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Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:


4 / 30 books. 13% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

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

International:

- Australia (1)
- Ireland (1)

My Progress:


10 / 51 states. 20% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:


3 / 25 books. 12% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


12 / 50 books. 24% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


14 / 52 books. 27% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:


17 / 52 books. 33% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:


11 / 40 books. 28% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge


7 / 40 books. 18% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:


4 / 25 books. 16% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge


12 / 25 books. 48% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:


17 / 109 books. 16% done!

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

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Out With the Old Challenges, In With the New

 



It's no secret that I love reading challenges. They bring an added measure of fun to my reading, expand my literary horizons, and let me connect with like-minded book lovers. I love meeting my challenge goals, but I don't beat myself up if I fail spectacularly. They're just for fun and that's exactly how I treat them.

This year, I took on 13 challenges. How did I do? Let's see:

(Challenge links go to the 2022 challenges. See list below for 2023 links.)

1. Literary Escapes Challenge: I read books set in 50 states + Washington, D.C. + 17 countries. Ba bam! Rocked it. 

FYI, the top 3 states I visited most were: New York (11 books), California (8 books), and Massachusetts (7 books). The foreign country I visited most was England (18 books), with Ireland, Egypt, Australia, and Scotland tying for second place with three books each.

2. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: I joined this challenge at the "Prehistoric" level, which required reading 50+ historical fiction books. I managed 39. Not too bad!

3. Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge: My "Peckish" level required me to read 1-25 cozy mysteries this year. I rocked it with 26. Boo and yeah.

4. Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge: I joined this one at the highest level, which involved reading 56+ mystery books. Devouring mysteries is never a challenge for me; I read 81.

5. Booklist Queen's Reading Challenge: This challenge has 52 reading prompts, some easy, some not so much. I've still got four to go, so I won't finish this one this year.

6. Aussie Author Reading Challenge: I was really excited for this challenge, which involved reading and reviewing books by Australian authors. Although I did manage to read five books for the challenge, I only reviewed one. I didn't get anywhere close to the 25 that were required for the "Emu" level. Oops!

7. Nonfiction Reading Challenge: Pushing myself was my goal with this challenge, so I joined at the "Nonfiction Grazer" level. I grazed less than I planned, reading 12 non-fiction books and reviewing only three of them. I mean, at least I read more non-fiction than I would have without the challenge, right?

8. POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: This annual challenge really is a challenge for me. I've taken it on for several years now and never finished it. 2022 will not be the year I complete it, although I did come close. Of the 50 prompts (10 of which are "Advanced"), I got all but 5. Not bad at all, really.

9. Build Your Library Reading Challenge: Boom! I rocked this one as well, finishing all 40 of the reading prompts.

10. The 52 Club's Reading Challenge: Another 52-prompt challenge, this one gave me some trouble. I finished all but 4 of the prompts. Not too shabby.

11. Pioneer Book Reading Challenge: This fun prompt-based challenge is hosted by Pioneer Book in Provo, Utah, but it's open to non-residents. If you complete the challenge, you get a gift certificate toward buying more books there (in-store only), which is awesome. Even though me and/or my husband was in Provo several times this year, I just didn't get around to finshing this one. Oh well. 

12. Support Book Bloggers Challenge: I love the idea of this challenge, but I didn't get around to doing most of the tasks this year. Oops!

13. Medical Examiner Mystery Reading Challenge: Another mystery challenge, this one involves counting up the dead bodies in the books you read. Morbid? Yes. Also fun. I ended up tying 303 "toe tags" this year. As of now, I'm in 13th place. I'll take it!

Of the 13 reading challenges I took on, I totally rocked 5 of them, completing all the required tasks/prompts. I did pretty well with 5 more and was complete rubbish at the last 3. All in all, not too shabby. I'll be a little more conservative with the levels I choose in my 2023 challenges. Ha ha.


