2016 Reading Challenges – Classics and Genre

I’ll be participating in two Reading Challenges at the Goodreads group RMFAO in 2016.


RMFAO 2016 Classics Challenge


I’m signing up for the top level of the Classics Catchup again this year:

Level 5: Professor – 12 or more books

This is a casual approach with a cut-off date of 1940 and everyone chooses their own books; there is no set list.



It’s back and with a new and improved version including twenty-four genres!

In this favorite Challenge, a different genre is offered monthly. For 2016 there were be two genres from which to choose each month. Books may be chosen from either or, for the ambitious, both. Participants make their own choices and many books cross genres to make it even easier.

Here is the monthly line-up for 2016.

January: Science-Fiction + New Adult
February: Mystery-Thriller + Speculative-Fiction
March: Romance + Literary Fiction
April: Young Adult + Apocalyptic-Post Apocalyptic
May: Classics + Steampunk
June: Non-Fiction + Mythological/Regional
July: Dystopian + Graphic Novels
August: Contemporary + Historical
September: Humour + Retellings (Mythological or Fairytales)
October: Horror + Paranormal
November: Fantasy + Gothic
December: Action + Adventure

Join us if you dare!

Just click on the link at the top.



The Octopus by Frank Norris

The Octopus
A Story of California
by Frank Norris



First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

Just after passing Caraher’s saloon, on the County Road that ran south from Bonneville, and that divided the Broderson ranch from that of Los Muertos, Presley was suddenly aware of the faint and prolonged blowing of a steam whistle that he knew must come from the railroad shops near the depot at Bonneville. In starting out from the ranch house that morning, he had forgotten his watch, and was now perplexed to know whether the whistle was blowing for twelve or for one o’clock. He hoped the former. Early that morning he had decided to make a long excursion through the neighbouring country, partly on foot and partly on his bicycle, and now noon was come already, and as yet he had hardly started. As he was leaving the house after breakfast, Mrs. Derrick had asked him to go for the mail at Bonneville, and he had not been able to refuse.



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s A Daily Rhythm or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

When Presley reached Annixter’s ranch house, he found young Annixter himself stretched in his hammock behind the mosquito-bar on the front porch, reading “David Copperfield,” and gorging himself with dried prunes.

Annixter–after the two had exchanged greetings–complained of terrific colics all the preceding night.


The Octopus is the current group read (through January 2) at the 19th Century Literature group. It is available in numerous formats from Project Gutenberg and in audio from LibriVox. Visit Becky’s Books for extras (historical information and related photos).


What are you currently reading?

#ReadingMyLibrary Challenge Wrap Up


National Library Week is in April. Stefani at Caught Read Handed and Amy at Read What I Like hosted the #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge which took place during the month of April.

I read four library books in April for a savings of almost $100.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J K Rowling
Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10) by Charlaine Harris
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Looking for Peyton Place by Barbara Delinsky (audio book)

Thanks to Stefani and Amy for putting this Reading Challenge together and promoting the use and support of libraries everywhere. Remember that libraries are for all year, not just one month!

#ReadingMyLibrary Challenge Weekly Update – April 18


This week I finished Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10) by Charlaine Harris, my second library book for April.

Earlier today it was a joy to participate in the #ReadingMyLibrary chat on Twitter. It was hosted by Stefani in conjunction with this Challenge. Samantha, Eden and Leah were the other major attendees.

This week’s topic:

Why you love libraries or why you love being a librarian.

One thing I took away from the #ReadingMyLibrary chat was about audio books. I forget about them and, in fact, don’t even know where they’re located in my local library. It’s great that the catalog is online and so easy to search. I found two audio books of interest to me:


Looking for Peyton Place by Barbara Delinsky

I watched that old television series from the sixties. It was possibly the first nighttime soap in the US and I was riveted. I must see what this book is about!


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is the other audio book which caught my eye, possibly because of the movie which I’ve heard of but not seen.

I love librarians because they are so anxious to assist. They’ll show me where to find the audio books in a flash!

 I love libraries. It is always fun to browse when I have the time. Books, books and more books. What’s not to love?

SWYK! (Share What You Know) – Free eBooks


SWYK! (Share What You Know) is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This meme asks you to share 3 tips on one of the topics below, OR 3 tips on a different topic that you know well and feel others would benefit from!

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One of the topics this week is Where to find eBooks online. I’ll be mentioning sites for free eBooks, most of which are in public domain. What a boon for lovers of classic literature.

The first place I always check is Project Gutenberg. I even use their recent additions page as my home page. The main link is for the United States site. If you are in another country, you can check here for further information. Project Gutenberg books are no longer limited to plain text, but are available in a variety of formats to fit any reader or mobile device.

