Monday, February 06, 2023

Movie Monday: A Man Called Otto

This weekend, my husband and I enjoyed a staycation, including a rare trip to the movie theater! We saw A Man Called Otto, based on the novel A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I read (and loved) the novel, my husband didn't read it, and we both thoroughly enjoyed this warm, poignant, very funny movie adaptation.

Otto, played by Tom Hanks, is a grumpy older man who lives in a townhouse community, located in Pennsylvania. He's been forced to retire from a job he loved, and Otto is someone who needs to feel useful. Each morning, he "does his rounds" of the neighborhood, checking that everyone is parked where they should be, that the recyclables are properly sorted, and that everyone is following the rules. But Otto has a secret. With his wife and his job both gone now, Otto has no reason to keep living. He's determined to end his life on his own terms. Early in the movie, he calls to cancel his electric, gas, and phone services to leave no loose ends. But life has other plans. New neighbors move into the neighborhood, a Mexican-American family. Marisol, played by Mariana Travino, is hugely pregnant; her husband, Tommy (played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), is a nitwit in Otto's eyes. And they have two adorable little girls. This family plies Otto with kindness, requests for help, and delicious food. Throughout the movie, flashbacks in Otto's memory help to fill in the blanks about how he came to be where he is now. With the help of several crises, Otto's icy exterior gradually thaws a bit, and he finds a reason to live.

Like the novel it's adapted from, this movie is hilariously funny, while also including some dark, difficult emotions (it does, after all, include several suicide attempts). Tom Hanks, of course, does a wonderful job of bringing the curmudgeonly Otto to life on screen, and Mariana Travino is excellent as the warm, persistent Marisol. It's a faithful adaptation of the book, following the plot pretty closely, with the exception of Ove becoming Otto and being located in the US instead of Sweden (though there's a nod to Otto's Swedish heritage in the movie). My husband and I both laughed a lot and teared up at the end and had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the movies.

It's Monday 2/6! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date

Life

I'm pleased to say that my health has gradually improved this past week. For much of the week, I was feeling better but still sleeping a LOT (10-11 hours at night plus a nap), but I got managed to get up at a semi-normal time yesterday and today - yay!  I think the new thyroid meds are finally stabilizing things and bringing an end to my 6-month-long relapse. 

On Friday, I was even able to meet up with my two closest local friends for a short walk and lunch. Our three sons, all named James, have been best friends since Kindergarten (they're now 28), so we've been friends for decades. But it had been a very long time since the three of us had all gotten together. We talked for three straight hours!

 

COLD but sunshine and blue skies!

Together again!

This weekend, I wasn't sure enough of my health situation to book a weekend getaway like I wanted to, so my husband and I enjoyed a staycation Friday night through Sunday morning! I declared it a no-work zone (more for me than for him, as I tend to pick up the laptop and squeeze work into every moment). We enjoyed Reubens for dinner Friday night (a real treat for me--bread, cheese, AND a half beer!), went to a Saturday matinee at the theater, got takeout Chinese Saturday night, and had fires in our fireplace all weekend (and extra reading time, of course). Our son was home much of the weekend, too, instead of out with friends, so it was nice to have extra time with him, too.

TGIF - Reubens!

In the theater - with popcorn!

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On the Blog

In keeping with my new goal to put less pressure on myself, I did not review every book I read in January (6 total), but I did enjoy writing reviews of two novels that both blew me away:

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver - one of her best! Outstanding coming-of-age story set in 90's Appalachia, told with a unique voice.

And here's my Reading Challenges Update for January:

(Details on my 2023 Reading Challenges page) 

Mount TBR Challenge - 3 so far!

Monthly Motif Challenge (a book with a directional word in the title) - just barely squeaked by with Lessons in Chemistry 

Classics Challenge - book by a female author - The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck 

Alphabet Soup Challenge - D, G, L (I can't believe I already had 3 repeats so early in the year!)

