Ani's Book Abyss

Ani's Book Abyss

I like to read. A lot.

Read-a-thon: 24 in 48! January 2019 | Ani's Plans!


So here is the basic gist of this read-a-thon as copied from the 24 in 48 Readathon site:

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period.  You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.



Ahh...  Fancy new logo!

The readathon weekend for January 2019's 24in48 will be the 26th and 27!  I'm super ready for it... I think.  I know it's going to be a weekend off for me, so at least I can try to make plans.  But as life will have it, I will usually end up getting distracted.

I don't really have much of a reading list for January, so we're really just going to play things by mood.

As of current, I'm reading three books which I have a feeling may still be ongoing by the time the readathon rolls around.

 


Meanwhile, I have, of course, many, many, many books I'd love to get around to... though as I have mentioned, I don't have much of a reading list for January, so playing by mood is all I can manage.  And so, for the first time for a readathon since I don't know when, I won't be listing a list of tentative hopefuls.  After all, I will probably just end up polishing off either Lethal White or The Disappearing Spoon... or neither at all.

I have one more historical book to read for my Reading Assignment Challenge, but after the eye-rolling experience that was The Bride, I'm giving it a rest before moving onto the second book in that series.  This completely throws off my reading intentions for this month, so I need to find a different historical book to read for January.  I haven't decided what I will read yet, but I may employ that handy book draw method with my monkey post-its... more on that at a later time.

Until the readathon, I DO want to concentrate on the books above, and maybe by next weekend, I'll be reading different books!


Happy reading everyone!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/read-thon-24-in-48-january-2019-anis.html
Ani's 2019 Personal Series Challenge Goals


This post is about a week late in coming, as I've had it written and ready to publish for some time.  But matter!  Here it is now, with all my edits and finalized decisions and NO MORE CHANGES.  Well, at least no more changes as far as this particular post is concerned.

Anyway...

I'm continuing my pet project, the Personal Series Challenge, rolling into 2019.  This is becoming more of a project for me than an actual challenge, and it has seemed to be quite helpful in making me finish series I've started.

I think I did quite well last year despite all the new series being started, and despite feeling a bit overwhelmed when half the year was over and I'd fallen into a very, very pathetic reading slump.

But a new year is a new year, and I'm here to continue the goals I've set for myself.  With my penchant to begin a lot of new series and never get around to them, I have chosen to commit to finishing a number of series each year.  Starting this official challenge since 2017, I'm determined to continue on.

My rules are the same as last year, with three specific Goals, following in the sections below.

Once again, I'll be listing some tentative series below that I hope to finish/catch up with/read.

I'm also playing with a new way to track my progress, so my main summary post is sort of still in the works.  Now that I've had a taste of tables in html blogging... I've been experimenting.  We'll see how much better I like it than the simple bullet list I used to do.


See Also:  Ani's 2019 Personal Series Challenge Page

 

 

Goal #1:
Finish/Catch Up With 10 Series, already started

 

 

  1. Heartbreaker Bay by Jill Shalvis | 3 read / 8 total // 5 left
  2. Nichelle Clarke by LynDee Walker | 3 read / 6 total // 3 left
  3. InCryptid by Seanan McGuire | 2 read / 8 total // 6 left
  4. Burning Cove by Amanda Quick | 2 read / 3 total // 1 left
  5. Cutler, Sutter, & Salinas by Jayne Ann Krentz | 2 read / 3 total // 1 left
  6. Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa | 7 read / 10 total // 3 left
 

It's been a while since I've touched a Jill Shalvis book, so I think it's time to get caught up with her Heartbreaker Bay series.  The series is up to eight books now, so it looks like it'll be a game of playing catch up, as I'm not sure how long Shalvis will continue to write for this series.  But the eighth book looks like it'll be released in September of 2019, so I may be able to catch all the way up... in audio book form!  Following my plans for some other challenges, I may start back into Jill Shalvis sometime around the summer, or right before then... depending on whether or not I've got another audio book lined up these first few months.  As I recall, reading too many Jill Shalvis books in a row, all at the same time, never bodes well for me... I figure if I stick to one a month, I may be successful...  Maybe...

Meanwhile, Burning Cove and Cutler, Sutter, & Salinas both only have one book left to completion, and I look forward to reading the last books of each trilogy.  Nichelle Clarke and InCryptid are newer series I started reading in 2018 and determined to catch up with.  These two series, especially with all the little novellas and short stories in InCryptid will be keeping me pretty busy this year.

Haruhi Suzumiya...  I've dragged this series out long enough.  I think I read the first book back in 2011 or 2012, and very, VERY slowly made my way through each book in the series.  I think it's time to get it finished.  There are only three books left, and I've made a decision to use these books as part of my Reading Assignment Challenge as well, so I will probably also be getting the last three books read sometime in the summer.

Of course, there are many other series I need to work on, and I've only listed six here for now.  I'm sure I'll get to some other ones, especially if some ongoing series end up releasing a new book in 2019, then those will be easily dealt with.  =D

 


As of the posting of this announcement, I've started reading the fourth installment of Cormoran Strike, which I did not list above, because it wasn't one of the series I'd originally thought to include (also because I had forgotten I was waiting on a library hold).  If I can slide through the book within the next three weeks, it'll be the first series I catch up with under Goal #1!

 

 

Goal #2:
Read/Catch Up With 10 Series, new to me

 

 

  1. Turner series by Courtney Milan
  2. Blackthorn & Grim by Juliet Marillier
  3. Lairds' Fiancées by Julie Garwood
  4. Vanza by Amanda Quick
  5. Blakewell/Kenleigh Family by Pamela Clare
  6. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

 

So far I'm rolling two series over from 2018's tentative list, Courtney Milan's Turner series, and Juliet Marillier's Blackthorn & Grim series--not because I didn't feel in the mood to read them or anything, but just because I never got around to them--you know, reading slump and all.

And with my new reading challenge geared towards reading Historical Fiction (of any sub-genre type), I'm also including a few short historical romance series:  Julie Garwood's Lairds' Fiancées is a duology that I'm sure I can finish this year.  Amanda Quick has at least three other series (and many, many stand-alone novels) I will probably jump on since reading her books is one of my main goals in 2019, and I will be starting with Vanza.  I'm also going back in time, so to speak, and picking up books from Pamela Clare's backlist.  She has two historical romance trilogies I plan on reading this year; I will be starting with the Blakewell/Kenleigh Family series.

Finally, I'm super excited about jumping into Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy, as I've read and heard great things about it, and also... the audio books are narrated by Alan Cumming, whom I love!

As of the posting of this announcement, I've already read the first books of the Vanza series and the Lairds' Fiancées duology.  I will be, hopefully finishing up the rest of Vanza by February, but the second book in Lairds' Fiancées may have to wait... I don't know if I can handle another Julie Garwood Highlander Romance so soon after the... conflicting train wreck that was The Bride.  Check out my review of The Bride to see what I mean.  I DO, of course, mean to finish the duology, as it seems a bit of a shame not to, in light of my big series project here.

 

 

Goal #3:
Read 10 First-in-a-series books

 

 

  1. Irresistible Force by D.D. Ayres | K-9 Force series
  2. Behind Enemy Lines by Cindy Dees | Charlie Squad series
  3. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas | Lady Sherlock series
  4. Once Upon a Marquess by Courtney Milan | Worth Saga series
  5. The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber | Lady Darby Mystery series
  6. Cold Dark Places by Kylie Brant | Cady Maddix series
  7. Part Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates | Copper Ridge series

 

And finally, the last part of this series challenge--the first-in-a-series stuff... because aside from reading a bunch of new series, I'm also probably going to start a bunch of new series.  I'm including The Anatomist's Wife in this particular goal because I'm not entirely sure if I'll finish the whole series within the year.  If I do, obviously I can move it into Goal #2, considering finding a first-in-a-series is easier than finishing a whole series, in comparison.

But I've once again rolled over a few books from the 2018 tentative list, as books I didn't get to last year.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/anis-2019-personal-series-challenge.html
First Impression: The Disappearing Spoon
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

The Disappearing Spoon

by Sam Kean

Progress:  31 of 346 pages (9%)


Admittedly, Chemistry was probably my worst subject in school (both high school and college).  So why I decided that I'd just casually join in on this month's Flat Book Society read is beyond me.  Maybe I just thought that, not being a required read for some class, I'd be able to enjoy it more... or at least not fret as much about what I'm understanding.

And really, the only thing that I've gotten out of this book so far is that the outlining is atrocious.  Don't get me wrong, the writing isn't terrible, and the subject matter has lots of potential--some of the information is actually pretty interesting.  And when I actually understand one of the paragraphs after deciphering all the chemistry jargon, I think I might have learned something new.

Not that that's helpful, because I promptly turn around and forget what I've just learned.  It probably doesn't help that the organization of the telling feels pretty scattered.  The author jumps from one thing to another, and then back so quickly that I'm at a point where I just quietly move on because I'm embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what he was trying to present.

