Halloween Book Bingo 2020

Current Status of the Card:

The Books:

Sleepy Hollow: Alice Hoffman: The River King – finished Sept. 26, 2020.
Film at 11: Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice – finished Sept. 24, 2020.
Southern Gothic: Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Tom Dooley – finished Sept. 19, 2020.
Murder Most Foul: Michael Connelly: The Night Fire – finished August 31, 2020.
Spellbound: Naomi Novik: Spinning Silver – finished Sept. 16, 2020.

International Woman of Mystery: Marie-Elena John: Unburnable – finished Sept. 8, 2020.
Terror in a Small Town: Michael Jecks: The Malice of Unnatural Death – finished Sept. 23, 2020.
Truly Terrifying: Kathryn Harkup: Death by Shakespeare – finished Sept. 13, 2020.
Amateur Sleuth: Anthony Gilbert: Death in a Fancy Dress – finished Sept. 7, 2020.
Relics and Curiosities: Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies – finished Sept. 18, 2020.

Genre: Horror: Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White – finished Sept. 27, 2020.
Dystopian Hellscape: J.J. Connington: Nordenholt’s Million – finished Sept. 30, 2020.
Free (Raven) Space: Agatha Christie: The Thirteen Problems – finished 7, 2020.
Full Moon: W. Stanley Moss: Ill Met by Moonlight – finished Sept. 29, 2020.
Thirteen: Margery Allingham: More Work for the Undertaker – finished Sept. 3, 2020.

Stone Cold Horror — BINGO FLIP — Read by Flashlight or Candlelight: Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho – finished Sept. 25, 2020.
Psych: NIcholas Blake: The Beast Must Die – finished Sept. 5, 2020.
Doomsday:
A.S. Byatt: Ragnarok – finished Sept. 19, 2020.
Black Cat: T.S. Eliot: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – finished Sept. 20, 2020.
Diverse Voices
: Aimée & David Thurlo: Second Sunrise – finished Sept. 10, 2020.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Patricia Moyes: The Sunken Sailor – finished Sept. 14, 2020.
Paint it Black: Julie Smith (ed.) & Various Authors: New Orleans Noir – finished Oct. 2, 2020.
New Release: Joy Ellis: They Disappeared – finished Sept. 2, 2020.
Genre: Suspense: Patricia Highsmith: Ripley Under Ground – finished Sept. 26, 2020.
Darkest London: Christianna Brand: Fog of Doubt – finished Sept. 11. 2020.

My Square Markers

 
Called but not read


Read but not called


Read and Called


Center Square: Read = Called

My Transfiguration Spells

Authors (and books) possibly to be used with Amplification Spell:
Preet Bharara: Doing Justice
Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak!, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Emma Donoghue: The Sealed Letter, Kissing the Witch
Aminatta Forna: The Devil That Danced on the Water
Gabriel García Márquez: Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No one Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories)
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable
Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red
Various Authors: Trinidad Noir
Oksana Zabuzhko: The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

Wild Card Author:
Agatha Christie

Possible squares for Bingo Flip and / or Transfiguration Spell:

Bingo Flip:
  
Spell invoked: Bingo Flip with Lora –“Stone Cold Horror” replaced by “Read by Flashlight or Candlelight”.

My Spreadsheet:

My Book Preselections Post: HERE

 

BL-opoly 2020: The Pandemic Edition

Game abandoned prematurely due to BookLikes Meltdown.

My marker was based again (of course) on my little assistants and good luck charms, Sunny and Charlie, who again helped me pick my books (this time around, properly pandemic-proofed).

 

 

My Progress Spreadsheet

 

The Books and the Board

The Questions

Who?:
Why?: Pete Brown: Shakespeare’s Local – finished June 8, 2020.
How?:
When?: Bernard Knight: Crowner’s Crusade – finished June 3, 2020.

The Railroads

The Silk Road: Anita Amirrezvani: The Blood of Flowers – finished July 13, 2020.
The Patagonia Star: Nicholas Shakespeare: The Dancer Upstairs – finished May 30, 2020.
The Cape-to-Cairo Railway:
The Nordic Express:

School’s Out For Summer

#1:
#3: Phyllis Wheatley: Memoir and Poems
#4: Ellery Queen: The Roman Hat Mystery – finished June 11, 2020.

The Stay-Cation

#6: Lili Grün: Alles ist Jazz – finished June 19, 2020.
#7: Holly Throsby: Goodwood – finished July 1, 2020.
#9: Isabel Allende: The Stories of Eva Luna – DNF @ 40%, May 28, 2020.

Beach Week

#10: Helene Tursten: Night Rounds – finished June 6, 2020.
#11: Ranka Nikolić: Mord mit Meerblick (Murder with Sea View) – finished July 3, 2020.
#13:

Mountain Cabin

#15: Mark Twain: The Diaries of Adam and Eve – finished July 13, 2020.
#16:
#18: 

The Lake House:

#19: Eve Makis: The Spice Box Letters – finished June 23, 2020.
#20: Agatha Christie: Dumb Witness – finished May 31, 2020.
#22: Margery Allingham: Police at the Funeral – finished June 1, 2020.

The Summer Blockbuster

#25:
#27: Ian Doescher: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars – Verily, a New Hope – finished June 2, 2020.

The Summer Romance

#28:
#30: Bernardine Evaristo: Girl, Woman, Other – finished June 26, 2020.

European Vacation

#33:
#35: Olivia Manning: The Great Fortune – finished June 18, 2020.
#36: Arthur Conan Doyle: The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes Collection – finished June 28, 2020.

The Novelty Cards

The Race Car: Picked up June 12, 2020; used July 4, 2020.
The Robot: Picked up June 18, 2020.

The Cat: Picked up June 9, 2020 and June 17, 2020; used June 12, 2020 and June 18, 2020.
“Cat” Books:
Patrick Leigh Fermor: Between the Woods and the Water – finished June 16, 2020.
Saša Stanišić: Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert – finished June 19, 2020 – and Herkunft – finished June 22, 2020.

The Dog: Picked up June 9, 2020 and June 17, 2020.

 

The Four Corners

GO: Collected $20 on May 26; and $5 each on:
June 3 – June 9 – June 18 – June 29 – July 4 – July 13

Jail:
Free Parking:
Go to Jail:

The BookLikes Squares:
Spin the Wheel Decide

#24: July 13: Move to the Start Space
#31:

 

 

 

Snakes & Ladders 2020


Tracking courtesy of Charlie and Sunny, as always, of course!

 

 SPACES AND DICE ROLLS

1. Author is a woman — Patricia Wentworth: Pilgrim’s Rest (finished April 1, 2020)

2. Genre: mystery
3. Set in the twentieth century
4. Published in 2019
5. Published in 2018
6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author’s last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D — Margery Allingham: Sweet Danger (finished April 2, 2020)

8. Author’s last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.
9. Author’s last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K
10. Author’s last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O
11. Author’s last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S
12. Author’s last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z
13. Author is a man
14. Author is dead
15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy — Marie Brennan: A Natural History of Dragons (finished April 6, 2020)

17. Genre: horror
18. Set in a school
19. Set in the UK
20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe — Joy Ellis: The Patient Man (finished April 7, 2020)

22. Set in Asia
23. Set in Australia/Oceania
24. Set in Africa
25. Snake – go back to 5
26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long
27. Set during WWI or WWII
28. Written between 1900 and 1999
29. Someone travels by plane
30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip — Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones (finished April 8, 2020)

32. Genre: thriller
33. Set in North America
34. Snake – go back to 1
35. Has been adapted as a movie
36. Set in Central or South America
37. Has won an award
38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread — Ngaio Marsh: Enter a Murderer (finished April 9, 2020)

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry
41. Characters involved in politics
42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry
43. Characters involved in the law
44. Characters involved in cooking/baking
43. Characters involved in medicine
44. Characters involved in science/technology
45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year
46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years
47. Snake – go back to 19
48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend — Ngaio Marsh: A Man Lay Dead, plus Death on the Air and Other Stories (both books finished April 10, 2020)

(Rereading the first Roderick Alleyn mystery in honor of the friend who introduced me to them many years ago. — ETA: Tagged on Marsh’s short stories when I noticed that the audio of A Man Lay Dead runs just short of 5 hours 30 minutes.)

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover
51. Has a wild animal on the cover
52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover — Ngaio Marsh: Scales of Justice (finished April 11, 2020)

(I used the present weekend buddy read for this one, as my print edition has fishing tackle on its cover — hook, line and all.)

54. Is more than 400 pages long
55. Is more than 500 pages long
56. Was published more than 100 years ago
57. Was published more than 50 years ago
58. Was published more than 25 years ago
59. Was published more than 10 years ago
60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red — Anne Perry: Defend and Betray (finished April 16, 2020)

(Go figure, I could have used the audio version of Scales of Justice fo rthis one as well …)

62. Cover is more than 50% green
63. Cover is more than 50% blue
64. Cover is more than 50% yellow
65. Snake – go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long — Ngaio Marsh: When in Rome (finished April 17, 2020)

(Nothing like Alleyn in Italy as a palate cleanser after the train wreck that Perry’s book turned out ot be.)

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)
68. Something related to weddings on the cover
69. Something related to travel on the cover
70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover
71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests — Charles Portis: True Grit (finished April 18, 2020)

(I checked — their trip takes them through the mountains, at least part of the way.)

73. Categorized as YA
74. Categorized as Middle Grade
75. Set in a fantasy world
76. Set in a world with magic
77. Has a “food” word in the title
78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman — Sara Paretsky: Indemnity Only (finished April 21, 2020)

(Somehow I never got around to the first V.I.  Warshawski novel.  Now just may be the moment to make up for that.)

80. Main character is a man
81. Ghost story
82. Genre: urban fantasy
83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural — Lee Goldberg: Lost Hills (finished April 22, 2020)

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books
86. Author’s debut book
87. Snake – go back to 57
88. Comic/graphic novel
89. Published between 2000 and 2017
90. A new-to-you author
91. Snake – go back to 61
92. Reread of a childhood favorite
93. Author’s first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)
94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir — Anne Fadiman: Confessions of a Common Reader (finished April 22, 2020)

and Rafik Schami: Murmeln meiner Kindheit (My Childhood’s Marbles) (finished April 23, 2020) (since Fadiman’s book falls just a bit short of the game’s minimum requirements).

96. From your favorite genre
97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE
98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS
99. Snake – go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

Poll originally linked separately here. ~~~ Link to poll. ~~~ Link to results.

BL community pick:
Val McDermid: Broken Ground (finished April 27, 2020).

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

2. However, if you can’t find a book to fit the square, don’t worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can’t move on.

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages.

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn’t not fit the square, roll one dice only.

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.

 

24 Festive Tasks 2019

The MARKERS:

Books: Candles
Tasks: Stars

 

The Squares

DOOR 1: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

Book:  Ngaio Marsh: Death and the Dancing Footman (audio version, read by James Saxon)
Task 1: Miss Marple limerick.
Task 2: Chili con carne.
Task 3: Epitaph for The Disappearing Spoon.
Task 4: Gaby in Mexico (& Guatemala).

Points: 5

 

DOOR 2: JAPANESE CULTURE DAY

Book: Michael Innes: Death at the President’s Lodging (audio version, read by Stephen Hogan)
Task 1: Beethoven Festival.
Task 2: KitKat flavors.
Task 3:
Task 4: Teriyaki Chicken.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 3: MELBOURNE CUP DAY

Book: Ellis Peters: The Rose Rent (audio version, read by Nadia May)
Task 1: Pick your ponies.
Task 2: Ross are red, violets are blue: Shakespeare, Much Ado.
Task 3: Cheshire Cat mug.
Task 4: Holiday treats in a cup.

Points: 5

 

DOOR 4: GUY FAWKES NIGHT

Book: Joy Ellis: The Stolen Boys (audio version, read by Richard Armitage)
Task 1:
Task 2: Book world revolution: thinking differently about books.
Task 3:
Task 4: Bookshelf ordering system.

Points: 3

 

DOOR 5: BON OM TOUK

Book: Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None (audio version, read by Dan Stevens)
Task 1: Favorite Rainy Day Books.
Task 2:
Task 3: Dragons.
Task 4: Books on my shelf with antonym titles.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 6: VETERANS’ / ARMISTICE DAY

Book: E.C.R. Lorac: Murder by Matchlight (audio version, read by Mark Elstob)
Task 1: Sunrise photos.
Task 2: Authors who died this year I’ll miss the most.
Task 3:
Task 4: Sunset walk in the woods.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 7: INT’L DAY FOR TOLERANCE

Book: Chris Ewan: The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris (audio version, read by Simon Vance)
Task 1: Redeeming feature of a DNF’d book (Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath and the Dawn).
Task 2: Baby diaries.
Task 3: Having to let go my library.
Task 4: My one UNESCO world heritage site to visit: Machu Picchú.

Points: 5

 

DOOR 8: INT’L CHILDREN’S DAY

Book: Cyril Hare: An English Murder
Task 1: Favorite children’s and middle grade books.
Task 2:
Task 3:
Task 4: Carnivals and amusement parks.

Points: 3

 

DOOR 9: WORLD PHILOSOPHY DAY

Book: Plato: Timaeus and Critias (audio version, read by David Rintoul, David Timson and Peter Kenny)
Task 1: Reading philosophy.
Task 2: Rating and reviewing policy.
Task 3: Creature comforts.
Task 4: Books read in school.

