Sunday, December 24, 2023

The 2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

Wow.  Where did 2023 go? I feel like I blinked and suddenly I'm packing my bags to head home for the holidays.  I have about five books still to read to meet last year's goal and I'm not sure I'll make it!

 I always feel like I need to add a little something interesting in this introduction to be creative and fun and bond with everyone.  But then I think about all those online recipes where you have to scroll through a 28 page summary of the author's childhood before you can learn how to make their special lemonade (squeeze lemons into pitcher, add sugar, water and ice to taste) and I realize that maybe I just have to say ENJOY!!!!

As always, here is a google docs spreadsheet where you can track your books. and here is a printable pdf for your convenience.

Lots of extra special thanks to my friend Karly McCutchan for the wonderful graphics this year.  If you're looking for someone to do graphic design work for you, check out her awesome website.


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Sometimes I Make Things Too Hard

 There are two things that I notice when I am working on completing my Pick Your Poison challenge:

  1. 1. I have a tendency to look for books by starting at the top of the challenge and finding books for all the top topics and neglect the ones at the bottom of the list.  If I were smart, I'd try to find books for one category in each topic, then two, etc., and then if I didn't finish I could claim I was only going for 52 or 78 books instead of having a bunch of holes clumped together.
  2. Sometimes I discover that I've made a category that's significantly harder than I intended.
This year, I decided to combat #1 above by starting to review the list from the bottom every time I look at it.  Which lead to discovering that I'd done #2 way down at the bottom with the category "A book with musical notes on the cover."

The thing is, I know I've read books with musical notes floating in the air in the cover art.  And I've read other books that have sheet music displayed on a piano or an instrument stand or similar, with musical notes visible.  But finding a book like that?  Short of going to the library or bookstore and pulling books off the shelves one at a time to look at the covers, I don't know of a good way to find books that qualify.  And one of my favorite fallbacks, Goodreads Lists, has failed me.

So I decided to create my own list. So far the pickings are slim, and mostly nonfiction, but if you have a Goodreads account and some suggestions to add to the list, feel free.  Or if you don't have an account but know of a good book to add to the list, feel free to comment and I'll add so that others can benefit.

I'm still in the beginning stages of finding books, and may stumble across other categories that are really tough.  If there's a category that has you stumped, share it in the comments and maybe others can make suggestions for you.

Monday, January 9, 2023

2022 Pick Your Poison--How Did I Do?

I realize that I have been neglecting this blog between the official Pick Your Poison posts, and thought I'd make a New Year's Resolution to try to be a little more active this year.  I had a couple of questions in the past about my "intent" for certain categories, or how would I define certain categories, and thought maybe I would share my list of books I read for 2022.  Some of my interpretations of what book to use for each category are pretty liberal.  I would encourage anyone doing a book challenge to be liberal in your interpretation.  Reading should be fun and if you get bogged down by a category on a challenge because you can't find anything interesting to fit it, well that's not fun.

I obviously didn't finish my challenge last year.  I've come close the last 2-3 years, but have come up short a few books.  Sometimes I find a book that just sounds so interesting, or get involved in binging a series, that I don't really care if they don't fit any categories. Again, reading should be fun.  I push the limit sometimes to force some of those books into categories, but I don't let myself regret reading if it doesn't work in a challenge.

