Articles · Challenges · Wrap-ups

52 Book Club Challenge Wrap-up 2021

Although I didn’t post my progress here on my blog, I did participate in the 52 Book Club Challenge during 2021. For those of you who have not heard of this challenge or the club, the goal is to read books to match with the prompts given. What I love about this challenge is that it made me pick up books that I might not have otherwise read. Finding books to fit each prompt is easy because of the reading guide on the clubs website and the feedback from the other readers who are participating.

Here are the prompts from 2021:

The 52 Book Club's 2021 Reading Challenge - 52 Books in 52 Weeks

So how did I do?

Well I read over 52 books this past year, however I didn’t manage to fill all of the prompts. However I did complete more than I did when I participated the previous year. The following are the prompts I completed along with the books I read for each:

  1. Set in a school:
    The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
  2. Featuring the legal profession:
    He Sees You When You’re Sleeping by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark
  3. A dual timeline:
    The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
  4. An author that is deceased:
    Remembrance by Alistair MacLeod
  5. Published by Penguin
    After You by Jojo Moyes
  6. A character with the same name as a male family member:
    Abduction! by Peg Kehret
  7. An author with only one published book:
    For the Love of Friends by Sara Goodman Confino
  8. A book in the 900s of the Dewey Decimal System:
  9. Set in a Mediterranean country:
  10. Related to the word fire:
    Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, 18) by Janet Evanovich
  11. A book with discussion questions inside:
    Anna’s Crossing (Amish Beginnings, 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher
  12. Title starting with the letter “d”:
    Double Dare O’Toole by Constance C. Greene
  13. Includes an exotic animal:
    The Devoted (The Bishop’s Family, 3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher [an exotic bird]
  14. Written by an author over 65:
    American Duchess by Karen Harper
  15. A Book mentioned in another book:
    Muddy Bottom (Palmetto Island, 1) by Ashley Farley
  16. Set before the 17th century:
    Catla and the Vikings by Mary Elizabeth Nelson
  17. A character “on the run”:
    The Lieutenants Nurse by Sara Ackerman
  18. An author with a 9-letter last name:
    Lumberjanes (Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy) by Noelle Stevenson et. al.
  19. Book with a deckled edge:
    The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
  20. Made into a tv series:
    Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  21. Book by Kristin Hannah:
    Fly Away (Firefly Lane, 2) by Kristin Hannah
  22. A family saga:
    The Lake House by Kate Morton
  23. An ending that surprises you:
    The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
  24. a book you think they should read in schools:
    Flight From the Fortress by Lyn Cook
  25. A book with multiple character POV:
    The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton
  26. An author of colour:
    The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  27. First chapter ends on an odd page number:
    Ice Magic (Silver Blades, 16) by Melissa Lowell
  28. Includes a historical event you know little about:
    We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall
  29. Featuring the environment:
    Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
  30. Watch out for dragons:
    A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mystery, 2) by Rhys Bowen [a character is referred to as the “old dragon’]
  31. Shares a similar title to another book:
    Verity by Colleen Hoover
  32. A selfish character:
    Tinaca Jones by Matt Boren
  33. Featuring adoption:
    Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  34. A book you’d rate 5 stars:
    Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins
  35. Set in a country that starts with the letter “s”:
    The Bookshop on the Shore (Scottish Bookshop 2) by Jenny Colgan
  36. A nameless narrator:
  37. An educational read:
    100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler
  38. Recommended on Book Bub”
    Stranded (Alaskan Courage, 3) by Dani Pettrey
  39. An alternate history novel:
  40. Found via #bookstagram:
  41. An endorsement by a famous author on the cover:
    Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman
  42. An epistolary:
    Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Martiza Moulite
  43. A character with a pet cat:
    Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries, 11) by Meg Cabot
  44. Includes a garden:
    The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, 4) by Carolyn Keene
  45. A coming of age novel:
    The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  46. Winner of the National Book Award (any year):
  47. A character with a disability:
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  48. A cover with a woman who is facing away:
    Buried Deep by Margo Hunt
  49. A flavour in the title:
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  50. A shoe on the cover:
    64th Man by Bryan Tucker & Zack Phillips
  51. Published in 2021:
    The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox
  52. Re-do one of the previous 51 categories from this 2021 challenge:
    The New Elizabeth (Sweet Valley High, 63) by Francine Pascal [TV Series]

I’m looking forward to participating in this challenge again this year.

