Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge

How to Participate

Each month, the challenge will focus on a different category. Choose a book that fits the category, read it, and then post a review on your blog or wherever you review books (Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram, etc.). At the end of each month, link up your reviews here at Read-at-Home Mom. (Link-up posts will be published on the last weekday of the month.) 

The monthly categories are as follows:

2017 Creativity Reading Challenge

It seems that the blogger who was going to run this is no longer active. I might still do this challenge but it is taking a backseat to the other challenges. 

The Rules:

  • This challenge begins January 1, 2017 and ends Dec 31, 2017. 
  • You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.
  • Books may be nonfiction, memoir, how to, self help, coffee table books, instructional, picture books, and even fictional if they are about people who are creative.
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges.
  • Use the hashtag #2017CreativityRC
  • If you could be so kind, please place the 2017 Creativity Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • Come back to this post and share links to your book reviews in the comments.

I aiming for 10 books for this challenge

Book Review: Elephant Dance: Memories of India by Theresa Heine Illustrated by Sheila Moxley

Living in my part of New Jersey we have a fairly diverse population. Among the many cultures that I and my family are exposed to on a daily basis are Indians. I've met so many first and second generation Indian Americans. Each have their own story but so many of them are still so tied to their family that both live here and back in India. So this book was a delightful read for me.

Elephant Dance is about a young boy named Ravi who is fascinated by his grandfather's stories of India. His grandfather weaves vivid stories that spark Ravi's imagination.

I loved this book. The descriptions that Ravi's grandfather tells of his homeland are so amazing that even without the pictures in the book you can just see the things he describes right in your head. My favorite description was of the sun and his grandfather describing it like tiger. While I could totally see it in my head the illustrations that went along with it were so wonderful. The deep color palate worked so well this picture book.

What I loved most of all was that while this book was about India there was a deeper meaning in the book. It was also about the love of a child and his grandparent. The time spent with family is so meaningful and the time that Ravi and his sister spent with their grandfather is precious. This is the kind of time that you look back at when you are older and smile with fondness. No doubt an adult Ravi will look back fondly on his grandfather and the patience and care he took to explain how things were back in India.

5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Picture Book Reading Challenge

PROGRESS 11/102 

Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up)
Duration: January - December 2017
Goal: To have adults read more picture books. To celebrate the fact that picture books are for everyone! Families are, of course, welcome to join in!
# of books: minimum of 6

Option 2: CHECKLIST (read as few as six, or as many as you like)

Feel free to copy/paste this. You can replace the _ with an X or a ✔ (copy/paste it) when you finish reading a book. If you list the books you read, that may help other people decide what to read.

_ 1. An alphabet book
_ 2. A counting book
_ 3. Concept book: shapes or numbers or opposites or colors
_ 4. a book set on a farm or in the country
_ 5. a book set in the city or in an urban area
_ 6. a book set at the beach, in the ocean, or by a lake 
_ 7. a book with human characters
_ 8. a book with animal characters
_ 9. a bedtime book
_ 10. a rhyming book
_ 11. a book celebrating art 
_ 12. a book celebrating dance
_ 13. a book celebrating music 
_ 14. a book celebrating family (parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc.)
_ 15. a book about feelings, expressing feelings
_ 16. a book with a twist (unexpected) ending
_ 17. a book about pets (cats, dogs, fish)
_ 18. a book celebrating libraries or reading
_ 19. a book translated into English (originally published in another language/country)
_ 20 Mother Goose related
_ 21 a book about adoption
_ 22 a book by Gail Gibbons
_ 23 a book by Jon ScieszkaThe Stinky Cheese Man - Read 3/21/2017
_ 24 a book featured on Reading Rainbow -Stella Luna- Read 3/21/2017
_ 25 free choice
_ 26 out of print
_ 27 wordless picture book
_ 28 a book by Margaret Wise Brown
_ 29 a board book- Pat the Bunny- Read 3/21/2017
_ 30. a book about trains or planesThe Little Train that Could- Read 3/20/2017
_ 31. a book about cars or trucks
_ 32. a book about starting school
_ 33. a book about friendship (sharing, caring, forgiving)
_ 34. a book about being ME, about being unique, special, loved, etc.
_ 35. a fairy tale
_ 36. a twisted (adapted) fairy tale
_ 37. a book about a holiday
_ 38. a new-to-you author
_ 39. a new-to-you illustrator
_ 40. a book about new experiences (dentist, doctor, sleepovers, movies, playing sports, learning to swim, etc.)
_ 41. a series book
_ 42. a book celebrating food (cooking, eating, trying new foods, eating healthy)
_ 43. a book published before 1950
_ 44. a book published in the 1950s Chanticleer and the Fox Read 1/25/2017
_ 45. a book published in the 1960s The Big Honey Hunt: Read 2/9/2017
_ 46. a book published in the 1970s
_ 47. a book published in the 1980s
_ 48. a book published in the 1990s
_ 49. a book published in the 2000s
_ 50. a book published 2010-2016
_ 51. a book published in 2017
_ 52. a book by Dr. Seuss
_ 53. a book by Mo Willems
_ 54. a book by Jan Thomas
_ 55. a book by Eric Carle
_ 56. a book by Laura Numeroff
_ 57. a book by Patricia Polacco
_ 58. a book by Jon Klassen 
_ 59. a book by Beatrix Potter
_ 60. a book by Kevin Henkes
_ 61. a book written or illustrated by LeUyen Pham
_ 62. a Caldecott winner- The Girl who Loved Wild Horses= Read 1/27/2017
_ 63.  a Caldecott honor
_ 64. a picture book biography
_ 65. a nonfiction picture book
_ 66. a book from your childhood
_ 67. a book you discovered as an adultMeg and Mog - Read 1/28/2017
_ 68. a book celebrating writing, being an author or illustrator
_ 69. a library book
_ 70. an audio book
_ 71.  a book about dinosaurs OR dragons
_ 72. nonfiction book about animals (or animal)-Animals in the Wild: The Wolf- Read 2/7/2017
_ 73. a challenged book OR a controversial book
_ 74. a book that makes you laugh
_ 75. a book that makes you cry
_ 76. hate the text, love the artI Like, I Don't Like - Read 3/20/2017
_ 77. love the text, hate the art
_ 78. a book with a great cover
_ 79. a book with an ugly cover
_ 80. a book about toys
_ 81. a book about weather
_ 82. a picture book for older readers- Malala: Activist for Girls Education- Read 2/7/2017
_ 83. a book of jokes, riddles, tongue-twisters
_ 84. a book about seasons
_ 85. a song
_ 86. a poetry book
_ 87. a book by a celebrity
_ 88.  a book published in Australia
_ 89. a book published in the UK
_ 90. a book about science or math 
_ 91. a book about history or historical event 
_ 92. a book about sports
_ 93. a book about celebrating birthdays
_ 94. a book about a President or world leader 
_ 95. a book about another country 
_ 96. a book celebrating faith
_ 97. a pop-up book, or, a book with cut-outs or flaps or fold-outs 
_ 98. a bilingual book 
_ 99.  a television series that has been adapted to a book
_ 100. a book that has been adapted to a television series
_ 101. an adaptation of a myth or legend
_ 102. a book about babies  

