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
  11. Shades of Earl Grey--Laura Childs
  12. 21st Birthday--James Patterson
  13. A Catered Halloween--Isis Crawford
  14. Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House--M.C. Beaton
  15. The Invisible Code--Christopher Fowler
  16. His Majesty's Hope--Susan Elia MacNeal
  17. Yule Log Murder--Leslie Meier 
  18. Christmas Cooke Murder--Leslie Meier
  19. The Teaberry Strangler--Laura Childs
  20. Shop Till You Drop--Elaine Viets
Challenge completed on December 31

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:
  1. The Dogfather--Susan Conant 
  2. Black Ribbon--Susan Conant
  3. The Dog in British Poetry--R. Maynard Leonard
  4. Twelve Angry Librarians--Miranda James
  5. Dingoes at Dinnertime--Mary Pope Osborne
  6. A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
  7. Wings--Cheryl B. Klein
  8. The White Stag--Kate Seredy
  9. Dinosaurs Before Dark--Mary Pope Osborne
  10. It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!--Laura Numeroff
  11. Los Gatos Black on Halloween--Marisa Montes
  12. Stick Dog Craves Candy--Tom Watson
  13. Who Stole Halloween?--Martha Freeman
  14. The Scariest Book Ever--Bob Shea
  15. Mooncakes--Suzanne Walker
  16. What Makes a Family?--Annette Griffin
  17. Llama, Llama, Red Pajama--Anna Dewdney
  18. Frostborn--Lou Anders
  19. The Valley of Horses--Jean M. Auel
  20. The Christmas Barn--John and Jennifer Churchman
  21. All I Want for Christmas is Ewe--Rose Rossner
  22. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree--Robert Barry
  23. Dewey's Christmas at the Library--Vicki Myron & Bret Witter
  24. A Very Merry Little Christmas--Mary Engelbreit
  25. Chez Bob--Bob Shea
  26. Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas--Kimberly Dean
  27. The World According to Bob--James Bowen
  28. A Gift From Bob--James Bowen

Calling challenge complete on December 21

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: Empire of the Summer Moon--S.C. Gwynne

9. Food: From Scratch--Tembi Locke

10. Wartime Experiences: Code Girls--Liza Mundy

11. Inventions: Against the Machine--Lee Siegel

12. Published in 2021: Everybody Fights--Kim and Penn Holderness

Challenge completed on November 15

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
  33. Makes You Think: Roadmap to Redemption--Rebecca Bender
  34. Productivity Book: Feng-Shui--Ernest J. Eitel
  35. Childhood Favorite: On the Banks of Plum Creek--Laura Ingalls Wilder 
  36. About Friendship: Touched by the Sun--Carly Simon
  37. About an Immigrant: Ties That Tether--Jane Igharo
  38. Set in Australia: Dingoes at Dinnertime--Mary Pope Osborne
  39. Nonfiction New York Times Bestseller: A Street Cat Named Bob--James Bowen
  40. Biography: Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan--Howard Sounes
  41. Recommended by a Colleague: Calico Joe--John Grisham
  42. Published in the 1800s: Hard Times--Charles Dickens
  43. A Summer Read: The Summer's End--Mary Alice Monroe
  44. Debut Novel of a Famous Author: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit--Jeanette Winterson
  45. Became a Movie in 2021: The Queen's Gambit--Walter Tevis
  46. Eye-Catching Cover: Carpentaria--Alexis Wright
  47. 2020 Bestseller: Clap When You Land--Elizabeth Acevedo
  48. Oprah Winfrey Book Club Pick: The Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingslover
  49. Highly Anticipated Book: The Newcomer--Mary Kay Andrews
  50. Bottom of To-Read List: Twice Loved--LaVyrle Spencer
  51. Borrowed From a Friend Family: The Valley of Horses--Jean M. Auel
  52. Recommended by a Librarian: All In--Billie Jean King
Challenge completed on December 13