A to Z
A book with the letter Z in the titleKissing Ezra Holtz
A book by an author whose name starts with A or ZMy Life As An IceCream Sandwich
A book about lettersLetters From Cuba
A "comprehensive" bookWhy Cats Are Assholes
The Same, But Not
A book with the color red or the word "read" on the coverMoonflower Murders
A book by an author whose last name could also be a first nameA Curious Incident
A retelling of a classicThree Ninja Pigs
A "He said, she said" bookAll The Feels
What's The Dish
A book with a mug or cup on the coverElementary, She Read
A book with a food related pun in the titleThe Witching Flour
A book about food from another culture
A book about gossipThe Reluctant Dragon
A book about memory lossHow Lulu Lost Her Mind
An author whose name you remember easilyDragons Wild
A book with the word "remember" in the titleElephants Can Remember
A diary or memoirTrans
Back to Basics
A classic novelThe Thin Man
A biographyI Am A Bacha Posh
A book by a well known authorBeezus and Ramona
A paperbackA Royal Pain
Time is Ticking
A book with a clock on the coverMurder Past Due
A book about time travelA Swiftly Tilting Planet
A suspense novelOxford Murders
A book to pass the time while your favorite author finishes their next bookRead on Arrival
Til the Fat Lady Sings
A book about body imageI Do It With The Lights On
A space operaGentleman Jole and the Red Queen
A book with the word "over" in the titleThe Overdue Life of Amy Byler
A book about a singer or musicianShame Pudding
It's All Relative
A book about animal familiesHamster Princess:Harriet the Invincible
A book that relates to an interest you haveI Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf
A book about finding familyThe Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow
A book with "aunt" or "uncle" in the titleAuntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
A book by an author who sounds like a geekBody on Baker Street
A book with a cover that reminds you of a video gameAweto
A book about an obsessive hobbyCat Knit
A book about a fandom or fanficThe Cat of The Baskervilles
Working For A Living
A book by an author whose name is a trade or professionEmma (by Alexander McCall Smith)
A memoir focused on the author's professionHooked
A book where the protagonist works in a similar field to youClassified As Murder
A nonfiction book about worker's rightsTriangle
Cover Up
A book with someone on the cover who could use some clothes
A book with a blue coverText Don't Call
A book with multiple fonts on the coverThree Book Problem
A book where the author's name is above the titleWell That Escalated Quickly
Taking The Plunge
A book with a picture of a cliff or ocean on the coverA Killer in King's Cove
A book by an author you've always wanted to readMy Man Jeeves
A book over 600 pagesThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
A book someone dares you to readStrange Practice
A book set somewhere you might wear shortsThe Love Hypothesis
A book under 150 pagesKing Bidgood's In The Bathtub
A book of short storiesA Swim In The Pond
A book wider than it is tallGoodnight Lab
A book with the word "attic" or "kitchen" in the titleThe Castle in the Attic
A book by an author who lives in another countryA Line To Kill
A book about a movie being filmed on locationPlain Bad Heroines
A book about your homelandThe Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat
TBR Guilt
A book that's dusty from waiting to be readHerding Cats
A book that someone gave you that you haven't read yet
A book you've been meaning to readMaisie Dobbs
A new release you feel guilty reading because your TBR list is so longMuder at the Royal Botanic Gardens
A book with a devious villainSingapore Sapphire
A book about a craft you do or would like to learn aboutNeedled To Death
A book with a craft related pun in the titleKnit One Kill Too
A book known for having an unexpected twist at the endThe Reader's Room
People We Should Know
A book about women's issuesDear Ijeawele
A book by a BIPOC authorDead Dead Girls
A book with a LGBTQIA+ protagonistMelissa
A book written by an immigrantFly On The Wall
A book about a heroic event
A non-fiction book about someone you admireYes I'm Hot In This
A book with the word "feet" or "clay" in the titleThere's Murder Afoot
A book with a cape or cloak on the coverThe Red Sphinx
Crossing Over
A book with the word "bridge" in the titleThe Bridge Home
A book about a ghostThe Girl On Legare Street
A book that crosses two genresOf Mice And Magic
A book with and X or a cross on the coverThe Tale of Despereaux
Childhood Days
Reread a childhood favorite
A book about the circus
A book set within 10 years of your birthA Wind In The Door
A coming of age storyHorse Trouble
A book about a mythical creatureVassa In The Night
A book about a legendary heroThe Last Last-Day-of-Summer
A book about a lost treasureMurder In Old Bombay
A book by an author you consider amazingThey Came To Baghdad
A book with alternating timelines or narratorsLiar's Dictionary
A book that features a classic carMagpie Murders
A book that takes place on both land and seaBaltimore: The Plague Ships
An alternate historyHer Royal Spyness
Musical Inspirations
West Side Story: A tragic love storyKeturah and Lord Death
Sweeney Todd: A book about revengeThe Sentence Is Death
Phantom of the Opera: A book about a hidden worldThe Okay Witch
Chicago: A book set in a jail or prison
Other Lands
A book translated from another languagePippi Longstocking
A book by an author from a country you'd like to visitImmodest Acts
A book set in an area geographically different from your homeA Scandal In Scarlet
A book with the word "land" in the title
Timely Topics
A book about a pandemicMy Boyfriend Is a Monster
A book about climate changeThe Lorax
A book about a social movementDisasterama
A book about space travelThe Tea Master and the Detective
Stories with Grit
A WesternThe Sisters Brothers
A book with a desert on the coverThe Merchant and the Alchemist
A beach readThe Book of Candlelight
A gritty detective storyThe High Window
A book by an author under 30
A 2021 release
A comic book
A book by two or more authorsYou'll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey
A collection of essays100 Essays I Don't Have Time To Write

I hope to continue to make posts about some of the books I'm reading.  I also hope to do some posts about spinning, since this blog was originally created with the intention of sharing my fiber journey with folks.  We'll see if I can keep this resolution.