Sunday, September 25, 2022

BW39: Bookish News and Author Birthdays

 


Happy Sunday dear hearts!  It’s time for another round of bookish news and author birthdays.

2022 Hugo award’s winner for best novel is A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

Hilary Mantel, celebrated author of Wolf Hall, dies aged 70

Romance author Nora Roberts helps save Michigan library defunded over LGBTQ books

Chances Are, Your Favorite Book Is On This List Of Books That Have Been Banned For Absolutely Absurd Reasons

How independent bookstores help in the fight against book banning and why it matters

100 Years of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

And in anticipation of our October Spooktacular, check out

Goodread’s picks for Space Horror, and psychological thrillers.

75 Facts about Stephen King who just turned 75 last week.

 

Author Birthdays this week: 

9/24:  Horace Wadpole, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Brunner.

9/25: William Faulkner, Bell Hooks, and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

9/26: Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, T.S. Eliot, and Jane Smiley.

9/27: Grazia Deledda, Louis Auchincloss, Josef Skvorecky, and Mark Vinz.

9/28: Kate Douglas Wiggin, Francis Turner Palgrave, James Edwin Campbell, and Elmer Rice.

9/29: Miguel de Cervantes, William Beckford, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

9/30: Michael Innes, Truman Capote, and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi.

And our A to Z and Back Again Letter and Word of the week are N and nouveau



Link to book week 38

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini, and perpetual challenges.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

BW38: September Equinox

 



Happy Sunday dear hearts!  The changing of the seasons is upon us with Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Colorful seasons in which the palette for both fall and spring fall (no pun intended) on the warm side.  Imagine my surprise years ago when I had my colors done and found out I was a spring.  Opened up my world to all kinds of color.  Which brings us to this season's challenge.  Read a book with Fall, Autumn, Spring, or with seasons, weather, a body of water in the title or with colors, leaves, flowers, or trees on the cover. 

Curl up with a good book from:

The Uncorked Librarians with 33 Vibrant Books with Colors in the Title




Keep Inspiring Me's Books to Read in Spring.

Or challenge yourself to spell out Equinox, Autumn, Fall, or Spring, using one book for each letter from the title. 

Our A to Z and Back Again Letter and Word of the week are O and Observant.

~Cheers! 

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

BW37: Time for a Mini Challenge

 

Happy Sunday!  Did you know September is Self Improvement month, National Piano Month, Classical Music Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, National Sewing Month, Fall Hat Month, and Happy Cat Month. Lots to read and learn about. Today we remember 911 and all those who died, and everyone who came together to help. And take a moment to think about or pray for peace and strength for the family of Queen Elizabeth as they mourn the death of their mother. 

It's been a while since we've had a Judge a Book by the Cover or Pick a Random Book mini challenge and I'm in the mood for a book store adventure.  How about you? 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:  

Judge a book based on its cover:  The hardest part will be not reading the synopsis on the back or the inside flap. Yeah, I know. It’s really hard.  When you see the cover, keep in mind what captured your attention and tell us about it. What you thought the book was going to be about? When you read it, let us know if you were you close or no cigar? 

Or

Pick a Random Book: Choose a random book based on its position on the shelf.  To choose a book: decide in advance which genre you are going to choose. Or leave it up to chance - pick a direction, pick an aisle.  Choose a number between 1 and 7 as there are about seven sections in each aisle. Decide which shelf you are going to choose from - top, 2nd, 3rd, fourth, or bottom shelf. Pick one number between 1 and 30 as I'm assuming there are about 30 books to a shelf. Use these numbers and count over a certain number of sections in the aisle, pick a shelf, and count to the chosen number and that's the book you'll get.

That's how I discovered Anne Bishop's Written in Red a few years back. I chose the science fiction/fantasy aisle, counted over 3 sections, then down 2 shelves and looked for the 15th book on the shelf.

Take a trip to the book store or the library in search of a new book. Or if you are short on fund, play along utilizing your home shelves. You can even play along online.  

Have fun exploring!

