Friday, January 1, 2021

Color-Coded Reading Challenge 2021

 Bev at My Reader's Block hosts this fun challenge, which you can read all about and sign up for here. Over the years I have really enjoyed finding books to fit this challenge, with brown being the most challenging overall. I'll update this post with links as I fill in the categories.

Read nine books in the following categories:

1. A book with "Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc.) in the title/on the cover. 

2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc.) in the title/on the cover.

3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) in the title/on the cover. 

4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc.) in the title/on the cover.

5. A book with  "Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Beige, Sand, etc.) in the title/on the cover.

6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc.) in the title/on the cover.

7. A book with "White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc.) in the title/on the cover. 

8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Magenta, Pink, etc.).

9. A book with a word that implies color in the title/on the cover (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Shadow, Paint, Ink, etc.).

It's my 10th Blogaversary!!

Happy Birthday to this blog!! 10 YEARS!! I am honestly shocked to my core that I have managed to keep this blog going in any fashion for an entire decade. WOW! 

Since the last several years have not been great for reading for me, this year I am going to do my 2 favorite reading challenges: The Color-Coded Reading Challenge and the Mount TBR Challenge, but I am not going to do them "officially" by signing up and etc. I'll make a separate post for the Color-Coded Challenge so I can start all over with that one, but I will just continue last year's Mount TBR post and keep posting books to that. Links here:

New Color-Coded

Continuing Mount TBR

I don't really do New Year resolutions, but this year I decided to set goals each month - things like drink a certain amount of water each day, take a certain amount of steps each day, and of course read at least 1 book per month. I'm hoping that keeps me on track. 

What are your plans for reading in 2021? 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 - The Year in Reading

It appears that I didn't do a year-end wrap-up post for 2019, so I can't review my goal, but I'm sure I would have said something like "read 1 book per month" so I guess I managed that. 

This year wasn't much of an improvement in my reading habits, but considering how this year was overall.... I won't go on and on; sufficient to say I read a total of 15 books, for an average of at least 1 per month, which ... will have to do, ha ha. Nine of these books were from the TBR Pile, so that is a victory. I didn't complete either of the reading challenges I created posts for, so I hope I can do better than that next year. 

For 2021 - this blog's 10 year anniversary, which is BANANAS - I think I will do the Color-Coded and Mount TBR Challenges again (assuming Bev is hosting again), as I would like to continue to concentrate on that TBR Pile for the most part. I also received a couple books as gifts that I am looking forward to reading. I'll aim for at least 1 book per month as a baseline goal and go from there. 

As always, I wish all of my readers a happy, healthy 2021 - it HAS to be better than 2020, right?? 

What are your goals for 2021?

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Some general thoughts

This has been a rough month in some ways and a good one in others. At the beginning of the month, I was feeling very down about the general situation - how can so many people be so easily taken in by a moronic snake oil salesman that has done nothing for them?!?!? It's really difficult for me to grasp, and rather depressing. I feel more hopeful now so I guess we will see what 2021 brings. I did some comfort re-reading over the past couple of weeks but I won't log it. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Rosemary's Baby - the 1968 film (Spoilers!)

**NOTE: as I mention frequently on this blog, I usually do all I can to avoid any kind of spoilers on my blog. However, in order to review the movie in some kind of meaningful way, I would like to make comparisons to the book, which will involve giving away key plot points and etc. If you are planning to read the book or see the film and wish to avoid spoilers, please avoid this post.**

Oh, and my review of the book in the previous post to this one is spoiler-free. 

As I mentioned in my review of the book that was the basis for this movie, I DVRd this movie as an incentive to read the book to clear it off my TBR Pile. Having now watched it, I think this was an excellent adaptation. It kept all of the key plot points from the book, while removing or limiting some extraneous characters (like the sister). One of the biggest differences is that in the book, Rosemary seems to be developing more agency, while in the movie, she is more of a helpless victim. The movie does make the whole "pregancy horror" theme more obvious though. All in all, I can see why this is considered a classic horror film and I'm glad I have now seen it. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin

For some reason, despite planning to read this in October for years, I never made it happen. This year I happened to see that the movie version was playing on TV, so I DVRd it, and figured it was a great opportunity to do a review of both versions. 

