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What's in a Name Challenge!

What? Yet another reading challenge? Uh, but this is a neat one. What's in a Name Challenge! tests participants to find and read books that fit its six different categories. And, these are thinking-outside-of-the-box categories. For instance, one category is called "a book with a number in the title." Interesting, no? Participants only need to read one book in each category, and we have all of 2011 to complete the quest. This challenge is hosted by Beth Fish who blogs at Beth Fish Reads . For more details about the What's in a Name Challenge! , click here .   As usual, I already have my list of titles for the challenge, culled from my 2011 Reading List . Here you go: A book with a number in the title: At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien A book with jewelry or a gem in the title: The Clue of the Broken Locket by Carolyn Keene A book with a size in the title: A Little Too Much Is Enough by Kathleen Tyou A book with travel or movement in the title: Travels with Zen

Foodie's Reading Challenge for 2011

I like to read cookbooks. Reading recipes is often times just as creatively satisfying as preparing them. So, it isn't surprising when I tell you that I also like to read stories and memoirs that revolve around food. Uh-huh. What better reading challenge for this joyous aspect of reading then the...wait for it... Foodie's Reading Challenge hosted by Margot who blogs Joyfully Retired . Like most reading challenges, participants choose their own goals. The Foodie's Reading Challenge has five levels—Nibbler, Bon Vivant, Epicurean, Gourmet, and Glutton. For more details about this challenge, head over to here . My goal is to complete the Bon Vivant level. These are the books I hope to read for the challenge.  Yes, indeed, they are part of my list of 70. For those of you who are new to me, you can click here for my personal reading throw down. Glazed Murder: A Donut Shop Mystery by Jessica Beck Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain M

Hometown Challenge

Who doesn't like to read books about her hometown or region? Okay, maybe not you over there. But, for everyone else with their arms up, here's a reading challenge you'll like. Simply called Hometown Challenge , it's hosted by Kris who blogs at Not Enough Books   and Outwardly Pleasant . She also hosts the annual Cozy Mystery Challenge that starts in April, which I did last year. The Hometown Challenge started in September and runs through the end of August 2011. Anyone can sign-up any time before August 1, 2011. There are four levels to the challenge—Tourist, Relocation, Local, and Founder. Kris's rules are quite flexible, so if a person lives in a small town, such as I do, she can choose books that take place in her county or nearby big cities.  For more details about this reading challenge, click here . I'm electing to read books only that take place in my town and county— Hollister (San Benito County) California . Being a small city and county, I'm aimin

Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2011

When it comes to me seeking reading challenges, it's a given that I will search for a cozy mystery challenge. Success! If you're into cozy mysteries and reading challenges, check out Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2011 hosted by Yvonne who blogs Socrates' Book Review . The challenge runs from January to December, 2011. Participants can choose one of three levels—snoop, investigator, and super sleuth—for which to aim. For more details about the Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge , click here .  Not sure what a cozy mystery is? Then click over to . I'm signing up for the "investigator" level, which means I will need to read between 7 and 12 cozy mystery titles. My goal for the challenge is to read the 11 titles listed below in alphabetical order, which are part of my 2011 Reading List . Glazed Murder: A Donut Shop Mystery by Jessica Beck Size 14 is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carli

The 2011 TBR Pile Challenge

The 2011 TBR (to be read) Pile Challenge is one of several reading challenges I will join this year. This challenge is hosted by the Roof Beam Reader aka Adam who says that he is "one of the 5% minority - a male book blogger!" The goal of this challenge, according to the Roof Beam Reader, is "to finally read 12 books from your 'to be read' pile, within 12 months." All 12 books that a participant reads must have been on her shelf for at least one year. Tomorrow is the deadline for signing up, which involves listing the 12 titles to be read and, if desired, two alternate titles in case one can't stand reading one or two books on her list. To learn more about the TBR Pile Challenge , click here . Here are my 12 titles in ABC order, with publication dates for the Roof Beam Reader. Sink or swim, I'm reading them, so no alternates for me. Will I regret that? We shall see. Around the World with a King by William N. Armstrong (1995) Six Months in the San

Reading for Fun 2011

"Don't read so much," the mama said to me, standing in my doorway. "You'll go crazy." She said that to me a long time ago when as a kid I had again lain too long on my bed reading yet another book. I'm sure what she meant was something like "Go play outdoors!" Did I lay my book down and go outside? I doubt it. Since the husband and I moved to Hollister seven summers ago, I haven't done much book reading for fun. Most of my reading has been research for work. I want to change that in 2011. The last few days, I've been pulling books from the bookshelves and the various book piles throughout the house. Those plus the ones I got for my last birthday come up to 70 books. Soooooo, I shall be reading 70 books in 2011. It's not so bad though. About a third of them are children's books, which is still one of my favorite types of books to read. To see my list of 70, please click here . To make my reading quest even more fun, as well as to

Shopping for the Unknown X's

Today's letter is " X ." Last week , I told you that the husband and I decided to have some fun with the x mas presents for each other.  E x aggerating the use of the mathematical terms, it went like this: $10.00 = total e x pense we each would spend x ≥ 5 presents (In other words, 5 or more gifts) How did we do? E x cellently!  X -wise, we found that x = Si x e x ceptional gifts! We shopped downtown, going in opposite directions. Amazingly, we each finished before the time allowed: 60 minutes – x minutes = 45 minutes My e x penses: $9.95.  At the thrift store, I found a Michael Crichton novel and a booklet about Oregon caves, which was published in the era when the husband worked there during the summers of his college days. Because the husband is a visual artist, I purchased water colors and a couple of brushes at the art supply store. ( Hint, hint, the husband. ) At our favorite drugstore, I bought Post-it notes for his note-taking and a box of Milk Duds for the ne