Friday, December 19, 2014

Goodwill Librarian Reading Challenge 2015

My sisters, mom  and a cousin decided to do a challenge from Goodwill Librarian this year. I am always up for a good challenge that will help whittle down my TBR pile. This one really hits the classics, so I am a little worried I won't finish all 52 of them, but still I will have less than I do right now. So I am going to skip the Alphabet Challenge this year and go with these books.

A book with more than 500 pages - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
A classic romance - The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer
A book that became a movie - Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
A book published this year - The Angel Court Affair by Anne Perry
A book with a number in the title - Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
A book written by someone under 30 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
A book with nonhuman characters - The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
A funny book - My Man Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
A book by a female author - The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris
A mystery or thriller - Blood on the Water by Anne Perry
A book with a one-word title - Lost by Jacqueline Davies
A book of short stories - The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
A book set in a different country - Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
A nonfiction book - Stiff: The Curious Lives Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
A popular author's first book - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossenini
A book, no yet read, from an author you love - The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews
A book a friend recommended - The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
A Pulitzer Prize winning book - So Big by Edna Ferber
A book based on a true story - The Eighty-Dollar Champion Dollar by Elizabeth Letts
A book at the bottom of your to-read list - Wild Swans: Three Daughter of China by Jung Chang
A book your mom loves - Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well by Nancy Atherton
A book that scares you - Jesus the Christ by James E Talmage
A book more than 100 years old - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggins
A book based entirely on its cover - Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't - Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
A memoir - The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A book you can finish in a day - The Outsiders by S E Hinton
A book with antonyms in the title - BitterSweet by Shawna Niequist
A book set somewhere you'be always wanted to visit - My Life in France by Julia Child
A book that came out the year you were born - Christy by Catherine Marshall
A book with bad reviews - Tiger Babies Strike Back by Kim Wong Keltner
A trilogy - The Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel
A book from your childhood - Frog and Toad Together by Andrew Lobel
A book with a love triangle - Wither by 
A book set in the future - The Time Machine HG Wells
A book set in high school - Identical by Ellen Hopkins
A book with a color in the title - The Blue Cat of Castle Town by Catherine Cate Coblenz
A book that made you cry - Where the Broken Lie by Derek Rempfer
A book with magic - Fog Magic by Julia L Sauer
A graphic novel - Smile by Raina Telgemeier
A book by an author you've never read before - The Girls from Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
A book you own but have never read - A Case of Imagination by Jane Tesh
A book that takes place in your hometown - Rock Springs by Russel L Tanner
A book that was originally written in a different language- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
A book set during Christmas - Searching for David's Heart by Cherie Bennett
A book written by an author with your same initials - Once Blind: The Life of John Newton by Kay Strom
A play - The Man Who Came to Dinner by Moss Hart
A banned book - A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
A book based on or turned into a TV show - Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
A book you started but never finished - The Book Thief by Markus Zukas

PS This is it. I have around a 100 books chosen for challenges. I currently average a 100 books a year. I am feeling a bit concerned that my eyes are bigger than my reading time will allow, but...

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 2015

In it’s fourth year, the aim of The Eclectic Reader Challenge is to push you outside your comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different categories.

Join in:

  • The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st 2015. Participants may join at any time up until December 1st 2015
  • Create a blog post committing to  your participation in this challenge.
*  If you don’t have a blog you are still welcome to sign up. You can create a shelf for the challenge at Goodreads or LibraryThing or a similar site Just include your name and a link to your shelf.
  • Post your name, blog name, and the direct link to your challenge post in the Linky 
  • Select, read and review a book from each category listed below during the year for a total of 12 books. A book may be in print, electronic or audio format.
*  You can choose your books as you go or create a list in advance. You may combine this challenge with others if you wish.
*  Where a book is identified by more than one genre eg historical romance, it may only count for either the historical fiction or romantic fiction genres – not both.
*  You can read your chosen titles in any order, at any pace, just complete the challenge by December 31st 2015 to be eligible for the prize drawing.
Bookmark the Eclectic Reader Challenge Page for future reference


  1. Retellings  - A Curse Dark as Gold
  2.  A book set in a country starting with the letter S  - Cry the Beloved Country
  3.  PI Crime  - Breakdown
  4.  A novel published before you were born - The African Queen
  5. Contemporary romance - The Undomestic Goddess
  6. Fiction for foodies  - How to Eat a Small Country
  7. Microhistory (Non Fiction) - Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
  8. Science Fiction set in space - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  9. Sports (Fiction or Non fiction) - Unbroken
  10. Featuring diversity - Rabbit Proof Fence
  11. Epistolary Fiction - The Screwtape Letters
  12. Middle Grade/YA Adventure - Navigating Early

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2015 Newbery Reading Challenge - Completed !!! 5/17/2015

Julie @ Smiling Shelves, "I created this challenge in 2014 as an encouragement for myself to read more Newbery Award winners and Newbery Honor books. It worked! So far this year, I've read eleven Newbery books, and I'm hoping to sneak a few more in before the end of the year.

I also discovered that there were people out there like me who wanted to read more Newbery books, so I've decided to host this challenge again in 2015. The rules are basically the same. Check it out below, and I hope you decide to join us!"
Each book you read is worth points. You get:
  • 3 points for a Newbery Medal Winner
  • 2 points for a Newbery Honor Book
  • 1 point for a Caldecott Medal Winner (Gotta give the picture books some love, too.)

In addition to that, you pick a level to aim for:

  • L'Engle: 15 - 29 points
  • Spinelli: 30 - 44 points
  • Avi: 45 - 59 points
  • Lowry: 60 - 74 points
  • Konigsburg: 75+ points
I am going for the Spinelli Level --

More Rules are from Julie are below, but I want to put my list of read books here so I don't have to scroll down so far to list the titles.

Newbery  List - 3 points
  1. Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech
  2. The Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman
  3. A Visit to William Blake's Inn - Nancy Willard
  4. A Gathering of Days - Joan W. Blos

Newbery Honor List - 2 points
  1. Nothing But the Truth - Avi
  2. Fog Magic - Julia Sauer
  3. The Great Fire - Jim Murphy
  4. Joey Pigza Loses Control - Jerry Spinelli
  5. Sing Down the Moon - Scott O'Dell
  6. Annie and the Old One - Patricia Miles Martin
  7. A String in the Harp - Nancy Bond
  8. The Road From Home - David Kherdian
  9. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm - Nancy Farmer
  10. The Perilous Road - William O. Steele
  11. The Perilous Gard - Elizabeth Marie Pope
  12. The Dream Coach - Anne Parrish
  13. Belling the Tiger - Mary Stolz
Caldecott Medal - 1 point
  1. A Visit to William Blake's Inn - Nancy Willard (Honor)

You can get to this level with any combination of points you want. You can read all Newbery Medal winners. You can throw in a few Honor Books. If you want, you can even read 75 Caldecott Medal winners! How you get to your point level is totally up to you. 

Also, anywhere is the point range for your level counts as completing that level. So for example, if you signed up for the Avi level and read 46 points' worth of books, then you have completed that level!
Challenge Guidelines:
  • Rereads count (because you were probably a kid when you read it last, and your perspective on the story just might have changed since then).
  • Audiobooks and ebooks count.
  • And paper books count, too. :)
  • All books must be read between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. Books begun before January 1 don’t count.
  • Books can be used for other challenges as well.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to participate. You can link up reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, etc., or just hang out with us in the comments!
  • Reviews are encouraged, but not necessary. There will be a headquarters page for you to link up your reviews if you want to share your thoughts.
  • Choose your point level. You can always aim for a higher point level, but you can't move to a lower one.
To join the Newbery Reading Challenge:
  • Write a post (or a comment) stating your intention to join. Choose your point level. You can find the challenge button below to use in your post.
  • Add your link to the Linky at the bottom of this post. Make sure you include the link to your sign-up post, not just your homepage.

2015 Monthly Keyword Challenge

2015 Monthly Key Word Image

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge! For this challenge I have chosen six key words associated with each month in 2015. Your task is to read one book each month whose title includes one or more of the key words for that month.

* The title you choose can be a variation on one of the key words. For example- your title could include the word 'snowing' or 'snowflake' even though the key word is 'snow.'

