Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2021 European Reading Challenge: WRAP UP POST PAGE

 

The 2021 European Reading Challenge

WRAP UP POST PAGE



January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022

THIS IS THE PAGE FOR WRAP UP POSTS

TO LIST YOUR REVIEWS, GO TO THIS PAGE

TO SIGN UP, GO TO THE MAIN CHALLENGE PAGE, HERE,
OR CLICK THE BUTTON ABOVE


LINK YOUR POST

When you complete the 2021 European Reading Challenge at whatever level you signed up for, please do a wrap up post and enter a link to your post here. Please link to your wrap up post, NOT the main page of your blog or social media profile.

A wrap up post can be very simple. If you participate in the challenge on your blog and just update your original post without doing a separate wrap up post, that's OK. Just post a link to your updated post here. If you participate on social media, please do some kind of wrap up post listing the books you read and link it here.

OR LEAVE A COMMENT

If you want, you can also simply leave a comment below listing the books you read. Please include your name, the name of the books, the authors of the books, and the countries of the books.   

WANT THE PRIZE? WRAP IT UP!

Without some kind of wrap up post, I don't have any way to know if you finished the challenge. I like to know so I can visit everyone. But it is more important if you are competing for the Jet Setter Prize. If you want to compete for the prize, you have to leave a wrap up post or I will have no way to know if you visited more countries than the other people competing with you.

When I announce the prize winner, Honorable Mention will go to the participants who visited the most countries, with links to their wrap up posts. If you don't link a wrap up post, I won't be able to find you.


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NOTE ABOUT DATES


There is overlap in January 2021 between the last month of the 2020 European Reading Challenge and the first month of the 2021 challenge. If you participated both years, only count books read in January in one of the years, not both.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

2021 European Reading Challenge: REVIEW PAGE



The 2021 European Reading Challenge

REVIEW PAGE


 January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022


THIS IS THE PAGE TO LIST YOUR REVIEWS.

IF YOU HAVE FINISHED, WRAP UP POSTS GO ON THIS PAGE.

TO SIGN UP, GO TO THE MAIN CHALLENGE PAGE, HERE,
OR CLICK THE BUTTON ABOVE.

LINK YOUR REVIEWS HERE

Please put your name and/or the name of your blog or social media handle, the name of the book you reviewed, and the country of the book or author. For example: Gilion at Rose City Reader, My Brilliant Friend, Italy.

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LINKS


When you review a book for the 2021 European Reading Challenge, please add it to this list using the Linky widget above. Please link to your review post, NOT the main page of your blog or social media account.

You do not need a blog to participate. If you review books on Instagram, Facebook, goodreads, or some other platform that generates a URL, you can add link to the review in the Mr. Linky below the same as a link to a blog post. Please link to the review, not your profile page. If you have questions about how to find the URL for a social media review post, leave a comment to ask me or email me at gilion at dumasandvaughn dot com. 

REVIEWS

You do not have to review books to complete the European Reading Challenge. You can complete the challenge simply by reading one to five books (or more), each set in a different European country or written by an author from a different European country. But if you do review books, please link your reviews here so other people can find them.

Also, if you want to win the Jet Setter Prize, you have to review the books. Only books reviewed count for the prize. If you are competing for the prize, definitely link your reviews here. You can link all your reviews, but only one book per country counts towards the prize.

WRAP UP

If you complete the challenge, please link some kind of wrap up post on the wrap up page. That way, I know who finished the challenge. If you do not do a wrap up post separate from your sign up post -- you just update your original post -- that's fine! But please, please, please link to the updated post after you finish the challenge. It is too hard for me to count all your reviews to figure out if you finished the challenge or not. 

NOTE ABOUT DATES

There is overlap in January 2021 between the last month of the 2020 European Reading Challenge challenge and the first month of the 2021 challenge. If you participated both years, only count books read in January in one of the years, not both.


Book List: Books Read in 2020


I keep track of the books I read on LibraryThing. Every January, I post a list of the books I read the prior year. It's usually a few over 100. There have been a couple of years when I didn't get to 100, when work was crazy. There haven't been many years when I got over 110. 

Here's the list of the 108 books I read in 2020, in the order I read them. 2020 was such an insane year, it could have gone either way, reading-wise. I know some people read twice as many books as usual, some people read hardly any. I read the same.

Notes about my rating system are below the list.

BOOKS READ IN 2020

  • Circe by Madeline Miller ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Egyptologists by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  • Party Going by Henry Green ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Cheri by Colette ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Gigi by Colette ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Warlight by Michaele Ondaatje ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Calypso by Davis Sedaris ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers (Pulitzer Prize) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Tiger's Wife by Tรฉa Obreht (Women's Prize) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Patrimony by Philip Roth ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Hidden Falls by Kevin Meyers ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (National Book Award) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  • Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Likeness by Tana French ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Pulitzer Prize) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Country Girl by Edna O'Brien ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild (Wodehouse Award) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Classics Club) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Nickel Boys by Coleson Whitehead (Pulitzer Prize) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Edgar Award) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus (Classics Club) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  • Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  • A Venetian Reckoning (aka Death and Judgment) by Donna Leon ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2


MY RATING SYSTEM

My rating system is my own and evolving. Whatever five stars might mean on amazon, goodreads, or Netflix, a five-star rating probably doesn't mean that here. In fact, I'm going to change this year and use roses for my rating system, since this is Rose City Reader. My system is a mix of how a book appeals to me and how I would recommend it to other people. 

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Five roses for books I loved, or would recommend to anyone, or I think are worthy of classic "must read" status." Examples would be Lucky Jim (personal favorite), A Gentleman in Moscow (universal recommendation), and Great Expectations (must read). 

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Four roses for books I really enjoyed and/or would recommend to people who enjoy that type of book. Examples would be The Jewel in the Crown and In the Woods. Most mysteries get four roses from me because I like them a lot but would only recommend them to people who like mysteries. (A few really great mysteries get five roses from me.) Similarly, some of my favorite authors get four roses from me because I wouldn't recommend them to a general audience, like funny books by P.G. Wodehouse or food memoirs by M.F.K. Fisher. 

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Three roses for books I was lukewarm on or maybe liked personally but wouldn't think of recommending. Examples would be Sexing the Cherry (lukewarm) and The Year of the French (liked personally but wouldn't inflict recommend).

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Two roses if I didn't like it. The Neapolitan Quartet is an example, which proves how subjective my system is because lots of people loved those books. 

๐ŸŒน One rose if I really didn't like it. I don't know if I've ever rated a book this low. The Magus might be my only example and I read it before I started keeping my lists. 

I use half roses if a book falls between categories. I can't explain what that half rose might mean, it's just a feeling.

Here is a link to the star rating system I used for years. I include it because the stars I used in years past meant something different than these roses, so if you look at my lists from past years, the ratings won't mean quite the same thing.




Monday, January 18, 2021

2020 CHALLENGE - Audiobook Challenge, Wrap-Up Post

 2020 AUDIOBOOK CHALLENGE


COMPLETED



I signed up for the 2020 Audiobook Challenge hosted by Hot Listens and Caffeinated Reviewer. It was my first year for the challenge because I love audiobooks and read a lot of books with my ears. Then 2020 happened and I forgot I had even signed up. I didn't keep track as I went along. Thanks to LibraryThing, I can go back and piece together my list.

My plan was to find as many audiobooks from my library that are on all the book lists I'm working on, with the goal of getting through at least 30 audiobooks in 2020. I ended up reading 61 audiobooks, so far surpassed my goal of 30!

BOOKS READ FOR THIS CHALLENGE

Circe by Madeline Miller
The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Women's Prize)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Costa Book of the Year)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Warlight by Michaele Ondaatje
Calypso by Davis Sedaris
The Overstory by Richard Powers (Pulitzer Prize)
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
Patrimony by Philip Roth
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry 
Come Hell or Highball by Maia Chance
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (National Book Award)
Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn (Wodehouse Prize)
Never Mind: Book One of the Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
Bad News: Book Two of the Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
Some Hope: Book Three of the Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
Mother's Milk: Book Four of the Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
At Last: The Final Patrick Melrose Novel by Edward St. Aubyn
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (National Book Award)
Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
The Likeness by Tana French
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Pulitzer Prize)
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse by Lawrence Block (Edgar Award)
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild (Wodehouse Award)
The Invitation by Lucy Foley
The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman (Erica Jong List)
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Classics Club)
The Underground Railroad by Coleson Whitehead (Pulitzer Prize)
The Nickel Boys by Coleson Whitehead (Pulitzer Prize)
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Edgar Award)
The White Album by Joan Didion
The Stranger by Albert Camus (Classics Club)
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (Classics Club)
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Murder Room by P. D. James
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
For the Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
The Hanging in the Hotel by Simon Brett
A Venetian Reckoning (aka Death and Judgment) by Donna Leon
Jump the Gun by Zoe Burke

Almost all of the audiobooks I read I got from my library, using the Libby app, and listened to the on my phone. I have a bare-bones Audible account and got a few books using it. I find that most of the books on Audible are available through the library, although you have to waitlist many of them. 




Saturday, January 16, 2021

2021 CHALLENGE - Back to the Classics

 


BACK TO THE CLASSICS

The Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate is one of my favorites. I didn't get my act together in 2020 to sign up in time, so only participated in my mind. 2020 was that kind of year. But I am a little more on my game so far in 2021, so here is my sign up post. We will see how I do reading the books!

The idea for the Back to the Classics challenge is to read "classic" books meaning those published more than 50 years ago that are considered classics. There is no hard and fast definition and you pick your own books. Participants read up to 12 books in 12 separate categories. Readers who read 6 books get one entry for a prize at the end; two entries for nine books; and three entries for 12. Read all the details and rules on the main challenge page. You have to sign up by the end of March.

THE CATEGORIES

  • 19th Century Classic
  • 20th Century Classic
  • Classic by a Woman
  • Classic in Translation
  • Classic by a BIPOC Author
  • Classic by a New-to-You Author
  • Classic by a Favorite Author
  • Classic About an Animal
  • Children's Classic
  • Classic Humor or Satire
  • Travel or Adventure Classic
  • Classic Play

MY BOOKS

I hope to read at least six books for the Back to the Classics challenge. My plan is to read books off my Classics Club list so I can make progress on finishing that list by my deadline goal of December 2023. 

I'm not sure which books I'll pick, but possibilities include:



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