2023 Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

My ninth year doing this challenge! Last year I didn’t complete it, but it seems a lot easier this year, nothing really out of my normal reading: Asian? African? Indigenous? Microhistory? Classic Retelling? Manga? Maybe they realize they overdid it last year, and decided that a graphic novel of a classic retelling drawn by an indigenous artist who is also LGBTQ is a bit too challenging?

A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25

A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65

collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)

A book published by an indie press: We’re Still Here

A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ

A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: The Man Who Invented Christmas

A book that takes place in Asia: Tua and the Elephant

A book by an author from Africa

A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.): Pushing the Bear


A YA novel: Scion of the Fox

sci-fi novel

romance novel

National Book AwardMan Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade

A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.): The Palace of Illusions

An audiobook: Never Wave Goodbye

A collection of poetry

A book that someone else has recommended to you

A book that was originally published in another language

A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind: Zom 100

A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)

A book published before 1850

A book published this year

self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)

Published in: on March 25, 2023 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Eurovisionathon 2022

Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the song contest!!

I believe this is my second year joining this readathon. As you can imagine, the goal is to read books from as many participating countries as possible. The little twist is that your points is calculated by how the countries fare in the contest. The first year I simply read whatever books I had handy, not knowing much about the singing competition itself. This year, a bit more experienced, I checked out the betting odds and plan my books accordingly. That said, I am as usual bad at placing bets, so while I read the books for Ukraine and UK, I didn’t quite finish the top 10.

It was a fun reading challenge, and definitely pushed me to read beyond what I normally do, and I learned much about history and cultures. Nonetheless, after a month, I am ready to take a break from all the stories about war and all the lost lives and loves.

The 24 countries I’ve read:

Armenia: Orhan’s Inheritance
Australia: Roundabout
Austria: The Making of the Sound of Music
Bulgaria: East of the West
Cyprus: The Island of Missing Trees (They didn’t make it pass semi-final but definitely one of my top reads)
Czech Republic: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Denmark: Hamlet’s Father
Estonia: The Inner Immigrant
Finland: The Year of the Hare
France: The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard
Germany: Address Unknown
Greece: Gods Behaving Badly
Iceland: Moonstone
Italy: Around the World in 80 Days
Lithuania: Thanks to My Mother
Netherlands: Dutch, I Presume
Norway: Odin’s Child
Poland: The Dollmaker of Krakow
Portugal: The Land at the End of the World
Romania: Voices of Dracula
Sweden: A Man Called Ove
Switzerland: Vinzi
Ukraine: The Holocaust by Bullets
UK: The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye

And some books I didn’t get around to this year but hopefully for next time:
Albania: The Sworn Virgin or books by Ismail Kadare
Azerbaijan: Orphan Sky, Ali and Nino
Belgium: Nowhere Boy or Tin Tin
Croatia: Girl at War
Georgia: Flight from the USSR
Luthuania: books by Ruta Sepetys
Malta: Midwife of Venice
Moldova: The Good Life Elsewhere
Montenegro: Till Kingdom Come
Serbia: Tea Obreht
Slovenia: You Do Understand
Ukraine: Land of Stone Flower

Dewey October 2020 Readathon

Six months since April, still in a stay-at-home hermit-like existence, which means I get to participate fully in the readathon again! More than my average “fully”, I’m to host a Twitter party as well as a mini challenge, woohoo!! This does side track me from reading more, but at least I get to knock off a few Ballycumbers, I hope.

Conclusion: Well, the page count is rather dismay. I just can’t seem to pull the 1000 pages I used to do. I seriously need to lock my phone away… : ( But at least I cleared off some of my Ballycumbers. Also, it was fun hosting the Twitter party and I’d like to do it again if given the chance. A little sad my challenge only got 3 replies though.

Total Pages read so far: 569

Dreaming Water pgs 188-288 (101)
Sexing the Cherry pgs 70-144 (75)
Soaring with Fidel pgs 140-286 (147)
A Street Cat Named Bob pgs 50-232 (183)
The Song That Owl God Sang pgs 1-62 (63)

Total Time spent reading so far: 10 hr

Mini-challenges I’ve entered:
Fall/Autumn Reference
Readathon Snack Attack

Published in: on October 24, 2020 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Make Their Dreams Come True

Have you ever read about a character who has financial woes and you just so wish you can help them? Well, here’s your chance! Help them achieve their dreams, and imagine a better life for them!

