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Search tags: 12-tasks-of-the-festive-season
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text 2019-12-23 16:10
24 Festive Tasks 2019

Door 1-Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 3-Completed

Book: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies.

 

Read Vox by Christina Dalcher on 11-06-19.

 

 

Door 2-Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Book: Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.

 

Read What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel on 11/12/19. 

 

 

 

Door 3-Link to Master Post

Task 2-Completed

Task 3-Completed

 

Book: Read a book about horses, with a horse or with roses on the cover, about gardening, or set in Australia, or written by an Australian author. 

 

Read Under Currents by Nora Roberts on 11/12/19.

 

 

Door 4-Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 2-Completed

Task 4-Completed

 

Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published. 

 

Read Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts on 11/12/19. There is a huge arson in this book that led to a business being burned. Honestly this book is terrible, just skip it. 

 

 

Door 5-Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 3-Completed

Task 4-Completed

 

Book: Read a book by a Korean author or set in Korea, that takes place at sea or on a river, where the plot involves a festival, where the moon or rain plays a pivotal role in the plot, or with rain, water or the moon on the cover.

 

 Read The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe on 11/18/19.

  

Door 6-Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 2-Completed

Task 4-Completed

 

 

International Day for Tolerance

 

Door 7- Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 3-Completed

Task 4-Completed

 

International Children’s Day

Door 8- Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 2-Completed

Task 3-Completed

Task 4-Completed

 

Door 9- Link to Master Post

Task 1-Completed

Task 2-Completed

Task 3-Completed

Task 4-Completed

 

 

Door 17: Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice (Yule / Yaldā Night / Dongzhi / Soyal)

Book: Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, set in Persia / Iran, China or the American Southwest or prominently featuring Persian / Iranian, Chinese or Native American characters, or a collection of poetry.


A Virgin River Christmas - ebook

 

Door 18: Dec. 22 – Hanukkah

Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.

 

Read Rising Tides by Nora Roberts on 11/12/19. Ehh at least the book series was good for something. 

 

Door 19: Dec. 23 – Festivus

Book: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

Dear Girls - ebook

 

Door 20: Dec. 25 – Christmas

Book: Read a Christmas book.

Title details for Christmas in Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber - Available

 

Door 21: Dec. 26 – Kwanzaa

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, with a green, red, or black cover, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (lion, giraffe, cheetah, etc.). 

 

The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2) - ebook

 

Door 22: Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day

Book: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.

 

107774

 

Door 23: Dec. 32 – Hogswatch

Book: Any- and everything Terry Pratchett.

For the members of the Discworld group: This of course includes the Discworld December read, Guards! Guards!, as well as some group members' favorite seasonal reread, Hogfather.

 

The Light Fantastic - ebook

 

Door 24: Jan. 6 – Twelfth Night / Epiphany

Book: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.

 

Title details for Born in Fire by Nora Roberts - Available

 

 

Total Points: 31

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review 2019-12-17 14:19
Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea
Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea - Ginny Fite

Elena Labat is a special forces Police in New York City. She is called in to duty when a large scale terrorist attack rocks the City in multiple locations. Elena knows that there is more to this attack then what she can see. After an explosion, Elena is left confused and eventually unconscious. While Elena is unconscious, she is thrown into the world of her ancestor, the story of Hana that her mother told her as a child. Hana lived 4,000 years ago in Lebanon. Hana is unique due to her blue eye color and is coveted by the King. The King has demanded Hana be sent to him on her 12th birthday. Her parents comply and Hana is sent on the dangerous trek through the desert with a guide from Sidon, Danel. Reaching the palace, she is placed in service to the Queen, soon to be given over to the Prince. Hana wants more to her life, freedom and purpose. She will fight for these things, but finds herself needing help after getting kidnapped. Elena enters Hana's life from her coma and helps Hana escape, however when Elena wakes up from her coma she is left longing for Hana's life and reassurance that she is happy.

Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea is the story of two strong and courageous women 4,000 years apart. The writing alternates viewpoints between Elena in the present and Hana in ancient Lebanon. At first, the connection between the two women is not apparent and it is like reading two separate, though compelling stories. Usually in dual-time stories, I am drawn towards one story more than the other, however I felt equally drawn towards each woman's story and was constantly wondering what had happened to one character while I was reading about the other. I was amazed at how the writing was able to portray both women as strong and firmly rooted within their time period. When their stories finally do intersect, Elena finds a deeper meaning in life and Hana is able to tap into a deep inner strength. I really enjoyed that this was more than just a time-slip story, but a story of two heroic women connected through time. Overall, Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea is a thrilling dual-time adventure with well-written, amazing female characters.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
 