Diversity Reading Challenge - 4 and January's mini-challenge of Non-Western Setting

Travel the World in Books - Canada (Ontario), China, Mexico

Literary Escapes Challenge - California, Maine, Virginia

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On Video

Best YA and Middle-Grade Books Read in 2023  - last of my Best of 2023 videos

Friday Reads 2-3-23 - my quick recap of what I was reading this weekend

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What We're Reading
 
 
I finished reading A Serpent's Tooth by Matty Dalrymple. This is book 5 in her Ann Kinnear series, about a women who can sense and communicate with spirits. Each book has a mystery at its heart and thriller-type action, but with a supernatural twist that I love. This one takes place at a family-run winery located in southeastern Pennsylvania (about 15 minutes from where I live!). I love her writing, the characters, the suspense, and how she makes each location an integral part of the story. Book 6 was just released, and I have that one, too, to look forward to now!
 
 
Yesterday, I started reading Dead of Winter by Stephen Mack Jones, book 3 in his August Snow series. I first met Stephen at Booktopia 2019, and I enjoyed his first two novels, August Snow and Lives Laid Down (which was featured at Booktopia). Snow is a half-Black, half-Mexican ex-cop who made a lot of money in a lawsuit that took down dirty cops in Detroit, where he lives. This makes him unpopular among most of the police force. In each book, Snow takes on some sort of mystery in his hometown, usually focused on cleaning up the city. These are action-packed thrillers with a great sense of humor, and my husband enjoys them, too.

 On audio, I started listening to Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris, historical fiction that is also a mystery/thriller, and a good fit for Black History Month. It's set in 1964, and begins in Jackson, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer. Two sisters each decide to flee town for different reasons: one killed a white man who raped her, and the other is single and pregnant. One ends up in a small town in Georgia, and the other heads north, but they don't realize that a man is tracking both of them. It's great so far!

 

My husband, Ken, is reading book 3 in the Ann Kinnear series, The Falcon and the Owl by Matty Dalrymple. We had a mysterious, spirit-sensing Ann Kinnear weekend! He enjoys this series, too. This one also takes place near us, in southeastern PA, at a small airport where Ann is taking flying lessons. Murder, ghosts, and mystery ensue! I read this one last fall (my review at the link).

 

Our son, 28, is still reading The White Tower by Michael Wisehart, book 1 in The Aldoran Chronicles, in preparation for book 2, which he just bought with a Christmas gift card. He's discovered new updates to an old favorite video game that is taking up some of his reading time!

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What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.  

What are you and your family reading this week?

 

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Fiction Review: Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver was my first audio book of 2023, and I can already tell that it will be one of my top reads of the year! I'm a huge Kingsolver fan, and her early novels The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees have permanent spots in my mental Best Books of All Time list. I've enjoyed her more recent novels, as well, but now she has published another book on a par with those early hits. In Demon Copperhead, she uses the inspiration and basic outline of the classic novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens to write an epic and original coming-of-age novel set in modern-day Appalachia.

Young Damon is nicknamed Demon from a young age, as nicknames are common in the hills and hollers of his home in southwestern Virginia. He narrates this story of his life (at least the young years), beginning at the beginning, when he was born in a single-wide trailer to an addicted young single mother. His father, whose green eyes, red hair, and Copperhead moniker he inherited, died before he was born at a local waterfall area called Devil's Bathtub, leaving poor Demon fatherless and afraid of bathtubs. Mrs. Peggot, the next-door neighbor, was there for Demon's birth and was an important part of his life afterward, as a surrogate grandmother. She was also raising her grandson, Maggot (aka Matt Peggot), who was Demon's best friend, since his own mother was in prison. Demon and Maggot's best years of their youth were spent together running through the woods behind their homes and playing superheroes. Demon not only liked to play superheros, but he loved to draw them--and make up his own--from a young age. As the boys grow up, though, Demon faces a nonstop parade of calamities and challenges, from an abusive stepfather to the wild vagaries of the foster care system and worse. But he tells his story with wit and wisdom.

That is only the very tip of the iceberg of Demon's remarkable story. He endures horrifying and heartbreaking trials as he grows from a child into a teenager and eventually a young man. But, this is not only the story of this one remarkable and remarkably unlucky boy. It's also the story of a whole population, as Kingsolver delves into the real-life issues in Appalachia and America's poor, rural communities, including the foster care system, addiction (particularly opoid addiction), the lack of jobs, and more. You might expect this to be a depressing novel, but it's not. Yes, sometimes, the turns that Demon's young life takes are heartbreaking, but his narrative is also hilarious. Kingsolver is an extremely talented storyteller, and this is one of her best tales, told in a wholly unique voice I came to adore:

"First I got myself born. A decent crowd was on hand to watch, and they've always given me that much: the worst of the job was up to me, my mother being let's just say out of it.

