Monday 27 January 2020

The Songlines

Finished January 26
The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, illustrations by Simon Pemberton

I've had this one on my shelf for a while, but Australia being in the news lately made my pick it up. It was a relatively easy read, with most of the book being a fictionalized version of the author's short time in the Australian outback among aboriginal people and those working with them. In particular it features a man whose parents emigrated from Russia, and who is working with aboriginal people to identify sacred places so the railway they are building can avoid causing more damage than it naturally will just by existing.
The idea of songlines as a birthright and a responsibility is made very clear, and I liked the way that the people were shown to be intelligent and with real character, not stereotypes. There was recognition of the struggles they are facing, and the harms done to them.
As the book progresses, when Bruce spends some time alone in a small outback town, stranded by the rain, he delves into his journals and notebooks and pulls out a bunch of quotes, anecdotes, and other passages that look at man's relationship to the world, to animals, to nature, to the idea of moving around as a way of life. This was also interesting, but these sections took more time to separate ideas and make connections.
My edition also had a very useful introduction by Nicholas Shakespeare that gave me background and context for the book, that made my reading more meaningful.

Sky Girls

Finished January 21
Sky Girls: The True Story of the First Women's Cross-Country Air Race by Gene Nora Jessen

This was a fascinating read, and my book club enjoyed it as well. The race this book tells the story of took place in 1929, and the female pilots did the solo race from Clover Field in Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, the site of the Cleveland Air Races. The race was the Women's Air Derby, the first of its kind, although similar races already existed for male pilots. Male Derbys from both the east and the west were also happening at the same time. Once at Cleveland, several of the women pilots would also engage in other races and competitions.
The race had many legs, and the women were timed for each leg, getting a cumulative total that was their race time. There were prizes for each leg, as well as overall prizes. The race follows one woman, Louise Thaden, a little more closely than the others. She was a saleswoman for Travel Air Manufacturing Company, and would be flying one of their fairly new planes.
This book touches on each woman's experiences during the race, their difficulties, and their interactions with others. It was interesting to see the lack of safety considerations, the lack of security for the planes at most of the stops, and the ways in which ordinary people offered assistance when it was needed.
The woman were mostly experienced pilots, and all fairly young. The oldest was born in 1896 and the youngest in 1910. They were mostly American, although one was German and one Australian. One pilot died during the race, likely due to poor airplane design causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Crowds interfered with runway safety, causing the crash of at least one pilot and her subsequent withdrawal from the race. I enjoyed learning about the women themselves, although my book club members all agreed we would have liked to learn more about all of them.
The personalities were wide-ranging from the rebellious, go-my-own-way Pancho Barnes, to the petite, budding actress Blanche Noyes and the boyish Bobbi Trout. All of the women had some mechanical know-how, necessary for pilots of that time.
The stops along the way were well-attended, but not well-managed, and the women found the socializing stressful when they were already tired from their race. But they were mostly gracious, even in the face of those that wanted women to "stay in their place". The support of Will Rogers and Wiley Post were appreciated by the pilots.
I liked the maps that were included, and the epilogue that summarized the pilots' lives after the race. Also of great interest was the Afterword that included a lot of the more general history of women and aviation.
Enlightening overall.

Saturday 25 January 2020

What's In a Name Challenge 2020 Sign-up Page

I've skipped this one the last couple years, but I've always liked it so decided to add it again.

It's hosted here.
This year the six things to have in a book title are:
* an ampersand
* an antonym
* 4 letters or less
* a given name
* reference to children
* one of the four natural elements

2020 Book Bingo Challenge Sign-Up

I can seldom resist a good Book Bingo, so I'm committing to do this one.

This challenge is hosted here.
There are different levels of commitment, so of course I'm going for a Full House.

Here's the Bingo Card:

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriquez

Finished January 17
Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez by Christiane Duchesne and François Thisdale

This charming picture book shows the children of the village watching an older man as he faithfully takes a walk every day. They become more fascinated when his actions on his daily walk suddenly become varied. He floats above the ground, flys a dove on a string, balances a fishbowl on his head, ties wings to a cat, and other intriguing things. The children are fascinated and amused, and this shows in the illustrations. I liked the innovative activity, the mystery of his actions, and the diversity of the children pictured here. I really loved the illustrations, with the mix of realism and fantasy and the detail of the different scenes.
This is a book that explores the imagination and leaves a lot for the reader to decide on their own. A beautiful book.

The Last Train to London

Finished January 15
The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

This novel is set mostly in the Netherlands and Austria. In the Netherlands, the main character is Truus (Geertruida) Wijsmuller-Meijer, a woman who smuggled children out of Nazi Germany, and then out of other countries controlled by the Nazis, prior to and during the Second World War. She told the children that she was saving to call her Tante Truus, and although she longed for children of her own, she and her husband Joop never were blessed with them. Truus was a real life woman who did this work, and although she was taken prisoner a couple of times by the Nazis, she lived through the war and was held in high esteem and with great affection by the children she saved. While most of Truus' story is based in fact, some small liberties were taken for the purpose of the novel.
In Austria, we follow young Stephan Neuman, born into a wealthy Jewish family who made chocolates, as he turns sixteen, seventeen, and nears eighteen as his world falls apart when the Nazis take over Austria, his parents' business, and his home in Vienna. Here we also see his little brother Walter, who has a much-loved Peter Rabbit doll he takes almost everywhere with him. Stephen wants to be a writer, specifically a playwright, and his model is Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. One of Stephen's classmates is Zofie-Helene Perger, who is a mathematical prodigy and the daughter of journalists. Her father died mysteriously on a trip to Germany before the story begins, and her mother has continued the newspaper they owned even as her own life and liberty become threatened by the Nazis.
As we see Truus' mission to save children become more difficult and dangerous, we also see her determination and the special relationship she and her husband had that made her work possible. In Austria, we see how Stephen's world collapsed so quickly from one of privilege and opportunity to one where he had to struggle just to stay alive. We see his mother's determination to save her children, despite her own illness, and the trust of young Walter that things would be better. For Zofie, we see her determination to stay true to her friendship with Stephen even when their differences in religion divided them under the Nazi regime, and how she defied her grandfather, who was trying to protect her, in helping Stephen in the ways that she could.
Clayton brings these times to life, with all the emotion that the characters felt. A great read.

Backlist Reader Challenge 2020 Sign-up Page

Backlist Reading Challenge
Hosted here
I have far more books than I really should, but I just can't help myself. I usually do a TBR challenge every year, but my usual host stopped doing it, and I saw this one, so decided to try this.
It's a bit different in that you read books published before 2019 that have been on your TBR list for a long time, but you don't have to own them. I will probably choose books that I already own but haven't read (list here), but like the ability to choose from the ones I've want to read for a while, but don't own (list here). Both of these lists are from my Goodreads page and that shows the date I added them to my list, so I won't choose anything I added to the list after 2018. 
I also like that I don't HAVE to pick them in advance, but can kind of go with the flow of what I feel like reading. 

Aussie Author Challenge 2020 Sign-up Page

I'm committing to a challenge to read some Australian Authors. It is called the Aussie Author Challenge, and is hosted here.

I'm going for the Wallaroo level of the challenge which is to read 6 books by Australian writers. At least two of the authors have to be female and at least two of them male. Also two of them have to be authors that I haven't read anything by before.

Should be fun to find.

What Cats Think

Finished January 12
What Cats Think by Mies van Hout, text by John Spray

This lovely picture book showcases the beautiful artwork of Mies van Hout. Her pictures are engaging and show the emotions and movement of the cats perfectly. You can see the emotions on the cats' faces as described in the text, and the wide variety of cat types helps kids find the one that they can relate to, either due to cats they know personally, or the way the cats have similar emotions to the kids. Whether its worry about going to the vet, jumpiness at sudden noises, or anger at the loss of an object they liked, the cats show feelings similar to the children's own experiences with doctor visits, surprises, or loss. There are lots of different kinds of feelings shown too from curiosity and joy, to panic and confusion. What a great way to have kids both explore their own emotions and relate to animals in their lives. I only wish it could tell me what my cat is thinking when it yells at me from the kitchen in the middle of the night despite full food and water bowls.
I also loved the colours here, where drawings are each saturated with one colour showing the different shades and intensities in a fun way.

