Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wild Goose Chase Reading Challenge 2017

The Bookshelf Gargoyle is doing a new challenge for 2017, the Wild Goose Chase.  Only seven books are needed.
* The Challenge will run from January 1st to December 31, 2017.

* Challengees must read at least one book from each category (listed below).  Challengees must read a DIFFERENT book for each category – even if your book title might fit a number of categories, it will only count towards a single category.  Challengees are free to choose which category best suits.
* Books selected can be from any genre and aimed at any age group.  Picture books, anthologies, nonfiction, graphic novels and audiobooks are all okay to include.
* The categories listed are a loose guide and creative interpretation of the categories is not only encouraged, but applauded.
* Challengees should link their reviews/progress under the relevant linky lists on this page.  If you don’t have a blog, you could link to your Goodreads shelf/reviews, or simply comment on this page as you go.
*Feel free to display the challenge button (html for which is in the sidebar) and share about the challenge wherever you like

1. A book with a word of phrase relating to wildness in the title – any interpretation of the word “wild” is acceptable (eg: The Call of the Wild, Angry Aztecs, Crazy for You; An Untamed State):
Beast--Donna Jo Napoli
2. A book with a species of bird (or the word “bird”) in the title: (eg: The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Thorn Birds, Turkey: A Modern History):  Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs--Wallace Stegner
3. A book with an exotic or far-flung location in the title – fantasy and mythical locations are acceptable (eg: Paradise Lost, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, Atlantis Rising):
Lost Horizon--James Hilton
4.  A book with an object you might hunt for in the title (eg: Treasure Island, One for the Money, The History of Love, Dreams from my Father, A Monster Calls, All the Answers):  
The Big Rock Candy Mountain--Wallace Stegner (might hunt for rocks)
5. A book with a synonym for chase in the title (or its derivatives: chasing, chased, etc) (eg: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Follow the River, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Night Stalker)
6.  A book with a means of transport in the title (eg: If I Built a CarWalk Two Moons, The Girl on the Train)
7.  A book with an object you might take on a search or hunt in the title (eg: The Golden Compass, The Map to Everywhere, Water for Elephants, Team of Rivals ):
The Treasure Map of Boys--E. Lockhart

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


One of the challenges I've been waiting to see for next year, the Monthly Motif, is now up.


JANUARY 1, 2017 – DECEMBER 31, 2017 ~

Welcome  to the 2017 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge! For this challenge, each  month is assigned a motif or theme. Your task is to read one book per month that fits in with the assigned motifs…

JANUARY – Diversify Your Reading

Kick the reading year off right and shake things up. Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before--Jenny Han

FEBRUARY – Undercover Thriller
Read a book involving spies, detectives, private investigators, or a character in disguise.
Rainbow Drive--Roderick Thorp

MARCH – Time Traveler
Read a book set in a different dimension, a book in which time travel is involved or a dystopian or science fiction book where reality looks very different than what we’re used to.
Slaughterhouse Five--Kurt Vonnegut

APRIL – Award Winners
Read a book that has won a literary award or a book written by an author who has been recognized in the bookish community.
Out of the Dust--Karen Hesse (Newbery)

MAY – Book to Movie or Audio
Read a book that has a movie based off of it. For an extra challenge, see the movie or listen to the audio book as well.

JUNE – Destination Unknown
Read a book in which the character(s) take a trip, travel somewhere, go on a quest, or find themselves on a journey toward something.

JULY – Believe the Unbelievable
This month it’s all about fantasy. Epic fantasy, urban fantasy, fairytales, magic, etc.

AUGUST – Seasons, Elements, & Weather
Read a book in which the season, the elements, or the weather plays a role in the story.

SEPTEMBER – Creepy, Chilling, & Frightful
Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal hauntings, murder mysteries, weird and scary creatures- it’s up to you!

OCTOBER– Games, Challenges, & Contests
Read a book that involves a game of some sort. Video games, war games, psychological mess-with-your-mind games, characters who participate in a contest, or a story in which the character takes on a challenge.

NOVEMBER – Last Chance
Read a book you’ve been meaning to get to all year but haven’t yet or read the last book in a series you started.

DECEMBER – Picking Favorites
Read a book by one of your favorite authors or read a book that Girlxoxo has recommended this year.

Trying to Write More

I have been editing and revising my memoir piece by piece over the last week or so.  It kind of gets hard to want to write in this cold weather. I'm getting sleepy earlier and earlier each day it seems! The change in weather and time can do that I guess. But I will do what I can each day.  It's been less than a year since I began planning the memoir (I began in February).

I have also begun writing something new, the diary novel I've planning to try writing.  I haven't gotten very far on that one, however. I have a few ideas planned for that one, so much that don't know if it should be one or more books. But that's getting a little far ahead, as I have tended to do :-) But then, some of these dairy-style books tend to be short. I noticed this about the "Dear Dumb Diary" series (I have read the first one of those books so far).  My protagonist is a guy, incidentally. Notice that the "Dear Dumb Diary" is about a girl but written by a man. And mine are set in the 80s I had planned in this post.  More on this to come.

I will keep trying to write more, even if I just jot it down on paper as I had done with the memoir.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2017

Here's a new challenge from Socrates' Book Reviews, focusing on mystery books with cats. I'll shoot for level one, but will see if I can get more. Sign up here.

Many years ago I found a cat mystery reading challenge on one of the blogs. Being both a cat and mystery lover, it was the *purrfect* reading challenge for me but then it suddenly disappeared and I never saw one again. So, I decided to create my own. It's very simple, this challenge is all about reading mysteries that have cats as the main characters. Here are a few examples...

Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Midnight Louie Mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas
A Cats In Trouble Mysteries by Leann Sweeney
A Klepto Cat Mysteries by Patricia Fry
Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries by Ali Brandon
Cat Who Mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun
Cat in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James
Bookmobile Cat Mysteries by Laurie Cass
Theda Krakow Mysteries by Clea Simon
Black Cat Mysteries by Elaine Faber

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more. You can find a list here, but you aren't limited to just these choices. If you find others, that's great.

Here are the levels you can choose from:

Purring - Read 1-10 cat mysteries
Kneading - Read 11-20 cat mysteries
Meowing - Read 21-30 cat mysteries
Catnip - Go crazy and read at least 31 and go as high as you'd like - the sky is the limit!

The challenge will begin on January 1, 2017 and end on December 31, 2017.

The rules are really simple.

1. Any book read for this challenge has to be a mystery and have a cat that plays a major role in the book.

2. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

3. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime for those who make a list in advance.

4. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

5. You don't have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.
 If you don't have a blog, just post in the comment section that you'd like to join. You can post your books in there. I also have a Cat Mystery group on Goodreads and you can join over there. The link is

6. Books can be in any format of your choice (print, audio, ebooks)

Here is what I am reading:

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Sign-Up Post: Epistolary Reading Challenge 2017

Signing for the last of the challenges I'm hosting next year, Epistolary Reading Challenge. I will try to get at least 10 books.

10 Epistolary Books To Add To Your Winter Reading List
Epistolary Reading Challenge 2017

My books:

  1. The Sky is Everywhere--Jandy Nelson
  2. One Thousand White Women--Jim Fergus
  3. To All the Boys I've Loved Before--Jenny Han
  4. Lady Susan--Jane Austen
  5. Angle of Repose--Wallace Stegner 
  6. The Light Between Oceans--M.L. Stedman
  7. The Boyfriend List--E. Lockhart
  8. The Boy Book--E. Lockhart
  9. The Treasure Map of Boys--E. Lockhart
  10. Real Live Boyfriends--E. Lockhart
  11. Out of the Dust--Karen Hesse

My Sign-Up Post: Humor Reading Challenge 2017

Signing up for my Humor Reading Challenge.  For now, I'll shoot for the Cartoonist Level, but will see if I can go over.
Illustration: A comedy mask reads a book.
Humor Reading Challenge 2017

My books for this one:

  1. Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy--Rachel Renee Russell
  2. How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend--Janette Rallison
  3. Are You My Mother?--Alison Bechtel
  4. Openly Bob--Bob Smith
  5. Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel
  6. Bad Dog (A Love Story)--Martin Kihn
  7. A Million Little Pieces--James Frey
  8. Slaughterhouse Five--Kurt Vonnegut
  9. The Goose Girl--Shannon Hale
  10. Wonder--R.J. Palacio
  11. El Deafo--Cece Bell
  12. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo--Amy Schemer
  13. The Boyfriend List--E. Lockhart
  14. The Boy Book--E. Lockhart
  15. The Treasure Map of Boys--E. Lockhart
  16. Real Live Boyfriends--E. Lockhart
  17. Topsy Turvy--Monika Meisner
  18. Soulless--Gail Carrier
  19. The Cat Who Had 14 Tales--Lilian Jackson Braun

My Sign-Up Post: Memoir Bingo Reading Challenge 2017

Here is my sign-up post for Memoir Bingo Reading, another challenge I'm hosting for next year. I will complete as many squares as I can. - bingo card generator

Squares completed:
  1. Travel Memoir: Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs--Wallace Stegner
  2. Published in 2016 or Earlier: Hope--Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
  3. Food Memoir: Cakewalk--Kate Moses
  4. Graphic Novel Memoir: Are You My Mother?--Alison Bechtel
  5. LGBTQIA: Openly Bob--Bob Smith
  6. By Someone Under 40: Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel
  7. Animal: Bad Dog (A Love Story)--Martin Kihn
  8. Fictional: A Million Little Pieces--James Frey
  9. High School or College Events: A List of Thing That Didn't Kill Me--Jason Schmidt
  10. Other Illness: El Deafo--Cece Bell
  11. Actor or Comedian: The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo--Amy Schemer
  12. Author or Journalist: Lipstick Jihad--Azadeh Maven
  13. Political: A Fighting Chance--Elizabeth Warren

My Sign-Up Post: Literary Loners Reading Challenge 2017

Here is my sign-up post for the Literary Loners Reading Challenge I am hosting next year.  I will try to get at least 10  books, but will probably go over, as I did with this year's challenge.

Literary Loners Reading Challenge 2017 

My books:
  1. Pink--Lili Wilkinson
  2. The Impossible Knife of Memory--Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. More Brains Than Bullets/Te Road to Casas Piedras/West of Dodge--Louis L'Amour
  4. The Field of the Dogs--Katherine Paterson
  5. The Green Dog--Suzanne Fisher Staples
  6. The Language of Flowers--Vanessa Diffenabugh
  7. Beast--Donna Jo Napoli
  8. The Blacker the Berry--Wallace Thurman
  9. Killing Reagan--Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  10. Catch Me--Lisa Gardner
  11. A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me--Jason Schmidt
  12. Wonder--R.J. Palacio
  13. El Deafo--Cece Bell
  14. Wives and Daughters--Elizabeth Gaskell
  15. Crenshaw--Katherine Applegate
  16. First Comes Love--Emily Giffin
  17. Fish in a Tree--Lynda Mullally Hunt
  18. The Boyfriend List--E. Lockhart
  19. The Boy Book--E. Lockhart
  20. The Treasure Map of Boys--E. Lockhart
  21. Real Live Boyfriends--E. Lockhart
  22. Out of the Dust--Karen Hesse
  23. Soulless--Gail Carrier
  24. The Hound of the Baskervilles--Arthur Conan Doyle
  25. Fuzzy Mud--Louis Sachar
  26. If You Come Softly--Jacqueline Woodson
  27. Night Fall--Nelson DeMille

Picture Book Reading Challenge

Becky's Book Reviews is doing a picture book challenge for 2017.  There are three options, including a bingo card, which I will be choosing.  Click on the link to sign up and see more options.

Original artwork by Charles Haigh-Wood (1856-1927)
Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up)
Duration: January - December 2017
Goal: To have adults read more picture books. To celebrate the fact that picture books are for everyone! Families are, of course, welcome to join in!
# of books: minimum of 6
Option 1: BINGO CARD!

Here is what I will be reading:
  1. Colors: Flaptastic Colors
  2. Caldecott Winner: Owl Moon--Jane Yolen
  3. Food/Eating: The Lemonade Babysitter--Karen Waggoner
  4. Caldecott Honor: Olivia--Ian Falconer
  5. Adapted Fairy Tale: Puss in Cowboy Boots--Jan Huling
  6. Discovered as an Adult: The Mysterious Guests--Eric A. Kimmel
  7. Set on a Farm: The Jolly Barnyard--Annie North Bedford
  8. Illustrator of Your Choice: River Rose and the Musical Lullaby--Kelly Clarkson (Illustrated by Laura Hughes)
  9. Being Unique: Not Your Typical Dragon--Dan El-Bar
  10. Music: I Got the Rhythm--Connie Schofield-Morrison
  11. ABCs: Alphabet City--Stephen T. Johnson
  12. Fairy Tale: Walt Disney's Cinderella--Cynthia Rylant
  13. Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think
  14. Art/Drawing: Harold and the Purple Crayon--Crockett Johnson
  15. Author of Your Choice: Oh, Baby, the Places You'll Go--Tish Rabe, Dr. Seuss
  16. Pets: What Pet Should I Get?--Dr. Seuss
  17. Published Before 1966: Peter Pan--Josette Frank, Ed.
  18. New Experiences: Gia and the One Hundred Dollars Worth of Bubblegum--Frank Asch
  19. Nonfiction:  Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer--Carole Boston Weatherford
  20. Borrowed From the Library: Bob and Flo Play Hide-and-Seek--Rebecca Ashdown
  21. Animal Characters: Make Way For Ducklings--Robert Mccluskey
  22. Growing Up: Once There Were Giants--Martin Waddell
  23. Poetry: The Giving Tree--Shel Silverstein
  24. Babies: Old Blue Buggy--Fran Swift
  25. Made You Laugh: Topsy Turvy--Monika Beisner

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2017 Victorian Reading Challenge

Going to try this one. It's at Becky's Book Reviews. The goal is to read a minimum of four books form the Victorian era.  Click the link to sign up and see more details.

_ 1. A book under 200 pages
_ 2. A book over 400 pages
_ 3. A book that REALLY intimidates you
_ 4. A book you REALLY want to reread
_ 5. A new-to-you book by a FAVORITE author
_ 6. A book with illustrations
_ 7. A book that was originally published serially
_ 8. A book published between 1837-1849
_ 9. A book published between 1850-1860
_ 10. A book published between 1861-1870
X11. A book published between 1871-1880: Lady Susan--Jane Austen
_ 12. A book published between 1881-1890
_ 13. A book published between 1891-1901
X14. A book published between 1902-1999 with a Victorian setting:  The Hound of the Baskervilles--Arthur Conan Doyle
X15. A book published between 2000-2017 with a Victorian setting: Soulless--Gail Carriger
X 16. A book by Charles Dickens: Martin Chuzzlewit
_ 17. A book by Wilkie Collins
_ 18. A book by Anthony Trollope
X19. A book by Elizabeth Gaskell: Wives and Daughters
_ 20. A book by George Eliot
_ 21. A book by a new-to-you male author
_ 22. A book by a new-to-you female author
_ 23. A book translated into English
_ 24. A fiction or nonfiction book about Queen Victoria
_ 25. A book that has been filmed as movie, miniseries, or television show
_ 26. A play OR a collection of short stories OR a collection of poems
_ 27. Biography, Autobiography, or NONFICTION book about the Victorian era
_ 28. Genre or Subgenre of your choice (mystery, suspense, romance, gothic, adventure, western, science fiction, fantasy)
_ 29. Book with a name as the title
_ 30. Book You've Started but Never Finished
_ 31. A Christian book fiction or nonfiction
_ 32. A children's book

2017 Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge

TOnce again, I'm signing up for the Cruisin' Thru the Cozies challenge at Socrates' Book Reviews. This year, she'd doing it a differently.  I will at least try to complete Level One. Click the link for more details.

Welcome to the seventh annual Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge! I'm changing things up a bit this year. Sometimes we get hooked on one type of genre or sub-genre and don't venture out of our comfort zone. Maybe some only read culinary cozies, maybe some only animals or crafts.

To find out exactly what a cozy mystery is, check out This site is dedicated to cozy mysteries and does a great job of defining them as well as giving a list of cozy mysteries. This challenge is NOT restricted to what is on their list, it's just to be used as a guideline in case you need some hints on what to read.

Whatever you might like, I thought it might be fun to read a bit of everything. So here is this year's cozy mystery reading challenge:

Level one (Snoop) - Read one book in each of these cozy sub-genres (total of 10 books)

- One from culinary (anything dealing with food:  restaurants, baked goods, etc.)
- One from animal related (cats, dogs, birds, etc.)
- One from craft related (any kind of hobbies - knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, etc.)
- One from paranormal (witches, vampires, etc.)
- One from British cozy mysteries (example:  Belinda Lawrence series)
- One career-based cozy mystery (housekeeping, wedding planner, etc.)
- One holiday based (set during any holiday - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, etc.)
- One travel mystery (character could be on a cruise, touring another area, etc.)
- One historical mystery (any mystery not set in the present)
- One is your choice!  (freebie!)

ADDENDUM:  (I'm adding one more thing for those who aren't sure they want to read some of the sub-genres.)

If you can't find or don't want to read a certain sub-genre, you can switch it out for another one of your choice. However, this can only be done one time.

Level two (Investigator) - Read all the books in level one plus an additional 10 cozy books of your choice (total of 20)
Level three (Super Sleuth) - Read two books from each sub-genre in level one plus an additional 10 cozy books of your choice (total of 30 books)
Level four (Sleuth Extraordinaire) - Read two books from each sub-genre in level one plus an additional 20 cozy books of your choice (total of 40 books)

I'm going for Level One (Snoop) this year and I will list my progress here:

1. Culinary:
2. Animal: The Cat Who had 14 Tales--Lilian Jackson Braun
3. Craft:
4. Paranormal: Southern Ghost--Carolyn G. Hart
5. British cozy mysteries:
6. Career-based: 12th of Never--James Patterson (news reporters)
7. Holiday: Easter Bunny Murder--Leslie Meier
8. Travel:
9. Historical: The Hound of the Baskervilles--Arthur Conan Doyle
10. Freebie: Turbo Twenty-Three--Janet Evanovich

Monday, November 21, 2016

What’s In A Name 2017

Another challenge I've been doing for the last few years is now up. Click here to sign up and see more details.

What's In A Name 2017 logo

The basics
The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):

A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street):
12th of Never--James Patterson

A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn):
Slaughterhouse Five--Kurt Vonnegut

A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen):
How to Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend--Janette Rallison

A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW):
Southern Ghost--Carolyn G. Hart

An item/items of cutlery (The Subtle Knife; Our Spoons Came From Woolworths):

A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration! (The Great Gatsby; The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite; Gone Girl; The Cuckoo’s Calling):

Black Beauty--Anna Sewell

Challenge completed on March 11