Monday, November 30, 2020

Cyber Monday

Today was the first time I ever made a purchase on Cyber Monday. It was something for myself, since my family isn't very big on presents anymore. I got some sleepwear form Lane Bryant, something  I really need right now. Just one, though there was really only one I liked. I looked for books on sale on Amazon, but didn't see any I wanted. And many I never heard of.  Not sure what else I want to look for on Amazon, since you can get just about anything from that site. Just too much to choose from on one site. I guess the stuff you really want may not be on sale. But I can get it another time.

And I wonder if the mail carriers really hate Cyber Monday. 

Erin 14.0 Reading Challenge

The challenge will run from JANUARY 1, 2021 to APRIL 30, 2021. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on January 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on April 30 will count. (We live in different time zones – follow this according to your own time zone.)

Book Challenge by Erin 14

The categories are:

5 points... Freebie, read any book of your choice with 200+ pages:

10 points... Read a book you have been meaning to re-read:

10 points... Read the first book of a series you have never read before:

15 points... Read a book with a mostly green and/or pink color cover art:

20 points... Read a book with a male relationship word in the title, i.e. Father, Grandfather, Husband, Uncle, Brother, Son or Nephew:

20 points... Read a book set in a place that's on your bucket list of places to visit - Suggested by Carly:

25 points... Read a book that reminds you of 2020, for eg (but not limited to - home, lock, down, president, mask, etc.) You can be creative with it, but please let us know how it relates to 2020 if it isn't obvious) - Suggested by Deborah:

30 points... Read a book written by an LGBTQIA+ author. This can be an autobiography, memoir, or even a fiction:

30 points... Read a book with the name of a bird in the title, or the word bird/birds in the title:

35 points... Read a book where the protagonist has a questionable profession, for example, mafia don, assassin, govt. agent gone rogue, etc. - Suggested by Debdatta:

Challenge completed on January 14

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Shopping Humor

Mostly avoided the stores yesterday, going into Goodwill for about five minutes. It didn't see like such a good idea.

Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2021

For this one, I will be reading cozies of my choice, getting as many as possible.

 Welcome to the 11th annual Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge! Once again, I'm giving challengers two options - one is to read only sub-genres and the other is to read cozy mysteries of your choice.

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.

This year's cozy mystery reading challenge has two ways to participate and you can choose whichever suits you the best:

A) Read only cozy mysteries of your choice.

My books:

  1. The Dogfather--Susan Conant
  2. Black Ribbon--Susan Conant
  3. The 20th Victim--James Patterson
  4. A Killer in the Rye--Delia Rosen
  5. Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder--Joanne Fluke
  6. Twisted Twenty-Six--Janet Evanovich
  7. Twelve Angry Librarians--Miranda James
  8. The Terrorists--Maj Sjowall
  9. Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich
  10. Chamomile Mourning--Laura Childs

Friday, November 27, 2020

What an Animal Reading Challenge 2021

 Doing this one again. 

The challenge will begin on January 1, 2021 and end on December 31, 2021.

The rules are really simple. I am changing it up a little bit, on...

1. Any book read for this challenge has to have an animal that plays a major role in the book (which could be fiction or non-fiction.) It also counts if a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you'd like). In the past, books would qualify if an animal is in the title or on the cover, but that alone no longer qualifies. This challenge is for books related to animals and just because they are in the title or on the cover, doesn't mean it's about an animal. 

These are the levels.

Level 1 - Read 6 books

Level 2 - Read 7-12

Level 3 - Read 13-20 

Level 4 - Read 21 or more

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)--dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark...dragon, mermaid, centaur, vampire, get the idea...

Here is what I am reading:

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

 Doing this one again.

