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, September 20, 2020

BW38: September Equinox

 


Time for the changing of the seasonal guard with Autumn marching into view in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. What's the first thing to comes to mind when you think about Autumn or Spring?  Either the leaves are changing colors or flowers are beginning to bloom - nature's  circle of life.  Which brings us to our Fall Reading Mini Challenge.  

Read a book with Fall or Spring in the title

Read a book with seasons or weather in the title

Read a book with woods, forests, leaves, or trees on the cover

Read a book with a color in the title

Read a book about colors 

Read a book about color guards

Pick a color and pick a book with the color on the cover

Read a book with a colorful character

Read a book with a character with color in their name.

Settle in to read one of the New Books for FallOprah's picks for Fall, 12 books to keep you occupied for the rest of 2020 or Books set in the Southern Hemisphere

Challenge yourself to Spell out Equinox, Autumn, Fall, or Spring, using one book for each letter from the title. 

Happy Equinox!  ~Cheers~ 

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.



Saturday, September 12, 2020

BW37: In the Grass by Hamlin Garland




In the Grass

By 

Hamlin Garland 

(09/14/1860 to 03/04/1940)



O TO lie in long grasses!
O to dream of the plain!
Where the west wind sings as it passes
A weird and unceasing refrain;
Where the rank grass wallows and tosses,
And the plains’ ring dazzles the eye;
Where hardly a silver cloud bosses
The flashing steel arch of the sky.

To watch the gay gulls as they flutter
Like snowflakes and fall down the sky,
To swoop in the deeps of the hollows,
Where the crow’s-foot tosses awry,
And gnats in the lee of the thickets
Are swirling like waltzers in glee
To the harsh, shrill creak of the crickets,
And the song of the lark and the bee.

O far-off plains of my west land!
O lands of winds and the free,
Swift deer—my mist-clad plain!
From my bed in the heart of the forest,
From the clasp and the girdle of pain
Your light through my darkness passes;
To your meadows in dreaming I fly
To plunge in the deeps of your grasses,
To bask in the light of your sky!



*****

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Sunday, September 6, 2020

BW36: 52 Books Bingo - Antebellum

Courtesy of Realtor.com - Antebellum architecture

Our next 52 Books Bingo category is taking us back to the Antebellum period which took place after the war of 1812 (1812-1815) and before the civil war (1861-1865). A period of time in which American writers wrote about American themes and created the short story genre and the penny press.    

Views through Pen and Ink: North Carolina's Antebellum Literature Records an Era

American Literature-American Romantic or Antebellum Era: 1800-60

Women in Antebellum America

Antebellum Era Books

Antebellum Books 

North American Slave Narratives 

American Literature before 1865

Library of Southern Literature - Antebellum period

Historical Romance Antebellum Books

Read about one or more Presidents who served from 1816 to 1861 from James Madison (1809-1817), James Monroe (1817-1825),  John Quincy Adams (1825-1829),  Andrew Jackson (1829 - 1837),  Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), William Henry Harrison (1841), John Tyler (1841-1845), James Polk (1845-1849), Zachary Taylor (1849-1850), Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), to James Buchanan (1857 - 1861).  

Take some time to armchair travel through history this year! 


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.



Saturday, August 29, 2020

BW35: Ladies of Fiction Bookology - Sarah Dunant



Welcome to September and our celebration of Library Card sign up month, Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month, Classical Music Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month.  Don't forget to Be Late for Something Day (9/5), Read a Book Day (9/6), or help someone to read on International literacy Day (9/8).   Remember the fallen on 9/11, honor your grandparents on 9/13, appreciate being a citizen of the U.S. and read the constitution on 9/17. Talk like a pirate on 9/19, celebrate the equinox and think like a hobbit on 9/22, and read a banned or challenged book during Banned Book Week starting September 27th.  Wow, busy month. 

We are also celebrating the writings of our Ladies of Fiction Bookology author, Sarah Dunant, writer of thrillers and historical fiction set during the renaissance.  The british writer recently turned 70 and currently splits her time between London and Florence.  

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.

Learn more about Sarah through history you can see and smell, The answers history gives us depend on the questions we ask it’ and fashion and fiction.

~Cheers and happy reading! 

 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, August 23, 2020

BW34: Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost





Our Singing Strength
by 
 Robert Frost


It snowed in spring on earth so dry and warm
The flakes could find no landing place to form.
Hordes spent themselves to make it wet and cold,
And still they failed of any lasting hold.
They made no white impression on the black.
They disappeared as if earth sent them back.
Not till from separate flakes they changed at night
To almost strips and tapes of ragged white
Did grass and garden ground confess it snowed,
And all go back to winter but the road.
Next day the scene was piled and puffed and dead.
The grass lay flattened under one great tread.
Borne down until the end almost took root,
The rangey bough anticipated fruit
With snowball cupped in every opening bud.
The road alone maintained itself in mud,
Whatever its secret was of greater heat
From inward fires or brush of passing feet.
In spring more mortal singers than belong
To any one place cover us with song.
Thrush, bluebird, blackbird, sparrow, and robin throng;
Some to go further north to Hudson's Bay,
Some that have come too far north back away,
Really a very few to build and stay.
Now was seen how these liked belated snow.
the field had nowhere left for them to go;
They'd soon exhausted all there was in flying;
The trees they'd had enough of with once trying
And setting off their heavy powder load.
They could find nothing open but the road.
So there they let their lives be narrowed in
By thousands the bad weather made akin.
The road became a channel running flocks
Of glossy birds like ripples over rocks.
I drove them under foot in bits of flight
That kept the ground, almost disputing right
Of way with me from apathy of wing,
A talking twitter all they had to sing.
A few I must have driven to despair
Made quick asides, but having done in air
A whir among white branches great and small
As in some too much carven marble hall
Where one false wing beat would have brought down all,
Came tamely back in front of me, the Drover,
To suffer the same driven nightmare over.
One such storm in a lifetime couldn't teach them
That back behind pursuit it couldn't reach them;
None flew behind me to be left alone.
Well, something for a snowstorm to have shown
The country's singing strength thus brought together,
That though repressed and moody with the weather
Was none the less there ready to be freed
And sing the wildflowers up from root and seed.
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Sunday, August 16, 2020

BW33: Pick a book by the cover




Are you ready for a mini challenge?  Me too!  Book covers that are dark and haunting, colorful and bold, a mystery, the challenge it presents intrigues me. Sometimes it the title alone that draws my eye.  Use to be I only looked for books by familiar authors.  Then, several years ago I joined a challenge in which one of the tasks was to pick a book by its cover. The hard part - don't read the blurb and find out what it is about beforehand.   

I discovered the temptation to read the synopsis, then a few pages to see if it drew me in impossible to resist.  Especially in person.  However, I could resist when looking at books online.   Since then I have chosen books a few times using this method and usually end up with something excellent.  Also, I couldn't pick books by authors I've already read. 

Utilizing Amazon's new releases I wondered through their virtual literature and fiction section and the following covers are what drew my eye this time. 









I added C.J. Archer's first book in her Clock and Steel series, Witchmaker's Daughter to my virtual stacks. All her covers are intriguing.  The rest have been added to my wish list. 

So your mission this week is to pick a book by it's cover.  Have fun, be bold, let your eyes feast and see what tickles your fancy.  


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Sunday, August 9, 2020

BW32: 52 Books Bingo - Noir


Our next 52 Books Bingo Category is taking us into the world of Noir where it can be dark and deadly with mysterious and flawed characters, and right and wrong aren't clearly defined.

The genre is defined as "Books made up of stories that contain elements of crime, eroticism, cynicism, moral ambiguity, cruelty, strangeness, and fatalism. The stories are often set in remote areas in urban, rural, and/or out of the way settings or non-distinct settings, like the open road. Noir genre books may or may not include a private eye, detective, or femme fatale. The stories often have an elusive phenomenon or have something that’s just out of reach of the main characters."

The Best Noir Authors

12 Crime Noir Books That Will Have You Reaching for Your Trench Coat

The Rise of Rural Noir 

Guide to Nordic Noir

Noir from around the globe 

Pages of Noir: The Books that Became Film Noir

Hardboiled World: Four Creative Noir Traditions From Around the Globe

"The Noir Genre Helps Mediate between Reality and Fiction”: An Interview with José Salvador Ruiz

Mystery & Detective Novels by Women of Color

Le Chat Noir—Black Cats on the Cover

Have fun exploring the world of Noir.



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, August 2, 2020

BW31: Ladies of Fiction Bookology - Nalini Singh

Courtesy of Nalini Singh 

Welcome to August and the dog days of Summer and Admit Your Happy Month, Peach Month, and National Picnic month. It's also Romance Awareness Month and a great time to dive into the fictional and not so fictional world of Romance which is vast and varied, from Flufferton Abbey to  Pawsitively cute to the Funny to Outer Space. Or explore the world of Romanticism or contemporary poets or why we love.

One of my favorite paranormal romance authors is Nalini Singh who just happens to be our Ladies of Fiction author of the month.  She was born in 1977 in Fiji and has lived the majority of her life in New Zealand. At the age of 25, she sold her first novel and has gone on to write multi novel paranormal romance series including Psy/Changeling, PsyChaneling/Trinity, and Guild Hunter as well as contemporary romance and thriller novels.  

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've read and reread her series several times and am currently reading A Madness of Sunshine

"On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates. 

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement to not look back. But they can’t run from the past forever. 

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.  

It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light."

Learn more about Nalini Singh through  khalia Strong's NZ Newsroom interview, Coffeetime Romance, and Entertainment Weekly. 

~Cheers and happy reading! 

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, July 26, 2020

BW30: Miscellaneous Book Musings





A cup of tea and thee,
on a gadabout, a roundabout adventure. 
Let's walk and talk and muse,
About the day, the past, the future.
With a miscellany of essays,
Fictional and fun.
Cheers to Flufferton, 
Frissons of delight and
Fantastical creatures. 
No telling what we'll find,
To fill our minds
When we roam, ramble, and read
whatever comes to light. 


Today we celebrate the birth of George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, Andre Maurois, Anwar Chairil, Ana María Matute Ausejo, and Lawrence Watt Evans.


Literary Musings

On Jane Austen’s Politics of Walking

An Illustrated Love Letter to Gardening

How literary censorship inspired creativity in Victorian writers

Why are we so interested in Historians?

T. S. Eliot, The Art of Poetry No. 1

The Rise of Science Fiction from Pulp Mags to Cyberpunk

What is your literary Waterloo?

How to Judge a Book by it's cover.


Have fun following rabbit trails!


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Sunday, July 19, 2020

BW29: A Girl's Garden






A Girl's Garden

By 

Robert Frost 

A neighbor of mine in the village
Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did
A childlike thing.

One day she asked her father
To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself,
And he said, “Why not?”

In casting about for a corner
He thought of an idle bit
Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood,
And he said, “Just it.”

And he said, “That ought to make you
An ideal one-girl farm,
And give you a chance to put some strength
On your slim-jim arm.”

It was not enough of a garden,
Her father said, to plough;
So she had to work it all by hand,
But she don’t mind now.

She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow
Along a stretch of road;
But she always ran away and left
Her not-nice load.

And hid from anyone passing.
And then she begged the seed.
She says she thinks she planted one
Of all things but weed.

A hill each of potatoes,
Radishes, lettuce, peas,
Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn,
And even fruit trees

And yes, she has long mistrusted
That a cider apple tree
In bearing there to-day is hers,
Or at least may be.

Her crop was a miscellany
When all was said and done,
A little bit of everything,
A great deal of none.

Now when she sees in the village
How village things go,
Just when it seems to come in right,
She says, “I know!

It’s as when I was a farmer——”
Oh, never by way of advice!
And she never sins by telling the tale
To the same person twice.


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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! 


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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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