I wonder if anybody else is reading memoirs today? A good one can be as much a pageturner as the best novels. For this readathon, one of the books I am reading is The International Bank of Bob by Bob Harris. The author travels around the world to find out how microloans are helping people in developing countries, which inspires this mini challenge.

Kiva.org is a nonprofit that links people in need with those who can help. When you visit the site, you can check out the borrower profiles and see who you would like to lend your money to: an artisan in Bali, a bookstore in Kenya, a coffee grower in Nicaragua…

For this challenge, you will help a book character write their story, in a few short paragraphs, about them and what they aspire to do with the loan. You can click on a few profiles on Kiva.org to get some idea how the profile looks like.

Here’s an example:

Liz is a high school senior in Indiana who lives with her grandparents and her brother. She has excellent grades in school and plays the clarinet as well as compose music. Liz is accepted into a prestigious college, and she hopes that Kiva loaners can help her with her education fees. She hopes to play in the orchestra in college and her dream is to become a doctor and cure her brother’s sickle cell disease. (You Should See Me in a Crown

Please post your loan profile, or a link to your reply, below. I will randomly select a winner for a Kiva gift card, so you can make a real life loan to help someone. You will need to provide me with an email for me to send the prize.

Published in: on October 20, 2020 at 10:42 pm  Comments (7)  

2020 April Dewey Readathon

I haven’t participated in Dewey’s 24 Hr Readathon much in the last few years; April and October are busy travel seasons for me. However, this year… everybody is staying home due to the coronavirus.  I still have to work, but it’s easy enough to arrange the day off.

That said, while my phone clocked me at reading close to 16 hours, I have to admit that I do spend a good chunk of time being distracted on my phone, what with Pokemon and Animal Crossing, which definitely slowed down my reading speed. I did finish a few books, but if I did the math, the page count per hour is probably dismal.

I’ve read and finished:

Raspberries on the Yangtze (148 pages)
Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (214 pages)
(both of which are for the OWLs Readathon as well)
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids (189 pages)

as well as read partially:

Rescue Road
Tall, Dark & Hungry


Published in: on April 30, 2020 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

2020 Around the Year in 52 Books

Last year I stumbled across this challenge rather late in the year, but easily managed to fit the books I’ve read into most prompt, and in fact it was the first yearly challenge I completed for the year.  Let’s see how I do this year!

1. A book with a title that doesn’t contain the letters A, T or Y: Frog Music
2. A book by an author whose last name is one syllable: The Ghost Bride (Yangsze Choo)
3. A book that you are prompted to read because of something you read in 2019: Stargirl
4. A book set in a place or time that you wouldn’t want to live: The Zombie Autopsies
5. The first book in a series that you have not started: Kare First Love
6. A book with a mode of transportation on the cover: A Whale Hunt
7. A book set in the southern hemisphere: A Long Petal of the Sea
8. A book with a two-word title where the first word is “The”: The Betrayal
9. A book that can be read in a day: Dare to Disappoint
10. A book that is between 400-600 pages: Russian Winter
11. A book originally published in a year that is a prime number: In the Garden of Beasts
12. A book that is a collaboration between 2 or more people: Overdue: The Final Unshelved Collection
13. A prompt from a previous Around the Year in 52 Books challenge (Link) – A dual-timeline novel: Easter Island
14. A book by an author on the Abe List of 100 Essential Female Writers (link): Everything I Never Told You 
15. A book set in a global city: The Sun Is Also a Star
16. A book set in a rural or sparsely populated area: Himalayan Dhaba
17. A book with a neurodiverse character: Motherless Brooklyn
18. A book by an author you’ve only read once before: The Rabbi’s Cat 2
19. A fantasy book: Graceling
20. The 20th book [on your TBR, in a series, by an author, on a list, etc.]: Living in a Foreign Language (20th oldest TBR)
21. A book related to Maximilian Hell, the noted astronomer and Jesuit Priest who was born in 1720: South Pole Station
22. A book with the major theme of survival: Song Yet Sung
23. A book featuring an LGBTQIA+ character or by an LGBTQIA+ author: Every Day
24. A book with an emotion in the title: I Shall Not Hate
25. A book related to the arts: Russian Winter
26. A book from the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards: The Starless Sea
27. A history or historical fiction: The Twentieth Wife
28. A book by an Australian, Canadian or New Zealand author: Tall, Dark & Hungry
29. An underrated book, a hidden gem or a lesser known book: Dare to Disappoint
30. A book from the New York Times ‘100 Notable Books’ list for any year: A Mercy
31. A book inspired by a leading news story: Oranges and Sunshine
32. A book related to the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Japan: The Fire Kimono
33. A book about a non-traditional family: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
34. A book from a genre or sub genre that starts with a letter in your name: Supernaturally
35. A book with a geometric pattern or element on the cover: MWF Seeking BFF
36. A book from your TBR/wishlist that you don’t recognize, recall putting there, or put there on a whim: Graceling
37. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #1: Supernaturally
38. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #2: Naturally Tan
39. A book by an author whose real name(s) you’re not quite sure how to pronounce: Ciao, America!
40. A book with a place name in the title: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
41. A mystery: The Clockwork Scarab
42. A book that was nominated for one of the ‘10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World’: Everything Inside
43. A book related to one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse: I Shall Not Hate
44. A book related to witches: Tarnished and Torn
45. A book by the same author who wrote one of your best reads in 2019 or 2018: Clockwork Angel
46. A book about an event or era in history taken from the Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”: The Girl-Son
47. A classic book you’ve always meant to read: Tisha
48. A book published in 2020: The Henna Artist
49. A book that fits a prompt from the list of suggestions that didn’t win (link)  – A book featuring a child being raised by someone other than their biological parents: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
50. A book with a silhouette on the cover: Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids
51. A book with an “-ing” word in the title: Spinning Silver
52. A book related to time: Nineteen Minutes