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review 2019-12-09 19:51
Africaville
Africaville - Jeffrey Colvin
On the bluffs of Halifax, Nova Scotia a group of freed slaves made a settlement for themselves in the late 1800's, eventually dubbed Africaville.  Since then, the community grew; although they remained on the outskirts of town.  In 1933, Kath Ella Sebolt is looking for a way out.  A scholarship to a a college in Montreal is her ticket, however trouble with her best friend Kiendra and a pregnancy with Omar Platt's child could complicate matters.  Kath Ella wants more for her son, Etienne than she had.  Etienne does well for himself, but often struggles with the fact that he is what people would consider 'colored.'  Etienne's son Warner, now in Alabama is surprised to learn who his grandparents were and finds himself tied back to the small community in Nova Scotia. 
 
Africaville is a family saga that captures to trials of four generations of a family in North America.  I was very interested in the community and it's foundations in Canada.  Picking up in the 1930's with Kath Ella, the story was able to depict the many different ways that racism was able to encroach on the residents of Africaville, from limited opportunities for education and jobs to violent retaliation.  For Kath Ella's son and grandson, the focus turns more on identity.  Colvin was able to capture the complex emotional turmoil of two men coming to terms with who they are.  One of the most interesting characters in the story for me was Zera, Omar's mother.  Zera was jailed for a protest and made the difficult decision to send her son to relatives in Africaville.  In a way, it is her legacy that pulls the other three generations together.  I would have loved to know more of her story and the events that led up to her arrest.   I would have also appreciated more information on the families that founded the town on the bluffs and how they came to settle there.  Overall, a sweeping family story of a group of people that history has forgotten.
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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review 2019-12-03 14:04
The Unfortunate Debutante
The Unfortunate Debutante - Laura Beers
After the death of her parents and her brother, an Agent of the Crown, Emma Pearson has been left alone and without much money.  Her father's solicitor Peter believes that he and Emma are betrothed, but Emma would rather work than rely on Peter.  Luckily, a friend of her brother, the Marquess of Downshire finds Emma and offers to take her in as his ward.  Emma accepts and now must complete a Season in London.  However, this is not as easy as it seems as someone seems to be sabotaging Emma at every step.  Bow Street Runner, Simeon Martin is elected to guard Emma.  Although, this is a harder job than Simeon realizes.  Emma  would rather spend her time researching for her news articles on the Anti-Corn Law League that is fighting that laws causing people to starve.  Simeon learns that Emma isn't the typical debutante that he thought.  Emma's behavior infuriates but intrigues Simeon and he finds that Emma might be exactly what he needs in life.
 
The Unfortunate Debutante is the seventy book in the Beckett Files series.  I would highly recommend reading the entire series in order to get to know all of the characters and their roles as The Unfortunate Debutante brings together characters from many of the previous books.  Emma and Simeon take center stage in this story.  Emma quickly emerges as another strong female character in the series, determined to survive on her own and not accepting a marriage to Peter as an easy way out.  Simeon's character has had a difficult storyline, being spurned in the past and making him wary of any relationship.  He's sees Emma as any other spoiled debutante, but quickly learns that she is anything but the fragile young women seeking a rich husband that he thought.  I loved the incorporation of England's history into this Regency spy romance.  Emma and Simeon's involvement with the Anti-Corn Law League increased the suspense and well as situated the story firmly in the early 1800's.  Like many of the romances in this series, their love takes a different path with each of them slowly realizing that the other is what they needed all along.  What I enjoy most about these books are the spy elements, although Simeon is a Bow Street Runner and not an Agent of the Crown, he is still involved with the plots against the Anti-Corn league and of course, keeping Emma safe from what Peter has plotted to get her back.  Overall, another exciting, sweet and original installment in the Beckett Files. 
 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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text 2019-11-25 21:40
World Philosophy Day
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation - Seamus Heaney,Anonymous
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne,Nina Baym,Thomas E. Connolly
Far from the Madding Crowd (Signet Classics) - Thomas Hardy,Suzanne Keen

World Philosophy Day

Door 9:  World Philosophy Day

 

Task 1:  Share your reading philosophy with us – do you DNF? If so, do you have a page minimum to read before you declare it a DNF?

 

You all have been following me for how long now? I DNF. I also post reviews about why I DNFed and what percentage or page number too. I find those reviews helpful and wish more reviewers did it. I get why many don't though. You have to worry about a rampaging author sicking their followers on you nowadays.