2017 Deal Me In Short Stories Reading Challenge

Welcome to the Short Story Reading Challenge, “Deal Me In 2017!”

Hosted by Bibliophilopolis
(Deal Me In logo above created by Mannomoi at Dilettante Artiste)

What is the goal of the challenge?

To read 52 short stories in 2017 (that’s only one per week – versions with a lesser story requirement are noted below)
What do I need?
1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories (don’t own any short story collections or anthologies? See links to online resources below)
2) A deck of cards
3) An average of perhaps just thirty minutes of reading time each week

Will edit with my list of stories. Some of these I have already read but it has been many many years since I've read them.


Ace: Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Queen: What Stumped the Bluejays by Mark Twain
King: A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf
Jack: There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury
10: Stone Mattress by Margret Atwood
9: A Dark Brown Dog by Stephen Crane
8: The Offshore Pirate by F. Scott Fitzgerald
7: The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs
6: The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
5: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
4: The Split Cherry Tree by Jesse Stuart
3: The School by Donald Barthelme
2: Wants by Grace Paley


Ace: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain
Queen: The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
King: The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
Jack: The Looking-Glass by Anton Chekhov
10:  The Last Night of the World by Ray Bradbury
9: A Clean, Well Light Place by Ernest Hemingway
8: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
7:  How to Become a Writer by Lorrie Moore
6: Brownies by ZZ Packer
5: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Conner
4: Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3: Cathedral by Raymond Carver
2: Sea Oak by George Saunders


Ace: Never Bet the Devil Your Head by Edgar Allen Poe
Queen: Eve's Diary by Mark Twain
King: The Unicorn in the Garden by James Thurber
Jack: Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff
10: Why Don't You Dance by Raymond Carver
9: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates
8: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
7: Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingway
6: All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury
5: Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
4: The Lady of the Lake by Bernard Malamud
3: Everyday Use by Alice Walker
2: The Ice Palace  by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Ace: The Californian's Tale by Mark Twain
Queen: A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury
King: A Couple of Hamburgers by James Thurber
Jack: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
10: Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl
9: Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
8: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
7: The Nose by Nikolai V. Gogol
6: The Swimmer by John Cheever
5: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
4: To Build a Fire by Jack London
3: A Tiny Feast by Chris Adrian
2: The Zero Meter Diving Team by Jim Shepard

2017 Share-A-Tea Reading Challenge

2017 Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge

Love drinking tea? Love reading books? Love reading a book while drinking tea? Have I got a reading challenge for you! In 2017, I'll be hosting the Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge. You can start a little early, if you want, maybe considering it a 'trial period.' But it officially starts January 1, 2017 and officially ends December 31, 2017.

Who can join? Anyone who enjoys reading. You don't need to have a blog. You don't need to have a twitter account.

Are coffee drinkers welcome? Well. You can still join in, I suppose. But you might be outnumbered by tea drinkers.

Which books count towards the challenge? Any book that you primarily read while drinking tea. Not every single page needs to have been read while drinking tea. (I'm not that strict!!!) But this challenge is all about celebrating SLOWING DOWN and SAVORING the moments.

How many books? Is there a set minimum? This challenge is about QUALITY and not quantity. It's not about reading fifty books or even twelve books. This is an anti-rush reading challenge. Enjoy where you are in a book, and, engage fully in it. Live in the book.

This challenge has a focus on SHARING. How can you share? Several ways:

1) When you sign up in a comment below, share one favorite tea and one favorite book. And if you've got one handy: a favorite quote.
2) If you write a post on your blog announcing the challenge (and making a place to keep track of what you've read), consider sharing a bit about yourself--your reading and drinking habits. You might consider a longer list of recommendations!
3) If you're on twitter, tweet me as often as you like. @blbooks OR @operationbible Tweet about favorite teas, favorite books, favorite authors, favorite quotes, what you're currently reading, what you've just finished reading, etc.
4) Consider adding me and fellow participants to your blogroll, and cheer on other participants by reading reviews and leaving comments.
5) At the end of each month, I'll publish a check-in post. You can leave comments sharing what you're reading, what you've read, tea recommendations, etc. Even if you haven't finished a book, you can share where you're at. Remember, it isn't about how many books you read per month!
6) I'll do my best to keep an ongoing list--either in this post--or on my sidebar--of participants of this challenge.

Books Read:
1. The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl - Read 3/21/2017



Welcome to the 6th Annual Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge!

Hosted by melissaseclecticbookshelf

Welcome to the 6th Annual Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge!
  • Low commitment…you can sign up to read just ONE book as an INITIATE!!!
  • Participants who choose to link up reviews will be entered for the end of year prize!!
Challenge Rules:
  • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017. Link up a sign-up post (below).
  • Reviews: I will be handling this slightly differently than previous years. There will be only one post in January of 2017 to link all the years reviews rather than a monthly link up.  (Note: You do not have to review the books to participate, but only those who link up reviews will be entered for the prize)
  • Grab the reading challenge button (code & button below) and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate- you could track your progress and post reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.
  • Any full length book that includes a witch as a main character or includes major witchcraft elements counts. They may be fiction or non-fiction. However, they should not be reference books which are not read cover to cover-I will leave this to your discretion.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  • When you sign up in the linky put the direct link to your post about joining the 2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge, not just a link to your blog.
  • You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  • Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2017, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  • Have some Witchy Good Fun !!!

  •                              THE LEVELS:

Initiate: Read 1 – 5 Witchy Books
Maiden: Read 6 – 10 Witchy Books
Mother: Read 11 – 15 Witchy Books
Crone: Read 16 – 20 Witchy Books

I am doing Initiate Level.

Books Read:

Book Review: Rhapsodic (The Bargainer Book 1) By: Laura Thalassa

I started this blog well over a month ago but am finally able to put up my first book review. Why the long wait? Well because there is a graveyard of books that I started and discarded. Nothing was working for me. Most of them made me roll my eyes or scream in frustration over poorly written/edited sentences, stale over-used tropes, badly written romantic scenes....well the list goes on. So I was delighted when I gave this book a read. FINALLY something that I could at least finish.

Rhapsodic is the tale of a siren named Callypso Lillis. Callypso aka Callie has racked up over 300 magic IOU's to the Bargainer. Till now the Bargainer has never made her repay but suddenly the Bargainer is back in her life after disappearing for over 7 years. He is now calling in her debts and it all starts with a kiss. Soon the Bargainer is bringing Callie to the Otherworld to help solve a mystery.

Ok let me just say I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED this book! I'm a slow reader so usually it takes me a week to finish a book. This book was done in two and half days! I stayed up late into the night till I could no longer keep my eyes open. I obsessed when I was in work that I couldn't wait to get home and read just one more chapter. This book....oh the feels....the feels.

This book is romance done right. Lots and lots of sexual tension and lots and lots of romantic tension. I'm so glad to find an author who doesn't feel the need to have every other scene be a sex scene but still understands how to intersperse sexiness through out the whole story. Thalassa does such an amazing job with portraying the longing of both characters.

I love that this book spends part of it's time showing the past when Callie first met the Bargainer and how she ended up racking so many IOUs. The progression of their relationship was wonderful including his sense of it being wrong to love someone as young as her. Thalassa did a great job of showing how Callie has changed and matured in the time span that the Bargainer was away. She is a stronger person but still feels the demons of the past.

This book....oh this book was so great. This is definitely going on my pile of books to read again. It ends with a bit of a cliffhanger in that the mystery is not completely resolved. But it isn't a cliffhanger that I find leaves me frustrated. Instead I'm sooooo looking forward to the next book in the series which is supposed to come out some time in 2017. I will check out some of her other books in the meantime.

A solid 5 out of 5 stars!!