Saturday 11 January 2020

An Island Christmas

Finished January 11
An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer

This short novel is set on Nantucket as Jilly prepares for the wedding of her second daughter Felicia, which is to take place on Christmas day. Jilly is closer to her eldest daughter Lauren, who lives in New York with her husband and two children, who shares similar interests, and who visits often. Felicia is more outdoorsy, and she now lives in Colorado and her fiance is a rugged man who also spends most of his time outdoors running adventure tours.
Jilly has always dreamed that Felicia would marry a boy she grew up with and live closer, and even in the face of Felicia's impending marriage, still tries to manipulate things to that end.
George, Jilly's husband, can see the stress in Jilly and encourages adding a cat to their household to calm Jilly. The cat is not the one they expected to get, but is definitely the one Jilly needed, and he adds a lot to this story.
The family dynamics are interesting and I liked how the characters were a bit unpredictable. A cosy book for a light, enjoyable read.


Finished January 9
Abhorsen by Garth Nix, read by Tim Curry

This book, third in the series, continues the story of Lirael as she follows the trail foreseen for her as she searches for Sam's friend Nick, and the great power he is in the process of releasing, that of the Destroyer. Lirael must go into Death to use the dark mirror and see how the Destroyer was bound and held in the beginning to see what she and her allies must do now, if they are able to. She is accompanied on her journey not only by Sam, but also by her friend the mysterious Disreputable Dog and by Mogget, who is bound to the Abhorsen. As they travel, they go by ways previously unknown to them, and to the world outside the Old Kingdom, where they must deal with those who don't believe in the power of magic, even when it is in front of them, and hordes of refugees looking for a better future. This is a time of great change and great danger.
While most of this tale involves Lirael, we also get glimpses of others including Sam's parents Sabriel and Touchstone, and the dangers they face as they too try to change the course of the terrible things unfolding, without knowing everything that is happening.
I read this so soon after Lirael as that book really left me in the middle of the tale and I needed to find out how the journey progressed. This is a tale of darkness and of power-hungry manipulators. A tale that reminded me with the journeys of the refugees, of our own world and the things unfolding here.
I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

The Wings of the Sphinx

Finished January 5
The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri

This continues the series featuring Inspector Montalbano in Sicily. In his personal life, Montalbano's relationship with his long-term girlfriend Livia is uncertain. They haven't spoken in a while and she isn't answering her phone when he tries to reach her.
When he is called to a nearby garbage dump where a body is discovered, he finds himself involved in a case of an unidentified young woman with a distinctive tattoo, of a sphinx moth. As he discovers the existence of other girls with the same tattoo, he finds the case may involve human trafficking, and the sex trade.
As usual, there is much good food being eaten, interesting interactions with his coworkers, and the sense of getting older that Montalbano is beginning to feel more and more.

The Half Brother

Finished January 4
The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen, translated by Kenneth Steven

I've been reading this one for a while and finally finished it. It's a long book, and it took me a while to really get into it. The book starts with a prologue, an interaction between the narrator and his older half brother Fred. This shows us a bit of the relationship between the two and where the power lies. The narrator's name is Barnum, and they live in Oslo.
As the main part of the book opens, we are a long ways into the future from the prologue. Barnum is now an adult and is at a festival in Berlin with his friend Peder where they are meeting with film executives. Barnum receives a message from home that causes him to end his visit early.
The novel now moves further into the past, to 1945, when Barnum's moths is busy with chores as she revels in the end of the war, looking to celebrate with her mother Boletta, and grandmother, The Old One, when she is attacked. This part of the book is about these three women in the family, their loves and their losses. It is from this attack that Fred is born.
Barnum's father is from Rost, a northern island off the coast. But he did not fit the life there and he left as soon as he could. It is only with Barnum's baptism that he and his family return there.
As the book follows the lives of Fred, Barnum, and their family, we see the strange relationship between the brothers, the women that wait for things to happen, and the man who is the father to Barnum.
We also see Barnum begin to develop a life of his own, to find friends and a talent and to grow into a man.
This is a book about the characters more than the action. Slow-moving, but I became more and more interested in them all as I read. More than one character retreats into silence at times, and alcohol also plays a role in many ways, as does film. Fascinating read.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge

Hosted here. this challenge has a number of interesting prompts.

Here are the rules:

* The challenge runs January 1 to December 31
* Book weeks begin on Sunday
* The first week runs January 1 to January 11
* You can join anytime
* All books are acceptable except childrens books.
* Rereads are acceptable
* Overlaps of other challenges are allowed.
* For those who blog, create an entry post linking to the host and signup in the sidebar
* There will be a link widget for each week.

