Reading Challenges 2021

I know. I know. Every December I sign up for a bunch of challenges, and then life happens, and they fall by the wayside. And then it’s December again, and I sign up for another bunch of challenges.

Well, I just can’t help myself.

My 2021 Reading Challenges:

  • Read Harder 2021: From the folks at Book Riot, this challenge (now in its 7th year) is “designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books.” I managed 19/24 tasks in 2020.
  • 2021 Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge: I joined NetGalley in 2011, so I’ve requested a lot of books over the years. NetGalley recommends a feedback ratio of 80%, and mine is (at the end of 2020) a dismal 6%. I would have to give feedback on over 500 books to hit 80% right now, and that’s obviously not going to happen, but I’d like to get to, say, 10%. So, I’ll be aiming for the Silver level (25 books). Wish me luck.
  • Back to the Classics Challenge 2021: I’m joining in this one again, and again planning to pull from my Classics Club 2019-2023 list, which I’m a teensy bit behind on.
  • Mount TBR Challenge 2021 and Virtual Mount TBR Challenge 2021: These two challenges, both hosted at My Reader’s Block, focus on those TBR shelves, whether I own the book or not. I’m aiming for 24 books on each, or Mount Blanc and Mount Crumpit, respectively.

Five challenges, two of which will almost certainly overlap significantly. I’ll be tracking them using the post tags and using the pages linked under “Reading Challenges“.

I do have one more bookish goal for 2021: I’d like to figure out how to use Edelweiss better. I know there’s a lot that I could be doing with it, but I haven’t taken the time to explore it.

What are your reading plans for 2021?

2020 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Oh, Beth of December 2019, you had no idea what was coming. You went and signed up for a bunch of challenges again, and then… well. Let’s round ’em up!

Back to the Classics (hosted by Books and Chocolate)
Goal: 12 books
Result: 5 (42%)

Yes, I did use the maximum of 3 children’s books. Still considerably better than last year.

  • 19th Century Classic (1800-1899): Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy (1888) (12/29/20)
  • 20th Century Classic (1900-1970): Basil and the Lost Colony (1964) by Eve Titus (1/27/20)
  • A Genre Classic: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1/29/20)
  • Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb (12/31/20)
  • Classic with a Place in the Title: Basil of Baker Street (1958) by Eve Titus (1/25/20)
  • Classic by a Woman Author
  • Classic in Translation
  • Classic by a Person of Color
  • Classic with Nature in the Title
  • Classic About a Family
  • Abandoned Classic
  • Classic Adaptation

Georgian Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 4 books
Result: 1 (25%): Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb (1807)

Victorian Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 20 books
Result: 1 (5%)

  • JANUARY/FEBRUARY – JOURNEYS and TRAVELS: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (1895)
  • FEBRUARY/MARCH – LOVE and MARRIAGE
  • MARCH/APRIL – SECOND CHANCES
  • APRIL/MAY – NAMES AS TITLES
  • MAY/JUNE – LONG TITLE OR LONG SUB-TITLES
  • JUNE/JULY – ADAPTATIONS
  • JULY/AUGUST – FAVORITE AUTHORS, NEW-TO-ME BOOKS
  • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER – BACK TO SCHOOL
  • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER – CRIME OR TRUE CRIME
  • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER – HOME AND FAMILY
  • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER – COMFORT READS

Read Harder (Book Riot)
Goal: 24 Books
Result: 19 (79%)

  1. A YA nonfiction book: Flowers in the Gutter by K.R. Gaddy
  2. A retelling of a classic of the canon, fairy tale, or myth by an author of color: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
  3. A mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  4. A graphic memoir: Spinning by Tillie Walden
  5. A book about a natural disaster: The Thief of Worlds by Bruce Coville
  6. A play by an author of color and/or queer author
  7. A historical fiction novel not set in WWII: The Deep by Alma Katsu
  8. An audiobook of poetry: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Simon Armitage, read by Bill Wallis
  9. The LAST book in a series: The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo #5) by Rick Riordan (This one was Maureen Johnson’s The Hand on the Wall, but then she announced a forthcoming fourth book!)
  10. A book that takes place in a rural setting: The Lost Man by Jane Harper
  11. A debut novel by a queer author: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  12. A memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own: Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  13. A food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before
  14. A romance starring a single parent: Courting the Countess by Jenny Frame
  15. A book about climate change
  16. A doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman
  17. A sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages): The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  18. A picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community: Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney
  19. A book by or about a refugee: Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
  20. A middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the US or the UK: Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong by A.J. Low
  21. A book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non): Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
  22. A horror book published by an indie press: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampire Slaying by Grady Hendrix
  23. An edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
  24. A book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author: I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

Reading Women (Reading Women podcast)
Goal: 24 Books
Result: 8 (33%)

  1.  Book by an Author from the Caribbean or India
  2. A Book Translated from an Asian Language
  3. A Book about the Environment
  4. A Picture Book Written/Illustrated by a BIPOC Author: Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
  5. A Winner of the Stella Prize or the Women’s Prize for Fiction
  6. A Nonfiction Title by a Woman Historian:  Flowers in the Gutter by K.R. Gaddy
  7. A Book Featuring Afrofuturism or Africanfuturism: The City We Became (Great Cities #1) by N.K. Jemisin
  8. An Anthology by Multiple Authors
  9. A Book Inspired by Folklore
  10. A Book about a Woman Artist: The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber
  11. Read and Watch a Book-to-Movie Adaptation
  12. A Book about a Woman Who Inspires You
  13. A Book by an Arab Woman
  14. A Book Set in Japan or by a Japanese Author
  15. A Biography
  16. A Book Featuring a Woman with a Disability
  17. A Book Over 500 Pages
  18. A Book Under 100 Pages: What is Given from the Heart by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison
  19. A Book That’s Frequently Recommended to You
  20. A Feel-Good or Happy Book: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  21. A Book about Food
  22. A Book by Either a Favorite or a New-to-You Publisher: To Fetch a Felon by Jennifer Hawkins (Berkley Publishing Group)
  23. A Book by an LGBTQ+ Author: Spinning by Tillie Walden
  24. A Book from the 2019 Reading Women Award Shortlists (Nonfiction | Fiction) or Honorable Mentions
  25. BONUS: A book by Toni Morrison
  26. BONUS: A book by Isabel Allende

I suspect I read some things that satisfied a couple more of those Reading Women tasks.

Overall, I did way better than last year, which actually surprised me a little bit. 2020 was quite a year, y’all.

To Fetch a Felon by Jennifer Hawkins

A small reddish Corgi dog sniffing at the ground under a black table. Table is set with a white teapot. A black chair is overturned in front of the dog.

To Fetch a Felon by Jennifer Hawkins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Emma Reed left her finance career in London to open a tea shop in a lovely Cornish village. Things get off to a bad start when her Corgi, Oliver, races into a neighbor’s garden. A neighbor who really loves her garden and really doesn’t like dogs. And who happens to own the building Emma is hoping to rent for her tea shop.

When Emma tries to patch things up with a friendly visit and some fresh-baked scones, she finds her grumpy neighbor dead, the victim of what Oliver says is some very wrong-smelling tea.

Oh, yes, Oliver talks. Only to Emma, though, which makes for some awkward moments around other people.

Emma and Oliver set out to find the murderer and uncover some long-held village secrets along the way.

My Thoughts:

Sometimes, what you need is a good old-fashioned cozy mystery, complete with idyllic small-town setting, an amateur sleuth, and a talking animal.

Just me?

It was definitely what I needed, and this book delivered. Oliver, the noble warrior Corgi, and Emma are absolutely charming. The murder victim is the classic cozy victim: someone who, when you ask, “Who would kill this person?”, the answer is along the lines of, “Almost anyone who ever met them, maybe?” Except, of course, the person is more complicated than that.

This is just the start of a new series, and I’m already looking forward to future sleuthing with Emma and Oliver.

Source:

E-ARC from NetGalley – thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for making it available!

Challenges:

Reading Women #22: A Book by Either a Favorite or a New-to-You Publisher

View all my reviews

Classics Club Spin #24: The Number Is…

The drawing has been done!

Your Lucky Spin Number is 18

Number 18 on my list for this Spin is Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy.

It is the year 2000-and full employment, material abundance and social harmony can be found everywhere. This is the America to which Julian West, a young Bostonian, awakens after more than a century of sleep. West’s initial sense of wonder, his gradual acceptance of the new order and a new love, and Bellamy’s wonderful prophetic inventions – electric lighting, shopping malls, credit cards, electronic broadcasting – ensured the mass popularity of this 1888 novel. But however rich in fantasy and romance, Looking Backward is a passionate attack on the social ills of nineteenth-century industrialism and a plea for social reform and moral renewal.