Published in: on January 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm  Comments (1)  

666 Challenge (2019)

I first participated in this challenge from BookCrossing in 2017. After having to read several books that I didn’t care for and only persevere because of its geographic affiliation, I decided to take a break. This year I have accumulated enough books from around that world that I feel that this challenge will be a good chance to push me to read some of them.

Here are the rules:

You aim to read 6 books which are set in OR are written by an author from 6 different countries in each of the 6 continents within 2017. You cannot count books of the same country twice and you cannot count one book for more than one country.


IVORY COAST – Aya: Life in Yop City
NIGERIA – Stay with Me
EGYPT – Distant View of Minaret
MALAWI – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
SOUTH SUDAN – A Long Walk to Water


GERMANY – The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
CROATIA – Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
PORTUGAL – Alentejo Blue
FINLAND – The Summer Book
FRANCE – My French Whore
ROMANIA – Train to Trieste


IRAN – A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea
TIBET – Dalai Lama, My Son;
INDIA – Sister of My Heart
MALAYSIA – The Gift of Rain
AFGHANISTAN – Shooting Kabel
JAPAN – Strangers


USA – Sourdough
BARBADOS – And a Bottle of Rum
CUBA – Child of Exile
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – With the Fire on High
CANADA – The Night Shift
HAITI – The Farming of Bones


MICRONESIA – Island of the Sequined Love Nun
AUSTRALIA – Unpolished Gem
FIJI – Getting Stoned with Savages
HAWAII – East Wind, Rain
NEW ZEALAND – Married to a Bedouin
ANTARTICA – The Stowaway


BRAZIL – Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes
PERU – The Last Days of the Incas
ARGENTINA – The Whispering Land
COLOMBIA – Fruit of a Drunken Tree
CHILE – Island Beneath the Sea
BOLIVIA – Affections

I managed to finish this challenge on New Year’s Eve. As usual, S. America is a challenge. With Paulo Coehlo and Isabel Allende it is easy to get the first few, but then it gets hard to find something interesting from the rest of the continent. I still have quite a few books left over, so I plan to do it again for 2020.

Published in: on December 25, 2019 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Around the Year in 52 Books 2019

So, while chatting with fellow readers during a reading challenge, someone mentioned the ATY reading challenge. Naturally… I couldn’t resist finding out what it is about.  While we are already into October, reading the prompts I realize that a lot what I’ve read fit neatly in.  It is almost like emptying out a box of jigsaw puzzles and somehow the pieces fall in place to near completion.  If I knew about this challenge at the beginning of the year, I probably would have said that I’ve signed up for too many already. Now, however, I decide to just copy this down out of curiosity how much I’ve already done.

