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.

2016 Reading Challenges – Socrates’ Book Reviews

I plan to participate in both the Reading Challenges hosted by Yvonne at Socrates’ Book Reviews!

My progress will be recorded at Goodreads (so easy and simple). You can find out more information about each individual Challenge at the link provided and sign up there or at Goodreads. Just click on the title below.

Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies 2016

cozychallenge2016

It’s Level 4 – Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 21 or more books for me again this year! Piece of cake, love the fun Cozies.

 

What an Animal IX 2016

WhatAnimal2016

I don’t read a lot of books featuring animals, but the guidelines are very broad. Level 2 – Read 7-12 worked for me in 2015, so I will go for that level again in 2016.

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If either of these peak your interest, visit Yvonne’s blog and join us there or at Goodreads.

Photo of Howard Carter in Egypt

CarterMenaHouseHotel

I am currently reading Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18) by Elizabeth Peters. It is set in 1922 at the time of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings. Howard Carter, his sponsor Lord Carnarvon and Lady Evelyn (Carnarvon’s daughter) are featured characters.

When I saw the above photo tweeted by Tess Baber and retweeted by Dr. Zahi Hawass, I could not resist featuring it myself. Thank you to Tess Baber for bringing it my attention. Her description: “Howard Carter (1874-1939) in the back of a motorcar at the Mena House Hotel with Great Pyramid in background Egypt.”

It is a running joke in the series that Amelia resists the use of motorcars, even though her husband Emerson has one and tries to convince her otherwise.

Title: Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly

Those Who Hunt the Night
(James Asher #1)
by Barbara Hambly

ThoseHuntNight

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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.

“Lydia?”

But even before the shadows of the stairwell swallowed the last echoes of his wife’s name, James Asher knew something was desperately wrong.

The house was silent, but it was not empty.

He stopped dead in the darkened front hall, listening. No sound came down the shadowy curve of the stairs from above.

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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.

They paused at the foot of the steps, Asher lifting the lamp nearly to the low ceiling beams to illuminate the cellar around them. Its glare smudged the dusty boards of a nearly empty coalbin in light and caught the fraying edges of translucent curtains of cobweb, thick with dust.

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Human James Asher is coerced by Simon Ysidro, a several hundred year old vampire, into investigating the murders of vampires in London. Set in the early 1900s, it features the old timey vampires as opposed to the new breed so often written about today. It’s quite refreshing.

This is a reread. I first read Those Who Hunt the Night over twenty years ago, anxiously awaited a sequel and finally forgot about it until reminded by the recent publications in the series. I am finding the reread as fascinating as the original reading and already have the second book lined up in the TBR pile.
Hambly’s James Asher series:
1. Those Who Hunt the Night (1988, published as Immortal Blood in the UK)
2. Traveling with the Dead (1995)
3. Blood Maidens (2010)
4. The Magistrates of Hell (2012)
5. The Kindred of Darkness (2013)
6. Darkness on His Bones (2015)

Visit Barbara Hambly’s website for more information on this and her other series.

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Are you reading anything exciting this week?

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After
(Sookie Stackhouse #13)
by Charlaine Harris

DeadEverAfter

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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 morning after I raised my boss from the dead, I got up to find him sitting half-dressed in my backyard on my chaise lounge. It was about ten a.m. on a July day, and the sun was bathing the backyard in brilliant heat. Sam’s hair was turned into a bright tangle of red and gold. He opened his eyes as I came down the back steps and crossed the yard. I was still in my nightshirt, and I didn’t even want to think about my own hair. It was pretty much one big snarl.

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WitchReadTT

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.

After he had drifted back into the woods and I had locked the house up tight, I sat in front of my computer. I had planned to check my e-mail, but instead I found myself trying to unravel Bill’s meaning.

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This is the last Sookie novel, wrapping up the series. I am curious as to what will happen and how it will all end. I’ve heard many readers mention that they didn’t like the way the series ended.

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

Reading Challenges – 3rd Quarter 2015

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20BooksSummer

20 Books of Summer 2015 hosted by Cathy at 746 Books ended September 4. My wrap-up post is here.

RMFAO2015

RMFAO 2015 Classics Challenge

The top level for this Challenge is Level 5: Professor – 12 or more books which I completed during the second quarter. Extras for this quarter include:

21. Rameau’s Nephew by Denis Diderot
22. The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
23. The Magician by Somerset Maugham
24. The Nemesis of Fire by Algernon Blackwood
25. Fifteen Hundred Miles an Hour by Charles Dixon
26. Ourika by Claire de Duras
27. The Morgesons by Elizabeth Stoddard
28. Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
29. Wyllard’s Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge

This is still my favorite Reading Challenge for the year! A different genre is explored each month and a different level may be chosen for each month. The third quarter of 2015:

July – Dystopian/Apocalyptic (Level 1: Casual Reader – 1 book):
1. Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

August – Contemporary (Level 2: Frequent Reader – 2 books):
1. U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone #21) by Sue Grafton
2. Deep Pockets (Carlotta Carlyle #10) by Linda Barnes

September – Humour (Level 2: Frequent Reader – 2 books):
1. Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
2. Roadkill (Kinky Friedman #10) by Kinky Friedman

RMFAO 2015 Series Challenge

Again this quarter, the same as Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015 below.

Yvonne2015

What An Animal Reading Challenge VIII 2015

Level 2: Read 7 – 12

6. Fever Season (Benjamin January #2) by Barbara Hambly

Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2015

Level 4: Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more

13. U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone #21) by Sue Grafton
14. A Royal Pain (Royal Spyness #2) by Rhys Bowen
15. Deep Pockets (Carlotta Carlyle #10) by Linda Barnes
16. Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden #1) by Charlaine Harris

Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015

Level 4: Expert series reader – Complete 4 or more series. During this quarter, I only read one of the eleven remaining on the list as of June 30, leaving ten to be read during the last quarter of 2015.

KINSEY MILLHONE series by Sue Grafton
21. U is for Undertow

Riedel2015Mystery

My Kind Of Mystery
February 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016

Level 5: Invisible Floor 41 or more:

26. Fever Season by Barbara Hambly
27. The Overlook by Michael Connelly
28. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
29. A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
30. Deep Pockets by Linda Barnes
31. Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
32. Graveyard Dust by Barbara Hambly

GoodReads2015

My 2015 Goodreads Challenge is one hundred books. As of September 30, I have finished seventy-six books.

Roadkill by Kinky Friedman

Roadkill
(Kinky Friedman #10)
by Kinky Friedman

RoadKillWillieCover

This isn’t the cover of the edition I have (drat the luck),

but I couldn’t resist using the cover featuring Willie.

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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.

You could say the whole adventure began the day I looked in the bathroom mirror and saw the gypsy. That explanation might not hold up in a court of law, but as far as I’m concerned it’s close enough for country dancing. I’d come in rather late the night before and as I slept I was visited by a strange and singularly vivid dream. Without going into graphic details, let me just say that I finally came across the girl in the peach-colored dress who was being held captive by a remote tribe deep in the jungles of Borneo. By disguising myself as a middle-aged orangutan, I was at last able to secure her release but not, however, before they took two Frisbees and used them to make her lips big.

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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.

After a promising little string of successfully solved cases, for some unknown reason clients now seemed to be staying away in droves. Not only was my professional life moving along with all the fluid grace of a midtown traffic jam, but my personal life had slowed to a virtual standstill as well.

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Cover blurb:

Who would slap an Indian curse on a good ol’ boy like country singer Willie Nelson? Probably the same person who’s been firing shots into Willie’s hotel room and sending nasty notes promising the cowboy crooner a one-way ticket to the big rodeo in the sky. Could it have something to do with the medicine man who got run over by Willie’s tour bus one dark night? If anyone can find out, it’s ace troubleshooter and well-known troublemaker Kinky Friedman–on the road again in his tenth wickedly funny, off-the-wall mystery caper.

Warning: The character doesn’t even pretend to be politically correct. In fact, he appears to revel in not being so. That being said, I find these books hilariously biting and humorous.

Do you enjoy books with plenty of humor? What are you reading now?

Graveyard Dust by Barbara Hambly

Graveyard Dust
(Benjamin January #3)
by Barbara Hambly

GraveyardDust

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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.

African drums in darkness sullen as tar.

Rossini’s “Di tanti palpit” unspooling like golden ribbon from the ballroom’s open windows.

Church bells and thunder.

Benjamin January flexed his aching sholders and thought, Rain coming. Leaning on the corner of Colonel Pritchard’s ostentatious house, he could smell the sharp scent in the hot weight of the night, hear the shift in the feverish tempo of the crickets and the frogs. The dim orange glow of an oil lamp fell through the servants’ door beside him, tipping the weeds beyond the edge of the yard with fire.

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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.

Given the trouble his curiosity had caused him in the past, January reflected that he should know better. In any case, he had a good idea of what he would find in the darkness where the trees got thick.

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Barbara Hambly definitely has a way with words. She also seems to write in multiple genres. This series, historical mysteries, is set in 1830s New Orleans. The first book I remember reading by her is Ishmael, a Star Trek novel featuring Spock (my favorite!). I read it in the 1980s, so I have been reading Hambly’s books for three decades. The award-winning author has also written in the science fiction, fantasy and supernatural genres.

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Do you enjoy reading series? What are some of your favorites?

Deep Pockets by Linda Barnes

Deep Pockets
(Carlotta Carlyle #10)
by Linda Barnes

DeepPockets

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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 hate running errands. I put them off and put them off, and then one morning the cat’s got no food, there are zero stamps on the roll, and I realize I own no underwear minus holes. I understand some people like to shop for clothes, do it for pure pleasure and entertainment, but I count it as one more damned errand. When the tasks mount up and I can’t put it off any longer, I make a list and set forth to Harvard Square. There are less pricey areas, granted, but the Square has its own post office and lies within spitting distance of my house.

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TeaserTuesdaysTeaser 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 first noticed him as I was waiting, along with thirty-five other assorted students, panhandlers, and shoppers, for the scramble light at the intersection of Brattle and Mass Ave. His gaze lingered a moment too long and I wondered briefly whether I’d met him at a party or exchanged small talk with the man at a bar.

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I read this series a number of years ago and then moved and forgot about it. Have you read anything by Linda Barnes? What are you reading now?

A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

A Royal Pain
(Royal Spyness #2)
by Rhys Bowen

RoyalPain

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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 alarm clock woke me this morning at the ungodly hour of eight. One of my nanny’s favorite sayings was “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” My father did both and look what happened to him. He died, penniless, at forty-nine.

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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.

“Come on in, ducks,” she said, almost hauling me inside. “I’ll tell you where your granddad is.”

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