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 
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):
Chasing Stanley--Deirdre Martin
6.  A book with a means of transport in the title (eg: If I Built a CarWalk Two Moons, The Girl on the Train):
Orphan Train--Christina Baker Kline
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 ):

Challenge completed on May 2

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.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly--Jean-Dominique Bauby

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.
The Oregon Trail--Rinker Buck

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

AUGUST – Seasons, Elements, & Weather
Read a book in which the season, the elements, or the weather plays a role in the story.
Beach Town--Mary Kay Andrews 

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

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.
The Spiderwick Chronicles 1-5--Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

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.
Heartless--Marissa Meyer

DECEMBER – Picking Favorites
Read a book by one of your favorite authors or read a book that Girlxoxo has recommended this year.
Christmas Caramel Murder--Joanne Fluke

Challenge completed on December 4

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
  12. The Rules Do Not Apply--Ariel Levy
  13. The Spectator Bird--Wallace Stegner
  14. The Woman in Cabin 10--Ruth Ware
  15. Everything, Everything--Nicola Yoon
  16. Lisette's List--Susan Vreeland
  17. Love and Gelato--Jenna Evans Welch
  18. I'll Give You the Sun--Jandy Nelson
  19. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls--Lynn Weingarten
  20. This Is Where It Ends--Marieke Nijkamp
  21. Dear Bob and Sue--Matt and Karen Smith
  22. Letters of Wallace Stevens
  23. The Princess Diaries--Meg Cabot
  24. Princess in the Spotlight--Meg Cabot
  25. Two Summers--Aimee Friedman
  26. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda--BeckyAlbertalli
  27. Best. Night. Ever.--Jen Malone and Others
  28. Dear Dumb Diary: My Pants are Haunted--Jim Benton
  29. Goodbye, Vitamin--Rachel Khong
  30. Love is a Mix Tape--Rob Sheffield
  31. Dear Martin--Nic Stone
  32. Caraval--Stephanie Garber
  33. Life Studies--Susan Vreeland
  34. The Birds' Christmas Carol--Kate Douglas Wiggin
  35. Where'd You Go, Bernadette--Maria Semple
Challenge completed on December 19

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
  20. Smile--Raina Telgmeier
  21. Britt-Marie Was Here--Fredrik Backman
  22. The Art of Racing in the Rain--Garth Stein
  23. Candide--Voltaire
  24. Dear Bob and Sue--Matt and Karen Smith
  25. One Plus One--JoJo Moyes
  26. Carry On--Rainbow Rowell
  27. The Princess Diaries--Meg Cabot
  28. Princess in the Spotlight--Meg Cabot
  29. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life--James Patterson
  30. The Glass Castle--Jeannette Walls
  31. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda--Becky Albertalli
  32. The Hate U Give--Angie Thomas
  33. Love You Forever: The Best of Robert Munsch
  34. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life--Benjamin Alire Saenz
  35. Beach Town--Mary Kay Andrews 
  36. All Our Wrong Todays--Elan Mastai
  37. The Trouble With Magic--Madelyn Alt
  38. The Chickens and the City Council of San Juan Bautista--Paul J. Shanley
  39. I Can't Make This Up--Kevin Hart
  40. Holding Up the Universe--Jennifer Niven
  41. Best. Night. Ever.--Jen Malone and Others
  42. Dear Dumb Diary: My Pants Are Haunted--Jim Benton
  43. The Importance of Being Earnest--Oscar Wilde
  44. Ghosts--Raina Telgemeier
  45. Goodbye, Vitamin--Rachel Khong
  46. Love is a Mix Tape--Rob Sheffield
  47. Nightlight: A Parody--Harvard Lampoon
  48. Zombies Calling--Faith Erin Hicks
  49. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish--Mo O'Hara
  50. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The SeaQuel--Mo O'Hara
  51. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: Fins of Fury--Mo O'Hara
  52. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: Any Fin Is Possible--Mo O'Hara
  53. Page by Paige--Laura Lee Gulled
  54. The Nix--Nathan Hill
  55. Drama--Raina Telgemeier
  56. A Wish for Elves--Mark Gonyea
  57. Where'd You Go, Bernadette--Maria Semple
  58. The Penguin Who Knew Too Much--Donna Andrews
  59. Fat Free and Fatal--G.A. McKevett
  60. Entwined With You--Sylvia Day
  61. Captivated by You--Sylvia Day
Challenge completed on December 30

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
  14. Mental Illness: More, Now, Again--Elizabeth Wurtzel
  15. Thought-Provoking: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly--Jean-Dominique Bauby
  16. Free Space (Mental Illness): Welcome to My Country--Lauren Slater
  17. Person of Color: Willow Weep For Me--Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
  18. Published This Year: The Rules Don't Apply--Ariel Levy
  19. By Someone  Over 40: Ice Bound--Dr. Jerri Nielsen
  20. Other Celebrity: The Secrets of My Life--Caitlyn Jenner
  21. By a Woman: Manic--Terri Cheney
  22. Best-Selling Memoir: Reading Lolita in Tehran--Azar Nafisi
  23. Made Into a Movie: The Glass Castle--Jeannette Walls
  24. Humorous Memoir: I Can't Make This Up--Kevin Hart
  25. Music Memoir: Love is a Mix Tape--Rob Sheffield

Challenge Completed on October 16

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/The 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
  28. No Promises in the Wind--Irene Hunt
  29. The Spectator Bird--Wallace Stegner
  30. Britt-Marie Was Here--Fredrik Backman
  31. The Art of Racing in the Rain--Garth Stein
  32. Everything, Everything--Nicola Yoon
  33. The House--Danielle Steel
  34. Love and Gelato--Jenna Evans Welch
  35. Candide--Voltaire
  36. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls--Lynn Weingarten
  37. Carry On--Rainbow Rowell
  38. Luckiest Girl Alive--Jessica Knoll
  39. Reading Lolita in Tehran--Azar Nafisi
  40. The Princess Dairies--Meg Cabot
  41. Princess in the Spotlight--Meg Cabot
  42. Jane--April Lindner
  43. Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine--Gail Honeyman
  44. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda--Becky Albertalli
  45. All the Bright Places--Jennifer Niven
  46. Holding Up the Universe--Jennifer Niven 
  47. Agnes Grey--Anne Bronte
  48. The Fall of the House of Usher and Four Other Tales--Edgar Allan Poe
  49. Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles: The Nixie's Song--Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  50. Ghosts--Raina Telgemeier
  51. Goodbye, Vitamin--Rachel Khong
  52. The Turn of the Screw--Henry James
  53. The Girl With All the Gifts--M.R. Carey
  54. Nightlight: A Parody--Harvard Lampoon
  55. Legend: The Graphic Novel--Leigh Dragoon
  56. Prodigy: The Graphic Novel--Leigh Dragoon
  57. Champion: The Graphic Novel--Leigh Dragoon
  58. Page by Paige--Laura Lee Gulledge
  59. Hitched!--B.J. Daniels
  60. Sun Moon Stars Rain--Jan Cheripko
  61. Where'd You Go, Bernadette--Maria Semple
Challenge completed on December 19

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 Meisner
  26. Published Since 2012: Little Ree--Ree Drummond
  27. 123s:  Touch and Feel 123--Jonathan Litton
  28. Eric Carle:  Colors. Colores (My Very First Bilingual Book)
  29. Shapes: My Very First Book of Shapes--Eric Carle
  30. Pop-Up Book: Baby: Shapes--Dawn Sirett
  31. International: Pinocchio--C. Collodi, adapted by Ed Young
  32. Dance: Angelina Ballerina--Katherine Holabird
  33. From Your Childhood: Petunia--Roger Duvoisin
  34. Seasons: Science Kids: Spring--Aaron Carr
  35. From a Series: Angelina's Cinderella--Katherine Holabird
  36. Set in a City: Machines Go to Work in the City--William Low

Challenge completed om June 15