Books I have read in 2020

(in red: I really enjoy it!)

January 2020
1. Overdue: The Final Unshelved Collection – Gene Ambaum, Bill Barnes, Chris Hallbeck
2. The Solitude of Prime Numbers – Paolo Giordano
3. Ghost Boy – Martin Pistorius
4. Frog Music – Emma Donoghue
5. The Mermaid’s Daughter – Ann Claycomb

February 2020
6. Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
7. Russian Winter – Daphne Kalotay
8. Lara’s Gift – Annemarie O’Brien
9. The Girl-Son – Anne E. Neuberger
10. Castle of Water – Dane Huckelbridge
11. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik
12. The Samurai’s Tale – Erik Christian Haugaard
13. Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
14. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pim – Edgar Allan Poe

March 2020
15. Motherless Brooklyn – Jonathan Lethem
16. The Zombie Autopsies – Dr Steven C Schlozman
17. Switch Bitch – Roald Dahl
18. Way Off the Road – Bill Geist
19. Every Day – David Levithan
20. Oranges and Sunshine – Margaret Humphreys
21. Himalayan Dhaba – Craig Joseph Danner
22. Gastronaut – Stefan Gates
23. The Twentieth Wife – Indu Sundaresan
24. The Rabbi’s Cat 2 – Joann Sfar
25. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
26. Song Yet Sung – James McBride

April 2020
27. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
28. I Shall Not Hate – Izzeldin Abuelaish
29. Barnheart – Jenna Woginrich
30. The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern
31. Forbidden Nights with a Vampire – Kerrelyn Sparks
32. A Whale Hunt – Robert Sullivan
33. The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success – Wayne Breitbarth
34. Tarnished and Torn – Juliet Blackwell
35. Rescue Road – Wayne Breitbarth
36. Raspberries on the Yangtze – Karen Wallace
37. Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen – Marilyn Chin
38. Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids – Kenzaburo Oe
39. A Mercy – Toni Morrison
40. Tall, Dark & Hungry – Lynsay Sands

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

My top best of the year (not in any order):

A little stats, as usual:
BookCrossing Books: 36, Non BookCrossing Books: 4
Fiction: 30, Non Fiction: 10



Published in: on April 30, 2020 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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. 

1. Read a YA nonfiction book

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

4. Read a graphic memoir – Dare to Disappoint

5. Read a book about a natural disaster

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

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

8. Read an audiobook of poetry

9 Read the LAST book in a series – Silvertongue

10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting: Castle of Water

11. Read a debut novel by a queer author

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

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

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

17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)

18. Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community: The Rabbi’s Cat 2

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)

22. Read a horror book published by an indie press

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

24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author

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:
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
6. A book with a mode of transportation on the cover: A Whale Hunt
7. A book set in the southern hemisphere
8. A book with a two-word title where the first word is “The”
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)
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
16. A book set in a rural or sparsely populated area: Himalayan Dhaba
17. A book with a neurodiverse character
18. A book by an author you’ve only read once before: The Rabbi’s Cat 2
19. A fantasy book:
20. The 20th book [on your TBR, in a series, by an author, on a list, etc.]
21. A book related to Maximilian Hell, the noted astronomer and Jesuit Priest who was born in 1720
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
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
33. A book about a non-traditional family
34. A book from a genre or sub genre that starts with a letter in your name
35. A book with a geometric pattern or element on the cover
36. A book from your TBR/wishlist that you don’t recognize, recall putting there, or put there on a whim
37. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #1
38. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #2
39. A book by an author whose real name(s) you’re not quite sure how to pronounce
40. A book with a place name in the title: Motherless Brooklyn
41. A mystery
42. A book that was nominated for one of the ‘10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World’ (link)
43. A book related to one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse
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
46. A book about an event or era in history taken from the Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
47. A classic book you’ve always meant to read
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)
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  Leave a Comment  

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.
Regular prompts

1. A book that’s published in 2020: The Henna Artist
2. A book by a trans or nonbinary author
3. A book with a great first line: Raspberries on the Yangtze
4. A book about a book club
5. A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics
6. A bildungsroman
7. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed
8. A book with an upside-down image on the cover
9. A book with a map: The Twentieth Wife
10. A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club: The Starless Sea
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
14. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name
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
18. A book with a made-up language
19. A book set in a country beginning with “C”
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
22. A book about or by a woman in STEM
23. A book that won an award in 2019
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
26. A book with a pun in the title
27. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins
28. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character
29. A book with a bird on the cover
30. A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader
31. A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title: Spinning Silver
32. A book by a WOC: A Mercy
33. A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads
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
37. A Western
38. A book by or about a journalist: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
39. Read a banned book during Banned Books Week
40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

2020 Challenge – Advanced prompts
1. A book written by an author in their 20s
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
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
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
9. A book from a series with more than 20 books: Tall, Dark & Hungry
10. A book with a main character in their 20s
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.


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  

Book Riot Read Harder 2019

My third year doing this challenge! I finished this with a few hours left in 2019. In fact, I had to hide in the bathroom at my friend’s New Year’s Party just to finish the last few pages of Sorcery and Cecelia on my phone!

1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters – Sorcery and Cecelia
2. An alternate history novel – The Years of Rice and Salt
3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018 – The Leavers
4. A humor book – Point Your Face at This
5. A book by a journalist or about journalism – And a Bottle of Rum
6. A book by an AOC set in or about space – How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America – The Farming of Bones
8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania – Unpolished Gem
9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads – A Cultivated Life (just 34 reviews!)
10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
11. A book of manga – Ceres: Celestial Legend
12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character – Firmin
13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse – Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
14. A cozy mystery – Malice at the Palace
15. A book of mythology or folklore – Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
16. An historical romance by an AOC – The Lost Daughter of Happiness
17. A business book- How Would You Move Mount Fuji?
18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author – Blue Boy
19. A book of nonviolent true crime – The Orchid Thief
20. A book written in prison – De Profundis
21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator – This One Summer
22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009 – Shooting Kabul
23. A self-published book – William the Last
24. A collection of poetry published since 2014 – Milk and Honey

Published in: on March 3, 2019 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019

This year there are a lot of fun categories. And I’ve added a few words to my vocab: I had no idea what is LitRPG or cli-fic.

1. A book becoming a movie in 2019 – Children of the Sea
2. A book that makes you nostalgic – Just So Stories
3. A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction) – Blue Boy
4. A book you think should be turned into a movie – The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
5. A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads – To Kill a Mockingbird
6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover – Sister of My Heart
7. A reread of a favorite book – Goose Girl
8. A book about a hobby – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair
9. A book you meant to read in 2018 – Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
10. A book with POP, SUGAR, or CHALLENGE in the title – Challenger Deep
11. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover – My French Whore
12. A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore – Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
13. A book published posthumously – Dalai Lama, My Son
14. A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
15. A retelling of a classic – Hamlet
16. A book with a question in the title – How Would You Move Mount Fuji?
17. A book set on college or university campus – Body of Work
18. A book about someone with a superpower – Ceres
19. A book told from multiple POVs – Sister of My Heart
20. A book set in space – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition
21. A book by two female authors – This One Summer
22. A book with SALTY, SWEET, BITTER, or SPICY in the title – The Years of Rice and Salt
23. A book set in Scandinavia – The Almost Nearly Perfect People
24. A book that takes place in a single day – Today Will Be Different
25. A debut novel – A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea
26. A book that’s published in 2019 – House of Salt and Sorrows
27. A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature – Perdido Street Station
28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
29. A book with LOVE in the title – Island of the Sequined Love Nun
30. A book featuring an amateur detective – Malice at the Palace
31. A book about a family – Green Island
32. A book author from Asia, Africa, or South America – The Gift of Rain
33. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in title – Paris to the Moon
34. A book that includes a wedding – Aya: Life in Yop City
35. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter – Crucible of Gold (Naomi Novik)
36. A ghost story – Strangers
37. A book with a two-word title – Red Dust
38. A novel based on a true story – The Realm of Shells
39. A book revolving around a puzzle or game – The Pun Also Rises
40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading challenge: A novel based on a real person – White Truffles in Winter

Advanced Reading
1. A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book – Blackfish City
2. A “choose-your-own-adventure” book
3. An “own voices” book – #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women
4. Read a book during the season it is set in – Isaac’s Storm
5. A LitRPG book
6. A book from a genre/subgenre you’ve never heard of
7. A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters – Book of a Thousand Days
8. Two books that share the same title – Dandelion Wine
9. A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom
10. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent – Women in Korean Zen

Published in: on January 11, 2019 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Book Riot Read Harder 2018 Challenge

I am happy that this year’s challenge is not as hung up on color and sexual-orientation like previous year’s. I am also doing Popsugar for the first year. Here is the Book Riot list. And I do spot a few items I like in their store so I definitely am going to complete this.

Well… I barely completed it in time. My last book is the Western. I am not a fan of cowboy and Indians, and I thought about reading a Western Romance, though that was barely more palatable. Then I noticed that I had a children’s book, Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie, which I figure fits the definition of western, with its pioneers, Native Americans and all that.

I was planning to read Green Island as my colonial read, the book starts as the end of Japanese occupation in Taiwan. Unfortunately I was 30 pages short of finishing it by the end’s year, and, scrolling through my read list, figured Brick Lane will likely qualify for the category.

One book that this challenge encouraged me to read is Cinder, which I likely won’t have picked up otherwise. I didn’t exactly love it, but it’s a really original story.

A book published posthumously – A Confederacy of Dunces
A book of true crime – Bones
A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) – Rebecca
A comic written and drawn by the same person – From Eroica with Love
A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) – Bones of the Master
A book about nature – In Bear Country
A western – Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie
A comic written or drawn by a person of color – Yakitate!! Japan
A book of colonial or postcolonial literature – Brick Lane
A romance novel by or about a person of color – When Dimple Met Rishi
A children’s classic published before 1980 – Pollyanna
A celebrity memoir – Siberian Dream
An Oprah Book Club selection – Wild
A book of social science – The Little Book of Hygge
A one-sitting book – Fortunately, the Milk
The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series – Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians
A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author – Cinder
A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image – Entangled Circumstances
A book of genre fiction in translation – Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder
A book with a cover you hate – A Confederacy of Dunces
A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author – Raiser of Gales
An essay anthology – Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit
A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – Wise Women
An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – Moby Dick

Published in: on April 11, 2018 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment