RMFAO 2017 Reading Challenges

Join us at RMFAO !

Heena Rathore P.

Hey, everyone. 2017 is almost upon us! It is December, the most magical time of the year, and more so because this is the month we decide and announce the RMFAO Reading Challenges for the coming year!

If you don’t already know, RMFAO is my reading group on Goodreads and it is co-moderated by my very dear friend, Dagny. We have quite a few reading challenges there and have around 300 members. We talk about books and reading related stuff and recommend absolutely amazeballs books to each other. It is a place to be for all the book lovers as you’ll meet some serious bookaholic bibliophiles there.

Back to the point, we just announced the 3rd installment of our most popular challenge on RMFAO – RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge. In this challenge, we read as per the pre-decided Genre-List that changes every year. This year we’re doing it our old…

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H.P. Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth and other Poems

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Are you a fan of Lovecraft’s stories but maybe not his poetry? I thought that was the case with me until listening to H.P. Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth and other Poems. Magnificently read by Will Hart with music by Graham Plowman, the experience was head and shoulders above merely reading the poems. I have already listened to most of the tracks more than once.

Visit CthulhuWho1’s Blog for more information and various links including a lengthy sample on YouTube.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WHH!

Raising my glass, Sam! Thank you for reminding us to celebrate William Hope Hodgson today.

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10814120_10204187319942175_909688874_n William Hope Hodgson portrait by Dave Felton

Today, November 15th, is Hodgson’s 139th birthday!

It was on this day in 1877 that William Hope Hodgson was born to Samuel , an Anglican priest, and Lissie Lissie Hodgson. The second of twelve children, three of whom would die in infancy, Hope and his family had a hard life. They were often poor and reliant upon the charity of Samuel’s parishioners. A controversial figure, Samuel was moved about frequently by the church, serving 11 parishes in 21 years before his death in 1892.

In 1890, Hope was apprenticed into the Merchant Marine and he would spend the next 10 years at sea sailing around the world several times and receiving the Royal Humane Society medal for heroism after saving a shipmate who had fallen into shark infested waters. During his time at sea, Hope would also develop his life-long interests in physical…

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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone
(The Great Library #1)
by Rachel Caine

InkBone

Jacket blurb:

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn….

 

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FirstChapFirstPara

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.

The first clue Jess had that his hiding place had been discovered came in the form of a hard, open-handed slap to the back of his head. He was engrossed in reading, and he’d failed to hear any telltale creak of boards behind him.

His first instinct was, of course, to save the book, and he protectively curled over the delicate pages even as he slid out of his chair and freed his right hand to draw a knife . . . but it wasn’t necessary.

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BooksBeat

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

The paper was the morning edition, and it must have just turned evening, because as Jess handed it back, the newspaper erased itself, and filled line by line with new words. The ink-licker stayed front-page news, which probably would have pleased the vile old creature.

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I can’t resist. Here is another quote from this world where censorship is rampant and it is illegal to own an actual paper and ink book. If you happen to visualize the concept of a press-printer, it’s best to keep quiet and not propose a demonstration.

The pernicious heresy that began with Gutenberg once again appears among us, as if some great and sinister force insists on destroying the greatest institution of learning humankind has ever known. That it should spring from the mind of one of our most valuable and well-regarded Scholars, one so closely connected to the Iron Tower itself, makes it even more disturbing.

As with Gutenberg and all others who have followed, we must destroy this heresy immediately and completely. We have no choice.

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This YA book isn’t my usual fare, but I am really enjoying it. The story is pulling me along at a rapid pace. Thank you to Selah for bringing it to my attention.

What are you currently reading? Do you have anything to share with us?

The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman

The Shape Shifter
(Leaphorn & Chee #18)
by Tony Hillerman

ShapeShifter

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FirstChapFirstPara

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.

Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, retired, stopped his pickup about a hundred yards short of where he had intended to park, turned off the ignition, stared at Sergeant Jim Chee’s trailer home, and reconsidered his tactics. The problem was making sure he knew what he could tell them, and what he shouldn’t, and how to handle it without offending either Bernie or Jim. First he would hand to whomever opened the door the big woven basket of fruit, flowers, and candies that Professor Louisa Bourbonette had arranged as their wedding gift, and then keep the conversation focused on what they had thought of Hawaii on their honeymoon trip, and apologize for the duties that had forced both Louisa and him to miss the wedding itself. Then he would pound them with questions about their future plans, whether Bernie still intended to return to her job with the Navajo Tribal Police. She would know he already knew the answer to that one, but the longer he could keep them from pressing him with their own questions, the better. Maybe he could avoid that completely. It wasn’t likely. His answering machine had been full of calls from one or the other of them. Full of questions. Why hadn’t he called them back with the details of that Totter obituary he wanted them to look into? Why was he interested? Hadn’t he retired as he’d planned? Was this some old cold case he wanted to clear up as a going away present to the Navajo Tribal Police? And so forth?