Points: 5

 

DOOR 10: RUSSIAN MOTHERS’ DAY

Book: Lesley Cookman: Murder in Steeple Martin (audio version, read by Patience Tomlinson)
Task 1:
Task 2: Fiction about royalty “moonlighting” as commoners.
Task 3:
Task 4: Nobel prize medal for Harriet Vane.

Points: 3

 

DOOR 11: THANKSGIVING

Book: Louisa May Alcott: The Christmas Stories (audio version, read by Susie Berneis)
Task 1: Toddler on the move alone in the city.
Task 2: The books I am most thankful to have found this year.
Task 3:
Task 4:

Points: 3

 

DOOR 12: ST. ANDREW’S DAY

Book: Ann Cleeves: White Nights (audio version, read by Kenny Blyth)
Task 1: Favorite Scottish writers.
Task 2:
Task 3: 2019 Reading: greatest “catches” from my TBR.
Task 4: Black Watch tartan.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 13: ADVENT

Book: Louise Penny: Still Life (audio version, read by Adam Sims)
Task 1: Advent calendar.
Task 2: Favorite holiday tradition / moment.
Task 3: Pineapple (wassail) bowl.
Task 4:

Points: 4

 
DOOR 14: ST. NICHOLAS’ DAY

Book: Joy Ellis: Five Bloody Hearts (audio version, read by Matthew Lloyd Davies)
Task 1: Book wish list.
Task 2: Holiday treats.
Task 3: Same book — different title.
Task 4: Audre Lorde: Coal.

Points: 5

DOOR 15: INT’L HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Book: Nancy Mitford: Christmas Pudding (audio version, read by Kristin Atherton)
Task 1: Foreign cuisine: Chicken Tikka Masala.
Task 2:
Task 3: Literature Nobel Prize for Harriet Vane.
Task 4:

Points: 3

 

DOOR 16: ST. LUCIA’S DAY

Book: Katrine Engberg: Krokodilwächter (audio version, read by Dietmar Bär)
Task 1: Harriet Vane and the St. Lucia maidens.
Task 2: Sleigh rides.
Task 3: Kokopelli and Dobby.
Task 4: Books from the farthest origins.

Points: 5

 

DOOR 17: WINTER SOLSTICE
(YULE/ YALDĀ NIGHT/ DONGZHI/ SOYAL)

Book: Agatha Christie: Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (audio version, read by Simon Vance, Hugh Fraser, David Suchet, and Joan Hickson)
Task 1: Candles.
Task 2: Listening to Mary Kelly’s The Christmas Egg long past my regular bedtime.
Task 3:
Task 4: Childhood good night stories.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 18: HANUKKAH

Book: Nicholas Blake: Thou Shell of Death (audio version, read by Kris Dyer)
Task 1: Dreidel spin: first book of 2020.
Task 2: Water chestnut latkes.
Task 3: Reading Angela Thirkell’s High Rising by flashlight.
Task 4:

Points: 4

 

DOOR 19: FESTIVUS

Book: Donna Andrews: Owl Be Home for Christmas (audio version read by Bernadette Dunne)
Task 1: Airing of grievances: 5 most disliked books of 2019.
Task 2: Battle of the Books: Pippi Longstocking vs. Anna Karenina.
Task 3:
Task 4:

Points: 3

 

DOOR 20: CHRISTMAS

Book: Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (audio version, read by Hugh Fraser)
Task 1:
Task 2:
 Christmas movies.
Task 3: Christmas book gifts.
Task 4: The gifts that meant the most to me.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 21: KWANZAA

Book: Agatha Christie: A Caribbean Mystery (audio version, read by Emilia Fox)
Task 1:
Task 2: Favorite books where music is an important feature.
Task 3:
Task 4: Coffee and pastries with a colleague.

Points: 3

 

DOOR 22: NEW YEAR’S EVE

Book: Candace Robb: A Gift of Sanctuary (audio version, read by Stephen Thorne)
Task 1: 2020 reading goals.
Task 2: 2019 reading stats.
Task 3: 2020 reading year bibliomancy.
Task 4:

Points: 4

 

DOOR 23: HOGSWATCH

Book: Terry Pratchett: Hogfather (audio version, read by Nigel Planer)
Task 1:
Task 2: Favorite Discworld characters.
Task 3: Discworld subseries world I’d like to visit: The Witches.
Task 4: Good Omens: Rooting for Crowley, Aziraphale, and Agnes.

Points: 4

 

DOOR 24: EPIPHANY

Book: Agatha Christie: Star Over Bethlehem (audio version read by Simon Vance)
Task 1: Spicy red pesto pasta.
Task 2:
Task 3: Purple comfort socks (with pompoms!).
Task 4: Tea and book.

Points: 4

 

The BOOK JOKER

(Not used.)

 

 

 

 

TOTAL SCORE:

      95 points

 

 

The Tasks

Door 1:  Día de Los Muertos

Task 1: Compose a limerick or short poem in honor of a favorite book character.

Task 2:  If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to a favorite dish – and / or make yourself a margarita – and share a photo.

Task 3: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year.

Task 4: Do you have any traditions or mementos of happy memories of a loved one that you feel like sharing?

Book: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies.

 

Door 2:  Japanese Culture Day

Task 1: Tell us about a cultural festival or event in the area where you live.

Task 2: Try a flavor of Kit Kat other than chocolate and report back if you liked it.

Task 3: Try your hand at folding a paper crane. Instructions: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Paper-Crane-1/

Task 4: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.

Book: Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.

 

Door 3:  Melbourne Cup Day

Task 1: Pick your ponies.*

Task 2: Roses are the official flower of Flemington Race Track; write your own “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem for one of your favorite or most hated books of all time.

Task 3: Aussies shorten everything, so Melbourne Cup Day is just called “Cup Day” – post a picture of your favorite cup or mug for your daily fix of coffee, tea or chocolate.

Task 4: Prepare your favorite dessert – in a cup! Post a photo of it for us to enjoy vicariously.

Book: Read a book about horses, with a horse or with roses on the cover, about gardening, or set in Australia, or written by an Australian author.

* Ponies (horses) running the race will be posted here by Darth Pedant, guest hosting for MurderByDeath, as soon as they’re announced, or thereabouts. The official field is published on November 3rd.

 

Door 4:  Guy Fawkes Night

Task 1: Make a list of the top 3 treasonous crimes against books that an author can commit.

Task 2: Start a revolution: What one thing would you change about the book reading world? (Be it publishing, distribution, editing, cover art, bookstores – anything having to do with books.)

Task 3: Make a little straw (or wood / cloth / wool / fabric) effigy of the book character you like least.

Task 4:

How do you order the books on your shelves?

Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published.

 

Door 5:  Bon Om Touk

Task 1: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads.

Task 2: String up some fairy lights around your books / bookcase / kindle and share a picture of the results.

Task 3: Dragons and dragon-like serpents (imugi) are important to Korean mythology (as they are to that of other Asian peoples). So – which are your favorite literary dragons (fictional, mythological, whatever)?

Task 4:The South Korean flag features images of ying / yang (the blue and red circle in the center) and four sets of three black lines each representing heaven, sun, moon and earth and, in turn, the virtues humanity, justice, intelligence and courtesy. Compile a list or stack – 4 books minimum – composed of books that either have opposing words in their titles (e.g., war / peace; asleep / awake – not necessarily both words in the same title), or that feature the words “heaven,” “sun,” “moon,” “earth,” “humanity,” “justice,” intelligence,” and / or “courtesy.”

Book: Read a book by a Korean author or set in Korea, that takes place at sea or on a river, where the plot involves a festival, where the moon or rain plays a pivotal role in the plot, or with rain, water or the moon on the cover.

 

Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day

Task 1: Sunrise services are a staple of this day: Take a picture of the sunrise where you live and share it with us.

Task 2: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.

Task 3: Rosemary is for remembrance, but it’s great for chasing away moths, silverfish and other bugs that can damage books (and linens). Make a sachet with some rosemary, lavender, dried basil, etc. to keep on your bookshelves – post a picture of the results and let us know what combinations of herbs you used. A list of possibilities can be found here: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/12-plants-that-repel-unwanted-insects

Task 4:The Forest of Compiègne, just outside Compiègne, France, is the site of the signing of the 1918 Armistice. It was also the site of the signing by the French of a truce with the Germans following the German invasion in 1940. – Find a green space in your local area (or favorite area) and go for a walk or bike ride of a mile (or 1.61 km) and post a picture or screenshot of the map of where you walked / biked.

Book: Read a book involving a war, battle, or where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover, or honor the ‘unknown soldier’ of your TBR and read the book that’s been there the longest.

 

Door 7:  International Day for Tolerance

Task 1: Find a redeeming quality in a book you read this year and didn’t like.

Task 2: Share a story about yourself, or a story about your family that’s survived the generations, or share a particular tradition your family has passed on from generation to generation and if there’s a story behind why, tell us about it.

Task 3: The French expression for tolerance towards others is “laisser faire, laisser aller” (roughly: “let them do as they want, let it go”). Have you ever “let go” a book (e.g., given it away or decided not to yield to the temptation to buy it) and later regretted that choice?

Task 4:If you were offered an all-expenses-paid trip to one (one only!) of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, which one would you pick (and why)?

Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, or set in Paris (seat of UNESCO).

 

Door 8:  International Children’s Day

Task 1:  What was your favorite children’s book growing up? Your favorite middle grade book?

Task 2: Rediscover your childhood with a yo-yo, a slinky, – whatever toy you loved from childhood you still have access to, or make and blow some bubbles! Take a picture and share your fun with the rest of us.

Task 3: Make some art – draw a picture, or color one in and share the results with us. Free printable bookmarks can be found on Google images

Task 4: As a kid, did you enjoy visiting amusement parks and carnivals? Which were your favorite rides or shows? Do you still have any photos, or is there a memorable event you’re happy to share? – Alternatively, if you’re a parent now: Do you visit amusement parks / carnivals with your kids?

Book: Read a children’s or YA book or a book where children or teenagers play a significant role, or written by an author who was under the age of 18 at the time of publication.

 

Door 9:  World Philosophy Day

Task 1:  Share your reading philosophy with us – do you DNF? If so, do you have a page minimum to read before you declare it a DNF?

Task 2: Share your reviewing philosophy with us – how do you rate a book? Do you have a mental template for reviewing? Rules you try to follow, or rules you try to break?

Task 3: How do you stay zen / sane over the holidays or in other stressful periods?

Task 4: Did you love or hate the books you had to read for school? Looking back, which ones (good or bad) stand out to you the most?

Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).

 

Door 10:  Russian Mothers’ Day

Task 1:  “Three Russian writers walk into a bar …” (Take it from here – the wilder the merrier!)

Task 2: Towards the end of the 17th century, there was a Russian apprentice carpenter and shipwright going by the name Peter Mikhailov in the Dutch town of Zaandam (and later in Amsterdam), who eventually turned out to be none other than Tsar Peter the Great, whose great interest in the craft would become pivotal to his programs for the build-up of the Russian navy and naval commerce.
So: Tell us about a favorite book, either nonfiction history (demonstrably true facts, please, no conspiracy theories or unproven conjecture) or fiction – all genres, not limited to historical fiction –, dealing with a member of royalty “moonlighting” as a commoner.

Task 3: Until WWII, the most famous part of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg was the so-called amber room. It was looted, lock stock and barrel, by the Nazis, and has since vanished from the face of the earth, with its fate a complete mystery to the present day. Let your imagination run wild: What do you think may have happened to it? (Kidnapped by aliens? Spirited away by dwarves and hidden in a secret cavern deep below the face of the earth? Sold, piece by piece, to finance … what? The Nazi war effort? The restoration of the Romanovs to the throne of Russia? Stalin’s pogroms? What else?) Don’t hold back, we’d love to know!

Task 4: Forget-me-nots and handmade medals of honor are important Russian Mothers’ Day gifts. Create a medal of honor (with or without the image of a forget-me-not) for a favorite book character or for a family member or friend of yours that you’d like to pay respect to.

Book: Read a book set in Russia, by a Russian author, featuring a story within a story (like a Russian “matryoshka” doll), or featuring a character who is a mother.

 

Door 11:  Thanksgiving Day

Task 1:  If you have kids or pets, tell us about something “bad” they did that was so funny you couldn’t help but forgive (“pardon”) them. If you have neither kids nor pets, was there such an event in your own childhood – or with kids or pets in your family or circle of friends?

Task 2: Tell us: Of the books that you read this year, which are you most thankful for, OR was there one that turned out to be full of “stuffing”? Alternatively, which (one) book that you read anytime at all changed your life for the better?”

Task 3: Share your favorite turkey or pie recipe.

Task 4: Send a friend you’re thankful for having a postcard (in the mail!). Snap a picture of the postcard image (not the message) and share it with us.

Book: Read a book with an autumnal cover, set in New England, where a turkey shows up in the story, with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover, or with the theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.

 

Door 12:  St. Andrew’s Day

Task 1:  Tell us: Who is your favorite Scottish (or Scots-born / -descendant) writer?

Task 2: Ian Rankin likes to say that the Scottish national diet is sugar, fat and alcohol. The traditional Scottish dessert – Raspberry Cranachan – contains all three of these (and of course the alcohol in it is the national drink, whisky), but it’s also delicious! So … make Raspberry Cranachan: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2852/raspberry-cranachan.aspx (For a non-alcoholic version just omit the whisky – or substitute with orange juice.)

Task 3: St. Andrew was a fisherman by trade: Which book(s) from your TBR that you read this year turned out to be the year’s greatest “catch”?

Task 4: If you could create your personal tartan, what would it look like? Or if you have a favorite existing tartan, which one is it?

Book: Read a book set in Scotland.

 

Door 13:  Advent

Task 1:  Share a picture of your advent calendar.

Task 2: Tell us: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Task 3: Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit. Post a picture and enjoy!

Task 4: Tell us about an event in the immediate or near future that you’re looking forward to.

Book: Read a pastiche, a book authorized by a deceased author’s estate, the 4th book in a series, a book with the word “four” in the title, a book featuring four siblings, or a book with a wreath, pines or fir trees on the cover.

 

Door 14:  St. Nicholas’ Day

Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing. (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?)

Task 2: In the Netherlands, ‘Sinterklaas’ is celebrated with ginger biscuits, marzipan and hot chocolate with cream; in Germany, it’s St. Nicholas’ Day with gingerbread, chocolate and / or nut or almond cookies, chocolate candy, and tangerines (or oranges). Choose one or more of the above as a holiday snack and post a picture for us to drool over.

Task 3:  St. Nicholas is a man of many names in English alone – Santa Claus, Saint Nick, Father Christmas … although in the English speaking world he only comes once (at Christmas, not also on December 6 – whereas in Germany and the Netherlands he makes his visits under different names on both occasions). Which of your favorite books were published under different titles in the same language, e.g., in North America vs. Britain? Have you ever bought a book under a title unfamiliar to you, only to discover belatedly that it was one you already own / had already read under a different title?

Task 4: A Czech Republic tradition for St Nick’s Day is groups of three “people” – St Nick, Angel, and Devil – to roam the streets the night before St Nick’s Day and stop children to ask them if they have been good during the year or not. Most kids say yes, sing a song or recite a poem. The three “strangers” then decide if the children are telling the truth. The good kids get candy / treats from the Angel, bad kids get potatoes or coal from the Devil. So: Post a song or poem (your own or someone else’s) that involves candy, potatoes, or coal.

Book: Read a book with an orange or red cover, set in the Netherlands or Germany, by a Dutch or German author, or with nuts, chocolate, coins, canals or beer on the cover.

 

Door 15:  International Human Rights Day

Task 1: Cook a dish from a culture other than your own or something involving apples (NYC = Big Apple) or oranges (for the Netherlands, seat of the International Court of Justice & International Criminal Court).

Task 2: Create a stack of books or a list with books by some of your favorite female and / or minority authors (minimum: five) and tell us what you like about their writing.

Task 3:  Nominate a (fictional) character from one of the books you read this year for a Nobel Prize – regardless which one – or for a similarly important prize (e.g., the Fields Medal for mathematics) and write a brief laudation explaining your nomination.

Task 4: Reconstitute one of the bodies or institutions of the United Nations (Plenary Assembly, Security Council, Secretariat, International Court of Justice / Criminal Court, World Bank, etc.) with some of your favorite characters (minimum: five) and explain why you chose them and what you’d expect them to achieve.

Book: Read a book featuring a strong female character (or characters), by an author from any minority group, a story about a minority overcoming their oppressors, or revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused, a book set in New York City, or a book originally written in a language other than English and / or your mother tongue or by anyone not Anglo-Saxon.

 

Door 16:  St. Lucia’s Day

Task 1: Famous first words: Tradition has it that the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are woken up by the St. Lucia maidens, as St. Lucia’s Day (Dec. 13) is just three days after the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony and many laureates stay long enough to be able to take in the St. Lucia festivities. Imagine one of your favorite (fictional) characters had won that prize: How would you think (s)he would greet the maidens? (If you’ve used the Nobel Peace Prize for Door 15, Task 3, this can be the same character, of course … or a different one, just as you wish.)

Task 2: Compile a list of five or more carols, poems, short stories, novels or other pieces of writing that feature sleigh rides.

Task 3:  Trolls, gnomes, dwarves and similar beings (some evil, some less so, almost all of them mischievous) are a staple of Scandinavian mythology and folklore, as well as other folklores and mythologies around the world and, of course, fantasy and speculative fiction. Who is your favorite such creature and why? (No matter whether mythological, fictional or from whatever other source.)

Task 4: The historic (3d century AD) St. Lucia was Italian; yet, like those of many other saints (including, e.g., St. Andrew and St. Nicholas), the most important celebrations of her holiday don’t occur in her place of origin but somewhere else in the world.
List or create a stack of favorite books (minimum: three) featuring a character’s move or transition from one part of the world to another one (or from one end of a large country, e.g., U.S. Canada, Russia, China or Australia, to the other end.)
Alternatively, tell us: Which book that you acquired this year had to travel the farthest to get to you (regardless whether by plane, sea, or whichever other way, and regardless whether it was a purchase of your own or a gift from someone else)?

Book:  Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery of electricity – roughly, that is, before the late 19th century).

 

Door 17:  Winter Solstice (Yule / Yaldā Night / Dongzhi / Soyal)

Task 1: Yule task (Germany / Scandinavia): Burn a Yule log – or if you don’t have a fireplace, light a candle to chase away the winter and welcome in the longer days. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, light a candle to mourn the slow but inexorable retreat of the sun.

Task 2: Yaldā Night task (Persia / Iran): Stay up all night reading a good book (or at least stay up past your usual bedtime).

Task 3:  Dongzhi task (China): To commemorate Marco Polo’s memoirs of his trip to China, write a fictional diary entry or letter home from an imagined trip to a faraway place (real or invented) – or if you actually have written such a letter in the past and are happy to share it with us, please do!

Task 4: Soyal task (Zuñi & Hopi / Native American): While systems of written symbols and communication already existed with the Pre-Columbian Native American cultures, to many tribes even today (including the Zuñi and Hopi) the oral tradition is still important. Have you ever had stories told to you (e.g., as children’s bedtime stories, or at night during a camping vacation)? Or if you haven’t, try to imagine a “storytelling” situation you’d like to experience?

Book:  Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, set in Persia / Iran, China or the American Southwest or prominently featuring Persian / Iranian, Chinese or Native American characters, or a collection of poetry.

 

Door 18:  Hanukkah

Task 1: Spin the dreidel to determine which book is going to be the first one you’ll be reading in the new year. Find a virtual dreidel here:
https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel
http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/play.htm
http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm

Task 2: Latkes or donuts are fried in oil to remind Jews of the oil that lasted for eight days: Fry yourself up some latkes or donuts. Share your recipe with us if they came out tasty.

Task 3:  Read a book by candle light (or flashlight).

Task 4: The 6th night of Hanukkah is dubbed “Candle of Righteousness”; at this time believers are expected to make a charitable donation. Make a blessing bag or food donation to a local food bank (or another charitable donation if there is no food bank anywhere near you).

Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.

 

Door 19:  Festivus

Task 1: The annual airing of grievances: Which are the five books you liked least this year – and why?

Task 2: Battle of the Books: pick two books off your shelf (randomly or with purpose); in a fair fight, which book would come out on top? The fight can be based on the merits of the book itself, its writing, or full-on mano a mano between two characters. Which would win the feat of strength?

Task 3:  Go ‘pole’mic on one of the characters from an entrant in your five least favorite books, or just have a go at one of the books (the book, not the author, please) in Task 1.

Task 4: As miracles go, a “Festivus miracle” … really isn’t one – it’s just something marginally unusual that someone mentions and which someone else then declares “a Festivus miracle”, as a pun on the “Christmas miracle” trope. (E.g., in the original Seinfeld episode, it’s a coincidental meeting: “Oh, I didn’t expect to run into you here …” – “It’s a Festivus miracle!”) Create a “Festivus miracle” dialogue / situation; the greater the parody the better.

Book: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

 

Door 20:  Christmas

Task 1: Share a picture of your holiday decorations.

Task 2: Watch a favorite Christmas movie.

Task 3:  Did your Christmas celebrations include books? Share your book haul pictures with us!

Task 4: What was the best Christmas / holiday present you ever received – the one that meant the most to you or gave you the greatest joy? (This can be anything; objects / material gifts as well as something someone did for you, or anything else – whatever made that particular holiday especially memorable.)

Book: Read a Christmas book.

 

Door 21:  Kwanzaa

Task 1: Share a shelfie or the picture of a stack of books or of an “object” (star, Christmas tree, etc.) created from books with red, black and green covers.

Task 2: Music is an important part of a Kwanzaa celebration. Which is / are your favorite book(s) where music plays an important role in the plot?

Task 3: Corn, in the context of Kwanzaa, symbolizes of our children and our future which they represent. Make / eat a corn dish. Recipes:
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/our-best-corn-recipes
https://www.delish.com/cooking/g1463/sweet-corn-recipes/?slide=1

Task 4: Cup of Unity is another Kwanzaa symbol. Either buy a friend a coffee / tea / etc. or start a small tab ($10 or less) at a local coffee shop and buy a coffee / tea for strangers behind you in line.

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, with a green, red, or black cover, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (Lion, giraffe, cheetah, etc.).

 

Door 22:  New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day

Task 1: Tell us: What are your reading goals for the coming year?

Task 2: The reading year in review: How did you fare – what was good, what wasn’t?

Task 3: Bibliomancy: Ask a question related to your reading plans or experience in the coming year, open one of your weightiest tomes on page 485, and find the answer to your question in line 7.

Task 4: Tell us: Which famous person, dead or alive and no matter from which walk of life, would you like to invite to your New Year’s Eve party, and what contribution (food, games / entertainment, etc.) would you tell them to bring?

Book: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.

 

Door 23:  Hogswatch

Task 1: Glingleglingleglingle – if you could wish any kind of god(dess) or fairy into existence, what would they be in charge of?

Task 2: Who is your favorite Discworld character and why?

Task 3:  If you could spend time in the world of one of the Discworld sub-series (or one of the standalone Discworld novels), which one would you pick – and why?

Task 4:  In Terry Pratchett’s and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, who do you root more for: Aziraphale or Crowley? Or another character? (And in each case: why?)

Book: Any- and everything Terry Pratchett.

 

Door 24:  Twelfth Night / Epiphany

Task 1: Prepare your favorite spicy dish or drink; share a picture and enjoy. (Sharing the recipe is optional.)

Task 2: Have you ever had an “epiphany” of your own, in the sense of a sudden revelation or insight? If so, share that “ah-HAH” moment with us.

Task 3:  George and Martha Washington were married on Twelfth Night in 1759. She wore purple silk slippers (https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/martha-washington/george-marthas-courtship/ ). In honor of the first FLOTUS, wear purple socks or slippers and share a picture of them with us.

Task 4:  In Ireland, Epiphany is also sometimes called “Nollaig na mBean” or Women’s Christmas. Traditionally the women get the day off and men do the housework and cooking! It is becoming more popular and many Irish women now get together on the Sunday nearest Epiphany and have tea and cakes. (https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/epiphany.shtml ) Take a picture of your book for this square (Epiphany) or of the book you are currently reading with a mug of tea and snack or enjoy a cream tea.

Book: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.

 

Halloween Book Bingo 2019

THE BOOKS:

OFFICIAL CARD

International Woman of Mystery: Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments – finished September 29, 2019.
Locked Room Mystery: Clayton Rawson: Death from a Top Hat – finished September 23, 2019.
Murder Most Foul: Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased – finished September 13, 2019.
Psych: Sofi Oksanen: Fegefeuer (The Purge) – finished September 17, 2019.
Read by Flashlight or Candle Light: The Lady Detectives: Four BBC Radio 4 Crime Dramatisations – finished September 20, 2019.

DeadLands: Terry Pratchett: Monstrous Regiment – finished September 26, 2019.
Fear the Drowning Deep: Delia Owens: Where the Crawdads Sing – finished September 25, 2019.
Relics and Curiosities: Patricia Wentworth: Eternity Ring – finished September 10, 2019.
Dark Academia: James Hilton: Was It Murder? – finished September 1, 2019.
Modern Noir: Joy Ellis: The Guilty Ones – finished September 21, 2019.

Ghost Stories: Nina Blazon: Siebengeschichten – finished September 1, 2019.
Gothic: Peter Ackroyd: Hawksmoor – finished September 9, 2019.
Free (Raven) Space: Agatha Christie: The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories – finished September 7, 2019.
Truly Terrifying: Bob Berman: Earth-Shattering – finished September 12, 2019.
Amateur Sleuth: Priscilla Royal: Wine of Violence – finished September 5, 2019.

Cryptozoologist: Terry Pratchett: Guards! Guards! – finished September 18, 2019.
Diverse Voices: Toni Morrison: Beloved – finished September 22, 2019.
Black Cat: Jim Butcher: The Aeronaut’s Windlass – finished September 16, 2019.
Creepy Crawlies: Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Gods of Jade and Shadow – finished September 7, 2019.
Country House Mystery: Anthony Rolls: Scarweather – finished September 14, 2019.

Spellbound: Zen Cho: Sorcerer to the Crown – finished September 6, 2019.
A Grimm Tale: Ellen Datlow & Terry Windling (eds.): The Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales – finished September 4, 2019.
Creepy Carnivals: Fredric Brown: The Dead Ringer – finished September 12, 2019.
Paint It Black: Trudi Canavan: The Magicians’ Guild – finished September 20, 2019.
Cozy Mysteries: Margery Allingham: The White Cottage Mystery – finished September 19, 2019.

