8 Jan 2016

'A CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WRAP', 'WHAT, ANOTHER CHALLENGE?' & 'OTHER BOOKISH NEWS'.

First things first, if I may I'd like to begin with my Christmas Spirit Wrap.

My thanks to Michelle for yet again doing a wonderful job as hostess. The Christmas Spirit challenge has become one of my bookish hi-lights of the year though I'm sad to say what a disappointment I found my choice of books this year. 

Whilst I did manage to achieve every level (hurrah), of the seven books (5 for adults, two for children) that I read I only actually enjoyed one, my second children's book and the fourth book I read overall, A Jumper For Christmas by Eleanor Newson. 

Beginning with the disappointing I Don't Want To Be A Christmas Tree by Kathy Lyndsey that saw my fellow readers (two seven year olds) in tears, things only got worse. 

As for my adult reads?  Whilst All I Want for Christmas (Betty Neels, Margaret Way, Jessica Steele), Together For Christmas (Carol Rivers), The Christmas Surprise (Jenny Colgan) and Christmas At Claridge's (Karen Swan) were arguably ok as far as your average read goes, I'm afraid they all made for poor Christmas fare given that none of them despite their covers, synopsis etc were particularly festive.

But moving on ...

I know, I know! Having signed up for this years What's In A Name? 2016 (Details and Sign Up here) and accepted Kelly's 'Tome Challenge' (Information here) I said no more challenges BUT having seen this ....



on FaceBook I simply had to join in as after all many of the elements I'd have covered anyway. Only problem being I don't know where this challenge originated so if it started with you/you are participating please let me know. Failing that, I'm presuming a year long challenge to be completed by December 31st, I'm allowing for cross-overs with other challenges.

Anyway, going back to What's In A Name? 2016 ....

As many of you know I normally challenge myself to read only books I have on our shelves at the beginning of the challenge. Unfortunately this year apart from The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse (a profession) and Tree And Leaf * by JRR Tolkien (a book with 'tree' in the title)  I didn't rely have anything suitable.

Step in Mr T who, having decided on a challenge of his own, scoured the charity shops and came up with the following.

The Ides Of April by Lindsey Davis (a month), Roman Mask by Thomas M.D. Brooke (item of clothing), Game Of Thrones** by George R.R. Martin (item of furniture), 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (a country) which should be fun as I've yet to find a book by this author that is to my taste.

* Published in 1964 this also fulfils the 'book published before you were born' element of the 2016 Reading Challenge.
** At 780 pages this is also perfect for the Tome Challenge AND fulfils the 'a book that intimidates you' element of the 2016 Reading Challenge.

And finally, may I take the opportunity to thank author Virginia Wright for this FaceBook win ...



A delightful colouring book with plenty of blank pages for young artists to draw their own creations. Also available as a story book, Timothy The Christmas Mouse is available on Amazon, including here on amazon.co.uk.

Care to share any of the challenges you know of/are participating in? Shooting Stars Mag suggests these, whilst Alexia over at Alexia's Books And Such shares these challenges and Literary Feline these.


13 comments:

Nikki-ann said...

I haven't looked into doing any challenges this year, but I really should! Maybe a reading one or a photography one.

Gina R said...

Oh how sad you only enjoyed ONE from that challenge! :( Better luck with this new batch. Haven't actually joined a reading challenge as of yet...maybe this year. We'll have to see. ^-^

Kelly said...

I wish I hadn't seen this! I really want to join in this extra challenge and have several books that would overlap, but I honestly don't think I should take on anything else at this point. I had an offer at my book club last night to join yet another reading group, but made myself say no.

I'll keep my eyes open for Christmas books this year. Maybe I can find one for you that actually has to do with the holiday.

carol said...

I didn't do so well at the Christmas challenge. I definitely don't think kids Christmas books should make them cry though. Of course, I pretty much always avoid books that will make me cry, so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Sherry Ellis said...

I honestly don't have time for challenges, but this one certainly looks like a fun one to do.

Hope the books you read this year are more satisfying than last year.

Have a wonderful 2016!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Congrats on your win and on making your goal! Sorry they weren't all great books. Good luck on your new goal this year!

Literary Feline said...

One of my staff at work saw the Facebook reading challenge and has decided to enlist several of us to take part in it too.

Congratulations on finishing the Christmas Spirit Challenge. I'm just sorry you didn't enjoy most of the books you read for it. Hopefully this year's challenge reading will be better for you.

Congratulations too on your Facebook win. What a fun coloring book!

Thank you for the mention. :-) And good luck with your challenges!

Brian Joseph said...

It is too bad that so many of your Christmas reads were disappointing.

I think that it is really neat that you add to your challenge by trying to stick to books in the house and then having Mr. T try to find entries in charity shops.

Natasha Hill said...

I don't have any challenges planned this year for reading, but I aiming to read as often as I can and updating my GoodReads as I go! I love that colouring book for kids, so sweet! - Tasha

Brandi Kosiner said...

I am only participating in Goodreads challenge for now, but good luck with yours, and sorry to hear you didn't enjoy most of your holiday ones

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I haven't signed up for any challenges (except to read 100 books on Goodreads). I do love hearing about the challenges everyone is doing! I am glad you liked the Christmas Book Challenge, even if you didn't love all the books. The challenge you saw on FB looks fun! :) Best of luck.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

Good choices for What's In A Name! I like that Facebook reading challenge, it should result in a good reading experience on the whole. I also read a 'Christmas' book that didn't have Christmas in it. I suppose it's about marketing but it's a pity.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

I haven't done any challenges yet and don't know if I will. They make me dizzy and a little panicky. Too many books to read! But it is always a happy thing to win a book. Congrats, Tracy, and have a blast with this year's challenges!