Sunday, November 18, 2018

Christmas Spirit Readathon Challenge TBR List

This is it! We all start reading in just a few hours. At midnight CST , our readathon starts. You can read all about it and how to join in if you would like to. I love reading during this joyous holiday time. There is just something about reading all snuggled up in your favorite easy chair, lights twinkling in the back ground, kitty curled up on a blanket with you, snow lightly falling outside creating a winter wonderland, hot cup of cocoa in your hand.... mmmmmm. Christmas!

xmas spirit challenge

I had a few last-minute things to do to prepare for this readathon. Not that I HAD to do them, but I like to do them. I always make a list of TBR titles I would like to read during my readathon, to help keep me on track, and to show me my progress. And, I just like lists ;) Here is my To Be Read List for the Christmas Spirit Readathon Challenge 2018.

Screenshot from 2018-11-18 13-19-09

The first book I will be taking a bite out of is from the Fresh Baked Mysteries Series by Livia J Washburn. I have never read one of these mysteries, so I am looking forward to doing a little yuletide sleuthing.


Christmas comes to Weatherford, Texas, in this delicious new entry in the national bestselling series. Yuletide is here—and retired teacher cum amateur sleuth Phyllis Newsom looks forward to finishing up this unlucky year. But she won’t be hanging up her apron just yet—because this year’s Christmas bake-off is going to be cutthroat. Phyllis would like to think she’s entering the Christmas cookie contest for the fun of it—but that’s not exactly true. She can’t imagine anyone beating her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies. Then, during her annual Christmas cookie exchange, Phyllis heads over to the elderly Mrs. Simmons’s home and finds her dead, in a pile of lime sugar cookies. But with a number of names on Santa’s naughty list, this case may be a hard cookie to crumble.


The next bit of seasonal mayhem I plan to read is by Leslie Meier.

Christmas Carol Murder

It’s Christmas in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and Lucy Stone is excited about her acting debut in the town’s production of A Christmas Carol. But a real life Scrooge has everyone feeling frosty, and with a murderer on the loose, Lucy will have to unwrap her sleuthing skills faster than she can say, “Bah! Humbug!”

Lucy normally loves planning for the holidays, but this year, Tinker’s Cove has fallen on hard times. With so many residents struggling to make ends meet, Christmas festivities are a luxury some can’t afford. But the story’s not so bleak at Downeast Mortgage, whose tight-fisted owners, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner, are raking in profits from everyone’s misfortune. Half the town is in their debt, so when the miserly Marlowe is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many. . .


I am really looking forward to reading The Christmas Train by David Baldacci. I loved David's first few books I have read. This seems completely different from his usual writing . Not sure what to expect, but it sounds promising!


Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to Los Angeles in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures, and holiday magic. He has no idea that the locomotives pulling him across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, as he rediscovers people’s essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.


Merry Christmas Alex Cross by James Patterson. I really love James Patterson, but I have never read any of the Alex Cross novels. This will be a quick foray into one of his most popular characters.


It's Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who's robbing his church's poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again—a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything—and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days.


Nearing the end of my list, I take on I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley.


It’s Christmastime, and Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.


If all goes according to plan, the last book will see me reading almost into New Years Eve. For New Years Eve, I will start my new book which I have been waiting for so long to start. It is called Artemis, by Andy Wier.


Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich.
Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.
So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.
The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.
Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city.
Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal.

That’ll have to do.


So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed reading my list, and hopefully it has also inspired you to start a reading list of your own. Until next time... happy reading.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Seasons Greetings Season

Hello to all my followers on my blog.  Many months have come and gone since I have updated you, but I am back for this round of merriment.  Halloween has passed, Remembrance day was memorable, and soon, my friends south of the border will be celebrating their Thanksgiving on November 22nd.  Meanwhile, up here in Canada, my jolly season has already started. Last week we all went to our favorite movie theatre and took in the new Grinch movie.  It was awesome!  The-Grinch-Max-Movie-Trailer-Poster

We have our outdoor lights up and lit, our tree is up, and waiting to be decorated, and my Grinch is standing loud and proud at my front door to greet everyone who comes a calling.  This happened yesterday.

Today, we are having our Santa Clause parade here in Winnipeg!

Screenshot from 2018-11-17 16-15-36....and one of our local radio stations has just declared 24 hour Christmas Music! Click here to listen live!

Screenshot from 2018-11-17 16-21-09

With all this happening so fast, I didn't want to miss out on the newest Seasons of Reading Christmas Spirit Readathon.  This readathon is a laid back and relaxing thon with not many rules.  The host of this readathon is Michelle Miller who works tirelessly for all of us who share the same love of reading.  The #CSreadathon runs from Monday, November 19 at 12:00am CST until Sunday, December 2 at 11:59pm CST.   If you haven't joined yet, you still have time.  You can do so here.  I encourage you to do so.  It is a fun time to be had by all.


Just as a fun addition to this Readathon, you can also join the #ChristmasSpirit #ReadingChallenge.  As usual, there are multiple levels for participation, like children's books and watching Christmas movies.  Levels are described as such:

--Candy Cane: read 1 book
--Mistletoe: read 2-4 books
--Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)

Of course I am definitely going for the Christmas Tree level.  I am very ambitious.  But it doesn't always translate into actual reading time.  The Challenge runs a little longer than the Readathon.  The challenge will run from Monday, November 19, 2018 through Sunday, January 6, 2019 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).  This will be a fantastic holiday time for all to be had.

On another note, my son has opted to go a different route this holiday season, and will be joining my lovely wife Diane in a different Harry Potter themed readathon.  This one is hosted by Book Roast and is being called a Magical Readathon, Christmas at Hogwarts.

This one is a kind of "choose your own adventure" with books.  It looks like a lot of work and thought went into this readathon as well, so if you are a Potter fan, check this one out.  See the map :

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Some of my favorite prompts in this readathon are:

Readathon prompts: Finish your coursework - finish your current read
Help Hagrid decorate the trees - book with a golden detail H
Sneak into the kitchen to gift Dobby odd socks - read that has an item of clothing on the cover
Use your Invisibility Cloak to get to the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library - read a banned book
Attend the Christmas Feast - watch a Harry Potter movie (optional)
You can learn all about it here! Magical Readathon.

Even if you choose not to partake in the fun, I hope you spend time leading up to the holidays doing what you love to do.  Until next time! Happy Reading!