CHALLENGE UPDATE

ONE OF MY 2022 READING CHALLENGES WAS TO READ 22 NOVELS IN 2022

TODAY I updated my Reading Log and filled in titles on my 2022 challenges. To my delight, I discovered I had FINISHED the Novel Challenge to read 22 novels from January to December. Actually, to date I have read 26 novels.

Novels are one of my main passions. At one time in my life, I read ONLY novels.

Here they are in the order I read them:

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz, the sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe/ Summer by Edith Wharton, which I also used for the “What’s in a Name reading challenge and could have used for the Classics Club / Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac, a novel in verse which I read for the Cybil’s judging/ The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera, a lovely literary love story/ Interior China Town by Charles Yu, which was a book club selection for my Page Turners book club/ The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington, which taught me a great deal about Buddhism / The Van Gogh Cafe by Cynthia Rylant, a sweet, gentle story/ The Dependents by Katherine Dion, a contemporary novel/ The Paris Library, based on the brave people who kept the Paris Library open during the occupation of Germany in WWII, told in novel form/ Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristin Higgins, an author I have come to seek out/ The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bully, a YA novel and a thriller/ Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, also used for The Classics Club/ The City We Became by N.K. Jeminsin, my new favorite sci-fi novel and the first in a series I look forward to reading / Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell, a book that taught me what fan fiction was/ French Braid by Anne Tyler, one of my favorite authors/ Welcome to the School by the Sea by Jenny Colgan, a YA novel about a British boarding school/ The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, also used for The Classics Club and a Third Tuesday Book Club selection / The Children Act by Ian McEwan, first read then watched the film version/ Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson, a thriller that had me holding my breath/ At Least You Have Your Health by Madi Sinha, a women’s novel/ Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland, an audio Book about Books/ Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly, the prequel to Lilac Girls, which I read last year/ Book Lovers by Emily Henry, a novel about the publishing industry/ Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx, the only disappointment on this list/ The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki, a novel narrated by a Book/ Arcadia by Lauren Groff about Hippies on a commune in the 70s.

Whew! That’s a lot of fine reading! What a good feeling to have one challenge finished for this year. Stay tuned to find out the total number of novels read in 2022.

Thanks to Evin for my elegant sign off.

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

THANKS, CARLA FOR THE COOL MEME!

SATURDAY mornings on PWR are reserved for kids’ book recommendations, but today’s post is geared to recommend a kids’ publisher and a publisher’s representative in particular.

For the past two years, I have purchased kids books from

This company publishes some of the finest kids books around.

I first heard of Usborne Books and More shortly after my second great-grand niece was born. Her grandmother, my niece, gave an Upborne Books and More party (much like a Tupperware party, which she sells) at her home to showcase kids’ books, games, etc. Her rep at the time was Lauren Pongallo, a very personable woman who allowed me to order on my niece’s party after the fact. After that first order, I received a notice alerting me to sales events that I might be interested in for both great-grand nieces and my Little Free Library needs. I asked her to continue sending me such information, and over the two year span, I have received texts about upcoming parties and events and sales. If you would like to get connected with a great company and a fine lady, who has now become a friend, here’s where you can contact Lauren: M.me/Lauren.Oliver.311, or better yet, text her 571-305-5237.

I promise you will. be a satisfied customer like me.

Thanks, Evin
Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. It also is a second look at a book you read some time ago, which is the case in today’s selection.
Blogging friend, Sarah Jane Higbee has written a delightful book about one of her favorite topics–dragons.

This week’s neglected book is Picky Eaters 1, which deserves a second read from me. I added this book to my Kindle because it was by a blogging friend, and I was curious about her humorous writing. I had read the entire Sunblind series and enjoyed it, but I knew one of Sarah’s first loves was dragons, and this was a good opportunity to see what she could do.

I definitely would recommend this book to others, both as an adult humorous book and as a read-aloud for kids and parents or grandparents.

An Excellent Course

Always wanted to be a writer? Here’s a course that will help.

The Essentials of Characterization and Plotting Instructor: Tambra Nicole Kendall Registration Deadline:October 10, 2021 Start Date:October 6, 2021 End Date:November 1, 2021Class Fee in USD:$15 for HHRW members / $25 for non-members Google iCalendarREGISTER NOW

In this course, we will discuss how to plot, what keeps it moving, and how storytellers drag readers into a fictional world and keep them there. We’ll learn point of view, story structure, pacing, world building, how to connect the beginning, middle and end, and more.

Tamara is a friend and a very capable teacher who has written since forever. She has mastered the skills of engaging writing, which is evident on every page of her books. I highly recommend this author and her course.

Thanks, Evin


DEAR READER: The Comfort and Joy of Books/A Review

I read this 2020 publication on my Kindle, and I know I would have found more comfort and joy in reading it were I to have read it in a good, old-fashioned, print volume.

Cathy Rentzenbrink has done a marvelous job here of explaining and examining her love of books.

Another Book about Books, one goal of my “read-more-of’s” for 2021 has been called ” a love letter to stories and reading.” (Nina Subbe) There are endless recommendations of books the author read and loved. As she describes her journey from bookseller to author, Ms. “R” comments, “Reading has saved my life, again and again, and has held my hand through every difficult time…” Part memoir, part advertisement for the joys of reading, the book presents a “funny and joyous exploration of how books can change the course of your life.” My Advanced Writing class wrote their Essay #2 on a Cassandra Claire quote that warned them that “Books are dangerous…because they can change your life.” The author, here, preaches the same message, illustrating how books shaped her early years, chose her career path, and brought about her destiny. Dear Reader is a “celebration of the written word.” It is “a life told by and through books.” My TBR list expanded by several British authors and many “must reads” titles. What a fine reading experience for anyone who loves books!

