I took on this 2021 Challenge in January of 2022 because it was short, and I found the selected categories interesting. We are halfway through the year, and I am halfway through the challenge. I finished this week the first prompt, a book whose title contains a compound word. Barbara Kingsolver’s Homeland is a collection of short stories which showcases Kingsolver’s unique, captivating writing style.

An excellent collection of stories which showcases the author’s writing style

The short story that the collection is named after, “Homeland” was my favorite because it is extraordinarily “different” from other stories I’ve read, It recounts the story of Gloria St. Clair and the things she learned from her “Great Mam,” her great-grandmother who came to live with Gloria’s family the last two years of her life. “…Great-grandfather Murray brought Great Mam from her tribal home in Hiwassee Valley to live in Kentucky, without Christian sanction, as his common-law-wife. According to Mother, he accomplished all this on a stolen horse. From that time forward Great Mam went by the name of Ruth.”

It was from Great Mam that Gloria learned about the “small people,” the mischievous clan that lived in the woods and were responsible for many unexplainable missing objects and strange pranks and happenings that occurred in the community. Kingsolver’s imagination and exquisite writing style shine in this story and in the collection itself. I thoroughly enjoyed rediscovering this author through the collection.

The other two categories I checked off earlier this year were:

…a book whose title included a person and their description–The Dependents by Katherine Dion, and …a season, Summer by Eudora Welty.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

2 thoughts on “CHALLENGE UPDATE”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: