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




2022 GoodReads Around the Year in 52 Books

THE 2022 LIST
1. A book with a main character whose name starts with A, T, or Y: The Sari Shop Widow
2. A book connected to a book you read in 2021: LaRose
3. A book with 22 or more letters in the title: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
4. A book that fits your favorite prompt that did not make the list
5. A book by an author with two sets of double letters in their name: The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell

6. A book with an image of a source of light on the cover: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
7. A book related to psychology, neuroscience or the mind: Wide Awake and Dreaming
8. 3 books set on three different continents – Book 1: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Europe)
9. 3 books set on three different continents – Book 2: Walkabout (Australia)

10. 3 books set on three different continents – Book 3: The Secret Piano (Asia)
11. A book from historical fiction genre: The Seer of Shadows
12. A book related to glass: Summer at Tiffany
13. A book about a woman in STEM: The Girl in His Shadow

14. A book with fewer than 5000 ratings on Goodreads: A Tuscan Childhood
15. A book without a person on the cover: Cobwebs and Cream Teas
16. A book related to Earth Day
17. A book from NPR’s Book Concierge

18. A book by an Asian or Pacific Islander author: Convenience Store Woman
19. A book that involves alternate reality, alternate worlds, or alternate history: Just Like Beauty
20. A fiction or nonfiction book that is set during 1900 -1951: Viral Modernism
21. A book with one of the Monopoly tokens on the cover: My Lead Dog Was a Lesbian
22. A book with a Jewish character or author: The Dollmaker of Krakow

23. A book that features loving LGBTQIA+ relationship: The Island of Missing Trees
24. A book related to inclement weather: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
25. A book less than 220 pages OR more than 440 pages: The Thief and the Dogs
26. 2 books with the same word in the title – Book 1: Neither Wolf Nor Dog

27. 2 books with the same word in the title – Book 2: Lone Wolf
28. A book that won an award from Powell’s list of book awards
29. A book set on or near a body of water: The Voyage of the Frog
30. A book related to mythology: Gods Behaving Badly

31. A book published at least 10 years ago: The Real Food Revival
32. A book where the main character is a female detective/private eye/police officer
33. The next book in a series: Eat Prey Love
34. A book with an academic setting or with a teacher that plays an important role: The Book on the Bookshelf
35. 2 books related to flora and fauna – Book 1: Baree

36. 2 books related to flora and fauna – Book 2: To See Every Bird on Earth
37. A book that uses all five vowels in the title and/or author’s name: The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
38. A book by a Latin American author
39. A book from the TIME list of 100 Best YA Books of All Time

40. A book related to one of the 22 Tarot Major Arcana cards: The Third Angel
41. A book with a theme of food or drink: From Hardtack to Home Fries
42. A book with a language or nationality in the title: How to Love a Jamaican
43. A book set in a small town or rural area: Cobwebs and Cream Teas
44. A book with gothic elements: Voices of Dracula

45. A book related to a game: The Stuff of Legend
46. A book with a non-human as one of the main characters: Pax
47. A book with handwriting on the cover: Mockingbird
48. A book posted in one of the ATY Best Book of the Month threads in 2021 or 2022: One of Us is Lying

49. A book connected to the phrase “Here (There) Be Dragons”: Ember and the Ice Dragons
50. A book that involves aging, or a character in their golden years: Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal
51. A book published in 2022: Beyond the Next Village
52. A book with a time-related word in the title: The Year of the Hare

Published in: on January 15, 2022 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My fifth year of the Popsugar Challenge. This one is always quite a challenge with 40 prompts. As usual, I learn a few new words.

2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

  • A book published in 2022: Counterfeit
  • A book set on a plane, train, or cruise ship
  • A book about or set in a nonpatriarchal society: Dovekeeper
  • A book with a tiger on the cover or “tiger” in the title
  • A sapphic book
  • A book by a Latinx author
  • A book with an onomatopoeia in its title: Five Go Bump in the Night
  • A book with a protagonist who uses a mobility aid: Pax
  • A book about a “found family”:
  • An Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner: The Dew Breaker
  • A #BookTok recommendation: They Both Die at the End 
  • A book about the afterlife: The Seer of Shadows
  • A book set in the 1980s: Sisters
  • A book with cutlery on the cover or in the title:
  • A book by a Pacific Islander author
  • A book about witches
  • A book becoming a TV series or movie in 2022: Around the World in Eighty Days
  • A romance novel by a BIPOC author: The Sari Shop Widow
  • A book that takes place during your favorite season
  • A book whose title begins with the last letter of your previous read: The Dutch, I Presume?
  • A book about a band or musical group
  • A book with a character on the ace spectrum: Gods Behaving Badly
  • A book with a recipe in it: The Real Food Revival
  • A book you can read in one sitting: Address unknown
  • A book about a secret: The Bicycle Spy
  • A book with a misleading title: Remote Control
  • A Hugo Award winner
  • A book set during a holiday
  • A different book by an author you read in 2021: LaRose
  • A book with the name of a board game in the title: Five Go Bump in the Night
  • A book featuring a man-made disaster: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
  • A book with a quote from your favorite author on the cover or Amazon page: Cork Geek
  • A social-horror book: The House of Dies Drear
  • A book set in Victorian times: Voices of Dracula
  • A book with a constellation on the cover or in the title
  • A book you know nothing about: The Third Angel
  • A book about gender identity
  • A book featuring a party: Wide Awake and Dreaming
  • An #OwnVoices SFF (science fiction and fantasy) book: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
  • A book that fulfills your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Advanced

  • A book with a reflected image on the cover or “mirror” in the title
  • A book that features two languages
  • A book with a palindromic title
  • A duology (1)
  • A duology (2)
  • A book about someone leading a double life
  • A book featuring a parallel reality
  • A book with two POVs
  • Two books set in twin towns, aka “sister cities” (1)
  • Two books set in twin towns, aka “sister cities” (2)
    Published in: on January 15, 2022 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

    2022 Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

    I looked it up and I have been doing this challenge since 2015. Book Riot says that it’s their eighth year, so that would mean I have been doing it since their first one! Look forward to another year of interesting and unusual reads, though… must I read political thrillers and horrors? X (

    1. Read a biography of an author you admire: In the Weeds
    2. Read a book set in a bookstore: Prose and Cons
    3. Read any book from the Women’s Prize shortlist/longlist/winner list: The Island of Missing Trees 
    4. Read a book in any genre by a POC that’s about joy and not trauma: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
    5. Read an anthology featuring diverse voices.
    6. Read a nonfiction YA comic: Sisters
    7. Read a romance where at least one of the protagonists is over 40: The Sari Shop Widow
    8. Read a classic written by a POC.
    9. Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest.
    10. Read a political thriller by a marginalized author (BIPOC, or LGBTQIA+).
    11. Read a book with an asexual and/or aromantic main character: Gods Behaving Badly
    12. Read an entire poetry collection.
    13. Read an adventure story by a BIPOC author: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
    14. Read a book whose movie or TV adaptation you’ve seen (but haven’t read the book): Rascal
    15. Read a new-to-you literary magazine (print or digital).
    16. Read a book recommended by a friend with different reading tastes: Odin’s Child
    17. Read a memoir written by someone who is trans or nonbinary.
    18. Read a “Best _ Writing of the year” book for a topic and year of your choice.
    19. Read a horror novel by a BIPOC author.
    20. Read an award-winning book from the year you were born: The Egypt Game
    21. Read a queer retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, folklore, or myth.
    22. Read a history about a period you know little about: Midnight in Peking
    23. Read a book by a disabled author: The Reason I Jump
    24. Pick a challenge from any of the previous years’ challenges to repeat!
    Published in: on January 15, 2022 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

    2021 GoodReads Around the Year in 52 Books

    I finished most of the prompts fairly early, as the prompts are rather general, compared to prompts like “read a sff book by a LGBTQ+ author”. The only challenge is I somehow get the word “Chip” by the random word generator, and did have to rack the brain a bit to link the books I’ve read with the word. Chocolate chips cookie comes to mind but I didn’t read a book about cookies. I read a book about See’s candies but they don’t make cookies. I thought about computer chips, but didn’t read a book about computers. I thought about robots, and Klara and the Sun may work if I haven’t used it for another prompt. Finally, I was reading The Persian Pickle Club for a readathon and realized that, hey, pickle chips is a thing. I hate pickles, but hey challenge completed.

    1. A book related to “In the Beginning…”: Tunkashila
    2. A book by an author whose name doesn’t contain the letters A, T or Y: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer
    3. A book related to the lyrics for the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
    4. A book with a monochromatic cover: Medicine Walk
    5. A book by an author on USA Today’s list of 100 Black Novelists You Should Read: Brown Girl Dreaming
    6. A love story: The Prodigal
    7. A book that fits a prompt suggestion that didn’t make the final list – A book about an invention or discovery: Brightstorm
    8. A book set in a state, province, or country you have never visited: Bring Jade Home
    9. A book you associate with a specific season or time of year: The Autumn Castle
    10. A book with a female villain or criminal: The Puffin of Death
    11. A book to celebrate The Grand Egyptian Museum: Elsewhere, Home
    12. A book eligible for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation: Things We Lost in the Fire
    13. A book written by an author of one of your best reads of 2020: Mexican Gothic
    14. A book set in a made-up place: The Lust Lizard Of Melancholy Cove
    15. A book that features siblings as the main characters: The Sacrifice
    16. A book with a building in the title: The House in the Cerulean Sea
    17. A book with a Muslim character or author: The Olive Season
    18. 3 books related to “Past, Present, Future” – Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin
    19. 3 books related to “Past, Present, Future” – Book 2: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
    20. 3 books related to “Past, Present, Future” – Book 3: We Are the Weather
    21. A book whose title and author both contain the letter “u”: The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
    22. A book posted in one of the ATY Best Book of the Month threads: Klara and the Sun
    23. A cross genre novel: The Archer (self help + fiction)
    24. A book about racism or race relations: This Is What America Looks Like
    25. A book set on an island: Claire of the Sea Light
    26. A short book (<210 pages) by a new-to-you author: Doppler
    27. A book with a character who can be found in a deck of cards: Castle in the Air
    28. A book connected to ice: My Penguin Year
    29. A book that you consider comfort reading: The Tale of Hill Top Farm
    30. A long book: Braiding Sweetgrass
    31. A book by an author whose career spanned more than 21 years: Aleph by Paulo Coelho
    32. A book whose cover shows more than 2 people: My Two Moms
    33. A collection of short stories, essays, or poetry: Japanese Fairy Tales
    34. A book with a travel theme: Gullible’s Travels
    35. A book set in a country on or below the Tropic of Cancer: Things We Lost in the Fire
    36. A book with six or more words in the title: The Woman Who Died a Lot
    37. A book from the Are You Well Read in World Literature list: The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes
    38. A book related to a word given by a random word generator (chip): The Persian Pickle Club
    39. A book involving an immigrant: The Buddha in the Attic
    40. A book with flowers or greenery on the cover: The Olive Tree
    41. A book by a new-to-you BIPOC author: Cadwell Turnbull
    42. A mystery or thriller: Gone Bamboo
    43. A book with elements of magic: The Bear and the Nightingale
    44. A book whose title contains a negative: We of the Never-Never
    45. A book related to a codeword from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet: Secret Daughter (India)
    46. A winner or nominee from the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards: The Midnight Library
    47. A non-fiction book other than biography, autobiography or memoir: What If?
    48. A book that might cause someone to react “You read what?!?”: Mauve
    49. A book with an ensemble cast: The Power
    50. A book published in 2021: The Immortal Boy
    51. A book whose title refers to person(s) without giving their name: The Boy from Baby House 10
    52. A book related to “the end”: Armageddon Summer

    Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 5:27 pm  Comments (1)  

    2021 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

    i managed to finish this year’s challenge with a week or so to spare, yay!! The has quite a lot of LGBTQ+ and POC representation, which honestly does push my boundary a bit, in a good way. Definitely would not have read those books if not for the challenge, and I don’t regret reading them.

    Read a book you’ve been intimidated to read: We of the Never-Never
    Read a nonfiction book about anti-racism: This Is What America Looks Like
    Read a non-European novel in translation: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
    Read an LGBTQ+ history book: Gentleman Jack
    Read a genre novel by an Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American author: The Master Butcher Singing Club
    Read a fanfic: Hikaru’s Game (Hikaru no Go + Ender’s Game)
    Read a fat-positive romance: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
    Read a romance by a trans or nonbinary author: If I Was Your Girl
    Read a middle grade mystery: Lady Margaret’s Ghost
    Read an SFF anthology edited by a person of color: Love After the End
    Read a food memoir by an author of color: Eat a Peach
    Read a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of color: Push Out
    Read a book with a cover you don’t like: Keeper of the Female Medicine Bundle
    Read a realistic YA book not set in the U.S., UK, or Canada: Goong
    Read a memoir by a Latinx author: In the Dream House
    Read an own voices book about disability: Waking
    Read an own voices YA book with a Black main character that isn’t about Black pain: A River of Royal Blood
    Read a book by/about a non-Western world leader: Peace Is Every Breath
    Read a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist: The Book of Salt
    Read a book of nature poems: Poems for a Small Park
    Read a children’s book that centers a disabled character but not their disability: Brightstorm
    Read a book set in the Midwest: My Two Moms
    Read a book that demystifies a common mental illness: Losing My MInd
    Read a book featuring a beloved pet where the pet doesn’t die: Bring Jade Home

    Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

    2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

    Another new year of reading! I’ve joined this challenge since 2018, so this is my fourth year participating.

    Last year I wrote “Of all the challenges I participate in, this one really takes me out of my comfort zone, not to mention introduces me to some new genres and words” and seems like this continues to be true! I’ve never heard of Afrofuturist? And what is dark academia? And locked room mystery is definitely something I would read only for a challenge.

    Dec 23: I completed this relatively easily this year. with time to spare, and nothing too out of my ordinary routine.

    REGULAR
    1. A book that published in 2021: The Immortal Boy
    2. An Afrofuturist book: The Lesson
    3. A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover: Martin Misunderstood
    4. A book by an author who shares your zodiac sign: Eat a Peach by David Chang
    5. A dark academia book: Mexican Gothic
    6. A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title: Bring Jade Home
    7. A book where the main character works at your current or dream job: The Tale of Hill Top Farm
    8. A book that has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction: The Power
    9. A book with a family tree: Brown Girl Dreaming
    10. A bestseller from the 1990s: Jazz by Toni Morrison
    11. A book about forgetting: The Book of Lost Names
    12. A book you have seen on someone’s bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc.): Brightstorm
    13. A locked-room mystery: The Sanatorium
    14. A book set in a restaurant: The Apprentice
    15. A book with a black-and-white cover: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
    16. A book by an indigenous author: Medicine Walk
    17. A book that has the same title as a song: Gone Bamboo
    18. A book about a subject you are passionate about: See’s Famous Old Time Candies
    19. A book that discusses body positivity: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
    20. A book on a Black Lives Matter reading list: Push Out
    21. A genre hybrid: Keeper of the Female Medicine Bundle
    22. A book set mostly or entirely outdoors: Row for Freedom
    23. A book with something broken on the cover: The Woman Who Died a Lot
    24. A book by a Muslim American / Muslim British author: This Is What America Looks Like
    25. A book that was published anonymously: The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities
    26. A book with an oxymoron in the title: Elsewhere, Home
    27. A book about do-overs or fresh starts: My Maasai Life
    28. A magical realism book: The Midnight Library
    29. A book set in multiple countries: The Book of Lost Names
    30. A book set somewhere you’d like to visit in 2021: A Van of One’s Own
    31. A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personality: What If?
    32. A book whose title starts with “Q,” “X,” or “Z”: Quiet
    33. A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child): Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    34. A book about a social justice issue: My Two Moms
    35. A book in a different format than what you normally read (audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels): Poems for a Small Park
    36. A book that has fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or Goodreads: Gullible’s Travels
    37. A book you think your best friend would like: The Buddha in the Attic
    38. A book about art or an artist: The Last Nude
    39. A book everyone seems to have read but you: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
    40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – (2019)  A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore: The Moorchild

    ADVANCED
    41. The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list
    42. The shortest book (by pages) on your TBR list
    43. The book on your TBR list with the prettiest cover
    44. The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover
    45. The book that’s been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time
    46. A book from your TBR list you meant to read last year but didn’t: Things A Little Bird Told Me
    47. A book from your TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing
    48. A book from your TBR list chosen at random
    49. A DNF book from your TBR list
    50. A free book from your TBR list (gifted, borrowed, library)

    Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

    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 Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

    This is the sixth year of the Read Harder Challenge and my fourth year participating.  This challenge really does help me “break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books”.  This year’s challenge seems relatively easy, or rather, not too far from what I normally read. The only one that’s a little challenging is the play, which I won’t imagine picking up to read unless I’m in a class, lol. 

    1. Read a YA nonfiction book – Tisha

    2. Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color – Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen

    3. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman – The Fire Kimono

    4. Read a graphic memoir – Dare to Disappoint

    5. Read a book about a natural disaster – The Preservationist

    6. Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author – Yellow Face

    7. Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII: A Mercy

    8. Read an audiobook of poetry – Poetry of K.Y. Robinson

    9 Read the LAST book in a series – Silvertongue

    10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting: Driving Over Lemons

    11. Read a debut novel by a queer author: You Should See Me in a Crown

    12. Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own: The Betrayal

    13. Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before: Gastronaut

    14. Read a romance starring a single parent: Born to Bite

    15. Read a book about climate change: South Pole Station

    16. Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman: Midnight Sun

    17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages): The Artemis Fowl Files (includes two novellas)

    18. Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community: The Last Story of Mina Lee

    19. Read a book by or about a refugee: I Shall Not Hate

    20. Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK: Lara’s Gift

    21. Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non): Ghost Boy

    22. Read a horror book published by an indie press: Slightly Spooky Stories

    23. Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical): Tiny Words

    24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author: The Song the Owl God Sang

    Published in: on January 13, 2020 at 3:04 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)  

    2020 Ultimate Popsugar Challenge

    My third year doing this challenge. Of all the challenges I participate in, this one really takes me out of my comfort zone, not to mention introduces me to some new genres and words, like bildungsroman. Of course I’ve read my fair share of “coming of age” stories but I didn’t know there’s a fancy word for that.

    This is the first year I manage to complete the advance prompts as well! There are quite a few books in this list that I really enjoy, including the medical thriller which is totally out of my normal reading preference.  

    Regular prompts

    1. A book that’s published in 2020: The Henna Artist
    2. A book by a trans or nonbinary author: Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars
    3. A book with a great first line: Raspberries on the Yangtze
    4. A book about a book club: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    5. A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics: The Fire Kimono
    6. A bildungsroman: Graceling
    7. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed: Ka Shin Fu
    8. A book with an upside-down image on the cover: A Thousand Pieces of You
    9. A book with a map: The Twentieth Wife
    10. A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club: The Henna Artist
    11. An anthology: Switch Bitch
    12. A book that passes the Bechdel test: Frog Music
    13. A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it: Internment
    14. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name: Magyk
    15. A book about or involving social media: The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success
    16. A book that has a book on the cover: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    17. A medical thriller: The Sisterhood
    18. A book with a made-up language: The Artemis Fowl Files
    19. A book set in a country beginning with “C”: A Long Petal of the Sea
    20. A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Solitude of Prime Numbers
    21. A book published in the month of your birthday: Spinning Silver
    22. A book about or by a woman in STEM: The Pull of the Stars
    23. A book that won an award in 2019: The Grief Keeper
    24. A book on a subject you know nothing about: The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success
    25. A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics: Eating Animals
    26. A book with a pun in the title: Naturally Tan
    27. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins: Switch Bitch
    28. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character: Clockwork Prince
    29. A book with a bird on the cover: Dare to Disappoint
    30. A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader: In the Garden of Beasts
    31. A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title: McIlhenny’s Gold
    32. A book by a WOC: A Mercy
    33. A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads: Graceling
    34. A book you meant to read in 2019: The Solitude of Prime Numbers
    35. A book with a three-word title: Howl’s Moving Castle
    36. A book with a pink cover: Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars
    37. A Western: The Vengeance of Mothers
    38. A book by or about a journalist: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
    39. Read a banned book during Banned Books Week: George
    40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – A book that involves a bookstore or library (2018) – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

    2020 Challenge – Advanced prompts
    1. A book written by an author in their 20s: Barnheart
    2. A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title: The Twentieth Wife
    3. A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision): Castle of Water
    4. A book set in the 1920s: Tisha
    5. A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics: The Samurai’s Tale
    6. A book by an author who has written more than 20 books: Clockwork Prince
    7. A book with more than 20 letters in its title: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pim
    8. A book published in the 20th century: Home Sick
    9. A book from a series with more than 20 books: Tall, Dark & Hungry
    10. A book with a main character in their 20s: Farewell to the East End
    Published in: on January 13, 2020 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

    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.

    AFRICA:

    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
    SOUTH AFRICA – Boyhood

    EUROPE:

    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

    ASIA:

    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

    NORTH AMERICA (INCL. CENTRAL AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN):

    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

    PACIFICA (INCL. ANTARCTICA):

    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

    SOUTH AMERICA:

    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