WWW WEDNESDAYS

img_1384-0WWW Wednesdays originally started by MizB at Daily Rhythm is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It answers the following W questions:

WHAT are you currently reading?

WHAT have you finished recently?

WHAT will you read next?

I will add, WHAT have you watched?

I am currently reading The Splendid and the Vile shopping-1.jpeg by Erik Larson. I am pretty sure it will have to be returned to the library by May 4th, so I may have to request it again. It has been great, Brazoria County Library System, to have this book for so long, but grading final papers has arrived, so I may have to let someone else have their turn before finishing it.

I am re-reading Bob Goff’s Everybody Always and finding good advice I totally missed the first time. Also I am still savoring the quotable “pieces” in Mark Nepo’s Things That Join the Earth and the Sea. I have used some of the more poetic sections as the day’s poem (on PWR and Literacy and Me) during April, National Poetry Month.

I have finished shopping.jpeg  as well as my “I” selection for the 2020 Alphabet Soup Challenge, Robert Inman’s Old Dogs and Children, which will be reviewed on this site shortly. I have also finished blogging friend, Ritu Bhathal”s Marriage Unarranged, which I will also review soon.

Carla at Carla Loves to Read recommended a new author with whom I have fallen in love,  Kristan Higgins, and I have just finished her Good Luck with That. I am scrambling to meet my goal of reading 20 books recommended by fellow bloggers in 2020.

I am so far behind on grading (This happens at the end of the semester every time because I am a soft touch when it comes to granting extensions on due dates.) and behind on reading (There simply are not enough hours in the day!) that I have no expectations on what to read next.

I am adding the category of what I have watched to recommend the film, The Zookeeper’s Wife and the PBS series A World on Fire. Both are outstanding entertainment.

Until next time, HAPPY READING!

 

BOOKS “E” and “F” of the 2020 ALPHABET SOUP CHALLENGE, Author’s edition

Thank you Dollycas for such a great challenge. Here are books “E” and “F”ALPHABET-SOUP-2020-AUTHOR-EDITION-BE-820.jpg

BOOK “E”– Tony Evans, author of The Last Promise, set this 2002 romance at a Tuscan vineyard complete with Italian villa, resident artist, and asthmatic son. I had read Evan’s The Christmas Box years ago as a Third Tuesday December book club selection. When Promise showed up as a donation for my Little Free Library,A98244D5-A015-438B-BB9D-688C2EFD5E36.jpeg I set it aside where it sat on my TBR shelf for over a year.

The author is a great storyteller who makes the reader care about the characters. Eliana, an artist married to a womanizing, rich husband lives in one part of the villa. She meets another resident of the huge villa, Ross, an American turned tour guide at the Uffizi (an art museum) who is harboring a secret. The two fall in love, of course, but the path of true love is often rocky. What results is beautiful descriptions of Italy, intrigue and mystery, and heart-tugs galore. It is a darned good read.thumbnail_20200308_105121.jpg

BOOK “F”–This 2012 adventure novel by the mysterious author, Magnus Flyte (What a pseudonym!) is also a blog recommendation from a fellow blogger, thus killing two book objectives with one read: The Alphabet Challenge and to read 20 books recommended by blogging friends in 2020. The novel includes science, magic, history, and art in all of its forms.

Sarah Watson (a play on Sherlock Holmes’ assistant) is the strong, female protagonist. She has been invited to Prague, City of Dark Magic, by her old professor Dr. Sherbatsky, offering her a job as a musicologist specializing in Beethoven at the Lobkowicz Palace there. When she arrives, she is shocked that Professor Sherbatsky had died under mysterious circumstances that has been classified as a suicide. Sarah knows in her heart this is impossible and sets out to find out the truth of his demise.

“This deliciously madcap novel has it all: murder in Prague, time travel [in the most original, unique way I’ve ever seen it done] a misanthropic Beethoven, tantric sex [plenty of it–all in good fun] and a dwarf with an attitude” Connan O’ Brien.

This novel is a hilarious, page-turning romp with an especially exciting ending.

 

These two have me ready to go back to Gilbert’s City of Girls next for the “G” novel of The 2020 Alphabet Challenge.city of g

 

TWO NEW PERSONAL CHALLENGES FOR 2020

CLEAR THE SHELVES CHALLENGE 

I plan to read as many books on my TBR shelves as possible in 2020 to make way for new arrivals. My goal is to read or at least give a fair try (before delegating to my Little Free Library in the yard) to one book a week for all 52 weeks of the coming year.

RECOMMENDED READS CHALLENGE

I plan to scan blogging friends’ posts this coming year for reviews and recommendations of books they liked. My goal is to read 20 recommended reads in 2020.

What goals are you setting for yourselves?

CONGRATULTIONS!

Congratulations to my grandson, Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda on reaching 400,000 hits on his blog, Without Ritual, Autonomous Negotiations.

If you have not checked out this important, scholarly blog, treat yourself and do so. Basically, you can find anything discussed there including education, politics, history, philosophy, poetry, and many other interesting things. Dr. Pegoda’s “take” on these subjects and current issues is young, refreshing, original and creative.

If you go there once, I can guarantee you will return.