Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Year in Reading

I just finished my last book of this year and finished up my last two reading challenges. I have been signing up for several challenges for next year and am waiting do see if the following are offered next year:  Books in Translation, Southern Lit, and Nonfiction (all at this blog). I did a different nonfiction challenge this year, but the blog for that one has been deleted. The same was true for a feminist reading challenge I did this past year. No word either on the Eclectic Challenge that has been offered by this blog, or the Gothic one started by this one last year.  If none of these are offered, so be it, but maybe there will be something similar to each of these. We'll see. It remains to be seen how many more I'll sign up for, though I have seen some I've not been interested in doing.

Here is how many books and pages I read this year, from Goodreads:


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My longest and shortest books of the year:

Llama Llama Sand and Sun by Anna Dewdney
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10 pages
Llama Llama Sand and Sun
943 pages
The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

people also read
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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person also read
Wolf Dreamer of the Longest Nigh...

By far my favorite of the year was (If I ever decide to re-read something, this will be one of them, if not the only one). This was very relatable to me. Those who have been reading my blog this past year will that this book inspired me to write my own story of depression and getting onto Prozac. Still working on it; in February, it will be a year since I started.

Prozac Nation

My first read for 2017 will be determined tomorrow.

Poetry Reading Challenge 2017

Another favorite  challenge of mine is up for 2017. I will be doing the highest level.

  • Haiku Level: read 1 book of poetry or 20 poems
  • Cinquain Level: Read 2 books of poetry, 40 poems
  • Sonnet Level: Read 3 books of poetry, 60 poems
  • Rondeau Level: Read 4 books of poetry, 80 poems
  • Villanelle Level: Read 5-10 books of poetry, 100 poems
If you want to challenge yourself this year, feel free to try a new form of poetry — Sonnets, Haiku, Pastoral, Limerick, Elegy, Tanka, Ghazal, Epic, and others.

My books:
  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  2. Owl Moon--JaneYolen
  3. The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
  4. I Got the Rhythm--Connie Schofield-Morrison
  5. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer--Carole Boston Weatherford
  6. Once There Were Giants--Martin Waddell
  7. The Giving Tree--Shel Silverstein
  8. Topsy Turvy--Monika Meisner
  9. Out of the Dust--Karen Hesse
  10. Nothing--Robin Friedman
  11. Letters of Wallace Stevens
  12. Beautiful, Brilliant, Borderline--Angelo H. Hudson, Jr.
Challenge completed on July 21

Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Creativity Reading Challenge

I decided to try this one because I think it goes well with my writing and because I'm trying to come up with ideas for my work's art class. Since there are no levels, I will try to get at least five books. Sign up here.

I am dedicating 2017 to becoming more creative in my life! In order to do that I need some inspiration. I decided to create the Creativity Reading Challenge to help inspire me.

This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life.

To get you started, here is a list of my Top Ten Books on Creativity.

The Rules:

  • This challenge begins January 1, 2017 and ends Dec 31, 2017. 
  • You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.
  • Books may be nonfiction, memoir, how to, self help, coffee table books, instructional, picture books, and even fictional if they are about people who are creative.
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges.

My books for this one:

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Found this new one I want to try. I will try for the first level, and see if I go over. Sign up here.

Paper cut of heart on old book

Welcome to the 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge. I participated in one of these a couple of years ago and haven’t been able to find one since so I decided to create one myself. I love reading books that focus on older teens/young adults and wanted to challenge myself to discover more in this genre. I hope you will join me.

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

As with most challenges I do have some guidelines to follow

1. Any books read for this challenge must be New Adult. If you’re not sure what that is you can read the Goodreads definition here, as well find lists of examples. Once you choose a level you’re locked in for at least that amount. However, you may go up a level if you choose.

These are the levels.

Level 1 – Read 1-10

Level 2 – Read 11-20

Level 3 – Read 21-30

Level 4 – Read 31-40

Level 5 – Read 41-50

Level 6 – Read 50+

2. The book can be of any sub-genre (paranormal, romance, etc.) as long as the New Adult theme is prevalent.

3. Challenge runs from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

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

5. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime if you made a list at the beginning.

6. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

7. You don’t have to have a blog or write a review unless you want to.
 If you don’t have a blog or somewhere to keep track, post in the comments that you’d like to join.

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

9. To sign up, use the Mister Linky below. Reviews and wrap posts links will be posted later.

10. Links provided must be linked to this specific challenge such as a blog post or Goodreads shelf. Please don’t leave a link to the blog homepage or any other generalized link. If you list all of your challenges in one post as I usually do that is okay.

Enjoy and have fun!

Here is what I am reading:

  1. The Sky is Everywhere--Jandy Nelson
  2. Just One Year--Gayle Forman
  3. La Cucina--Lily Prior
  4. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass--Meg Medina
  5. The Girls--Emma Cline
  6. We Are the Goldens--Dana Reinhardt
  7. Love and Gelato--Jenna Evans Welch
  8. I'll Give You the Sun--Jandy Nelson
  9. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls--Lynn Weingarten
  10. One Plus One--JoJo Moyes
  11. Sweetbitter--Stephanie Danler
  12. Jane--April Lindner
  13. Zombies Calling--Faith Erin Hicks
  14. The Nix--Nathan Hill
  15. Entwined With You--Sylvia Day
  16. Captivated by You--Sylvia Day
Challenge completed on December 30

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another Year About to End...

Where has the year gone? Only three more days till we say goodbye to 2016.

It has been quite a year for me.  Beginning a new job and starting to writing a memoir have been my two biggest achievements for me this year.  I've also gotten a new computer after using an outdated one for over 10 years!  So glad to have been able to do that. On a sad note, I thought my story was lost and gone forever, thanks to the new computer, and the fact that AppleWorks had been replaced by Pages for Macintosh users. But  I had saved it as PDF on the old computer to send by e-mail, so I downloaded the story and copied it from the PDF into Pages. I needed to do a lot editing and reformatting, but at least I got the bones of what I had originally written and have been adding and revising. It will be year next February since I began the process. I'll see how much longer it will take me.

My writing class at work hasn't been well attended, but we'll see how that goes next year. In the meantime, another of our peer mentors has moved away, so others have been filling in for  the cooking and art classes which she taught. Twice I've filled in for cooking in November and am looking for another recipe to try. So far I have made sliders (mini-hamburgers, with dinner rolls as buns) and a recipe I found on a soup can for Savory Lemon Chicken. I loved this. Click here to see the recipe.

Savory Lemon Chicken

Also,  I've been searching for ideas for an art project I have proposed for our class to begin after the new year. Something that uses three-dimensional objects, either an assemblage or a diorama. Most of the people don't have a clue what this idea is about, so I'm looking for info to give them. My boss thinks it's great idea. From the images I have found so far, animal habitats seems to be popular diorama themes. Here are two I have found:
African Savanna Habitat Diorama craftCoral Reef Habitat Diorama craft

So far this is what lies ahead for next year. 

How about you? How has this year been for you?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2017 Literature for Kids Reading Challenge

2017 Literature For Kids Reading Challenge

Here is another one that sounds fun. I like reading children's books from time to time.  I may even try writing a children's story. Sign up here.

Books in this challenge cover the globe, explore new cultures, take us into other time periods, and open our eyes to variety in children’s and teen fiction. Writers of juvenile literature can immerse themselves in multiple genres, to improve intuitive writing skills.

No specific books are suggested. You are free to explore book lists and come up with your own reading goals. There are twenty-five books on the list – intended as providing two reading experiences each month, with a bonus book for extra credit. Either toss out one book requirement, or add the extra book in sometime during the year.
To keep track of the books you’ve read, you could use Goodreads, or keep a list on your blog. To challenge yourself further you can write a review of each book on your chosen reading site or on a blog, or even on a Facebook page.
1. A book about an animal you wouldn’t want as a pet: Olivia--Ian Falconer
2. An award winning book for ages 8 to 12: Owl Moon--Jane Yolen
3. A book set in Africa: Chanda's Secrets--Allan Stratton
5. A non-fiction book written for children and published within the last five years: Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer--Carole Boston Weatherford
6. A book that takes place on a farm: The Jolly Barnyard--Annie North Bedford
7. A poetic novel: Out of the Dust--Karen Hesse
8. A book with black and white photographs: Night of the Ninth Dragon--Mary Pope Osborne
9. A book set in an area within 1000 miles of your home location: Love and  Gelato--Jenna Evans Welch
11. A book set in a country you’ve never visited: Ballet Shoes--Noel Streatfeild (England)
13. A book written before 1920: Black Beauty--Anna Sewell
14. A novel with a boy as main character: The Field of the Dogs--Katherine Paterson
15. A rewrite of a fairytale or folktale: Beast--Donna Jo Napoli
16. A book recommended by one of your relatives: Gia and the One Hundred Dollars Worth of Bubblegum--Frank Asch
17. Any book with a W in the title: Wonder--R.J. Palacio
18. A book about a dog or cat: The Green Dog--Suzanne Fisher Staples
20. A book with red on the cover: Petunia--Roger Duvosoin
21. A picture book published within the last 12 months: Flaptastic Colors
22. Re-read a book you’ve already loved: Little House in the Big Woods--Laura Ingalls Wilder
23. Read a book about weather: Science Kids: Spring--Aaron Carr
24. A book with a number in the title: Eight Cousins--Louisa May Alcott

25. A novel about a girl in a foreign culture: The Finnish Line--Linda Gerber

Challenge completed on August 29

Announcing the 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Once again I will be doing this challenge.  I will try to get between 25 and 50 books, or more. Sign up here.

Here are the Reading Challenge details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

Everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)

Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review)

Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)

During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels: 

20th century Reader - 2 books

Victorian Reader - 5 books

Renaissance Reader - 10 books

Medieval - 15 books

Ancient History - 25 books

Prehistoric - 50+ books

Here is what I am reading:
  1. City of Women--David R. Gilliam
  2. One Thousand White Women--Jim Fergus
  3. Lady Susan--Jane Austen
  4. Black Beauty--Anna Sewell
  5. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  6. Quicksand--Nella Larsen
  7. Angle of Repose--Wallace Stegner
  8. The Language of Flowers--Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  9. The Blacker the Berry--Wallace Thurman
  10. The Big Rock Candy Mountain--Wallace Stegner
  11. Slaughterhouse Five--Kurt Vonnegut
  12. The Goose Girl--Shannon Hale
  13. Big Bob--Georges Simenon
  14. Lost Horizon--James Hilton
  15. Martin Chuzzlewit--Charles Dickens
  16. The Chocolate War--Robert Cormier
  17. Wives and Daughters--Elizabeth Gaskell
  18. The Light Between Oceans--M.L. Stedman
  19. Out of the Dust--Karen Hesse
  20. Soulless--Gail Carrier
  21. The Hound of the Baskervilles--Arthur Conan Doyle
  22. If You Come Softly--Jacqueline Woodson
  23. Girl in Hyacinth Blue--Susan Vreeland
  24. La Cucina--Lily Prior
  25. No Promises in the Wind--Irene Hunt
  26. Orphan Train--Christina Baker Kline
  27. Night of the Ninth Dragon--Mary Pope Osborne
  28. The Spectator Bird--Wallace Stegner
  29. The Girls--Emma Cline
  30. Britt-Marie Was Here--Fredrik Backman
  31. The House--Danielle Steel
  32. Lisette's List--Susan Vreeland
  33. Crossing to Safety--Wallace Stegner
  34. A Study in Scarlet--Arthur Conan Doyle
  35. Crime and Punishment--Fyodor Dostoevsky
  36. Candide--Voltaire
  37. All the Little Live Things--Wallace Stegner
  38. The Rum Diary--Hunter S. Thompson
  39. Ballet Shoes--Noel Streatfeild
  40. Little House in the Big Woods--Laura Ingalls Wilder
  41. Eight Cousins--Louisa May Alcott
  42. Stardust and Shadows--Janelle Taylor
  43. Dragon of the Red Dawn--Mary Pope Osborne
  44. Monday With a Mad Genius--Mary Pope Osborne
  45. Dark Day in the Deep Sea--Mary Pope Osborne
  46. Interpreter of Maladies--Jhumpa Lahiri
  47. Serena--Ron Rash
  48. Southern Discomfort--Rita Mae Brown
  49. Chanda's Secrets--Allan Stratton
  50. Little House on the Prairie--Laura Ingalls Wilder
  51. Beautiful Ruins--Jess Walter
  52. A Dead Liberty--Catherine Aird
  53. Pirates--Linda Lael Miller
  54. Lady Audley's Secret--Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  55. Agnes Grey--Anne Bronte
  56. The Fall of the House of Usher and Four Other Tales--Edgar Allan Poe
  57. The Importance of Being Earnest--Oscar Wilde
  58. The Moonstone--Wilkie Collins
  59. The Turn of the Screw--Henry James
  60. The Way to Paradise--Mario Vargas Llosa
  61. Blood Red, Snow White--Marcus Sedgwick
  62. North and South--Elizabeth Gaskell
  63. Heartless--Marissa Meyer
  64. The Scarlet Letter--Nathaniel Hawthorne
  65. Nicholas Nickelby--Charles Dickens
  66. The Nix--Nathan Hill
  67. Snow & Rose--Emily Winfield Martin
  68. The Apple Orchard--Susan Wiggs
  69. Caraval--Stephanie Garber
  70. Life Studies--Susan Vreeland
  71. One Second After--William R. Forstchen
  72. A Christmas Visitor--David Saperstein and George Samerjan
  73. The Birds' Christmas Carol--Kate Douglas Wiggin
Calling challenge completer on December 19

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Quiz: What's Your Christmas Color?

Even though I skipped the decorations this year...

Your Christmas Color is Green
You love an old fashioned, genuine Christmas. And this includes lots of natural elements like trees and wreaths.
You tend to have a simple Christmas that harkens to times past. You like holidays smells, sights, and songs than have been around for decades - if not centuries.

You enjoy every moment of this season, but you don't hold on too tightly. You are good with it all being temporary and special.
You like to bring a little nature indoors if you can during the deadest part of the year. You want a reminder that spring is coming!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Quiz: What Color Christmas Tree Should You Have?

Even though I didn't get a tree this year...

You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree
For you, the holidays represent a time of calm, understanding, and peace.
You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!

You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.
You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.

Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life

What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies

Friday, December 23, 2016


Ok, here's another one. There are two options for the one and I'm going for the longer one. I'm sure I can find crossovers from other challenges.

Are you ready for a 2017 reading challenge? Click through to get your 26-book and 52-book challenge checklists!
2017 Ultimate Reading Challenge! Are you ready for a 2017 reading challenge? Click through to get your 26-book and 52-book challenge checklists...
The idea behind these challenges is to encourage 

The 52-book 2017 reading challenge

  1. A book you read in school: 1984--George Orwell
  2. A book from your childhood: Little House in the Big Woods--Laura Ingalls Wilder
  3. A book published over 100 years ago: Wives and Daughters--Elizabeth Gaskell
  4. A book published in the last year:  15th Affair--James Patterson
  5. A non-fiction book: Hope--Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
  6. A book written by a male author: 12th of Never--James Patterson
  7. A book written by a female author: To All the Boys I've Loved Before--Jenny Han
  8. A book by someone who isn’t a writer: The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo--Amy Schumer
  9. A book that became/is becoming a film: Wonder--R.J. Palacio
  10. A book published in the 20th Century: The Abominable Man--Maj Sjowell
  11. A book set in your hometown/region: The Chickens and the City Council of San Juan Bautista--Paul J. Shanley
  12. A book with a name in the title: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass--Meg Medina
  13. A book with a number in the title: One Thousand White Women--Jim Fergus
  14. A book based on a true story: Night Fall--Nelson DeMille
  15. A book someone else recommended: City of Women--David R. Gillham
  16. A book with over 500 pages: The Big Rock Candy Mountain--Wallace Stegner
  17. A book you can finish in a day: More Brains Than Bullets/The Road to Casas Piedras/West of Dodge--Louis L'Amour
  18. A previously banned book: Black Beauty--Anna Sewell
  19. A book with a one-word title: Cakewalk--Kate Moses
  20. A book translated from another language: Big Bob--Georges Simenon
  21. A personal growth book: More, Now, Again--Elizabeth Wurtzel
  22. A memoir or journal: Bad Dog (A Love Story)--Martin Kihn
  23. A book by someone younger than you: A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me--Jason Schmidt
  24. A book set somewhere you’ll visit this year  want to visit: One Plus One--JoJo Moyes 
  25. An award-winning book: Angle of Repose--Wallace Stegner (Pulitzer)
  26. A book you were supposed to read in school but haven’t yet:  Crime and Punishment--Fyodor Dostoevsky (I wasn't actually assigned to read it, but think I should have been)
  27. A book with a character with your first name: Dear Dumb Diary: My Pants Are Haunted--Jim Benton
  28. A book with a place in the title: The Oregon Trail--Rinker Buck
  29. A book set in the future: Two Summers--Aimee Friedman
  30. A play: The Importance of Being Earnest--Oscar Wilde
  31. A scary book: Catch Me--Lisa Gardner
  32. A funny book: Openly Bob--Bob Smith
  33. A book of short stories: The Cat Who Had 14 Tales--Lilian Jackson Braun
  34. A trilogy or series: E. Lockhart--a) The Boyfriend List  b) The Boy Book c) The Treasure Map of Boys  d) Real Live Boyfriends
  35. A bestseller: Orphan Train--Christina Baker Kline
  36. A book you own but haven’t read yet: Just One Year--Gayle Forman
  37. A book about philosophy: Lipstick Jihad--Azadeh Moaveni
  38. An epic poem: The Epic of Gilgamesh
  39. A Victorian novel: Lady Susan--Jane Austen
  40. A book of poetry: The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
  41. A book with a colour in the title: Pink--Lili Wilkinson
  42. A book with an appealing cover: The Blacker the Berry--Wallace Thurman
  43. A book about psychology: Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel
  44. A book about science: The Immortal Life  of Henrietta Lacks--Rebecca Skloot
  45. A graphic novel: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy--Rachel Renee Russell
  46. A self-published book: Beautiful, Brilliant, Borderline--Angelo H. Hudson Jr.
  47. A book based on a true story: A  Million Little Pieces--James Frey
  48. A famous author’s first novel: The Shack--William Paul Young
  49. A book of non-fiction essays:  Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs--Wallace Stegner
  50. A book by an author you haven’t read before: The Impossible Knife of Memory--Laurie Hale Anderson
  51. A book set in a country you’ve never been to: Quicksand--Nella Larsen
  52. A book set in the place you live today:  The Sky is Everywhere--Jandy Nelson

Challenge completed on October 5