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TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

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.

Leaphorn wandered to the back door, noticing how lines of dust blown in through the vacant windows had formed across the floor, observing the piles of leaves in the corners, thinking how quickly nature moved to restore the damage done by man. He looked out at the burned remains of the gallery section, remembering how a typical torrential rain of the monsoon season had arrived in time to save this part of the Handy’s establishment.

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The Shape Shifter (2006) is the last Leaphorn & Chee book published before Tony Hillerman’s death in 2008. I was saving it and now am finally reading it. Thanks to Betty Louise, I know that his daughter, Anne Hillerman, is continuing the series.

Have you read any of Hillerman’s mysteries?

Discovering a Centuries Old Library

TravelingWithDead

In the end she turned the key but left it in the lock, and stepped cautiously through the door she had opened into what had probably been a dining room but was as large as the ballroom of her aunt’s house in Mayfair. It was lined floor to ceiling with books: goods boxes had been stacked on top of the original ten-foot bookshelves, and planks stretched over windows and doors so that no one square foot of the original paneling showed and the tops of the highest ranks brushed the coffered ceiling. Yellow-backed adventure novels by Conan Doyle and Clifford Ashdown shouldered worn calf saints’ lives, antiquated chemistry texts, Carlyle, Gibbon, de Sade, Balzac, cheap modern reprints of Aeschylus and Plato, Galsworthy, Wilde, Shaw.

Traveling with the Dead (James Asher #2) by Barbara Hambly

 

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Need I say that the name Balzac grabbed my attention! There is another great quote from later in the book when one of the vampires says, “We follow families, names, neighborhoods for years, sometimes decades. To us, chains of events are like the lives of Balzac’s characters, or Dickens’. The nights are long.”

I was unfamiliar with the name Clifford Ashdown. Research showed that it is a nom de plume used by Richard Austin Freeman and John James Pitcairn for books on which they collaborated.

A Gentleman of France by Stanley Weyman

A Gentleman of France
Being the Memoirs of Gaston de Bonne Sieur de Marsac
by Stanley Weyman

GentFrance

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FirstChapFirstPara

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.

The death of the Prince of Conde, which occurred in the spring of 1588, by depriving me of my only patron, reduced me to such straits that the winter of that year, which saw the King of Navarre come to spend his Christmas at St. Jean d’Angely, saw also the nadir of my fortunes. I did not know at this time–I may confess it to-day without shame–wither to turn for a gold crown or a new scabbard, and neither had nor discerned any hope of employment. The peace lately patched up at Blois between the King of France and the League persuaded many of the Huguenots that their final ruin was at hand; but it could not fill their exhausted treasury or enable them to put fresh troops into the field.

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TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

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.

I think, as we sat our horses in the rain, the holly-bush not being large enough to shelter us all, we were as sorry a band as ever set out to rescue a lady; nor was it without pain that I looked round and saw myself reduced to command such people. There was scarcely one whole unpatched garment among us, and three of my squires had but a spur apiece.

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From the Stanley J. Weyman site:

Admired by renowned authors such as Stevenson, Wilde, and Rafael Sabatini, Stanley John Weyman is today a forgotten literary giant of the late 19th century. While for years his best-selling historical romances enchanted thousands of readers, today his books are mostly neglected.

One of his most well known novels was A Gentleman of France, which describes the “grand climacteric of a man’s life”.  Forty-year-old M. de Marsac is in the process of losing his finances and gentleman status. He has been forced to groom his own horse by cover of night and faces ridicule because of his tattered appearance when he goes before the court of Henry of Navarre seeking a commission. . . . . A silent film in 1921 was based on the novel.

For lovers of historical novels, A Gentleman of France (1893) is available free at Project Gutenberg in numerous formats. I’ve heard it described as The Three Musketeers without the tedious bits.

Dead Man’s Island by Carolyn Hart

Dead Man’s Island
(Henrie O #1)
by Carolyn Hart

DeadmansIsland

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FirstChapFirstPara

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.

I don’t consider myself an angel, avenging or otherwise, but I can’t always accept fate as the answer. Timing makes all the difference.

There exists a rather charming school of thought that the motorist who looms out of the fog at precisely the right moment or the fatherly old man who takes a lost child’s hand and leads her to safety are heaven-sent messengers.

Unknown to themselves, of course.

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TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

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.

The young woman he recalled was almost lost in the mists of memory, and those partaicular memories I had no intention of resurrecting. The reckless young reporter whom Chase had known so well was now a woman who had spent five decades covering fires, disasters, wars, revolutions, murders, and public scandals.

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I read a number of Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series years ago, but have only discovered the delightful Henrie O. It looks like there are seven in the series. Have you read any of Hart’s books?

Reading Challenges – 4th Quarter and 2015 Wrap-up

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RMFAO2015

RMFAO 2015 Classics Challenge

With the top level being Level 5: Professor – 12 or more books, this one was a piece of cake for me and was completed during the second quarter. Extras added this quarter:

30. The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells
31. Mont Oriol or A romance of Auvergne by Guy de Maupassant
32. Notre Coeur or A Woman’s Pastime by Guy de Maupassant
33. Evan Harrington by George Meredith
34. The Distracted Preacher by Thomas Hardy
35. The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris
36. Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome K. Jerome

RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge

October – Horror (Level 4: Bibliophile – 4 books)
1. Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris
2. A Touch of Dead (collection of the Sookie short stories) by Charlaine Harris
3. After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
4. Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher #1) by Barbara Hambly

November – Historical (Level 1: Casual Reader – 1 book)
1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

December – Adventure/Fantasy (Level 2: Frequent Reader – 2 books)
1. The Martian by Andy Weir
2. Shackleton’s Forgotten Men by Leonard Bickel

A success with at least one book for each genre. February – Crime/Mystery, with eight books read was my biggest month, followed by May – Classics/Literary with seven books.

RMFAO 2015 Series Challenge

The same as Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015 below with the addition of:

AMELIA PEABODY series by Elizabeth Peters
18. Tomb of the Golden Bird

A miserable fail! Out of five series I had planned to finish, I only finished one (the Stephanie Plum series shown below).

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Yvonne2015

What An Animal Reading Challenge VIII 2015

Level 2 – Read 7-12

7. Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris
8. The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’elegance du herisson) by Muriel Barbery
9. Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18) by Elizabeth Peters
10. A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2) by Charlaine Harris
11. The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris

Completed. Luckily for me, the qualification rules are very broad.

Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2015

Level 4: Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more

17. Death of a Liar (Hamish Macbeth #31) by M. C. Beaton
18. Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19) by Janet Evanovich
19. Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20) by Janet Evanovich
20. Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) by Janet Evanovich
21. Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18) by Elizabeth Peters
22. A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2) by Charlaine Harris

Successfully completed and loads of fun doing it!

Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015

Level 4: Expert series reader – Complete 4 or more series. A massive failure. It seemed so doable in January, yet I only managed to complete one series. There were seven unread books on the list (eight counting the extra series for the RMFAO Challenge). I blame my failure on getting hooked on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and reading nine of them in 2015. They weren’t on the list – but it was worth it as I really enjoyed the series.

Books read this quarter and the only series completed this year:

STEPHANIE PLUM series by Janet Evanovich
19. Notorious Nineteen
20. Takedown Twenty
21. Top Secret Twenty-One

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Riedel2015Mystery

My Kind Of Mystery 2015

February 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016

Level 5: Invisible Floor 41 or more:

33. Roadkill by Kinky Friedman
34. Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
35. Death of a Liar by M. C. Beaton
36. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
37. Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly
38. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
39. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
40. Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
41. A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris

Since this is not a calendar year Challenge, there is still one month to go. But it is already completed, so – success!

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GoodReads2015

My 2015 Goodreads Challenge was 100 books. Success! Completed on the last day of the year.

2016 Reading Challenges – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Two Reading Challenges which will be new for me in 2016 are hosted at Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book.

I am making it easy on myself and keeping track at Goodreads.

 

2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

alphabet2016

I’ve spotted this one on several blogs this year and it always looked like fun, so I’m in for 2016! Track my progress at Goodreads.

The Alphabet Soup Challenge means that by December 31, 2016, your bowls must be full of one book for each letter of the Alphabet. Each letter counts as one spoonful.

 

Craving For Cozies Challenge 2016

I’m already reading plenty of mysteries, including cozies, and participating in challenges for them, so why not one more! Here’s the special shelf at Goodreads.

I’ll be shooting for Satisfied: 21 – 40 Cozy Mysteries

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If either of these appeal to you, join me in giving them a try! Just click on the Challenge title for details and the sign up page at Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book.