Sunday, December 23, 2018

2018 Year End Wrap Up!

Courtesy of Eye for Design

Merry Christmas dear hearts.  We are gathering in London this week to celebrate Christmas, the completion of our mystery Brit Trip as well as our armchair travels around the world.  Many, many thanks to Sandy and Amy for guiding us along the Roman Roads through England and providing us with many, many fun rabbit trails.

While we are celebrating in London check out these wonderful Rabbit trails

Christmas Dinner, Magical London Christmas, Victorian Christmas, Victorian Christmas Feast, Victorian Christmas Traditions Pop ups,  Christmas Markets, and Lights.

During my adventures I went through several pairs of walking shoes and filled my backpack with quite a few new to me authors to enjoy during the new year. How about you?  Please tell us about the highlights of your reading year:

During your travels did you have time to stop and smell the flowers with our Blossom Bookology challenge or explore a plethora of mysteries with 52 Books Bingo?  Did you stay on the detective bus, join the rebel bus or hang around with Bertram Wooster?  Did you remain earthbound or take off for worlds unknown?

Did you reach your reading goal or did you decide to just meander about and follow  rabbit trails and end up getting lost in the enjoyment of reading?  Waving my hand as I lost track halfway through the year.

Where did your armchair travels take you?  Which countries and time periods did you journey through?

Which books stayed with you the longest?  Did you set any aside to read again at some point and savor the story all over again?

Did you discover any new to you authors or genres?

Which books intrigued or entertained, made you laugh, cry, dance or sing?

Share your favorite titles, covers, quotes and of course, your reading lists.

Congratulations and thank you to all sharing in our 52 Books reading journey.  Thank you also to all those following our progress and hope you decide to dip your toes in next year.  Whether you read fast or slow, dabble in classics or romance, fill your shelves with translated books or comics, prefer non fiction or contemporary books, the most important thing is the reading.  I have enjoyed our adventures together and look forward to more fun in the coming new year.

You know when you start to read
The books on your shelf tend to breed.
They expand your horizon 
And fill your house by the dozen.

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry and essays,
Dive in and let yourself play.
Imaginary and not so imaginary worlds fill your mind.
Real life gets left behind.

It’s never too late
Let thoughts cogitate and marinate.
A debate, a discussion
Oh my…a literary concussion! 

So grab a cat, a cup,  a cozy chair,
Never mind about your hair.
Ignore the day and set yourself free,
Blessed be with much love --- me! 

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, 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.   

Sunday, December 16, 2018

BW51: December Equinox

Cumbria Lake District in Winter 

Winter is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer in the Southern half of the world as we celebrate the December equinox on the 21st. The equinox is the two times a year when the sun is the closest to the celestial equator, which means it is time for a mini reading challenge. Choose a book with winter or summer themes, with seasonal words in the title, a book about nature or a book of poetry by Emily Dickinson. Select one or more of the words from Emily Dickinson's poem below and find a book with one of those words in the title.

Emily Dickinson

Complete Poems
 Part Two: Nature 


It sifts from leaden sieves, 
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool 
The wrinkles of the road. 

It makes an even face 
Of mountain and of plain,— 
Unbroken forehead from the east 
Unto the east again. 

It reaches to the fence, 
It wraps it, rail by rail, 
Till it is lost in fleeces; 
It flings a crystal veil 

On stump and stack and stem,— 
The summer’s empty room, 
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them. 

It ruffles wrists of posts, 
As ankles of a queen,— 
Then stills its artisans like ghosts, 
Denying they have been. 

Brit Tripping

Our Brit Trip is taking us down Watling Way to Cumbria which is a beloved vacation spot with its beautiful Lake District .

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, 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.   

Sunday, December 9, 2018

BW50: Bookish Birthdays and News

Treasure Hunt Puzzle 

It's time for another round of author birthdays and bookish news. We're approaching the end of the year and best of lists are in the news.

