Wednesday, 16 December 2020

My Life in Books



My Life in Books hosted by Annabelbooks invites us to use the books we have read for 2020 to answer a few prompts. You should not repeat a book title. These exercises are always fun, so let's see how this works out for me.  


In high school I was The Prisoner of Heaven (Carlos Ruiz Zafón)

People might be surprised (by) The Labyrint of Spirits (Carlos Ruiz Zafón)

I will never be The Railwayman's Wife (Ashely Hay)

My life in lockdown was like Days Without End (Sebastian Barry)

My fantasy job is The Merchant of Venice (William Shakespeare)

At the end of a long day (I look for the) Laterna Magica (Ingmar Bergman)

I hate being The Andalucian Friend (Alexander Söderberg)

Wish I had A Turning Wind (J.G. Harlond)

My family reunions are The Book of Secrets (Tom Harper)

At a party you’d find me with Mario and the Magician (Thomas Mann)

I’ve never been to Ostende (Volker Weiermann)

A happy day includes Vermeer's Little Street (Franz Gruzehout)

Motto I live by:  Don't Look Back (Karin Fossum)

On my bucket list is The Empress Emerald (J.G. Harlond)

In my next life (I am) Falling for Provence (Paulita Kincer)


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Memes 2020 - Summary


As you see in the image above I have five different choices under this link. 

The Classic Club contains the list I am following for the Spins. I think I only managed to read one or two of my choices this year.

Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader and The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice saw five posts this year. Less than usual, but probably because I read more Swedish books now that I am back in Sweden.

I did non of 6 Degrees of Separation, hosted by Books Are My Favourite And Best, although I really like this meme. 

Bookmark Monday hosted by Guiltless Reading (although I think she mostly posts on Instagram) saw only one entry this year. Typical of the pandemic year when travelling and visiting places was out of the plans. 

I keep the same Memes for 2021 but might change some things during the year. 


Monday, 14 December 2020

The Unread Shelf Challenge


This is a challenge just in my taste. The Unread Shelf is hosted by Whitney Conard who guides us through how to best tackle the unread books on our shelves. Once you enrol you get a small guide to follow, as you see fit yourself. It helps and encourages you to tackle the challenge in a scientific and orderly way. I am quite confident that it will help me lower the number of unread books. Go to her website to get more information and inspiration in this Hercules task. 

There are several ways how to approach the task. You can name 10 top books you really want to finish this year. There is a guide to choose a book for each month of the year, and a bonus guide to further help you choose the right books to read. For me mostly, I am aiming at the oldest books I have on my shelves. 

I am looking forward to lowering the number of unread books which amounts to around 200 at the end of 2020. Let's meet again in December 2021 and see how far I have come.


Friday, 11 December 2020

Anne Tyler re-read project 2021

 

Liz Dexter at Adventures in reading, running and working from home is inviting us for a re-read of Anne Tyler's books. I love the books I have read by her, and it was a long time since I read them. 

It might be to ambitious for me to read all of her books, but I will try to catch up with the schedule as best as I can. Here are the basic rules. Go to Liz' link above for further information. 

How will it all work?

My plan is to read one of the books each month by the 10th of the month and review it then, and the other by the 20th and review it then. Then my review will be available for linking and commenting by the middle and end of the month respectively.

I will link to my review on this page and I will try to link to anyone’s who does a review, including on Goodreads, and sends me the link.




How do I join in?

When you’ve read your book, you could do any of these things …

  • Post a review in a comment on my review
  • Write your own review by the 15th or 30th of the month respectively and include a link to my review
  • Write your own review by the 15th or 30th of the month respectively and pop a link to your review in the comments on mine
The schedule

January

If Morning Ever Comes (1964)

The Tin Can Tree (1965)

February

A Slipping-Down Life (1970)

The Clock Winder (1972)

March

Celestial Navigation (1974)

Searching for Caleb (1975)

April

Earthly Possessions (1977)

Morgan’s Passing (1980)

May

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982)

The Accidental Tourist (1985)

June

Breathing Lessons (1988)

Saint Maybe (1991)

July

Ladder of Years (1995)

A Patchwork Planet (1998)

August

Back When We Were Grownups (2001)

The Amateur Marriage (2004)

September

Digging to America (2006)

Noah’s Compass (2010)

October

The Beginner’s Goodbye (2012)

A Spool of Blue Thread (2015)

November

Vinegar Girl (2016)

Clock Dance (2018)

December

Redhead by the Side of the Road (2020)

                                                             *******

It should be fun so it does not matter if you cannot read them all. The main thing is to exchange views and thoughts about the books. Read in your own pace and link reviews on Liz' website.

Looking forward getting in touch with Anne Tyler again. 

Friday, 4 December 2020

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

 


This week I have ventured back to an old classic. Maybe being influenced by the latest challenge I have joined; Back to the Classics. It is George Sand's A Winter in Mallorca. George Sand and her lover Fredrick Chopin visited Mallorca during the winter of 1838/39. They stayed in Palma and in the monastery in the picturesque village of Valldemossa. Still today you can visit the apartment they stayed in, although it is not exactly the same rooms and the same furniture. But it is a beautiful place. Unlike most people who visit Mallorca, George Sand was not over-enthusiastic about the place and the people. 


Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader

This quote is from the 4th paragraph of Chapter One. 

"Without quite the same claims to immortality as Jean-Jacques and in search for something that I could achieve, I thought that I might perhaps become as famous as the two Englishmen in the valley of Chamounix and claim the honour of having discovered Mallorca. "



The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

"Here quite simply is the theme of my book and why I bothered to write it, when it was hardly a pleasant task, and as I promised myself, at the beginning, to keep my personal impressions to myself as much as possible, it now seems to me that this omission would be an act of cowardice and I withdraw it."


Back to the Classics Challenge 2021



I did say in a recent post I will not enrol in too many challenges. My main aim for 2021 is to be firm on lowering the number of unread books on my shelves. They amount to around 180 as I write this. It would be perfect to reach down to 100 at the end of next year. So, I choose only challenges that will help me in my endeavour. I did not think I have so many classics on my shelves, but checking them I found 18! Well, well, should be enough for this challenge, if I can fit them in. Anyway, I am interested in reading more Classics, so this challenge will be a suitable complement to my list from The Classic Club.

For eight years now Karen at Books and Chocolate has been hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge. Here is my preliminary list (might be changed depending on the situation). Scroll down below to find the rules for the challenge.

Without further ado, here are the categories for 2021: 

1. A 19th-century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 1899 - The Red and the Black by Stendhal (1830)

2. A 20th-century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971. All books must have been published at least 50 years ago; the only exceptions are books which were written by 1971 and posthumously published - The Moon and Sixpence by Somerset Maugham (1919)

3. A classic by a woman author - Katherine by Anya Seton (1954)

4. A classic in translation, meaning any book first published in a language that is not your primary language. You may read it in translation or in its original language if you prefer - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1878) (Russian will read in English). 

5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author - The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (1923)

6. A classic by a new-to-you author, i.e., an author whose work you have never read - Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (1957)

7. New-to-you classic by a favourite author -- a new book by an author whose works you have already read -  Sandition by Jane Austen (1817)

8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird) - Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)

9. A children's classic - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

10. A humorous or satirical classic - Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (1889)

11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction). It can be a travelogue or a classic in which the main character travels or has an adventure -  The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino (1957)

12. A classic play. Plays will only count in this category - The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde (1895)

That is my list. Seven of them I have on my shelves, one on my iPad and the rest I will either borrow from the library or buy as an e-book. 


                                                                        *********

Here are the rules for the challenge.  Please go to her website for further information. 

A year-long challenge in which participants are encouraged to finally read the classics they've always meant to read -- or just recently discovered. At the end of the year, one lucky winner will receive a prize $30 (US) in books from the bookstore of their choice. The rules and prize are the same as last year, only the categories have changed. This year, I've tried to come up with some fun categories -- I think we could all use as many fun and relaxing reads as possible!

  • Complete six categories, and you'll get one entry in the drawing; 
  • Complete nine categories, and you'll get two entries in the drawing; 
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you'll get three entries in the drawing

So -- I hope everyone likes the categories, I tried to make them fun and as light as possible for next year. And of course, you do NOT have to read 12 books to qualify for the drawing! The rest of the rules also remain the same.

THE RULES: 

All books must have been written at least 50 years ago to qualify; therefore, books must have been published no later than 1971 for this challenge. The only exceptions to this rule are books which published posthumously but written before 1971. Recent translations of classic novels are acceptable. 

All books must be read from January 1 through December 31, 2021. Books started before January 1 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by 11:59 p.m. on January 1, 2022. I will post links the first week of January for each category, which will be featured on a sidebar of this blog for convenience through the entire year. (The link for the final wrap-up will be posted towards the end of the year, to avoid confusion). 

The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 31, 2021. After that, I'll close the link and you'll have to wait until next year's challenge. Please include a link to your actual sign-up post, not your blog URL/home page. Make sure you sign up in the below, not the comments section. If I do not see your name in the sign-ups, you are not eligible. If you've made a mistake with your link, just add a new one and let me know in the comments. It's no trouble for me to delete an incorrect link. 

Books may NOT cross over within this challenge -- that is, you may not count the same book multiple times within this challenge. You MUST read a different book for each category in this challenge, or it doesn't count. 

Participants must post a wrap-up and link it to the challenge, and it must include links to all the books they've read for this challenge, specifying which books for each challenge. If I cannot confirm which books you've read for each challenge, I will not enter your name into the drawing. It is fine to rearrange books for the challenge since many books can fit multiple categories -- just let me know in the final wrap-up! 

The wrap-up post MUST include contact information so that I can contact the winner privately before announcing the winner on this blog. If your blog doesn't have a link, or if you have a Goodreads account, let me know in the comments of the wrap-up post. If I cannot contact you, I cannot award you the prize!

The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January 2021. All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, depending upon the number of categories they complete as stated above. One winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries. I will contact the winner privately and award the prize before posting on the blog. 

The winner will receive a gift certificate in the amount of $30 (US) from Amazon.com (US) OR $30 in books from The Book Depository. Winners must live in a country that receives a shipment from one of these online retailers. To check if your country receives deliveries from The Book Depository, click here. 

                                                                            *******

There you go! I hope some of the books from my Classic Club list will fit in here somehow. What about you? Interested?



Thursday, 3 December 2020

2021 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

 


Another challenge that goes well with my aim to reduce the number of unread books on my shelves. Hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book. The rules are simple.

Details

  • The Alphabet Soup Challenge means that by December 31, 2021 your bowls must be filled with one book for each letter of the Alphabet.
  • Each Letter Counts As 1 Spoonful
  • This challenge will run from January 1st, 2021 until December 31st, 2021.
  • You can join anytime. You do not have to post a review of the book. Books can come from any genre.
  • You do not need to link up each spoonful.
  • Make a page or a post or a GoodReads shelf where you will keep track of your spoonfuls. I keep track of mine on my Challenge Page.
  • Crossovers to other challenges are allowed and encouraged! 
  • It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.
  • You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles as shown below.
  • The First Main Word Needs To Be The Letter You Are Counting 
  • Except For that pesky Q, X, AND Z titles when the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.

So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.

A – How I plan to do it: Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

OR

B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet.

Looking forward to the challenge and a lot or more books from my shelves that will be read. 


Wednesday, 2 December 2020

2021 Alphabet Soup - Author Edition Reading Challenge


I said to myself that I will not join any challenges this year. Of course, when the challenges are now published for 2021, it is difficult not to be inspired. I am only following challenges which will go with my overall aim of lowering the number of books I have not yet read on my shelves. This fits perfectly into that challenge, although I am not sure I have authors enough to cover all the letters of the alphabet. Let's see.

It is hosted by Dollycas at Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book and the rules are simple.

Details

  • Start keeping track of your authors and by December 31, 2021 your bowls must be filled by one author for each letter of the Alphabet. Be sure to include the book title too.
  • This challenge will run from January 1st, 2021 until December 31st, 2021.
  • You can join anytime. You do not have to post a review of the book. Books can come from any genre.
  • You do not need to link up each spoonful.
  • Make a page or a post or a GoodReads shelf where you will keep track of your spoonfuls. I keep track of mine on my Challenge Page.
  • Crossovers to other challenges are allowed and encouraged!
  • It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book that has an author whose first name, middle, or last name starts with every letter of the alphabet.
  • So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.

A – How I plan to do it: Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the authors with the book you read to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find authors/books to fit.

OR

B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet.

My books are sorted alphabetically by authors name, so should not be too difficult to find an author that fulfil the criteria. I have been thinking of just starting at A and continue down the letters to finally read all my books. However, I am a little bit of a mood reader, so I have to find the right book for the right moment. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Nonfiction November - week 4

 


Week 4: (November 23-27) – Katie@Doing Dewey is rounding things up with her post "New to My TBR".  As she says, it has been a month full of amazing nonfiction books. Her last question for this year's challenge is: "Which ones have made it onto your TBR?" Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book! 

I have been inspired by all of you, especially for books outside my comfort zone. I have added a few books to my wishlist. I mention the books here but can't, unfortunately, not remember at which blogs I read about them. I hope you recognise your own titles. If you do, please leave a comment below. 

For week 2 I asked the experts for books set in the Kingdom of Naples at the beginning of the 14th century. I had just read historical fiction The Girl Who Tempted Fortune by Jane Ann McLachlan, and wanted to read nonfiction about the same time. Emma at Words and Peace kindly recommended two books which are now on my wishlist. 

  • The History of the Kingdom of Naples: From the Accession of Charles of BOurbon to the Death of Ferdinand I by Pietro Colletta
  • Medieval Naples: A Documentary History 400-1400 by Ronald G. Musto

Other recommendations that I am looking forward to read. 

  • Writing Wild by Kathryn Aalto
  • Only Happiness Here (about Elizabeth von Armin) by Gabrielle Carey
  • Happy Old Me by Hunter Davis
  • Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife by Gioia Diliberto
  • Coffeeland: One man's dark empire and the making of our favorite drug by Augustine Sedgewick

Thank you all for providing interesting nonfiction reads.