


Are you ready for another Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks adventure?  The goal is quite simple and how you get there is up to you.  Where would you like your bookish travels to take you this year?  What are you in the mood for?  I'm in the mood for a something mindful or mysterious or magical, mayhap even mind boggling or masterful, even a bit mundane.  How about you?   Whether you read fiction or nonfiction, like to explore outside your comfort zone with new to you authors or genres,  or love to read the same books over again or stick to the tried and true, then this is the place for you.  

There are two updated challenges to tease your reading palate:  2020 52 Books Bingo with 20 bonus squares to celebrate the beginning of a new decade, and Ladies of Fiction Bookology, our author of the month and spelling challenge.  

We also have a variety of weekly, monthly mini challenges and perpetual challenges  including: 

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

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

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

Plus Sounds of Silence, Mind Voyages, A to Z, Dusty and Chunky, and Feed Your Muse

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


  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 
  • Our book weeks begin on Sunday
  • Week one begins 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 in the "I'm participating post" in the sidebar
  • If you don't have a blog or social media account, post about your reads in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  • The link widget will be added to the bottom of each weekly post for you to link to reviews of your reads. The link widget closes at the end of each book week. 



Sunday, December 15, 2019

BW51: Happy Birthday Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke - Courtesy of the Telegraph


December 16th is the anniversary of the birthday of Arthur C. Clarke who passed away at the age of 90 on March 19, 2008.

When I think of Arthur C. Clarke, generally the first thing that comes to mind is 2001: A Space Odyssey. He also co-created the film with Stanley Kubrick.  He went on to write 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey as well as numerous other books.

Surprisingly, Clarke never received any awards for the novel 2001: a Space Odyssey, but the movie received a Hugo Award in 1969 for Best Dramatic Presentation in a theatrical version. Clarke did receive the Hugo award for Foundations of Paradise in 1980 and Rendezvous with Rama in 1974. He was nominated for a Hugo for 2010: A Space Odyssey in 1982 and A Fall of Moondust in 1963.

Clarke loved science and built his very first telescope at the age of 13. In 1945 he wrote a technical paper "Extra Terrestrial Relays" in which he wrote the principles for satellite communications which led to the global satellites systems we use today. In 1949 he became Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society. 


According to the Clarke Foundation:

"Clarke's work, which led to the global satellite systems in use today, brought him numerous honors including the 1982 Marconi International Fellowship, a gold medal of the Franklin Institute, the Vikram Sarabhai Professorship of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, the Lindbergh Award and a Fellowship of King's College, London. Today, the geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers above the equator is named The Clarke Orbit by the International Astronomical Union."

Clarke wrote a number of interesting non fiction books about exploring space and the sea including Interplanetary Flight (1950) about rockets, orbital mechanics and space, Exploration of Space (1951) About the possibilities of space exploration, Exploration of the Moon (1954) and the possibilities of future space travel and Young travelers in Space (1954) History of rocket development and satellite launches. He also spent years exploring the great barrier reef and wrote several books about underwater exploration: The Coast of Coral (1956) about his adventures and mishaps which exploring the great barrier reef, Boy Beneath the Sea (1958), and The Challenge of the Sea (1960) about deep sea exploration and the future.

Arthur Clarke made many predictions over the years and seven have come true

He also came up with the "Three Laws" of prediction:
  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
What do you think of his Three Laws?




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Saturday, December 14, 2019

I'm participating in 2020



2020 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks


Welcome to our annual Read 52 Books in 52 Week Reading Adventure.  In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of your blog (if you have one). In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter. Please introduce yourself in the comments and include your name and your tentative reading plans for the year. Please share if you have a Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page and leave the url address in the comments as well.









Sunday, December 8, 2019

BW50: 52 Books Bingo -- Nature and Allegory





I'm currently working on the categories for our 2020 52 Books Bingo and having fun coming up with new and different categories to amuse your reading palates. As we wind down the year, our last two categories are Nature and Allegory. Nature may be literal or symbolic which pairs up quite nicely with allegory, a narrative that take an abstract look at characters and events.

Bookriot: 50 Must-Read Books On Nature and Science.

Bookauthority: 76 best nature books of all time.

Chicago Review of Books: The Best Nature Books of 2019, Part 2

Goodreads: Best Nature Books and Popular Human Nature Books and Allegorical Socialism and Communism in Fiction

Sandra Neily's The Beauty and Value of Nature-Based Fiction

19 children's books you need to re-read as an adult

Have fun following rabbit trails!

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Share your book reviews and link link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have any internet or social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. Please do not add links of 52 Books, nonexistent or old web pages. They will be deleted. If your link disappears, please email me if you need to change or update your links. 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, December 1, 2019

BW49: Whodunit Bookology - Gabriel Allon




Our whodunit bookology detective for December is Gabriel Allon, created by Daniel Silva. The character is a former Israeli intelligence operative, who retired and became an art restorer but gets pulled out of retirement to catch a terrorist.

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 too) and have fun exploring a variety of places and topics:



  • One book per letter in the character's first or last name.
  • One book per letter in the author's first or last name.
  • If you're feeling really ambitious, one book per letter in the character's first and last name.
  • Follow in the character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time frame 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.
  • Read the first book in the series.