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 family: The Valley of Horses--Jean M. Auel
  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: Sanctuary--Paola Mendoza & Abby Sher
  13. A childhood favorite: On the Banks of Plum Creek--Laura Ingalls Wilder 
  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: The Premonition--Michael Lewis
  19. Book becoming a movie in 2021: The Queen's Gambit--Walter Tevis
  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: Fear--Bob Woodward
  26. Published in the 1980s: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit--Jeanette Winterson

Challenge completed on November 26

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
  36. Feng-Shui--Ernest J. Eitel
  37. To Love and Let Go--Rachel Brathen
  38. Ties That Tether--Jane Igharo
  39. The Girl With the Louding Voice--Abi Dare
  40. Geisha, a Life--Mineko Iwasaki
  41. Black Sun--Rebecca Roanhorse
  42. A Map to the Sun--Sloane Leong
  43. Inside Out & Back Again--Thanhha Lai
  44. What I Like About Me--Allia Zobel Nolan
  45. Sanctuary--Paola Mendoza & Abby Sher
  46. Calling Maggie May--Anonymous
  47. Chain of Iron--Cassandra Clare
  48. The Summer's End--Mary Alice Monroe
  49. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden--Joanne Greenberg
  50. The End of Your Life Book Club--Will Schwalbe
  51. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit--Jeanette Winterson
  52. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Volume 1--Shiro Amano
  53. The Quiet American--Graham Greene
  54. The Premonition--Michael Lewis
  55. Of Love and Shadows--Isabel Allende
  56. Everyone in This Room Will Someday be Dead--Emily Austin
  57. The Courage of Sarah Noble--Alice Dalgliesh
  58. Kyle's Little Sister--BonHyung Jeong
  59. Waging Heavy Peace--Neil Young
  60. Voices From Chernobyl--Svetlana Alexievich
  61. Carpentaria--Alexis Wright
  62. Bird Summons--Leila Aboulela
  63. The Country Guesthouse--Robyn Carr
  64. Harlem--Walter Dean Myers
  65. Circe--Madeline Miller
  66. Teardrop--Lauren Kate
  67. Waterfall--Lauren Kate
  68. Hillbilly Elegy--J.D. Vance
  69. Hippie--Paulo Coelho
  70. Ace of Spades--Faridah Abike-Iyimide
  71. The Pelican Brief--John Grisham
  72. Clap When You Land--Elizabeth Acevedo
  73. Crying in H Mart--Michelle Zauner
  74. The Dew Breaker--Edwidge Danticat
  75. Vampires Never Get Old--Zoraida Cordova (ed.)
  76. Let's Pretend This Never Happened--Jenny Lawson
  77. Los Gatos Black on Halloween--Marisa Montes
  78. Jade City--Fonda Lee
  79. Mummies in the Morning--Mary Pope Osborne
  80. Ten, Nine, Eight--Molly Bang
  81. The Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingslover
  82. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon--Grace Lim
  83. The Dove's Necklace--Raja Alem
  84. Mooncakes--Suzanne Walker
  85. A Dash of Trouble--Anna Meriano
  86. Bel Canto--Ann Patchett
  87. The Poetry of Strangers--Brian Sonia-Wallace
  88. His Majesty's Hope--Susan Elia MacNeal
  89. Who Was Gandhi?--Dana Meachan Rau
  90. Empire of the Summer Moon--S.C. Gwynne
  91. Anxious People--Frederik Backman
  92. Twelve Years a Slave--Solomon Northup
  93. Malibu Rising--Taylor Jenkins Reid
  94. A Lowcountry Wedding--Mary Alice Monroe
  95. A Lowcountry Christmas--Mary Alice Monroe
  96. Let It Snow--John Green
  97. One Last Stop--Casey McQuiston
  98. Finding Yvonne--Brandy Colbert
  99. The Eight Knights of Hanukkah--Leslie Kimmelman
  100. All In--Billie Jean King
  101. Who Was Joan of Arc?--Pam Pollack
  102. I Would Leave Me If I Could--Halsey
  103. Madness in Civilization--Andrew Scull
  104. Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry--Jeffrey A. Lieberman
  105. Deadline--Chris Crutcher
  106. Santa in the City--Tiffany D. Jackson
  107. The World According to Garp--John Irving
Calling challenge complete on December 26