I may have read this book in college, when it was still the 1990s, but the year 2000 was coming up fast. I took a class on Utopian Literature, and I’m pretty sure this was on the syllabus. We read some interesting work for that class, and I wish I still had the reading list, but since there’ve been 25 years and a 2,000-mile move between then and now, it’s not surprising that I don’t have it anymore.

If we did read it, I don’t think I remember anything about it. It’s always possible, though, that one of the “I know I read that somewhere” fragments in my brain will be found inside.

This is a much shorter book than my last lucky spin selection, so I might even make it by the end of September.

Classics Club Spin #24

The Classics Club have issued their latest challenge for another Classics Club Spin! Did I complete my challenge for the last spin? No, I did not. Am I going to try again? Yes, I am. Am I using the same list as last time except for the book that I was supposed to read for June? Again, yes, I am.

The idea is for members to select 20 books from their list of 50 classics which they have challenged themselves to read within five years, then read the selected book before 30 September 2020.

My Spin list:

  1. Iliad by Homer, translated by Caroline Alexander
  2. Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
  3. Aenid by Virgil, translated by Sarah Ruden
  4. Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
  5. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers
  6. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  7. Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb
  8. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johnn D. Wyss
  9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  10. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey
  11. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  12. Devil’s Pool by George Sand
  13. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  14. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  15. Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  16. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  17. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  18. Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy
  19. The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
  20. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Reading Challenges 2020

The Reading Challenges haven’t gone so well for me the last two years. But I’ve once again succumbed to the promise of a brand new year and brand new challenges. Here’s what I’ve got lined up for 2020:

  • Back to the Classics is hosted by Books and Chocolate. I read two out of 12 last year (and failed to post about either one). Some of the titles I’ve picked for this year are carry-overs from last year’s list.
  • The Georgian Reading Challenge is hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews. The goal is a minimum of four books – fiction or non-fiction – related to the Georgian era (I’m using the 1714-1830 period – sorry, William IV). I’ve earmarked some possible titles, mostly the same as last year, since I read exactly zero books from the list in 2019.
  • The Victorian Reading Challenge is also hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews, and she’s switched it up with bimonthly themes, plus a year-long bonus theme. I’ve picked some books to match.
  • Classics Club is a multi-year challenge. I have a list of 50 books that I plan to read before the end of 2023. I read two of them in 2019, but I never posted about them. Whoops.
  • Read Harder comes from the fab folks at Book Riot. Some of the 24 tasks are going to be more challenging than others.
  • The Reading Women challenge comes from the Reading Women podcast. It also has 24 tasks, and some of these will definitely be challenging.

How about you? Are you doing any of these challenges? Or different ones?

2019 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Remember all those reading challenges for 2019 I was so excited about back in December of 2018? Turns out, 2019 had its own special set of challenges for me. Still, let’s take a look back and see how things went.

12 Children’s Classics for 2019 (hosted by Book Hippie)
Goal: 12 books (pre-selected by challenge rules)
Result: 1/12 (8.3%)

January: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Finished: March 8)
February: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
March: Goody Two Shoes by McLoughlin Brothers
April: The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
May: The Tale Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
June: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
July: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
August: Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
September: Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault
October: Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
November: Raggedy Ann & Andy by Johnny Gruelle
December: Nutcracker and Mouse-King by E.T.A. Hoffmann

2019 Middle Grade Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 6 or More Books with optional checklist
Result: 10/6 (166%) (I know there were more, but I seem to have forgotten to log them somewhere in the middle of the year.)

  1. a Newbery Winner: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (finished February 11)
  2. a Newbery Honor: The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (finished February 14)
  3. realistic/contemporary: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (finished February 23)
  4. Author beginning with C: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (finished March 7)
  5. nonfiction: Camp Panda by Catherine Thimmesh (finished March 8)
  6. children’s book published in the 1880s: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (finished March 8)
  7. historical fiction: Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransom (finished March 13)
  8. mystery: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (finished March 28)
  9. fantasy: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper (finished December 3)
  10. any book in a series: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (finished December 21)

Back to the Classics (hosted by Books and Chocolate)
Goal: 12 books
Result: 2/12 (16.67%)

  • 19th Century Classic (1800-1899): Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (finished March 8)
  • Classic in Translation: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Marie Borroff (finished December 28)
  • 20th Century Classic (1900-1969)
  • Classic by a Woman Author
  • Classic Comic Novel
  • Classic Tragic Novel
  • Very Long Classic
  • Classic Novella
  • Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean)
  • Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia
  • Classic From a Place You’ve Lived
  • Classic Play

Georgian Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 4 books
Result: 0. Just didn’t happen.

