Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Book Challenge by Erin 18.0


Book Challenge by Erin 18.0 – Categories

• 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages: This is Where We Live--Janelle Brown
• 10 points: Read a book set in Australia or by an Australian author: Lost Autumn--Mary-Rose MacColl 
• 10 points: Read a book whose author goes by three names (ex: Jonathan Safran Foer, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Laurie Halse Anderson, Bret Easton Ellis); initials don't count: Beach House Reunion--Mary Alice Monroe
• 15 points: Read a book with "black" or "white" in the title: Back in Black--Lori Foster
• 20 points: Read a GoodReads award winner from any year; please list what year and what category the book won; this will be a big help to admins as well as potentially introduce other readers to your choice: The Office BFFs--Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey (2022 Humor)
• 20 points: (selected by Karen S.) – Read a book set in a small town or rural area: Tending Roses--Lisa Wingate
• 25 points: (selected by Julia) – Read a book with "heart" or "love" in the title: The Love Hypothesis--Ali Hazelwood
• 30 points: (selected by Olga) – Read a book that starts with the first letter of your first name: Jackie & Me--Louis Bayard
• 30 points: (selected by Carly) – Read a book with an unusual narrator (examples: a child, animal, ghost)Remarkably Bright Creatures--Shelby Van Pelt
• 35 points: (selected by Vinay) – Read a book with a prime number under 1000 in the title, either as numerical or words, but not the words prime or number(s) itself: Three Sisters, Three Queens--Philippa Gregory
Challenge completed on January 20

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Christmas Movies

Now that I have a smart TV, I have discovered the joy of watching Christmas/holiday movies whenever I want, on Hulu. It has been fun so far.  

Even though I try to avoid Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, I did watch two such movies in the days before that day, including one on Thanksgiving Eve, after stumbling on to several I had not previously know about. One was a three-movie series from Lifetime that I found last Saturday. I liked this one so much that I could not wait to see the others in the series, and now I do not have to wait for such a thing. This was the closest I have come to binge-watching as of yet, as I have rarely ever watched more than one movie on the same night. I watched yet another Christmas movie this afternoon, one from BET+. 

I do not yet know haw many more of these movies I will be watching this season. It's not even December yet. And I don't know if I will watch more than one on the same day and/or night. But getting to watch TV this way has been fun, even though I do not watch TV much. 

The three-movie series I watched last Saturday is the "Merry Liddle Christmas" movie series. It's a very fun series of movies and worth checking out, if you're looking for something new and different to watch this holiday season. 

Unabridged Podcast Reading Challenge 2023

 Will be taking part in this one for for the second time.

  1. Book From an Awards List: Tomb of Sand--Geetanjali Shree 
  2. Short Story, Essay, or Poetry Collection: Her Body and Other Parties--Carmen Maria Machado
  3. Recommended by a Friend: Timeless Depths--Erica Varela
  4. By an Indigenous Author:
  5. YA Retelling: Six Crimson Cranes--Elizabeth Lim
  6. Memoir: Lust & Wonder--Augusten Burroughs
  7. LGBTQ+ Romance: They Both Die at the End--Adam Silvera
  8. Mystery Novel or Collection: Matchup--Lee Child (ed.)
  9. Classic by a BIPOC Author: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman--Ernest J. Gaines
  10. Work of Speculative Fiction:
  11. Book About Food:
  12. Book Set in a country you want to visit written by Someone from that country: Homegoing--Yaa Gyasi

Sunday, November 27, 2022


Even though I avoided going out to stores early on Friday morning, I got a little brave to go out lateral after lunch. I was sure the crowds would have thinned down by then. Only few parking spaces left in the new shopping center but the stores were not too crowded. I saw that Boot Barn and TJ Maxx had both opened early that morning, according to the holidays hours posted on the glass doors. Don't remember about Ross, though, and didn't go to Famous Footwear or Ulta Beauty that day. And I did not bother trying to go to Target then, but did go today to get toilet paper.  

In honor of
Small Business Saturday, I chose to visit a local shop that was giving drawings for different discounts. I found a fridge magnet that I got for 20% off. The shop has been open for a while, but I have never been inside until yesterday. The store carries home decor, gifts and food. 

Now I've already begun looking for Cyber Monday deals. Not sure if I'm going to get anything. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday

The Land of Whatever blog posted the following music video today:

In case you have forgotten, it is today. It's now nearly 8AM in California, and as in the past, I have avoided the idea of shopping on this date. Well, maybe not completely. Three years ago on my blog, I wrote that I did go to Kmart later in the day after the crowds had thinned out (this was in 2019; Kmart closed in early 2020, before the start of the pandemic). Going after the crowds have thinned down is something I may do today. Having stayed home all day yesterday, I am feeling a need a need to get out, probably to get to the Goodwill Blue Friday sale this afternoon.

Several new stores have recently opened in my town, including Ross, TJ Maxx, Boot Barn, Famous Footwear, and Ulta Beauty. I don't know if any of them opened early today, but I can guess that TJ Maxx didn't open at 3AM. They are owned by the same company as Home Goods, where I used to work, and we never opened early on the day after Thanksgiving. I usually had that day off. And I now wondering how Target was today.

Something else I noted the blog post linked above:

I always say I won't go to any stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Well, certainly not to fight crowds at 3AM over a flatscreen TV (have one already). ...

Well, two weeks ago, I did get a new flat screen TV, my first-ever smart TV. On Veterans' Day, after a dentist appointment, my mom and I each went to Best Buy to look for new TVs, to get with our California Middle Class Refund debit cards. I was glad to have gotten them then, because I fear that today they would have all been sold out by 3AM.  So far I have watched some Christmas movies, though I always try to avoid Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving (but enough on that for now) as well as The Bob's Burgers movie.

Again, I am hesitant about shopping today, but if I choose to, it will be later in the day. And since I have a desire to get out, I may just go have lunch at McDonald's or Subway or something. Decisions to be made....

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thanksgiving Humor

2023 Gaia/Nature

 Joining this one again.

There are no strict rules to the challenge. Pledge to read as many or as few nature-themed books as you would like, just one qualifies for the challenge. The titles you choose can be either fiction or non-fiction they just have to have nature, climate or environment as an issue or theme. Share your reading via comments on Gumtrees and Galaxies, links are welcome and encouraged.

The challenge will officially start on the 1st of January 2023 and run until the 31st of December 2023. You can sign up now via the comments on this post. It is optional if you want to pledge to read particular titles but I would love to know what others are reading.

My Books:

  1. Snow White and the Seven Robots--Stewart Ross
  2. Beach House Reunion--Mary Alice Monroe
  3. The Love Hypothesis--Ali Hazelwood
  4. Remarkably Bright Creatures--Shelby Van Pelt
  5. Parable of the Talents--Octavia E. Butler
  6. The Green Ember--S.D. Smith
  7. Six Crimson Cranes--Elizabeth Lim
  8. Katherine Johnson--Tamra B. Orr
  9. Romantic Visionary--W.B. Yeats
  10. The Girls of Atomic City--Denise Kiernan
  11. Child of the Wolves--Elizabeth Hall
  12. A Shot in the Arm!--Don Brown
  13. Rocket to the Moon!--Don Brown
  14. The Jew in the Lotus--Rodger Kamenetz
  15. Changeling--Molly Harper
  16. A Shot to Save the World--Gregory Zuckerman
  17. Midnight in Chernobyl--Adam Higginbotham
  18. The Astonishing Color of After--Emily X.R. Pan
  19. Memoirs of an Addicted Brain--Marc Lewis
  20. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs--Steve Brusatte
  21. COVID-19 and Other Pandemics: Comparison--Don Nardo

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Winter 2023 Reading Challenge: It’s Snow Awesome!

Another seasonal challenge at Beyond the Bookends. Thought it says winter 2023, it starts on December 1 and runs until February 28.

Winter 2023 Reading Challenge

Book Set During a Holiday: In a Holidaze--Christina Lauren

Book About the Holocaust: What Was the Holocaust?--Gail Herman

Book Becoming a Movie: White Noise--Don DeLillo

Challenge completed on December 20

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

 Another I have been doing is now up.

The aim of the Nonfiction Reader Challenge is to encourage you to make nonfiction part of your reading experience during the year.


You can select, read and review a book from the categories listed below during the year for a total of up to 12 books; OR select, read and review any nonfiction book. A book may be in print, electronic or audio format.

Choose a goal:

Nonfiction Nipper: Read & review 3 books, from any 3 listed categories

Nonfiction Nibbler: Read & review 6 books, from any 6 listed categories

Nonfiction Nosher: Read & review 12 books, one for each category

Nonfiction Grazer: Read & review any nonfiction book. Set your own goal


Friday, November 18, 2022

The 52 Book Club’s 2023 Reading Challenge

 Another favorite is now up.

1. Book with a subtitle:

2. Featuring an inheritance:

3. Title starting with the letter "G": The Green Ember--S.D. Smith

4. Title starting with the letter "H": Her Body and Other Parties--Carmen Maria Machado

5. Title starting with the letter "I": I Kissed Shara Wheeler--Casey McQuiston

6. Under 200 pages: Ellen Foster--Kaye Gibbons

7. A city or country name in the title: Midnight in Chernobyl--Adam Higginbotham

8. Dystopian fiction:

9. A book with a dedication: Dear Edward--Ann Napolitano

10. Takes place during the Roaring Twenties:

11. A book about secrets: Red--Alison Cherry

12. High fantasy: Blood Like Magic--Liselle Sambury

13. Published posthumously:

14. A survival story: The Long Winter--Laura Ingalls Wilder [re-read]

15. Set in Australia: Lost Autumn--Mary-Rose MacColl 

16. Featuring one of the 7 deadly sins: Lust & Wonder--Augusten Burroughs

17. By a Caribbean author:

18. Set during a war other than WWI or WWII: The Undertaker's Assistant--Amanda Skenandore

19. Typographic cover: The Astonishing Color of After--Emily X.R. Pan

20. A book about siblings: Three Sisters, Three Queens--Philippa Gregory

21. A second-hand book: The Peddler's Grandson--Edward Cohen

22. A body-positive message:

23. An alliterative title:

24. Nordic noir:

25. A fashionable character:

26. Has an epilogue: Memoirs of an Addicted Brain--Marc Lewis

27. Newbery Medal winner:

28. Includes a funeral: Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World--Benjamin Alire Saenz 

29. Sends you down a rabbit hole: Abby in Wonderland--Sarah Mlynowski

30. An author with the same name as you: Famous Father Daughter--Jamie Bernstein

31. Set in a workplace:

32. Published by Macmillan: The Path Made Clear--Oprah Winfrey

33. A banned book: The Best Man--Richard Peck

34. Featuring mythology:

35. A book you meant to read last year: This is Where We Live--Janelle Brown

36. Chapters have cliffhangers:

37. Written in the present tense: The Ex Talk--Rachel Lynn Solomon

38. An enemies-to-lovers plot: Queerly Beloved--Susie Dumond

39. The final book in a series: Sunflower Sisters--Martha Hall Kelly

40. Written by a comedian:

41. A character who is a refugee: The House of Broken Angels--Luis Alberto Urrea

42. "Time" in the title: Timeless Depths--Erica Varela

43. A book "everyone" has read: Verity--Colleen Hoover

44. A contemporary setting:

45. First word in the book is "The": Blueprints--Barbara Delinsky

46. Script font on the spine: Secrets of the Tulip Sisters--Susan Mallery

47. Set in the city of Dublin:

48. A book by Octavia E. Butler: Parable of the Talents

49. Books on the cover: Checked Out For Murder--Allison Brook

50. Related to the word "murder": Death of an Italian Chef--Lee Hollis

51. Doesn't fit any of the other 51 prompts:

52. Published in 2023:

Thursday, November 17, 2022

2023 Romance Book Reading Challenge with She Reads Romance Books

One I am joining for the first time.

Join in the 2023 Romance Book Reading Challenge with She Reads Romance Books where we read romance books all year long!

January – Romantic ComedyThe Love Hypothesis--Ali Hazelwood

February – Steamy RomanceSeven Years to Sin--Sylvia Day

March – New Adult RomanceYerba Buena--Nina LaCour

April – Back Title on Your TBR List: Drums of Autumn--Diana Gabaldon

May – Historical RomanceThe Undertaker's Assistant--Amanda Skenandore

June – LGBTQ+ RomanceThe Best At It--Maulik Pancholy

July – Contemporary Romance

August – A New Author to You

September – Sports Romance

October – Reread a Favorite Book!

November – Award Nominee

December – Your Favorite Trope

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Booklist Queen’s 2023 Reading Challenge

 Another favorite up now. 

  1. Winter Read: The Long Winter--Laura Ingalls Wilder [re-read]
  2. Goodreads Winner in 2022:
  3. By a Black Author: Seven Days in June--Tia Williams
  4. More Than 500 Pages: Drums of Autumn--Diana Gabaldon
  5. Published in Your Birth Year: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman--Ernest J. Gaines
  6. Famous Author You've Avoided:
  7. Character with a Disability: Josee, the Tiger and the Fish--Seiko Tanabe
  8. Fiction and Nonfiction Pairing:
  9. Fiction and Nonfiction Pairing:
  10. By a Local Author: Golden Honey--Erica Varela
  11. Western:
  12. Own But Haven't Read: Back in Black--Lori Foster
  13. Animal on the Cover: The Green Ember--S.D. Smith
  14. Recommended by a Librarian:
  15. Newbery Award Winner:
  16. About Royalty: Night Fire--Catherine Coulter
  17. Written Before 1850:
  18. Dual Timelines: Lost Autumn--Mary-Rose MacColl
  19. Dewey Decimal System--300s:
  20. Mother-Daughter Story: Blueprints--Barbara Delinsky
  21. Empowering Read: The Jew in the Lotus--Rodger Kamenetz
  22. World War I Book: Lost Roses--Martha Hall Kelly
  23. Domestic Thriller: This is Where We Live--Janelle Brown
  24. 2023 New Release:
  25. Read With Jenna Book Club Pick: Remarkably Bright Creatures--Shelby Van Pelt
  26. A Book Everyone is Talking About:
  27. Book Becoming a Movie in 2023: Dear Edward--Ann Napolitano
  28. About Complicated Relationships: Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World--Benjamin Alire Saenz 
  29. Recommended on TikTok: Verity--Colleen Hoover
  30. Audiobook: Anxiety Disorder--Lisa Fletcher
  31. Set in the 1930s:
  32. Contemporary Fiction Bestseller: 1022 Evergreen Place--Debbie Macomber
  33. About Adoption: The Reunion--Meghan Quinn
  34. Genre You Usually Don't Read: The Minimalist Home--Joshua Becker
  35. Title Starts with "A": Almost American Girl--Robin Ha
  36. Set in South America:
  37. Detective Story:
  38. About Power:
  39. 2022 Bestseller:
  40. By an Author You Love: On Ocean Boulevard--Mary Alice Monroe
  41. With a Long Title: Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems--Warsan Shire
  42. Five-Star Read:
  43. YA Historical Fiction:
  44. About Magic: Blood Like Magic--Liselle Sambury
  45. Book That Makes You Happy:
  46. Award-Winning Nonfiction: Midnight in Chernobyl--Adam Higginbotham
  47. Modern Classic:
  48. Borrowed From a Friend: Memoirs of an Addicted Brain--Marc Lewis
  49. Red Cover: Abby in Wonderland--Sarah Mlynowski
  50. Reread a Favorite:
  51. Bottom of TBR:
  52. Holiday Romance:

Sunday, November 13, 2022

2022 Yuletide Spirit Reading Challenge and Readathon

 The annual challenge has a new blog with a  new name. I will get as many books as possible.

The holidays are upon us again! Time to sign up for the Yuletide Spirit Reading Challenge and Readathon co-event! (Yes, the site, and event, title have had a minor makeover)

Dates: November 21, 2022 through January 6, 2023

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. 🎄

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

*the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

My Books:

Thursday, November 10, 2022

What An Animal Reading Challenge 2023

Another favorite, at Socrates' Book Reviews.

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

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...

My Books:

  1. Remarkably Bright Creatures--Shelby Van Pelt
  2. The Green Ember--S.D. Smith
  3. Six Crimson Cranes--Elizabeth Lim
  4. Child of the Wolves--Elizabeth Hall
  5. Zen Ties--Jon J. Muth
  6. Diamonds and Toads (from Fairy Tales, Volume 1, at Project Gutenberg)
  7. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish--Seiko Tanabe
  8. The Astonishing Color of After--Emily R.X. Pan
  9. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs--Steve Brusatte