* Key words can be tweaked. For example- You could read "Cinder" or "Ashes" for the key word 'Fire' and that would be just fine. If the key word is 'family' then your title could include the word 'sister' or 'mother.'If the key word is 'food' then your title could include the word 'cake.'

* Link up below to participate and add additional links any time you post about the challenge or post about a book you read for the challenge.

This challenge is just for fun so please don't worry if you have to skip a month or if you have to read your books out of order! Just have fun with it! 

(Please read the linky instructions carefully)


If you plan on participating, please sign up on the linky with your blog name and the words Sign Up (example: Bookmark to Blog Sign Up)

*  Different this Year! I'll be posting only one linky for all the reviews rather than posting a new one each month. When you post your review post the name of the book and the month.


JAN- Truth
Nothing But the Truth  

FEB- Once    
The Once and Future King

MAR-  City
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

APR- Dream
The Dream Coach

MAY- Road
The Perilous Road

JUN-  Soul
Every Soul a Star

JUL- Sun
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

AUG-  Lost
Dog Lost

SEP- How
How to Eat a Small Country

OCT-  Home
Dracula, Go Home!

NOV-  Dark
A Curse Dark as Gold

DEC- Over
Girl Overboard (Chen)

2015 What's in a Name VII

This is the sign-up post for the eighth annual What’s In A Name challenge, originally started by Annie, handed to Beth Fish Reads, and now continued at The Worm Hole.
The basics
The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):
  • A word including ‘ing’ in it (The Time Of Singing, Dancing To The Flute, Lex Trent Fighting With Fire) My examples are verbs but you can of course use other words.
  • A colour (The Red Queen, White Truffles In Winter, On Gold Mountain)
  • A familial relation (Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, Dombey And Son, My Cousin Rachel) By all means include in-laws, step, and halves.
  • A body of water (The River Of No Return, Black Lake, Beside The Sea)
  • A city (Barcelona Shadows, Shanghai Girls, Under The Tripoli Sky)
  • An animal (Black Swan Rising, The Leopard Unleashed, The Horse And His Boy)
My Books:
  • Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  • Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
  • Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
  • Looking After Minidoka by Neil Nakadate
  • Belling the Tiger by Mary Stolz

2015 Monthly Motif Challenge

2015 Monthly Motif Image1
2015 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge! For this challenge, each month is assigned a certain motif or theme. Your task is to read one book per month that fits in with the motif for that particular month. If you participated in this challenge last year you'll see that some of the motifs are the same while others have been changed up or switched around. 

This challenge is just for fun so please don't worry if you have to skip a month or if you have to read your books out of order! If you don't have anywhere to link your reviews- don't worry about it. Just come back and comment telling us what you read and if you liked it! Just have fun with it! (Please read the linky instructions carefully.) 


* If you plan on participating, please sign up on the linky with your blog name and the words Sign Up (example: Bookmark to Blog Sign Up)

*  Different this Year! I'll be posting only one linky for all the reviews rather than posting a new one each month. When you post your review post the name of the book and the month.

* You'll find the review linky in the sidebar starting January 2015.

JAN- Book to Movie or Audio
Read a book that has a movie based off of it. For an extra challenge, see the movie as well.
Life of Pi

FEBAward Winner
Read a book that has won recognition or a literary award.  
Joey Pigza Loses Control

MAR-  Genre Jumble 
Read a book in a genre that you've never tried or that you're least familiar with. 
Eve and the Mortal Journey

APRMystery, Murder, and Mayhem 
Read a murder/mystery book.
Heirs and Graces

MAYLibrary Love
Show your library some love and visit your local branch. Choose a book to read that they have on display.
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

JUN Take A Trip
Choose a book to read that takes place in a country different than the one you live in or choose a book written by an author that is from a country different than your own.
The African Queen

JULStanding Up
Read a book in which the main character stands up for themselves, stands against an enemy, or stands up for something they believe in.
Left for Dead 

AUGAlternate Reality
Read a book that's set in the future, on another planet, in another dimension, or in an unknown world. A Dystopian book will count this month as well. 
Brilliant Devices

SEPFurry Friends
Read a book that includes an animal either as a main character or supporting character. Horses, cats, dogs, insects, bird, etc. The book doesn't have to be about the animal but the animal needs to play some sort of role in the story or be mentioned several times throughout the book.
The Blue Cat of Castle Town 

OCTGoblins, and Ghost, and Ghouls, Oh My!
Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, funky fantasy creatures- it's up to you!
Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well

NOVAn Oldie but a Goodie
Pick a book published before 2000 that you've always wanted to read, but just never got to. Or pick a book set in the past (before 2000). 
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

DECThat's a Wrap
Finish a series you've been meaning to finish or read the next book in a series you started but never finished. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Vintage Mystery Bingo - BINGO!!! FINISHED!

I pretty much failed at my list of 36 mysteries for last year's Vintage challenge, but since that left me with 27 mysteries written prior to 1960 that I'd like to read, I've chosen to attempt it again.  I'm doing the GOLDEN CARD. 

From Bev - 
This year's challenge will be run as a Bingo extravaganza.  I have also added a level to the challenge this year--dividing the Vintage mysteries into Silver & Golden Ages.  I, being the crazy challengaholic that I am, will be attempting both Bingo Cards.  My declared challenge will be to finish two Bingos on each card (a total of 24 books).  But those of you who know me well won't be surprised if I don't go for all the marbles and try to cover both cards....Why don't you come and join me?  Click this link to see the complete rules.

*One Free Space per card—you may use your Free Space to cover any spot on the board.  The Free Space book must fulfill one of the categories from the card, but it may fulfill ANY space you like—even a category you have already fulfilled.   For example…if you are having trouble finding a book to meet the “mode of transportation” category, but you really need that space to complete a BINGO then you may read a book that meets any other category on the board and use your Free Space to claim the “mode of transportation” space.

*No double-counting.  A book may not count for both the original category (say, "Woman in the Title") and as the Free Space to replace "mode of transportation."  A second "Woman in the Title" would need to be read to complete the Free Space and replace "mode of transportation."

*BINGOS may be claimed by completing all spaces in a row--horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.  You may also claim a “Four Corner” BINGO by reading a book for each of the four corners plus two more spaces—any two.  A valid BINGO must have six complete spaces.

*Any challenger who completes one BINGO will be entered in a drawing at the end of the year.  Any challenger who completes two or more BINGOs (either from the same card or BINGOs from each card) will automatically be offered a prize from the prize list.  Any challenger who covers a card by completing all categories will automatically be offered a prize from the prize list (as referred to in the "two or more BINGOs" section) PLUS a special surprise bonus.


Color - Death in A White Tie by Ngaio Marsh (Roderick Alleyn #7) 1938

World Setting (not US or England) - The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins 1868

Crime Besides Murder - 

Locked Room - The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie 1921

Academic - Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers 1935

Set in Entertainment World - Enter a Murder by Ngaio Marsh (Roderick Alleyn #2) 1935

Multiple titles - Plot It Yourself aka Murder in Style by Rex Stout 1959

Number - Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey #7) 1931

Food - 

Author Never Read - 

Murder Method - 

Woman in Title - The Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart 1942

Spooky Title -

Made into Movie - Mrs. McGinty's Dead By Agatha Christie 1952

Amateur Detective - (need one for a diagonal)

Man in Title - 

Country House - The Unfinished Clue by Georgette Heyer 1937

Mode of Transportation - The Rome Express by Arthur Griffiths 1907

Author Read - (needed for 1st row across)

Court Room - The Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie 1948

Read by Fellow Challenger -

Professional Detective - Tell Her It's Murder by Helen Reilly 1954

Water - Voyage into Violence by Frances & Richard Lockridge 1956

Outside Comfort Zone - The Beetle by Richard Marsh 1897 - hypnostism

Team - The North Meets Murder by Frances & Richard Lockridge 1940

Time of Day or Month - The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth 1944

Translated -

Short Stories - 

England - Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh (Roderick Alleyn #2) 1938

Borrowed - (needed for last row across)

Animal - Canary Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine (Philo Vance #2) 1927

Place - The Nursing Home Mystery by Ngaio Marsh 1935

Size - The Big Four by Agatha Christie 1927

Medical -

Pseudonym -

Set in US - The Benson Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (Philo Vance #1) 1926

I still have my free space and I may have to use it...