Our A to Z and Back Again Letter and Word of the week are P and Procedural. 

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Sunday, September 4, 2022

BW36: 52 Books Bingo - Secret Agent Man


Happy Sunday! I had an ear worm in my head this morning, which led me down a few musical rabbit trails this morning while thinking about our 52 Books Bingo theme this week.   We're having a Heat Wave, a magical heat wave, because we're expecting temps in the triple digits for the next two weeks. 

Which then segued to Secret Agent Man:  

"There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes
Another chance he takes

Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number
And taken away your name."

Then Peter Gunn popped up.  But he was more of a private eye, than a secret agent. Right? Now the theme music written by Henry Mancini is cueing up.  

Enjoy! I did! 

Okay back to books: 

Five Books Presents the best five books about post soviet spy thrillers; spies; secret service; covert action: spies, lies, and foreign correspondents; espionage, et al.  





Have fun following rabbit trails! 

Our A to Z and Back Again Letter and Word of the week are Q and Quarry 

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Sunday, August 28, 2022

BW35: September Crime Spree - Police Procedurals

 



Happy Sunday!  September is upon us and our newest crime spree category brought to us by Sandy and Amy is all about Police Procedurals. 

We love to watch Police Procedurals which is a genre popular not only in mystery books but also TV (for example… Law and Order has continuously been on since 1990). The genre lends itself well to series, which means fans will have plenty of books to read.

Authors to explore:

   Val McDermid – multiple great series

·         Ann Cleeves—Vera Stanhope is her classic detective

·         Tana French – Dublin Murder squad

·         Karin Slaughter – Will Trent is her best-known series

·         Ian Rankin – writes the long-running Inspector Rebus series

·         Peter Lovesey – multiple series but Peter Diamond is one of his most famous

·         Faye Kellerman – Sandy particularly recommends the Peter Decker series

 Challenge: Read a Police Procedural mystery and consider it “research.”


Our A to Z and Back Again letter and word of the week are R and Resourcefulness


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Sunday, August 21, 2022

BW34: 14 Things

Fourteen, 14, XIV


Happy Sunday!  This week I'm thinking about the number fourteen.   Merriam Webster defines it as 'a number that is one more than thirteen'.  That's it, I kid you not. Other dictionaries (real ones)  state it is a cardinal number, ten plus four; equal to seven times two, or six less than twenty; a symbol 14 or XIV;  a set of persons or things.  A series of 14 books is called a tetradecology. 

Pressbooks: In the 14th century, Chaucer became the first writer to use English in his works

History Extra: Cosmopolitan Chaucer: Marion Turner on the 14th-century poet’s inventive, international life

Buzzfeed:  Hannah Loewenthal's 14 Best Books in 2022

Momjunction:  17 Best Books For 13 And 14-Year-Olds To Read In 2022

GMA:  August books to squeeze in before summer ends: 14 to read

NPR:  Here are the 14 books that NPR staff and critics are loving the most so far this year

Goodreads: Books with fourteen in the title

Read a book  with 14 or more books in series such as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, J.D. Robb's In Death, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Louise Penny's Armand Gamache, Jan Karon's Mitford, Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone, or  Lee Childs Jack Reacher. 

Have fun following rabbit trails. 

Our A to Z and Back Again letter and word of the week are S and Series. 


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Sunday, August 14, 2022

BW33: Mary Jo Salter

 



Happy Sunday!  This week we celebrate the birthday of American poet, Mary Jo Salter, who is co editor of the Norton Anthology of Poetry and a professor at John Hopkins University  


Discovery

By

Mary Jo Salter


6:48 a.m., and leaden
little jokes about what heroes
we are for getting up at this hour.
Quiet. The surf and sandpipers running.
T minus ten and counting, the sun
mounting over Canaveral
a swollen coral, a color
bright as camera lights. We’re blind-
sided by a flash:


shot from the unseen
launching pad, and so from nowhere,
a flame-tipped arrow—no, an airborne
pen on fire, its ink a plume
of smoke which, even while zooming
upward, stays as oddly solid
as the braided tail of a tornado,
and lingers there as lightning would
if it could steal its own thunder.