There is also a Bingo associated with the Challenge:
Another part of this one is the Ladies of Fiction Bookology. This one is definitely a challenge, but sounds interesting, but I'm not sure which option I'm looking at for tackling it. 

Here are the details: 

Each month you'll have the opportunity to explore different authors, characters, countries, and genres.  There are a number of ways to complete the challenge, including but not limited to:  

  • Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
  • Read one or more books written by the author. 
  • Read a book written in the country or time period of the author.

Have fun exploring

Ladies of Fiction

Literary Fiction


Mystery, Romantic Suspense, and Arthurian Fantasy
Crime Fiction


Romance, Contemporary fantasy, and Paranormal mystery
Historical Fiction
Science Fiction / fantasy
Historical Fiction and Mystery
Paranormal Romance
Renaissance historical fiction and Thrillers
aka Amanda Quick aka Jayne Castle
Romantic Suspense, Historical and Paranormal
Steampunk, Horror and Mystery
Literary Fiction

Another subcategory of this challenge that I'm considering is the Nobel Prize Winners. Here is the information for that:
The Nobel Prize Winners in Literature  

In 2010, I took a Nobel Literature class and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it was a lot of work, I read several books that probably normally would never have considered reading including Jean Paul Sartre's Nausea, Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude,and Kenzaburo Oe's The Silent Cry.  After reading these books, it made me want to read more selections from the literature prize list. Since then, I've read books by one or two authors from the list each year. Join me in reading the authors who won the Nobel Prize for Literature.  

Baby Steps:  2 Books
Toddler:  4 books
Adolescent:  6 Books
Teenager:  8 or more Books

I'm thinking of going for adolescent on this one as I know I have some of these authors on my shelf, plus my book club has a Doris Lessing book picked for the year. 

I'm also going to commit to the Dusty and Chunky subchallenge

I won't stop buying books (I know myself too well to even consider that, plus I have some subscriptions I want to continue), but I will commit to levels for both Dusty and Chunky.
For Dusty, I'll commit to Beyond the Sea level at 8 books, and for Chunky, I'll commit to Down to the Water Line to get some of those behemoths moving off my TBR shelf. 

Dusty and/or Chunky Mini Challenge

The dusty books are the ones that have been sitting on your shelves for a while - you know which ones.

The chunky books are more than 500 pages long and will take a bit more time, but oh so worth it. 
Dusty Books
Safe in the Harbor - 2 Books
Sail on Sweet Sister - 4 Books
Life in the Dark Water  - 6 Books
Beyond the Sea  - 8 Books
The Voyage  - 10 Books or more

Chunky Books - Come Sail Away 

The Tide is High  - 2 books
Down to the Water Line  - 4 books
Big Boat  - 6 books
 Big Ship Sailing  - 8 books
Mother Ocean  - 10 books or more

I'm also going for the Feed the Muse challenge: 

Feed Your Muse 

For Writers and Readers

Read 52 poems, essays, and short stories 

Other options for this wide-ranging challenge that have appeal are the Sounds of Silence, The Well-Educated Mind,  

20 in 20 Reading Challenge Commitment

This is a challenge that sounds fun.
It's hosted here.

There are 20 categories that have you reading 10 fiction and 10 nonfiction books. This sounds quite doable, so we'll see how I do.

Reading Summary for 2019

Here's my look back at my reading for 2019.
It was definitely a year where I read less. I also completed less challenges than previously. I've been thinking about it and realize that I try to look at the books on my shelves and fit them into the challenges that I'm doing, which sometimes just doesn't work. Also, my shelves have become less organized over the last couple years, which makes books harder to locate. So I'll work on that over the next few months.
I read 141 books over the year.