The Online Books Page headed by John Mark Ockerbloom is a resource I check frequently. Mary Mark Ockerbloom brings us A Celebration of Women Writers.

A third option is ManyBooks.

There are too many more to list, but this highlights the largest and user-friendly ones I’ve found.


Why stop here? As an added bonus, AUDIO BOOKS are available. If you enjoy listening to books, don’t miss exploring LibriVox.

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What are your favorite sites for free eBooks? Do you have any other sites to share with us?

Teaser Tuesdays – January 6, 2015


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can participate.

If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at MizB’s Should Be Reading or on my Teaser Tuesdays Page.

My TT this week is from Fantômas which is the January group read at the French Literature group. I was surprised to discover that this is the first of a forty-three book series. (Eleven of these were written only by Marcel Allain after the death of his collaborator, Pierre Souvestre.) Although I’m reading an English translation, the original French cover is shown below.

by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain


That he is a living person is certain and undeniable, yet he is impossible to catch or to identify. He is nowhere and everywhere at once, his shadow hovers above the strangest mysteries, and his traces are found near the most inexplicable crimes, and yet—-

The Village Voice wrote: “As thrilling to read now as it was when first published in 1915, Fantômas is not a puzzle but an intoxicant.” More on the Fantômas phenomenon can be found at this site. fantomascover2

An English translation by Cranstoun Metcalfe is available free as an ebook and an audio book.

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What are you reading now? Do you have a TT to share with us?

Please leave a comment with your link on MizB’s Teaser Tuesday post or below. If you don’t have a blog, you can share your Teaser here in the comment section instead.

Public Domain Day 2015: Ending our own enclosures


Thank you to John Mark Ockerbloom and The Online Books Page!


Everybody's Libraries

It’s the start of the new year, which, as many of my readers know, marks another Public Domain Day, when a year’s worth of creative work becomes free for anyone to use in many countries.

In countries where copyrights have been extended to life plus 70 years, works by people like Piet Mondrian, Edith Durham, Glenn Miller, and Ethel Lina White enter the public domain.  In countries that have resisted ongoing efforts to extend copyrights past life + 50 years, 2015 sees works by people like Flannery O’Connor, E. J. Pratt, Ian Fleming, Rachel Carson, and T. H. White enter the public domain. And in the US, once again no published works enter the public domain due to an ongoing freeze in copyright expirations (though some well-known works might have if we still had the copyright laws in effect when they were…

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Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)


Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen on December 12, 1821. I’ve read several of his books including the one which is probably the best known, Madame Bovary. A number of years ago the French Literature group held an informal poll in which we listed our twenty favorite works by French authors. Madame Bovary was the only book which was included on everyone’s list. The English translation by Eleanor Marx-Aveling is available free in a choice of formats at Project Gutenberg or in audio from LibriVox.


Free Time Fridays – September 26, 2014


Free Time Fridays is a weekly meme created and hosted by Shannon at eatupmyfreetime.

If you’re new to Free Time Fridays, the details are at eatupmyfreetime here.


The past week I finished two non-fiction books I’ve been reading for a while: Letters from Africa by Karen Blixen and Balzac’s Omelette by Anka Muhlstein. I also started A Pirate Looks at Fifty by Jimmy Buffett. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction so this is an unusual number of non-fiction books for me to have going at once.

I finished two fictions works this week. The first was a short story by Jack Finney, Of Missing Persons. Finney is the author of Time and Again which is a masterpiece of time travel. He’s also the author of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the basis for several movies. The other book I finished was Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse series.

On the tv front, I watched the season premieres of Person of Interest and Survivor. Of the new series I sampled, Gotham and Forever were my favorites.

Did I actually ever leave the house? Oh yes, the highlight of my week was getting my flu shot, lol.

That pretty much sums up my free time for this past week. It’s your turn now. How did you spend your free time this week or what are you looking forward to this weekend?


The Doctor’s Wife

I’m currently listening to The Doctor’s Wife by M E Braddon which was recommended to me by Guy. What a perfect quote for the Friday Finds meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It sounds like Mr. Raymond isn’t as excited about his box of books as most of us are.


Mr. Raymond was established in a big chintz-covered easy-chair, turning over a box of books newly arrived from London, and muttering scornful comments on their titles and contents.

This book is such fun! Aside from being a Victorian Sensation Novel which I quite enjoy, it is loaded with references to books and characters. A free etext is available at Project Gutenberg and a free audio at LibriVox.

I have read and enjoyed four other novels by Braddon: The Trail of the Serpent, Aurora Floyd, Henry Dunbar and Lady Audley’s Secret. All these and many more can be found free online.