UNOFFICIAL ADDITIONAL CARD

13: Rex Stout: And Be a Villain
Supernatural: Jennifer Estep: Kill the Queen
New Release: Sara Collins: The Confessions of Frannie Langton
Genre: Mystery: Catherine Louisa Pirkis: The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective
Romantic Suspense: Georgette Heyer: The Unfinished Clue
Terror in a Small Town: Ann Cleeves: Raven Black
Halloween: Agatha Christie: Hallowe’en Party
Monsters: Terry Pratchett: Pyramids
Shifters: Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke
Sleepy Hollow: Dennis Lehane: The Given Day
Film at 11: J.B. Priestley: An Inspector Calls
In the Dark, Dark Woods: Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
Free (Raven) Square: Various Authors: The Rivals: Tales of Sherlock Holmes’ Rival Detectives
Grave or Graveyard: Kathy Reichs: Grave Secrets
Genre: Suspense: Tony Medawar (ed.) & Various Authors: Bodies from the Library 2
Southern Gothic: Sharyn McCrumb: The Unquiet Grave
Baker Street Irregulars: Joanne Harris: Gentlemen & Players
Darkest London: J.V. Turner: Below the Clock
Magical Realism: Joanne Harris: Chocolat
It was a dark and stormy night: Peter May: The Lewis Man
Full Moon: Edmund Crispin: Glimpses of the Moon
King of Fear: John Le Carré: Absolute Friends
Serial / Spree Killer: Steven Kramer, Paul Holes & Jim Clemente: Evil Has a Name
Classic Noir: Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train
Classic Horror: Matthew G. Lewis: The Monk

 

BL-opoly 2019

 A HUGE thank you to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting another fabulous game — I had a total blast!

Final Stats
Final status of my bank account: $181

37 books counting towards the game
* 35 books finished
* 2 DNFs
* 11,640 pages read

Somehow I managed to steer clear of jail and visit all except five squares of the board over the course of the game, a few of them even repeatedly.  The only novelty card I never picked up was the cat — I suspect the BL-opoly gods decided there were enough cats in my game already and they needed to redress the balance by giving me three Scottie dogs instead!

A few more stats:

Books read towards my individual challenges:
Around the World in 80 Books: 26 books (incl. 2 DNF)
– of these, 2 books by Native American authors
– and 13 books (incl. 2 DNF) by authors from / set in countries other than the UK and U.S.

221b Baker Street and Beyond (aka Summer of Sherlock): 2 books
(+ 1 book read outside BL-opoly)
Summer of Spies (Redux): 2books
Mystery Classics: 7 books

The Gender Wars:
* Books by female authors: 19
* Books by male authors: 18

My marker was based (of course) on my little assistants and good luck charms, Sunny and Charlie, who were again helping me pick my books.

   

 

My Progress Spreadsheet

 

The Books and the Board

The Questions

Who?: Ellis Peters: Monk’s Hood – finished July 2, 2019.
Why?: Gertrude Bell: A Woman in Arabia – finished August 2, 2019.
How?: Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents – finished May 26.
Douglas Adams: The HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – finished June 27, 2019.
Wendy Moore: Wedlock: How Georgian Britain’s Worst Husband Met His Match – finished July 11, 2019.
When?: C.J. Sansom: Tombland – finished July 1, 2019.

The Railroads

The Silk Road: Banine: Days in the Caucasus – finished August 9, 2019.
The Patagonia Star: Laura Restrepo: Hot Sur – DNF @ p. 55 July 25, 2019.
The Cape-to-Cairo Railway: Kofi Annan: Interventions – finished May 30, 2019.
Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love – finished June 16, 2019.
The Nordic Express: Cary Elwes: As You Wish – finished August 7, 2019.

School’s Out For Summer

#1: Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility – finished June 3, 2019.
#3: Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery – finished June 5, 2019.
#4: ./.

The Stay-Cation

#6: John Le Carré: A Small Town in Germany – finished July 29, 2019.
#7: Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham – finished May 21, 2019.
J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy – finished July 14, 2019.
#9: John Le Carré: A Murder of Quality – finished June 19, 2019.
Chingiz Aitmatov: Jamilia – finished July 3, 2019.
Ann Leckie: The Raven Tower – finished July 23, 2019.

Beach Week

#10: Renee Ahdieh: The Wrath and the Dawn – DNF @ p. 146 July 31, 2019.
#11: Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance – finished June 6, 2019.
#12:

Mountain Cabin

#15: Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves – finished May 23, 2019.
Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens – finished July 16, 2019.
#16: Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery – finished May 28, 2019.
Georgette Heyer: A Blunt Instrument – finished June 8, 2019.
Ronald Knox: The Body in the Silo – finished June 21, 2019.
#18: James D. Doss: The Night Visitor – finished July 5, 2019.

The Lake House:

#19: Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed – finished May 25, 2019.
#20: Winifred Holtby: South Riding – finished July 10, 2019.
M.M. Kaye: Death in Kashmir – finished July 19, 2019.
#22: Richard Hull: The Murder of My Aunt – finished June 24, 2019.

The Summer Blockbuster

#25: Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider – finished May 31, 2019.
#27: ./.

The Summer Romance

#28: ./.
#30: ./.

European Vacation

#33: Ronald Knox: The Three Taps – finished May 31, 2019.
#35: Israel Zangwill: The Perfect Crime, aka The Big Bow Mystery – finished June 16, 2019.
Andrea Camilleri: The Shape of Water – finished July 20, 2019.
#36: Candace Robb: The Apothecary Rose – finished July 26, 2019.

 

   

The Novelty Cards

The Race Car: Picked up on May 24; used on August 8.
The Robot: Picked up on July 2; used on July 31.
The Cat: ./.
The Dog: Picked up on July 2, July 19 and July 23; used on July 19, July 29 and August 6.

 

   

The Four Corners

GO: Collected $20 on May 20; and $5 each on:
May 24 – June 1 – June 9 – July 1 – July 2 – July 19 – July 27 – August 8.

Jail: ./.
Free Parking: July 23: dice roll: 8 => Scottie Dog.
Go to Jail: ./.

 

The BookLikes Squares:
Spin the Wheel Decide

#24: August 2: Read a book that has been on your TBR for over a year. (Sarah Bakewell: At the Existentialist Café – finished August 6, 2019.)

#31: May 24: Move to the space of your choice.
(→ Race car via GO)
June 9: Two extra rolls.

 

Snakes & Ladders 2019


Charlie and Sunny helped me keeping track of my progress on the board.

They got to take a break and have some refreshments whenever we reached a new square and I started a new book.

The Squares

1. Author is a woman — Emmuska Orczy: The Elusive Pimpernel

2. Genre: mystery
3. Set in the twentieth century
4. Published in 2019
5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it — Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Red Lamp

 ladder square, so skipping the next ones …

7. Author’s last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.
8. Author’s last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.
9. Author’s last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K
10. Author’s last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O
11. Author’s last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S
12. Author’s last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z
13. Author is a man
14. Author is dead
15. Genre: romance
16. Genre: fantasy
17. Genre: horror
18. Set in a school
19. Set in the UK
20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence
21. Set in Europe
22. Set in Asia
23. Set in Australia/Oceania
24. Set in Africa
25. Snake – go back to 5
26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

… and shortcutting to:

27. Set during WWI or WWII

Well, I happen to also just have finished Agatha Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? … which is set just between the two wars, so:

28. Written between 1900 and 1999
29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

And there can be only one response to this one: Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express.  My umpteenth reread, but who cares.  Screw Mt. TBR!

31. Road trip
32. Genre: thriller
33. Set in North America
34. Snake – go back to 1
35. Has been adapted as a movie
36. Set in Central or South America
37. Has won an award
38. Newest release by a favorite author
39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

Hmmm.  I just said I’d pick Ngaio Marsh but probably not this particular book, but what the heck — I only read this once, long ago, so it can definitely do with a dusting.  So:

Ngaio Marsh: Vintage Murder

41. Characters involved in politics
42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry
43. Characters involved in the law
44. Characters involved in cooking/baking
43. Characters involved in medicine
44. Characters involved in science/technology
45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year
46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years
47. Snake – go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

Peter Grainger: An Accidental Death

49. Recommended by a friend
50. Has a domestic animal on the cover
51. Has a wild animal on the cover
52. Has a tree or flower on the cover
53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover
54. Is more than 400 pages long
55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

Elizabeth Gaskell: My Lady Ludlow

57. Was published more than 50 years ago
58. Was published more than 25 years ago
59. Was published more than 10 years ago
60. Was published last year
61. Cover is more than 50% red
62. Cover is more than 50% green
63. Cover is more than 50% blue
64. Cover is more than 50% yellow
65. Snake – go back to 52
66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long
67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

Virginia Woolf: The String Quartet (the words “string quartet” — as in “music for the bridal waltz”, plus there is an embroidered pattern and the color blue on the cover of my audio edition, as in “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” for the bride to wear) … combined with

Agatha Christie: The Lost Plays and

Agatha Christie – Close Up: A Radio Investigation into the Queen of Crime

 another ladder square, so again skipping the next ones …

69. Something related to travel on the cover
70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover
71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake
72. Involves the mountains/forests
73. Categorized as YA
74. Categorized as Middle Grade
75. Set in a fantasy world
76. Set in a world with magic
77. Has a “food” word in the title
78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)
79. Main character is a woman
80. Main character is a man
81. Ghost story
82. Genre: urban fantasy
83. Genre: cozy mystery
84. Genre: police procedural
85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books
86. Author’s debut book
87. Snake – go back to 57
88. Comic/graphic novel
89. Published between 2000 and 2017
90. A new-to-you author
91. Snake – go back to 61
92. Reread of a childhood favorite
93. Author’s first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)
94. Non-fiction
95. Memoir
96. From your favorite genre
97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

Ngaio Marsh: Died in the Wool

… aaaand how’s that for a perfect finish?  (Even though as per the rules I wouldn’t even have needed it …) So:

99. Snake – go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

My four choices were:

Chitra Banerjee Divakarumi: Sister of My Heart
Rosario Ferré: The House on the Lagoon
Alexandra Fuller: Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
Elif Shafak: Three Daughters of Eve

Link to full results.

— and of these, the winning selection was (by way of tie-breaking executive decision):

Rosario Ferré: The House on the Lagoon.

Finished March 11, 2019, ca. 10:30 pm CET!

 


My little helpers — also helping me pick books!
(And who’d have known … they’re both mystery fans!)

24 Festive Tasks 2018

 

The MARKERS

Books: Meteor
Tasks: Bows

 

The Squares

DOOR 1: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

Book:  Agatha Christie: Miss Marple – The Complete Short Stories (audio version, narrated by Joan Hickson, Isla Blair and Anna Massey)
Task 1:
Task 2: Favorite Epitaph (William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon)
Task 3: Sherlock Holmes Altar
Task 4: Mexican Food

Points: 4

DOOR 2: GUY FAWKES NIGHT

Book: Georgette Heyer: Behold, Here’s Poison
Task 1: Book Burned in Effigy
Task 2: Book-Related Crimes
Task 3: Favorite Food “Flambé” (Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Cherries)
Task 4: “Non-Explosive” “Gunpowder” Titles

Points:  5

DOOR 3: MELBOURNE CUP DAY

Book: Dick Francis: Field of Thirteen
Task 1: Pick your ponies: A Prince of Arran, The Cliffsofmoher, Sound Check  (=> 1 point for participation + 1 point for getting 1 horse right)
Task 2: Hats
Task 3:
Task 4: Hamburg Derby & CHIO

Points: 5 

DOOR 4: DIWALI

Book: Terry Pratchett: The Light Fantastic
Task 1: Bonn Leuchtet / Bonn Shines (Favorite Light Display)
Task 2: Shelf Organization / Tea Shelves
Task 3:
Task 4: Book Covers (Girls Holding Flowers)

Points: 4

DOOR 5: VETERANS’ / ARMISTICE DAY

Book: Colin Dexter: The Riddle of the Third Mile
Task 1: Book Cover Flag of Germany
Task 2:
Task 3: “Veteran” Readership / Personal Literary Canon
Task 4: Poppy Seedcake

Points: 4

DOOR 6: INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR TOLERANCE

Book: Various Authors: A Very French Christmas (anthology)
Task 1: Redeeming Element of Low-Rated Book
Task 2:
Task 3:
Task 4:

Points: 2

DOOR 7: MAWLID

Book: Joanne Fluke / Laura Levine / Leslie Meier: Candy Cane Murder
Task 1: Book-related prophecies
Task 2: Book Rescue & Book-Related Travel / Pilgrimages
Task 3:
Task 4: Characters Who Made a Career Change

Points: 4

DOOR 8: PENANCE DAY

Book: Barbara Vine: The Brimstone Wedding
Task 1: Comfort reads
Task 2: Favorite Sports Teams and Their Pennants
Task 3: Bad Hair Day
Task 4: In the Desert (Egypt)

Points: 5

DOOR 9: THANKSGIVING

Book: Donna Andrews: Six Geese A-Slaying
Task 1: Books I am “most thankful” for / Favorite Books of 2018
Task 2: Christmas Dinner with Mark Twain
Task 3: A Book Full of Stuffing
Task 4: Book Harvest