Nonfiction Know-It-All : Read 12 books, one for each category


1. Biography: Beautiful Boy--David Sheff 

2. Travel: The Hare With Amber Eyes--Edmund De Waal

3. Self-help: Me and White Supremacy--Layla F. Saad

4. Essay Collection: Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel (reread)

5. Disease: Disability Visibility--Alice Wong (ed.)

6. Oceanography: Isaac's Storm--Erik Larson

7. Hobbies: The History of Theatre--David Timson

8. Indigenous Cultures

9. Food: From Scratch--Tembi Locke

10. Wartime Experiences: Code Girls--Liza Mundy

11. Inventions

12. Published in 2021

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Glass Bowl Snowmen

 Here are some of the snowman we made at work last week, most of us finishing yesterday. Lights with battery holders were inserted into the bowls before they were glued together.  The two on top are of my snowman taken at home, turned on in the dark. Mine is also in the bottom photo, taken at the center yesterday.

PS.. I received an email asking to include a link to this site: 69 Best Christmas Crafts for Adults. If you're looking for ideas, this is one source.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Booklist Queen’s 2021 Reading Challenge

 Doing this one again. Will add categories as I complete them (click link to see).

My Books:

  1. Coming of Age Story: Chasing Redbird--Sharon Creech 
  2. Reread a Favorite Book: Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel 
  3. Audiobook: Crank--Ellen Hopkins
  4. Own But Haven't Read: The Gatecrasher--Madeleine Wickham
  5. Genre You Usually Don't Read: Me and White Supremacy--Layla F. Saad
  6. Fantasy: The Glittering Court--Richelle Mead
  7. Everyone's Talking About: Too Much and Never Enough--Mary L. Trump
  8. Sequel: The Happy Ever After Playlist--Abby Jimenez
  9. Poetry: Brown Girl Dreaming--Jacqueline Woodson (reread)
  10. Number in the Title: Thirteen Senses--Victor VillaseƱor
  11. From the Library: Girl in Blue--Ann Rinaldi 
  12. Set in the 1920s: The Edge of Town--Dorothy Garlock
  13. World War II Novel: Sophie's Choice--William Styron
  14. Own Voices Story: Dear Justyce--Nic Stone
  15. Longer Than 400 Pages: Chain of Gold--Cassandra Clare
  16. 2021 New Release: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder--Joanne Fluke
  17. Time Travel Novel: Jane in Love--Rachel Givney
  18. Book Turned Into a TV Series: You--Caroline Kepnes
  19. Title With Three Words: One to Watch--Kate Stayman-London
  20. By a Nobel Prize Winner: Absalom, Absalom--William Faulkner
  21. Goodreads Winner in 2020: The Vanishing Half--Brit Bennett
  22. Book About Books: Twelve Angry Librarians--Miranda James
  23. Author Who Uses Initials: Girl on a Train--A.J. Waines
  24. Local Author: Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place--Charisse Tyson (reread)
  25. About Technology: Code Girls--Liza Mundy
  26. Book Club Favorite: The Library Book--Susan Orlean
  27. Bestselling Memoir: Furiously Happy--Jenny Lawson
  28. Indie Publisher: This Mournable Body--Tsitsi Dangarembga
  29. Psychological Thriller: My Dark Vanessa--Kate Elizabeth Russell
  30. About a Pressing Social Issue: Beyond Magenta--Susan Kuklin
  31. Classic Read in High School: Medea and Other Plays--Euripides
  32. An Author You Love: Hello, Summer--Mary Kay Andrews

Friday, November 20, 2020

Recently Acquired Books

Now I'm hoarding books again. The kind of things I want to be hoarding now.  Some are from Amazon, and some from Target and Goodwill (my second Goodwill visit since the reopening). Don't know know how long it will be before I get to any of these.

From Amazon:
Let's Talk About Love--Claire Kann (currently reading)
You--Caroline Kepnas
Book of Rachel--Esther David

From Goodwill:
Girl Online On Tour--Zoe Sugg
Chasing Redbird--Sharon Creech
Kissed--Cameron Dokey
Summer on Blossom Street--Debbie Macomber
Red Riding Hood--Sarah Blakely-Cartwright

From Target:
Dear Justyce--Nic Stone
Hello, Summer--Mary Kay Andrews

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Already Planning to Stay Home

In light of Covid, the CDC has been discouraging large family gatherings. But for my family, such gatherings stopped years ago. So no need to worry about not being together for the holidays. Staying home for Thanksgiving won't kill you, but COVID will.  To look at it another way, not seeing the family won't kill you, but gathering with them might eventually. 