—Which, when it rumbles in, leaves
under or within it a million
firecrackers going off, a thrill
of distant pops and rips in delayed
reaction, hitting the beach in fading
waves as the last glint of shuttle
receives our hands’ eye-shade salute:
the giant point of all the fuss soon
smaller than a star.

Only now does a steady, low
sputter above us, a lawn mower
cutting a corner of the sky,
grow audible. Look, it’s a biplane!—
some pilot’s long-planned, funny tribute
to wonder’s always-dated orbit
and the itch of afterthought. I swat
my ankle, bitten by a sand gnat:
what the locals call no-see-’ums.




Happy Birthday to Mary Jo Salter!


Our A to Z and Back again letter and word of the week are T and Tangible.



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Sunday, August 7, 2022

BW32: 52 Books Bingo - Curious Cats and Courageous Canines

 


Happy Sunday! From The Dogfather series by Roxanne St. Claire to the running joke of we don't know what the heck Gracie is in the Armand Gamache Series by Louise Penny to Erin Hunter's Warrior Cats to Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who series, the characters with paws make the story and are a joy to read.  Join me for this week's 52 Books Bingo category reading about Curious Cats and Courageous Canines.  

Slates: The Case of the Feline Flatfoot

Write Academy's: Cats in Books: Our Top Fictional Felines

Crime Reads:  Cats and Cozy mysteries, the purr-fect combination and  Reader's Guide to K-9 Mysteries 

Goodreads: Pawsitively Love-Romances With Special Pets Or Animals and Hot Dog! (A Dachshund-lover's list)

And last but not least is Bookriot's 100 Must Read Books with Cats in Them

Our  A to Z and Back Again Letter and Word of the week are U and Unique.

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Sunday, July 31, 2022

BW31: Crime Spree - True Crime

 



Happy Sunday! August is upon us and our newest crime spree category brought to us by Sandy and Amy is all about True Crime. 

True Crime is a genre with no middle ground—readers either love it or have no stomach for true examples of the darker side of human behavior. The modern genre started with Edmund Pearson in the 1920s and continues today in dozens of forms of media, from books to podcasts. 

Studies in Murder by Edmund Pearson

·      In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

·       The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

·       Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

·        The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

 

Challenge: Lock your doors, turn on your lights, and pick up a True Crime mystery that won’t keep you up at night.

Our A to Z and Back Again letter of the week is V and Vanguard.

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Sunday, July 24, 2022

BW30: Bookish Miscellanea


Happy Sunday! This week we celebrate Amelia Earhart day, National Tequila day, Culinarians day, All or Nothing day, National Love is Kind day, National Milk Chocolate day, National Lasagna day, National Cheesecake day, and last but not least. Paperback book day.  Hmm, I think I'm hungry!   

My neighbor dropped off a bag of peaches from his garden today. I decided I should make lasagna as well as a peach pie this week, so off the the grocery store I went.  And while I was there, I got to thinking how we've been in kind of a food rut lately and should pick up something different for a change versus the same ole, same ole.  I ended up with a potpourri of items.  Which brings me to my web wanderings which mirrored my shopping trip. A little bit of this, a little bit of that!

Fiona Barton's Favorite Thrillers featuring Female Detectives 

Pass the popcorn: action adventure thrillers 

Tasmanian 'book detective' reunites customers with long-lost books and beloved childhood titles

Discovered a new blog as well as an annual book celebration Women in Translation

Chance, Choice, and the Avocado: The Strange Evolutionary and Creative History of Earth’s Most Nutritious Fruit

10 Food Writing Books to Read This Fall

He Might Be a Prophet. That, or the Greatest Chef in the World.

The Cocktail at the End of the Universe

Do any of  you remember Graham Kerr?  Why the Galloping Gourmet—a Kooky, 1970s TV Chef—Is an Unsung Style Icon for Our Times


Our A to Z and back again letter and word of the week are W and Wine.


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Sunday, July 17, 2022

BW29: Fall of the Evening Star

 

Constellations by Maggie Vandewalle

Happy Sunday!  I bookmark things on my computer, buy cards with unique sayings, add books to my wishlist and I'll come across them later and wonder what was I thinking.  What struck me at the time and why did I save it?  This poem is one of those saved and forgotten.  I was going through bookmarks, deleting those I don't use anymore and found it. Don't know when I bookmarked it, but I'm glad I found it again. Love the imagery.  Reminds me of reading and rereading stories and getting something completely different out of them versus the first time.  Sigh! So lovely.


Fall of the Evening Star

By

Kenneth Patchen


Speak softly; sun going down

Out of sight. Come near me now.


Dear dying fall of wings as birds

complain against the gathering dark...


Exaggerate the green blood in grass;

the music of leaves scraping space;


Multiply the stillness by one sound;

by one syllable of your name...


And all that is little is soon giant,

all that is rare grows in common beauty


To rest with my mouth on your mouth

as somewhere a star falls


And the earth takes it softly, in natural love...

Exactly as we take each other...

and go to sleep...


All this to say, revisit an old friend by rereading a favorite author or book and enjoy discovering them all over again. 

Our letter and word of the week are X and Xiphoid.

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Sunday, July 10, 2022

BW28: 52 Books Bingo - Southern Fiction

 


Howdy!  I was born and raised in the south before we headed out to wild and wacky California. But my roots will always remain in Texas where I was born, then Alabama to Georgia during my formative high school and college years.   Yes, I was one of those who used to call everybody hon or sweetie or darlin. And dropped the g's on all words ending in ing. I had to work hard to lose the accent once we landed in California, however my southern accent still creeps back in when I'm tired or I hear someone speaking with a drawl.  But Y'ALL has stuck with me ever since.  And I bet y'all are wondering why I'm telling you this. Why our next 52 Books Bingo category, of course!  :)   Time to dip our toes into the wonderful world of Southern Fiction.  

What is Southern Literature?

What Makes Southern Literature Unique? 

Southern Gothic Literature

36 Deep-Fried Delish Southern Books And Writers

12 Southern Novels That Will Knock Your Boots Off

Seven Atmospheric Mystery Suspense Novels Set in the South

Goodread's Listopia of Best Southern Literature


Our letter and word of the week are Y and Yesteryear

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Sunday, July 3, 2022

BW27: Crime Spree - The Americans

 


Happy Sunday! July is upon us and our newest crime spree category brought to us by Sandy and Amy is all about American mystery Authors.

Not all of us want to venture too far from home, and The American authors have plenty to offer as well. From the start of hard-boiled detection starting in the 1930s (Carroll John Daly) to Navajo mysteries (Tony Hillerman) to mystery writers that spanned several generations (Rex Stout).

 Authors to explore:

  Dorothy Hughes (1931-1978)

·         Raymond Chandler (1933-1959)

·         Rex Stout (1934-1975)

·         Baynard Kendrick (1937-1961)

·         Sue Grafton (1967-2017)

·         Lawrence Block (1958-present)

·         Robert B. Parker (1974-2010)

·         Tony Hillerman (1970-2006)

 Challenge: Pour yourself a stiff drink, grab a dame, and spent a weekend contemplating the grittier side of life by reading an American-centric mystery.

And our countdown begins as we go backwards through the alphabet with A to Z and Back Again. Our letter and word of the week are Z and Zeugma. 

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Sunday, June 26, 2022

BW26: Half Time Randomness


 

Happy Sunday! We're half way through the year and Summertime has arrived in our neck of the world, and  Wintertime for those on the other side of the world.  And I've got nothing. Well, not really. I've got a song crashing through my mind, an unfortunate earworm that I can't identify which will drive me loopy until I figure it out.  In the meantime, let's dip into a bit of half time randomness. 

Once a year I watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's The Danger of a Single Story and get something different out of it every time. I love her books. 

I just finished reading The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk so the Ted Talk about The World's Most Mysterious Book fascinated me. 