Speaking of 2023, once again I'm going to participate in 13 reading challenges. Even with this lucky number, it was hard to narrow down which I wanted to do. There are tons of fun ones on offer this year and I wish I could support them all, but I don't want to overwhelm myself too much, so I'm sticking with these:

1. Bookish Books Reading Challenge: Of course, I'm planning to do my own challenge! I'm going to go with the highest level, too, because why not? So, I'll be "Living in the Library" by reading 30+ books about books. Sweet!

2. Literary Escapes Reading Challenge: Once again, I'll be taking on the task of reading books set in all 50 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. You get bonus points for each foreign country you visit as well. This is a fun one, even if some of the states are really hard to find. I'm looking at you, Arkansas and North Dakota!

3. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: I love hist-fic, so this one shouldn't be much of a challenge. Still, I'm going to dial myself back a little and do the "Ancient History" level, which requires reading 25 historical novels. 

4. POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: Will 2023 be the year I actually complete this challenge? We'll see. 

5. Booklist Queen Reading Challenge: This will be my third year for this challenge, which I always enjoy.

6. 52 Book Club Reading Challenge: I think this will be the third year for this one as well. 

7. Build Your Library Reading Challenge: Since I had fun with this one in 2022, I'm signing up again in 2023. This year's prompts all follow an "Adventures in Science and Nature" theme. Not my favorite kind of reading, but the prompts are general enough that I should do fine.

8. Pioneer Book Reading Challenge: My husband and/or I will be in Provo at least once this year, so I'm going to give this one a go. I've yet to actually complete it, but it's still fun to try.

9. Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge: I'm still enjoying my cozies, so I'm going to do this one again. I'll join at the "Peckish" level again, so I'll be reading 1-25 cozies. No problem!

10. Medical Examiner Mystery Challenge: Playing M.E. is always a good time, so I'll be doing it again in 2023.

11. Book Bingo Blackout—I've never done this one before, but I love me a bingo-style challenge! The theme of this year's board is "School." I'll go for a blackout, naturally.

12. Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge—Another new one for me, this one involves choosing prompts from 27 topics (each of which has five categories). I think I'm going to go for the "52 Pick Up" level, which requires reading from two categories in each topic, with the use of one wildcard. Sounds fun!

13. Children's Book Reading Challenge...for Adults—I already read a lot of children's books, but why not encourage myself to read more? This challenge is simple. You just read books that could be found in the children's section of a library or bookstore. Easy cheesy.

Whew! Are you overwhelmed yet? Me too. Seriously, though, I'm looking forward to tackling all these. My idea of a good time, yes sirree! (Is it any wonder my kids think I don't know what fun is?) 

Are you taking on any reading challenges this year? If you need some ideas, look here:



(from Girl XOXO)

Goodbye, 2022. Hello, 2023!


Even though there's still, technically, another day of reading left in 2022, I'm going to call it for the year. Looking back on it, I'd say I've had an average reading year. I've read some great books, lots of so-so ones, and a couple of real stinkers. I wasn't sure I was going to make my Goodreads reading goal this year, but lookee here:


I did it! By slogging through Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber yesterday, I even managed to finish reading a book set in every U.S. state. Plus seventeen other countries. Not too shabby.

So, how did my reading break down this year? Let's see:

Total Books Read: 200—This is three fewer than last year, but ten more than in 2020.

Number of fiction books read: 188 (94%)—I've always been more about fiction than non-, but I have been increasing the number of non-fiction I read incrementally over the years. Last year, I was at 95% fiction, so a slight improvement this year.

Number of non-fiction books read: 12 (6%)—I enjoyed the non-fiction I read a lot this year, so I'll definitely make an effort to up this number for 2023.

Number of adult books read: 112 (56%)—I continue to read mostly books targeted at adults, but I also read a bunch of middle grade this year because of the two book awards programs that I've been involved in helping to judge. I'm not sure I'm going to take them both on next year, so this number may increase in 2023.

Number of YA books read: 17 (8%)—YA used to be a genre I read quite a lot. Not anymore. I do like all the YA mystery/thrillers that are being published these days, so I'll probably read a handful of those in 2023 as well.

Number of MG books read: 71 (36%)—Middle grade continues to be a favorite genre of mine. Even if I don't do as much book award judging in 2023, I'll still read a fair amount of these. Better and better books are being published in this genre every year!

Number of books by female authors: 172 (86%)—I've always tended to read mostly female authors and this has not changed, apparently.

Number of books by male authors: 25 (13%)—To make this number even more pathetic, 3 of these books were written by the same man. What can I say? I discovered the great Jason Reynolds this year!

Number of books written by a combination of authors, mixed genders: 3 (1%)

Books read, by genre:

General Fiction: 69

Mysteries and Thrillers (contemporary and historical): 66

Historical Fiction: 29

Sci-Fi/Dystopian: 9

Fantasy: 7

Supernatural/Horror: 5

Biographies/Memoirs: 5

Historical Non-Fiction: 5

Romance: 2

General Non-Fiction: 1

Self-Help: 2

No surprises here, really. I've always tended to read mostly mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction. The General Fiction majority is probably due to all the middle-grade novels I read, most of which were contemporary stories. I'm a titch surprised there aren't more supernatural/ghost stories here, but since I counted Gothic novels (sans ghosts) as general fiction, so I guess that makes sense. 

Based on these stats, I'd say that—surprise, surprise—I read pretty much the same thing every year! I'm a creature of habit for sure. In 2023, I would like to up my non-fiction reading. I will also try again to read a book from every state and even more foreign countries. Once again, I'll set my Goodreads reading goal at 200 books. I'm nothing if not consistent. Ha!

As for blogging, I was absolute rubbish at writing reviews this year (except on Goodreads). I plan to do better in the new year. Not having to deal with a big house move in 2023 should help.

How did your reading year go?

For my records, here is a list of the books I read in 2022. Asterisks denote favorites.