Points: 5

DOOR 10: BON OM TOUK

Book: Simon Brett & Certain Members of the Detection Club: The Sinking Admiral
Task 1: Paper Boat (and Cats)
Task 2: Rhein in Flammen / The Rhine on Fire (festive boat procession)
Task 3: Rainy Day Books
Task 4: “Moonlighting” Book Characters

Points: 5

DOOR 11: RUSSIAN MOTHER’S DAY

Book: Michael Connelly: Dark Sacred Night
Task 1: The Mother of All Writerly Sins
Task 2: Mother’s Day Memory
Task 3: Favorite Shoes
Task 4:

Points: 4

DOOR 12: ST. ANDREW’S DAY

Book: Michael Connelly: The Late Show
Task 1:
Task 2:
Task 3: Cloud Formations
Task 4: Books Featuring Golf

Points: 3

DOOR 13: ADVENT

Book: Neil Gaiman: A Study in Emerald
Task 1:
Task 2: Holiday Traditions
Task 3: Wassail Bowl
Task 4:

Points: 3

DOOR 14: HANUKKAH

Book: Michael Connelly: Two Kinds of Truth
Task 1: A Miracle? Maybe.
Task 2: 9 Candles
Task 3: Donut
Task 4:

Points: 4

DOOR 15: ST. NICHOLAS’ DAY

Book: J.A. Jance: Desert Heat
Task 1: Book Wishlist
Task 2: Three Wishes
Task 3: Holiday Treats
Task 4: Books Featuring Children Rescued from Peril

Points: 5

DOOR 16: HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Book: Anne Perry: A Christmas Guest
Task 1: Human Rights Keywords in Bok Titles
Task 2: 70+ Year Old Book Characters
Task 3:
Task 4:

Points: 3

DOOR 17: ST. LUCIA’S DAY

Book: Various Authors: Skandinavische Weihnachten
Task 1: Book Flood
Task 2:
Task 3: Book Cover Crown of Light
Task 4: Gävle Goat guess (=> 1 point for participation + 1 point for correct guess)

Points: 5

DOOR 18: WINTER SOLSTICE / YULETIDE

Book: Diane Setterfield: The Thirteenth Tale
Task 1: Bibliomancy
Task 2: Neverending Book
Task 3: Book Cover Herd of Reindeer
Task 4:

Points: 4

DOOR 19: FESTIVUS

Book: Oscar Wilde: A Woman of No Importance, and Model Millionnaire
Task 1: Airing of Grievances (Least Favorite Books of 2018)
Task 2: CatFestivus Pole
Task 3: Book Stack / Scales Feat of Strength
Task 4: “Festivus” Google Search Screenshot

Points: 5

DOOR 20: CHRISTMAS

Book: Martin Edwards (ed.), Various Authors: The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories
Task 1: Christmas Decorations
Task 2: Christmas Dinner with Mark Twain
Task 3: Favorite Christmas Movie: A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart, 1999)
Task 4:

Points: 4

DOOR 21: KWANZAA

Book: Ken Bruen: The Guards
Task 1: Favorite Book Heroes and their Nemeses
Task 2: Misdirection in Books
Task 3: Visiting Africa
Task 4: Kwanzaa / Vegetable Dinner

Points: 5

DOOR 22: NEW YEAR’S EVE

Book: Stephen Brusatte: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
Task 1: 2019 Book Goals
Task 2: 2018 Reading in Review
Task 3: Book Lottery
Task 4:

Points: 4

DOOR 23: HOGSWATCH

Book: Terry Pratchett: Hogfather
Task 1: Glingleglingleglingle: Cologne Heinzelmännchen / Household God(dess)
Task 2: Holiday Book Joker
Task 3: Pumuckl’s Footprints, or, “Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
Task 4:

Points: 4

DOOR 24: EPIPHANY

Book: Patricia Wentworth: The Clock Strikes Twelve
Task 1: Favorite Trilogy
Task 2: Holiday Book Joker
Task 3: The Twelve Days of Christmas / Images
Task 4: Favorite Spicy Drink

Points: 5

The BOOK JOKER

Used for:
Hogswatch, Task 2 (Various Authors: Murder for Christmas – anthology)
Epiphany, Task 2 (Various Authors; John Julius Norwich (ed.): An English Christmas – anthology) 

Final Score:

 100 points

 

 

The Tasks

Door 1:  Día de los Muertos / All Saints’ Day

Task 1:  Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice.

Task 2:  Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one).

Task 3:  Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character and post a picture of it.  Inclusion of book cover encouraged.

Task 4: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.

Book:  Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico.

 

Door 2:  Guy Fawkes Night

Task 1:  Burn a book in effigy.  Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)?

Task 2:  List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books.  Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst.

Task 3:  Share your favorite / most memorable BBQ recollections or recipe, or your favorite recipe of food “flambé” (i.e., doused with alcohol which is then set aflame and allowed to burn off).

Task 4:  Find 5 uses of the word “gunpowder” in book titles in contexts other than for blowing up things or shooting people (e.g., Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs = tea).

Book:  Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.

 

Door 3:  Melbourne Cup Day

Task 1:  Pick your ponies!  MbD will post the horses scheduled to race as soon as they’re released; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order).

Task 2:  Cup day is all about the hats.  Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not.

Task 3:  The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello.  What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across?

Task 4:  Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)?  Tell us about it.  Photos welcome, too!

Book: about horses or a horse on the cover.  Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia.

 

Door 4:  Diwali

Task 1:  Share a picture of your favorite light display.

Task 2:  Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos.  OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information.  (If in doubt, see here.)

Task 3:  Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us.

Task 4:  During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower.  Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images.

Book:  Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title, OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)

 

Door 5:  Veteran’s/Armistice Day

Task 1:  Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy.  Take a pic of your efforts and post.

Task 2:  Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year.

Task 3:  Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?

Task 4:  Treat yourself to a slice of seedcake and post a photo.  If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/poppy-seed-cake/ … or this one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1629633/lemon-and-poppy-seed-cake

Book:  Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover.

 

Door 6:  International Day for Tolerance

Task 1:  Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it.

Task 2:  Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you?  (Insta-love?  Love triangles?  First person present narrative voice?  Talking animals?  The dog dies?  What else?)

Task 3:  The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO).  Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers.

Task 4:  UNESCO is based in Paris.  Paris is known for its pastries and its breads:  Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us.

Book:  Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone.  (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.)  OR Read a book set in Paris.

 

Door 7:  Mawlid

Task 1:   Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life.

Task 2:  The Five Pillars of Islam almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka.  Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed?  Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you?

Task 3:  Prophets are messengers.  Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)?

Task 4:  Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader.  List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change.

Book:  If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.  Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover.

 

Door 8:  Penance Day

Task 1: “Confess” your book habits.  Dog-earring?  Laying books face down?  Bending back the spines? Skimming?  OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads.

Task 2: It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband:  post a picture of your favorite team’s logo/mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not)

Task 3:  In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes).  Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it?

Task 4:  Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert.  If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it.  Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!).

Book:  Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution.

 

Door 9:  Thanksgiving

Task 1:  List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.

Task 2:  Describe your perfect meal.  What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you?

Task 3:  Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”.

Task 4:  Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way.

Book:  Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story.

 

Door 10:  Bon Om Touk

Task 1:  Make a paper boat and post a picture of it.   Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA

Task 2:  If you’ve ever attended a procession or an event involving festively decked out boats, post a picture and tell us about it.

Task 3:  Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season.  Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading?  Photos welcome!

Task 4:  Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”?

Book:  Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot.

 

Door 11:  Russian Mothers’ Day

Task 1:  Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)?

Task 2:  Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share?  Photos welcome but optional.

Task 3:  Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe.  Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes?  Post a photo if you should still own them.

Task 4:  Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us.  Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html

Book:  Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother.

 

Door 12:  St. Andrew’s Day

Task 1:  Nominate someone for sainthood.  Who?  Why?

Task 2: Tell us: Is there a book (regardless whether fiction or nonfiction) for which you would basically walk up to strangers and tell them: “Read this!”?  What would you say and do to get people to read that particular book?

Task 3:  Legend has it that the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross (white on an azure background) – which constitutes the national flag of Scotland – originated as a cloud formation, symbolizing St. Andrew’s being crucified on an X-shaped cross rather than an upright one.  Do you have any pictures of unusual cloud formations?  If so, share them with us!

Task 4:  The town of St. Andrews, where the saint’s bones ended up in the course of the spread of Christianity to Scotland, is also famous for its golf course and tournament.  List your 3 favorite books where golf is key to the plot.

Book:  Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series.  OR:  Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers.  OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to scotland.org).

 

Door 13:  Advent

Task 1:  Post a picture of your advent calendar – store bought or homemade.

Task 2:  The holidays season is in full swing – tell us:  What’s your favorite tradition?

Task 3:  The tradition of carol singing in the Advent / holiday season is linked to the old Anglo-Saxon (and medieval) custom of wassailing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing).  Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit.  Post a picture and enjoy!

Task 4:  Make your own Advent wreath and share a picture of it.  Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw83CCa2cg

Book:  Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent.  Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title.

 

Door 14:  Hanukkah

Task 1:  Have you had any miracles in your life?  (Kids are a given.)  Just enough change for tolls?  Just enough gas to get you to the station?  Been tragically late for a flight only to find the flight was even more tragically delayed?  Nothing is too small – share your miracles with us!

Task 2:  Light 9 candles each representing something you’re thankful for (share a picture with us; sharing anything else is optional).

Task 3:  Have a donut – and let us share it via a photo.  Homemade donuts and shared recipes encouraged … but any donut will do just fine.

Task 4:  A miracle crucial to Hanukkah is the Miracle of the cruse of oil, which concerns a jug of oil that (ostensibly) only contained enough oil for a single day, but miraculously turned out to last all of eight days. – Miracles aside, tell us: Have you ever experienced that something you had bought or you owned lasted a lot longer than anticipated … or where you expected a shortage which then fortuitously didn’t occur after all?

Book:  Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel.  OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title.

 

Door 15:  SinterKlaas / St. Nicholas Day

Task 1:  Write a book wish list to St. Nick.

Task 2: You are King / Queen for the day and can have 3 ‘wishes’:  one for yourself, one for your community (any version) and one for the world: What are they?

Task 3:  If your holiday family traditions should include bowls or plates filled with gingerbread, cookies, oranges / tangerines, chocolate, nuts and the like, share a photo with us!

Task 4:  List your 3 favorite books involving children being rescued from serious peril.

Book: with an orange or red cover or with nuts, chocolate or coins on the cover, set in The Netherlands or Germany, by a Dutch or German author, or with canals or beer on the cover.

 

Door 16:  Human Rights Day

Task 1:  Book hunt for human rights:  Search your shelves for books with titles containing human rights words such as: hope, friendship, equality, justice, love, liberty, etc.  Put them in a stack and take a picture for posting.  (5 book minimum).

Task 2: This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Find 3 books on your shelves with protagonists or other key characters who are — or can reasonably be assumed to be — 70 years or older.

Task 3:  The symbol of Human Rights Day is the dove, which in its incarnation as a homing pigeon is also renowned for its navigational skills. – Tell us: Did you ever get so thoroughly lost (either in the days before GPS or because GPS, for whatever reason, was of no use to you) that you wished you had a homing pigeon to guide you?

Task 4:  Human Rights Day was declared by the U.N. General Assembly, whose seat is in New York City.  Treat yourself to a Manhattan (classic recipe: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/manhattan-2/ ; virgin [non-alcoholic] recipes: https://www.anallievent.com/virgin-manhattan/ , http://www.1001cocktails.com/recipes/mixed-drinks/800238/cocktail-virgin-manhattan.html and https://www.liquor.com/recipes/not-manhattan/ ) or to a bagel or pastrami sandwich and share a photo with us.

Book:  Read any book with strong female characters, or written by an author from any minority group; any story about a minority overcoming their oppressors either individually or as a group. OR: A book set in New York City.

 

Door 17:  St. Lucia’s Day

Task 1: In honor of the Icelandic Jólabókaflóðið / Yule Book Flood tradition, create a (virtual or physical) “book flood” and post a picture of it.

Task 2: Bake a Swedish lussebulle (saffron bun – instructions and recipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWSs-vQX0AI ) or prepare some other dish containing saffron.

Task 3:  Create a “crown of light” from book covers prominently featuring a lighted candle.

Task 4: Guess (scout’s honor, NO GOOGLING!): Did the Gävle Goat survive this year?
For background: The Gävle Goat is a straw effigy erected in Gävle, Sweden, every year at the beginning of Advent.  It is infamous for being burned down ahead of time, which as of Advent 2017 has happened in 37 of the 51 years of the tradition’s existence. – The Yule goat lore in turn goes back all the way to the Norse myths, where the god Thor rode a chariot drawn by two goats, and to ancient Indo-European and proto-Slavic beliefs according to which the harvest god appeared in the shape of a goat.  Possibly, it is also linked with Santa Claus and his reindeer-driven sled.

Book:  Set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, or by a Northern European / Nordic author, or a book newly released in November or December of this year.

 

Door 18:  Solstice / Yuletide

Task 1:  Bibliomancy: Grab one of your larger books and flip to the indicated page and line number to answer the following questions – then post those answers for us:

    • Will I read all the books on my TBR?  (page 378, line 29)
    • Will any of my 2019 reads be 5 stars? (page 227, line 31)
    • Will I discover a new favorite book / author / series? (page 309, line 23)
    • Will I discover that a major twist (hopefully, for the [even] better) has occurred in one of my favorite series? (page 459, line 16)
    • Will I finish all of my reading challenges in 2019? (page 69, line 7)
    • Will I stay within my book budget in 2019? (page 98, line 5)

Task 2:  Tell us: What book did you read this year that felt like it was never going to end?