Victorian Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 20 books
Result: 1 (5%) – Little Lord Fauntleroy was the only one here.

Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies (hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews)
Goal: 10 cozy mysteries
Result: 4 (40%)

  • Paranormal: Fatality in F by Alexia Gordon (finished June 28)
  • Based outside the US: A Dream of Death by Connie Berry (finished February 8)
  • Career-based: Reading Up a Storm by Eva Gates (finished May 30)
  • Travel: Savasana at Sea by Ava Dunne (finished March 24)
  • Culinary
  • Animal-related
  • Craft-related
  • Historical
  • Holiday based
  • Freebie

Read Harder (Book Riot)
Goal: 24 Books
Result: 13 (54%)

  1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters: To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer (finished December 20)
  2. An alternate history novel
  3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (finished January 2)
  4. A humor book: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (finished July 28)
  5. A book by a journalist or about journalism
  6. A book by an AOC set in or about space: The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum (finished April 24)
  7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
  9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads: Savasana at Sea by Ava Dunne (finished March 24)
  10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Marie Borroff (finished December 28)
  11. A book of manga
  12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
  13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
  14. A cozy mystery: Fatality in F by Alexia Gordon (finished June 28)
  15. A book of mythology or folklore: Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson (finished January 27)
  16. An historical romance by an AOC: An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (finished January 9)
  17. A business book
  18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author: Hurricane Child by K. Callender
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime
  20. A book written in prison
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator: Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe (finished December 18)
  22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009: Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (finished February 13)
  23. A self-published book
  24. A collection of poetry published since 2014: Wait for Me: The Irritations and Consolations of a Long Marriage by Judith Viorst (finished December 18)

Reading Women (Reading Women podcast)
Goal: 24 Books
Result: 9 (37.5%)

  1. A mystery or thriller written by a woman of color: Fatality in F by Alexia Gordon (finished June 28)
  2. A book about a woman with a mental illness
  3. A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand
  4. A book about or set in Appalachia
  5. A children’s book: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (finished February 11)
  6. A multigenerational family saga
  7. A book featuring a woman in science
  8. A play
  9. A novella
  10. A book about a woman athlete
  11. A book featuring a religion other than your own
  12. A Lambda Literary Award winner
  13. A myth retelling: Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson (finished January 27)
  14. A translated book published before 1945
  15. A book written by a South Asian author
  16. A book by an Indigenous woman: We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell (finished March 8)
  17. A book from the 2018 Reading Women Award shortlist
  18. A romance or love story: An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (finished January 9)
  19. A book about nature
  20. A historical fiction book: The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye (finished January 19)
  21. A book you bought or borrowed in 2019: A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard (finished February 4)
  22. A book you picked up because of the cover
  23. Any book from a series: By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates (finished May 24)
  24. A young adult book by a woman of color: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (finished January 2)
  25. BONUS: A book by Jesmyn Ward
  26. BONUS: A book by Jhumpa Lahiri

Official TBR Pile Challenge (Roof Beam Reader)
Goal: 12 (pre-selected) books
Result: 1, but I didn’t post about it. Whoops.

Did I perhaps overcommit myself on challenges for 2019?

Mmmmm, possibly.

Am I going to let that stop me from signing up for more challenges in 2020?

Of course not. But more on that another time.

2018 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

It’s time to look back at those 2018 Reading Challenges and see how they went!

(Spoiler: They mostly did not go all that well.)

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)
Goal: 24 books
Result: 8 books (33.3%) – I read a lot of library books this year!

  1. Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World by Leslie Simon
  2. Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes, #2) by Anthony Horowitz
  3. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  4. The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
  5. A Study In Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes edited by Joseph R.G. DeMarco
  6. The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
  7. Shadows Over Baker Street edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan
  8. Kindred Spirits: An Anthology of Gay and Lesbian Science Fiction Stories edited by Jeffrey M. Elliot


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader
Goal: 12 books
Result: 4 books (33.3%)

Read:

  1. Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World by Leslie Simon – Reviewed: January 3
  2. The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – Reviewed: October 17
  3. A Study In Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes edited by Joseph R.G. DeMarco – Reviewed: April 12
  4. Shadows Over Baker Street edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan – Reviewed: December 21

Unread:

  1. The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
  2. Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  3. The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy edited by Leonard S. Marcus
  4. Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers by Carolyn See – I did start this one, but it was a DNF.
  5. The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan – It turned out this was not actually on my shelves. Oops.
  6. Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices by Leonard S. Marcus – I started this, but then put it aside for so long I think I’m just going to start again.
  7. Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by William S. Baring-Gould
  8. Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson
  9. Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson (alternate)
  10. A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature by Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano (alternate)


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves
Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)

Result: 19 points (25%) – I got a bit sidetracked on this one.

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: 3 points (Newbery Winner, 1963)
  2. Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: 3 points (Newbery Winner, 2018)
  3. Sounder by William Armstrong: 3 points (Newbery winner, 1970)
  4. Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2004)
  5. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  6. A Different Pond by Bao Phi: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  7. Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  8. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)
  9. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)
  10. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 2018)
  11. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 1963)

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom
Goal: 12 books
Result: 3 books (25%)

Read:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L’Engle
  2. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908) by L. Frank Baum
  3. Sounder (1969) by William Armstrong


Book Riot Read Harder 2018
Result: 21/24 (88%)

  1. A book published posthumously: Maurice by E.M. Forster
  2. A book of true crime: The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson
  3. A classic of genre fiction: The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person: Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa): Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew
  6. A book about nature: Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester
  7. A western: Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book One by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature:
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980: Sounder by William H. Armstrong
  12. A celebrity memoir: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  14. A book of social science: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
  15. A one-sitting book: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image: A Study in Emerald, by Neil Gaiman, Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone, and Dave Stewart
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation: The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin, translated by Andrew Bromfield
  20. A book with a cover you hate: Kindred Spirits: An Anthology of Gay and Lesbian Science Fiction Stories edited by Jeffrey M. Elliot
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author: Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon
  22. An essay anthology:
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60: Getting Old is Murder by Rita Lakin
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished):

Of all the challenges I signed up for, I did the best on Read Harder. I actually had books selected for the 3 tasks that were left unfinished, but I didn’t get to them soon enough. I am definitely in for Read Harder 2019, as well as a bunch of other challenges. The beginning of the year is always filled with so much promise, isn’t it?

Reading Challenges 2019

low angle photo of tower of books
Photo by Ajda Berzin on Unsplash

I’m still working on a 2018 Reading Challenge wrap-up, but I’m already looking forward to these new challenges. This year, I’ve created separated pages to keep track of most of the challenges, all linked up there in the menu bar.

Children’s Literature Challenges

Genre- and Period-Based Challenges

Expanding My Reading Horizons Challenges

  • Read Harder comes from the fab folks at Book Riot. Some of the 24 tasks are going to be more challenging than others, but I’ve got #14 covered.
  • The Reading Women challenge comes from the Reading Women podcast. It also has 24 tasks, and some of these will definitely be challenging.
  • The Official TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I’ve already picked out my list of 12 books (plus 2 alternates). I completely forgot about the check-in posts in 2018: another thing to improve on in the new year!

Outside Category Challenges

  • Blogger Shame Challenge: Hosted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup, this is a challenge meant to nudge those of us who read advance review copies to actually, well, review the books. I’m hoping to improve my NetGalley feedback rating a lot.
  • Reading Challenge Addict Challenge: If you’ve made it this far down the list, you already know why I’ve signed up for this one. My goal is “On the Roof” (6-10 challenges entered and completed.
  • Classics Club: I’ve put this in “Outside Category” because it’s a multi-year challenge. I have a list of 50 books that I plan to read before the end of 2023.

How about you? Are you doing any of these challenges? Or different ones?

Shadows over Baker Street

Shadows Over Baker Street

Shadows Over Baker Street
Edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan
My rating: 5 of 5 star

According to the receipt tucked in the back of the book, I bought this in 2013, not long after I fell headlong into the Sherlockian world. I’m pretty sure I bought it solely because of the Gaiman story. I’ve never actually read any Lovecraft; while I read a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koontz as a teenager, I moved away from horror over the years. This made for an interesting reading experience, as I picked up bits and pieces of a through-line from story to story.

I really enjoyed “A Study in Emerald”, the opening story in the collection, written by Neil Gaiman. It’s a very clever twist on A Study in Scarlet. I’m glad I read it before reading the graphic novel adaptation, which was also very, very good, but the ending packed a little more punch for me without the visuals. As with any anthology, there were stories that really appealed to me, and there were others that didn’t. Some of the stories have awfully tenuous claims to Sherlockiana, too, at least as far as I could tell. Perhaps I would have enjoyed those more if I were familiar with the other source material.

Source: Purchased at my local used bookshop.

Challenges: Counts for the 2018 Mount TBR Challenge and the Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge. (And R.I.P. XIII (Readers Imbibing Peril), but I didn’t manage to post about it in October!)