Friday, May 31, 2024

Erin's Book Challenge 21.0

This is hosted at a private Facebook group.

Book Challenge by Erin 21.0 – Categories
• 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages:
• 10 points: Read a book with a two-word title (note: articles A, AN or THE count as a word):
• 10 points: Read a book from this Goodreads list: *Best Books of 2024 (so far)* (
• 15 points: Read a book because you loved the cover art when you saw the book:
• 20 points: Read a book which is set in more than one country (each country should have a significant role, can't be that first page is set in one country, and then rest in another):
• 20 points: Read a book with a protagonist who plays or coaches a sport or is a member of a sports team:
• 25 points: Read a book with one of the following words in the title: second, minute, hour, day, week, month or year:
• 30 points: Read a book with a mode of transportation on the cover art (e.g. train, car, boat, bicycle, motorcycle, bus, plane…I’d even accept a spaceship!):
• 30 points: Read a book with a punctuation mark in the title (e.g. comma, apostrophe, hyphen, colon, question mark):
• 35 points: Read a book with a protagonist who is unemployed or changing jobs:

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

2024 Summer Reading Challenge @Messy Middle

Been waiting for this one! One of my favorite summer challenges. I will get as many books as possible during the time indicated.

It will start on June 1 (I know!! Sorry for the last minute) and run through August 16, 2024. To enter, read seven books from 25 plus categories and leave a comment at the end of the challenge with the books you read. That’s all. No entrance fee, no hassle, just fun. Also, if you’re trying to find this on the website, surprise, you’re going to struggle because the website is being redone :). Why not add that into the mix, right :)?!

But here in the messy middle, we sally forth!

What’s different?

A book related to the Olympics (Paris, we see you!)

A book related to weddings or marriage (My oldest niece is getting married)

A book related a broken bone (My mom’s femur broke ☹)

What’s the same?

Many categories will be similar because reading is reading. As mentioned above, you will notice a few new gems

Choosing a penalty book within the first week of the challenge. A penalty book or category is one you declare to yourself I will read or be penalized. The last six summers I’ve selected a penalty book and it worked, except that my penalty book two years was horrible. I’m now a bit gun shy, but am reminding my self that my track record is 87% good books. I tend to choose “long” history books that I have meant to get around to but this summer is different … my penalty book was an impulse buy last Saturday and has the potential for me to not get around to it . . . so ha! I’m tricking myself into reading it! My penalty book for 2024 is Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America by Leila Philip.

Like previous years, if you do not read your “penalty” book, you will subtract two books from your total.

The joy of reading!

What’s in it for you?

All who comment on a summary blog post that I’ll publish on August 12th will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards. You will have between August 12-16th to comment with the names of the books you read.

Drumroll . . . here are the categories!

  1. A biography or a book about history: Thunderstruck--Erik Larson
  2. A book you already own: Summer on Sag Harbor--Sunny Hostin
  3. A book you’ve been wanting to reread
  4. A book a friend recommended
  5. A Young Adult book (YA)
  6. A book of poetry: Kabir's Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets--Ayaz Pirari
  7. A memoir or autobiography: Rolling Warrior--Judith Heumann
  8. A graphic novel
  9. A book for professional development (loosely defined)
  10. A book longer than 600 pages (counts as two books)
  11. A book with a verb in the title: I'll Take You There--Joyce Carol Oates
  12. A play
  13. A book about a country or culture you’ve never visited
  14. A book that won an award
  15. A book by an author you know (get “credit” for supporting your friends 😊)
  16. A mystery or classic
  17. An audiobook: Pam Ayres: Down the Line
  18. A book with an animal: Lone Wolf--Kathryn Lasky
  19. A book less than 100 pages: Aladdin--Walt Disney Company
  20. A book you want to discuss with others
  21. A book you read as a child
  22. A book in a different language than English (could be sign language, morse code, Spanish, don’t get hung up on terms 😊)
  23. Read out loud to someone. Could be a whole book, a favorite passage, or to a child
  24. Listen to someone reading out loud (not an audio book, an actual person)

A few categories special to Summer 2024

  1. A book related to the Olympics (Paris, we see you!)
  2. A book related to weddings or marriage (My oldest niece is getting married)
  3. A book related a broken bone (My mom’s femur broke ☹)

Bonus: choose a Penalty Book in the first week of the challenge as a way to kick yourself in the pants. If you don’t read your penalty book you will subtract two (2) books from your grand total.