Here are my stats:

Adult: 124
Children's: 14
Teen: 3

Source and Fate
42 of the books I read were library books
84 of the books I read I owned (38 were advance copies)
3 were read for Netgalley
The rest were borrowed from others

78 of those I owned left my possession after I read them. (I also went through my mystery bookcase and gave away any that earned less than 4 stars)

Author Gender
28 books were written by men
109 were written by women
3 were written by teams that included both men and women
1 was written by an author under a pseudonym that didn't identify their genre

Category and Genre:
There are a couple of overlaps here with collections where they included both fiction and nonfiction in one book.
Fiction: 118. There are some genre overlaps where books fell into multiple genres
    2 of these were short stories or included short stories
    35 were mysteries or thrillers
    21 were historical fiction
    6 were fantasy
    1 was science fiction
    33 were romance
    1 was horror
    None were westerns this year.
    27 books were part of a series
Nonfiction: 24
    3 of these were poetry or included poetry
    3 of these were essays or included essays
    7 were history books
    1 was a science book
    9 were biographies or memoirs

8 Translated works:
    Italian               3
    Afrikaans          1
    Dutch                1
    French               1
    Japanese           1
    Norwegian        1

25 were set in Canada
66 were set in the U.S.
39 were set in Europe
3 were set in Africa

3 were graphic novels
22 were audiobooks
3 were ebooks
The rest were print books

Wrap-Up of Goodreads Challenge for 2019

I hadn't done this one before, but it was posted in a group on Facebook and I thought it sounded interesting. I didn't do too badly, missing 18 out of 52. 

1. A book that was nominated for or won an award in a genre you enjoy
2. A book with one of the 5 Ws in the title (Who, What, Where, When, or Why)
    Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht. Finished June 9
3. A book where the author's name contains A, T, and Y
    My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Finished January 1
4. A book with a criminal character
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti. Finished July 25
5. A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare
6. A book with a dual timeline
     Ghost Riders by Sharon McCrumb. Finished January 16
7. 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: book 1
8. 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: book 2
9. A book from one of the top money-making genres (romance/erotica, crime/mystery, religious/inspirational, science fiction/fantasy, or horror)
     Misadventures of a City Girl by Meredith Wild and Chelle Bliss. Finished January 4
10. A book featuring an historical figure
     Montaigne in Barn Boots by Michael Perry. Finished April 1
11. A book related to one of the 12 Zodiac Chinese Animals (title, cover, or subject)
12. A book about reading, books, or an author
13. A book that is included on a New York Public Library Staff Picks list
14. A book with a title, subtitle, or cover relating to an astronomical term
     Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke. Finished April 19
15. A book by an author from a Mediterranean country or set in a Mediterranean country
     A Chill in the Air by Iris Origo. Finished February 12
16. A book told from multiple perspectives
     Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg, Finished February 20
17. A book of speculative fiction (fantasy, scifi, horror, dystopian)
     Half Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay. Finished January 2
18. A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table
19. A book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR list
     Unto Us a Son Is Given by Donna Leon. Finished June 10
20. A book featuring indigenous people of a country
     Sugar Falls by David Alexander Robertson and Scott B. Henderson. Finished December 26
21. A book from one of the polarizing or close call votes
  The Castle in the Sea by Mardi McConnochie. Finished October 9
  from here. Poll 8, polarizing
22. A book with a number in the title or on the cover
     Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell. Finished July 2
23. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something Old
24. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something New
    The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Finished August 24
25. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something Borrowed
26. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #1 Something Blue
27. A book off of the 1001 books to read before you die list
28. A book related to something cold
29. A book published before 1950
     The King's General by Daphne du Maurier. Finished September 13
30. A book featuring an elderly character
     The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti A. Skomsvold. Finished September 11
31. A children's classic you've never read
32. A book with more than 500 pages
    The Portable Dorothy Parker. Finished December 31
33. A book you have owned for at least a year, but have not read yet
     Redemption Road by John Hart. Finished December 5
34. A book with a person's name in the title
     Waiting for Tom Hanks by KerryWinfrey. Finished June 15
35. A psychological thriller
     Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney. Finished February 22
36. A book featured on an NPR Best Books of the Year list
37. A book set in a school or a university
    What Happens Next by Susan Hughes, illustrated by Carey Sookocheff. Finished July 1
38. A book not written in traditional novel format (poetry, essay, epistolary, graphic novel)
39. A book with a strong sense of place or where the author brings the location/setting to life
     Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais. Finished March 16
40. A book you stumbled upon
     Last Things by Marissa Moss. Finished April 20
41. A book from the 2018 GR Choice Awards
42. A book with a monster or "monstrous" character
    Lirael by Garth Nix. Finished December 30
43. A book related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
44. A book related in some way to a tv show/series or movie you enjoyed
    The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King. Finished September 10
45. A multi-generational saga
    Golden Age by Jane Smiley. Finished November 5
46. A book with a (mostly) black cover
     Not to Disturb by Muriel Spark. Finished September 8
47. A book related to food (title, cover, plot)
     That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay. Finished January 22
48. A book that was a finalist or winner for the National Book Award for any year
     Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. Finished October 27
49. A book written by a Far East Asian author or set in a Far East Asian country
     The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns. Finished June 8
50. A book that includes a journey (physical, health, or spiritual)
     Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo by Boris Fishman. Finished January 10
51. A book published in 2019
     The Light over London by Julia Kelly. Finished February 5
52. A book with a weird or intriguing title
     The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg. Finished March 2