On any other day, they'd have seen her outside on the deck of her trailer home, good neighbors taking notice, pestering the tit of trouble as they will. All through the dog-breath air of late summer and fall, cast an eye up the mountain and there she'd be, little bleach-blonde smoking her Pall Malls, hanging on that railing like she's captain of her ship up there, and now might be the hour it's going down. This is an eighteen-year-old girl we're discussing, all on her own and as pregnant as it gets. The day she failed to show, it fell to Nance Peggot to go bang on the door, barge inside, and find her passed out on the bathroom floor with her junk all over the place and me already coming out. A slick fish-colored hostage picking up grit from the vinyl tile, worming and shoving around because I'm still inside the sack that babies float in, pre-real-life."

The colorful language that Demon uses--and especially the hilarious similes and metaphors--make every page of this book an absolute delight to read. Demon is a wonderful character, but he is also surrounded by fully fleshed-out, real-feeling people, both good and bad.

As I said, Kingsolver has based her modern-day story on the basic framework of David Copperfield, which I read a few years ago for Big Book Summer, but you do not need to be familiar with that classic to enjoy this new novel. It absolutely stands on its own. However, if you have read David Copperfield, you are in for an extra helping of pleasure. The parallels between the stories and between the character names are like Easter eggs for readers who've also enjoyed that classic. I listened to Demon Copperhead on audio, and the narrator, Charlie Thurston, fully inhabits Demon's character and voice (listen to a sample). It's a long book that took me almost all of January to finish listening to it, but I was still sorry when it ended because I hated to leave Demon and his friends. This is a spectacular, epic story told by a consummate storyteller. Just reading those first paragraphs that I excerpted up above makes me want to start back at the beginning and read it all again.

560 pages, Harper

HarperAudio

This book fits in the following 2023 Reading Challenges:

 

Literary Escapes Challenge - Virginia

 

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

 

Listen to a sample of the outstanding audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.

 

You can buy the book through Bookshop.org, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!


    

 

Or you can order Demon Copperhead from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Fiction Review: Lessons in Chemistry

I decided this year to only going to write a full-length review if a book was really great. Well, my very first book read in 2023, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, met that criteria. I already know this thoughtful, laugh-out-loud funny book will be among my top reads for the year because I had an absolute blast reading it!

The novel begins with a brief set of scenes in 1961, where Elizabeth Zott, an out-of-work chemist and single mother of a brilliant five-year-old daughter named Madeleine, heads off to her new career, as the television star of a cooking show called Supper at Six. Then the narrative moves back to 1951 to provide the backstory of how all that happened. Elizabeth started out working as a chemist at a local research laboratory. Her male colleagues--and boss--were all less intelligent but (probably because they knew how smart she was) treated her horribly. She wanted to work on a ground-breaking idea of her own but was usually assigned to scut work and treated like an assistant. Then she met Calvin Evans, the tall, handsome, brilliant chemist who had his own fully-equipped lab to himself because he'd won a Nobel Prize. Like Elizabeth, Calvin wasn't very good with people. He was known for holding a grudge and being a loner at work. But once the two of them got to know each other, it was ... well, chemistry. She moves in with him, he invites her to do her work in his lab, and the two of them are fabulously happy together. Somehow, though, we know from the start that their wonderful relationship can't last because we know where Elizabeth is ten years later.

