Challenges Old and New

Clearly, I signed up for too many challenges in 2011 (2011 Challenges). I did manage to complete Memorable Memoirs and the Foodie’s Reading Challenge. I came oh, so close, in the What’s In a Name challenge, the British Books Challenge, and the Buy One Book and Read It Challenge. I probably did complete some of those, but fell down in the tracking. I barely got started with the Civil War Challenge and the Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge.

Learning from my mistakes, I’m signing up for only three challenges for 2012. We’ll see how that goes. I will keep track on my Challenges page as well at the hosting sites.

button for Foodie's Read ChallengeSince the Foodies Read Challenge matches up so well with one of my favorite weekly events, Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads, I’m going for broke and signing up for the Cordon-Bleu Chef level of 19 books or more.

2012 Ireland Reading Challenge graphicOur travel plans in 2012 include a trip to Ireland, so I’m joining the 2012 Ireland Reading Challenge at the Shamrock level of 4 books.

What's in a Name challenge buttonEven though I wasn’t quite successful with the 2011 challenge, I had so much fun that I’m playing again in the What’s In a Name 5 challenge. This is the one where you find titles to match the selected themes. See the post at Beth Fish Reads for this year’s categories.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Meme GraphicIt’s Monday! What Are Your Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Be sure to check out her post today to see her selections and the list of links to all the other participating bloggers.

I hope everyone has been making merry and being of good cheer!

My blog looks abandoned, but it’s not! I kept writing in December, which has never happened after NaNoWriMo. Now, I need to figure out how to write and continue posting on my blog. I’ll get there — it’s just going to take a little experimentation.


cover of Within the Flames by Marjorie LiuLast week, I read the latest in Marjorie Liu’s Dirk & Steele series, about a paranormal detective agency. Within the Flames finally told Eddie’s story about a man with a barely controlled power of creating fire. His assignment is to find and protect a shape-shifting dragon who has some fire of her own. I really enjoyed the interactions between these two.

I also re-read Slave to Sensation, the first in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. I never re-read, but I needed a model for my writing of paranormal creatures conducting ordinary business. In this book, the unemotional Psy and the sensual leopard changelings get together over a real estate deal, but there’s a murderer lurking in the depths so things are in more turmoil than they seem.


cover of Unearthly by Cynthia HandI’m about to finish How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. I learned  a lot of history that I hadn’t been exposed to. Cahill points out that most history has been written by Protestants. As a good little Presbyterian, I learned lots of Western history twice — once at school and once at church. It matched and it was mostly Protestant history with a huge gap between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, which in the version of history that I learned led inexorably to the Reformation. So, the activities of bishops and monks in the years from about 600 to 900 were new to me.

Last night, I started Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. This is the next selection for the YA for Adults book club at Pudd’nhead Books. The idea was that it would be fun to read about angels this month. So far, it is!

Will Read

cover of American Nations by Colin WoodardWhat’s next? Rick recently finished American Nations by Colin Woodard, so I may read that next. In some ways, it will be an interesting follow up to How the Irish Saved Civilization since it deals with cultural identities.

The next book on my fiction pile is Pale Demon by Kim Harrison, but I have a big backlog so I may choose something a bit more cheery.

What are you reading?

Signature of Joy Weese Moll