Sunday, December 27, 2015

BW52: 2015 Year End Wrap Up

Jonathan Wolstenholme - Many Books 

TA DA!  We've made it through another year. Our reading adventures took us around the globe, rambling and roaming in pursuit of literary adventures, thrilling mysteries and regency romances.  We delved into the capricious and cunning, debunked the banned, dipped into the fascinating world of creative non fiction, hiked into history and scrutinized the supernatural and spectacular ghostly tomes. We expanded our horizons as we burrowed into translated stories thanks to Archipelago Books, Europa Editions and Literary Saloon pointing us in new directions.  Let's wrap up our 2015 reading year before we do it all over again next year.

Please share your reading lists and tell us about your reading year:

How many books did you read this year and did you meet or beat your own personal goal?

Share your top 5 (or more) favorite books.

Which books or authors you thought you'd never read and were pleasantly surprised to like them?

One book that touched you - made you laugh, cry, sing or dance!

Share your most favorite character, covers and/or quotes?

One book you thought you'd love but didn't?

What countries or centuries did you explore?

What books would you recommend everybody read?

What was your favorite part of the challenge?

Congratulations and thank you to everyone for joining in and to those who followed our progress.  I may have challenged our comfort zones a bit this year and probably will even more so in the new year as we sail around the world.  Once I stepped outside my own reading box, I discovered so many new worlds. Plus it made me appreciate my comfort reads even more.  No matter what we read, whether it's fiction or nonfiction, literary or contemporary, historical or futuristic, a chunky book or a cozy, the most important thing is the reading.  For me, reading is as necessary as breathing. It is an escape or should I call it a decampment from the real world. I get rather crotchety without my books.  How about you?  I really appreciate you sharing your reading journeys with me.  I hope you had fun along the way, following your own reading paths and  rabbit trails and enjoyed your bookish journeys.  I look forward to 2016 and sharing another reading year with you all.  

Best wishes for a Happy Reading New Year! 

Link to your most current read and / or year end wrap up. Please link to your specific book review 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.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

BW51: Winter Solstice

Josephine Wall Tree of Four Seasons
Winter officially arrives here in the Northern Hemisphere with the Winter Solstice on Tuesday, the 22nd as well as Christmas on the 25th, marking the beginning of our Winter Reading.  This is also the beginning of our two week break from lessons for which I am quite thankful.  Time to curl up with a good book or two or three, amidst preparations for the new year and another round of 52 Books.  Yes, we are doing it all over again.  Did you have any doubts?   Scroll down below this post for the 2016 52 Books in 52 Weeks announcement and I'm Participating link. 

As the solstice ushers in winter and summer, it also present a turning point. Synonyms that come to mine are apogee, crown, rise,  crest, pinnacle, summit, pitch and zenith.  Winter brings cold, frost, chill, white, snow, rain, freeze, brisk, gloves and ice to name a few.  What do you think of when it comes to Winter or summer if you are in the Southern Hemisphere?  Christmas brings gifts, cheer, family, birthday, blessings, faith and yuletide. Peruse your stacks and choose a book about the solstice, Christmas, Winter, seasons or any related words and synonyms in the title.   

Happy Winter and yuletide greetings from my house to yours. 


History of the Medieval World
Chapter 75 - New Found Land
Chapter 76 - Schism
Chapter 77 - Danish Domination

Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review 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.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2016 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Are you ready to join me for another year of Reading 52 Books in 52 Weeks? The rules are quite simple. How you get there is up to you.  Whether you are a monogamous reader or like to dip into multiple books at a time, love diving into chunky books or sailing along with a beach read, submerging yourself in a classic or weighing anchor with those dusty books gathering dust on your shelves, it all averages out in the end.  The goal is to read 52 Books.  

We're going to sail around the world this year, starting off East of the Prime Meridian for the first half of the year, criss-crossing the oceans and seas, visiting various ports of call.  We have several author readalongs planned for the year from E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, to Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, to Dante's Paradiso as well as revisiting Moby Dick and various adaptations of the story both fiction and non fiction.   We'll continue with Susan Wise Bauer's History series with our year long read of History of the Renaissance World.    Check out Monthly Themes and Readalong  for more information

There are several mini challenges to help amp up the fun, explore new authors and genres and spread your reading sails.

A to Z Challenge:  Challenge yourself to read books alphabetically by Title and/or by Author or both. Have fun searching out those difficult letters.