Daniel Silva's 19th book in the Gabriel Allon series, The New Girl, was released in July 2019. Learn more about the author and his thoughts on Pop Culture, on seeing his thriller plots come true, and how he celebrates the art world via superspy Gabriel Allon.


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If you'd like to share your book reviews, you may link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have any internet or social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. Please do not add links of 52 Books, nonexistent or old web pages. They will be deleted. If your link disappears, please email me if you need to change or update your links. 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, November 24, 2019

BW48: Ode to the Orange Gourd

Ode to the Orange Gourd

by



Ode to the Orange Gourd
It’s that time of year again...
When family and friends gather together..
To share and give thanks for all that they treasure..
The young and the old, the tall and the small..
The Vegans and the Carnivores, come one come all...
There are dishes of tradition, like Turkey and stuffing..
Mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry muffins..
Green Bean casserole, and corn soufflé...
Are just some of the dishes of the day....
And of course a relish tray to take off the edge...
With that awesome Spinach dip in Pumpernickel bread...
So many desserts at this time of year...
But the favorite of all , synonymous of the Fall..
Is that Jack’O ‘Lantern, orange Gourd....
known as Pumpkin Pie...
As the children play a game of touch football...
Something that is 24-7 on this day in Fall..
As Grandpa sits in the afternoon sun...
Remembering back ..when he was young...
Then the words of “ Let’s eat “ fills the air...
And everyone sits down in their chair..
Who wants the first slice ? Dark meat or White ?
Grandpa asks...then proceeds to take the first bite..
Everyone fills their plate, till it can’t hold no more...
Yet some go back, for more and more....
Finally everyone is full...can’t eat another bite..
Till the smell of fresh coffee brings on a plight...
Aahh dessert ..and the best part of all....
“ PUMPKIN PIE “ !!!! ....It appears was a "Majority Call"..
This is “ my “ favorite time of the year....
When you mention "MY" name, everyone gives a cheer !!!
So without further adieu ...Grandpa picks up the knife...
As I am the “ MAJORITY CALL “ and receive the first slice....


~~~Happy Thanksgiving~~~

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If you'd like to share your book reviews, you may link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have any internet or social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. Please do not add links of 52 Books, nonexistent or old web pages. They will be deleted. If your link disappears, please email me if you need to change or update your links. The linking 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, November 17, 2019

BW47: Bookish News and Not so Bookish Birthdays





If sixty is the new forty
Then forty is the new twenty
And twenty is...slightly young.
Which would make sixty middle aged.

If sixty is middle aged,
Then eighty is getting up there,
And a hundred is...slightly old.
The point is, sixty is now here.

Sixty is here, and that's that.
No different from fifty-nine or sixty-one.
Except it's sweet. Sweet and good.
And I wouldn't change it, even if I could.


I figured it was time for another round of Bookish Birthdays and News since I'm joining the ranks of the sixty something club this week. A milestone, not a millstone, and totally in tune with 60 Perfect Reasons You Should Be Psyched About Turning 60. No matter what age you are, it's always an opportunity to celebrate. Let's celebrate with a mini challenge this week and read a book which takes place in the year you were born or was written in the year you were born.

Take a look at the New York Times Adult Hardcover Best Seller Listings which is an awesome resource. Since this has been a year of reading mysteries and crime fiction, I picked out Devil's Advocate by Morris West, a new to me author. Another good resource is Goodreads (What a shock!!!) Search for 'most popular books' along with your birth year and see what pops up.

Check out Lit Hub's series of A Century of Reading: Ten Books that Defined from the 1910's through the 1990's.

Whether you are feeling up or down, 46 Hilarious Books Guaranteed to Make You Laugh.

And just because: The First Line of Harry Potter and The Last Line of Harry Potter: A Close Reading.

Are you hooked on the new Disney Streaming Service. Me too! Celebrate with 15 Disney Channel Original Movies and Book Pairings.

Did you know November 17th is Homemade Bread day, November 20th is Absurdity Day, and November 21st is World Hello Day? Now you do!

Little known facts: Actor Danny De Vito and Saturday Night Live's producer, Lorne Michael were born November 17, 1944.

November 18 is Mickey Mouse's birthday as well as Margaret Atwood.

Larry King, Dick Cavett, and Ted Turner were all born on November 19th. Not in the same year, of course.

November 20, 1939 is Dick Smothers Birthday, the favorite smothers brother from Laugh In.

I share my birthday on November 21st with an eclectic group including Voltaire, Harpo Marx, Goldie Hawn and Marlo Thomas.

November 22nd is the anniversary of George Eliot's birthday, the author who wrote Middlemarch.

November 23rd is the anniversary William "Billy the Kid" Bonney.

And last but not least, a bit of mind filler --- November Pop Culture History.

Now, see what you can do to turn any of this information into a reading goal and challenge for yourself for next year!


~Cheers~ 

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If you'd like to share your book reviews, you may link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have any internet or social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. Please do not add links of 52 Books, nonexistent or old web pages. They will be deleted. If your link disappears, please email me if you need to change or update your links. The linking 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.