There is SO MUCH jargon.  This does not feel like a science book for casual readers who enjoy fun science.  This feels like a lot of chemical name-dropping.

Meanwhile, I had fallen asleep twice reading just the introduction.  And we hadn't gotten to the elements yet.  Not really.  And I'm not sure who's fault that is--mine or the book's.  Maybe I just don't have the capacity to follow the content?

I'm probably going to give this book a few more chapters to see how well I fare.  I mean, I took chemistry classes and I work in a hospital lab.  Some of this stuff HAS to make sense at some point, right?  No matter that I really wasn't all that great at chemistry, mind you.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/first-impression-disappearing-spoon.html
Review
2.5 Stars
Rambling Thoughts: The Bride
The Bride - Julie Garwood

The Bride

by Julie Garwood
Book 1 of Lairds' Fiancées

 

 

By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison...a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her...forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian.

He was everything her heart warned against—an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And thought Kincaid's scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him...until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses...



Because there's an almost ridiculously comedic vibe to Julie Garwood's writing style, I couldn't find it in me to give this book less than a very average rating of 2.5 Stars.  I remember coming across a review while perusing Historical Romance novels that described this book as rather shallow and really only good for the "lols", but not much else.  And I feel like it's pretty spot on.

Mind you, I went back and forth on my like and dislike of everything in this book, starting with the 'Angelic Mary Sue' character of Jamie Jamison, to the arrogant and always angry, yet has a heart of gold hero, Alec Kincaid.  The book also didn't lend itself any help when I came to the realization of what Medieval Romance and Highlander Romance entailed...  I mean, it wasn't like it totally slipped my mind just how terrible women were treated during that era in history, but I guess it sort of DID slip my mind, if that makes any sense.

The forced marriages, the forced consummation of the marriages, the fact that women were treated like property...  There were more than one reference implying that women were no better than sheep or horses, and one of the lairds even got more offended his horse had been abused by our heroine, screaming about how "It's one thing to insult the wife, but, oh no, you did NOT just slap my horse!"

I fully admit it--I needed to adjust my mindset.  I know history was never kind to women.  I've admitted this before when I was reading a Chinese historical by Jeannie Lin.  I get it.  But I don't have to like it.  Maybe that's why I tend to lean more towards historical fiction where the women (and sometimes the men) are maybe too modern for their era.  Maybe it's not as historically accurate, but it doesn't turn me all ragey.

Except that I'm of the impression that things can still be handled MUCH better.  Which, in a way, Julie Garwood kind of manages to do... sort of... maybe... I don't know.

Because, as I'd stated earlier, there's a strange comedic charm to Julie Garwood's writing style, which, when you set aside everything I didn't like about this book, kind of shines through rather well.  There were moments when I thought the book was definitely getting a little bit better.  There were moments when I did find it in myself to give a light chuckle.

But those moments are so random and so out-shined by the things I didn't like.

I would say that Jamie was the most cliched Mary Sue I've ever read about, but that wouldn't be true, because I've encountered worse.  But she's definitely a top ten contender.  I mean, basically Jamie is everything from self-sacrificing, to hard working, to beautiful, to kind, to forgiving, to knowing how to ride a horse bareback, being able to heal, having the ability to make everyone fall in love with her, and also manages to run around saving children from rampant wild boar.  She can also, apparently, shoot an arrow dead center at a target from miles away, as well as throw a dagger with super human accuracy.

Did I also mention that she's angelic and beautiful?  Even though SHE doesn't think she's beautiful... and deliberately fishes for compliments on at least two occasions.

The one and ONLY flaw that Garwood gives her is that she has a terrible sense of direction.

And in my personal opinion, I also find her extremely clueless and easily distracted.  The fact that her common sense and her comprehensive skills were drastically diminished after her first sexual intercourse encounter did not escape my notice.  And why is it that so many stories MUST turn so many women into idiots after they fall in love or have sex?  Those first two or three chapters had a rather agreeably sensible and intelligent Jamie, to be honest.  Then her thinking capacity dwindles as the book progresses.

And somehow her fragile emotions kept being brought up again and again.  So now, aside from being a Mary Sue, she's also a speshul snowflake with thin skin and easily disturbed emotions?  Or are the men just treating her like a baby, because it kind of seems more that way, really.  If it's one thing I've noted about Jamie, it's that she doesn't have as sensitive and easy to hurt feelings as every one of the men are making her out to have.  Men are strange...

I could probably go back through and count how many times someone states that he doesn't want her sensitive feelings to be hurt, and so doesn't bother telling her the truth about a lot of things.  Especially about the fact that her life is in danger and someone's trying to kill her.  THAT NEVER WORKS IN ANY PLOT!  If someone was trying to kill me, I would like to know so that I can take the proper precautions, ya know?  Rather than cluelessly stumbling into a freakin' bear cave 'cause no one wanted to scare me with the knowledge of it's being there.

Just sayin'.

Meanwhile, I only have one thing to say about Alec.  He's arrogant, annoying, violent, and has no sense of personal boundaries.  He's apparently super sensitive to Jamie's feelings and understands that when she says "no," she actually means "yes."  Oooh... Heaven help me from arrogant fools.  That stuff might have been fly during the 1100s in Scotland, but I'm kicking shins, calling 911, and running if I ever run into anyone like that in my lifetime.

On a side note, I think I'm going to give it some time before coming back to the second book in this duology, The Wedding... if at all.  It was written a few years after this first book, so maybe there's been some... difference in ideals?  I get that The Bride is considered a classic romance of some sort, but it looks like I'm destined to be a dissenter on this one.  Oh well, you can't please everyone, I guess.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/rambling-thoughts-bride.html
Review
2 Stars
Some Thoughts: Lost Island
Lost Island - Phyllis A. Whitney

Lost Island

by Phyllis A. Whitney

 

 

Lacey, Elise, and Giles.  They grew up together on a mist-shrouded island off the Georgia coast.  Long ago, and without Giles's ever knowing it, Lacey gave birth to his son.  But Elise, the beautiful, domineering one, got Giles.  She got Lacey's child, too, to bring up as her own.

Lacey has tried hard to forget.  But in ten years she hasn't been able to.  So she's going back.  To see her son.  To confront Elise.  To exorcise the spell of the island - and of Giles.  Or perhaps to be trapped by them forever....



One star is the for the writing and the other star is for the atmosphere.  But otherwise, I can't bring myself to understand what was even going on in this entire tale of chaos.  It felt like a daytime soap, with birth secrets, dysfunctional family dynamics, and characters soaked in amorality.  The heroine was a clueless pushover who couldn't seem to figure out how to stand up for herself NOR fight for her life, and her antagonist really had way too much power, with everyone letting her get away with every misdeed.

The little boy seemed too old for his age, and none of the men really stood out aside from spending all of their time brooding and acting self-righteous.

I've been interested in Phyllis A. Whitney for some time now, after seeing her name surface in discussions of Gothic romance or romantic suspense.  I'm thinking that this book was probably NOT the best one to start with, but it happened to be one I came across at the library one day.

In all honesty, the fact that I DID get drawn into it in spite of the convoluted plot and dysfunctional character dynamics is a feat in itself.  So this isn't an entirely terrible book, and a younger Ani might have actually enjoyed it more a long time ago.

Here's a quote that I particularly liked, though, for whatever reason.  The writing, as I've mentioned, was probably one of the best things going for this book.

 

The smell of the ocean is something one never forgets.  I breathed it deeply as the wind came whipping into my face, tossing my hair.  The tide was part-way out and the sound of surf rushing in over the low shore summoned me to follow it.  I walked toward the sea wall.


And this particular paragraph managed to draw me into the book...

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/some-thoughts-lost-island.html
Random Bookish Update: The Disappearing Spoon and Penguins in the Library!
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

My library hold for the Flat Book Society read this month alerted me some time last week, but due to schedule constraints, I hadn't had time to pick up the book until today.  After browsing for a little while and not finding anything else I wanted to check out--which is probably a good thing since I've got what feels like a million books on my plate right now anyway--I headed out of the library....

... only to turn right back around when I spotted their display by the entrance.

 

 

 

 


Oh my, SO MANY PENGUINS!  Aren't they all so cute?!

Needless to say, I got super giddy and excited.  If we haven't already figured it out yet, I have an immense love for penguins.  I mean, I love animals, in particular (monkeys, pandas, mice, dogs...  Dino Baby! Rawr!).  I've used any number of these for many a blog post and reading games.

Heck, Peek-a-Boo Penni Penguin, alongside Magnetic Monkey, has sort of become my bookish/game mascot.


Meanwhile, back to the Flat Book Society pick, The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, the official book club read starts tomorrow, but I might go ahead and jump in if I get a chance, just to get a head start, as well as get an idea how I want to divide out parts for when to read.

