Book Challenge by Erin 7.0

Counting the days to Book Challenge by Erin 7.0. Is it time yet?

It’s time for Book Challenge by Erin 7.0!

Yay, reading! This will be my third or fourth time participating, and I’m jazzed about the categories for Book Challenge by Erin 7.0. Here are the books I’m reading. Yes, I have selected ten. Yes, I know you can count. Two are on the kindle, and two are still to be checked out from the library.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Erin’s book challenges, she runs them twice a year with different categories each time. You select a book of your choice to fulfill each challenge. For me, that’s the really fun aspect of the challenge–finding a book that fits both my reading interests and the particular category. The joy of the quest–sort of like those childhood scavenger hunts. Do kids still do scavenger hunts? I also enjoy seeing the books that others pick and reading their comments. All in all, I am so happy to have found this group of eager readers to hang with!

For details of Book Challenge by Erin 7.0, check out Erin’s information page here. And don’t forget the most important criteria–have fun.

· 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages

Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner

· 10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”

By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz

· 10 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover

Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell

· 15 points: Read a book that has a picture of an animal on the cover

sit! stay! speak! by Annie England Noblin

· 20 points: Read a book that was published in 2017

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

· 20 points: Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

(This is a book I’ve long been meaning to re-read. So glad to have the push I needed.)

· 25 points: The ALA’s “Banned Books Week” occurs while our challenge is happening. Read a book from this list of the most commonly banned books

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

(Love this category! I try to read a banned book every year. I’ve already exhausted all the ghost novels on the list.)

· 30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

· 30 points: Read a book with a non-human main character; i.e. animals, elves, gods, robots, merpeople, etc.

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

· 35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

(The novel Pollyanna made its debut in 1912. The copy I own was published in 1946. Don’t you love old books? I do.)

So, those are the categories and my selections. I can hardly wait to get started! I hope you check out this reading challenge, too. I’d love to see you in the group. Remember, for details of Book Challenge by Erin 7.0, check out Erin’s information page here.

Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? Do tell!

Mystery Blogger Award


Mystery Blogger Award Nominee…that’s me!

I know I should have said “that is I” instead of “that’s me,” but who cares about grammar at a time like this? Anyhow, yay! And thank you Doree Weller for nominating me!

So, some housekeeping details. There are rules involved. Serious rules.

Rule #1: Put the Mystery Blogger Award logo on the blog post. See above.

Rule #2: List the rules. They are as follows (starting with number 3 since you already have 1 and 2):

Rule #3: Thank the nominator and provide a link to that person’s blog. Mention what the blogger does.

Thanks again, Doree Weller. Doree is a writer of speculative YA fiction who blogs about writing and books over at Doree also loves dogs and hiking, and we all know dog lovers are a special breed of people.

Rule #4: Mention the creator of the Mystery Blogger Award and provide a link.

The creator, Okoto Enigma, considers the Mystery Blogger Award her greatest media feat so far.  Okoto believes “there are a lot of amazing blogs out there that haven’t been discovered yet. And…these blogs deserve recognition.” Also, the word mystery sort of plays with Okoto’s name Enigma.  What a cool name Okoto Enigma is!

Rule #5: Tell readers three things about me.

  • I like spiders, but I’m afraid of yellow jackets (the insect, not the garment…well, maybe the garment, too. I mean, who looks good in yellow?).
  • My hair is purple.
  • Sometimes you can find me wandering around old cemeteries.

Rule #6: Nominate 10-20 bloggers. I happily nominate (in random order):

Toni at Musings from Mara

Lydia at Lydia Howe

Stephanie at Southern Graves

Rochelle at The Notebook Blogairy

Trin at The Global Dig

Tasha from Tasha’s Thinkings

Erin at Texerin in Sydneyland

Patricia at Patricia Lynne

Tui at Tui Snider

Julie at Persephone Knits

Cait at Clicks Clan

Rule #7: Notify nominees by commenting on their blogs.

This one is in process.

Rule #8: Ask Nominees five questions, with one weird or funny one.

Here are the questions Doree asked me:

  1. What is the last game you played and with whom? Answer: I played Cards Against Humanity with the writers at the Better Books Marin writing conference. It was an absolute blast. I laughed so hard I worried I had punctured my ear drum. I hadn’t, but I did have ear pain for several days. And it was so worth it!
  2. What is a favorite quote? Answer: “Waiting was a sin against both the time that was still to come, and against the moments one was currently disregarding” (Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere).
  3. What is the best compliment someone has paid you? Answer: You’re a good listener. (It’s true, I am. Mostly because I prefer listening over talking.)
  4. Your favorite pizza topping? Answer: That’s easy–artichoke hearts, black olives, feta cheese. Yum!
  5. Favorite question to ask others? Answer: What happened after that? See answer number 3. Plus, the storyteller in me never tires of hearing stories.

Rule #9: Share a link to my best posts.