Task 3:  Round up a herd of reindeer on book covers and in book illustrations.

Task 4: Treat yourself to a bûche de Noel (French Yule log cake) – if you want to try and make it yourself, see recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/buche-de-noel-recipe.

Book:  Any book that takes place in December or with ice or snow on the cover, revolving around the (summer or winter) equinox, or a collection of poetry by Hafez.

 

Door 19:  Festivus 

Task 1:  It’s the annual airing of grievances!  Time to list the top 5 books that disappointed you the most this year and let us know why!

Task 2:  Take a picture of your Festivus Pole (and remember this is a family site).

Task 3: Have your household scales perform a feat of strength: Place 10 of your heaviest books in a stack on your scales and tell us what their total weight comes to.

Task 4:  Google the word “Festivus” and tell us or take a screenshot of what you see at the left border of the results page.

Book: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

 

Door 20:  Christmas

Task 1:  Post a picture of your Christmas decorations.

Task 2: Tell us: If you could share Christmas dinner with any author (dead or alive), who would it be?

Task 3:  Watch a favorite Christmas movie.

Task 4:  Create or recreate a short text relating to Christmas (poem, carol, wish list, season’s greetings, etc.) from the titles of books on your bookshelves.

Book:  Um, Christmas books …

 

Door 21:  Kwanzaa

Task 1: “Africa” was originally the name of the Roman province originating from the North African empire of Carthage, which was mythologically founded by Queen Dido and blossomed into Ancient Rome’s only lasting opponent and nemesis (until it was finally conquered by Rome in the Punic Wars).  So: who are your five favorite book heroes and their respective nemeses?

Task 2:  In Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, the “Finis Africae” is the hidden center of the labyrinth which constitutes the monastery’s library, protected by a number of intricate, misdirecting devices.  Tell us: Where have you recently encountered clever misdirection or a labyrinthine plot in a book?

Task 3:  Tell us: If you could travel to Africa (for those living on the African continent: to a part of Africa that you don’t know yet): Where would you want to go?

Task 4:  Have a meal involving vegetables (= crops) and / or corn, or another form of traditional Kwanzaa dinner.  Recipe suggestions here: https://kwanzaaculinarians.com/

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, or by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, or a book with a green, red, or black cover.

 

Door 22:  New Year’s Eve

Task 1:  Your 2019 Book Goals:  what are they?

Task 2: 2018 Reading Year in Review.  Tell us about your year in books:  happy? disappointed?

Task 3:  New Year’s Book Lottery: Write the names of the first 5 books you’re planning to read in 2019 onto identical pieces of paper, fold them, place them in a bowl (or bucket, jar, box, etc.), and draw one to determine the very first book you’re going to start in the new year.

Task 4:  Find a bakery that sells Krapfen (German deep-fried sweet dough dumplings) or make them yourself (recipe here: https://germangirlinamerica.com/rheinische-ol-krapfen-new-year/) and enjoy with a glass of champagne or non-alcoholic bubbly drink – but first, take and post a photo of them!

Book: Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM!

 

Door 23:  Hogswatch 

Task 1: Task 1: glingleglingleglingle – if you could wish any kind of god(dress) into existence, what would they be in charge of? Dusting? Weeding? We’re not aiming high here… tell us!

Task 2: Tell us: Did you or any kids you know ever have a funny or weird (the good sort of weird) encounter with a department store Santa, um, Hogfather?

Task 3:  Which children’s myth / mythical character (Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc.) did you never believe in even when you were little?

Task 4:  Discworld features a number of inventions that mirror our world’s technology but work according to Discworld’s very own specifications; e.g., Hex, the ant-powered sapient thinking machine (computer) and a demon-powered picture box (camera).  What other invention from our world would you have liked to see appearing in Discworld and how might it have worked there?

Book:  Anything by Terry Pratchett.

 

Door 24:  Epiphany

Task 1:  Tell us: What’s your favorite trilogy?

Task 2:  Chalking the door is an Epiphany tradition in some places, to bless a home for the coming year.  Different patterns exist, with different meanings.  If you could create your own pattern to bless your house next year, what would it look like?

Task 3:  Compile a post containing one image for every gift mentioned / added in each new verse of The Twelve Days of Christmas (lyrics here: https://www.41051.com/xmaslyrics/twelvedays.html).

Task 4: Prepare your favorite spicy dish or holiday drink containing spices and share a photo.  Also sharing the recipe is optional but welcome!

Book: Read a book with three main characters; books about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.

 

 

Halloween Book Bingo 2018

The Books:

Country House Mystery: Georgette Heyer: Penhallow (Ulli Birvé audio)
Cryptozoologist: Patricia A. McKillip: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (Dina Pearlman audio)
Romantic Suspense: Susanna Kearsley: A Desperate Fortune (Katherine Kellgren audio)
Terrifying Women: Mary Roberts Rinehart: Locked Doors (Anne Hancock audio)
Terror in a Small Town: Joy Ellis: Their Lost Daughters (Richard Armitage audio)

A Grimm Tale: Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber (Emilia Fox / Richard Armitage audio)
Genre: Horror: Michael McDowell: Gilded Needles (R.C. Bray audio)
Gothic: Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca (3 audio versions, narrated by Anna Massey, Emma Fielding, and Emilia Fox)
Murder Most Foul: Anthony Berkeley: The Wychford Poisoning Case (Mike Grady audio)
Doomsday: Jennifer Wright: Get Well Soon

13: The Detection Club: Verdict of 13 (anthology)
Supernatural: Neil Gaiman: Norse Mythology (audio version, narrated by the author)
Free Space: Mavis Doriel Hay: Murder Underground (Patience Tomlinson audio)
Amateur Sleuth: Fredric Brown: The Fabulous Clipjoint
Southern Gothic: Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Frankie Silver (audio version, narrated by the author)

Ghost Stories: Charles Dickens: The Ghost Stories, Vol. 1 (Phil Reynolds audio)
Cozy Mystery: Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Emilia Fox audio)
New Release: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling): Lethal White (Robert Glenister audio)
Diverse Voices: Walter Mosley: White Butterfly (Michael Boatman audio)
Creepy Carnivals: Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (Adjoa Andoh audio)

Fear the Drowning Deep: Daphne du Maurier: Frenchman’s Creek (John Nettles audio)
Classic Horror: Edith Wharton: Ghosts: Edith Wharton’s Gothic Tales (audio version, various narrators)
Darkest London: Andrew Taylor: The American Boy (Alex Jennings audio)
Genre: Suspense: M.P. Shiel: Prince Zaleski and Cummings King Monk
Relics and Curiosities: Terry Pratchett: The Colour of Magic (Nigel Planer audio)

Wild Card Author: Neil Gaiman

Kill Your Darlings

Aaaand … that’s a wrap.

My Kill Your Darling Books.

 

Green Round:
Team MbD – Lillelara – TA

Round 1

Suspect

Own guess / card played: Madeleine L’Engle – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

Victims

Own guess / card played: Katniss Everdeen – 5 points
Correct guess: None

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess (by Nighttime Reading Center): Gryffindor Common Room

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played: Mauled by a demon hound – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

 

Round 2

Suspect

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Victims

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: Green Dragon Pub – wrong – 5 points
+ claiming already correctly ID’d card: Gryffindor Common Room10 points
Correct new guess: None

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guesses / cards played: Dark alley beat down – correct – 20 points
Crushed in a bad tesseract – wrong – 5 points

 

 

Round 3

Suspect

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Victims

Own guess / card played: Meg Murry – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played:
Planet Camazotz – correct – 20 points

 

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

 

Round 4

Suspect

Own guess / card played: J.K. Rowling – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

Victims

Own guess / card played: Severus Snape – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played:
Shot with an old-fashioned hunting rifle – correct – 20 points

 

 

Round 5

Suspect

Own guesses / cards played:
Harper Lee – correct – 20 points
Jane Austen – wrong – 5 points
Stephen King – wrong – 5 points

Victims

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

 

Round 6

Victims

Own guesses / cards played:
Samwise Gamgee – correct – 20 points
Easy Rawlins – correct – 20 points
Ariadne Oliver – wrong – 5 points

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

 

Round 7

Victims

Own guesses / cards played:
The Gunslinger – correct – 20 points
Lydia Bennet – wrong – 5 points

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: None
Correct guess: None

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played: Run over by a carriage – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

 

Round 8

Victims

Own guess / card played:
Dr. John Watson – correct – 20 points

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played:
Near a tor, Dartmoor – correct – 20 points

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guess / card played:
Stabbed with a sword – correct – 20 points

 

 

Round 9

Crime Scenes

Own guess / card played: Maycomb County Courthouse – wrong – 5 points
Correct guess: None

Causes of Death / Weapons

Own guesses / cards played:
Shot with a revolver – correct – 20 points
Shot with bow and arrow – wrong – 5 points

 

 

Round 10

Crime Scenes

Own guesses / cards played:
The Hob, District 12 – correct – 20 points
Pemberley – wrong – 5 points
The Orient Express – wrong – 5 points

 

 

 

Supplemental Round

Lillelara:

Severus Snape as a victim from the red game play. Book read: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
=> 10 points
Green Dragon Pub as a crime scene from the yellow game play.
Book read: Cocaine Blues.
=> 10 points

=> 20 extra points

Themis-Athena:

Val McDermid: The Distant Echo => Suspect: Arthur Conan Doyle (genre: mystery) – Red Round
=> 10 points

Agatha Christie: Murder Is Easy => Victim: Atticus Finch (book with a person of strong moral character; author’s last name begins with a letter in “FINCH”) – Yellow Round
=> 10 points

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  => Victim: Katniss Everdene (genre: YA) – Red Round
=> 10 points

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince => Crime Scene: Pemberley (title contains all letters in “PRIDE”) – Red Round
=> 10 points

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows => Crime Scene: The Dark Tower (genre: fantasy) – Yellow Round
=> 10 points

Juli Zeh: Unterleuten => Crime Scene: Watts, L.A. (one of the book’s POV characters wears a blue dress at the village assembly that sets in motion the book’s major course of events) – Yellow Round
=> 10 points

Werner Böcking: Von Köln zum Meer => Crime Scene: Orient Express (a book that deals with people traveling) – Red Round
=> 10 points

Dennis McCarthy & June Schlueter: “A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels” by George North => Cause of Death: shot with bow and arrow (title starts with a letter in “BOW” / “ARROW”) – Yellow Round
=> 10 points

=> 80 extra points

Murder by Death:

On the basis of MbD’s wrap-up post:

Mitch Silver: The Book Worm – Suspect: Stephen King – Yellow Round
=> 10 points
Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader – Victim: Lydia Bennet – Yellow Round
=> 10 points
Ed Yong: I Contain Multitudes – CS: Green Dragon Pub – Yellow Round
=> 10 points
Sofie Ryan: The Fast and the Furriest – CS: near a tor, Dartmoor – Green Round
=> 10 points
Andrea Penrose: Murder on Black Swan Lane – CoD: Run Over by a Carriage – Yellow Round
=> 10 points
Patricia Wentworth: Miss Silver Comes to Stay – CoD: Arsenical toothpaste – Red Round
=> 10 points
Janet Evanovitch: Hardcore Twenty-Four – CoD: revolver – Red Round
=> 10 points
Alan Lightman: Einstein’s Dreams – CS: The Hob, District 12 – Yellow or Green Round
=> 10 points
Agatha Christie: 4:50 From Paddington – CS: Orient Express – Red Round
=> 10 points
Maggie Pearson: The House of the Cats – Suspect: Arthur Conan Doyle – Red Round
=> 10 points
Jodi Taylor: A Symphony of Echos – Victim: Ariadne Oliver – Yellow Round
=> 10 points
Mark Twain: A Double Barrelled Detective Story – CS: The Dark Tower – Yellow or Red Round
=> 10 points
Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop – Victim: Dr. John Watson – Green Round
=> 10 points
Patricia Briggs: Burn Bright – CS: Gryffindor Common Room – Green Round
=> 10 points
Peter Godfrey-Smith: Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness – CS: Watts, L.A. – Green Round
=> 10 points
Anne Bishop: Lake Silence – CS. Planet Camazotz – Green Round
=> 10 points

=> 160 extra points

Total additional points based on additional books read: 260 points

Individual team members’ tallies:
MbD: Here.
Lillelara:  Herehere and here.
Themis-Athena: Hereherehere and here.

 

Points earned:

Total points based on cards played until all crimes were solved: 335 points
Total extra points based on additional books read: 260 points

=> Total number of points earned by the team: 595 points

=> Divided by number of team members: 

198,33 points (= rounded: 198 points)

 

 


 

16-Festive-Tasks


The Markers:

Stack of Books: Books read

 

 

 

Red Bows and Ribbons: Other Tasks completed

Joker cards used:

 

The Squares, Books and Other Tasks:

Square 1: November 1st: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos & Calan Gaeaf

Book themes for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.
=> Murder on Christmas Eve (anthology)
1 point

Book themes for Calan Gaeaf:
Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft –OR– read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a character’s name/title of book is / has Rose or Ivy in it.
=> Terry Pratchett: Carpe Jugulum
1 point.

