Weekend Update – The 2016 What’s In A Name? Challenge Edition

Posted by on Nov 29, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, Weekend Update, What's in a Name | 4 comments

Weekend Update
The 2016 What’s in a Name? Challenge

This is my favorite Reading Challenge and the one I have done every year since it first started.

The Ninth Annual What’s in a Name Challenge

2016 What's in a Name? Challenge

What’s In A Name? 2016

Charlie at The Worm Hole hosts this one.

For the What’s in a Name Challenge participants are asked to read books whose titles fit a selection of categories. It’s not a huge commitment and I usually manage to check off most of the categories randomly without even trying. There are usually a couple of categories that I end up needing to actively search for a book but that’s always a fun search and I’ve found some real gems along the way. This year I picked up both Brown Girl Dreaming and The Ocean at the End of the Lane at least partly because of this challenge

The 2016 categories are as follows:

The basics
The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets I’ve included some from other languages, and translations most definitely count!):

  • A country (try not to use Africa!) Suggestions: Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn, Xiaolu Guo’s I Am China, Martin Wagner’s Deutschland)
  • An item of clothing (Su Dharmapala’s Saree, Ann Brashare’s The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, Javier Moro’s El Sari Rojo; Pierre Lemaitre’s Vestido De Novia)
  • An item of furniture (Marghanita Laski’s The Victorian Chaise-Longue; C S Lewis’s The Silver Chair; Gøhril Gabrielsen’s The Looking-Glass Sisters)
  • A profession (Adriana Trigiani’s The Shoemaker’s Wife; Mikhail Elizarov’s The Librarian)
  • A month of the year (Elizabeth Von Arnim’s The Enchanted April; Rhoda Baxter’s Doctor January)
  • A title with the word ‘tree’ in it (Ai Mi’s Under The Hawthorn Tree; Elle Newmark’s The Sandalwood Tree)

Remember the titles I’ve given here are only examples, you can by all means use them if you want to but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of other books that will fit the categories and you may have some in mind already or even some on your shelves you can read.

For more details check out the sign up post at The Worm Hole.

Half the fun of this challenge is looking for books that might work. I’ve already had a great time browsing my TBR lists to find books that fit for the 2016 categories. I even found the first in a new to me cozy mystery series that will work for one of the categories for which I didn’t already have something on my list.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Audiobook – Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in 2015, 3 stars, Audio, Book Review, PG Wodehouse | 2 comments

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: Originally 1934, this edition 2006
Length: 6 hours, 4 minutes
Read by: Jonathan Cecil
Source: purchased

The Short Version:
The first full length novel featuring the impeccable and brilliant valet Jeeves and his hapless employer, Bertie Wooster.

Why I Read It:
After reading several of the Jeeves and Wooster short story collections I listened one and now prefer them as narrated by Jonathan Cecil.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Bertie’s enthusiastic banjolele playing inspires his neighbors to have him evicted – and it’s even enough to move his able butler to give notice. But the two aren’t parted for long: Bertie moves to a cottage on Baron Chuffnell’s country estate, and “Chuffy” naturally hires the now-available Jeeves for himself. To Bertie’s surprise, Chuffy is also hosting an American millionaire and his fetching daughter, Pauline, who once was engaged to Bertie. When her father decides that Bertie must make an honest woman of Pauline, even though she only has eyes for Chuffy, the millionaire holds Bertie captive on his yacht. Thank goodness Jeeves is there to aid in Bertie’s escape by disguising him – although the disguise leads to more trouble for Bertie, particularly with the local police. Fortunately, Jeeves just might have a solution that will fix everything.

My Thoughts:
As with the the previous Jeeves book I listened to (Very Good, Jeeves) the highlight for me is Jonathan Cecil’s narration. He has a wide and varied cast to portray in his narration and does it wonderfully. I just love listening to him narrate these books.

The book however wasn’t quite so much of a delight for me as the previous ones. After getting used to the short story format it was quite different to have Wodehouse shift to the longer form novel length for this story. It was entertaining enough but being used to the short story format it felt drawn out a bit.

It still had the usual Bertie and friends getting themselves in trouble and being rescued by Jeeves. There was plenty of ridiculous and ovecomplicated plots by Bertie that naturally didn’t work.

The trouble with a book that was written in 1934 is that in a far different place and time the n-word and blackface were viewed quite differently than they are today. It was a little jarring to hear but minor points in the book.

The same is true of this novel as with the earlier short stories. It’s a story that is easy to drop and pick up again with listening to only a few minutes at a time. The humor is light and witty with the occasional laugh out loud moment. I will continue with the audio format for Wodehouse because I enjoy it so much more than reading them. I’m curious to find out how the next one is since it’s another novel

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #45

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 10 comments

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every other week.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Between needing to finish a baby afghan and a couple of potlucks and various other events I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of reading time. I’m hoping that with a short work week and a long Thanksgiving weekend with less than normal on our calendar that I can finish the month strongly in terms of books and reading.

Finished in Print

Collected Essex County by Jeff Lemire

Complete Essex County by Jeff Lemire

This was a reread in a way. I’d already read the three books in the trilogy over a period of months but this collected edition that also has some additional stories is my recommended way of reading this series.

Continuing in Print

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #01: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #01: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Yes, I’m still reading this one. It’s good and I’m enjoying it but my schedule and To Do list over the past couple of weeks have been conspiring to keep me from finishing it.

Finished on Audio

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

This is the first Jeeves novel. I’ve enjoyed the short stories in this series and the longer novel format is different. This one was not as good as the short stories in my opinion. It was entertaining and I did enjoy it but I think I prefer Wodehouse’s short stories more than the longer form stories.

Started on Audio

A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

This is the second in the Royal Spyness series set in 1930’s London and featuring Lady Georgianna Rannoch. She may be a distant relative to the queen but she’s got no real income and is creative in making a living within the confines of aristocratic expectations. Along the way she manages to also do some pretty good sleuthing. This is my first time trying the audio editions of this series

Reviews since my last update:
Lists of Note compiled by Shaun Usher

Collected Essex County by Jeff Lemire

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week Edition

Posted by on Nov 22, 2015 in Fun, photos, Weekend Update | 6 comments

Weekend Update

I started doing this a few months ago and it’s quickly become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. A bus that is more reliable than the train lately. Luckily I have the option of both for my commute.
Commute by bus


2. This post from Andi


There are a couple of things I love about this. First of all pretty much everything she had to say about the events of this past week or so. Secondly I love the idea of an email account for her son that they use to send things on both good days and hard days. I just love the idea of “We document so that he might have a repository of anecdotes, photos, and other goodies to explore when he’s older.”


3. These little stencils that I ordered to keep in my Traveler’s Journal.

They’re small enough to keep in the business card holder pockets and they have some fun shapes to add a little extra to my notes. The small square shapes will be great for bullet point lists and checklists.


4. Chairbacca
I discovered this on Twitter thanks to What She Read and The Relentless Reader.

What can I say? It makes me laugh


5. The flowers on the island in my kitchen. I buy flowers every week but these are extra cheery for some reason.


6. New Pens.
Pilot Precise V5 Rollerball Pens
I’m a pen junkie and I’m not ashamed. I love using different colors and these are very smooth writing.


7. Hot Chicken Ramen soup on a cold rainy day.
Bulkogi Fusion Food Cart


8. This has me considering an Advent Calendar this year
Wine Advent Calendar


9. New charms for my Traveler’s Notebook.

I like the decorative one I have on the front but the book, wine bottle and camera are very me.


10. Oregon 48 – USC 28



Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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