Making Bandages

Comfort Women: Truth, Please

V.S. Naipaul vs. The World, or Why I Vacuum

Ghost Novel Review: The Face

So, those are the rules. Have you ever been blog tagged? What do you think about the game of blog tag? In case you’re curious, below are the five questions I will ask my nominees. Feel free to answer them yourself in the comments. I’d love to hear! 

  1. What’s the most remote place you’ve ever visited?
  2. What cool but odd gift did you receive?
  3. What was the last book you read?
  4. What song would you like to hear when you walk into a room?
  5. (Weird question) If you happened to meet a ghost, what would you say?

“Would You Rather” Book Tag

“Would you rather” book tag.

So, I guess this “would you rather” game of tag has been around for a while. The newest thread originated by RayKayBooks focuses on book questions. Trin Carl over at The Global Dig tagged me and challenged me to answer some questions. Hi Trin!

Here are the questions and my answers.

Would you rather:


Definitely standalones. I rarely read trilogies. I find with trilogies that the first book is compelling, the second book develops character, and the third book is a blood bath. I don’t like blood baths. There is a lot more variety (not to mention quantity) in the book world with standalones.


I’m going to follow in the confident footsteps of Trin Carl and declare that I don’t like this question. While I try to support female authors who are under-represented in the publishing  and publishing awards world, I don’t believe in gender-typing.


I would have to choose Amazon because of its support of indie authors, ebooks, and used books, especially those hard to find, out of print books.


I love movies, but lately I have become somewhat addicted to drama series. A drama series of 8 or 12 or 20 episodes can convey a book more completely than a movie can. For example, the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice movie, while well done, could never compare to the PBS Pride and Prejudice series with Colin Firth. In addition, I have really enjoyed detective books made into series, and I have such fond memories of the Masterpiece Theater program.


My answer may surprise some, but I don’t think I could do justice to 5 books a week. Some books require a more time to read and digest. I’m reading a book right now, A Gentleman in Moscow, that I consider quite brilliant. Some nights I only read 5 pages of that one. Of course, I’d be mad if someone forced me to stop reading after only 5 pages when I was in the zone!


Author, definitely because, well, I am one already!


Though I would be sad to give up favorite books like Neverwhere that I re-read every couple of years, I am always excited to pick up a new book and see what undiscovered treasures are waiting for me.


Librarian. In college I worked in the library, and I seriously considered earning a masters in library science instead of my MFA. Plus, I pretty much suck at selling.


I love so many different genres, that I could easily give up one and happily read all the others.


I’m not a purist. I like the flexibility of carrying around dozens of titles on my kindle, but like others, I enter a library or book store and get off on book scent. (Yes, it’s a thing.) Also, when I’m reading for research, a physical book is much easier to navigate and flip through. I appreciate indices. So, if I had to choose one only, I’d go with physical books. I firmly believe there’s no prettier spot than a room with polished wooden bookcases and well-worn, well-loved books. Even better if the room contains a rolling wooden ladder to reach those books on the top shelf.

Thank you, Trin, for tagging me. Now I hereby tag Juliana at Blots of Ink and Words (because she loves to read so much), and all my followers–yes, I mean you!–to answer these 10 questions. Send me your link or add your choices in the comments, and I promise to read your responses to the “Would you rather…” queries.


Z is for Zugzwang

Z is for Zugzwang.

It is the last day of the A to Z Challenge! You, my readers, have survived! Yay, you!

So, zugzwang. I borrowed a chess term for today’s category of

novels for young adults.

Zugzwang describes a situation in which one must take one’s turn even if it is to one’s disadvantage. It also means to force someone else into that situation. Zugzwang so perfectly sums up what authors do to their characters, and that is particularly true of today’s two novels for young adults.

Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien

Sixteen-year-old Ann Burden (prophetic name, anyone?) believes she is the lone survivor of a nuclear war. Everyone she knows and loves is dead. She has created a life for herself in a valley and has lived there for a year. But one day she sees a campfire and realizes she is not alone. What if this other person is not to be trusted? This Edgar Award winner is about isolation and hard choices. You may know O’Brien’s work from his children’s novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, a beautiful Newbery Medal novel about kindness and generosity.

Zac and Mia

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

Two teens meet on a leukemia cancer ward. One of them is optimistic and sunny–Zac. The other is angry and despairing–Mia. Together they challenge each other to face an unknown future. Some critics have compared Zac and Mia to The Fault in Our Stars, but the relationship between Zac and Mia is more friendship-based than romantic. Other readers even feel Zac and Mia are almost spin-off characters of Isaac and Monica from The Fault in Our Stars. It might be interesting to do a reading comparison of these two books.

From nuclear fall-out to life-threatening cancer, I’d say today’s authors have presented their characters with ordeals of zugzwang proportions.

Have you ever heard the word zugzwang before? Do you have a favorite character facing zugzwang?

Thank you, readers, for joining me on this A to Z journey! I hope you have enjoyed the ride and perhaps found a new book or two to try.