Wrap-Up of 2019 PopSugar Challenge

I didn't complete all the books for the challenge, but didn't do too badly, missing 18 out of 50.

    • 1. A book being made into a movie in 2019.
      2. A book that makes you nostalgic
          The Map That Leads to You by J.P. Monninger. Finished May 22
      3. A book written by a musician
      4. A book you think should be turned into a movie
           Need to Know by Karen Cleveland. Finished January 25
      5. A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads
      6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover
          Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly. Finished May 20
      7. A reread of a favourite book
      8. A book about a hobby
          Stitches in Time by Hilda Kassell. Finished July 14
      9. A book you meant to read in 2018
          The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Finished August 24
      10. A book with "pop," "sugar," or "challenge" in the title
          Sugar Falls by David Alexander Robertson and Scott B. Henderson. Finished December 26
      11. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover|
           Murder, Magic and What We Wore by Kelly Jones. Finished January 7
      12. A book inspired by mythology, legend, or folklore
           NOT COMPLETED
      13. A book published posthumously
          A Chill in the Air by Iris Origo. Finished February 12
      14. A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie
           NOT COMPLETED
      15. A retelling of a classic
           NOT COMPLETED
      16. A book with a question in the title
          Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht. Finished June 9
      17. A book set on a college or university campus
           NOT COMPLETED
      18. A book about someone with a superpower
         Lirael by Garth Nix. Finished December 30
      19. A book told from multiple character POVs
           Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg. Finished February 20
      20. A book set in space
      21. A book by two female authors
           Misadventures of a City Girl by Meredith Wild and Chelle Bliss. Finished January 4
      22. A book with a title that contains "salty," "sweet," "bitter," or "spicy"
           My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Ashe. Finished June 20
      23. A book set in Scandinavia
           The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti A. Skomsvold. Finished September 11
      24. A book that takes place in a single day
            The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone
      25. A debut novel
           Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney. Finished February 22
      26. A book that's published in 2019
           The Light over London by Julia Kelly. Finished February 5
      27. A book featuring an extinct or imaginary character
           If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura. Finished April 16
      28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire
           NOT COMPLETED
      29. A book with "love" in the title
           Love Letters to Baruch by Margaret Lawrence Greene, Finished June 29
      30. A book featuring an amateur detective
           NOT COMPLETED
      31. A book about a family
            The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader
      32. A book written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America
           My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Finished January 1
      33. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title
           Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke. Finished April 19
      34. A book that includes a wedding
            Penguin Days by Sara Leach. Finished January 1
      35. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
           Come From Away by Genevieve Graham. Finished January 21
      36. A ghost story
           Ghost Riders by Sharon McCrumb. Finished January 16
      37. A book with a two-word title
            Last Things by Marissa Moss. Finished April 20
      38. A novel based on a true story
           The Red Daughter by John Burnham Schwartz. Finished May 7
      39. A book revolving around a puzzle or a game
           NOT COMPLETED
      40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
         Liz and Nellie by Shonna Slayton. Finished December 13 (past challenge was reading a book by an author with the same first or last name as me, not an easy task)
      41. A "cli-fi" (climate fiction) book
        The Castle in the Sea by Mardi McConnochie. Finished October 9
      42. A "choose-your-own-adventure" book
           NOT COMPLETED
      43. An "own voices" book
          Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman. Finished July 18
      44. Read a book during the season it is set in
          August Heat by Andrea Camilleri. Finished July 3
      45. A LitRPG book
           NOT COMPLETED
      46. A book with no chapters, unusual chapter headings, or unconventionally numbered chapters
      47. Two books that share the same title (1)
      48. Two books that share the same title (2)
      49. A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom (e.g. Big Brother from 1984)
      50. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent
        The Corner That Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner. Finished October 6