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Majkia (Jean) - Backporch Birding Challenge

2020 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jan 19, 7:31am Top

My challenge this year is merely months of the year. Easier for me, and less hassle.
I'm using pictures of birds that visit our feeder, hanging there (there's another on the ground you can't see here) or visits us on the water. The water is Sarah Ann Bayou, salt water, so we get ducks, loons, pelicans, egrets, and grebes, as well as a few others.

Books Read:

Pages Read:


BigFatBooks( >500 pages):

Edited: Yesterday, 11:11am Top

Cardinal. With us year round.

1. The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson 🎵 (reader: Michael Kramer) Series: Mistborn #2 pages: 815 - ROOT, BFB, SFFKIT
2. The Bayern Agenda - Dan Moren - Pages: 384 -Series: The Galactic Cold War #1 -ROOT, SFFKIT - ROOT from 2019
3. Dispel Illusion - Mark Lawrence - Impossible Times #3 - 🎵 (reader: Matthew Throw) - pages 234
4. Whose Body? - Dorothy L. Sayers - Series: Lord Peter Wimsey #1 - 🎵 (reader: Roe Kindall - pages 224 - ROOT, BingoDog
5. Age of Myth - Micheal J. Sullivan - Series: Legends #1 - 🎵 (reader: Tim Gerard Reynolds - pages 432 - ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT, Focus Series
6. Un Lun Dun - China Mieville - pages 498 - ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT
7. Ancestral Night - Elizabeth Bear - Series: White Space #1 - 🎵 (reader: Nneka Okoye) - pages 512 - BFB, ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT
8. The City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty - pages 544 - 🎵 (reader: Soneela Nankani) - BFB, ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT, Dice

Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 11:51am Top

Brown Headed Nuthatch, one of my favorite birds. With us all year long.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 11:51am Top

Blue Jay - year long visitor to our feeders.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 11:53am Top

Goldfinch. I'm cheating a little bit here. We only see the Goldfinches during winter - generally, January through March. And they are wearing their dull colors then, and begin changing not long before they leave us.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 11:55am Top

Grebe. A waterfowl who visits us mainly Fall through early Spring.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 11:57am Top

Hummingbird. Ruby throated and brown headed visit us. They generally leave late October and return in Spring.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 11:58am Top

Kingfisher. A sea bird who hangs around year round. He makes a lot of noise, the little devil.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:00pm Top

Pelican. We see more of them in winter, as in spring and summer they stay more toward the beach areas. But winter brings bait fish into the bayou so we see them more often then.


Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 1:19pm Top

House Finch, and Raspberry Finches stay with us year round.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:03pm Top

Black Cap Chickadee - year round visitor.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:05pm Top

Great Blue Heron

They are here year long. I've seen one near the ground bird feeder, which was weird, and one did a mating dance up and down our dock for an hour at least one year.


Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:07pm Top

Bluebird. There is a house on the upper deck that you can't see in my picture. We watch them raise baby bluebirds most of the year.


Edited: Yesterday, 11:13am Top

BingoDog Reads:

1. Book that's in a Legacy Library -
2. Book written by an LT author Dispel Illusion
3. Book published in 1820 or 1920
4. Book published in the year of your birth
5. Book published under a pen name or anonymously
6. Book set in Asia
7. Mystery or true crime
8. Book involving a real historical event (fiction or nonfiction)
9. Book about books, bookstores, or libraries
10. Book with at least three letters of BINGO consecutively in order in the title (BIN, ING, NGO, GOB, OBI...the letters can cross words but must be in order and be consecutive)
11. Red cover, or red is prominent on the cover
12. Title contains a pun
13. Book about birth or death (childbearing, midwifery, human aging -- this is a combo of the "childbearing" and "human aging" suggestions)
14. Book with a proper name in the title
15. Book published by a small press or self-published
16. Book published in 2020
17. Epistolary novel or collection of letters
18. Book by a journalist or about journalism
19. Book not set on Earth - The Bayern Agenda
20. Mythology or folklore - The City of Brass
21. Weird book title
22. Book with "library" or "thing" in the title or subtitle
23. Book with a periodic table element in the title
24. Book by a woman from a country other than the US/UK
25. Read a CAT

Edited: Yesterday, 11:13am Top

Throw The Dice (a random selection from my TBR, Next Up, or Other list of possible reads) and Planned Series (series I want to make a dent in - or finish - this year.

January: Age of Myth / The City of Brass

Planned Series

1 Lightbringer Series Brent Weeks SFF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 #1 - The Black Prism (re-read)
2 Demon Cycle Peter V. Brett SFF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 #1 - The Warded Man (re-read)
3. Craft Sequence Max Gladstone SFF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, #1 - Three Parts Dead
4. Legends of 1st Empire Michael J Sullivan SFF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 #1 - Age of Myth
5. Laundry Files Charles Stoss SFF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 #2 - The Jennifer Morgue
6. His Dark Materials reread Phillip Pullman SFF 1,2,3, 0, 0.5 #2 - The Subtle Knife
7. P.C. Grant Ben Aaronovitch SFF 6,7 #6 Lies Sleeping
8. Powder Mage Brian McClellan SFF 4,5,6 #4 Sins of Empire

Sci Fi
9 The Academy Jack McDevitt Sci fi 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 #4 - Omega
10 Revelation Space Alastair Reynolds Sci fi 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 #2
11 Greg Mandel Peter F. Hamilton Sci fi 1, 2, 3 #1 - Mindstar Rising
12 Confederation Tanya Huff Sci fi 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, #1 - Valor's Choice
13 The Retrieval Artist K.K. Rusch Sci fi 1, 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. #1 - The Disappeared
14 Heris Serrano Elizabeth Moon Sci Fi 6,7
15 The Lost Fleet Jack Campbell Sci Fi 2,3,4,5,6 #2 Fearless


16 Ian Rutledge Charles Todd Period mystery 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, #12 - The Red Door
17 Dept Q Jussi Adler-Olsen Contemp mystery 7, 8 #7 - The Scarred Woman
18 Seb St Cyr C.S. Harris Period mystery 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 #10 - Who Buries the Dead
19 Sigma Force James Rollins thriller 13, 14 #13 - The Demon Crown
20 Pendergast Preston/Child thriller 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, #11 - Cold Vengeance
21 Flavia Alan Bradley Period mystery 9, 10 #9 - The Grave's a Fine and Private Place
22 Gamache Louise Penny mystery 10, 11, 12 #10 - The Long Way Home
23 Cooper & Fry Stephen Booth mystery 3,4,5 #3 - Blood on the Tongue

Edited: Yesterday, 11:14am Top

BFB reads:

Books >500 pages for the BFB Challenge here on LT.

1. The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson - 815 pages
2. Ancestral Night - Elizabeth Bear - 512 pages
3. City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty - 544 pages

Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:11pm Top

Reading Through Time Reads

Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:13pm Top

Library Books Read/Listened To

Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 12:16pm Top

Nov 16, 2019, 1:31pm Top

Wow! You really get some wonderful birds where you are. You win the prize for first thread up.

Nov 16, 2019, 1:58pm Top

Nice pictures. I will see some eagles this winter but geese and ducks are gone.

Nov 16, 2019, 2:09pm Top

What a beautiful thread you have set up, Jean. I love your opening picture, what a great place to sit and watch birds.

Nov 16, 2019, 2:14pm Top

>21 mnleona: We have eagles here too, but many more osprey than eagles.

Nov 16, 2019, 2:15pm Top

>20 dudes22: and >22 DeltaQueen50: Thanks and welcome!

Nov 16, 2019, 3:25pm Top

Lovely birds that you get to see! I particularly like the picture you put up for the kingfisher.
Looking forward to hear about your reading next year!

Nov 16, 2019, 3:32pm Top

What a beautiful theme! We are also a family of birdwatchers. Your back porch is lovely.

Nov 16, 2019, 4:36pm Top

Those are some lovely birds. The only one we have in common are the Goldfinches. I get them in over winter. I love that their collective noun is a charm of Goldfinches. They are delightlyful to look at.

I saw your thread go up and have promptly spent the rest of the afternoon sorting mine, so thanks for being first to dip a toe in the water. >:-)

Nov 16, 2019, 5:47pm Top

Wow! You get quite a variety of birds!! Really enjoyed looking through all the pictures.

Nov 16, 2019, 5:51pm Top

Lovely theme! Congrats on getting up and running!

