Discussion, Reading challenge

What! The Books I Mostly Read are Pigeonholed “Trash”!

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More and more I hate it when readers refer to popular fiction books as

  • Trash
  • Fluff
  • Frivolous
  • A Guilty Pleasure
  • Brain Candy

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And even beach read or comfort read while not as bad, (and I’ve used those terms myself) have a certain ring to them. Literary fiction or classic literature is seen as ” what the discerning reader” picks up to read. Really!  That annoys me. Mostly because it’s said with a certain tone or attitude as well. Said without attitude, then maybe I could accept it.

 

If they were to say “I prefer to read classic or literary books” or “I like a mix of classic and popular fiction” – no judgement in tone – fine!

One reader’s trash might be another person’s treasure!  And I’ll just whisper this! Sh! I am more likely to put literary books in the DNF basket! Well I find them boring or so uninspiring … it  takes the pleasure of reading away from me. But if its for you – go ahead, enjoy it. Just don’t go all snobby on me.

Ah yes! I have read trash – believe me! From 8 or 9 year old boys, who bored me silly with stories that go on page after page of guns and fighting. What is that! Or one boy who insisted on calling every character in his story Bob and wouldn’t shift! Well his family shifted away – thank goodness!  That was in my early days of teaching, I soon learned to steer students away from writing more trash than I could bear!

Popular fiction sells! So there must be others out there like me who want to get lost in a book that they enjoy. I read for entertainment – sure. But in the books I read I am not only entertained. I am made to think, and to experience so many diverse points of view, I love the values that are embodied. Often my heart is opened in compassion.

The struggles of characters and the challenges they face engage me. The hope popular fiction brings, the way goodness is valued.  I love the imagination and creativity that an author brings to writing popular fiction. These authors are writing excellent novels in their own right. Such talent. Their voice rings out. Maybe one author’s voice appeals to me, another to you. Whatever! I respect them whether its to my taste or not. You love a cozy mystery, someone else appreciates a thriller and  I love a good romantic suspense.

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I’ve always had a penchant for a satisfying romance novel. Maybe a discussion another day on that genre, it  warrants a discussion all by itself.

Maybe I’m a bit too sensitive. Perhaps I fear being “looked down on”. No – I know I do! However that acknowledged I believe popular fiction is not given the respect its due. Smart, intelligent people write these books and as a reader I’m not lacking in intelligence either. One author whose work I love and respect was told by a good friend that her books were good and she’d probably be able to write a real novel if she tried!! A backhanded compliment but this author already writes real novels.

Your viewpoint? Your experience?

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I am linking up with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight. Check out all the discussions for March.

Book Connections, Reading challenge, Review

Women Growing into Themselves

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book coverMarilla of Green Gables Sarah McCoy.   Historical fiction.
Marilla is loyal to the family and the farm. While she loses the love of her life she does not let it embitter her. She finds meaning in helping out in the community and even being part of the underground railway.

 

Book CoverBecoming Mrs Lewis   Patti Callihan   Historical fiction.
Joy Davidman was a woman of courage who had to make difficult choices and she did. Choosing what felt right to her and would give her fulfilment and joy.  She chose her children, her writing and her relationship with C. S. Lewis. She left her homeland and journeyed to live in a new country. In spite of many difficulties she hoped and loved.

book coverTrue Places   Sonja Yoerg      Contemporary fiction.
Suzanne after an incident in Africa becomes anxious and fearful. She settles for being a wife and security. When a young woman arrives in her life it awakens in her the need to be strong and to be herself.

book coverAmerican Duchess – Karen Harper  Historical fiction.
A young woman, Consuelo Vanderbilt,  is forced by her mother to marry a Duke. After a unsatisfying marriage and two children, she finds the strength to claim a life of service and to be with the person she truly loves.

Book coverMeet me at the Museum  Anne Youngson.
Tina Hopgood has been a farmer’s wife for forty years. She has cooked and cleaned and made life comfortable for her husband and children. But… she has neglected her own needs. In writing to a man in Denmark she comes to understand herself and what has happened to her. Through this she grows and when the crunch comes, is strengthened to take steps that will lead to growth for her.

Book Connections, Reading challenge

Connect 5 Books March/April

 

BannerJoin me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

Congratulations to the giveaway winner for the first link up. She linked five books with neuroatypical characters.  Funnily enough the very next book I opened and am reading has such a character in it too. So its given me ideas for a connection of my own!

She says:

1) All the Bright Places: one character has bipolar disorder
2) I Was Born For This: one of the MCs has Anxiety.
3) The Vanishing Stair: MC is in treatment for Anxiety.
4) Solitaire: MC suffers from Depression.
5) Eliza and Her Monsters: MC suffers a panic attack and other (spoilery) things.
It was very interesting to see how successfully or not (in my opinion, of course) they portrayed these issues, how they were incorporated into the narrative and the characters’ personality, as well as the weight they had in their stories.

Remember you didn’t need to sign up for this challenge you can just join in as you see you have five connections.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?  One of these ways is good.

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment would be helpful.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.

If you need some guidelines for this then see the original post. Connect Five Books.

Remember:

  • A book can only be used once for this challenge in the year.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year, or many each month. It depends on how many connections you come across!
  •  Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019 if sharing on social media.

When?

Every second month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. This one will finish on the last Wednesday of April.  (I have changed this, I was going to do it every month, but every second month is going on trial!)

#connect5books2019

A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository. The last link up will be posted in November and go through December. At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year, –  a book of choice from the Book Depository up to the value of $18 U.S.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

General, Reading challenge

I’m Not Tickled Pink!

Most people who know me know I have a thing about pink. Because its my least favourite colour. Over at Anna’s Herding Cats Burning Soup she is challenging us to think pink this month!

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When I arrived in this house there were salmon pink curtains – not so bad but I said “I’m gonna change them soon”. Yes like nearly ahem 17 years later they are still there. But… look out 2019 is the year!

photo of curtain

The bathroom was very pink – the walls in the house were all light pink. No! No! At least now most of the walls in the house are a yellow. And the kitchen cabinets have been painted out from their pink colour. The pink bathroom is gone. Yes!

But… I can’t escape pink – well apart from the fact I don’t wear it. I am more an autumn wearing person.

Autumn

I am learning to accept pink! Allow it about here and there. Someone planted pink flowers in my garden. I used to chop them all off. Now I just am thankful for flowers.plant photo

I fell in love with this pink fabric! What! No its quite nice really. I loved sewing it up. I’ll give the quilt away but… well I do like the pink in this one!quilt

I think I could adapt to pink here and there!

Taking a look at my bookshelves I see hardly any pink covers – maybe a couple. One library book too that has a kinda rose pink cover that I am planning to read soon. But I can cope with a pinkish book cover.

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What’s your favourite colour and what’s the one you try to avoid and perhaps like me not totally be able to escape.

If you are a lover of pink – what’s your favourite thing in pink? Would you drive a pink car? Cook with pink pots? Have a pink phone? Have an all pink bathroom? Well you know I wouldn’t!

Book Connections, Reading challenge

War and its Impact.

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War is something that affects many. If you are like me so far you are lucky to have escaped. The closest I have come to it is a Grandfather injured in WW1. Fortunately my father was deaf and never saw active duty although he did join the air force during WW2. But war does have an emotional, physical, psychological and social impact on many. These books are all connected because of their link to war and the way in which they highlight these things.

Book coverSuitcase of Dreams by Tania Blanchard tells the story of a German family who emigrate to Australia to find freedom and new opportunities. They do eventually find that but they still carry with them the tensions of their past rooted in WW11.

Also impinging upon them are the horrors of the Vietnam war, again they are haunted by what war can do and its dreadful waste.

Book CoverIn Tides of Honour we meet Danny Baker a World War 1 soldier badly wounded and sent home. The loss of a leg in those times was even more challenging than it would be today. And not only that, what he has witnessed – seeing his friends blown apart has to have placed upon him a heavy burden.

Audrey, the woman he meets in France turns out to be someone who loves him and helps him battle the inner demons… until those demons become very challenging. It turns out that another disaster is a turning point for them.

book cover The Spitfire Girls by Soraya M. Lane details for us the excellent contribution young women pilots in England and the USA made to WW2. They had to make their way among the world of men and public prejudice at time. But they worked on bravely in difficult conditions.

 

book coverThe Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return who are deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles, in this case the role of land girls.

book cover In The Military Wife by Laura Trentham  we explore modern war and its repercussions through the eyes of SEALS and their challenges and struggles with injury and PTSD. We also see the effects and challenges for their wives and family.

In 2019 have you read a book that could fit into this book connect?

Book Connections, Reading challenge

Connect Five Books – January/February

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Join me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

Remember you didn’t need to sign up for this challenge you can just join in as you see you have five connections.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment would be helpful.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.

If you need some guidelines for this then see the original post. Connect Five Books.

Remember:

  • A book can only be used once for this challenge in the year.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year, or many each month. It depends on how many connections you come across!
  •  Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019 if sharing on social media.

When?

Each month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. The link up will be open until the  Tuesday before the last Wednesday of the next month. The first link is today January 30th 2019.

#connect5books2019

A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository. The last link up will be posted in November and go through December. At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year, –  a book of choice from the Book Depository up to the value of $18 U.S.

Reading challenge

Other Book Related Challenges I am Joining 2019

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Hosted by Nicole at Feed You Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight.  Check out the guidelines there.

I am going to join this at the Discussion Dabbler level. (1-10) Oh yes, just a few toes in!  I’ll aim for 10 but anything from 1 on is a win!  #LetDiscuss2019

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Hosted by Kathleen at  SMS Non Fiction Reviews

It challenges us to pick a topic – preferably something we don’t know much about and read three books about it. I haven’t decided what I’ll read but will make that decision a little later on.

Living a Healthier Life.

The Natural Home Wendyl Nissen

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Anna at The Herd hosts this one and has twelve words to blog about in the year. I am going to give it a go.  It can be any kind of post, not necessarily about books.

2019 Prompts
Jan- First           First Book of the Year
Feb- Pink          I’m Not Tickled Pink
Mar- Luck
April- Sweet
May- Bloom
June- Risk
July- Heat
Aug- Sky
Sept- Crunch
Oct- Shiver
Nov- Thankful
Dec- Twinkle

 

 

 

Reading challenge

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2019

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I am joining this challenge again for 2019. In 2018 I made 11 out of the 12 books, for 2019 I hope to read the full 12.

The topics are:

  1. A book you’ve been meaning to read. The Wednesday Wars  Gary D Schmidt
  2. A book about a topic that fascinates you.
  3. A book in the backlist of a favorite author.
  4. A book recommended to you by someone with great taste. The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington, recommended to me by Trish at Between My Lines.
  5. Book One by same author.
  6. Book Two by same author.
  7. Book Three by same author.
  8. A book you chose for the cover
  9. A book by an author who is new to you.
  10. A book in translation  The Red Address Book. Sofia Lundberg
  11. A book (genre) outside your comfort zone. Meet Me at the Museum Anne Youngson – epistolary fiction.
  12. A book published before you were born.  Enchanted April.  Elizabeth Arnim
Reading challenge

Audiobook Challenge 2019.

2019 Audiobook Challenge
So time to take on an audiobook challenge for 2019.
Read all the details over at Caffeinated Reviewer or Hot Listens.
Read all about the challenge on either of the links above.
I am going for the Binge Listener level again. In 2018 I was aiming for 28 and I am just finishing that now.
My aim is for 30 books for 2019.

Audiobooks

  1. Tides of Honour narration – Fajar Al- Kaisi. 4 stars. Length: 12hrs 23 min
  2. The Dream Daughter – narration Susan Bennett.  5 stars.  Length 13 hrs 32 min
  3. Cowboy Seal Homecoming – narration Romy Nordinger. 3 stars. Length 10hrs 24min
  4. True Places  Sonja Yoerg – 4.5 star. Narration Lisa Flanagan 5 stars  Length 12hrs 15 min
  5. Royal Blood.  Rhys Bowen 3.5 stars. Narration Katherine Kellgren 5 stars. Length 9hrs 20 min
  6. The Moon Sister.   Lucinda Riley 4 stars. Narration Imogen Wilde 4.5 stars. Length 19 hrs 53 min
  7. The Woman at 72 Derry Lane.  Carmel Harrington. 5 stars. Narration Aoife McMahon 4.5 stars
  8. Come From Away by Genevieve Graham. 4 stars. Narrator Michelle Ferguson 4 stars. Length 8 hrs 2min
  9. The Goodbye Cafe by Mariah Stewart 5 stars.  Narrator Joy Osmanski 5 stars. Length 13hrs 42 min
  10. The Rosie Result   Graeme Simsion 5 stars.  Narrator Graeme Simsion 5 stars.  Length 8 hrs 17 min
Reading challenge

Library Challenge 2019

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I am going to do the library challenge again which is hosted at Angela’s Guilty Pleasures.

Follow the link to get all the information.

In 2018 I used the library really well thanks to this challenge and went beyond my goal of 24. I learned how to reserve books while the books were still on order at the library and so I read a number of them that were published in 2018 and saved myself from buying them! My only difficulty was sometimes having so many become available at one time.

My goal for 2019 is going to be Overdrive Junkie with 36 as the total I am aiming for.

Books Read

  1. Becoming Mrs Lewis  Patti Callahan  Historical Fiction.   5 stars.
  2. Suitcase of Dreams  Tania Blanchard  Historical Fiction 4 stars.
  3. Marilla of Green Gables  Historical Fiction  4 stars
  4. The Red Address Book. Multi Time line Fiction. 4 stars
  5. Strawberry Hill  Catherine Anderson  3 stars
  6. Meet Me at the Museum   Anne Youngson 4 stars
  7. The Cottage at Rosella Cove   Sandi Docker   3 stars
  8. The Natural Home Wendyl Nissen  5 stars