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LadyoftheLodge Reads in 2020

2020 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jan 14, 1:40pm Top

Hi there!
My name is Cheryl. Although I am retired from full time work in public education, I teach online college classes in Leadership Theory and the Sciences for several universities. I also write curriculum and book reviews.

I live in the woods in a log home, have four crazy cats, and play the clarinet in a community band. My husband and I love to travel and are frequently spotted on cruise ships. Both of us are voracious readers, although our reading tastes differ immensely.

I have a huge library that occupies one wing of my house. There are books in every room of my home as well. I read cozy mysteries, classic mysteries, assorted fiction and "brain candy", historical mysteries, "books about books", pop psychology, memoirs, and travel narratives. I enjoy reading print materials as well as e-books. (I like being able to carry all those e-books with me whenever I go anywhere.)

Nov 18, 2019, 3:17pm Top

I plan to stick with reading the Challenges this year, involving several CATs and KITs, and BingoDog. I have been a LT-er since I was in Library School, and I have participated in the Challenges since 2014.

Edited: Jan 24, 3:36pm Top

LT BingoDog 2020

1. Book that's in a Legacy Library
2. Book written by an LT author--The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie
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--Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (Young Reader's Edition)
7. Mystery or true crime--The Hope: Amish of Cedar Grove by Patricia Davids
8. Book involving a real historical event (fiction or nonfiction)--Thunder at Gettysburg by Patricia Lee Gauch
9. Book about books, bookstores, or libraries--My Librarian is a Camel by Magriet Ruurs
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)--The Buried City of Pompeii by Shelley Tanaka
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)--The Amish Marriage Bargain by Marie Bast
14. Book with a proper name in the title--Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead by Emily Brightwell
15. Book published by a small press or self-published
16. Book published in 2020
17. Epistolary novel or collection of letters--Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
18. Book by a journalist or about journalism--The Writer's Life by Julia Cameron
19. Book not set on Earth
20. Mythology or folklore
21. Weird book title--Your Momma Thinks Square Roots are Vegetables by Bill Amend
22. Book with "library" or "thing" in the title or subtitle
23. Book with a periodic table element in the title--The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock
24. Book by a woman from a country other than the US/UK--The Italian Cure by Melodie Campbell
25. Read a CAT--A Moveable Feast: Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway

Edited: Jan 14, 5:19pm Top

RandomCAT 2020

January--A New Year's Challenge--A Moveable Feast: Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway
February--Leap Year

Edited: Jan 9, 11:47am Top

GeoCAT 2020

January--Asia I--Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (Young Reader's Edition)
March--North Africa, Middle East
April--Australia, New Zealand
May--Any place you would like to visit
July--Mexico, Cent America, So America, Caribe
August--Asia II
September--Polar, Tundra
October--UK, Canada, USA
November--Africa II

Edited: Jan 6, 3:02pm Top

AlphaKIT 2020

January--A, U--The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie
February--F, B
March--G, C
April--S, T
May--L, P
June--K, Y
July--J, R
August--O, H
September--M, E
October--D, V
November--I, Q
December--W, N

All year--X, Z

Edited: Jan 6, 3:03pm Top

Non-Fiction CAT 2020

January--Journalism and News--The Writer's Life by Julia Cameron
March--Biography and Memoir
April--Law and Order
July--Human Science
September--Religion and Philosophy
October--The Arts
November--Food, Home, Recreation

Edited: Jan 6, 4:48pm Top

TravelKIT 2020

January--City vs Country--Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead by Emily Brightwell (London)
February--In Translation
March--Tourist Meccas
April--Place You do not Live
May--Modes of transportation
June--Legendary Places
July--Myths/Legends from a specific area
August--Travel Narratives
September--Festival or Event
October--Food/Drink for a location
November--Living in a new country
December--Related to a place you would like to visit

Edited: Jan 6, 4:48pm Top

MysteryKIT 2020

January--Historical--Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead by Emily Brightwell
February--Furry Sleuths
March--Golden Age
May--Novel to Screen
June--Police Procedurals/Private Investigators
July--Cross Genre/Mashups
August--International Authors
October--New to You

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 5:18pm Top

Looks like we’ll be participating in most of the same CATS/KITS. Looking forward to seeing what you read for 2020.

Nov 19, 2019, 1:16am Top

>1 LadyoftheLodge: Oh wow! I have always wanted to live in a log home and to have a library - wish I could see it! Sounds gorgeous.
Happy reading in 2020.

Nov 19, 2019, 3:58am Top

Concentrating on the challenges is a very good idea, they are always so enticing. Happy reading!

Nov 19, 2019, 8:26am Top

We have lots of challenges to keep you busy in 2020, and your illustrations are great! I focused on the challenges in 2019 and it has been very satisfying.

Nov 19, 2019, 10:06am Top

Thanks for all the fun and supportive comments. I could not wait to get started with 2020. I am already selecting books!

Nov 19, 2019, 10:13am Top

Enjoy your 2020 reading and traveling adventures.

Nov 19, 2019, 10:34am Top

Fantastic pictures! I must admit I'm selecting books too, although I'll be restrained and not start them till January! I love getting the themes of the challenges and trying to find books on my TBR that fit!

Nov 19, 2019, 1:22pm Top

Wishing you great reading for 2020.

Nov 19, 2019, 4:00pm Top

?16 >17 majkia: Thanks, I am looking forward to reading in 2020!

Nov 19, 2019, 5:30pm Top

Great setup. It looks like 2020 is going to be a fun reading year.

Nov 19, 2019, 7:57pm Top

Have fun with the CATS and KITS next year! Can't believe we're already into full-on planning for 2020.

Nov 19, 2019, 9:46pm Top

>14 LadyoftheLodge: >16 Jackie_K: I am trying so hard not to plan as it is eating into my remaining 2019 reading time. But it appears I cannot help myself!

Nov 20, 2019, 10:22am Top

>21 JayneCM: I get that! I have been getting into looking for books on my shelves, writing notes on stickies, probably driving my husband nuts.

Nov 20, 2019, 8:23pm Top

>22 LadyoftheLodge: Mine too! My hubby is not a reader at all (he likes to boast he hasn't read a book since high school, and not even really then either) so he doesn't get my list making and planning at all. Let alone the actual reading part! But I am loving it.

Nov 21, 2019, 9:31am Top

>22 LadyoftheLodge: >23 JayneCM: I love how this time of year the list-makers and book-planners have their moment to shine! :D

Nov 21, 2019, 9:46am Top

I am new to starting a page (is that the term?) and like yours as well as others I seeing. Very helpful.
My husband and I cruised all over the world. I love them also.

Nov 21, 2019, 11:56am Top

>25 mnleona: Welcome, Leona! I am glad you are with us. My husband and I have also taken many cruises. They are our fave way to travel!

Nov 21, 2019, 11:58am Top

>23 JayneCM: >24 Jackie_K: We do have that list making and planning gene, I think! My husband reads totally different kinds of books than I do--big non-fiction tomes about history and military stuff. He makes no lists, does no planning, and ditches his books as soon as he is done, keeping few of them!!

Nov 22, 2019, 8:33pm Top

Here's wishing you a great reading year!

Nov 22, 2019, 11:54pm Top

With all those KITs and CATs you'll be busy. I love your BingoDOG picture. Is that a family member?

Nov 23, 2019, 12:01pm Top

>29 VivienneR: It is not a family member, sorry to say. We only have feline pets now, no more doggy dwellers.

Edited: Jan 22, 6:17pm Top

Trying the Bingo Card here.

Dec 2, 2019, 11:03am Top

Thanks for organizing the TravelKit, Cheryl, and good luck with your goals for 2020!

Dec 4, 2019, 10:45pm Top

Good luck with your 2020 reading!

Dec 5, 2019, 3:42pm Top

>33 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks! I hope I have not bitten off more than I can chew this year. I am already picking out books and have a pile started.

Dec 6, 2019, 4:37am Top

>34 LadyoftheLodge: Me too! I have my 'try to finish in December' pile and my January pile is all ready to go!

Dec 11, 2019, 10:49am Top

Hope you have a great year of reading! I'm sure I'll participate at least some months in the TravelKit.

Dec 11, 2019, 3:30pm Top

>36 thornton37814: Thanks! Hope to see you in TravelKIT.

Jan 1, 4:35pm Top

Hello Leona! You have a great eclectic sense of books and reading, and I look forward to following your Kits in 2020!

Jan 2, 3:42pm Top

Good luck with your 2020 reading!

Jan 6, 3:01pm Top

I am back from two weeks of travel, and glad to be home. My kitties must have missed us too. I got to read several books during my trip.

Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead by Emily Brightwell--This is one of my favorite historical mystery series, and I enjoyed this one as much as the rest.

The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock--This is the final installment in the Griffin and Sabine series of correspondence. I found the ending quite puzzling. Maybe I better go back and read the others in the series???

For NetGalley:
A Crafter Quilts a Crime by Hollyy Quinn--Just a so-so mystery novel. This one had a lot of potential, and included some of my fave cozy themes: interesting amateur sleuths, small town, intriguing and quirky careers. However, too much filler and details, plus confusing plot lines, made this a frustrating read for me.