Most of the novel is about those ten years, from awkward chemist Elizabeth first meeting Calvin to her somehow transforming into a huge TV star, with flashbacks to Elizabeth's and Calvin's earlier lives. The plot is intriguing, but this novel is about so much more than what happens. It's about love, women in the workplace, parenting, and finding happiness. Don't forget that it's historical fiction, too, and paints a complex (and horrifying) picture of the expectations and treatment of women in the 1950's and 60's. But it's the writing that really makes this unique novel shine. Garmus has created characters that you want to spend time with, not just Elizabeth but also Calvin, Madeleine, their neighbor, Harriett, and more. And I haven't mentioned the best part yet ... this book is hilarious! Even though it deals with some very serious issues of sexual assault, mistreatment of women, and more, this novel made me laugh out loud repeatedly, often taking me by surprise with its sudden wit. One of my favorite characters is Six-Thirty, Calvin and Elizabeth's dog, who is incredibly smart as well and takes it upon himself to protect the family. I know that sounds gimicky, but it isn't ... it's hysterically funny to hear Six-Thirty's very astute observations (thoughts--of course he doesn't speak) about the world around him and his role in it. I wanted to include some quotes, but you should experience it for yourself. It's best when the humor takes you by surprise. I loved every moment of this novel, and I never wanted it to end. It was the perfect book to kick off the new year, and it left me smiling and feeling satisfied.

390 pages, Doubleday

This book fits in the following 2023 Reading Challenges:

Mount TBR Challenge

Monthly Motif Challenge - New Year, New Direction (direction in the title - I know "in" is a stretch, but it's the best I did last month)

Alphabet Soup Challenge - L

Literary Escapes Challenge - California

 

 

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

 

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible. I've heard the audio is great!

 

You can buy the book through Bookshop.org, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!

     

 

Or you can order Lessons in Chemistry from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

Monday, January 30, 2023

It's Monday 1/30! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date 

Life

I guess I spoke too soon and jinxed myself last week because my health worsened again. I just have no energy and have been sleeping my life away. I think it's just a matter of getting the right combination and dosing of thyroid meds, so I'm hopeful I can get back to feeling better after I talk to my doctor this week and maybe get another set of lab tests.

I did start the week off well and finally got to enjoy a walk at our local nature center with one of my closest friends ... long overdue! It was a gorgeous day--the only one all week with blue sky--and we talked nonstop and enjoyed catching up.


Blue skies and our lovely creek

Our iconic covered bridge
 

I'm continuing my #sky365 daily photos, even when I don't feel well. The clouds' patterns and textures have been interesting, but I'd really like to see some sunshine and blue sky! This was probably the most gray and overcast January I've seen in my 33 years in Delaware. 

Pretty clouds but I'd like to see the sun!

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On the Blog

No energy meant very little blogging (sorry for those blogs I didn't have a chance to visit last week!). I'm very glad I decided this year to reduce the number of reviews I write. I did manage to finally sign up for my 2023 Reading Challenges, so you can check those out.

Who else out there is already planning what to read for Big Book Summer 2023??

__________

On Video

 I didn't have the energy to record new videos last week, either, but luckily, I had recorded several the week before:

Top 10 Novels Read in 2022 - a quick recap of my favorite fiction last year

Top 7 Nonfiction Books Read in 2022 - the best of the best!

So, if you're looking for outstanding books to read, check out my top picks. I still have one more Best Of video to edit, covering my favorite YA and middle-grade books from last year.

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What We're Reading
  
(Just a note that I finally finished Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver on audio, and it was outstanding! Definitely going to be a top book of 2023. The audio took me a full month to finish, but I was sorry when it ended and am missing the characters. It's wonderfully written, clever, funny, heart-breaking and heart-warming.)

I finished reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, my first classic of the year. I've never read Buck before and learned that she lived in China as a child and went back as a young adult. This book is set mostly in rural China in the 1920's, during the revolution, about a farmer named Wang Lung, the slave woman, O-lan, he takes as a wife, and the children they have. The family endures terrible hardships, including drought, floods, and near-starvation, but ultimately they thrive due to Wang Lung's connection to the land. It was a captivating story that I thoroughly enjoyed (though I wouldn't have wanted to be female in 1920-30's China!).
 
 

Now I am reading a review book from last year, A Serpent's Tooth by Matty Dalrymple. This is book 5 in her Ann Kinnear series, about a women who can sense and communicate with spirits. Her brother acts as her business manager, and she hires out to people who want to hear from the dead. Each book has a mystery at its heart and thriller-type action, but with a supernatural twist that I love. I've only just started this one, but it takes place at a family-run winery located in southeastern Pennsylvania (about 15 minutes from where I live!). I love her writing, the characters, the suspense, and how she makes each location an integral part of the story. Book 6 was just released, and I have that one, too, to look forward to!
 
 

I started--and finished--a middle-grade audio book, Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar. It's an immigration story but different than ones I have previously read. Nine-year-old Betita lives with her parents in East LA. They are descended from Aztecs, who originally lived in the southwest U.S. in a land called Atzlan. When their home in Mexico became too violent and dangerous, they migrated to the US and to their people's original homeland. Betita's Papi gets arrested by ICE and deported to Mexico, and Betita and her mom have applied for asylum. On a trip to the border to visit Papi through the fence, her uncle misses their exit, and they end up at customs, crossing the border. Betita and her mother--eight months pregnant--are sent to a detention center, where they are kept in a cage on a cement floor with 30 other mothers and children. All of this is told in lyrical verse from Betita's perspective. I loved listening to this powerful, poignant story on audio, but I see that the print version includes drawings and you can see the poetry structure, so I think that both versions would be wonderful.
 
 

My husband, Ken, is still reading No Plan B by Lee Child and Andrew Child (his brother). This is Ken's all-time favorite series, and I get him the latest book each Christmas. He is, of course, enjoying it!
 
 

Our son, 28, is still reading The White Tower by Michael Wisehart, book 1 in The Aldoran Chronicles, in preparation for book 2, which he just bought with a Christmas gift card.

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What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.  

What are you and your family reading this week?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

2023 Reading Challenges


I enjoyed my 2022 Reading Challenges (see how I did at the link), so I'm signing up for the same ones this year.

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2023 hosted by My Reader's Block - Now in its 12th year!

This year, I am setting my goal at Mt. Vancouver, 36 books from my TBR shelves. I missed my goal of 48 the past two years (33 TBR books last year), so this seems more realistic. Even though I rarely buy books for myself, I seem to be losing the battle, and my TBR bookcase now has double rows on two shelves! I realize, though, that with library books for book group, graphic novels from publishers, and new releases for the annual Booktopia event, this is a more reasonable goal.

Note that the challenge allows e-books and audios to count, but my main goal is to get through some of the physical books I own, so I usually only count physical books. This challenge has monthly review link-ups.

 


 2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Girlxoxo.

I enjoy this challenge every year! I hit eleven of twelve of the monthly motifs last year, so I will try to hit them all in 2023! This also has monthly review link-ups.

JANUARY- New Year, New Direction “Read a book with one, or more, ‘directional’ words in the title.” ie. (into, over, out, behind, left, right, down, up, north, south, out, etc.) 

FEBRUARY- If You Have A Garden and a Library… Read a book with a plant or flower on the cover.”

MARCH- Animal, Number, Color, NameRead a book with an animal, number, color, or name in the title.

APRIL- I Like Big Books “Read a book over 400 pages long or listen to an audiobook over 14 hrs long.”

MAY- In It To Win It “Read a book that involves a game or contest of some sort.” ie. Virtual reality, video games, war games, psychological mess-with-your-mind games, characters who participate in a contest, or a story in which the character takes on a personal challenge. 

JUNE- Take the Plunge “Read a book from any genre that is set on or near a body of water- lake, ocean, pool, river, etc.” 

JULY- I Need Only One WordRead a book with only one word as the title.”

AUGUST- A Book and a SongRead a book with the same title as a song you’ve heard.”

SEPTEMBER- Speculative Stories “Read a book from the speculative fiction sub-genre” i.e. a book with elements that do not exist in the real world.

OCTOBER- Spellbinding or Spooktacular “Read a book that involves something spooky or magical or both.”

NOVEMBER- Around OR Out of this World “Read a book set in a country other than the one you live in OR read a book that takes place in space or on another planet.”

DECEMBER- White-out “Read a book with a wintry setting or a book with a mostly white cover.”

 

Classics Challenge

In a sad turn of events, the Back to the Classics Challenge that I join every year is not running in 2023. I looked all over and couldn't find another that fits for me (just one that requires 12 classics that fit into monthly themes). So, I guess I'm on my own this year! I'm posting the 12 categories from the Back to the Classics Challenge 2022 because they make it more fun, and I am again setting my goal to read 6 classics this year (I read 7 last year).