Nov 16, 2019, 7:02pm Top

Enjoy your books and birdwatching in 2020! Glad to see the new challenge threads starting to appear :)

Nov 16, 2019, 7:22pm Top

Love the theme! Such beautiful birds, too. I mostly see gulls, rooks and pigeons from my balcony.

Nov 16, 2019, 7:39pm Top

What a great theme! Recognized many that visit us too, and it was neat to see what time of year they visit and what types you see.

Nov 16, 2019, 7:42pm Top

I love your theme! I always love bird paintings. We have lots of honeyeaters, kookaburras, cockatoos, galahs, fairy wrens, Willie Wagtails, magpies and of course, sparrows and crows at my house.
I have been waiting to see when we can start to post our plans for next year!

Nov 17, 2019, 12:14pm Top

Beautiful bird pictures! Your outdoor pic looks like a lovely place. We get all kinds of woodland birds here at our feeders--cardinals, bluejays, lots of finches, different kinds of woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and now tufted titmouse, juncoes, chickadees too. I love the brave little winter birds, and I make sure to put out seed and suet for them.

Nov 17, 2019, 4:13pm Top

Wow, what a terrific selection of birds! On our feeder we get sparrows mostly, plus coal tits. More occasional visitors are blue tits and robins. And then we have some pigeons that just sit on the ground and hoover up the spilt seeds from the feeder. I'm happy to see them, but I'd love to see some of yours there!

Nov 17, 2019, 4:18pm Top

Nice pics and good luck reading in 2020!

Nov 18, 2019, 1:20pm Top

Happy 2020 thread -- can't wait to see what you'll be reading next year!

Nov 18, 2019, 9:41pm Top

Love the bird pics.

Nov 19, 2019, 1:21pm Top

I love the birds and the paintings are so pretty! We get most of those in my area, except the water birds. Plus tons of sparrows and starlings and woodpeckers.

Nov 19, 2019, 1:29pm Top

Thanks everyone for the kind words and for dropping by. I'm trying to visit everyone else's threads but if I miss yours I might just have forgotten to leave a note. I'm a lurker at heart ;)

Nov 22, 2019, 6:28pm Top

Wishing you a happy year of reading and I really enjoyed looking at all your pictures. I also like to bird watch. We have some hummingbirds that visit our alstroemeria plants each day and they provide a lot of entertainment for our family.

Nov 22, 2019, 8:01pm Top

I love birds and look forward to visiting your pretty thread! Best wishes for a great reading year!

Dec 11, 2019, 10:35am Top

Such lovely birds! Great theme! Enjoy your 2020 reads!

Dec 30, 2019, 9:14am Top

Favorite Books from 2019:

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
The Calculating Stars by Mary robinette Kowal
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
The Traitor Son Cycle - by Miles Cameron

Dec 30, 2019, 9:29pm Top

What a gorgeous view from your porch! I'm looking forward to seeing what you read next year!

Dec 31, 2019, 10:14am Top

I love your bird illustrations and envy the variety of birds you can see from your home. Wishing you a lot of good books in the upcoming year!

Jan 1, 11:02am Top

You have a lovely view from your porch! Enjoy watching the birds and of course your reading!

Jan 1, 12:42pm Top

Thanks everyone for dropping by! Happy New Year!

We're beginning the year RVing at one of our favorite campgrounds, Eastbank, on Lake Seminole just across the Florida border in Georgia. Our daughter and her husband are camping with us.

Jan 1, 5:17pm Top

>48 majkia: I'm so jealous! I want to buy an RV so my cats can go camping with me. My sister-in-law would rather rent a cabin than have to do the set-up, but I'd rather have an RV packed and ready to go like my parents did.

Jan 1, 5:18pm Top

>48 majkia: Beautiful sight!

Jan 1, 5:23pm Top

>49 thornton37814: Oh yes. And we take our dogs with us everywhere.

Jan 1, 5:57pm Top

Such beautiful photographs! I feel calmer just gazing at them. :)

Jan 2, 12:59pm Top

1. The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson 🎵 (reader: Michael Kramer) Series: Mistborn #2 pages: 815 - ROOT, BFB, SFFKIT

I struggled a bit with this. I'm not certain why. Perhaps because I'm not crazy about the reader. He's not very good at discriminating between characters or showing much emotion.

Not sure I'll continue with this series.

Jan 2, 2:56pm Top

>53 majkia: I have yet to read a book by Sanderson. I'll try and remember not to start with this one!

Jan 2, 8:58pm Top

Oooohh, oh, oh.... I soooooo want a house with a back porch (and view) like the one in the opening post! Love your bird theme and impressed with the birds that visit your area.

Jan 4, 7:01am Top

Jan 4, 7:02am Top

2. The Bayern Agenda - Dan Moren - Pages: 384 -Series: The Galactic Cold War #1 -ROOT, SFFKIT - ROOT from 2019

An interesting story. Lots of action but also lots of plots within plots and intrigue. Not exactly 007 style espionage, but actually more interesting.

Jan 4, 10:16am Top

Since I'm doing birds on the bayou as my theme, I thought I'd share this picture my neighbor took yesterday. Being in the right place at the right time. Birding.

Jan 4, 12:02pm Top

Jan 4, 3:39pm Top

>58 majkia: Lovely photo of a bald eagle - thanks for sharing!

Jan 4, 3:49pm Top

Great photo.

Jan 4, 4:34pm Top

Amazing photo!

Jan 5, 2:23pm Top

3. Dispel Illusion - Mark Lawrence - Impossible Times #3 - 🎵 (reader: Matthew Throw) - pages 234

What a fun series, full of nostalgia and imaginative twists.

Jan 7, 10:25am Top

4. Whose Body? - Dorothy L. Sayers - Series: Lord Peter Wimsey #1 - 🎵 (reader: Roe Kindall - pages 224 - ROOT, BingoDog

Fun, light-hearted, intro to Lord Peter Wimsey and his piffle.

Jan 7, 11:43am Top

>64 majkia: Thank yo so much for proposing the Lord Peter series read - I really enjoy listening to Whose Body? - a nice change from reading it.

Jan 7, 11:53am Top

>65 Dejah_Thoris: Agreed! I've read it several times, but really enjoyed the audio version. I have some of the others on audio also.

Jan 7, 12:32pm Top

I'll probably listen to the next on audio as well.

Jan 9, 9:57pm Top

Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

Jan 10, 10:44am Top

Jan 10, 1:45pm Top

>68 PaulCranswick: Great resolutions, all!

Jan 10, 9:56pm Top

>48 majkia: Just stopping by and noticed the lovely photo. It sounds like you had a great start to your new year.

>68 PaulCranswick: Lovely thoughts to keep in mind this year! :-)

Edited: Jan 14, 2:11pm Top

5. Age of Myth - Micheal J. Sullivan - Series: Legends #1 - 🎵 (reader: Tim Gerard Reynolds - pages 432 - ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT, Focus Series

Full of interesting characters, and imaginative world building.

Edited: Jan 14, 6:34pm Top

January 15th is my 13th Thingaversary. The haul, in order to meet my obligations:

The Fated Sky: A Lady Astronaut Novel -Kowal, Mary Robinette
Lady Astronaut (2)
Dressed for Death: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Leon, Donna
Commissario Brunetti (3)
Murder at Archly Manor: High Society Lady Detective, Book 1 Rosett, Sara
High Society Lady Detective (1)
Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder Book 2) McClellan, Brian - Gods of Blood and Powder (2)
Jade War (The Green Bone Saga 2) Lee, Fonda
Witch Of The Federation (Federal Histories Book 1) Anderle, Michael
The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War 2) Kuang, R. F
A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia (A Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventure Book 1) Benson, Clara
The City in the Middle of the Night Anders, Charlie Jane
Escape to Osprey Cove Book 1 of The Osprey Cove Lodge Series Gold, Luisa Marietta
Steel Crow Saga Krueger, Paul
Mutineer (Kris Longknife 1) Shepherd, Mike
The Ten Thousand Doors of January Harrow, Alix E.

One to grow on:
The Mitford Murders - Jessica Fellowes

Jan 14, 6:36pm Top

>73 majkia: An excellent haul! Happy Thingaversary (a few hours in advance)!

Jan 14, 6:42pm Top

Happy Thingaversary -- looks like a great haul!

Jan 14, 7:18pm Top

Nice Thingaversary Haul!

Jan 14, 10:03pm Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Jan 14, 10:04pm Top

Definitely must meet your obligations! :) Happy Thingaversary - lots of great reading to come.

Jan 15, 2:49am Top

Happy Thingaversary! Nice pile of books to add to the TRB pile...

Jan 15, 4:19am Top

Happy thingaversary! Enjoy your haul!

Jan 15, 8:00am Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Jan 15, 11:49am Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Jan 15, 2:48pm Top

Congratulations on your Thingaversary - great haul!

Jan 15, 8:57pm Top

Congrats on the Thingaversary!

Jan 16, 6:50am Top

Thanks everyone for the kind wishes. I wish you all great thingaversaries also.

Jan 16, 9:30am Top

6. Un Lun Dun - China Mieville - pages 498 - ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT

What an imaginative book! Binjas! Webmister! Curdle!!!

Highly recommended.

As usual, China Mieville does not disappoint. And, you can also almost see The City & the City being created.

Jan 16, 10:37am Top

Happy (belated) Thingaversary! I'm glad that celebrated in the time-honored, traditional way.

Jan 16, 11:28am Top

Wow, great celebration! Happy Thingaversary! You did well.

Edited: Jan 16, 10:33pm Top

>86 majkia: Ok , I am going to have a read a book that has killer giraffes and animated umbrellas just to see what on earth is going on! Hmm, where to fit weird fiction? I am assuming SFFKIT?

Jan 17, 1:45am Top

Happy thingaversary!

I loved The city and the city. Unlundun was already on my wishlist but you make me want to pull it out sooner rather than later!

Jan 17, 6:46am Top

>89 JayneCM: SFFKIT for sure. And binjas!

>90 chlorine: I loved The city & the City too.

Edited: Jan 17, 8:32am Top

>91 majkia: OK, it just keeps getting better. I had to Google it, but found they are karate performing dustbins. Of course! Just trying to work out which month of SFFKIT to fit it in! I guess they are sentient things - bins with feelings?!

Jan 17, 8:42am Top

>68 PaulCranswick: I finished The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner about people living to be over 100.
Some things they did was laugh, family, religion, social and walk.

Jan 17, 8:27pm Top

Whewwwwwww! Sure glad you fulfilled your thingaversary obligation! Great haul!

Jan 19, 7:23am Top

7. Ancestral Night - Elizabeth Bear - Series: White Space #1 - 🎵 (reader: Nneka Okoye) - pages 512 - BFB, ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT

I really enjoyed the philosophy and internal debates regarding guilt and forgiveness, obligations, consequences, and needs. Not the usual Space Opera but still great.

Edited: Jan 23, 12:55pm Top

We are currently at home, and bakporch birding is particularly fruitful this week. The temps here plummeted, and when that happens we have birds sailing (flying and swimming) into the bayou in the early mornings. Today though, they all are hanging out still (it is nearly noon). There must be 30 or more pelicans, and over 100 cormorants. Not to mention a couple of pairs of loons and the Great Blue herons.

You can see a pile of pelicans on the neighbor's roof of their dock as well as the others on the pilings.

Cormorants and pelicans also populate another dock further up the bayou. Others are still swimming and flying around.

Jan 23, 5:36pm Top

>96 majkia: One of the books I'm reading is Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer's Journal. It came in a gift collection at work. We aren't keeping it, but I kept it on my desk to read before I put it in the book sale stuff. It's really mostly about things like birds, butterflies, etc. I'll be heading to the Outer Banks during our spring break (in winter). I'm considering doing the birding tour if they are open that week. I'll prioritize the options and see which things best fit the budget when it's closer, but that would be something interesting and a little different.

Jan 24, 8:47am Top

>97 thornton37814: We were married at the outer banks, way back in 78. We carted everyone out to the lighthouse, which at the time was at the point, before they had to move it for erosion. The poor little old female preacher had to scream over the sound of the surf to be heard.

Jan 24, 7:16pm Top

>96 majkia: Great pictures! It's so nice to see groups of pelicans (I grew up when their population was decimated by DDT).

Jan 25, 9:04am Top

>99 leslie.98: When we moved here in 1983 there weren't many pelicans here either, for the same reason. So I agree, it is great to see a lot of them.

Yesterday, 11:27am Top

8. The City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty - pages 544 - 🎵 (reader: Soneela Nankani) - BFB, ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT, Dice

Interesting and complex tale of djinn and afreet. World building is well done, characters are complex and intriguing, plot twists happen often enough to keep you wondering.

Very well read by Ms Nankani.

Group: 2020 Category Challenge

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