The Hope (The Amish of Cedar Grove) by Patricia Davids--I really liked this novel, with a couple of plot lines to follow. Ruth and Owen try to rekindle a past love, but keep butting heads. A lost child shows up and the Amish community engages in a quest to find her parents. Good plot movement and intriguing peek into Amish life.

Christmas in Newfoundland by Mike Martin--A book of short stories and memoirs, with introductions to some new characters for me. The book launched me into the Sergeant Windflower mystery series.

Jan 6, 4:21pm Top

I read the three Griffin and Sabine books last year, I'd say you definitely need to read them in order. The Golden Mean is supposedly the final one of the trilogy, but of course it ends on a massive cliffhanger - I need to get to his next series (Pharos Gate) to find out what happens next!

Jan 6, 4:47pm Top

>41 Jackie_K: Cliffhanger for sure! I got the gist of the correspondence, but did not get the ending. I suppose I need to go on to the next series too.

Jan 7, 11:40am Top

Just finished The Writer's Life by Julia Cameron. I have read some of her other books in the past. This one had some good insights and encouragement, taken from The Right to Write. Some of the thoughts were repetitious, but still an encouragement. This was for Non-Fiction CAT for January, and also one of the BingoDOG squares.

Jan 8, 11:23am Top

I read Your Momma Thinks Square Roots are Vegetables for the Weird Title square in BingoDOG. That was great fun! I had not read a Foxtrot cartoon for ages.

Jan 8, 12:01pm Top

>44 LadyoftheLodge: Aww, Foxtrot! I always liked that comic strip.

Edited: Jan 9, 11:45am Top

I read Thunder at Gettysburg by Patricia Lee Gauch for BingoDOG square Based on a Historical Event and also Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson for GeoCAT and also for BingoDOG square Asia. (I read a little bit online about the controversy surrounding Mortenson's book and the mismanagement of funds for the CAI charitable foundation of which he was director. That sort of squelched the book for me.)

Jan 9, 2:39pm Top

Just finished Griffin and Sabine for BingoDOG Epistolary or letters square. I get the idea of the correspondence, but its just not my thing. The artwork is weird too.

Jan 10, 8:00pm Top

Another finish--The Italian Cure by Melodie Campbell for the Written by a woman not US/UK on BingoDog.

Jan 14, 5:18pm Top

Just finished A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway for the RandomCAT January and for Read a CAT square on the BingoDog.

Jan 15, 4:39pm Top

I just finished these for NetGalley:

Murder at the Brightwell which reminded me of the Golden Age mysteries. A murder takes place at a seaside resort, and of course the characters all have secrets to hide which could be motives for murder. All is nicely wrapped up at the end. I was not surprised by the identity of the killer, although her reasoning did surprise me.

A Very Scalzi Christmas which had me laughing out loud at some of the sketches. I had not read this author's work before, so this little series of holiday sketches was fun and an easy read.

Christmas at Silver Falls was a feel-good and heartwarming read, just like the cover states. While it was somewhat predictable, the main premise of the importance of family came through. The characters were likeable and a little bit of romance in a small town added to the sweetness of the story.

Jan 15, 9:31pm Top

>50 LadyoftheLodge: I'll keep an eye out for A Very Scalzi Christmas. Scalzi's genre is not my usual fare, and I've read a couple chapters of one of his works and decided it wasn't for me, but I think I might like this one based on its Amazon description and your review.

Jan 15, 10:57pm Top

>50 LadyoftheLodge: Unlike Lori, I do generally like Scazi - I'm reading The Human Division now. I confess, I'm saving A Very Scalzi Christmas for next December, since I didn't get my hands on it this year.

Jan 16, 11:34am Top

>51 thornton37814:, >52 Dejah_Thoris: Once I read the book, I looked up Scalzi online to learn more about him. He is an interesting character! I read one of the interview sketches from A Very Scalzi Christmas out loud to my husband, and he was cracking up. Some of it might have to do with my delivery of the sketch, I have to admit. Remember that I used to be a middle school teacher, so I fear I retain some of the characteristics of my students.

Jan 17, 3:44pm Top

Christmas on the Home Front is a historical novel that highlights the courage and strength of women on the British home front during WWII. I had not read the previous Land Girl novels, so it took me some time to get into the story. However, the author brought me up to speed quickly. The plot moves the reader into the dangers and challenges of situations faced by citizens during WWII. It is not a warm and fuzzy Christmas tale, but one of interest and intrigue. The "heartwarming" part is the relationships among the characters and how they care for one another.

The novel takes the reader through dangerous scenes, in which ordinary people are forced to deal with enemy airmen whose plane has crashed, and they are on the run. I can see how this novel made a good TV series, since parts of it read like a screen play. The action switches from character to character and often changes viewpoints, so the reader is kept in suspense until the next plot twist..