Tasks for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.
=> Epitaph for 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight
1 point.

Tasks for Calan Gaeaf: If you’re superstition-proof, inscribe your name on a rock, toss it in a fire and take a picture to post –OR– Make a cozy wintertime dish involving leeks (the national plant of Wales) and post the recipe and pictures with your thoughts about how it turned out.
=> Bami Goreng
1 point.

 

Square 2: November 5th: Guy Fawkes Night & Bon Om Touk

Book themes for Guy Fawkes Night: Any book about the English monarchy (any genre), political treason, political thrillers, or where fire is a major theme, or fire is on the cover.
=> S.J. Parris: Heresy
1 point.

Book themes for Bon Om Touk: Read a book that takes place on the sea, near the sea, or on a lake or a river, or read a book that has water on the cover.
=> P.D. James: The Lighthouse
1 point.

Tasks for Guy Fawkes Night: Post pictures of past or present bonfires, fireworks (IF THEY’RE LEGAL) or sparklers. Or: Host a traditional English tea party, or make yourself a nice cup of tea and settle down with a good book to read. Which kind of tea is your favorite? Tell us why.
=> Tea and book
1 point.

Tasks for Bon Om Touk: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you’re living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture of your favorite spot on the shore / banks / beach / at the nearest harbour.
=> Norfolk Coast / Rhine Valley at and near Bonn
1 point.

 

Square 3: November 11th: St. Martin’s Day & Veterans’ Day / Armistice Day

Book themes for St. Martin’s Day: Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).
=> Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Floating World
1 point.

Book themes for Veteran’s Day / Armistice Day: Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction). –OR– Read a book with poppies on the cover.
=> Victor Gunn: Death in December
1 point.

Tasks for St. Martin’s Day: Write a Mother Goose-style rhyme or a limerick; the funnier the better. –OR– Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background. –OR– Bake a Weckmann; if you’re not a dab hand with yeast baking, make a batch of gingerbread men, or something else that’s typical of this time of the year where you live. Post pics of the results and the recipe if you’d like to share it.
=> White hot chocolate, book, and Christmas candles.
1 point.

Tasks for Veteran’s Day / Armistice Day: Make, or draw a red poppy and show us a pic of your red poppy or other symbol of remembrance –OR– post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war.
=> Quotes and poppies.
1 point.

 

Square 4: November 22nd and 23rd: Penance Day (22nd) & Thanksgiving (23rd)

Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).
=> Anne Meredith: Portrait of a Murderer
1 point.

Book themes for Thanksgiving Day: Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need. –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover.
=> Holiday Book Joker: Truman Capote: A Christmas Memory / On Christmas / A Thanksgiving Visitor
1 point.

Tasks for Penance Day: Tell us – what has recently made you stop in your tracks and think? –OR– What was a big turning point in your life? –OR– Penance Day is a holiday of the Protestant church, which dates its origins, in large parts, to Martin Luther, who published his “95 Theses” exactly 500 years ago this year. Compile a catalogue of theses (it needn’t be 95) about book blogging! What suggestions or ideas would you propose to improve the experience of book blogging?
=> Recommendations for book blogging.
1 point.

Tasks for Thanksgiving Day: List of 5 things you’re grateful for –OR– a picture of your thanksgiving feast; post your favourite turkey-day recipe. –OR– Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book – post a picture of it.
=> 5 things to be grateful for.
1 point.

 

Square 5: December 3rd and following 3 Sundays: Advent

Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR– Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings.
=> Martin Edwards (ed.), Various Authors: Silent Nights (anthology)
1 point.

Tasks for Advent: Post a pic of your advent calendar. (Festive cat, dog, hamster or other suitable pet background expressly encouraged.) –OR– “Advent” means “he is coming.” Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to? (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)
=> TA’s Advent calendar.
1 point.

Bonus task: make your own advent calendar and post it.

 

Square 6: December 5th-6th and 8th: Sinterklaas / Krampusnacht (5th) / St. Nicholas Day (6th) & Bodhi Day (8th)

Book themes for Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas’s Day / Krampusnacht: A story involving children or a young adult book, or a book with oranges on the cover, or whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) –OR– with tangerines, walnuts, chocolates, or cookies on the cover.
=> Frances Hodgson Burnett: Little Lord Fauntleroy
1 point.

Book themes for Bodhi Day: Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue. (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)
=> Aravind Adiga: The White Tiger
1 point.

Tasks for Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas’s Day / Krampusnacht: Write a witty or humorous poem to St. Nicholas –OR– If you have kids, leave coins or treats, like tangerines, walnuts, chocolate(s) and cookies in their shoes to find the next morning and then post about their reactions / bewilderment. 😉 If you don’t have kids, do the same for another family member / loved one or a friend.

Tasks for Bodhi Day: Perform a random act of kindness. Feed the birds, adopt a pet, hold the door open for someone with a smile, or stop to pet a dog (that you know to be friendly); cull your books and donate them to a charity, etc. (And, in a complete break with the Buddha’s teachings, tell us about it.) –OR– Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.
=> Pet & peaceful garden
1 point.

 

Square 7: December 10th & 13th: International Human Rights Day (10th) & St. Lucia’s Day (13th)

Book themes for International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not Anglo-Saxon, –OR– any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused.
–OR– Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the U.N. and U.N. World Court respectively).
=> Patrick Senécal: Le vide, part 1 – Vivre au Max
1 point.

Book themes for Saint Lucia’s Day: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.
=> J. Jefferson Farjeon: Mystery in White
1 point.

Tasks for International Human Rights Day: Post a picture of yourself next to a war memorial or other memorial to an event pertaining to Human Rights. (Pictures of just the memorial are ok too.) –OR– Cook a dish from a foreign culture or something involving apples (NYC = Big Apple) or oranges (The Netherlands); post recipe and pics.
=> Andartis WWII resistance fighter memorial (Anógia, Crete / Greece).
1 point.

Tasks for Saint Lucia’s Day: Get your Hygge on — light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.
=> Hygge!
1 point.

Bonus task: Make the Danish paper hearts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jur29ViLEhk

 

Square 8: December 12th – 24th: Hanukkah (begins 12th, ends 20th) & Las Posadas (begins 16th, ends 24th)

Book themes for Hanukkah: Any book whose main character is Jewish, any story about the Jewish people –OR– where the miracle of light plays a significant part in the stories plot.
=> C.H.B. Kitchin: Crime at Christmas
1 point.

Book themes for Las Posadas: Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, –OR– with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR– a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a ‘no room at the Inn’ situation.
=> Francis Duncan: Murder at Christmas
1 point.

Tasks for Hanukkah: Light nine candles around the room (SAFELY) and post a picture. –OR– Play the Dreidel game to pick the next book you read.
Assign a book from your TBR to each of the four sides of the dreidel:

נ (Nun)
ג (Gimel)
ה (He)
ש (Shin)

Spin a virtual dreidel: http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm
– then tell us which book the dreidel picked.
=> Dreidel pick: ה (He) – Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Floating World
1 point.

–OR–
Make your own dreidel: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel, –OR–
Play the game at home, or play online: http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/play.htm and tell us about the experience.–OR– Give some Gelt: Continue a Hanukkah tradition and purchase some chocolate coins, or gelt. Post a picture of your chocolate coins, and then pass them out amongst friends and family!

Tasks for Las Posadas: Which was your favorite / worst / most memorable hotel / inn / vacation home stay ever? Tell us all about it! –OR– If you went caroling as a kid: Which are your best / worst / most unfortettable caroling memories?
=> Favorite hotels.
1 point.

Bonus task: Make a piñata (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pi%C3%B1ata), hang it from a tree, post, basketball hoop, clothesline or similarly suitable holder and let your neighborhood kids have a go at breaking it.

 

Square 9: December 21st: Winter Solstice / Mōdraniht / Yuletide & Yaldā Night

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.
=> Christina Rossetti: The Poetry
1 point.

Holiday Book Bonus Joker for Winter Solstice:
=> Ngaio Marsh: Colour Scheme
1 point.

Book themes for Mōdraniht: Read any book where the MC is actively raising young children or teens.

Book themes for Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter, –OR– set in the Arctic or Antartica.
=> Anne Perry: A Christmas Visitor
1 point.

Tasks for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book in one night – in the S. Hemisphere, read a book in a day. –OR– Grab one of your thickest books off the shelf. Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page. Post your results. –OR– Eat a watermelon or pomegranate for good luck and health in the coming year, but post a pic first!
=> Bibliomancy: William Shakespeare’s answer (9th line of p. 40 of the Complete Works, Illustrated Stratford Edition)
1 point.

Bonus task: Read a book in one night.
=> Anne Perry: A Christmas Homecoming
1 point.

Tasks for Mōdraniht: Tell us your favourite memory about your mom, grandma, or the woman who had the greatest impact on your childhood. –OR– Post a picture of you and your mom, or if comfortable, you and your kids.
=> My grandmothers.
1 point.

Bonus task: Post 3 things you love about your mother-in-law (if you have one), otherwise your grandma.
=> My grandmothers.
1 point.

Tasks for Yuletide: Make a Yule log cake — post a pic and the recipe for us to drool over.

 

Square 10: December 21st: World Peace Day & Pancha Ganapati begins (ends 25th)

Book themes for World Peace Day: Read a book by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.
=> The Dalai Lama: The Power of Compassion
1 point.

Book themes for Pancha Ganapati: Read anything involving a need for forgiveness in the story line; a story about redemption –OR– Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow –OR– Read a book involving elephants.
=> Henry Wade: Lonely Magdalen
1 point.

Tasks for World Peace Day: Cook something involving olives or olive oil. Share the results and/or recipe with us. –OR– Tell us: If you had wings (like a dove), where would you want to fly?
=> Spaghetti and tomato sauce
1 point.

Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. –OR– Take a shelfie / stack picture of the above-mentioned 5 favorite books. (Feel free to combine these tasks into 1!
=> Most and least favorite books of 2017.
1 point.

 

Square 11: December 21st-22nd: Soyal (21st) & Dōngzhì Festival (22nd)

Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist.

Book themes for Dōngzhì Festival: Read a book set in China or written by a Chinese author / an author of Chinese origin; or read a book that has a pink or white cover.
=> Anne Perry: A Christmas Journey
1 point.

Tasks for Soyal: Like many Native American festivities, Soyal involves rituals such as dances. What local / religious / folk traditions or customs exist where you live? Tell us about one of them. (If you can, post pictures for illustration.) –OR– Share a picture you’ve taken of a harvest setting or autumnal leaf color.
=> Carneval in the Rhine Valley — 11/11, 11:11 AM Kick off
1 point.

Tasks for Dōngzhì Festival: If you like Chinese food, tell us your favorite dish – otherwise, tell us your favorite desert. (Recipes, as always, welcome.)
=> Chinese recipes and favorite dessert.
1 point.

 

Square 12: December 23rd Festivus & Saturnalia ends (begins 17th)

Book themes for Festivus: Read anything comedic; a parody, satire, etc. Books with hilariously dysfunctional families (must be funny dysfunctional, not tragic dysfunctional). Anything that makes you laugh (or hope it does).
=> Dr. Seuss: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
1 point.

Book themes for Saturnalia: The god Saturn has a planet named after him; read any work of science fiction that takes place in space. –OR– Read a book celebrating free speech. –OR– A book revolving around a very large party, or ball, or festival, –OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover. –OR– a story where roles are reversed.
=> Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise
1 point.

Tasks for Festivus: Post your personal list of 3 Festivus Miracles –OR– post a picture of your Festivus pole (NOTHING pornographic, please!), –OR– Perform the Airing of Grievances: name 5 books you’ve read this year that have disappointed you – tell us in tongue-lashing detail why and how they failed to live up to expectations.
=> Most and least favorite books of 2017.
1 point.

Tasks for Saturnalia: Wear a mask, take a picture and post it. Leave a small gift for someone you know anonymously – a small bit of chocolate or apple, a funny poem or joke. Tell us about it in a post. –OR– Tell us: If you could time-travel back to ancient Rome, where would you want to go and whom (both fictional and / or nonfictional persons) would you like to meet?
=> Wished-for meetings in Ancient Rome.
1 point.

 

Square 13: December 25th Christmas & Hogswatch

Book themes for Christmas: Read a book whose protagonist is called Mary, Joseph (or Jesus, if that’s a commonly used name in your culture) or any variations of those names (e.g., Maria or Pepe).
=> Georgette Heyer: Envious Casca (aka A Christmas Party)
1 point.

Holiday Book Bonus Joker for Christmas:
=> Mavis Doriel Hay: The Santa Klaus Murder
1 point.

Book themes for Hogswatch Night: Of course – read Hogfather! Or any Discworld book (or anything by Terry Pratchett)
=> Terry Pratchett: Hogfather (buddy read)
1 point.

Tasks for Christmas: Post a picture of your stockings hung from the chimney with care, –OR– a picture of Santa’s ‘treat’ waiting for him. –OR– Share with us your family Christmas traditions involving gift-giving, or Santa’s visit. Did you write letters to Santa as a kid (and if so, did he write back, as J.R.R. Tolkien did “as Santa Claus” to his kids)? If so, what did you wish for? A teddy bear or a doll? Other toys – or practical things? And did Santa always bring what you asked for?
=> Family Christmas traditions.
1 point.

Tasks for Hogswatch Night: Make your favourite sausage dish (if you’re vegan or vegetarian, use your favorite sausage or meat substitute), post and share recipe.
=> Wieners and potato salad.
1 point.

 

Square 14: December 25th Dies Natalis Solis Invicti & Quaid-e-Azam’s Day

Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting. –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere.
=> Ian Fleming: The Man With the Golden Gun
1 point.

Book themes for Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan became an independent nation when the British Raj ended on August 14, 1947. Read a book set in Pakistan or in any other country that attained sovereign statehood between August 14, 1947 and today (regardless in what part of the world).
=> Light Book Joker Replacement: John Mortimer: Rumpole at Christmas
1 point.

Tasks for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Find the sunniest spot in your home, that’s warm and comfy and read your book. –OR– Take a picture of your garden, or a local garden/green space in the sun (even if the ground is under snow). If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, take a picture of your local scenic spot, park, or beach, on a sunny day. –OR– The Romans believed that the sun god rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds. Have you ever been horseback riding, or did you otherwise have significant encounters with horses? As a child, which were your favorite books involving horses?
=> Horse riding adventures and favorite books.
1 point.

Tasks for Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan’s first leader – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – was a man, but both Pakistan and neighboring India were governed by women (Benazir Bhutto and Indira Gandhi respectively) before many of the major Western countries. Tell us: Who are the present-day or historic women that you most respect, and why? (These can be any women of great achievement, not just political leaders.)
=> Most admired women.
1 point

 

Square 15: December 25th-26th: Newtonmas (25th) & St. Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day (26th)

Book themes for Newtonmas: Any science book. Any book about alchemy. Any book where science, astronomy, or chemistry play a significant part in the plot. (For members of the Flat Book Society: The “Forensics” November group read counts.)
=> Provisorially: Val McDermid: Forensics
Replaced by: Terry Pratchett / Ian Stewart / Jack Cohen: The Science of Discworld
1 point.

Book themes for Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.
=> Ngaio Marsh: Tied up in Tinsel
1 point.

Tasks for Newtonmas: Take a moment to appreciate gravity and the laws of motion. If there’s snow outside, have a snowball fight with a friend or a member of your family. –OR– Take some time out to enjoy the alchemical goodness of a hot toddy or chocolate or any drink that relies on basic chemistry/alchemy (coffee with cream or sugar / tea with milk or sugar or lemon, etc.). Post a picture of your libations and the recipe if it’s unique and you’re ok with sharing it.
=> White hot chocolate, book, and Christmas candles.
1 point.

Tasks for St. Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day: Show us your boxes of books! –OR– If you have a cat, post a picture of your cat in a box. (your dog in a box works too, if your dog likes boxes) — or any pet good-natured enough to pose in a box long enough for you to snap a picture.
=> Cats in (and on) boxes.
1 point.

BONUS task: box up all the Christmas detritus, decorations, or box up that stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of, or donate, etc. and take a picture and post it.
=> Boxed-up Christmas decorations and wrapping paper.
1 point.

 

Square 16: December 26th-31st: Kwanzaa (begins 26th, ends 31st) & New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day

Book themes for Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black.
=> Margery Allingham: Traitor’s Purse
1 point.

Book themes for Hogmanay / New Year’s Eve / Watch Night / St. Sylvester’s Day: a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc. –OR– Read anything set in medieval times. –OR– A book about the papacy –OR– where miracles of any sort are performed (the unexplainable – but good – kind).
=> The Medieval Murderers: The Sacred Stone
1 point.

New Year’s Eve Holiday Book Bonus Joker: Charles Dickens: The Chimes
1 point.

Tasks for Kwanzaa: Create a stack of books in the Kwanzaa color scheme using red, black and green and post your creation and post a photo (or post a photo of a shelfie where black, red and green predominate).
=> Stack of books, star shape and reader sitting on chair.
1 point.

BONUS task: Create something with your stack of books: a christmas tree or other easily identifiable object.
=> Stack of books, star shape and reader sitting on chair.
1 point.

Tasks for Hogmanay / New Year’s Eve / Watch Night / St. Sylvester’s Day: Make a batch of shortbread for yourself, family or friends. Post pics and recipe. –OR– Light some sparklers (if legal) and take a picture – or have a friend take a picture of your “writing” in the sky with the sparkler. –OR– Get yourself a steak pie (any veggie/vegan substitutions are fine) and read yourself a story – but take a pic of both before you start, and post it.–OR– make whatever New Year’s Eve / Day good luck dish there is in your family or in the area where you live or where you grew up; tell us about it, and if it’s not a secret recipe, we hope you’ll share it with us.

MASSIVE HUGE BONUS POINTS if you post a picture of yourself walking a pig on a leash. (Done to ensure good fortune of the coming year.)

Surprise Bonus Jokers:

Surprise, Surprise 1: Melbourne Cup

My “ponies”:

1. Marmelo
2. Almandin
3. Johannes Vermeer

2 bonus points (Johannes Vermeer)

 

Total Points:

68 points.

Halloween Book Bingo 2017

The Books

Cozy Mystery: Donna Andrews: Lord of the Wings
Gothic: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
Romantic Suspense: C.S. Forester: The African Queen
Amateur Sleuth: Simon Brett: An Amateur Corpse
Diverse Voices: James D. Doss: Grandmother Spider
Vampires: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Carmilla
Locked Room Mystery: Martin Edwards’s (ed.) & Various Authors: Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes
Terror in a Small Town: Agatha Christie: Mrs. McGinty’s Dead
Murder Most Foul: Various Authors: Murder Most Foul (Anthology); Edgar Allan Poe: The Dupin Stories — The Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Mystery of Marie Rogêt / The Purloined Letter; Agatha Christie: Endless Night; Dick Francis: Knockdown; Ngaio Marsh: Artists in Crime, Overture to Death, Death and the Dancing Footman, Surfet of Lampreys & Opening Night (aka Night at the Vulcan)
Magical Realism: Gabriel García Márquez: Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold)
Ghost: Wilkie Collins: Mrs. Zant and the Ghost
Werewolves: Terry Pratchett: Men at Arms
Raven / Center Square: Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books
Classic Noir: Cornell Woolrich: The Bride Wore Black; Raymond Chandler: Farewell, My Lovely, The Long Goodbye & The High Window
In the Dark, Dark Woods: Ruth Rendell: The Babes in the Wood & Not in the Flesh
Chilling Children: Peter May: Coffin Road
Supernatural: Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills
Country House Mystery: Margery Allingham: The Crime at Black Dudley
Witches: Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites
Darkest London: Antonia Hodgson: The Devil in the
Classic Horror: Robert Louis Stevenson: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Monsters: Ovid: Metamorphoses; Apollodorus: Library of Greek Mythology; Plutarch: Life of Theseus
Serial / Spree Killer: Jo Nesbø: The Snowman
Haunted Houses: The Medieval Murderers: House of Shadows
Terrifying Women: Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

 

12 Festive Tasks


Snow Globes: Reads
Bells: Activities

 

Task the First: The Winter Wonderland:

– Read a book that is set in a snowy place.
=> Dylan Thomas: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

– If you are lucky enough to live in a snowy place, or even if you aren’t, take a walk outside and post a picture of something pretty you encountered on your way.
=> A Visit to the Christmas Market

 

 Task the Second: The Silent Nights:

 

– Read a book set in one of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and/or Denmark), where winter nights are long!
=> Tania (Karen) Blixen: Babette’s Feast

– Get your hygge on! Hygge is a Danish concept that relates to being content and cozy. Put on your fuzziest socks, light a candle, and spend some time (reading) in front of the fireplace or your coziest nook. Post a picture if you want!

  

 

Task the Third: The Holiday Party:

 

– Read a book where a celebration is a big part of the action. Examples would include holiday parties, country house hunting/weekend parties, weddings, etc.
=> Rex Stout: And Four to Go

– Make something that is considered party food where you are from, and post a picture of it on booklikes.

 

Task the Fourth: The Gift Card:

– Read a book that you either received as a gift or have given as a gift.
=> Ian Rankin: Even Dogs in the Wild

– Give a book to a friend and post a picture of the wrapped present.

 

 

Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa:

– Read a book written by an African-American author or set in an African country.

– Make a small donation to a charitable organization that operates in Africa.

Task the Sixth: The Hanukkah:

– Let the dreidel choose a book for you: create a list of four books, and assign a dreidel symbol to each one (Nun = miracle; Gimel = great; He = happened; Shin = there, i.e. Israel). Google “spin the dreidel,” and a dreidel comes up for you to spin. Give it a spin and read the book that the dreidel chooses!
=> Arthur Conan Doyle: The Valley of Fear

– Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out!


Latkes (Kartoffelpuffer / Reibekuchen / “Riefkooche”), courtesy of Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market (see also Task the First)

 

Task the Seventh: The Christmas:

 

– Read a book set during the Christmas holiday season.
=> Donna Andrews: The Nightingale Before Christmas

– Grab your camera (or your phone) and set up a Christmas bookstagram-style scene with favorite holiday reads, objects or decorations. Possibly also a cat. Post it for everyone to enjoy!

 

Task the Eighth: The Movie Ticket

 

– Read a book that has been adapted to a holiday movie.
=> Frances Hodgson Burnett: Little Lord Fauntleroy

– Go see a new theater release this holiday season (during November/December. This does not have to be a holiday movie, so yes, Fantastic Beasts will qualify).

 

Task the Ninth: The Happy New Year

– Every year you get a little bit older! Read a coming of age novel or any old favorite comfort read to start the new year right.
=> Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol (audio version read by Patrick Stewart)

– If you’re feeling brave, post a holiday picture of yourself from your childhood or misspent youth.
=> Task the NInth: The Happy New Year (Part 2)

 

Task the Tenth: The Holiday Down Under

– Read a book set in Australia or by an Australian author,  or read a book you would consider a “beach read”.
=> Kerry Greenwood: Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates

– Christmas crackers are a traditional part of an Australian Christmas. Buy some (or make your own) to add to your festivities and share some pictures!

 

Task the Eleventh: The Polar Express

– Read a book that involves train travel (such as Murder on the Orient Express).
=> Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

– Read a classic holiday book from your childhood (to a child if you have one handy) or tell us a story about a childhood Christmas you’d like to share.
=> Hans Christian Andersen: The Snow Queen

 

Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl

– Read a book set in the UK, preferably during the medieval or Victorian periods (for those of us doing the Merlin read-along, the Crystal Cave works for this task).
=> Mary Stewart: The Crystal Cave

– Drink a festive, holiday beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Take a picture of your drink, and post it to share – make it as festive as possible!

  
      
Mulled wine (Glühwein), courtesy of Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market (see also Task the First)

 


 

Halloween Book Bingo 2016

Halloween Book Bingo Card

The Books:

Read by Candlelight or Flashlight – E.T.A. Hoffmann: Das Fräulein von Scuderi (Mademoiselle de Scuderi)
=> Bingos No. 1, No. 5, No. 6 & No. 12

Magical Realism – Isabel Allende: La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits)
=> Bingos No. 6 & No. 11

Witches – Terry Pratchett / Neil Gaiman: Good Omens
=> Bingos No. 3 & No. 6

Genre: Horror – Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
=> Bingos No. 6 & No. 8

Black Cat – Frances & Richard Lockridge: The Norths Meet Murder
=> Bingos No. 4, No. 5, No. 6 & No. 9

Diverse Authors Can Be Spooky Fun – Sherman Alexie: Reservation Blues
=> Bingos No. 10 & No. 12

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses – Henry James: The Turn of the Screw
=> Bingos No. 1, No. 10 & No. 11

Young Adult Horror – Oscar Wilde: The Canterville Ghost
=> Bingos No. 3 & No. 10

Scary Women (Authors) – Daphne Du Maurier: Jamaica Inn
=> Bingos No. 4, No. 8 & No. 10

Reads with BookLikes Friends – Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles
=> Bingos No. 9 & No. 10

Grave or Graveyard – Bram Stoker: Dracula & Edgar Allan Poe: The Cask of Amontillado
=> Final Bingo Square: Bingos No. 12 & No. 13

Genre: Mystery – Peter May: The Blackhouse
=> Bingos No. 11 & No. 13

Free Space – Dashiell Hammett: The Dain Curse
=> Bingos No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 & No. 13

Gothic – Horrace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto
=> Bingos No. 8 & No. 13

Creepy Crawlies – Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventure of the Speckled Band
=> Bingos No. 9 & No. 13

“Fall” into a Good Book – Edgar Allan Poe: The Fall of the House of Usher
=> Bingos No. 7 & No. 12

Locked Room Mystery – Gaston Leroux: Le mystère de la chambre jaune (The Mystery of the Yellow Room)
=> Bingos No. 4, No. 7 & No. 11

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night – Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
=> Bingos No. 3 & No. 7

Set in New England – Shirley Jackson: The Lottery
=> Bingos No. 1, No. 7 & No. 8

Full Moon – James D. Doss: White Shell Woman
=> Bingos No. 7 & No. 9

Vampires vs. Werewolves – Terry Pratchett: Feet of Clay
=> Bingos No. 2, No. 4, No. 5 & No. 12

Supernatural – Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sussex Vampire
=> Bingos No. 2 & No. 11

Classic Horror – E.T.A. Hoffmann: Der Sandmann (The Sandman)
=> Bingos No. 2 & No. 3

Pumpkin – Washington Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
=> Bingos No. 2 & No. 8

Set on Halloween – Agatha Christie: Hallowe’en Party
=> Bingos No. 1, No. 2, No. 5 & No. 9