 

I have tried to start DNFing books around 20 percent or so if I am not feeling it. There was that one time I DNFed a book 5 pages in, but I am sorry, you could not pay me to read "Far from the Madding Crowd". Some word set me off and that was it for me. 

 

Task 2: Share your reviewing philosophy with us – how do you rate a book? Do you have a mental template for reviewing? Rules you try to follow, or rules you try to break?

 

Well I tried to find the lat time I posted about how I rated books, but realized that disappeared during my great exodus from BL after my reviews all got messed up. I do have a template I try to follow when reviewing and also rating a book. I try to always do a quick summary up front of the things that worked/didn't work for me in the book. Then I did a short description of the book/characters/overall plot.

 

From there I dissect the book by characters (developed well or no? did the characters action make sense from what came before? Was it too information dumped driven for me to get certain characters?, etc.).


I next look at writing and flow. Writing is definitely subjective. However, I get annoyed at too much purple prose or overly descriptive writing. Just tell me what's going on and don't try to describe every blade of glass a character is seeing. Flow matters because sometimes chapters don't flow neatly into one another. It gets worse sometimes when an author is jumping around to multiple POVs.

 

The setting is important to talk about too. I like to say where it takes place, or a time period if it's especially important in the context of the book. Sometimes though I don't comment on this if it didn't move me one way or another.

The last part is the ending. Did the author stick the landing? Did they just throw out some crap and hope you were okay with it? Looking at you "Girl on the Train." 

 

So for me, this is how I rate:

 

5 stars (favorite): This means I would re-read this book again. That the characters, writing, flow, setting, ending all worked very well. That even if something was slightly off, I let it go to enjoy the book since so many other elements just kicked butt. 

 

4 stars: Still a really good book, but I often give books that missed something too much for me to enjoy. The big thing I start to focus on between 4 and 5 stars is that is there something that gnaws at me enough that I know I will slowly over time get annoyed if I re-read this book? If so, you are getting four stars. 

 

3 stars: A solid book. Not bad, just enough things that didn't work for me to go off and rave about it. It's okay if a book is 3 stars. 

 

2 stars: Not horrible, but enough problematic things going on that would have me hesitant to read the author again unless I saw reviews from others that showed me the book in question was good.

 

1 star: Nope. 

 

DNF: I usually 1 star these. It flat out just means I could not finish the book because either the characters, writing, etc. was too much for me to get pass. I call it, my brain got angry and I had to stop. 

 

Task 3: How do you stay zen / sane over the holidays or in other stressful periods?

 

I read. Seriously. I am trying to whittle down how many books I want to read during my break (starting Wednesday) and while in Honduras. Oh and I watch a lot of Christmas related movies. Not on Lifetime! I just love the cartoons. My total secret shame. I maybe re-watched "A Mickey Christmas Carol" this past weekend 10 times. And then Lady & the Tramp about 30 times (cough it was around 50). I ended up just decorating my house on Sunday cause I am just ready to move pass the terribleness and move into the season of hope and joy. I also work out and go hiking a lot during stressful periods. I finally worked out on Sunday after a week of not working out and my body may be sore, but I slept like a log. Nothing makes me feel rested like working out the day/evening before bed. 

 

Task 4: Did you love or hate the books you had to read for school? Looking back, which ones (good or bad) stand out to you the most?

 

I think for the most part I did love the books I read during school. I just wish they had been more diverse. We tended to not read any African American authors except during Black History Mouth. Stares at school systems in America as a whole. And forget reading authors from other countries. Actually, I want a do-over to this. I think the books were inadequate, but okay to read. I didn't hate them (I got to read Beowulf every freaking year during my high school English classes) but things started to get a little stale since we tended to read the same authors over and over again.

 

The ones that stand out the most are:

 

"Great Expectations." I still can't get over how much I wanted to shake Pip. We got the two endings to the book and we had to discuss the one we preferred. I preferred everyone dying off miserably cause they all kind of sucked, but I was fascinated by that book from beginning to end. 

 

"Of Mice and Men." That book from beginning to end depresses the life out of me. I just want them to start over somewhere else. That's it. Goes off to sob into a pillow.

 

"Beowulf." Not kidding. We always started off with this story during high school. I even did a group book report on it. I get it's supposed to show off the style of an Old English epic poem and all that jazz, but reading it once was enough. 

 

"Lord of the Flies." Yeesh. I got nothing to add here. I think I reviewed this.

 

"The Scarlet Letter." I got in trouble for asking what the big deal with with Hester having sex outside of her marriage. FYI, I got in trouble a lot during Sunday School. Fun times. 

 

Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing

your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).

 

[X]

 

Tasks Completed: 4

 

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