1. A 19th century classic. Any book first published from 1800 to 1899 -

2. A 20th century classic. Any book first published from 1900 to 1972. All books must have been published at least 50 years ago; the only exceptions are books which were written by 1972 and posthumously published.

3. A classic by a woman author.

4. A classic in translation.  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. 

5. A classic by BIPOC author. Any book published by a non-white author.

6.
 Mystery/Detective/Crime classic. It can be fiction or non-fiction (true crime). Examples include Murder on the Orient Express, Crime and Punishment, In Cold Blood.

7. A classic short story collection. Any single volume that contains at least six short stories. The book can have a single author or can be an anthology of multiple authors.

8. Pre-1800 classic. Anything written before 1800. Plays and epic poems, such as the Odyssey, are acceptable in this category. 

9. A nonfiction classic. Travel, memoirs, and biographies are great choices for this category.

10. Classic that's been on your TBR list the longest. Find the classic book that's been hanging around unread the longest, and finally cross it off your list!  

11. Classic set in a place you'd like to visit. Can be real or imaginary -- Paris, Tokyo, the moon, Middle Earth, etc. It can be someplace you've never been, or someplace you'd like to visit again.

12. Wild card classic. Any classic book you like, any category, as long as it's at least 50 years old!  

 


2023 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

This type of challenge was a new for me in 2021, and I enjoyed it in 2022, too! You just track the books you read, trying to cover all letters of the alphabet (first letter of the title, not counting articles). The past two years, I filled in 21 of 26 letters. I just read the fine print and learned that for Q, X, and Z, they can be the first letter of any word in the title, so maybe that will help me!

 

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Book'd Out.

I always sign up for a nonfiction challenge, and I enjoyed this one the past two years, when I read 13 nonfiction books each year. I am once again signing up for the Nonfiction Nosher category and shooting for reading at least 12 and hitting as many of the 12 categories as I can (last year I got 9 of the 12 categories).

History
Memoir/Biography
Crime & punishment
Science
Health
Travel
Food
Social Media
Sport
Relationships
The Arts
Published in 2023

 


Diversity Reading Challenge 2023 hosted by Celebrity Readers.

This is also a familiar challenge for me that I enjoy every year. I read 45 diverse books last year (out of 75 books total), so I will aim to hit that high of 45 again this year! This challenge also includes monthly mini challenges (I hit 8 of them last year) and a link-up for reviews.  

Mini-Challenges:

JANUARY – diverse folktales/culture/mythology; or diverse retelling; or non-western setting
FEBRUARYpoc: Black/African American
MARCH#ownvoices; or gender: female authors in male-dominated genres/non-fiction
APRIL – poc: Middle Eastern/South Asian
MAYpoc: East Asian/Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander 
UNE
LGBT+ pride summer: sexuality and gender identity
JULY – LGBT+ pride summer: sexuality and gender identity
AUGUSTmental health/addiction
SEPTEMBERpoc: hispanic/latinx
OCTOBERphysical/sensory/cognitive/intellectual/developmental disabilities
NOVEMBERpoc: Native American
DECEMBERreligious minorities

 

Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge hosted by Mom's Small Victories (great blog!)

I signed up for this one back in 2014, so this is a continuation (it's a perpetual challenge) - I can't wait to see what places I visit in books in 2023! In 2021, my books took me to 36 places outside the U.S., covering 17 different countries, but in 2022, I only read books in 16 places outside the U.S. and 14 different "countries" (and that was including Mars, Venus, and the Moon - lol). So, I hope to get back on track this year with more global reads.

 


2023 Literary Escapes Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

I love tracking where I read domestically, as well. In 2022, I read books set in 25 different states. I'm looking forward to reading in even more states this year!

 


Big Book Summer Challenge (link to 2022; 2023 link will go up in May) hosted by Book By Book (me!)

My own annual challenge that I host each summer, beginning Memorial Day weekend (end of May) and running until Labor Day (first Monday of September). Hope you'll join me for the laid-back fun this summer!

What Reading Challenges are you doing in 2023?