Bill Gates narrows it down to the 5 books I loved in 2018

New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018

New Yorker's Best Books of 2018

Mental Floss's 56 Best Books of 2018

New York Public Library's 2018 Best Books for Adults

School Library Journal's The Best of 2018

Five Books best of for Science, Philosophy, Politics, and Nature.’s Chief Digital Officer Shares His Favorite Books of the Year.

Indigo's Best Books of 2018.

Literary birthdays this week include 

12/09: Poet John Milton and Samuel Washington Allen

12/10: Poet Emily Dickinson, Nobel prize poet Nelly Sachs, and Scottish Fantasy Author George Macdonald

12/11: Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz and Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

12/12: French novelist Gustave Flaubert and English playwright John Osborne

12/13: German poet Heinrich Heine and American Poet Kenneth Patchen

12/14: Short story writer Shirley Jackson and American essayist Stanley Crouch

12/15: Irish Author Edna O'Brien

Have fun following rabbit trails

Brit Trip

We're traveling on Watling Way to Lancashire.  Lancashire was not recorded in the Domesday Book which makes it one of the younger counties in England.

Rabbit trails: Birds Whooper Swans Lancaster Castle

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. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

2019 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Are you ready for another round of Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks  Our reading quest began ten years ago and during that period of time,  our armchair travels have taken us all over the world and back again.  This year we are going to ramble and rove around the globe, following multiple rabbit trails. Whether you are a fan of fiction or nonfiction, like to juggle multiple books at once, love to reread favorite authors over and over, explore different genres, new to you authors, or stick to the tried and true, this is the place for you.   The rules are very simple. The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you.  

We have a variety of challenges including a new 52 Books Bingo as well as A to Z, Chunky, Dusty and Feed Your Muse to assist us in our reading adventures.  

Whodunit Bookology Spelling and author of the month --  Follow in the footsteps of Agatha Christie and her charming detective Hercule Poirot as well as variety of  bookish detectives, sleuths, and private eyes.

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.  (Perpetual)

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. (Perpetual)

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

Since it is our Tenth Anniversary, there will be a variety of Ten themed mini challenges throughout the year.  

The mini, weekly and monthly 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, 2019 through December 31, 2019. 
  • Our book weeks will begin on Sunday
  • Week one will begin on Tuesday, January 1st. 
  • Participants may join at any time. 
  • 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, 2019 
  • 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
  • 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. 

I'm participating in 2019

Welcome to Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Glad you decided to join in.  Please introduce yourself in the comments and tell us your name, where you are from, and what your reading plans are for this year.  If you have a website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page, leave the url address in the comments as well. 

Please note - the Mr Linky Widget is now closed.  Let us know you are joining in,
 share your thoughts and reads on the current weekly post in the comments.
Click on home and scroll down to the weekly post. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

BW49: Frosty December

Welcome to Frosty December!  In our case it's rainy and chilly at the moment which means curling up with a nice soft blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and a good book or two or three.  *Grin*   Tell me about your favorite comfort read authors or books for rainy or chilly days. 

"The holly and the ivy, 
When they are both full grown, 
Of all trees that are in the wood, 
The holly bears the crown: 
O, the rising of the sun, 
And the running of the deer 
The playing of the merry organ, 
Sweet singing in the choir."

--- English Folk-Carols 
H. Wadsworth, Birmingham, 

Our Blossom Bookology flower of the month is Holly. 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.

This month is full of celebrations beginning with Hanukkah, Advent, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, Christmas and Boxing Day, the arrival of Winter as well as Festivus for the rest of us.  And we can't forget the wonderful reading tradition in Iceland - Jólabókaflóð.   

Time to update your Amazon and Goodreads wish lists for the coming holidays as well as next year.  Or pay it forward and send a few reads to new homes.  

Brit Tripping

We're traveling on Watling way down through Manchester.  In the early 1800’s Manchester grew substantially as people immigrated there from Scotland, Wales, and Ireland to work in the growing textile industry. The large influx of working class people gave rise to poverty and discontent and has an interesting history as the meeting place of Marx and Engles. 

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.