Dusty Mini challenge: Limit buying new books for 1 - 4 months and/or read 4 to 12 or more books gathering dust on your shelves prior to 2016.

Chunky Mini Challenge -  books more than 500 pages.

Well Educated Mind:  Continuing exploring the classics in 5 categories: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama and Poetry.  Susan Wise Bauer's 2015 revised version includes a new category of Science to explore.

All the challenges and readalongs are optional. Mix it up anyway you like.

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. 
  2. Our book weeks begin on Sunday. 
  3. Participants may join at any time. 
  4. All books are acceptable except children books. 
  5. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  6. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2016.. 
  7. Books may overlap other challenges. 
  8. Create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  9. Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post. 
  10. You don't need a blog to participate. Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  11. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post to link to reviews of your most current reads.

Happy Reading! 

I'm Participating in 2016

I'm Participating in 2016 

Copy and paste or type in your url website or blog address including

Sunday, December 13, 2015

BW50: Best of 2015

Courtesy of Cats Fine Art

I've been perusing all the best of  2015 book lists and finding many good books to add to my ever teetering stacks.  Some I am familiar with and others seemed to have flown beneath my reading radar...until now.   Since it is time to start thinking about next year, thought I'd spark your appetites and pocketbooks as well as mine. 

The Atlantic's editor and writers share the Best Book I Read This Year.   I've already added several to my wishlist.  

The Wall Street Journal's compilation Best Books from the best of 12 sources lists.  They tried to do all the work for me.   *grin* 

Explore Brainpicking's Best Art Books as well as Best Science Books of 2015.

Check out Bill Gates Best Of and his video of short reviews.

Bookriot's crew took a vote and came up with their best of the best

Bethane Patrick of the Literary Hub offers her 10 Great Books by Women Overlooked in 2015.

Have fun exploring! 


History of the Medieval World
Chapter 72 The Hardship of Sacred War
Chapter 73 Basil the Bulgar Slayer
Chapter 74 Defending the Mandate

***Note - We'll finish up in January and start History of the Renaissance World in February ***

Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review 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.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

BW49: Book news and birthdays

I want one!!!
The Bohemian Chair - picture courtesy of Dishfunctional Design 

Ready to dish and dine on delectable delights for dinner during December?  Yeah, me too. Don't you just love that chair. I seriously want one to curl up in and read to my heart's content.  It's time once again for some Cookish and bookish as well as birthday news.

December 6 

Poet William Stanley Braithwaite (1878–1962) influenced by English Romantic poets John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth.

Poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer 1886–1918) influenced by the natural beauty of the world.

December 7

Willa Cather (1873 - 1947)  Novelists about frontier life on the great plains including Death Comes for the Archbishop and O Pioneers!

Akiko Yosano  (1879 - 1942)  Most controversial classical woman poet in Japan.

December 8

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832-1910) 1903 Nobel prize winner and Norwegian poet and novelist

Richard Llewellyn (1906 - 1983) Welsh novelist best known for How Green was my Valley.

December 9

John Milton (1608 - 1674) English poet, best known for his epic Paradise Lost.

Sarah Wright (1928 - 2009)  African American writer and cofounder of Philadelphia Writers Workshop.

December 10 

Nelly Sachs (1891 - 1970)  1966 Nobel prize winner and German author.

Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)  American Poet.

December 11

Naguib Mahfouz  (1911 - 2006)  1988 Nobel prize winner and Egyptian novelist.

Cookish links:

27 favorite new cookbooks from Los Angeles Times 

Epicurious 2015 cookbook canon - 10 essential cookbooks 

and I guess it should come as no surprise that Goodreads Choice award for 2015 best cookbook goes to The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

Bookish links:

Rainer Maria Rilke (author of Letters to a Young Poet) on the rewards of rereading.

Have no idea what to do with all those books?  Check out 35 things to do with them.

Enjoy reading only woman authors -- The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women.

Need something to do with your hands while listening to those audiobooks -- Try out a coloring book for adults.     And also check out Julie Beck's  article in The Atlantic -  Zen of Adult Coloring books.

And last but not least, 

Publisher Weekly compilation of  Best Books of 2015

The Guardian's Best Books of 2015.

Happy reading! 


History of the Medieval World 

Chapter 69 Kings of England  
Chapter 70 Baptism of the Rus  
Chapter 71 The Holy Roman Emperor  

Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review 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.