Articles · Challenges · TBR · Wrap-ups

2020 Wrap-up: Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2021

I have yet to decide if I will have a more structured approach to my TBR this year, but because I did well (unintentionally) with the books I included on my list for 2020, I decided to go ahead and post one for 2021.

Here are the books I’m interested in reading over the next twelve months.

Waiting for Summer’s Return (Heart of the Prairie, 1) by Kim Vogel Sawyer
A Winter’s Tale: The Wreck of the Florizel by Cassie Brown
A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness 2) by Rhys Bowen
Trouble and Strife by Johanne Levesque
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

Challenges · Read-a-thons · Wrap-ups

Bout of Books 28 Read-a-thon Fail

Grab button for Bout of Books

The Bout of Books Read-a-thon ran from May 11-17. This is my wrap-up of my reading progress.

Total Books Read: 1

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My Lost Family
By: Danny Ben-Moshe and Dasha Lisitsina

Genre: Non-fiction, Audiobook
Rating: 5/5

Challenges

Day 1: Introduce yourself in 6 words.

Boy Mom, Cat Mom, Book Lover

….and unfortunately that is as far as I got. I had high hopes that I would make some great reading progress during this read-a-thon. Unfortunately life got in the way.

I did make decent progress on Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks, but wasn’t able to get to An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train, 0.5) by Jody Hedlund.

I’m hoping for better luck in the next round of the Bout of Books Read-a-thon.

Challenges · Charlie's Corner · Read-a-thons

Charlie’s Corner: Middle Grade March Read-a-thon

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.

During the month of March, the book community is celebrating the middle grade genre. This is a genre I don’t pick up very often, so I am not as familiar with the popular books released in the past several years. I am looking forward to discovering some new (or new to me) authors and their stories. This will also be a great opportunity for me to revisit some books from my childhood. And even though my son is still several years from this age-group, I hope to share some books with him too.

I will be participating in the Middle Grade March Read-a-thon, which is hosted by Life Between Words and Books and Jams. It is a month long read-a-thon and the prompts are as follows:

  • Books set in another country.
  • Book to screen adaptations.
  • Mystery books.
  • Books with illustrations.
  • Books about stories

My TBR

Funny enough, I recently came across a box of old books from my childhood, at my parents. Which was great timing as there were several that would fit the bill. I’m also looking forward to gathering some books from my library.

As of this posting, I have two definite books that I intend to read this months. Those include:

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NOTE: I was sent a copy of A Study in Scarlet, created by Stephanie Baudet and Illustrated by Arianna Belucci, from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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I will be sharing my reading progress on my Instagram page. You can follow me @melissaleesredhousereviews .

Will you be reading any middle grade during the month of March? Let me know in the comments.

Challenges · Read-a-thons

Contemporary-a-thon TBR

Are you participating in Contemporary-a-thon? If so what do you hope to read this week?

Articles · Character Spotlight · Memes · Tags · Wrap-ups

#Top10of2k19 OTP

Top 10 of 2019
Top 10 of 2019 is a meme that looks back on the books read throughout the year. It is hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads and @greadsbooks. It runs from December 25-31.

Today’s prompt for #Top10of2k19, is OTP. Or in other words, we are sharing our favourite couples from the books we read this past year. I will also be sharing my responses on Instagram. You can follow me @melissaleesredhousereviews

Hamish DeLuca and Reggie Van Buren (Van Buren and DeLuca Mysteries by Rachel McMillan)
Lincoln and Beth (Attachments by Rainbow Rowell)
Louisa Clark and Will Traynor (Me Before You by Jojo Moyes)
Birdie and Daniel (Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett)
Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather (Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy)
Daniel and “Cinderella” (Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover)

Challenges · Memes · Wrap-ups

Top 10 of 2019

Its that time of year again when all of the wrap-ups are being posted and we reflect on the past twelve months in reading.

