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2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

30 / 30 books. 100% done!

20 Books of Summer 2023

My Progress:

17 / 20 books. 85% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (2)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (2)
- Arkansas (1)
- California (16)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (3)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (2)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (4)
- Maryland (3)
- Massachusetts (4)
- Michigan (4)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (2)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (15)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (3)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (1)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota (1)
- Tennessee (2)
- Texas (4)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (4)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (6)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- (1)
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


- Australia (3)
- Barbados (1)
- Canada (8)
- Chile (1)
- England (25)
- France (2)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Nigeria (1)
- Norway (1)
- Scotland (3)
- South Korea (1)
- Sweden (1)
- The Netherlands (2)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

51 / 51 states. 100% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 25 books. 100% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

50 / 50 books. 100% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

52 / 52 books. 100% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

52 / 52 books. 100% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 40 books. 100% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 25 books. 64% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

109 / 109 books. 100% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Friday, December 04, 2020

Ready for a Reading Challenge? Great!

Are you as addicted to reading challenges as I am?  Are you looking for a central place to get all the info you need on new challenges?  Great!  Read on.

I love taking on new reading challenges every year.  In the past, I've relied on A Novel Challenge to help me find all the information I need.  Unfortunately, the blogger who ran that site has retired.  She did choose a replacement, but so far the blog has not been updated.  It's December, prime challenge-choosing time, and, like any addict, I'm jonesing for a fix!  I'm already losing track of the 2021 challenges I've seen advertised, so I'm taking matters into my own hands and creating a central spot for reading challenge information.  Huzzah!  

Please check out my new venture, Ready for a Reading Challenge?  It's a work-in-progress obviously, but it's already got a few challenges listed.  I will keep updating it with new challenges, so check back frequently.  

I will be creating a contact form this week to make the process easier, but in the meantime, please email me about any 2021 reading challenges you are hosting, participating in, or seeing pop up around the web.  Suggestions for how to make this site most helpful and fun are also welcome:

Happy reading!


Series Opener Not So Engaging Second Time Around

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After fighting a debilitating alcohol addiction, Father John O'Malley was sent to the Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming to dry out.  Six years later, he's come to love the Arapaho people he serves, even if he still doesn't fully understand all the nuances of their culture.  He appreciates their ancient traditions and counts the members of his flock as treasured friends.  When Harvey Castle, the tribal chairman, is stabbed to death in his teepee while attending a local powwow, John is just as shocked and sad as everyone else on the rez. 

Suspicion for the murder immediately falls on Harvey's nephew, Anthony, who was heard arguing with his uncle the night before his death.  Although the kid's an undeniable hothead, John doesn't think he's a killer.  Vicky Holden, a lawyer who grew up at Wind River, agrees.  If they're going to clear his name, John and Vicky need to find out who really killed Harvey—and why.  Their investigation leads in unexpected directions, putting the duo in danger from someone who's desperate to keep old secrets buried.  Can they expose the murderer and free Anthony without becoming the next victims of a cold-blooded killer?

Back in the Dark Ages before I started reviewing books on this blog, I read the first few installments in Margaret Coel's Father John O'Malley mystery series.  I enjoyed learning about Arapaho culture, following the developing relationship between John and Vicky, and reading mysteries that were engaging without being graphic.  When I needed a book set in Wyoming for the Literary Escapes Reading Challenge, I decided to revisit the series.  While I still appreciated the things that first drew me to the series, this time around I found its first installment, The Eagle Catcher, not quite as engrossing or compelling as I did the first time I read it.  John and Vicky are both likable characters, but they're so underdeveloped that neither comes off as very unique or exciting.  The supporting cast is the same, with so many similar people that they all ran together for me.  Plotwise, The Eagle Catcher is predictable, with no real twists to keep it interesting.  In a word: boring.  The story is slow and dull.  I'm not saying this series opener is a terrible read; it's not.  It's just a bit of a slog, which disappointed me because I wanted to love it as much as I did the first time I read it.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Coel's books have been compared to those by Tony Hillerman, although I don't know how apt the comparison is since I've never read Hillerman.)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center


Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

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