This was indeed a CREEPY book. There is an overall sense of impending... something that pervades each page as the story unfolds, which builds and builds up until the payoff. It is a deceptively fast read that I suspect would be a good re-read - maybe I will read it again next October and pay better attention to the details. If you like horror, this is recommended. 

Side note: This was yet another Library Sales find, a vintage copy of the book club version from 1967. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Selection Day - Aravind Adiga

 So here's what I know about cricket: 

-It's a sport

-It's played in many places around the world but mainly those that have had a British presence of some kind

-The uniforms are cool 

-Most people don't understand how it's played, scored, etc. 

Now you know what I had in mind while reading this book, which is set in India and is about two brothers raised by their single-minded, ambitious, and controlling father to become cricket champions. I won't lie, this book wasn't exactly uplifting... among other things, it deals with the realities of privilege, and how people who have the "right" connections have a much easier time to get ahead in life; how a super controlling parent can disrupt a child's development, and push the child to become someone they'd rather not be; and how it's difficult to be "different" in a society that won't readily accept you. In the end, I now know a little more about cricket, and the story has left me thinking about life and the near-cliche Fitzgerald quote about how we're all "borne back ceaselessly into the past." 

As it happens, there was also a Netflix series based on this book, which intrigues me - I will definitely check that out. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Blindspot - Jane Kamensky & Jill Lepore

This book might have the distinction of being the longest resident on my TBR pile. Yet another Library Sale shelves book, the description was intriguing so I picked it up - and then it gathered dust until now. 

This is yet another book that makes me wonder what on earth took me so long to read it. It’s a well written historical novel set in 1760s Boston, and functions as an homage to literature of the period. The authors are both historians and scholars, so they have included wonderful details, like newspaper announcements and stories, and fun wordplay, that really add to the period feel. The authors include slavery and the racism that was rampant in these days (not that it’s gone now, but that’s another blog) and it does make me regret that the founding fathers didn’t eradicate slavery and put their money where their mouths were regarding “all men are created equal” (we won’t touch the status of women, that’s another another blog) when they formed the United States of America. One critique I have of this book is that I could have done with fewer scenes of people “getting busy” if you know what I mean - but that was minor and didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book. 

All in all this was a really fast read that was hard for me to put down. Recommended. 

Side note - reading a book set in 1760 when a tropical storm has knocked out your electricity definitely helps the reader feel as if they are in the book's time period! 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Daughters of the Samurai - Janice P. Nimura

This nonfiction book was un-put-downable. It’s the true story of a group of young daughters of samurai, who were sent to the United States in the 1870s to learn “western ways” and help lead Japan into the 20th century. After a decade, they returned to Japan and worked to reform women’s education. To be honest, I attended one of the schools that one of these young women attended (albeit many years later, ha ha) and I am shocked that I had never heard of this mission or these young women until I stumbled on this book on the Library Sale shelves. It’s an incredible story and the author has told it skillfully and very well indeed. Highly recommended. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

 Confession time! According to the receipt I found in this book, I purchased it all the way back in 2005 - yes, FIFTEEN years ago - ! I remember buying the book, and I remember starting to read it, but for some reason (not lack of interest) I never got around to finishing it, and it ended up on my TBR pile. So much time had passed that I just started over and have finally finished this book. 

After all this time, I guess this book has held up. The premise - “How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” - makes perfect sense, and the author’s description of people who are “connectors” and “mavens” is definitely relatable - I’m sure we all know people like this in our daily lives. And of course, he mentions epidemics and pandemics, which is definitely relatable these days. To be honest, I am not sure what, if anything, I can add to a discussion about this book, but I did enjoy reading it.