Last year I really enjoyed participating in Kimberly Faye’s Top 10 in 2018 and I am excited to be joining up for her 2019 event. It will run from December 25-31.

Top 10 of 2019

This year, she will have a co-host; Ginger ( @greadsbooks) and they will be posting both on the blog and Instagram. Here are the prompts:

If you would like to participate, you can sign up at Kimberly Faye Reads.

Challenges · Currently Reading · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: September 2019

In my last post, I mentioned how I was in quite a bad reading slump over the summer. Well this past month I feel as if I’ve finally came out of that rut and I’m enjoying reading once again. Hopefully I will be able to keep up a good momentum for the month of October. Here is my reading progress..

Total Books Read in September: 3
Total Books Read in 2019: 28

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
By: Deborah Moggach
Narrated by: Nina Wadia

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Audiobook
Rating: 3/5

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A Slight Trick of the Mind
By: Mitch Cullin

Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Winter at the Beach (Moonlight Harbor,2)
By: Sheila Roberts

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Rating: 3/5

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 1

Challenge Update

2019 New Release Challenge: 0
2019 TBR Jar Challenge:
1

October TBR

From My TBR Jar

I am quite behind with my TBR Jar selections. I have yet to read August and Septembers books, so those will be my priority.

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October TBR Jar

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Sent for Review

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Currently Reading

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Book Reviews · Challenges · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: July-August 2019

The past couple of months have been very busy for me and unfortunately I fell into quite a reading slump. So I decided to hold off on posting my wrap-ups for both July and August. Thankfully I have been much more productive (reading wise) during the month of September, so I have decided to do a catch-up post.

Total Books Read in July: 1
Total Books Read in August: 2
Total Books Read in 2019 (at the end of August): 25

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L.A Candy (L.A. Candy, 1)
By: Lauren Conrad

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 2.5/5

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A Family of Strangers
By: Emilie Richards

Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5/5
Note: I was sent a copy of A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards, from the publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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It’s Not What It Looks Like
By: Molly Burke

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Rating: 4/5

DNF

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The Red Queen
By: Philippa Gregory

Genre: Historical Fiction
Quick Thoughts: I was so disappointed to have to discontinue reading The Red Queen. I have really enjoyed reading previous books by this author and began with high expectations. Unfortunately the time line didn’t interest me and I was quite bored by the main character.

Challenge Update

2019 New Release Challenge: 1
2019 TBR Jar Challenge: 1

August/ September TBR Jar Picks

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Challenges · Personal Post

Back to the Challenges in 2019

Last year, for the first time since I started book blogging I took a break from participating in blog hosted challenges. The only one I did participated in was the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Looking back I am happy with my reading progress from 2018 and the selection of books I read, however I miss the structure that different challenges bring. So for 2019, I am going to jump back on the bandwagon and create some challenges for myself. 

Here are the challenges I will be participating in this year:

The TBR Jar Challenge 

In an attempt to read the piles of books I own on my physical shelf, I have decided to try out the TBR jar method. I have put all the names of the books on my shelf into a jar and I will select one that I must read each month. If the selected book turns out to be a sequel of another book I have yet to read, I will have to read the previous book first. My ultimate goal is to read one book from my physical shelf per month. Which will add up to 12 for the year. Naturally I will get to this goal faster if I am required to read more than one book off it in any given month. 

Any additional physical books that I add to my collection I will put on my shelf backwards (providing that there is room), unless they are 2019 releases, in which case they will qualify for my next challenge. 

The New Release Challenge

I would really like to keep up with the newer books being released this year. So to do so I have decided to do the New Release Challenge. 

Like the previous challenge, I hope to read at least one book per month that is released in 2019. These books may be in the form of ARCS, Library books or any physical books I may buy. 

2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Like every year, I will be participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge once again. I have decided to keep with my same goal for 2018 and attempt to read 40 books this year. 

Will you be participating in any challenges this year? Have you set a goal for a certain number of books you’d like to read? Leave me a message in the comments.