It's easy to understand how many are missing other family and some friends, but one must do what is safe. I'll admit my family and I aren't big on Zoom-ing or Skype-ing, but there are only so many of us left that talking on the phone would be all right. Seems old school, but still works. And either Zoom-ing or phoning is the best way to keep in touch during the current circumstances. 

Do what you can to enjoy your holidays. A crowd isn't always necessary. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

2020 #Christmas Spirit #ReadingChallenge and #Readathon


This one is hosted here. I will be trying for the second level of the reading challenge (see details below).

COVID has our holiday landscapes looking a lot different this year. With states going back to more strict mandates (much needed, in my opinion), it's looking like the holidays are going to be offering A LOT of downtime. In light of the current situation, I've decided to make the Christmas Spirit Readathon run the same length as the yearly reading challenge, and they are now co-events. Yay!

Dates: November 23, 2020 through January 6, 2021

Three ways to participate:
  1. Challenge - Pick a level
  2. Readathon - read as much (or as little) as you want
  3. Participate in both!
Regarding the reading of Christmas books, for the readathon, you do not have to read only Christmas books. I am always reading regular genres along with Christmas books during the season. Please do try to read at least one though. šŸŽ„

For the reading challenge, these must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, children's books (we even have a level for them!), etc.

Reading Challenge Levels:
--Candy Cane: read 1 book
--Mistletoe: read 2-4 books
--Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books, or more (this is the fanatic level!)

Additional levels:

--Fa La La La Films: watch a bunch or a few Christmas's up to you!
--Visions of Sugar Plums: read books with your children this season and share what you read

Here is what I am reading:

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Pretty Mess Reading 2021 Reading Challenge

 A new one to me

2021 Reading Challenge

  1. 2020 Bestseller: My Dark Vanessa--Kate Elizabeth Russell
  2. Reread a favorite book: Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel 
  3. Debut author: Ziggy, Stardust and Me--James Brandon
  4. Borrowed from a friend:
  5. Next Book in a series: The Happy Ever After Playlist--Abby Jimenez
  6. YA book by author of color: Other Words For Home--Jasmine Warga
  7. A love story: Kiss My Cupcake--Helena Hunting
  8. More than 400 pages: Queen of Air and Darkness--Cassandra Clare
  9. Borrowed from a friend: The Hare With Amber Eyes--Edmund De Waal
  10. Recommended by family: Credo--Melvyn Bragg
  11. Based on a true story: Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine--Kristiana Gregory
  12. Book with two authors:
  13. A childhood favorite:
  14. A book everyone is talking about: Too Much and Never Enough--Mary L. Trump
  15. Genre you usually don't read: Me and White Supremacy--Layla F. Saad
  16. Goodreads 2020 winner: The Vanishing Half--Brit Bennett
  17. Book less than 200 pages: The Flower in the Skull--Kathleen Alcala
  18. Book on a controversial topic:
  19. Book becoming a movie in 2021:
  20. Celebrity memoir: Furiously Happy--Jenny Lawson
  21. Book by an Indie author: The Corona Chronicles--Terrance T. Toth
  22. An audiobook: The History of Theatre--David Timson
  23. Famous author you've never read: Absalom, Absalom!--William Faulkner
  24. Book you own but haven't read: Abide With Me--Elizabeth Strout
  25. Book you saw someone reading:
  26. Published in the 1980s:

2021 Reading Challenge @ While I Was Reading

 This is the fourth annual challenge at

  1. A book published before 2000:Chasing Redbird--Sharon Creech 
  2. An essay or short story collection: My Man Jeeves--P.G. Wodehouse
  3. A book you’ve been looking forward to: One to Watch--Kate Stayman-London
  4. A book you’ve been avoiding:Credo--Melvyn Bragg
  5. A book of magical realism:Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend--Matthew Dicks
  6. A book with alliteration in the title: The Blue Bistro--Elin Hilderbrand
  7. A book with food or drink on the cover: The Playboy--Carly Phillips
  8. A cozy mystery: A Killer in the Rye--Delia Rosen
  9. A book with a dog on the cover: The Dogfather--Susan Conant
  10. A memoir: Furiously Happy--Jenny Lawson
  11. A book by an author who has written more than 10 books: The 20th Victim--James Patterson
  12. A debut novel: Ziggy, Stardust and Me--James Brandon

Challenge completed on May 12

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

2021 Diversity Reading Challenge

 Going to do this one, getting as many books as possible.

Considering all the sad and tragic events this year, such as the murder of George Floyd, the harassment of Asian due to Covid-19, and now the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I decided reviving the Diversity Reading Challenge for next year.

I’m not going to make any categories or levels for this challenge, as I want it to be a bit flexible. Read as many books as you feel like reading and yes, it can be children’s books, graphic novels, e-books, non-fiction, audio books, poetry and you-name-it. As it is a diversity reading challenge, it would be mean to exclude some types of reading materials, right?

Now, what is diversity you might ask? What I mean by diversity is, but not limited to;
  • People of color/non-caucasian characters/authors
  • Native Americans and other indigenous people
  • Authors or characters defining themselves as trans, intersex, genderfluid or similar
  • Refugees
  • Religious minorities
  • Mental illnesses/disorders
  • Neurodiversity (like ADD, Aspergers and autism)
  • Feminist themes/issues
  • Physical/mental disabilities
  • Characters/authors in wheelchairs
  • Characters/authors with cerebral palsy, ME, MS, etc.
The challenge starts on January 1st 2021 and will end on December 31st 2021. Also, feel free to use books for whatever other challenges you might be participating in. I've often used the same book for several challenges myself, if a book fitted into more than one challenge.

My Books:
  1. Girls Like Us--Rachel Lloyd
  2. Boyfriend Material--Alexis Hall
  3. Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel (reread)
  4. Crank--Ellen Hopkins
  5. The Flower in the Skull--Kathleen Alcala
  6. The Truths We Hold--Kamala Harris
  7. Other Words For Home--Jasmine Warga
  8. Queen of Air and Darkness--Cassandra Clare
  9. Ziggy, Stardust and Me--James Brandon
  10. Abide With Me--Elizabeth Strout
  11. Girl, Woman, Other--Bernardine Evaristo
  12. Lost Soul, Be At Peace--Maggie Thrash
  13. Brown Girl Dreaming--Jacqueline Woodson (reread)
  14. Thirteen Senses--Victor VillaseƱor
  15. From Scratch--Tembi Locke
  16. Sophie's Choice--William Styron
  17. SLAY--Brittney Morris
  18. Dear Justyce--Nic Stone
  19. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo--Taylor Jenkins Reid
  20. One to Watch--Kate Stayman-London
  21. Never Look Back--Lilliam Rivera
  22. The Vanishing Half--Brit Bennett
  23. Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place--Charisse Tyson (reread)
  24. The Hare With Amber Eyes--Edmund De Waal
  25. The Tradition--Jericho Brown
  26. Junior High Drama--Louise Simonson
  27. Heartstopper, Volume 1--Alice Oseman
  28. This Mournable Body--Tsitsi Dangarembga
  29. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet--Jamie Ford
  30. Girl Made of Stars--Ashley Herring Blake
  31. A Burning--Megha Majumdar
  32. Beyond Magenta--Susan Kuklin
  33. Check, Please!: Hockey--Ngozi Ukazu
  34. An American Sunrise--Joy Harjo
  35. Forget Me Not--Ellie Terry

2021 Diversify Your Reading Challenge

Doing this one again.


Our quarterly bonus challenge is a great way to explore some new books, without an emphasis on genre:

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Something Good in an "Amazingly Bad" Year

 This came up on my Facebook memories today:

A year ago, all this likely seemed like something to look forward to. Of course we had no idea what was really going to happen. And Christmas hasn't even occurred this year yet, but the current circumstances don't seem to be getting better just yet. It's been amazingly bad, a friend on Facebook remarked to day. Yes, it has.

This is what we got:

Now it's the last month of JASON, and there's a Friday the 13th this month. The other Friday the 13th this year was in March at the beginning of the pandemic. No one seemed to connect the two, though. I was walking through the grocery store that night, not even giving a thought to the superstitious date occurring during the onset of Coronavirus. And now we have another Friday the 13th in the wake of Halloween and the election. 

This came up on Facebook other day:

I then began to wonder how long this would be going on. Well, today was the end. And I am glad for the results! 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

2021 Reading Challenge 52 Books in 52 Weeks

 This is at this new link.

  1. Set in a school: Monster High--Lisi Harrison
  2. Featuring the legal profession:
  3. A dual timeline: The Alice Network--Kate Quinn 
  4. Author who is deceased: Bitch--Elizabeth Wurtzel (reread)
  5. Published by Penguin: The Truths We Hold--Kamala Harris
  6. A character with the same name as a male family member:
  7. An author with only one published book: Ziggy, Stardust and Me--James Brandon
  8. A book in the 900s of the Dewey Decimal System: Too Much and Never Enough--Mary L. Trump
  9. Set in a Mediterranean country:
  10. Related to the word "fire": Incendiary--Chris Cleave
  11. Book with discussion questions inside: Abide With Me--Elizabeth Strout
  12. Title staring with the letter "D": The Dogfather--Susan Conant
  13. Includes an exotic animal:
  14. Written by an author over 65 (when published):
  15. A book mentioned in another book:
  16. Set before the 17th century: Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine--Kristiana Gregory
  17. A character "on the run": Dear Justyce--Nic Stone
  18. Author with a nine-letter last name: The Last Days of John Lennon--James Patterson
  19. Book with a deckled edge: Cordelia--Winston Graham
  20. Made into a TV series: You--Caroline Kepnes
  21. Book by Kristin Hannah:
  22. A family saga: The Vanishing Half--Brit Bennett
  23. An ending that surprises you: Chasing Harry Winston--Lauren Weisberger
  24. A book you think they should read in school:
  25. Book with multiple character POV: What Happens in Paradise--Elin Hilderbrand
  26. An author of color: Girls Like Me--Lola St. Vil
  27. First chapter ends on an odd page number: Ravished--Amanda Quick
  28. Includes a historical event you know little about: Code Girls--Liza Mundy
  29. Featuring the environment: Lab Girl--Hope Jahren
  30. Watch out for dragons!:
  31. Shares a title similar to another book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo--Taylor Jenkins Reid
  32. A selfish character:
  33. Featuring adoption:
  34. A book you'd rate 5 stars: Girl, Woman, Other--Bernardine Evaristo
  35. Set in a country that starts with the letter "S": The Terrorists--Maj Sjowall
  36. A nameless narrator:
  37. An educational read: Untamed--Glennon Doyle
  38. Recommended on BookBub:
  39. An alternate history novel: Jane in Love--Rachel Givney
  40. Found via #bookstagram:
  41. An endorsement for a famous author on the cover: This Mournable Body--Tsitsi Dangarembga
  42. An epistolary: The History of Emily Montage--Frances Brooke
  43. A character with a pet cat: Twelve Angry Librarians--Miranda James
  44. Includes a garden: The Secret Garden--Frances Hodgson Burnett
  45. A coming of age novel: Girl Made of Stars--Ashley Herring Blake
  46. Winner of the National Book Award (any year):
  47. A character with a disability: Forget Me Not--Ellie Terry
  48. A cover with a woman who is facing away: One to Watch--Kate Stayman-London
  49. A flavor in the title: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder--Joanne Fluke
  50. A shoe on the cover: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend--Matthew Dicks
  51. Published in 2021:
  52. Redo one of the previous 51 categories from the 2021 challenge: