Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: 24-tasks
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-05-09 20:27
The Bungalow Mystery - update ND3.9
The Bungalow Mystery - P.M. Carlson,Russell H. Tandy,Carolyn Keene
The Bungalow Mystery - Carolyn Keene

Reading the 1930 & 1959 versions of The Hidden Staircase simultaneously, comparing differences in the story and characters, and pondering dated plot points. Spoilers: full plot description below!


Artwork Comparison


The changing artwork is part of my fun in collecting these books. Although there are two text versions, the illustrations were updated three times, with the quality deteriorating each time.


Russell Tandy did the first two versions, but the second revision, to save costs on the printing, only included a single frontispiece in a plain paper rather than glossy page, and for this book was an entirely new scene. The book in my collection with this illustration was printed about 1952, but based on Nancy’s hair and clothes, I’m guessing that this illustration was done in the 40’s. Here are an example of the original and revised Tandy illustrations, the first showing Nancy breaking into Jacob’s house, and the second showing Nancy and the rescued Jacob finding his house ransacked and empty:


The illustrations were revised again for the 1959 revised text, but this time by an uncredited artist who had little of Tandy’s talent, and by the 1970’s (for the later volumes in the series) the illustrations look like they were pulled from a reject pile of scribblings. The revised versions all have 6 plain paper line drawings. These revised text illustrations don’t attempt to mirror Tandy’s original work, although they sometimes show a similar scene.


The stormy lake:


The tree blocking the road:


And last, here’s an illustration of my favorite scene in the original, that never would have made it into the revision, where Nancy parks illegally, rushes into a hotel lobby, snatches the phone from the desk clerk, then proceeds to give him orders to start making phone calls for her.   


Index of Posts:

ND3 Reading start

ND3 Reading finish

ND3.0 Overview

ND3.1 1930 Chs 1-3 vs 1960 Chs 1-2

ND3.2 1930 Chs 4-6 vs 1960 Ch 3

ND3.3 1930 Chs 7-9 vs 1960 Chs 4&8

ND3.4 1930 Chs 9-11  vs 1960 Ch 5-7; 9-10

ND3.5 Chs 12-14  vs 1960 Ch 11-12

ND3.6 1930 Chs 14-17 vs 1960 Ch 13-14

ND3.7 1930 Chs 18-21 vs 1960 Ch 15-17

ND3.8 1930 Chs 22-25 vs 1960 Ch 18-20

ND3.9 Artwork comparison

ND3.10 Overall review

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-03-01 22:41
★★★☆☆ Being Texan: Celebrating a State of Mind
Being Texan: Celebrating a State of Mind - Jeff Carroll

Since my father passed away a couple of years ago, I've been slowly reading through all my books that connect us, as a way of remembering him. He took me with him to pick up this book at an author signing. He became a fan after auditing Carroll's Texas History course at Blinn Jr College. I remember him telling me how, as the only old fart in a class full of teenagers, he probably got much more out of it than the kids that were simply getting their required credits out of the way. Knowing my dad, he probably stayed after every class, BSing with the professor and probably making him late for supper on the regular. My dad did love to tell tales, and he had a passion for local and family history.


About the bookThis book is intended to be used as supplemental reading for middle school Texas History classes, and it does it very well, given the constraints. It uses simple language in a direct, storytelling style, meant to both entertain and to reinforce historical facts. The scope is broad enough to satisfy diversity requirements and the prose carefully dances around the kind of scientific and historical facts that tend to annoy the bible thumpers, nationalists, and alt-righters that populate the state textbook selection committee and various schoolboards. I do wish he'd cited his sources for historical fact, or at least provided a reference list at the back, in addition to the facilitator's guide. 


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
url 2020-02-13 17:10
24 Festive Tasks: The Charity

The last post on the 2019's edition of the game from me, I swear LOL. I apologize for taking so long, January was a mess.


Thanks to TA, MbD, and MR for allowing me to play hostess. As part of our duties, we were to pick a charity. I don't know if the other hostesses have chosen their charities, but I decided to choose mine today and make the donation..before I forget to do. So on behalf of the BookLikes.com community of readers, I made a US $50.00 donation to...



We Need Diverse Books!

A grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.


I picked this organization because I wanted to a charity that works with children's literature, as I have two elementary school kids who needed professional help (other than their main teachers) in learning to read. Also, in light of the upholding white supremacy going on in the world generally and publishing in particular (hi RWA! hi Flat Iron! hi B&N classics!), I wanted to support an organization that works to bring literature to every child by marginalized authors. 


The charity uses a PayPal service to process donations, so although it is my name and email on the donation, in the notes field I dedicated the donation to the BookLikes.com community of readers in honor of our 24 Festive Tasks challenge. That might not mean anything to the person at WNDB, but I wanted this community/players to be acknowledged. You all were amazing and I enjoyed both hosting and reading all the posts you wrote. 




Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-01-14 15:47
Twenty Four Festive Tasks: Door 24, The Last



Yes, I know that 24 Tasks ended two weeks ago but I have a story share, something that has occurred since the end of the game.


One of the on-going themes of the season is "miracles" and while I think they are mostly about chance, I most recently experienced a 'miracle' and want to share the story.


On January 7, the day after Epiphany, we were in the city of Santiago de Compostela, the supposed burial place of St. James and a huge pilgrimage destination for Christians, who have walk the "Camino de Santiago" a well-trodden path from the French Pyrennes to the Cathedral of St. James (Santiago) in the northwest of Spain for many centuries. We had come by cruise ship and a shore excursion offered by the ship and even though we had a very short time in the city, I have always wanted to visit this city. We had a lovely tour.


We were within a half hour of heading back to the buses when I realized, that I didn't know where my hearing aid was, that I had lost track of it and had not been as careful with it when I removed it to put in the earphone to listen to the guide as I should have been. It was not in my jacket pocket and I could not locate it in my bag. It was going to be an expensive bit of carelessness to set to rights.


At this point, tea and cakes were being served before we got back on the buses. I was obviously very upset and ranting in two languages. I sent DH to get us cups of tea while I proceeded to empty everything from my bag, looking for the damned thing, talking with DH in English and the guides in Spanish (mostly in coherent mutterings and cursing myself for my stupidity).  My hearing aid was GONE and the damned little thing was expensive. Rosana, our wonderful guide, and the rest of the guides knew what was going but there was really little anyone could do about it. We had covered a lot of territory and the device itself was the same color as the paving stones we were walking on. I looked for it the entire walk back to the bus. At this point, I was pretty sure where I had lost it--when I had gone into my bag to get my gloves, which I did while we were walking along.


I walked the entire way back to the ship looking for it, hoping I might see it on the ground waiting for me and thinking about the paperwork that I would need to fill out if I were going to file a claim against the travel insurance to maybe, possibly recover some of the replacement cost of the damned gadget.


We are almost back to the parking lot, when Rosana approached me waving my hearing aid in her hand. A gentleman saw it on the ground, recognized what it was and gave it to the guide for his bus, who in turn gave it to Rosana. I gave her a huge hug but I never did learn who it was exactly I have to thank for its return. Yes, even I will say that it was miracle that it was found.









At last, I have come to the last door, my final post. Between the game and all of the other not quite as festive tasks of the season, the last two months of 2019 have flown by. It has been a good year. 
Many, many, many thanks to the Magistri Ludi, The Masters of the Games-- Moonlight Reader, MurderByDeath, Themis-AthenaTea-Stitch-Read (aka Mrs. Claus' Tea House) and this year's Racing Steward Darth Pedant -- who have out done themselves. Looking forward to more fun and games in 2020. 
Task 1: Prepare your favorite spicy dish or drink; share a picture and enjoy. (Sharing the recipe is optional.)
Meh. I am done cooking for the year!
 Task 2: Have you ever had an “epiphany” of your own, in the sense of a sudden revelation or insight? If so, share that “ah-HAH” moment with us.
Not really. I'm as thick as a two planks and slow on the uptake to boot.
 Task 3:  George and Martha Washington were married on Twelfth Night in 1759. She wore purple silk slippers (https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/martha-washington/george-marthas-courtship/ ). In honor of the first FLOTUS, wear purple socks or slippers and share a picture of them with us.
I have a couple of purple shirts but no socks or slippers that fit the bill. :-(
Task 4:  In Ireland, Epiphany is also sometimes called “Nollaig na mBean” or Women's Christmas. Traditionally the women get the day off and men do the housework and cooking! It is becoming more popular and many Irish women now get together on the Sunday nearest Epiphany and have tea and cakes. (https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/epiphany.shtml ) Take a picture of your book for this square (Epiphany) or of the book you are currently reading with a mug of tea and snack or enjoy a cream tea.
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.
Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
Twelve Angry Men audiobook cover art
Tally: 0+Book= 1 
(Final total: 81)


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-01-04 19:06
24 Festive Tasks: Final Results -- and Thanks to All Participants!


A big Thank You to everybody who joined the game and participated so actively: Collectively, we achieved the very respectable total score of




Go us -- well done everybody!  Thank you so much from this year's hosts: Murder by Death, Moonlight Snow (Reader), TeaStitchRead (Mrs. Claus' Tea House), and me.  Once again, it's been great fun watching the truly amazing things that everybody came up with to complete to the various tasks and the creativity that went into everybody's posts.


And a special shout-out to Darth Pedant for stepping in and doing such an absolutely smashing job substituting for MbD as a host of the Melbourne Cup Day "pick your ponies" task!


Before moving on the stats of this year's game, I wanted to share, at least once, the gorgeous 2019 festive calendar image "as such" -- without being half hidden below all the calendar doors, open or closed.



Thank you once more to MbD for finding it -- as MbD told us, it's an illustration for Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol.


Thank you all, also, for playing along and reporting your completed tasks using the form that MbD created -- even though RL interference didn't let me get around to posting stats as frequently in 2019 as during the 2018 game, the form (and the Excel sheet it yielded) made tracking points just so much easier!



The Figures:

Number of active participants: 18
("Active" = completed at least one book or other task for the game)
Average number of points collected: 28.06
Number of card blackouts: 4
("Blackout" = completed at least one book or other task per square)



Results by Squares / Holidays:


With almost 28%, overall the book tasks were the most popular tasks of the game, followed by Task 1, with Tasks 2 and 3 almost on equal footing and Task 4 bringing in the rear (though not by a terribly wide margin).  (Well, this is a book site ... :) )


Almost 60% of all tasks completed were the second or further task completed for the square in question.

On a total of 8 squares, one or more participants completed all five tasks (book and other tasks):

* Día de los Muertos

* Japanese Culture Day

* Melbourne Cup Day

* International Day for Tolerance

* International Children's Day

* World Philosophy Day

* St. Nicholas' Day

* St. Lucia's Day

Biggest individual point-earning square: Día de los Muertos -- 46 points total
Runner-up: Melbourne Cup Day -- 42 points total
Third Place: Japanese Culture Day -- 40 points total


Seeing one of our newly-introduced holidays (Japanese Culture Day) scoring so well makes me very happy -- and hattip to our new co-host TeaStitchRead / Mrs. Claus' Tea House, who whipped out all four tasks for this square in absolutely zero time as one of her first hosting contributions.

Least point-earning square: Festivus -- 9 points total


Average points per square (including bonus points): 21.04

Average points per square (excluding bonus points): 20.88



Breakdown of Books and Tasks per Square



The Books

Squares for which the highest number of participants read a book: Día de los Muertos and Japanese Culture Day -- 10 participants

Runner-up: Guy Fawkes Night - 9 participants

Shared Third Place: Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Christmas -- 8 participants each

Fewest books read for: World Philosophy Day and St. Andrew's Day -- 2 participants each

Average number of book points accrued per square: 5.67


 The Tasks


Square with the overall highest number of points collected for all non-book tasks: Melbourne Cup Day -- 37 points (including 2 bonus points)

Runner-up: Día de los Muertos -- 36 points

Third place: Japanese Culture Day -- 30 points


Excluding bonus points, Día de los Muertos and Melbourne Cup Day switch places; Japanese Culture Day remains third.


Least number of non-book points: International Human Rights Day -- 4 points

Most popular individual task: Día de los Muertos, Task 3 (epitaph for the year's most disliked book) --  14 points

Runner-up, by points: Melbourne Cup Day, Task 1 ("Pick your ponies") -- 12 points (including 2 bonus points)

Runner-ups, by participants (= excluding bonus points): Japanese Culture Day, Task 4 (Japanese food), and Melbourne Cup Day, Tasks 1 and 3 ("Pick your ponies" and picture of favorite cup / mug)   -- 10 points each

Third place: Melbourne Cup Day, Task 2 (“Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem) -- 9 points

Least popular: Thanksgiving, Task 4 (postcard to a friend), International Human Rights Day, Task 4 (reconstitute a body of the UN), Hanukkah, Task 4 (food donation), Festivus, Tasks 3 and 4 (going "pole'mic on a book character, and "Festivus miracle" dialogue), Kwanzaa, Task 3 (corn dish), New Year's Eve, Task 4 (holiday dinner with famous person as guest), and Epiphany, Task 2 (personal "epihany" experience) -- all 0 points (sniff).  With one exception, these are all in the final weeks of the game ... seems most of us just ran out of steam towards the end!


Average number of points accrued for non-book tasks per square, including bonus points: 15.3

Average number of points accrued for non-book tasks per square, excluding bonus points: 15.1


Average number of points accrued for individual non-book tasks, including bonus points: 3.9

Average number of points accrued for individual non-book tasks, excluding bonus points: 3.67



Congratulations, everybody, and thank you all so much again for making this such a fun and successful game!


More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?