Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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13 Ways to ROCK Your 2020 Reading Challenge

Hello lovers of books and bacon!

Kimber here. I’m taking over for Mom today. Cuz she’s buried in a new book. Again.

But there was this New Year thingy last week. It’s a human thing. Big booms. Silly hats. A nice ham dinner. Bacon. Leftovers…

Wait. Where was I?

Oh yeah. New Year’s.

It seems there’s this Reading Challenge thing around New Year’s. It makes the rounds of the reading world every January. “That’s now,” says Mom. (She’s a genius. Like me.)

Anyway, I’m supposed to ask if you are or will participate in this year’s Reading Challenge? Like, how many books do you plan to read this year?

No Frisbee throwing involved. No special treats. Or bacon. So I’m not really sure what the point is. But I guess some people like to do reading challenging. They like to challenge themselves to read more pages or books than they did last year.

So here are some ideas Mom and I came up with to help you do that. (Well, it was mostly me. Mom helped. A little. She’s read every title recommended. But I did the heavy lifting. You know, snoozing in her lap while she reads. To keep her company. It must work. She read 383 books in 2018. No, really. I was there.)

13 Ways to ROCK Your 2020 Reading Challenge. Read a book:

  1. By a local author

Of course this depends on where you live.

Suggestions (Northwest):

  1. Told from an animal’s POV

Suggestions:

  1. That you can read in one day-ish

Suggestions:

  1. That’s been adapted for the stage, the silver screen, or as a television series

Suggestions:

  1. Set in a place you always wanted to visit or learn more about

Suggestions:

  1. Inspirational/Personal Development

Suggestions:

  1. A cook book (learn some new recipes and enjoy some new food!)

Suggestions:

  1. An award winner

Suggestions:

  1. That was published 50 years ago or more

Suggestions:

  1. An historical novel

Suggestions:

  1. A biography or memoir

Suggestions:

  1. An action/adventure outdoor story or thriller

Suggestions:

  1. Connected to your family heritage or culture

Suggestions:

Whew. Mom wants to keep going. But I think I need a nap. Who’s with me?

Are you doing a 2020 reading challenge?


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Celebrating ~200 Books in 6 Months!

“We did it, Kimmi!” Mom crowed this morning. “Time to par-tay!!

Mom’s so pumped today.  She’s flitting around the house, practically dancing. So embarrassing.

Wait. Someone say “another dog biscuit?” Okay. Any time I get extra treats must be a good time. And you know I’m always up for a good time.

So, what’s the occasion? Mom says, “We just about reached our 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge today! Almost 200 books from January 1 to June 30. That’s nearly our entire goal for the year in just six months! Woo-hoo!”

Anything for a party.

The exact number of books we’ve read in six months is 198. (That’s what the ~ means in the title. It means “almost.”) Short. Medium. Long. And I’m not talking fur coats, if ya know what I mean.

You can read more here. Also:

Judging from the extra treats, that must mean something. Something really good.

You know I like to help. I’m a Helper Extraordinaire, according to Her Mom-ness. Not sure what means. All I did was curl up in her lap and keep her company through like, eight zillion pages. (That counts, even though I spent most of the time snoozing, right?) I walked to the library with her so many times, I thought we were changing addresses. And listened to like, seven zillion audio books. Helped her figure out Overdrive.

Hmmm. Now that I think about it, I did a lot to help Mom reach this part of her Reading Challenge. There’s no telling what she’s going to do the rest of the year. Got any ideas?

Me? I just hope she doesn’t ask me to Cha-Cha. Oh dear…

 


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Reading Challenge 2.0: Why I’m Going Back to Square One

If you’re on Goodreads, you probably know the average Reading Challenge for 2018 is about 51 books in 12 months. I read 136 books in 92 days for last summer’s adult reading program with the library. So what was a realistic but stretch-worthy goal for 12 months?

I set my goal at 200 books for the year. I was cruising along pretty well, picking up steam. The “brass ring” was in sight – six months early.

Until today.

Let me explain. First the not so good news. Followed by the good news and some reading highlights thus far.

The Not-so-Good News:

I was closing in on my target goal of 200 books. I went to my Goodreads account today to add a few more completed titles to bring my total to 181. Suddenly, my reading progress vanished. Gone. Poof!

Has this happened to you?

Because not a single title entered over the past five-plus months remains in my Reading Challenge. Zip. Zero. Nada. I know the site was having trouble cataloging dates and updates. But zeroing out 181 books just like that?!

Well I’ll be et fer a tater.

I can’t possibly recreate the entire list from memory. (Yes, I reported the matter to Goodreads. No solution yet.)

The Good News:

Of course I’m discouraged. Not to mention a wee bit miffed. But I’m still reading. And while it’s not exactly cheery to have five+ months of titles wiped out due to “technical difficulties,” I’m going to keep reading. In fact, I’m aiming for another target. Think of it as Reading Challenge 2.0:

200 additional titles by the end of the year.

How does that sound? (Good thing I took a few screen shots awhile back, eh?)

Meanwhile, from some prior notes I jotted down, here are some highlights from my Reading Challenge 2018 (before The Great Poofery struck):

Most Whimsical or Disarmingly Charming:

What-the-Dickens, by Gregory Maguire.

A natural disaster, three kids, a 21 y.o. Language Arts cousin/babysitter. Skibbereens and a flying thing nsmed “Pepper” with lots of sass. Teeth. What’s not to love?

The Faerieground series, by Beth Bracken and Kay Fraser.

Twelve quick, enchanting reads about BFFs Soli and Lucy. One is far more than she seems at first glance, esp, when soneone’s made a wish inside the Willow Forest!

Most Interesting Biogs or Autobiogs:

New York to Paris – Charles A. Lindbergh.

Flying by instruments-only through fog at 1,500nft. over the Mid-Atlantic? Ay! Yi! Yi! Also white caps, porpoises, and “Which way is Ireland?”, the London-Paris runway and the Eiffel Tower.

Man O’ War – Walter Farley

Gripping Historical fiction about one of the greatest Thoroughbred champions to ever set hooves on a race track.

Creepiest

Look For Me By Moonlight.

Forget the silver stakes and garlic. Find an artist friend with a cliffside workshop and a hot stove! And whatever you do, don’t fall for some sweet-talking “30 something” dude in black who comes to stay at your Dad’d rustic, isolated inn in thd dead of winter!

172 Hours on the Moon – Johan Harstad

After yeats of budget cuts and stalled space exploration, NASA is going back to the moon, this time with three teens aboard. Once they hit the lunar surface, everything goes sideways. And astronauts start dying. Will Mia, Midori or Antoine ever see earth again?

Most Intriguing or Surprising

The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Mary E. Pearson

Hauntingly poignant and powerful, this intriguing story explores family relationships, bio/medical ethics, how far a parent might go to save a loved one, and what it means to be “human.” Earned a rare five-star rating from me.

Fairest – Marissa Meyer

A taut, compelling tale dripping with palace intrigue, rivalry and jealousy, misplaced love, blind ambition and utter corruption. Masterfully crafted. Couldn’t put it down!

Anchor in the Storm – Sarah Sundlin.

Finally. A “romance”” novel that isn’t a romp through the local garbage dump.

This uplifting, engaging story offers solid characters who are both winsome and flawed. They’re wholesome without being sappy. The clever “whodunit” plot has perfect pacing while the love story deftly combines faith, hope, tenacity, and integrity. Superb historical fiction plus plenty of surprising plot twists to keep you guessing!

Old Faves:

Just about anything by Marguerite Henry, C.W. Anderson, and Scott O’Dell.

Note About My Reviews: I hold to the axiom: “The repeated use of profanity is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Hence, no book that uses same gets high marks from me. Ever. Far as I’m concerned, if an author can’t express him/herself without “turning the air blue,” then s/he is a lousy, lazy author. Period.

Now. Back to square one. And a new Reading Challenge.

How’s yours coming?