Because I've finished a couple other books I've been reading, I'm at least not juggling too many current reads at the moment.  I'm listening to The Neverending Story on audio book, which is a pretty slow process right now as I'm really only listening to it during commutes, or if I need to multi-task.  I just started Amanda Quick's I Thee Wed, my second Reading Assignment book for Professor AuthorLuv's course.  I also started the fourth Cormoran Strike installment a couple days ago and am letting myself move through this one slowly, as has always been the case with previous Cormorant Strike novels.

Not too much to handle, right?

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/random-bookish-update-disappearing.html
Bout of Books 24 Wrap Up!
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



This weekend I was in full on reading mode and managed to finish Lost Island as well as make a huge dent in The Bride... as much as I had trouble reading both books.  No... I take that back.  The books were easy to read, easy enough to fly right through.  But both books... ugh.  Reviews will be coming soon as I mull over how to present them.

Anyway, I'm including The Bride in my 'Books Read' section because I really AM finished reading it, even if I technically didn't finish it until a couple hours after midnight.  It just also makes my stats look nicer!  =D

So, as far as totals go:
1)  I read four books (even if only three to completion)
2)  I read a total of 1141 pages
3)  I listened to 50 minutes of audio book

I probably could have clocked more minutes from The Neverending Story this past week, but I just wasn't quite feeling like audio book, which is a shame, cause then I'd be further along in the book, and my "number of minutes listened to" would be a little more impressive.  As it stands, I still have about eleven hours of the audio to finish before the end of the month.

In truth, aside from not really updating regularly as I'd wanted to, I would actually call this time's Bout of Books a smashing success!  I reached my goals of reading at least three books, and I'm pretty certain I managed to clock at least two hours of reading each day.  The weekend saw me pretty much doing nothing BUT reading, especially on Sunday.

AND I discovered a new author I will be following.

 

 

 

Books Read

 

The Anatomist's Wife
by Anna Lee Huber
386 pages / 89 pages read pre-readathon /
297  pages read during readathon
Progress:  Completed on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 132 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 148 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019

 

 

With This Ring
by Amanda Quick
384 pages / 46 pages read pre-readathon /
338 pages read during readathon
Progress:  Completed on Friday, 01/11/2019
-- 0 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 12 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 46 pages read on Wednesday, 01/09/2019
-- 23 pages read on Thursday, 01/10/2019
-- 259 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019

 

 

Lost Island
by Phyllis A. Whitness
250 pages / 30 pages read pre-readathon
220 pages read during readathon
Progress:  Completed on Saturday, 01/12/2019
-- 0 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 0 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 0 pages read on Wednesday, 01/09/2019
-- 0 pages read on Thursday, 01/10/2019
-- 30 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019
-- 59 pages read on Saturday, 01/12/2019
-- 131 pages read on Sunday, 01/13/2019

 

 

The Bride
by Julie Garwood
388 pages / 0 pages read pre-readathon
268 pages read during readathon
Progress:  Completed on 01/14/2019
-- 47 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019
-- 0 pages read on Saturday, 01/12/2019
-- 221 pages read on Sunday, 01/13/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende | narrated by Gerard Doyle
822 minutes / 89 minutes listened to pre-readathon
Progress:  89 of 822 minutes listened to
-- 0 minutes listened to on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Wednesday, 01/09/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Thursday, 01/10/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Friday, 01/11/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Saturday, 01/12/2019
-- 50 minutes listened to on Sunday, 01/13/2019

 

 

Lethal White
by Robert Galbraith
656 pages / 0 pages read pre-readathon
Progress: 33 of 656 pages read
-- 33 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019
-- 0 pages read on Saturday, 01/12/2019
-- 0 pages read on Sunday, 01/13/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls I Didn't Get To

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/bout-of-books-24-wrap-up.html
Bout of Books 24: Weekend Update
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



I had been hoping to stick with my tentative hopefuls (listed below) up until I got a notice from my library that my hold for Lethal White was available.  The truth is, due to a lot of real life constraints, as well as my determination to finish reading a bunch of other books back in October for Halloween Bingo, I bypassed the first time Lethal White became available for me via library e-book hold list.

So I am extremely happy that my turn came back around so quickly... although now I need to figure out how to insert all the other books I'm trying to get read, because I'd forgotten that I was still on the holds list for this book.  HOW I could even forget is a mystery to me, because Queen Rowling!  I've already jumped into the book, and already am looking forward to the rest of it... though I could do with less of the romance that seems to be building between Strike and Robin.  I kind of see where it's coming from, but I really feel like Strike and Robin make a better team as a platonic investigating partnership.

And I definitely could do with less Matthew, that prick.

Anyway, I've finished one more book and need one more to meet my goal of three books read for the readathon.  Three books was always a pretty realistic goal for me to read in one week, though I admit I'd been wary of how well I would progress based on the still lingering reading slump that's mocking me in the background.  But we're slowly battling that reading slump and climbing out of that ditch.

Lost Island is just a bit slow-going for me, even though it's rather easy to read, and written well, and DOES kind of draw you in.  I admit, this was probably not the Phyllis A. Whitney to start with, having never read her before--I'm having issues with the characters who are all coming off a bit over-dramatic.  I will maybe take recommendations on other books written by her.  I still have possession of The Ebony Swan, however, and am quite loathe to turn it into the library before reading it...

Meanwhile, as of the end of Friday night, I've read a total of 683 pages, and probably would have read more from Lost Island if not for the fact that the night was growing later and I needed to get to sleep.  Of course that didn't keep me from starting and flying through the first two chapters of The Bride by Julie Garwood...

Sleep is not my friend.

I'm really hoping to finish Lost Island before the weekend is over and to focus on that book... but reading moods are wishy-washy and I'm being drawn towards The Bride... no matter that our heroine is quite the Mary Sue (the annoying kind who's beautiful and smart and resourceful and can't even let herself to be upset with a good-for-nothing father, and just goes with everything he tells her even though it's obvious to EVERYONE that he's just a lazy bum who's been taking advantage of her angelic goodness and hard-working character).  And yet... I had to make myself put the book down before I lost more sleep, because I was totally going to just keep going if I didn't have a long work day ahead of me.

 

 

Books Read

 

The Anatomist's Wife
by Anna Lee Huber
386 pages / 89 pages read pre-readathon /
297  pages read during readathon
Progress:  Completed on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 132 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 148 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019

With This Ring
by Amanda Quick
384 pages / 46 pages read pre-readathon /
338 pages read during readathon
Progress:  Completed on Friday, 01/11/2019
-- 0 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 12 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 46 pages read on Wednesday, 01/09/2019
-- 23 pages read on Thursday, 01/10/2019
-- 259 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019

 

 

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende | narrated by Gerard Doyle
822 minutes / 89 minutes listened to pre-readathon
Progress:  89 of 822 minutes listened to
-- 0 minutes listened to on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Wednesday, 01/09/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Thursday, 01/10/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Friday, 01/11/2019

Lost Island
by Phyllis A. Whitness
250 pages / 30 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  30 of 250 pages read
-- 0 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 0 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 0 pages read on Wednesday, 01/09/2019
-- 0 pages read on Thursday, 01/10/2019
-- 30 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019

Lethal White
by Robert Galbraith
656 pages / 0 pages read pre-readathon
Progress: 33 of 656 pages read
-- 33 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019

The Bride
by Julie Garwood
388 pages / 0 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  47 of 388 pages read
-- 47 pages read on Friday, 01/11/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/bout-of-books-24-weekend-update.html
Review
4 Stars
Thoughts: The Anatomist's Wife
The Anatomist's Wife - Anna Lee Huber

The Anatomist's Wife

by Anna Lee Huber
Book 1 of Lady Darby Mystery

 

 

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage—a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn’t about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage’s search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim…



It took a little while to get into the book, as the first couple chapters were sort of slow-paced, but once the story got going, I pretty much got sucked in.

The writing is absolutely wonderful, and the descriptions lend a beautiful atmospheric presence to both the castle and the highlands.

There were some points in the book where I might have rolled my eyes or gotten frustrated, but ultimately, those moments paled in comparison to everything else I liked about the book.  I liked how Lady Darby was quick, level-headed, and resourceful, even in spite of a few times she might have made a few poorly judged decisions about her own safety and her own investigations.  I liked how Sebastian Gage was not made out to be a completely, all-knowing, perfect, yet broody rake--though aside from that, he truly didn't really do much for me aside from be non-standard.

The mystery itself was quite twisty, though at some points pretty predictable, such as the obviousness of some of the red herrings thrown out there.

Meanwhile, if this book had also been intended as a romance, I'm not sure I quite felt the chemistry between Kiera and Gage.  I'm not even sure they partnered all that well investigating the murder together, either, and a lot of the "tells" that Kiera kept mentioning seeing from Gage had to be deliberately mentioned repeatedly, as if trying to convince herself more than anything how well she knew Gage after only a couple days of acquaintance.