And while wondering through Ideas.Ted.Com came across 70 books to make you feel hopeful: A special reading list.  You're welcome! 

While falling down some rabbit hole about 25 Beautiful Literary Maps, it lead me to  Kenocartographobia. No, I didn't know what it was either. The fear of Maps. And wouldn't you know it, Goodreads has a list

I just discovered the newest book by A.J. Jacobs, The Puzzler, which I of course, had to get instantly.  If you haven't read any of his books, start with The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible) and also check out Jacob's favorite recent reads.

And given that our letter of the week is Z, check out books by authors whose last names start with Z.  My choice is of course, Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

~Cheers~

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

BW25: Happy Father's Day

 



Happy Sunday!  This week we celebrate our dads. From the serious to the silly, from thoughtful to chatty, from gregarious to introverted. We honor those who we miss and hold close to our hearts.

 A Brief History of Father’s Day

Fatherly Advice Given From Famous Dads in Literature 

Celebrate Dads Everywhere With These 10 Books

The 8 Best Dads in Literature, According to Readers

12 most memorable fathers from literature

A Book for Every Kind of Dad on Father’s Day

Read a book with father  or Dad  in the title.

Read a book about Fantastic Dads and Father Figures

Did your dad ever read to you when you were little?  Share memories of books given to you by your father. Which literary father do you like the best?


Our letter and word of the week are Y and Yesterday

Happy Father's Day to all our dads! 


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Sunday, June 12, 2022

BW24: 52 Books bingo - Clef Notes

Sakarambo

 

Happy Sunday! Whenever I think of religious characters, I think of chanting monks which brings us to our next 52 Books Bingo category - Clef Notes. Music comes in all shapes and forms so read books about music, learning to read music, musicians and singers, Tibetan monks and singing bowls, Gregorian chants in a church, or just go with the flow and see where your mind takes you. 

Read a book with Clef  or Notes in the title. 

Read a book about Musicology 

Read a book with musical notes or instruments on the cover

Read a book from The Capitol Theatre's list of 10 Books That Every Music Lover Should Read. 

Read a book from About Great Reads list of  50 Great Novels about Music.

Our letter and word of the week are X and Xango.

Have fun following musical rabbit trails! 

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Sunday, June 5, 2022

BW23: Crime Spree - Religious Characters

 



Happy Sunday! June is upon us and our newest crime spree category brought to us by Sandy and Amy is one of my favorite to read.  

There’s something so appealing about a man (or woman) of the cloth who isn’t just trying to save our soul, but also our life. Religious Characters feature in cozy mysteries, usually as a reluctant amateur sleuth but sometimes as the unexpected villain. 

 Authors to explore:

 GK Chesterton – Father Brown

·         Ellis Peters – Brother Cadfael

·         Cassandra Clark – Abbess of Meaux

·         Julia Spencer Fleming - Clare Ferguson

·         James Runcie - Sidney Chambers

·         GM Malliet - Max Tudor

·         Harry Kemelman – Rabbi Small

 

Challenge: See how the other half lives by reading a mystery with a man or woman of the cloth as a sleuth.

Our letter and word of the week is W and Wisdom

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Sunday, May 29, 2022

BW22: Memorial Day

All Gave Some, Some Gave All by Flagwix 

We Honor You Today

By

Susan R. Smith 

To all of our veterans
Far and near.
We thank you for your service
For all those years.

You sacrificed your time,
And some gave your life.
You preserved our freedom
By willingly paying the price.

Many of you
Were sent overseas.
You were wounded in battle,
With scars and disease.

But courageous and brave,
You weathered the storm.
You faced every battle
With faith and beyond.

We honor you with joy
For all that you've done.
You stood strong for our country,
For our daughters and sons.

So no one stands alone,
We walk hand in hand.
Remember, we are with you.
Together we shall stand.

We salute you today.
Hear what we say.
Let our words speak eloquently
In this special way.

On this day,
Let us express our love and thanks
For the sacrifice you paid.
You served in honor
For many years and days,
And we will never forget
How you were strong and brave.


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