My Penalty Book:

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Book Discussion: Gowns on Covers


Yet another common cover design that was not mentioned in the Twitter/X Post that was linked in my previous discussion. And one that did not occur to me until after I'd made that post.

Girls and women in fancy dresses and gowns, often with big, bulky and poofy skirts, is yet another cover design that has been used many times. This is especially popular on YA fantasy and on historical fiction covers. 

This blog post said that this sort of cover is "...used to obviously market books to a female audience." And the author cites the following series covers pictured below as having very girly designs on the covers and very focused on romance. The gown covers seem to indicate romance of sorts. I now almost always expect to see big gown on any historically themed book, whether it's romance or fantasy.

I'm not familiar with this series, but the titles
and covers alone look tempting!
 I read this series in 2015. I barely remember the books,
but did remember these covers! The fourth and fifth books in
the series are not shown here.

I'm sure there are plenty other gown and dress covers out there somewhere. But these big bulky ones seem to be the most common. I couldn't seem to find any with just plain dresses, without the bulky or goofy skirts. Again, that seems likely to only be on historically themed or YA fantasy covers. I would not expect to see such a dress on a cover of a book in a contemporary setting, at least not in most cases. Of course, that depends on the plot. 

How do you feel about his cover cliche?

Posted to Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Summer Reading Challenge @ Book Girls' Guide

I found a new summer reading challenge through the host of my Decades Challenge. This has six reading prompts.

  1. Related to a summer Olympic sport OR set in the 2024 host city Paris: The Singles Game--Lauren Weisberger
  2. Set in a location you'd love to visit:
  3. Character who loves swimming:
  4. Summer book from your favorite genre: Summer on Sag Harbor--Sunny Hostin
  5. Set on a island or at a lake:
  6. About a road trip:

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Book Discussion: Strangely Similar Covers

One reading prompt I had during one of last year's challenges was "Two book that look alike." This, I presumed, was open to interpretation, and these are the ones I came up with:

Notice the red doors and the Christmas wreaths, and snow falling. The most noticeable differences are the garlands, sled and dog in the first cover.

There seem to be various themes used as book cover designs that give lookalike covers. 

Profile Silhouette:

Nearly all the silhouettes in these examples seem the same. Many are curly-haired women. Note that two different books by the same author (Chris Cleave) use this design, and that each one has the silhouette looking in opposite directions. 


Can we blame Twilight for this cover trend? I was looking at my library recently and saw this book, using an apple core as a statue of a person. That is an interesting idea.

Swirl Designs:

This has many possibilities. No two swirls seem exactly the same, but the designs are still very similar. There may be other such covers that that his photo missed.  Here is one I read about a year ago.


Why does it seem to be only girls wearing glasses on covers?  I happened to read the book The Black Kids last summer, not too long after I'd read these two books, both not shown above. 

Note how many of these kinds of covers often show images pictures in the frames of the glasses, and some use the glasses to display the book title.

And I can't believe they didn't show this cover:


Just what is the rhyme or reason for these covers having shoes? Do any of these books have much, if anything at all, to do with shoes? And this one I read earlier this year. Why is there a boot on this? At least I was able to use that one for the prompt "show on the cover" that I encountered this year.


This blog post pointed out the similarity of the two covers below and wondered if "...Fahrenheit 451 is an important influence in Augusten Burrough’s (sic) memoir, Lust & Wonder. ..."

The above images and names for covers are just a few examples from this Twitter/X post. Click to see other types of cover designs. Far too many to mention here. 

Animated Covers:

This seems to be common on romance novels these days. Why is this so, this article asks. Even more eerie are those covers without faces. Often the face is not depicted at all, even though the characters are facing forward or to the side, as seen below: 

Or the face is entirely hidden behind an object:

And there are probably more examples of each cover design. And other cover tropes I did not get to mention (See the aforementioned Twitter/X link post for some). Any you have noticed?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Summer Reading Challenge @ Brewing Writer

 Doing this one. Begins on June 1. One prompt for each of the summer months.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

A to Z Road Trip

 I will be joining the post-A to Z Road Trip. 

#AtoZChallenge 2024 Roadtrip

From the A to Z blog:

It's time for the Post A to Z Road Trip 2024! This is a great opportunity to catch up on the many blogs you would have liked to have spent more time visiting, but didn't during the Challenge, and a chance to visit the blogs of people who did the Challenge that you never got to. And, if you're one of those people who did the Challenge but didn't get a lot of visitors, this is a way to let people know that you'd appreciate a visit.

Here's what you do:

  1. Sign up for the Road Trip. There's a place where you can put in the URL of a post that you would like visitors to read first. Then, grab a copy of the Road Trip badge from the graphics page (if you want) for your home page to use as a "bumper sticker."
  2. Get copies of both the Road Trip List and the Master List. Both will be useful. 
  3. Start with the Road Trip list and visit the blogs of the people who signed up there. Take some time to read their blog and their Challenge entries. Leave comments where you feel led to do so, and make sure you identify yourself as a Road Trip participant. Leave a link to your blog so they can return the favor. 
  4. Then, if you have the time and inclination to do so, visit some of the blogs on the Master List that you didn't get the chance to visit. Even if they didn't sign up for the Road Trip, I'm sure they'd appreciate a visit.

Friday, May 3, 2024

May Bookish Bingo

 Here is the card for May.

My Books:

  1. Cinderella Liberator--Rebecca Solnit (4 squares): Audiobook, Siblings, Humor, Shifter
  2. The Clue of the Gold Coin--Helen Wells (8 squares): E-Book, In a Series, Unlikely Team/Misfits, Ancient Culture, Betrayal, Travel (Distance), Ghost, Shady/Sketchy Character
  3. The Girl From the Train--Irma Joubert (5 squares): Library Book, Physical Book, Not in a Series, Book Club Read, Free Space
  4. My Video Game Ate My Homework--Dustin Hansen (2 squares): Science Experiment, Art/Architecture
  5. The Jane Austen Society--Natalie Jenner (2 squares): Free Book, Debut Author
  6. The Pilgrim's Progress--John Bunyan (2 squares): Shelf Love, Abstract Design on the Cover
  7. Garden Spells--Sarah Addison Allen (2 squares): Garden, Gnome
25 squares completed on May 30

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Blogging A to Z Reflections

This week, participants in the A to Z Blogging Challenge will be writing Reflections posts.  The Reflections post sign ups actually begin tomorrow, but I'm posting mine now.

Reflecions 2024 #AtoZChallenge

This was the first time I scheduled posts on my blog. I'd drafted all my posts for the event ahead of time (as I'd done in previous A to Z Blogging events), but with my procedure that was this month, I was afraid of being too tired to get my post up before the day was over. With all I had going one for two days, I wasn't sure how often I'd be on my computer those two days. I did get on eventually those days, but the schedule-posting still came in handy. I did not begin the schedule-posting until the fifth day of the A to Z (my procedure was on the 16th), just to see how it works and it worked great for the timeliness of the blog event.

Some interesting themes this year included Disney Channel TV Movies. I began hunting some of these movies down on Disney+, and have watched one or two so far. Two I had already seen, one via VHS from Blockbuster around 2001 and one on DVD from Netflix in 2007. I may watch them again. Another was Romance Tropes in Folklore.  Silly songs was another (this was one of the people who were "unofficially" participating in the A to Z). And there are just too many others to mention, and some I have missed, and hope to get to when the Road Trip begins later this month. 

The graphics on the A to Z Blogging page already have next year's theme reveal post graphics up. But I'm not so sure about a theme for 2025 just yet. It took a while to come up with this year's theme. I'm sure I'll find something in time for next year's reveal. But I won't be thinking of it just yet.