Otherwise, this was an extremely intriguing and strong start to this series, and I look forward to the next book already.  I actually appreciate the slow burn approach that I'm sure the romance will take, and am glad that the "I love you" declarations are nowhere in sight for this first book.  Of course, it might also be because I couldn't quite feel the romance, though there is still room for development there.

I particularly like that Kiera isn't completely alone in the world, and that she is at least surrounded by some good people, especially her sister and brother-in-law.  I hope to see more of them as well.

I wish there were a few more positive friendships with Kiera, especially with the women in the book.  I understand the reason why Kiera is ostracized, even if I don't like it, but that was just how I suspect life was like for all women during that time period.  Gossip, scandals, and anything out of the norm can really do a number on your reputation, and Kiera, being a rather introverted person who doesn't seem to care to defend herself or speak up for herself is more likely to face more gossip and scandal.

Then again, speaking up for herself will probably get her trolled by the rest of the ton... so, it's a lose-lose situation, no matter what.  Sad.

Meanwhile, one particular character kind of stood out to me: Marsdale.  I'm not sure how to explain my completely ridiculous, yet intriguing interest in this particular scoundrel.  A jackass and rogue he may be, but somehow I found I appreciated how easily he saw through everyone's outward facades, and how he seems to call out, rather bluntly even if tactlessly, all the obvious truths and open secrets around.  I disliked him to the extreme at first, and I'm not quite sure I even like him much (nor if it will matter if he's just a supporting character in this first book, and we'll never see him again), but he stood out.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/thoughts-anatomists-wife.html
Bout of Books 24: Mid-week Update
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



Why yes, I DID start reading four different books at the beginning of this month!  And apparently I hadn't gotten far pre-readathon.  But that's alright!  I think I made up for the lack of reading last week with the past couple days' progresses... sort of.  I managed to finish reading The Anatomist's Wife in the wee hours of early Tuesday morning, then turned to With This Ring... but have been sadly distracted by other things.

The pages read for With This Ring may change in my next update... assuming I make another update before the end of the readathon.  I plan on trying to make more progress with the book.

 

 

Books Read

 

The Anatomist's Wife
by Anna Lee Huber
386 pages / 89 pages read pre-readathon
-- 132 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 148 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende | narrated by Gerard Doyle
822 minutes / 89 minutes listened to pre-readathon
Progress:  89 of 822 minutes listened to
-- 0 minutes listened to on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 0 minutes listened to on Wednesday, 01/09/2019

 

 

With This Ring
by Amanda Quick
384 pages / 46 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  85 (22%) of 384 pages read
-- 0 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- 12 pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019
-- 27 pages read on Wednesday, 01/09/2019

 

 

Lost Island
by Phyllis A. Whitness
250 pages / 30 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  30 of 250 pages read
-- 0 pages read on Monday, 01/07/2019
-- x pages read on Tuesday, 01/08/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/bout-of-books-24-mid-week-update.html
Bout of Books 24 - Starter Post
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



In a few hours, Bout of Books 24 will be starting (in my time zone, at least), but I will be fast asleep with an early morning shift to contend with.  HOWEVER, once I'm off work, I will be jumping into this!  As with previous readathons, I will only be reading and probably won't participate in any of the challenges... just because.  I'm going to try to update as regularly as I can, but I'm not sure that will actually happen.  More than likely, I'll have a mid-week update and a wrap up.

Meanwhile, I've been out of town and away from my computer for the past couple days, but checked into BookLikes every so often to see how everyone was doing, though I haven't commented on anything.  It looks like I've missed a lot of things, most significant being the charities chosen by Themis-Athena, Murder by Death, and Moonlight Reader for the 24 Festive Tasks.

First of all, I'm super impressed and proud about how many points and how much participation we all managed this year, and would love to thank our hosts as well as everyone for all the fun I had for the holiday season.  I didn't do a wrap up post, so didn't really comment on the game overall, but it was tons of fascination and fun reading everyone's responses to all the non-book tasks!

On that note...

Happy reading to everyone!  And let's all have a great reading week!

 

 

Main Goals


I only have two simple goals for this January 2019 Bout of Books Readathon

1)  Read 3 books.
2)  Update daily... or barring that, as regularly as possible.
Bonus Goal:  Read for at least 2 to 5 hours daily, or on average

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/bout-of-books-24-starter-post.html
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- December 2018

So, first of all, a Happy New Year to everyone!  Best wishes for each and every day starting today!

 

 

I'm a little disappointed that the gifs I chose don't keep cycling on repeat, and apparently don't work in dashboard, but they were cute and I MUST have penguins!

Anyway, here's my wrap up!

So rather than creating a separate Year in Review, I decided to just include a whole bunch of Year End Stats in this Monthly Wrap Up, because, why not?  And then I will move onto the monthly wrap up itself.

So... 2018...

For starters, I read exactly 100 books.  My initial challenge started me at a goal of 150 books.  But I couldn't make it, so decided to give myself a break, dropping my challenge goal to 100 around mid-year.  With the slump I was going through those first few months, I had a feeling I wasn't going to make 150 books.

My average book rating for 2018 was 3.29 Stars.  It looks like a fairly mediocre average, sadly because I DID read a lot of mediocre books with a fair balance of crap books and great books.  The highest rated books were 4.5 Stars, of which there were only four.  The lowest rated book was a 1.5 Star; there was only one.

Here is the break down of how many books for each star rating I had:
4.5 Star reads:  4
4.0 Star reads:  26
3.5 Star reads:  22
3.0 Star reads:  25
2.5 Star reads:  14
2.0 Star reads:  6
1.5 Star reads:  1

These were my highest rated books as well as my most favorite for 2018 (book covers link to the review if I wrote one):

 


Honorable mention goes to one young adult book I read:

 


For more stats and updates about my 2018 reading year, I've already included some ramblings in the 24 Festive Tasks updates, as well as a brief rambling with some 2019 forecasts in a separate post.

Ani's 2019 Reading Challenges | With a short 2018 reflection
24 Festive Tasks | Door 22: New Year's Eve -- (See first two Tasks: 2018/2019 ramblings)
24 Festive Tasks | Door 7: Mawlid -- (Task 1: prophesying for 2019)
24 Festive Tasks | Door 19: Festivus -- (Task 1: the airing of grievances 2018)
24 Festive Tasks | Door 9: Thanksgiving Day -- (Task 1: books I'm most thankful for in 2018)

The post for Thanksgiving was written before I read Chasing Fire by Pamela Clare, and I'm too lazy to update the post with the new book, so I'm leaving as is.  After all, I'm fairly thankful for The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson just as well.

A few other tidbit stats for 2018:
-- I read 17 books 2018 releases.
-- I read 19 new-to-me authors.
-- My most read author was Jayne Ann Krentz!
-- I read 86 print novels (digital and physical)
-- I listened to 9 audio books.
-- I read a total of 29,037 pages.
-- I listened to a total of 83:17:52 hours of books.
-- The longest work I read was 544 pages (Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier)
-- The shortest work I read was 3 pages (Madame Esmeralda Makes a Prediction by Courtney Milan)
-- The longest audio book I listened to was 15:10:16 hours (Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton)
-- The shortest audio book I listened to was 6:14:03 hours (Endless Night by Agatha Christie)


And now moving onto the December Wrap Up!

 

 

December Reads

 

 

 

Books Dropped/Put On Hold

 

None this month!  Yay!

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

December Reading Stats

 

Total works read: 8

  • 4 print/e-book novels
  • 3 audio books
  • 1 anthology


Average rating: 3.35 Stars

  • Highest Rated:  Chasing Fire by Pamela Clare // 4.5 Stars
  • Lowest Rated:  Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh // 1.5 Stars


Series I started reading:

  • None!

 

Series I completed:

  • None!

 

Series I have made progress on:

  • Discworld by Terry Pratchett
  • Colorado High Country by Pamela Clare


Favorite reads:  As we can see, my highest rated book this month was Chasing Fire by Pamela Clare.  Always a delight, her books are, when they don't get overly schmaltzy, and Chasing Fire was thought-provoking and heart-warming and thrilling!

Disappointing reads:  My lowest rated book was Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh, but my biggest disappointment would actually have to be Amanda Quick's Scandal.  It had the charm and wit of an Amanda Quick book, but I couldn't stand the characters.

 

Reviews & Notable Posts

 

Reviews Written

 

Memes

 

Other Posts

 

 

Coming Up In January

 

Tentative TBR

 

 

 

Other Stuff

So I've listed most of my goals in one of the posts I listed above--I won't go through them again.  For the most part, I'm taking a different approach to my reading year this time around, and hoping that things will work out better.  No more reading slumps!

Meanwhile, January will hopefully be a great start to a new reading year, as I'm super fired up to start jumping into several reads, starting with the ones I've listed above... and then some.  I will be reading the two Amanda Quick books and the two Julie Garwood books for my Reading Assignment challenge for January.  Cold Dark Places is a book I've been meaning to read, but hadn't gotten to yet.  And the rest of the books, the Mary Stewart and the two Phyllis A. Whitney books are books I've had checked out from the library, hoping to get them read.

Meanwhile, I've already started reading The Anatomist's Wife and The Neverending Story for the Reading Assignment challenge.

January will also be boasting two readathons:  24in48 (January 26 & 27) and Bout of Books (Jan. 7 to  13).  I'm hoping to be able to post regular updates, but my plans in the past always ended up falling through, so we'll play by ear.

I will also be rolling over series for my 2019 Personal Series Challenge, and continuing this project once again!  A tentative listing of series will be forthcoming!

 

 

2018 Wrap-Ups 

 

Past Monthly Reading Wrap Ups (2016 / 2017)
See Also: 2015 Reading Wrap-Up posts (scroll to bottom of page)

(updated as year progresses by month)
January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/01/monthly-reading-wrap-up-december-2018.html
2019 Reading Assignment | Spring Semester Courses!
Michelle and Berls @ Because Reading



This post and subsequent updates will be linked at 2019 Reading Assignment Challenge Page (link coming soon).

It looks like there has been a nice new twist to the Reading Assignment Challenge for 2019!  And while I'd been still considering joining this challenge, I was kind of wary of how I'd go about it.

But with these new changes, I have to admit, I'm kind of fired up!

From Because Reading:

This year you'll be registering for classes that fit your reading goals.  And the best part?  You're only registering for a semester at a time!  The spring semester is January - May 2019.  You'll come back in May to register for your summer classes (June-August 2019).  And again in August to register for your fall classes (September - December).  You can register for the same classes all year if you want, but you can also switch it up, depending on your life and goals.

 

 

And to add onto that, we get three different Professor's courses we can register for:

 

Professor AuthorLuv
Professor AuthorLuv used to have her own school, where her students we're required to pick a favorite author and commit to reading all their books over the course of a year (aka The AuthorLuv Challenge).  She's decided to make her life a little easier and just host some classes here instead.  She still wants you to pick a favorite author and commit to reading a certain number of books by that author each month, but she's letting you set your number based on the level course you sign up for.

 

Professor Genre
Professor Genre is all about choosing a genre/theme.  For his classes you'll commit to reading a certain number of books from one genre each month.  Choose your level course to sign up for the number of books you'll read each month.  (theme can be anything from Christmas to reading books with the letter P in the title).

 

Professor Mix-It-Up
Professor Mix-It-Up wants you to have the freedom to mix-it-up.  For her courses you'll commit to reading a certain number of books from a list that you create in the first month of the course.  She's giving you a lot of freedom.  The books can be any genre, any author, any format!  But you have to have your list completed and posted by January 31, 2019 and you have to stick to it.  Choose your level course to sign up for the number of books you'll read each month.

 

 

Reading Levels are now known as either Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced Classes, but the concept is still the same.

 

The Classes:
  • Beginner Class (credits: 1) - In the beginner's course you're committing to reading one book a month per each course.  You'll get an A if you read 1 book by all 5 months, a B if you read 1 book 4 of the months, a C if you read 1 book 3 of the months, and a D if you read 1 book 2 of the months.  The Professor will have to give you an F for anything less.
  • Intermediate Class (credits: 2) - In the intermediate course you're committing to reading two books a month per each course. You'll get an A if you read 2 books all 5 months, a B if you read 2 books 4 of the months, a C if you read 2 books 3 of the months, and a D if you read 2 books 2 of the months.  The Professor will have to give you an F for anything less.
  • Advanced Class (credits: 3) - In the advanced course you're committing to reading three books a month per each course.  You'll get an A if you read 3 books all 5 months, a B if you read 3 books 4 of the months, a C if you read 3 books 3 of the months, and a D if you read 3 books 2 of the months.  The Professor will have to give you an F for anything less.

 

 

And this time we will get graded per semester for each class:

 

Points breakdown
Advanced A - 6 points Intermediate A - 5 points Beginner A - 4 points
Advanced B - 5 points Intermediate B - 4 points Beginner B - 3 points
Advanced C - 4 points Intermediate C - 3 points Beginner C - 2 points
Advanced D - 3 points Intermediate D - 2 points Beginner D - 1 point

 

 

Once again, I'm pretty fired up about this new change in the Reading Assignment Challenge.  And while I had considered just dipping in and doing the Beginner Class for all three Professor's courses, I decided to go all out and dive right into 2019!  Well... sort of.

For Professor AuthorLuv's Course, I will take the Intermediate level Class.
For Professor Genre's Course, I will take the Advanced level Class.
For Professor Mix-It-Up's Course, I will take the Beginner level Class.

This will guarantee that I will need to read at least six books each month, which, in the past, would have been small potatoes.  And if I can stumble my way out of my reading slump, I'll be able to achieve this, so it's more motivation than anything.  I might be over-stepping, but at least it will only be for the first five months, and then I can re-enroll if I'm feeling overwhelmed...  Or advance to higher classes if I'm feeling super confident!

And also... I think I could use a bit more motivation this coming year.  I've been in the mother of all reading slumps since January (yes, a whole year!), with brief moments of improvement, though sparse.  I'd been trying to play it laid back all year so as not to overdo it, but maybe what I really need is some direction...

Maybe.

So we'll see how the year goes.  Or at least how this first spring semester pans out!

For more details, visit the 2019 Reading Assignment Challenge sign up post (linked here and at the beginning).

 

 

My 2019 Spring Semester Reading Assignment Course List:


Professor AuthorLuv - Intermediate Class (credits: 2):  I will be reading books by Amanda Quick.

Professor Genre - Advanced Class (credits: 3):  I will be reading historical fiction books of any sub-type genre (general historical fiction, historical romance, historical mysteries, etc.).

Some of the authors I plan on reading from include: Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Kelly Bowen, Anna Lee Huber, and I especially plan on reading Deanna Raybourn's newest installment of her Victoria Speedwell series, A Dangerous Collaboration.

Professor Mix-It-Up - Beginner's Class (credits: 1):  Below is my finalized reading list for the spring semester.

 


I am going to try not to overlap books between courses.  Since I chose to read Amanda Quick books for Professor AuthorLuv's course, I will not count any of this author's books towards Professor Genre's course until I've completed my assignment that month.  So if I've read two Amanda Quick books towards Professor AuthorLuv's course, a possible third Amanda Quick book will go towards Professor Genre's course to fulfill my requirements there.

As for Professor Mix-It-Up's classes, I've purposely chosen books that cannot count towards either of the other two courses--non-historical and non-Amanda Quick.  In fact, all five of the books on this list are books I already own, if only because I feel like I need to get to reading stuff already on my physical and digital shelves.  Five isn't a whole lot, but it's a start, and I don't want to give myself too many restrictions.

I might be getting a bit over-strict, but I feel like I'd be cheating otherwise.  But in the long run, I feel like I've created a pretty good fail-safe for myself, considering I'm a huge fan of Amanda Quick, and and I've been very much enjoying historical romance novels by the very authors I've listed above.  It's less overwhelming, I feel, when I'm committing myself to books I plan to read anyway!

Anyway, I'm SO ready to get started!

Wish me luck!

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/2019-reading-assignment-spring-semester.html
Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 24
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



My last participation was Bout of Books 19 in May 2017.  That feels like a long time ago.

I know why I don't always participate in these week-long readathons, even though they seem like the most likely readathons I'd join.  I don't really take part in any of the challenges, mini-games, giveaways, and don't really care about any grand prize.

So whether or not I'm participating, I'm still reading.  I think the reason why I participated in the past was just because it seemed fun, and also it served as a way to post and blog about my reading on an almost daily basis without resorting simply to "this is just a general reading update."  And also, the fact that the readathon is happening is constantly in the back of my mind, so I consciously make myself reach for a book in order to accumulate a more impressive number of books read, or number of pages read, in one week than what I would usually get otherwise.

Anyway...  Moving right along.

 

 

Goals


This year, my main goals are pretty simple:
1) Post regular updates, daily... or every other day, maybe.
2) Read at least 3 books.

In past years, it looks like my highest number of read books was six while my lowest number was two.  So I'm going to try to meet myself in the middle somewhere and go for three since it sounds like a reasonable enough number of books read for one week.  I hope.

So... unless my reading slump holds for a while longer, I should be able to complete my goals quite readily.

If I can overshoot my goals, then that's a bonus!

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls


I don't have an exact plan for what I will be reading for this week.  I'm probably going to mood read, and so it's too early to really set a "schedule" per se of my reading.

For January, however, these are books that I am planning on, so I'm hoping to at least get to these if I haven't already read it by the time the readathon starts.  There are books rolled over from this year, 2018, that I hadn't gotten to and would like to finish reading, and then there are books that will count towards my 2019 Reading Challenge.

 


Meanwhile, I will already be starting these two books as soon as the first of January rolls around, so I might still be reading/listening to them, or not.  We'll see how my progress is by the time the readathon actually starts.  These are both books that will be counting towards my 2019 Reading Challenge, specifically.

 



***

I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/read-thon-bout-of-books-24.html
Ani's 2019 Reading Challenges | With a short 2018 reflection



I'm pretty geared up for 2019, reading-wise, and I'm hoping that this fire keeps right on burning.  Every year I always start off with a bit of a reading slump, a slump that rolls over from the last two months of the previous year.

In spite of the fact that I've read 100 books in 2018, it still felt like I was in a massive reading slump for most of the year, especially towards the beginning of the year wherein I my average number of books read per month dropped by half my usual average.  In May, even, I only recorded one book read.  My best month would have to be October, with a recorded 17 books read, wherein I was on a mission to finish reading all the books I'd picked out for Halloween Bingo!

For some more summaries, progress, and updates of 2018's challenges, here is the link to my 2018 Reading Challenges summary page.  It's not entirely updated at this moment, and so I will be going back to get it finalized and updated when the end of the year rolls around in a few days.

For another look at some of my reflection for 2018's reading year as well as a brief glimpse at my 2019 goals, here's the link to the 24 Festive Tasks: New Year's Eve Tasks Update.

As for 2019, I would say that I want to stick with my Laid Back Reading Plans that I'd been trying so hard to manage the past couple years.  But being me, I still ended up dropping into a slump and diving gung ho into reading challenges, projects, and readathons.

So...

I'm just going to go all out and participate in all the challenges I want and all the projects I plan on creating for myself.  I'm going to try not to stress about completing projects, even though I know I probably WILL do as much at some point.  But for the most part, after having NOT gotten full marks on some of my reading challenges in 2018, and realizing that it wasn't the end of the world...  Well, I'm going to probably just approach my challenges as projects or suggestions--rather than making it my goal to complete my challenges with perfect scores, I'm just going to treat them as "reading suggestions" that give me a direction as to what book I may want to pick up next.

If that makes any sense, you know.

So, once again, just make the goals.  Then see where the year takes me.


Goodreads Reading Challenge

My Goal:  150 books
GR shelf:  2019 Reading Challenge

I participate in a numeric challenge every year, and I will be doing so again in 2019 via GR since, for me, it's easier to track books there.  I'm going to keep a 150 book goal this year, just as I'd started with in 2018.  It's a big motivator, and I'm fired up to make it in 2019, even if 2018 I fell short of 50 books... which doesn't show on my GR challenge page because I decreased my goal halfway through the year...

GR doesn't have its page up yet, so I'll update with a logo and a link later.


2019 Reading Assignment Challenge

hosted by Michelle and Berls @ Because Reading is better than real life
My 2018 Reading Assignment Challenge Summary Page
Spring Semester Goals:

  • Professor AuthorLuv - Intermediate Class (2 books/month) - Amanda Quick books
  • Professor Genre - Advanced Class (3 books/month) - Historical fiction
  • Professor Mix-It-Up - Beginner's Class (1 book/month) - pre-chosen list

Fall and Summer Semester Goals:  TBR
GR shelf:  2019 Reading Assignment Challenge

I have participated in the Reading Assignment Challenge since 2015, starting with the most difficult level for the first two years, but cutting down to easier levels the past two years.  But 2019 has a new spin that I really like, so I'm sort of going in with a mediocre/high difficulty level.

Links coming soon when I get my summary page and announcement post finalized and published.


2019 Mount TBR Challenge

hosted by My Reader's Block
My Goal:  Mount Vancouver -- Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
GR shelf:  2019 Mt TBR Pile Challenge

As per usual, books read must be owned prior to the start of the year.

I seem to have the best luck with Mount Vancouver, and since I'm not exactly an ambitious climber, and also because I DO enjoy borrowing books from the library, I'll stick with this goal.  Even though the goal  If I can claim Mt. Vancouver and advanced toward's Mt. Ararat (48 already owned books), that will be a bonus.


2019 Personal Series Challenge

My tentative book list and challenge announcement
Goal #1:  Finish/Catch Up With 10 series, already started
Goal #2:  Read/Catch Up With 10 series, new to me
Goal #3:  Read 10 1st in a series books

The Personal Series Challenge is more of a project for me than an actual challenge.  It's been one of my biggest goals to finish reading series I'd already started... so it doesn't help if my challenge also involves reading new to me series or reading a 1st in a series.  So I keep my Goal #1 at 10 books to remind myself to get series completed.

After all, there's no way I won't read new to me series, nor will I ever stop starting new series, so why not incorporate these into this challenge as well just to feel a bit of progress?  =D

I will be updating with links to my summary page and tentative series list announcement soon.

 

 



In other news, I will also be participating in a lot of as yet announced reading games and challenges, such as Halloween Bingo and the Festive Tasks games if they happen for 2019!  Also, Because Reading also hosts a Can You Read a Series in a Month? on a random month each year that I also plan on joining, even though I failed pretty badly this November.

Meanwhile, I also plan on participating in the following readathons.

Each year I join 24in48 without hesitation, with hopes that I will someday be able to actually reach 24 hours of reading.  My highest number of hours spent reading so far was 16.5 hours, and I'm really hoping to surpass that for the next 24in48.

 


The next 24in48 is coming up soon, and I've already signed up!  I'll have an announcement post out soon.  And lookie there!  They even have a brand new logo!

 


I have not signed up for Bout of Books yet, and I haven't really been participating in all of them.  But I'm going to go for it this year, and it looks like the next one starts soon.  I'll be working on an announcement and sign up post soon.

I may or may not look up some other challenges as a "suggestion" of sorts for what books to read throughout the year.  And if I'm feeling up for it, might even sign up to participate officially.

But otherwise, this is kind of what I'm looking at for 2019!

 

 

24 Festive Tasks | Update #6
 


SO.  MANY.  UPDATES!

I was bound and determined to finish at least one task for each door and I got there.  I skipped a week of updates, but I was also hoping to get each door's main post published before coming up with an almost-final tally.

I don't think I'm going to mention everything I've updated since the last update post, but mainly, I've managed to finish non-book tasks for Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's, Hogswatch, and Epiphany.  At least five books have been completed since the last update!  And I'm currently reading one more book, Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts which looks like it'll have to slide into the Bon Om Touk book task, having water on the cover.

If I can finish Shelter in Place, I may jump into Cold Dark Places by Kylie Brant for the St. Lucia's Day book task, for a book released in November or December of this year.

But otherwise, I may or may not complete a couple more tasks given time and my motivation to update.

 

 

The Festive Card:

 

 

Peek-a-Boo Penni Claus = Completed Book Task
Magnetic "Elfin" Monkey = Completed Non-Book Tasks

 

 

My Progress:


Overall Total Points Earned:  75
Books Read:  12
Tasks Completed:  63

Update Posts:
24 Festive Tasks | Ani's Tracking Post Randomness
24 Festive Tasks | Update #1
24 Festive Tasks | It's Monday! Style - Random Book Update #1
24 Festive Tasks | Update #2
24 Festive Tasks | Update #3
24 Festive Tasks | It's Monday! Style - Random Book Update #2
24 Festive Tasks | Update #4
24 Festive Tasks | Update #5

 


**For my own sanity purposes, I will link the main post for each door at the top of each table.  All tasks listed under 'My Activity' will more than likely be found at the main post; otherwise, the link will be included for that particular task if a separate post is published outside of the main post, such as book reviews.  Thanks!**

 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico. Read:
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
12/10/2018
Task 1 Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice. -- SKIP-- I don't poem... XX
Task 2 Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one). Posted Activity:
Two epitaphs found - one with Kay's fudge recipe
11/04/2018
Task 3 Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged. -- SKIP -- No ideas for this one XX
Task 4 If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it. Posted Activity:
Tamales at home for lunch!
11/10/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning. Read:
Chasing Fire by Pamela Clare
12/21/2018
Task 1 Burn a book in effigy. Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)? Posted:
Chose book: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
11/05/2018
Task 2 List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books. Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst. Posted:
1) Burning; 2) Defacing; 3) Borrowing and not returning, or returning damaged
11/05/2018
Task 3 Share your favorite / most memorable BBQ recollections or recipe, or your favorite recipe for food “flambé” (i.e., doused with alcohol which is then set aflame and allowed to burn off). Posted:
Korean BBQ for the wins!
11/05/2018
Task 4 Find 5 uses of the word “gunpowder” in book titles in contexts other than for blowing up things or shooting people (e.g., Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs = tea). -- Will probably SKIP this one -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book About horses or a horse on the cover. Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia. Possible Reads:
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
TBA
Task 1 Pick your ponies! MbD will post the horses scheduled to race as soon as they’re released; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order). Finished Activity:
Horses chosen / Winners announced / no bonus points
11/06/2018
Task 2 Cup day is all about the hats. Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not. Posted:
My cadet hat and my 'This is my happy face' hat!
11/06/2018
Task 3 The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across? Posted:
Jello as hair dye.  A short memory from high school
12/17/2018
Task 4 Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)? Tell us about it. Photos welcome, too! Posted Activity:
My first horse track racing experience in Dallas!
11/06/2018

 


 

Door 4:  Diwali (November 7)
Total Points Earned:  2

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series) Possible Read:
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
TBA
Task 1 Share a picture of your favorite light display. -- Gonna just SKIP -- XX
Task 2 Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos. OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information.  (If in doubt, see here: State of the Database: BookLikes database, Halloween Bingo, and a mini-rant - with pictures.). -- Probably going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 3 Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us. Posted Activity:
So many sweet soups!
11/25/2018
Task 4 During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower.  Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images. Posted Activity:
Five books with young women holding flower; found with some difficulty, but successful!
11/08/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover. Read on 11/11/18 / retroactively claimed:
The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
12/17/2018
Task 1 Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy. Take a pic of your efforts and post. Posted Activitiy:
The Penni Book Cover Poppy!!  With Monkey, too!
11/13/2018
Task 2 Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year. -- SKIPPING this one -- XX
Task 3 Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)? Posted:
Jayne Ann Krentz / Honorable Mention goes to Jill Shalvis
11/13/2018
Task 4 Treat yourself to a slice of poppy seedcake and post a photo. If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe:
Poppy Seed Cake @ tastesbetterfromscratch.com
… or this one:
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake @ bbcgoodfood.com
-- SKIPPING this one too -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone. (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it. Posted Activity:
Chose book, This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
11/19/2018
Task 2 Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you? (Insta-love? Love triangles? First person present narrative voice? Talking animals? The dog dies? What else?) Posted Activity:
Long-winded talk about 5 tropes -- see main post
11/19/2018
Task 3 The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO). Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers. -- Going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 4 UNESCO is based in Paris. Paris is known for its pastries and its breads: Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us. Posted Activity:
French Macaroons!!
11/19/2018

 


 

Door 7:  Mawlid (November 20)
Total Points Earned:  5

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover. Read:
Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets - an Audible original
12/27/2018
Task 1 Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life. Posted:
Prophesies for cleaning and purging!
11/20/2018
Task 2 The Five Pillars of Islam include almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka. Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed? Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you? Posted:
I have donated books to the library and Goodwill!
11/20/2018
Task 3 Prophets are messengers. Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)? Posted:
Messengers chosen: 1) Hedwig / 2) Ponies / 3) GLaDOS... Oh My!
11/20/2018
Task 4 Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader. List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change. Posted:
5 characters listed -- see main door post above
11/20/2018

 


 

Door 8:  Penance Day (November 21)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 “Confess” your book habits. Dog-earring? Laying books face down? Bending back the spines? Skimming? OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads. Posted:
Habits confessed!  And also, comfort reads are obviously Romantic Suspense, right?
11/24/2018
Task 2 It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband: post a picture of your favorite team’s logo / mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not). -- SKIPPING -- COMPLETED
I don't sports... but...
Per our lovely game host, I get to count my 'Team Book Nerd' pennant!
11/24/2018
Task 3 In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes). Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it? Posted:
Everyday is a bad hair day.
11/24/2018
Task 4 Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert. If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it. Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!). -- Probably SKIP -- XX

 


 

Door 9:  Thanksgiving (November 22)
Total Points Earned:  5

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story. Read:
Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh
12/09/2018
Task 1 List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better. Posted:
Listed books!  Four total instead of three.
11/25/2018
Task 2 Describe your perfect meal. What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you? Posted:
Chinese seafood banquet feast!
11/25/2018
Task 3 Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”. Posted:
Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright // Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts
12/13/2018
Task 4 Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way. Posted:
About 20+ books listed
11/25/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Make a paper boat and post a picture of it. Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA Posted Activity:
Fleet of ships!
And a Supplementary Post!
11/26/2018
Task 2 If you’ve ever attended a procession or an event involving festively decked out boats, post a picture and tell us about it. -- SKIP! --
I've never attended one of these.
XX
Task 3 Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season. Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading? Photos welcome! Posted:
Any books! But especially Rom-Suspense. With hot tea and sweets.
11/26/2018
Task 4 Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”? Posted:
Characters/books chosen - see main post.
11/26/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)? Posted:
The sin: Not respecting the craft.
12/01/2018
Task 2 Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share? Photos welcome but optional. Posted:
A random Mothers' Day memory.
12/01/2018
Task 3 Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe. Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes?  Post a photo if you should still own them. Posted:
Oh my, shoes!  I love shoes!  I have a lot of shoes!
12/01/2018
Task 4 Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us. Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html In Progress:
Going to try this one.
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series.  OR: Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers.  OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to scotland.org). Read:
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
12/18/2018
Task 1 Nominate someone for sainthood.  Who?  Why? -- SKIP -- XX
Task 2 St Andrew is revered in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, where he worked as a Christian missionary, long before his relics were brought to Scotland centuries later. – Tell us: Is there a book (regardless whether fiction or nonfiction) for which you would basically walk up to strangers and tell them: “Read this!”? What would you say and do to get people to read that particular book? Posted Thoughts:
I'm not likely to recommend books, to be honest.
12/06/2018
Task 3 Legend has it that the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross (white on an azure background) – which constitutes the national flag of Scotland – originated as a cloud formation, symbolizing St. Andrew’s being crucified on an X-shaped cross rather than an upright one.  Do you have any pictures of unusual cloud formations?  If so, share them with us! -- Gonna SKIP -- XX
Task 4 The town of St. Andrews, where the saint’s bones ended up in the course of the spread of Christianity to Scotland, is also famous for its golf course and tournament.  List your 3 favorite books where golf is key to the plot. -- SKIP, most likely -- XX

 


 

Door 13:  Advent (December 1)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent. Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title. Possible Reads:
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
TBA
Task 1 Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade. Posted:
It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere!
12/06/2018
Task 2 The holidays season is in full swing – tell us: What’s your favorite tradition? Posted:
No real traditions...
12/06/2018
Task 3 The tradition of carol singing in the Advent / holiday season is linked to the old Anglo-Saxon (and medieval) custom of wassailing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing). Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit. Post a picture and enjoy! Posted:
The Wassail... pot...  With spiced wine!
12/22/2018
Task 4 Make your own Advent wreath and share a picture of it. Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw83CCa2cg -- SKIP, SKIP, SKIP! --
Nope, nope, nope...
XX

 


 

Door 14:  Hanukkah (December 2 - 10)
Total Points Earned:  4

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel. OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title. Read on 11/10/18 / retroactively claimed:
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
12/01/2018
Task 1 Have you had any miracles in your life?  (Kids are a given.)  Just enough change for tolls?  Just enough gas to get you to the station?  Been tragically late for a flight only to find the flight was even more tragically delayed?  Nothing is too small - share your miracles with us! Posted:
Lots of miracles.
12/07/2018
Task 2 Light 9 candles each representing something you’re thankful for (share a picture with us; sharing anything else is optional). In Progress:
Need more candles...
TBA
Task 3 Have a donut – and let us share it via a photo. Homemade donuts and shared recipes encouraged … but any donut will do just fine. Posted:
Had a donut!  It was chocolate!
12/07/2018
Task 4 A miracle crucial to Hanukkah is the Miracle of the cruse of oil, which concerns a jug of oil that (ostensibly) only contained enough oil for a single day, but miraculously turned out to last all of eight days. – Miracles aside, tell us: Have you ever experienced that something you had bought or you owned lasted a lot longer than anticipated … or where you expected a shortage which then fortuitously didn’t occur after all? Posted:
Work place supplies... and at home everlasting conditioner.
12/07/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book with an orange or red cover or with nuts, chocolate or coins on the cover, set in The Netherlands or Germany, by a Dutch or German author, or with canals or beer on the cover. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Write a book wish list to St. Nick. Posted:
One big list, coming right up!
12/11/2018
Task 2 You are King / Queen for the day and can have 3 ‘wishes’: one for yourself, one for your community (however you define it), and one for the world: What are they? -- Possible SKIP -- XX
Task 3 If your holiday family traditions should include bowls or plates filled with gingerbread, cookies, oranges / tangerines, chocolate, nuts and the like, share a photo with us! -- Possible SKIP -- XX
Task 4 List your 3 favorite books involving children being rescued from serious peril. Posted:
Including: 'The Graveyard Book', 'Ghost Bride' & 'Seraphina'
12/11/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book with strong female characters, or written by an author from any minority group; any story about a minority overcoming their oppressors either individually or as a group. OR: A book set in New York City. Read on 11/27/18 / retroactively claimed:
Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien
12/17/2018
Task 1 Book hunt for human rights: Search your shelves for books with titles containing human rights words such as (but not limited to): hope, friendship, equality, justice, love, liberty, etc. Put them in a stack and take a picture for posting. (5 book minimum). Posted:
The shelf of 'Love' posted!
12/18/2018
Task 2 This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Find 3 books on your shelves with protagonists or other key characters who are -- or can reasonably be assumed to be -- 70 years or older. Posted:
Books include: 'Jurassic Park', 'Harry Potter', and 'The Shadowy Horses'
12/12/2018
Task 3 The symbol of Human Rights Day is the dove, which in its incarnation as a homing pigeon is also renowned for its navigational skills. – Tell us: Did you ever get so thoroughly lost (either in the days before GPS or because GPS, for whatever reason, was of no use to you) that you wished you had a homing pigeon to guide you? Posted:
Lost in Kansas City... but not really... in which the GPS gets us lost.
12/12/2018
Task 4 Human Rights Day was declared by the U.N. General Assembly, whose seat is in New York City. Treat yourself to a Manhattan (classic recipe: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/manhattan-2/; virgin [non-alcoholic] recipes: https://www.anallievent.com/virgin-manhattan/, http://www.1001cocktails.com/recipes/mixed-drinks/800238/cocktail-virgin-manhattan.html, and https://www.liquor.com/recipes/not-manhattan/) or to a bagel or pastrami sandwich and share a photo with us. Planned Activity:
Maybe a bagel or a non-alcoholic Manhattan.
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, or by a Northern European / Nordic author, or a book newly released in November or December of this year. Planned Read:
Cold Dark Places by Kylie Brant
TBA
Task 1 In honor of the Icelandic Jólabókaflóðið / Yule Book Flood tradition, create a (virtual or physical) “book flood” and post a picture of it. Possible Activities:
Work in progress
TBA
Task 2 Bake a Swedish lussebulle (saffron bun – instructions and recipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWSs-vQX0AI) or prepare some other dish containing saffron. -- Possible SKIP -- XX
Task 3 Create a “crown of light” from book covers prominently featuring a lighted candle. Possible Activities:
Work in progress
TBA
Task 4 Guess (scout’s honor, NO GOOGLING!): Did the Gävle Goat survive this year?  For background: The Gävle Goat is a straw effigy erected in Gävle, Sweden, every year at the beginning of Advent.  It is infamous for being burned down ahead of time, which as of Advent 2017 has happened in 37 of the 51 years of the tradition’s existence. – The Yule goat lore in turn goes back all the way to the Norse myths, where the god Thor rode a chariot drawn by two goats, and to ancient Indo-European and proto-Slavic beliefs according to which the harvest god appeared in the shape of a goat.  Possibly, it is also linked with Santa Claus and his reindeer-driven sled. Posted:
My guess is that it did not survive (I didn't Google anything!), based on the odds that it seems to have been burned down more times than not.
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book that takes place in December; OR with ice or snow on the cover; OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox; OR a collection of poetry by Hafez Read:
Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh
11/17/2018
Task 1 Bibliomancy: Grab one of your larger books and flip to the indicated page and line number to answer the following questions - then post those answers for us:
(See the questions in the main post linked above.)
Posted:
See Main Door Post for questions and answers.
Used The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.
12/17/2018
Task 2 Tell us: What book did you read this year that felt like it was never going to end? Posted:
The book I thought would never end: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte
12/17/2018
Task 3 Round up a herd of reindeer on book covers and in book illustrations. Posted:
Reindeer herded!
12/17/2018
Task 4 Treat yourself to a bûche de Noel (French Yule log cake) – if you want to try and make it yourself, see recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/buche-de-noel-recipe. -- SKIP -- XX

 


 

Door 19:  Festivus (December 23)
Total Points Earned:  2

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any comedy, parody, or satire Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 It’s the annual airing of grievances!   Time to list the top 5 books that disappointed you the most this year and let us know why! Posted:
Listed 5 books - see main post.
12/18/2018
Task 2 Take a picture of your Festivus Pole (and remember this is a family site). -- SKIP -- XX
Task 3 Have your household scales perform a feat of strength: Place 10 of your heaviest books in a stack on your scales and tell us what their total weight comes to. Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 Google the word “Festivus” and tell us or take a screenshot of what you see at the left border of the results page. Posted:
That silly Festivus Pole on the Google page!
12/18/2018

 


 

Door 20:  Christmas (December 25)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any Christmas book. Read:
How the Dukes Stole Christmas anthology
12/24/2018
Task 1 Post a picture of your Christmas decorations. Posted:
Presenting all the ornaments, and cork dog!
12/27/2018
Task 2 Tell us: If you could share Christmas dinner with any author (dead or alive), who would it be? Posted:
J.K. Rowling or Susanna Kearsley
12/27/2018
Task 3 Watch a favorite Christmas movie. -- SKIP -- XX
Task 4 Create or recreate a short text relating to Christmas (poem, carol, wish list, season’s greetings, etc.) from the titles of books on your bookshelves. -- SKIP -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean; OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author; OR a book with a green, red, or black cover. Possible Reads:
-- Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
-- Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 “Africa” was originally the name of the Roman province originating from the North African empire of Carthage, which was mythologically founded by Queen Dido and blossomed into Ancient Rome’s only lasting opponent and nemesis (until it was finally conquered by Rome in the Punic Wars). So: who are your five favorite book heroes and their respective nemeses? Posted:
Listed / See Main Post
12/27/2018
Task 2 In Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, the “Finis Africae” is the hidden center of the labyrinth which constitutes the monastery’s library, protected by a number of intricate, misdirecting devices. Tell us: Where have you recently encountered clever misdirection or a labyrinthine plot in a book? Posted:
Endless Night by Agatha Christie -- what an ending!
12/27/2018
Task 3 Tell us: If you could travel to Africa (for those living on the African continent: to a part of Africa that you don’t know yet): Where would you want to go? Posted:
I wanna go to Morocco... and lots of other places!
12/27/2018
Task 4 Have a meal involving vegetables (= crops) and / or corn, or another form of traditional Kwanzaa dinner. Recipe suggestions here: https://kwanzaaculinarians.com/ -- SKIP -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM! Read:
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte
11/06/2018
Task 1 Your 2019 Book Goals: what are they? Posted:
See Main Post
12/27/2018
Task 2 2018 Reading Year in Review. Tell us about your year in books: happy? disappointed? Posted:
See Main Post
12/27/2018
Task 3 New Year’s Book Lottery: Write the names of the first 5 books you’re planning to read in 2019 onto identical pieces of paper, fold them, place them in a bowl (or bucket, jar, box, etc.), and draw one to determine the very first book you’re going to start in the new year. Posted:
See Main Post
12/27/2018
Task 4 Find a bakery that sells Krapfen (German deep-fried sweet dough dumplings) or make them yourself (recipe here: https://germangirlinamerica.com/rheinische-ol-krapfen-new-year/) and enjoy with a glass of champagne or non-alcoholic bubbly drink – but first, take and post a photo of them! -- SKIP -- XX

 


 

Door 23:  Hogswatch (December 32)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read anything by Terry Pratchett Read:
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
12/20/2018
Task 1 glingleglingleglingle – if you could wish any kind of god(dess) into existence, what would they be in charge of? Dusting? Weeding? We’re not aiming high here… tell us! Posted:
The God or Goddess of Free Metabolism!
12/28/2018
Task 2 Tell us: Did you or any kids you know ever have a funny or weird (the good sort of weird) encounter with a department store Santa, um, Hogfather? -- SKIP -- XX
Task 3 Which children’s myth / mythical character (Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc.) did you never believe in even when you were little? Posted:
See Main Post
12/28/2018
Task 4 Discworld features a number of inventions that mirror our world’s technology but work according to Discworld’s very own specifications; e.g., Hex, the ant-powered sapient thinking machine (computer) and a demon-powered picture box (camera). What other invention from our world would you have liked to see appearing in Discworld and how might it have worked there? -- SKIP -- XX

 


 

Door 24:  Epiphany (January 6)
Total Points Earned:  2

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with three main characters; OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place; OR a book that's part of a trilogy; OR with a star on the cover; OR with the word "twelve" or "night" in the title; OR concerning kings or spices Possible Read:
Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 Tell us: What’s your favorite trilogy? Posted:
His Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers
12/29/2018
Task 2 Chalking the door is an Epiphany tradition in some places, to bless a home for the coming year. Different patterns exist, with different meanings. If you could create your own pattern to bless your house next year, what would it look like? Posted:
Lucky cats!
12/29/2018
Task 3 Compile a post containing one image for every gift mentioned / added in each new verse of The Twelve Days of Christmas (lyrics here: https://www.41051.com/xmaslyrics/twelvedays.html). Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 Prepare your favorite spicy dish or holiday drink containing spices and share a photo. Also sharing the recipe is optional but welcome! Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-update-6.html

currently reading

Progress: 23/284pages
Progress: 15%