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, July 12, 2020

BW28: Ode to Socks!




I’m in the mood to play.  Who thought reading about socks could be so much fun?   Shoes, Socks, Slippers, and Sandals, oh my!  Read a book with  socks on the cover, inside your wardrobe, or get creative with 35 Best Socks Books of All Time.  Even read a book about feet under the covers. Wink, wink!  Challenge yourself and read aloud the tongue twister Fox in Sock by Dr. Seuss. I guarantee a barrel of giggles throughout. 



Ode to My Socks

by 



Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
into them
as though into
two
cases
knitted
with threads of
twilight
and goatskin.
Violent socks,
my feet were
two fish made
of wool,
two long sharks
sea-blue, shot
through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet
were honored
in this way
by
these
heavenly
socks.
They were
so handsome
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
unacceptable
like two decrepit
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that woven
fire,
of those glowing
socks.

Nevertheless
I resisted
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as schoolboys
keep
fireflies,
as learned men
collect
sacred texts,
I resisted
the mad impulse
to put them
into a golden
cage
and each day give them
birdseed
and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
green deer
to the spit
and eat it
with remorse,
I stretched out
my feet
and pulled on
the magnificent
socks
and then my shoes.


The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
beauty
and what is good is doubly
good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
in winter.





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Sunday, July 5, 2020

BW27: 52 Books Bingo - Whodunit Potpourri!



I was looking over our 52 books bingo categories and realized I built in quite a few  crossover categories,  Some of which are quite apropos to the present as well as the past.   So I decided to send you all on a scavenger hunt, from the top of the mountains, to the bottom of the sea. You can go off the grid, look for some enlightenment or something more elemental.  Be predictable or dance in the rain to the rhythm and blues. Explore the universe with Captain Kirk, or learn the ways of the force with Luke Skywalker.  

Choose a locked room mystery with a twenty something, or get a reality check from a femme fatale, who's really groovy, baby. Or maybe get involved with a computer hacker in a case of mistaken identity.  Pick a number and dive into the world of the unpredictable.

But wait!  Include an outlaw, cowboy, lawmen or a soldier, from any different time period, from the past to the future for a whodunit potpourri. Oh, the drama of it all.

Pick an author's name  and plug it into the Literature Map (used Nora Roberts as an example) and choose a different author to explore. Type their name into What Should I Read Next or explore books from their popular subjects lists.  Pick a book at random from your own shelves or use the Random Books for Everyone generator. 

Have fun! 


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.

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

BW26: Ladies of Fiction - M.M. Kaye




July is upon the horizon. Can you believe we're halfway through the year already? I think everyone's excited as we've been hearing lots of fireworks in our area. Are you making progress, whittling down your books, reading from your own shelves or adding more to your stacks? My virtual and physical TBR pile seems to be growing. Are you expanding your reading range, diving into new genres and cultures or enjoying revisiting old friends. 

 I've been unable to settle down with new reads and have been diving back into comfort reads. Do any of you remember the old Mervyn's commercial with the woman waiting in front of the closed store, with her nose pressed to the window, chanting open, open, open? New books are sitting on the shelf, waiting impatiently, whispering in my ear, read me, read me, read me.

I'm excited about this month's Ladies of Fiction Bookology author and artist, M.M. Kaye, who was born and raised in Shimla, India and wrote a wide variety of historical fiction, suspense novels, children's stories (written and illustrated) as well as radio plays.

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

  • Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
  • Read one or more books written by the author.
  • Read a book written in the country or time period of the author.


I'm looking forward to reading The Far Pavilions:



"A magnificent romantic/historical/adventure novel set in India at the time of mutiny. The Far Pavilions is a story of 19th Century India, when the thin patina of English rule held down dangerously turbulent undercurrents. It is a story about and English man - Ashton Pelham-Martyn - brought up as a Hindu and his passionate, but dangerous love for an Indian princess. It's a story of divided loyalties, of tender camaraderie, of greedy imperialism and of the clash between east and west."

Learn more about M.M. Kaye through New York Times Behind the Best Sellers, Summer of the Child of Raj, and A tribute to MM Kaye, Shimla-born British writer.

“What could be more entrancing than a carefree nomadic existence 
camping, moving, exploring strange places and the ruins of 
forgotten empires, sleeping under canvas or the open sky, and giving no 
thought to the conventions and restriction of the modern world?”
Far Pavilions - M.M. Kaye




Happy reading!


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Sunday, June 21, 2020

BW25: Happy Father's Day



Exhibit of Bil Keane in the McCormick-Stillman Railroad park in Scottsdale, Az



My Dad

By

Vicky Frye




If I could write a story,
It would be the greatest ever told.
I’d write about my daddy,
For he had a heart of gold.
My dad, he was no hero
Known around this world.
He was everything to me,
For I was his baby girl.
I’d write about the lessons.
He taught me right from wrong.
He instilled in me the values
That one day I’d be strong.
He taught me to face my fears,
Take each day as it comes,
For there are things that we can’t change.
He would say what’s done is done.
He would say hold your head up high,
Carry yourself with pride.
Thanks to him, I am somebody,
I will never run and hide.
If I could write a story,
It would be the greatest ever told.
I’d write about my daddy,


Happy Father's Day to all our dads.

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

BW24: June Solstice



The June Solstice is upon us as of the 20th and we are beginning either summertime or winter, depending on your location. Today is also Flag day, the start of National Flag Week, so please take a moment to pause for the Pledge and how the underappreciated flag provides messages of Unity and those who risked it all for old glory.

Books to broaden your horizons, by Hilary Mantel, Simon Schama, Lisa Taddeo and more

Books Like Us: Introducing a New Own Voices Video Series

9 Books We’re Reading to Educate Ourselves on Anti-Racism

Civil Unrest, Civil War, Fantasy, Fiction | What We're Reading and Watching

Using a book as a bridge to bring people together

9 Books that Will Give You Hope in Uncertain Times

31 Books That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

The 25 Best Beach Reads to Add to Your Summer Reading List

The 17 Must-Read Books of Winter 2020


“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson


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.

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Sunday, June 7, 2020

BW23: 52 Books Bingo - Steampunk and Technology







Our next two 52 Books Bingo categories are steampunk and technology.  Within the world of science fiction, alternative histories, and dystopian worlds, we not only have steampunk, but also cyberpunk, nanopunk, dieselpunk, and biopunk.  Where as steampunk is set in 19th century victorian times, cyberpunk is set in a futuristic, high tech world. Nanopunk is closely related to cyberpunk but focuses on nanotechnology, dieselpunk embraces diesel technology, and biopunk focuses on the dark side of genetic engineering. 










Have fun following rabbit trails of thought while exploring steampunk and technology.

 
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.

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

BW22: Ladies of Fiction - N.K. Jemisin

 Photographer Laura Hanifin, copyright 2015




Welcome to June, the Rose month and National Gay Pride month, National Accordion Awareness month, National Adopt a Cat month and National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables month. This month we honor DDay, the flag on Flag day, and celebrate the beginning of summer with the summer solstice. 

This month we also celebrate our Ladies of Fiction with N.K. Jemisin, who lives in New York and is the author of numerous science fiction, fantasy, speculative, and mainstream novels and shorts stories including the Broken Earth, Dreamblood, Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series.

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

  • Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
  • Read one or more books written by the author.
  • Read a book written in the country or time period of the author or novel.

Learn more about Jemisin through New Yorker's Dream Worlds, her interview with the Guardian, and on creating new worlds and playing with imagination.  Coincidently Tor is have a readalong of The Fifth Season for the next six weeks and discussing on twitter under hashtag #tordotreads.

Happy reading! 



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Sunday, May 24, 2020

BW21: Lamplight by May Wedderburn Cannan




Lamplight 

by

Source: Penguin Book of First World War Poetry




We planned to shake the world together, you and I
Being young and very wise;
Now in the light of the green shaded lamp
Almost I see your eyes
Light with the old gay laughter; you and I 
Dreamed greatly of an Empire in those days,
Setting our feet upon laborious ways,
And all you asked of fame
Was crossed swords in the Army List.

We planned a great Empire together, you and I,
Bound only by the sea;
Now in the quiet of a chill Winter's night
Your voice comes hushed to me
Full of forgotten memories; you and I
Dreamed great dreams of our future in those days,
And all I asked of fame
A scarlet cross on my breast, my Dear,
for the swords by your name.

We shall never shake the world together, you and I,
For you gave your life away;
and I think my heart was broken by the war,
Since on a Summer day
You took the road we never spoke of, you and I
Dreamed greatly of an Empire in those days;
You set your feet upon the Western ways
And have no need of fame ---
There's a scarlet cross on my breast, my Dear,
And a torn cross with your name. 

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

BW20: 52 Books Bingo - Renaissance




Our next 52 Books Bingo category is taking us back in time to the Renaissance which took place between the 14th to 17th centuries and began in Italy with a humanism revolution bringing changes to art, literature, music, philosophy, religion and more.

Famous writers during that period includes William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, Niccolo Machiavelli, Francesco Petrarch, Dante Alighieri, and Geoffrey Chaucer to name a few.  Now would be a perfect time to continue my Dante's Divine Comedy read as I still haven't read Purgatorio yet and it's been glaring at me from my shelves. *grin*



Let's not forget the ladies with Shakespeare’s Sisters: A Celebration of Renaissance Women Writers

Renaissance writers who shaped the modern world

Biographies and history books on the Renaissance

Reading the Renaissance: the guilty pleasures of historical fiction

Sarah Dunant's top 10 books on the Renaissance

Popular 14th Century Novels, 15th Century, and 16th Century and popular Renaissance books.

While we are time traveling, try moving forward in time to the 1920's and the Renaissance Women: 12 Female Writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

I currently have several Renaissance books in my shelves including Dante's Purgatorio, Machiavelli's The Prince as well as historical fiction authors Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts as well as Stephanie Storey's Oil and Marble in my book shelves which I'm looking forward to reading soon.

Have fun armchair traveling through the Renaissance.


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Sunday, May 10, 2020

BW19: Happy Mother's Day



Willow Tree - Tenderness


“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and 
sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity;
when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, 
still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts 
and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and 
cause peace to return to our hearts.” ― Washington Irving

This week is dedicated to all mom's everywhere including our angel moms. She who goes by many names including ma, mama, mum, mother, mumsy, mamman, mutter, mathair, mor, madra, majka, maji, mater and my favorite, she who rules the roost. Yes I made that last one up but it's true isn't it! My mother ruled the roost with love and schedules when I was growing up, keeping me and my four siblings in line. Which is probably why we are all so organized to this day with our day planners and white boards and charts. *grin*

Your mission this week is to read a book about moms or with mom characters or with mother in the title. Or spell out mother or ma or use one of the many variations, reading one book per letter in the title.

19 Badass Literary Moms Who Need To Be Celebrated





Who is your favorite literary mom? Two of my favorite moms are Molly Weasley from Harry Potter and Charlotte Mira in J.D. Robb's In Death series who later in the series becomes like a surrogate mom to Eve. So very sweet yet tough.

Happy Mother's Day, my lovelies. 

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Sunday, May 3, 2020

BW18: Ladies of Fiction - Sharon Kay Penman



Welcome to May which is officially May Mystery Month as well as National Commitment Month which means it's time to reassess all those goals we made at the beginning of the year. Coincidently it is also Date Your Mate month. There are many fun things happening this week such as Bird day, plus May the Fourth be with you and a day long marathon of Star Wars. It's time to party on the 5th with Cinco de Mayo, then celebrate all our wonderful health care folks with National Nurses day on the 6th. National Tourism day on the 7th means lots of armchair traveling before No Socks Day on the 8th so you can play footsies with your significant other. Did anyone lose a sock? The 9th is Lost Sock Memorial day which gives you time to find the matches or discard those lonely unmatched socks. 

This month we celebrate our Ladies of Fiction with Sharon Kay Penman who has written multiple historical fiction novels including the Welsh Trilogy set in 13th Wales, and Angevin Novels set during the time of the Plantagenet Kings, as well as a historical mystery series Justin De Quincy set during the 12th century. Her newest novel The Land Beyond The Sea is also set in the 12th century and surrounds the the reign of King Baldwin IV, the King of Jerusalem.



I'm not a big fan of dry history books so am really picky about historical fiction. I fell in love with Penman's writing years ago with Here Be Dragons. Her books are meant to be savored and read slowly as they are rich in detail and imagery and makes history come alive. After I finished the Welsh trilogy, I wanted to read When Christ and Her Saints Slept which has been on my shelves forever but just hadn't gotten around to it. Now is the perfect time to dive into the world of the Plantagenets.

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

  • Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
  • Read one or more books written by the author.
  • Read a book written in the country or time period of the author or novel.

Learn more about Sharon through an interview with the Literary Librarian, the Historical Novel Society, and Goodreads Ask the Author.

Happy reading! 

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

BW17: Notes on the Art of Poetry


As we wind up April and National Poetry Month, I'll leave you with a couple more tidbits.


Notes on the Art of Poetry


I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.


******

Book Lover


I keep collecting books I know
I'll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never head.
"Please make me," says some wistful tome,
"A wee bit of yourself."
And so I take my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?"
"some day," I say, "I will."
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distrest that I
Am such a busy man.

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;
To savour Swift I'll never learn,
Montaigne I may not know.
On Bacon I will never sup,
For Shakespeare I've no time;
Because I'm busy making up
These jingly bits of rhyme.

Chekov is caviare to me,
While Stendhal makes me snore;
Poor Proust is not my cup of tea,
And Balzac is a bore.
I have their books, I love their names,
And yet alas! they head,
With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James,
My Roster of Unread.

I think it would be very well
If I commit a crime,
And get put in a prison cell
And not allowed to rhyme;
Yet given all these worthy books
According to my need,
I now caress with loving looks,
But never, never read.

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

BW16: Bookish Potpourri





Hello my lovelies. Did you know today is World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day? How about just a plain old planting day. When I met my husband 28 years ago, he had two huge Hawaiian Schefflera plants growing in his shop and by the time we moved the business last October to our new building, it was still alive (barely) root bound, a messy clump of limbs and leaves, with its fair share of aphids, that none of us wanted to move. He saved a clipping and low and behold, roots began to grow and the plant lives on. I think it's time to repot, dontcha think?



Ramadan is coming up on the 20th and April 22nd is Earth Day and Arbor Day on the 24th. I think I jumped the gun on National Zucchini Bread day on April 25th because I baked a couple loaves of zucchini bread this past week of which we have devoured one loaf and the other is in the freezer for later. 




So get to planting and cooking while listening to some great audiobooks or bookish podcasts.

Also consider reading a book which was written 50 years ago in 1970, 75 years ago in 1945, or maybe a 100 years ago in 1920, plus learn about 30 Newsworthy Anniversaries in April 2020.

Cuddle Up With the 25 Best New Books Coming Out in April 2020

We have several anniversaries of well known authors birthdays this week including William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Henry Fielding, Halldor Laxness, Dame Edith Ngaio Marsh, Daniel Defoe, and Anthony Trollope to name a few.



It's National Library Week and many libraries are providing online services.

Please also support your independent bookshops and help them stay afloat.


Don't forget it is still National Poetry Month. Bustle provides an interesting list of reads, and poets are taking open mic nights and readings online during April. Plus learn to write your own poems as well.


HOPE WAITS

I'm here, she says
Lean on me. Wait, don't go.
I have much to teach,
We have far to row.

I'll do my best for tomorrow
There is hope in my sorrow
We look, we listen, we wait.
We do our best to bear the hands of fate.

We are saved. I am here.
No more pain, no more fear.
Yes, I'll wait.

Stand tall, it's not too late. 

Hope waits, hope gives,
Sorrow passes, hope lives. 
Don't worry, don't hate
Sorrow walks alone through the gate.

Remember, no matter what
The door will not shut.
Nothing is beyond my reach. 
I have much to teach. 

Don't worry yourself so.
Save the tears for tomorrow.
Hope tells the tale, 
blessings prevail.
Hope waits.


Blessings and good thoughts winging your way for a bright tomorrow! 

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