  • 1. The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson (Jan)
  • 2. Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew by Brian Hicks (Jan)
  • The Fossil Hunter by Tea Cooper (Jan)
  • 4. Lies That Comfort and Betray by Rosemary Simpson (Jan)
  • 5. Cheddar Off Dead by Korina Moss (Jan)
  • 6. The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (Jan)
  • 7. The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain (Jan)
  • 8. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes [audio] (Jan)
  • 9. Aunt Ivy's Cottage by Kristin Harper (Jan)
  • 10. The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman* (Jan)
  • 11. Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah (Jan)
  • 12. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (Jan)
  • 13. The Renegade Reporters by Elissa Brent Weissman [audio] (Jan)
  • 14. The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan* (Jan)
  • 15. Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien (Jan)
  • 16. Endurance by Alfred Lansing (Jan)
  • 17. The Ice House by Monica Sherwood (Feb)
  • 18. The Cure For What Ales You by Ellie Alexander (Feb)
  • 19. Scribbles, Sorrows, and Russet Leather Boots: The Life of Louisa May Alcott by Liz Rosenberg (Feb)
  • 20. A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert (Feb)
  • 21. Drawn by the Current by Jocelyn Green (Feb)
  • 22. Madam by Phoebe Wynne (Feb)
  • 23. Tips for Magicians by Celesta Rimington (Feb)
  • 24. I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys* (Feb)
  • 25. The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman [audio] (Feb)
  • 26. The Birdcage by Eve Chase (Feb)
  • 27. Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day (Feb)
  • 28. Home or Away by Kathleen West (Feb)
  • 29. The Floating Girls by Lo Patrick (Feb)
  • 30. News of the World by Paulette Jiles* [audio] (Feb)
  • 31. The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris (Feb)
  • 32. Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry* (Feb)
  • 33. Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James (Feb)
  • 34. Breathless by Amy McCulloch (Mar)
  • 35. The It Girl by Ruth Ware (Mar)
  • 36. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (Mar)
  • 37. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (Mar)
  • 38. Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower (Mar)
  • 39. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (Mar)
  • 40. Under Lock and Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian (Mar)
  • 41. The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard (Mar)
  • 42. Girl Underwater by Claire Kelly (Mar)
  • 43. Them Bones by Carolyn Haines (Mar)
  • 44. The Secret, Book, & Scone Society by Ellery Adams [audio] (Mar)
  • 45. I See You by Clare Mackintosh (Mar)
  • 46. The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer (Mar)
  • 47. Séances Are For Suckers by Tamara Berry (Mar)
  • 48. The London House by Katherine Reay (Mar)
  • 49. The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott [audio] (Mar)
  • 50. Time Will Tell by Barry Lyga (Apr)
  • 51. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters* [audio] [re-read] (Apr)
  • 52. The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister (Apr)
  • 53. The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon (Apr)
  • 54. The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters [audio] (Apr)
  • 55. Murder at Beechwood by Alyssa Maxwell (Apr)
  • 56. The Mothers by Genevieve Gannon (Apr)
  • 57. The Dead Cat Bounce by Sarah Graves [re-read] (Apr)
  • 58. Two Girls Down by Louise Luna (Apr)
  • 59. The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (Apr)
  • 60. The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill (Apr)
  • 61. Strong Like the Sea by Wendy S. Swore (Apr)
  • 62. These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall (May)
  • 63. The Skeleton Tree by Iain Chamberlain (May)
  • 64. The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott [audio] (May)
  • 65. Vintage by Susan Gloss (May)
  • 66. Horace & Bunwinkle: The Case of the Rascally Raccoon by P.J. Gardner (May)
  • 67. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson (May)
  • 68. Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day (May)
  • 69. A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong (May)
  • 70. The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey (May)
  • 71. Shaking Up the House by Yamile Saied Mendez (May)
  • 72. Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry* (May)
  • 73. Crime and Carpetbags by Julie Berry (May)
  • 74. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling* [re-read] [audio] (May)
  • 75. Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera (May)
  • 76. Cold, Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs (May)
  • 77. Only If You Dare by Josh Allen (May)
  • 78. Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff by Matt Paxton [audio] (May)
  • 79. Deep Water by Emma Bamford (May)
  • 80. On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry (Jun)
  • 81. Friends Forever by Shannon Hale (Jun)
  • 82. How to Survive Your Murder by Danielle Valentine (Jun)
  • 83. The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard [audio] (Jun)
  • 84. The Unquiet Dead by Stacie Murphy (Jun)
  • 85. The Night They Vanished by Vanessa Savage (Jun)
  • 86. Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling [audio] (Jun)
  • 87. Lost Cost Literary by Ellie Alexander (Jun)
  • 88. Dead Wind by Tessa Wegert (Jun)
  • 89. One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke (Jun)
  • 90. The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda (Jun)
  • 91. A Mother Would Know by Amber Garza (Jun)
  • 92. Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come by Jessica Pan [audio] (Jun)
  • 93. The Family Game by Catherine Steadman (Jul)
  • 94. The Second Husband by Kate White (Jul)
  • 95. Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Jul)
  • 96. The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes (Jul)
  • 97. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham (Jul)
  • 98. What You Wish For by Katherine Center (Jul)
  • 99. The Nurse's Secret by Amanda Skenandore (Jul)
  • 100. Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James (Aug)
  • 101. Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn (Aug)
  • 102. To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough (Aug)
  • 103. The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (Aug)
  • 104. The Making of Her by Bernadette Jiwa (Aug)
  • 105. Taken by Erin Bowman (Aug)
  • 106. Frozen by Erin Bowman (Aug)
  • 107. Forged by Erin Bowman (Aug)
  • 108. Ancestor Trouble by Maude Newton (Aug)
  • 109. Any Other Family by Eleanor Brown* (Aug)
  • 110. The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick (Aug)
  • 111. The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick* (Aug)
  • 112. The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager (Aug)
  • 113. Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger (Aug)
  • 114. The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks (Sep)
  • 115. The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin (Sep)
  • 116. Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf (Sep)
  • 117. The Drowning Sea by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Sep)
  • 118. Contagion by Erin Bowman (Sep)
  • 119. Immunity by Erin Bowman (Sep)
  • 120. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan (Sep)
  • 121. These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant (Sep)
  • 122. The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore* (Sep)
  • 123. Silver Like Dust by Kimi Cunningham Grant (Sep)
  • 124. The Maid by Nita Prose* (Sep)
  • 125. Come Down Somewhere by Jennifer L. Wright (Sep)
  • 126. The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox (Sep)
  • 127. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm (Sep)
  • 128. So Not My Thing by Melanie Jacobson (Sep)
  • 129. Brave Bird at Wounded Knee by Rachel Bithell (Oct)
  • 130. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (Oct)
  • 131. Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd (Oct)
  • 132. When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura (Oct)
  • 133. The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson (Oct)
  • 134. Holler of the Fireflies by David Barclay Moore (Oct)
  • 135. Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King (Oct)
  • 136. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty [audio] (Oct)
  • 137. New From Here by Kelly Yang* (Oct)
  • 138. Out of Range by Heidi Lang (Oct)
  • 139. The Book of Elsie by Joanne Levy (Oct)
  • 140. The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada's Reef by Michael D. Beil (Oct)
  • 141. Worser by Jennifer Ziegler (Oct)
  • 142. Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas (Oct)
  • 143. The View From the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan (Oct)
  • 144. Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner* (Oct)
  • 145. The Best Liars in Riverview by Lin Thompson (Oct)
  • 146. Yonder by Ali Standish* (Oct)
  • 147. Caprice by Coe Booth (Oct)
  • 148. Strangers On a Train by Patricia Highsmith [audio] (Oct)
  • 149. The Way I Say It by Nancy Tandon (Oct)
  • 150. Those Kids From Fawn Creek by Erin Estrada Kelly (Oct)
  • 151. Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? by Leslie Connor (Oct)
  • 152. Coming Up Short by Laurie Morrison (Oct)
  • 153. Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson (Nov)
  • 154. Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone by Tae Keller (Nov)
  • 155. Spineless by Samantha San Miguel (Nov)
  • 156. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Nov)
  • 157. Just Harriet by Elana K. Arnold (Nov)
  • 158. Miraculous by Caroline Starr Rose (Nov)
  • 159. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper [re-read] [audio] (Nov)
  • 160. Drew Leclair Gets A Clue by Katryn Bury (Nov)
  • 161. The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson (Nov)
  • 162. Maizy Chen's Last Chance by Lisa Yee* (Nov)
  • 163. Best Friends, Bikinis, and Other Summer Catastrophes by Kristi Wiengte (Nov)
  • 164. The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Nov)
  • 165. Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson (Nov)
  • 166. Lemon Drop Falls by Heather Clark (Nov)
  • 167. Confessions of a Class Clown by Arianne Costner (Nov)
  • 168. The Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton (Nov)
  • 169. Sphere by Michael Crichton [re-read] (Nov)
  • 170. Coming of Age: 13 B'Nai Mitzvah Stories by various authors (Nov)
  • 171. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Nov)
  • 172. Snow Struck by Nick Courage (Nov)
  • 173. Air by Monica Roe (Dec)
  • 174. At the Quiet Edge by Victoria Helen Stone (Dec)
  • 175. Thirst by Varsha Bajaj* (Dec)
  • 176. Roll For Initiative by Jamie Formato (Dec)
  • 177. Wishing Upon the Same Stars by Jacquette Nammar Feldman* (Dec)
  • 178. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Dec)
  • 179. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens* [re-read] (Dec)
  • 180. The Hope of Elephants by Amanda Rawson Hill (Dec)
  • 181. How to Fake An Irish Wake by Eliza Watson (Dec)
  • 182. The Seed of Faith by Daniel Petronelli (Dec)
  • 183. Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart (Dec)
  • 184. The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell [audio] (Dec)
  • 185. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister (Dec)
  • 186. Willis Wilbur Wows the World by Lindsey Leavitt* (Dec)
  • 187. Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick (Dec)
  • 188. Ghost by Jason Reynolds [audio] (Dec)*
  • 189. Patina by Jason Reynolds [audio] (Dec)
  • 190. Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Dec)
  • 191. The Gods of Green County by Mary Elizabeth Pope (Dec)
  • 192. Lu by Jason Reynolds [audio] (Dec)
  • 193. The Ghost of Wyvern Lake by Sheila A. Nielson (Dec)
  • 194. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (Dec)
  • 195. By Book Or by Crook by Eva Gates (Dec)
  • 196. Liam Lewis and the Summer Camp Curse by Brandon J. Greer (Dec)
  • 197. Miss Classified by Susan Phelan (Dec)
  • 198. Dragon Pox by Camille Smithson (Dec)
  • 199. Atomic Habits by James Clear* [re-read] (Dec)
  • 200. Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber
Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!


The good thing about being up at 4:30 a.m. on Christmas morning with a low blood sugar episode is that it's peaceful and calm in my home. Just me, the glowing tree, and a cup of eggnog to treat my low. In years past, my kids would be wide awake at this hour, too excited to sleep and begging to be able to open their presents. Now, I only have teenagers at home. If we didn't have church at 9, they probably wouldn't wake up until noon, even on this special day! I'm headed back to bed myself, but I wanted to take advantage of this quiet moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I appreciate your loyal readership more than you know. The book blogosphere is a wonderful place to hang out because of you. I hope your holiday is full of warmth, joy, love, laughter, and hopefully, some bookish goodness under the tree!








 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: I'm My Own Santa Claus!


Christmas is on Sunday? What?? It still feels surreal, just like every year. I'm feeling much more prepared today than I was last Tuesday, so I'm hoping I'll be able to enjoy a nice, calm, peaceful weekend holiday celebration with family and friends. I wish the same for you and yours!

I mentioned last week that my reading goal for 2022 is 200 books. How am I doing? Not TOO badly. I'm at 188 read and I should finish both my paper read and my audiobook today. That gives me ten days to read ten more books. Can I do it? Like Bob the Builder says, "YES, I can!" Well, we'll see about that, Bob, but like the Little Red Engine chants, "I THINK I can." 

Anyway, it's Tuesday and that means it's time for TTT. Today's topic is, naturally, Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings/Bookish Wishes (Link up those wishlists and grant some wishes for the holidays!). I'm going to ignore the second part since I can't imagine asking you all to buy me books and just do the first one. Now, I don't know about you, but I always get what I want from Santa because, you know, I am him. Plus, my birthday is a few days before Christmas, so I just load myself up with whatever I want to get for myself. It always works out super well for me. Ha ha. 

If you want to share your bookish holiday wishes, join in the TTT fun. All the details are at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Ten Bookish Gifts Santa Is Going to Bring Me (if he gets "his" act together, of course)


1. A Little Free Library—I've been wanting one of these babies for forever and since we just moved into a neighborhood with a much lax-er HOA than our last one, I bought myself one for my birthday. Squee! We haven't put it together yet (and by "we" I mean my husband because I have no DIY skills whatsoever), but it's the one in the picture above.

Beautiful, isn't it? I can't wait to get it up and running. Anyone else have one? Do you have any tips for me on how to be a good LFL librarian?

2. Children's Books—I have plenty of adult books to stock my library, but I don't have a lot of kids' books. For my birthday on Thursday, I'm going to hit up my favorite indie bookstore, Changing Hands, and use my birthday discount to get some good ones. It's a new and used bookstore, so the stock is always changing. We'll see what I can find. Which titles would you buy?


3. My Favorite Mug—My husband bought me this mug, which I love, a number of years ago at Changing Hands. I don't drink coffee or tea (Mormon, natch), but I do down a lot of cocoa during the (too few) cold months here. My old mug has an annoying chip in it, so I'm going to grab myself a new one while I'm in the store.


4. Changing Hands T-shirt—Speaking of my favorite indie, my two Changing Hands t-shirts are bleach-stained and full of holes, respectively. I might pick up a new one on Thursday.


5. Read in Peace Cross-Stitch Pattern—This is more Halloween than Christmas, but I love this fun little pattern from LolaCrowCrossStitch. Plus, considering how slow I am to actually finish my cross-stitch projects, I need to start now in order to finish by October!

As for actual books, these five are definite possibilities:


6. Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese—I've been on the library waiting list for this buzzy hist-fic novel for forever. I might just go ahead and buy it.


7. The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean—This very unique-sounding novel has been all over the book blogosphere. It's one of the titles I'm planning to read for my Bookish Books Reading Challenge.


8. Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash by Tammy Pasterick—I'm intrigued by this family drama set in 1910 Pennsylvania. 


9. Atomic Habits by James Clear—I love this motivating book, which I already own, but I'm thinking about buying it on audio so I can listen to it whenever I need a little goal-getting inspo. 


10. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling—When these books originally came out, I bought every one in hardcover. In the years since, they've been read to death by me and my daughter. The first volume has also gone missing (except for the dust jacket, weirdly). I've been wanting to buy a shiny new set, probably in (super expensive) hardcover, but I do like the paperback set above.

There you are, ten books and bookish items "Santa" will likely bring me for Christmas and my birthday. What bookish treats are you hoping to find under your tree this year? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Announcing the Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted By Yours Truly)


After my 2021 foray into the world of reading challenge hosting (at which I proved to be a right failure), I vowed never to host again. Famous last words! An idea for a reading challenge occurred to me while I was showering the other day and I decided why not? So, here goes...

I know I'm not the only bookaholic who loves to read books about my favorite hobby. Whether it's a swoony rom-com with a library meet-cute, a drama involving a book club of frenemies, a behind-the-scenes memoir by a bookstore owner, a biography of a favorite writer, or a tantalizing mystery that delves into the world of rare books, I'm there for it. Book stacks on the cover? I'm in! My eye will always be drawn to bookish books. I have hundreds of them on my various Goodreads TBR lists. One thing I've never seen in all my years of taking on reading challenges is one dedicated entirely to books about books. That is a downright travesty, my friends, so I made my own! 

This is a laidback challenge designed to encourage the reading of all those bookish books that are still lingering on our shelves and TBR lists. Any book counts as long as one of its main themes is books (reading them, writing them, hoarding them, stealing them, eating them, burning them, decorating with them, organizing them, sniffing them, selling them, etc.). Any book that is essentially bookish in nature counts. All formats are acceptable. Since this challenge isn't about pages read, length doesn't matter either. Picture books are totally fine.

Because it wouldn't be a challenge without a *little* bit of pushing, I created some levels just to make it more fun:

Toe in the Door: 1-10 books read
Picking and Perusing: 11-20 books read
Lost in the Stacks: 21-30 books read
Living in the Library: 30+ books read

I'm an overachiever, so I'm aiming for the Living in the Library level. 

Reviews aren't required, but they're always nice. I, for one, am perpetually on the lookout for more bookish books and reviews help me to know which are worth the read. So, I'll put a monthly linky up so we can all see what we're reading for the challenge. 

You don't have to have a blog to participate, but it's helpful to keep a list of books read for the challenge somewhere. Mine will be listed under the "Reading Challenges" tab here at BBB.

If you need ideas for the challenge, I've started a Goodreads list to help. I'm sure there are others there with a similar theme. 
The challenge will run from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. You can sign up any time during the year, starting now. 

Challenges are more fun with friends, so please join me. Feel free to grab the challenge button, post about the challenge on your blog, and help me spread the word.

Please use the linky below to sign up for the challenge. Create a post on your blog or on social media announcing that you are participating in the challenge, then use that link to sign up using the linky widget below:




 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 25 for 200 in 2022, Part 2

 

Only 12 sleeps left until the Big Day? How is that possible? Ack! I still haven't finished decorating, haven't even started sending out my Christmas cards, have only bought a few gifts, and...yeah. I'm sure I will get everything done by Christmas, but I'm stressing a bit over here. I'm also lagging behind in my reading. If I hope to reach my goal of reading 200 books by the end of the year, I better hurry it up. I'm at 180 right now. I'm almost finished with my main read, but that still leaves 19 to go. We'll see how I do.

Seasonal reading lists are my favorite, so I'm loving today's TTT topic: Top Ten Books On My Winter 2022-2023 TBR List. In fact, I started my list last week with this post listing 12 of the 25 I planned to read to complete my goal. Since then, I have read three of them and DNF'd one. Today, I'm going to give you 13 more that I'm hoping to read in the next few weeks. 