Dec 16: I just finished the Fruit of a Drunken Tree, thus completing this challenge. Turns out this challenge, the last to join, is the first to finish, due to its less restricting prompts.  So happy to complete it!

1. A book that was nominated for or won an award in a genre you enjoy – The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Newberry 2017)
2. A book with one of the 5 W’s in the title (Who, What, Where, When, Why) – The Dogs Who Found Me
3. A book where the author’s name contains A, T, and Y – The Samurai’s Garden (Gail Tsukiyama)
4. A book with a criminal character (i.e. assassin, pirate, thief, robber, scoundrel etc) – Malice at the Palace
5. A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare – Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times
6. A book with a dual timeline – The Lake House
7. 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: Book #1 – Body of Work
8. 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: Book #2 – The Anatomist
9. A book from one of the top 5 money making genres (romance/erotica, crime/mystery, religious/inspirational, science fiction/fantasy or horror) – My Jane Austen Summer
10. A book featuring an historical figure – Nine Days a Queen
11. A book related to one of the 12 Zodiac Chinese Animals (title, cover, subject) – The Hare with Amber Eyes
12. A book about reading, books or an author/writer – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair
13. A book that is included on a New York Public Library Staff Picks list – With the Fire on High
14. A book with a title, subtitle or cover relating to an astronomical term – Walk Two Moons
15. A book by an author from a Mediterranean country or set in a Mediterranean country – Four Seasons in Rome
16. A book told from multiple perspectives – Stay With Me
17. A speculative fiction (i.e. fantasy, scifi, horror, dystopia) – Strangers
18. A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table of elements – Crucible of Gold 
19. A book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR – The Renegade Hunter
20. A book featuring indigenous people of a country – #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women
21. A book from one of the polarizing or close call votes: A book by an author from an island – The Farming of Bones
22. A book with a number in the title or on the cover – Ajax Penumbra 1969
23. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something Old – 1421
24. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #2 Something New – Brand New China
25. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #3 Something Borrowed – The Borrower
26. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #4 Something Blue –Alentejo Blue
27. A book off of the 1001 books to read before you die list – Fugitive Pieces 
28. A book related to something cold (i.e. theme, title, author, cover, etc.) – The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
29. A book published before 1950 – Just So Stories
30. A book featuring an elderly character – Unforgettable
31. A children’s classic you’ve never read – Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
32. A book with more than 500 pages – Perdido Street Station
33. A book you have owned for at least a year, but have not read yet – Getting Stoned with Savages
34. A book with a person’s name in the title – Ajax Penumbra 1969
35. A psychological thriller – Strangers
36. A book featured on an NPR Best Books of the Year list – Sourdough
37. A book set in a school or university – The Golden Day
38. A book not written in traditional novel format (poetry, essay, epistolary, graphic novel, etc) – Milk and Honey
39. A book with a strong sense of place or where the author brings the location/setting to life – The Summer Book
40. A book you stumbled upon – The Realm of Shells
41. A book from the 2018 GR Choice Awards – Fruit of a Drunken Tree
42. A book with a monster or “monstrous” character – Perdido Street Station
43. A book related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) [fiction or nonfiction] – Brilliant
44. A book related in some way to a tv show/series or movie you enjoyed (same topic, same era, book appeared in the show/movie, etc.) – The Art of Aardman
45. A multi-generational saga – The Years of Rice and Salt
46. A book with a (mostly) black cover – Blackfish City
47. A book related to food (i.e. title, cover, plot, etc.) – Banana
48. A book that was a finalist or winner for the National Book Award for any year – Challenger Deep
49. A book written by a Far East Asian author or set in a Far East Asian country – Ceres: Celestial Legend
50. A book that includes a journey (physical, health, or spiritual) – Tales of a Female Nomad
51. A book published in 2019 – House of Salt and Sorrows
52. A book with a weird or intriguing title – Island of the Sequined Love Nun


Published in: on October 2, 2019 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hogwarts House Battle Readathon 2019

Truth be told, I am a bit fatigue after two months of readathons, the Book Junkie Trail and the NEWTs, but how can I not give my support to my house and participate in a HP-themed readathon?  I read most days anyway, and I have to read books for two BookCrossing books coming my way: the Biography of Things bookbox and the Books about Books bookbox. So may as well let my page counts go to some use.

Oct 1: I finished all the classes in this reading challenge!  In fact, I did really good, finished 24 books with 2 half way through, a total of 5676 pages.  Also had fun with the weekly challenges.  Best of all, Ravenclaw won the House Cup!! Yay!!

Week 1 challenge
Week 2 Challenge
Week 3 Challenge

Prompts for the readathon:

Alchemy ~ Read a Recommendation from a Friend: Stay with Me

Apparation ~ Only Read This Book in Public: 9 Days a Queen

Arithmancy ~ Read a Book with a Number in the Title: 9 Days a Queen

Astronomy ~ Reading Under the Stars (Only Read This Book At Night): The Art of Aardman

Care of Magical Creatures ~ The Beasts (Read a Book With an Animal on The Cover): Grayson

Charms ~ Something New and Unexpected (Read a New-to-you Book): Ah Choo!

Defense Against the Dark Arts ~ Can’t Last (Read a Book you Previously Put Down): Getting Stone with the Savages

Divination ~ The Future (Read a Predicted 5 Star Read): Stay with Me

Flying ~ Fly High (Read Your Most Anticipated Book): The Perfect Fruit

Herbology ~ Caring (Read a Book That Means A lot To You): The Samurai’s Garden

History of Magic ~ Historical (Read a Book From Another Generation): Crowned and Dangerous

Muggle Studies ~ Blending In (Read a Hyped Book): Fire on High

Potions ~ Mixing (Read a Genre You Wouldn’t Usually Pick Up): Milk & Honey

Study of Ancient Runes ~ Ancients (Read a Classic Novel): Dandelion Wine

Transfiguration ~ Change (Read The Last Book You Bought): Slash with a Knife

Published in: on September 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Magical Readathon: The NEWTs 2019

NEWTs stands for Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests.  Seriously?  That doesn’t sound formal, but rather a joke of an official acronym.  Whatever it is, it’s in a month’s time so time to get the deets squared away. 

Please tell me I am not the only one.  I keep telling myself, this is a just a freaking readathon, my life doesn’t depend on it, my future happiness and material wealth and personal fulfillment does not depend on it, but I still couldn’t make up my mind about my career choice after Hogswart!

I browse the career guide; I am not sure I have the stuff for Auror or a medical career. Broom maker sounds janitorial to my muggle ears. Should I be a magizoologist? Hmmm…

I am most attracted to Aurologist. Years ago I was fascinated by someone doing Aura Reading at a New Age fair. May include travel to France, Japan and Nepal?  Sign me up!! It requires:

OWLs: Astronomy, Divination, and History of Magic
NEWTs: E in Astronomy, E in Divination

(Each subject has 3 pass grades. A for Acceptable, E for Exceeded Expectations & an O for Outstanding, the highest grade.)

Ha, so happened I did not pass Astronomy (book with star in title) and Divination (a book that takes place in the future) in my OWLs.  But I know I can do it Hermione style, talk Professor McGonagall into letting me take the NEWTs in those subjects anyway.

Here’s the curriculum for Aurologist, a easy-peesy four books, six for overachievers :

A: Moon on the cover or anywhere in the title
E: Word “night” in book title or series name
0: Read a sci-fi book (or book with stars on the cover

A: Read a white book
E: Read a short story or a collection of short stories
O: Read the last book you bought/took from your library 

The over achiever in me finds the curriculum for Metal Charmer, my second choice, much more challenging:
OWLs: Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration + 2 more subjects (I have History of Magic and Care of Magical Creatures)

NEWTS: O in Arithmancy, O in Charms, O in Transfiguration, E in Ancient Runes, A in Defense Against the Dark Arts

A: Book that ends on an even page number
E: Read a standalone
0: Book that’s longer than 350 pages 

A: Read a book that you think has a gorgeous cover
E: Read a comic/graphic novel/mang
a (or book under 150 pages)
O: Spongify (softening charm) – read a paperback book 

A: Read a book with LQBTQA+ representation
E: Read a book that’s not a first in the series
O: McGonagall does not mess around! Read a book over 500 pages

Ancient Runes 
A: Ehwaz (partnership) – read recommended by a friend
E: Book written in past tense
0: Book that has been on your TBR for ages 

Defence Against the Dark Arts
A: Book that’s black under the dust jacket
E: Gilderoy’s memory charm – (grab a pen! first book that you remembered just now from your TBR!
0:Cornish pixie! Swat it away with a book written by an English author or set in England


Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Book Junkie Trails

Ok I stumbled upon the Book Junkie Trails Reading Challenge online…

Pretty cool… You get sorted into different groups, kind of like HP houses, and based on that, you have to complete different challenges.