I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Jan 19, 1:06am Top

>54 LadyoftheLodge: I read my book about land girls, though of WWI, at the end of last year, and loved it. I'll definitely search for this one.

Jan 19, 3:31am Top

>54 LadyoftheLodge: I must admit to having a love of these WWII books about women. There are so many series out there, I am planning a category just for them next year.

Jan 19, 2:02pm Top

>56 JayneCM: I also have enjoyed these books quite a lot. I finished another book about the Shipyard Girls for NetGalley and liked it so much I bought the previous ones in the series. I had a hard time getting used to the different characters because they are not really standalones and I had to figure out the characters and how they related to each other. I love the courage and strength of these women. I had been looking for books about people on the home front during WWII and these really fit the bill for me.

Edited: Jan 19, 4:44pm Top

>57 LadyoftheLodge: Oh I must look up the shipyard girls!

Jan 20, 11:41am Top

>58 tess_schoolmarm: I suggest reading them in order. I read Christmas with the Shipyard Girls and it was confusing for about 35% of the book, since it was Book 7. I got a feel for the work the women were doing and for their relationships and tightly knit families. The author really has done her homework in researching the shipyards, and has family connections with them.

Jan 20, 11:45am Top

Just finished The Buried City of Pompeii and My Librarian is a Camel for BingoDog reads. These are both kids books that I bought long ago, maybe when I was in library school. They were very enjoyable and informative. I kept stopping reading and telling my husband what I found in the books. He was also fascinated by the book about how books are delivered to families in inaccessible parts of the world. This makes us want to appreciate our own local libraries and our own book collections! I do not think I would like to live in Mongolia with temps at 50 below in winter.

Jan 22, 6:17pm Top

My latest finish for NetGalley is The Amish Marriage Bargain. This book tells a story of heartache, redemption, and hidden lives and lies. May and Thad are forced by their bishop to marry, since May is a single lady serving as widower Thad's nanny. May and Thad had been sweethearts, until Thad surprisingly married May's sister, April. When April died in childbirth, she left behind her baby daughter, for whom May has promised to care. The backstory exposes a web of lies and deception that threatens the happiness of May, Thad, and baby Leah.

I liked the characters of May and of Thad, and how their relationship developed despite hardships. The basic idea of the story held a lot of potential, and some sections needed to be more thoroughly thought through. Furthermore, some aspects of the story stretched one's credulity, making a person wonder if the people in this Amish community could count (re. how long it takes a baby to come along). I guessed some of the story early on in the book. I also found it a bit of a stretch to think that people could change their personalities and attitudes so very rapidly. I was surprised at how quickly May was ready to throw away their relationship, and the constant wavering of both Thad and May.

The Christian message in this book is overt, but not preachy. Readers who enjoy Amish fiction might give this a try, although they might find themselves a bit incredulous at times, and will surely fall in love with little Leah, if not with the adults in the story.

Jan 23, 1:58pm Top

>61 LadyoftheLodge: I occasionally pick up an Amish fiction book in that series for 25 cents or 50 cents at the used bookstore. I don't really add them to my wish list. I just pick up one that sounds interesting for a "fix" between ARCs in the genre.

Jan 24, 3:35pm Top

>62 thornton37814: I would love to get them used for that price! I got a haul of them from the huge used book sale in October that is organized by a local charity. They cost $1 each, unless I wait to the final day when the cost is $1 a bag, but there are fewer books to choose from by then.

Jan 25, 10:32am Top

"The Mozart Conspiracy" continues the story of teen-aged Rezia Schurman, begun in "The Musician's Daughter." Rezia leads a double life: in order to engage her musical talents as an accomplished violinist, she disguises herself as a boy. She witnesses a murder as she walks home from a performance. Rezia tries to get help in solving the mystery, meets with resistance, and then decides to pursue the solution on her own. The story spins out with secret societies, music librarians, wealthy people, births and deaths, kidnappings, a scary wild animal, and pursuits through dark alleyways. Rezia constantly involves herself in dangerous situations, as she seeks the solution to the mystery, ultimately discovering that things and people are often not as they seem.

The plot moves along rapidly and engages the reader throughout the book with its many twists and turns. There are quite a few characters, yet they are described well enough to allow readers to keep them straight. I liked the setting of the Vienna music scene, as well as the descriptions of the secret societies and their rituals. Rezia is certainly a daring young lady, and her exploits are not always quite believable. However, this historical novel should prove to be a rollicking good read for lovers of historical mysteries as well as music. Author notes at the end provide additional insights into the historical aspects of the story.

Group: 2020 Category Challenge

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