I'd love to see what's on your Winter TBR list. If you want to join in the TTT fun (and you do!), click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the deets.

Top Twenty-Five Books I'm Going to Read to Meet My 2022 Reading Goal, Part Two


1. How to Fake An Irish Wake by Eliza Watson—This is my current paper read. It's a fun cozy mystery set in Ireland and featuring a genealogical mystery: the search for a man's biological father in a small Irish town. I've only got about 50 pages to go and I'm not sure "whodunit" yet.


2. The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell—I started this mystery on audio yesterday. It concerns the mysterious disappearance of two teenage parents from a party at a house called Dark Place. Two years later, a mystery novelist moves into a cottage near the now abandoned home and gets embroiled in the cold case. I'm enjoying the read so far.


3. The Gods of Green County by Mary Elizabeth Pope—I mentioned this novel in a TTT list a couple weeks ago. I need to read a book set in Arkansas for a reading challenge and this one sounds intriguing. It's about a woman who's taking on the powers that be in her small town to find out what really caused her brother's suspicious death. Neither of my local libraries had a copy of the book, so I went ahead and bought it. I'm planning to read it this week.


4. All the Lost Places by Amanda DykesBethany House sent me a copy of this book to review. It's gotten great buzz, so I'm excited. It's set in Venice and concerns an abandoned baby who is found floating in the canals. Decades later, a translator may be the one who solves the mystery of the child's true origin.


5. The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes—I've enjoyed this YA Knives Out-like series. This is the last book in the series and I'm excited to see how the story ends.


6. Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan—Ever since it came out last year, I've been wanting to read this story about a woman whose dying brother's wish is to know the truth about Narnia. When his sister timidly approaches C.S. Lewis, she has no idea that their encounters will change all of their lives. Sounds like a heartwarming holiday read!


7. Willis Wilbur Wows the World by Lindsey Leavitt—Leavitt's books are always fun. I'm sure this one will be no exception. It's about an enterprising 9-year-old who decides his life's true calling is to become the neighborhood life coach. Hilarity ensues.


8. The Ghost of Wyvern Lake by Sheila A. Nielson—This is a Halloween story, not a Christmas one, but it sounds fun so I'm going for it. When the fish in Wyvern Lake start dying of a mysterious illness, the owner drains the water hole only to uncover an old church with a very angry ghost inside. It's up to a group of young ghost hunters to free their town of a malevolent entity.


9. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister—I'm intrigued by this book's premise. It's about a mother who is shocked and devastated when she witnesses her 17-year-old son killing a stranger. The next morning, she's stunned all over again when she discovers that it's not tomorrow but yesterday. Time is moving backwards, a miraculous gift she's been given to save her boy from committing a horrendous act.


10. Cece Rios and the King of Fears by Kaela Rivera—The second book in a MG series based on Mexican folklore, this one features a young bruja who must take on a powerful criatura in order to save her sister's soul.




11. Things We Didn't Say by Amy Lynn Green—I enjoyed the one book I've read by Green and I'm really looking forward to her newest, which just came out. This one is actually her 2020 debut. It concerns a young woman who is studying linguistics at the University of Minnesota. When she's asked by the Army to serve as a translater at a nearby German POW camp, she does it only reluctantly. Her service there, as well as her growing compassion for the prisoners, makes her an enemy in the surrounding town. When she finds herself falling for one of the inmates, she must question her own traitorous heart.


12. The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope—This historical fantasy sounds fun. It's about a woman who can commune with spirits and the debt she owes to a powerful entity. In order to free herself from its clutches, she must perform a daring heist that will no doubt lead her into all kinds of trouble.


13. Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz—I still need to read a book set in Montana and this cozy mystery sounds fun. It concerns a woman who turns her family's 100-year-old general store into a boutique selling local delicacies. When a former employee turns up dead, she has to channel her inner Nancy Drew to save herself and her store from suspicion.

There you go, thirteen books I'm planning to read before the year ends. Have you read any of them? What's on your Winter TBR list? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 

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All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham

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The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong



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