I tested twice, and both times I am a scribe, so scribe I am!! I don’t understand though why we have to make up our TBR list ahead of time. But well, can’t complain as I am not the Queen.

As a Scribe my required five challenges are:


Dwarf Mount: You spot a fair tavern wench, however the Dwarf Mines, grimey and dusty, didn’t evoke a very romantic feeling. Read a book with a hint of romance to get you in the mood. ~ The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Apothecary Towers: Where the wizards dwell. Tricksters. They have blind-folded you and randomised all your books, choose a book at random from your bookshelf. ~ Mountain Girl, River Girl by Ting-xing Ye

The Great Library: Ahh the great archives, find and read a book that has been on your TBR forever. ~ Swallow by Mary Capello (Have this since 2013, not oldest but old enough)

The Drowning Deep: The Whirlpool… is so…. mesmerising. Read a book with rich world-building that will suck you into its own world, instead. ~ The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Bookie Grail: Here you find a lost manuscript, delivered on this forgotten island by a fallen star. Read the group book: Stardust. ~While I love Stardust and have it on my permanent collection, I see that many people are going with an alternate, so I decide to opt for something new and help reduce my TBR by reading instead Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida. Also read Ajax Penumbra 1969 for it.

The ability to rewrite their tale.
Their unique ability is to read a book that wasn’t on their declared TBR
– as long as it still completes the challenge.
As scribes spend so much time documenting their findings,
one of their challenges will take MUCH longer than normal.
They must read a book over 500 pages.

As I do read more than 5 books a month, I will try to do some of the other challenges as well…

Crimson Peaks: These peaks are about to blow! Re-read a favourite to soothe them into dormancy ~ Aya: Life in Yop City by Clement Oubrerie
Queendom Stone: The stone of our Royal Majesty – what are the royal customs of other lands? Read a book featuring Royalty. ~ Malice in the Palace by Rhys Bowen, Books of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
The Forgotten Forests: All those open series, the forest knows and feels your forgetfulness. It will sing a mournful lament, tormenting you until you read the next in a series. ~ Ceres Vol 13-14 by Yuu Watase, The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands
The Weeping Falls: To pass through the rapids unscathed, you must give to the Falls. Read a tear-jerker. ~ Ceres Vol 12 by Yuu Watase
Orc Grove: Some say there is no talking to Orcs, but a good political relationship is needed. Learn some Orc customs by reading a book that is gruesome, gory, or gritty. ~ Vampire Hunter D vol 4,  Body of Work by Christine Montross
Ol’ Pirate Cove: Shiver me timbers. You shall be walking the plank if you don’t learn how to sail better. Read a book that takes place, at least in part, on sea. ~ The Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi
Glimmer: This Isle is alight with gems and crystals, one of the most picturesque spots in The High Queendom. Make sure you fit in with a beautiful or colourful book. ~ The Secrets of Pistoulet by Jana Kolpen, Dalai Lama, My Son by Diki Tsering 
Draconic Isle: Oh My! This island is swarming with wyverns and dragons. Brush up on your draconic knowledge with a book that features dragons. ~ Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik
The Elven Guard are surprised by your visit, and are immediately on the offensive: Read a book with War, Military or Political Themes to learn how to help calm the situation. ~ Animal Weapons by Douglas J. Emlen
On the Hallow Isle, lurk incorporeal monsters and the ghosts of your past: Read an Atmospheric or Horror Book to pass this test of nerve. ~ The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
Empty Barrel Inn, everyone deserves a swig or too, some say it even aids warming up those vocal cords: Enjoy An Indulgent Read. ~ Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Giant Squid, a fearsome fellow: Read a book that intimidates you, and this foe shall be a doddle. ~ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition (no kidding… I was doing a reading sprint and fell asleep with this…) 

Yay, I finished the whole trial!! 17 destinations total, with a few extra places I revisited.  Now on to the NEWTs!!

Published in: on June 18, 2019 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Magical Read-a-thon: the OWLs

While posting for the Dewey Read-a-thon, I noticed that some of my friends are hashtaging OWLSreadathon. I was really curious and tried to find more info about it, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Finally through another blog I found the Youtube video with links to the docs on Google where things are explained to me. I love the idea, but just wish they have posted the info on a blog or instagram directly.

The read-a-thons take place in April and August. April is the OWLs (Ordinary Wizard Level, a word play on the muggle’s O Level) exams and August is the N.E.W.T.s. We can select a career path, like herbologist, seer, wardmaker, etc, and based on that, select the classes, aka challenges, we want to focus on.

So happens I have been reading a ton of books in April for my trip to BookCrossing Readathon, and it was relatively easy to fit many of them into the categories.  The grades are: 2 passed exams – Acceptable, 6 passed exams – Exceeding Expectations, 9+ passed exams – Outstanding.

Useful link to people who can explain it better than I can:
OWLs Magical ReadAThon TBR 2019

ETA: Okay, Report card is out… Looks like I may have a bright future in magical zoology. As I was reading exclusively books to take to the convention, either on another BookCrosser’s wishlist or to release there, I didn’t look for books to fit the titles but rather see whether the books I read fit any of the courses. As I’ve read books in 9 subjects, I managed to get an Outstanding.  But of course, what would you expect from a Ravenclaw?

Really glad to find this reading challenge, I enjoy it a lot!  Look forward to NEWT in August!

Ancient Runes – Read a retelling

Arithmancy – Work written by more than one author

Astronomy – “Star” in the title
Care of Magical Creatures – Land animal on the cover

Charms – Age Line: Read an adult work

Defense Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: title starts with an “R”

Divination – Set in the future
Herbology – Plant on the cover

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago

Muggle Studies – Contemporary

Potions – Next Ingredient: Sequel
Transfiguration – sprayed edges or a red cover

Published in: on April 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon April 6, 2019

Stars haven’t really aligned for me to do many read-a-thons lately. I tried to get the day off but my boss said he “needs” me. I figure I’ll have the rest of the day to read but then my friends invited us to dinner and my hubby really wanted to go. He doesn’t do sad puppy eyes but I know he did, and I know he hated having nothing to do on a Sat and just stay home with a reading wife. So I agreed to go.

Turned out barely had I waken up, that I got a text message from work. Someone couldn’t come in so I had to head out asap. Bye bye books!

So… while I managed to read a little during my work lunch, while we drove to and from the dinner place, my reading time didn’t really start until after my dinner… which is more than halfway through the 24 hours.

I managed to read, in whole:

The Last Egret – a lovely children’s story based on the real life adventure of a pioneer family in South Florida, written by the great-grandson.
Buoy – a cute little illustrated tale about a small buoy out in the ocean.

And read in part:

My Jane Austen Summer – I am not exactly a JA fan, but reading this before I pass this on to a friend who is.
The Pun Also Rises – Totally brilliant book about puns. Puntastic!!
Alpha Beta – a book about the origin of alphabets. A bit dry so I had to slip in two books in between to keep from falling asleep.
Red Dust – a travelog of China by a “spiritually polluted” Chinese artist.

Needless to say, didn’t participate in any mini challenge.

Published in: on April 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon October 21, 2017

Time: 9:00 am
I went to nap at around 5, when I got too sleepy to read. I woke up to do my last book, and decided that I want to be able to finish one book cover to cover at least, so I picked Nzingha, a children’s book about a warrior queen in Angola.

Not a lot of pages read this time around, but I had the most fun with mini challenges this year.

Time: 1:00 am
More than 12 hours later. Been to work and back, managed to listen to The Girl with No Shadow (aka the Girl with Lollipop Shoes), the sequel to Chocolat, while commuting. And a little bit of reading during lunch time. Now, I’m all set to do some serious reading! Well, couldn’t resist first some fun with mini-challenges. To me that’s the best part of read-a-thon!

Time: 11:30 am

I am so glad that I can participate this time, as it’s Dewey’s 10th Anniversary! I wish I could say that I was here since the very first one, but all I say is every time I participated it was a lot of fun. Last year I couldn’t due to travels, but even though I have to work later today, I am reading what I can.

Set my alarm to ring at 7:30am, but didn’t roll out of bed till it’s 8, haha, as my plan to sleep early last night didn’t work well. In all honesty it had been a rather shitty time lately. There was hurricane Irma, my dear parrotlet passed away, and I am in my 3rd round of cold in a month. Really, I think I have snotted out half my brain at this point. And it feels like it, most of the time I was in a zombie mode. Not working out much doesn’t help either, but I don’t have enough energy for the gym, and I find out during downward dogs that gravity is bad for running noses.

Anyway, here I am. Finished the little bit of the book I’m on, and started my second.

Opening Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Sunshine state of Florida, as usual.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
All Things Good by Sarah Turnbull, about her time in Tahiti.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Mochi! Got three boxes of them from Costco last month.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Love reading since I was a child. Mom said I was such a easy child to raise, just give me a book and I’ll stay quiet for hours. And apparently I slept so soundly as a baby my dad had to wake me up just to be sure I wasn’t dead.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Well, I started using Instagram, so I’ll be posting more there and on twitter instead of on my blog.

Total Pages read so far: 513

Plain Secrets pgs 136-202 (67)
The Tale of Kieu pgs 1-24 (24)
The Girl with No Shadow pgs 1-107 (108)
The Wives of Henry Oades pgs 230-363 (134)
All Good Things pgs 1-44 (45)
Nzingha pgs 1-133 (134)

Total Time spent reading so far: 6 hr

Mini-challenges I’ve entered:
Opening Meme

Traveler’s Log
Book and a Beverage
Time Flies

Really love this one, totally brilliant idea. It took me a while to figure out the covers. I would love to make my own clock but as my reading time is scant already I don’t have time to go hunting around for them.

1. First Frost
2. Two From the Heart
3. The Three Musketeers
4. Four Weeks, Five People
5. Fives and Twenty-Fives
6. Six Impossible Things
7. The Seventh Function of Language
8. Orphan #8
9. Sweetness #9
10. The Woman in Cabin #10
11. 11/22/63
12. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Reading Buddy
Which of course is my dear Walle, who just passed away less than 2 weeks ago, after 9 years with us.

You’re Wearing That?

Books I have finished:
Plain Secrets

Other Readers I have visited:

Published in: on October 21, 2017 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Riot Reading Challenge 2016

I totally had fun with Book Riot’s challenge in 2015.  There are plenty of reading challenges out there, but this one just seemed perfect, the right amount of books, and a mix of some that I read all the time and some that stretches me slightly beyond my comfort zone.

The list for 2016:
Read a horror book – Slade House
Read a nonfiction book about science – Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future
Read a collection of essays – Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
Read a book out loud to someone else –
Read a middle grade novel – Endymion Spring
Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography) – A Thousand Miles of Dreams
Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel – Rut
Read a book originally published in the decade you were born – 2001: A Space Odyssey
Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award – The boy in the suitcase 
Read a book over 500 pages long – City of Glass
Read a book under 100 pages – The Sleeper and the Spindle
Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender – Stuck in the Middle with You
Read a book that is set in the Middle East – I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced (Yemen)
Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia – The Bondmaid (Singapore)
Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900 – Cloud of Sparrows
Read the first book in a series by a person of color – With the Light
Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years –
Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better –
Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes – I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction) – A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants
Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction) – Blood Diamonds
Read a food memoir – Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen
Read a play – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness – The Atlantis Complex

And, for record, my 2015 list:

1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 – A Fine and Private Place
2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 – The Tent
3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people): Fantasy Gone Wrong
4. A book published by an indie pressAaron’s Crossing
5.A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ: Shanghai Tango
6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – Lego: A Love Story
7. A book that takes place in Asia: The Painter from Shanghai
8. A book by an author from Africa: The Almond
9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) – Morning Girl
10. A microhistory – Tilt
11. A YA novel – The Hunger Game
12. A sci-fi novel – Shades of Grey
13. A romance novel – The Inheritance
14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade – The Inheritance of Loss
15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) – Godmother
16. An audiobook – The Painted Girls
17. A collection of poetry – Voices from WahKon-Tah
18. A book that someone else has recommended to you: The Chaperone
19. A book that was originally published in another language – The Character of Rain
20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind – The Color of Earth
21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over) – Bite Me If You Can
22. A book published before 1850 – Ourika
23. A book published this year – Vitamania
24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) – Doing What Matters

Published in: on April 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment