24 Festive Tasks - Veterans' / Armistice Day Task 1

Task 1:  Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy.  Take a pic of your efforts and post.



So I decided to go with my country of birth, Germany, instead of my country of residence, the US, since Germany's flag has 3 stripes instead of 13 stripes plus 50 stars. Finding mostly black and red covers wasn't a problem, but it took a little searching through my shelves for mostly yellow ones.



24 Festive Tasks - Tracking Post


Points: 9


Dia de los Muertos:

BookAll-New Wolverine Vol. 5: Orphans of X - Tom Taylor,Juan Cabal  


Guy Fawkes Night:

Completed Task 1

BookRoyal Crush: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - Meg Cabot  


Melbourne Cup Day:

Completed Task 1: 1 point for participation; none for my ponies (Ace High, Yucatan, Rostropovich)



Completed Task 4


Veterans' / Armistice Day:

Completed Task 1

Completed Task 3


New Year's Eve:

BookRoyal Crown: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - Meg Cabot  



BookA Sorrow Fierce and Falling - Jessica Cluess  

24 Festive Tasks - Veterans' / Armistice Day Task 3

Task 3: Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?



I would have to go with Meg Cabot on this one. I've read 63 of her books so far. That's not everything she's written, but it is the majority of it. I'm mainly missing her early adult books written under other names (Patricia Cabot and Meggin Cabot), but I also don't have any plans to read them. But I will keep checking out her new stuff.



Social Intercourse

Social Intercourse - Greg  Howard

Beck and Jax suddenly find themselves thrown together when their parents start dating one another and neither is happy about this. Beck is an openly gay guy living in a conservative small town with his single dad after his mother left both of them a few years ago. Jax is the school's star quarterback and son of two moms who recently separated who he's been trying to get back together, so having one of his mothers dating Beck's dad is wrecking that plan. The two boys decide to join forces to split their parents up while also helping put together their town's first Rainbow Prom (It's all part of their plan).


Social Intercourse was an engaging read right from the start. It had compelling characters and a plot that kept me reading. There was a lot going on, but it never felt like too much. It's just unfortunate that it has so much rampant unchecked misogyny and biphobia.


Beck lets the misogyny out right away when he meets Jax's mother, Tracee. His meeting of her is unfortunate since he walks in on her and his father in an intimate moment. From that point on he refers to her as a thing, a whore, or his favorite, Big Titties. He only starts referring to her by name once he begins bonding with her son. Otherwise, she's not deserving of respect.


Then there's the fact that Tracee was married to a woman, but is now dating a man. Jax is insistent on referring to her as a lesbian, despite the fact that he is bisexual and therefore knows that bisexual people exist, and says that she's going to dump Beck's dad because she misses vagina too much. He has one moment of wondering early on if maybe she's bisexual, but that passes and is never thought of again.


Jax then gets to face some biphobia of his own at the end of the book.

When he tells Beck he likes him, Beck asks Jax what happens when Jax starts to miss vagina.

(show spoiler)

That's not how bisexuality works. The fact that he thinks that's a valid question to ask a bisexual person makes me think that's not the last time Jax is going to hear that.


Beck and Jax do some awful things to try to break their parents apart.

In an attempt to make Tracee jealous, they trick JoJo into thinking homophobic bigots have discovered where she lived, followed her home, and thrown a rock into her window so that she'll call a Doris, a cop who likes her. Beck and Jax make her feel unsafe in her own home. Jax watched these bigots make JoJo cry earlier, and now he makes her think they've found her home. That's just so horrible.

(show spoiler)


And then Beck tricks Tracee into thinking his dad beats him after learning that would be a dealbreaker for her since Jax was abused by his birth parents before Tracee and JoJo were able to adopt him. There's no thought about how he could be potentially wrecking his dad's life if Tracee reported it. He eventually does come clean about the lie, but to pretend to be abused in the first place is terrible.

(show spoiler)


Side characters are pretty flat and stereotypical. Friends exist to just to be supportive of Beck and Jax. Villains are over-the-top homophobic (and sometimes racist) bigots.

The leader of the homophobic church and one of the men who work there are even outed as gay men who are clearly dealing with a ton of internalized homophobia.

(show spoiler)


It's honestly impressive that I enjoyed the book as much as I did with everything that happened in the book. The unchecked misogyny and biphobia. The awful actions of Beck and Jax. And some other bits of bigotry that popped up, including a random bit of racism that came from Beck's best friend in the last couple pages that was literally her last line in the book. The writing itself was fun and kept me entertained, but the content also had me cringing a lot or getting angry just as often. And that really cut into my overall enjoyment of the book.

24 Festive Tasks - Diwali Task 4

Task 4: During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower. Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images.



I decided to go with manga I own to complete this task. I had far more books featuring women with weapons on the covers, but I did manage to find 5.


+Anima 4 - Natsumi Mukai,迎夏生  Blood+, Vol. 03 - Asuka Katsura,桂明日香  Blood+, Vol. 05 - Asuka Katsura,桂明日香  Skip Beat!, Vol. 25 - Yoshiki Nakamura  Tokyo Mew Mew, Vol. 07 - Mia Ikumi,Reiko Yoshida  

24 Festive Tasks - New Year's Eve Book

Royal Crown: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - Meg Cabot

New Year's Eve (December 31): Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM!



The coronation of the Olivia's sister is finally happening which will mark the start of her reign over Genovia.  I'm using it to claim this day.

24 Festive Tasks - Guy Fawkes Night Book

Royal Crush: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - Meg Cabot

Book:  Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.


The main character of Royal Crush is a princess of Genovia whose father is the current ruler (although he'll be passing the crown on to his eldest daughter soon). There are quite a few of the characters who are members of different monarchies. There's also an off-screen revolution that occurred in one character's country. I'm using it to claim this day.



24 Festive Tasks - Epiphany Book

A Sorrow Fierce and Falling - Jessica Cluess

Epiphany (January 6): Read a book with three main characters OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place OR a book that’s part of a trilogy OR with a star on the cover OR with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title OR or concerning kings or spices.


A Sorrow Fierce and Falling is the final book in a trilogy, so I'm using it to claim this day.

24 Festive Tasks - Dia de los Muertos Book

All-New Wolverine Vol. 5: Orphans of X - Tom    Taylor, Juan Cabal

Book: Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico.


The All-New Wolverine series ended earlier this year with book 6 making this a "dead" series now. I'm using book 5 in the series to claim this day.




24 Festive Tasks - Guy Fawkes Night Task 1

Rabbit, Run - John Updike

Task 1:  Burn a book in effigy.  Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)?



I read the first 3 books of the Rabbit series by John Updike as part of a group project in high school. There was serious talk about holding a celebratory book burning of our books once the project was done because we hated them so much. We didn't end up burning them, but we all agreed they were the worst books we'd ever read for school. If I had to burn a book, I'd throw Rabbit, Run in without a second thought. And then I'd toss in the second and third books with it.



October Books

I read 32 books last month with an average score of 3.84. 14 of the books were young adult and 3 were graphic novels. My most-read genres were contemporary, mystery, and romance. Halloween Bingo is to thank for mystery being so high. I was surprised that I barely read any fantasy books at all since it's usually up there.


My favorite books were The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Kiersten WhiteCheck, Please!: #Hockey - Ngozi Ukazu, and A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian. My least favorite was Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel - Steven Levenson,Justin Paul,Benj Pasek,Val Emmich.



5 Stars

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Kiersten White  A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian  Check, Please!: #Hockey - Ngozi Ukazu  


4.5 Stars

Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 01 - Julietta Suzuki,Tomo Kimura  The Witness for the Prosecution (Short Story e-book) - Agatha Christie  Puddin' - Julie Murphy  We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists - Melissa Falkowski,Eric Garner,Parkland Student Journalists  Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott  


4 Stars

A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab  Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant  I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life - Anne Bogel  Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All - Linda Sue Park,Lisa Ann Sandell,Stephanie Hemphill,Candace Fleming,Deborah Hopkinson,M.T. Anderson,Jennifer Donnelly  We Regret to Inform You - Ariel Kaplan  S.T.A.G.S - M.A. Bennett  How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation - Libba Bray,Maureen Johnson,Rosie O'Donnell,Jacqueline Woodson,Jeffrey Rowland,Jason Reynolds,KC Green,Malinda Lo,Jennifer Weiner,Jodi Picoult,Sabaa Tahir,Alex Gino,Dylan Marron,Karuna Riazi,Jesse Tyler Ferguson,Dana Schwartz,Rebecca Roanhorse,Ali Stroker,  Dead And Gone - Charlaine Harris  The Other Woman - Sandie Jones  Sofia Khan is Not Obliged - Ayisha Malik  China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel - Kevin Kwan  


3.5 Stars

The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han  Emergency Contact - Mary H. K. Choi  Shock & Awe - Abigail Roux  Fatal Shadows - Josh Lanyon  Denton Little's Deathdate - Lance Rubin  It's Not Summer Without You - Jenny Han  


3 Stars

Our House - Louise Candlish  A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale - Liz Braswell,Parragon Books  All-New Wolverine Vol. 4: Immune - Leonard Kirk,Tom Taylor  Lizzie - Dawn Ius  The Fourth Man - Agatha Christie  Three Days Missing - Kimberly Belle  


2.5 Stars

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel - Steven Levenson,Justin Paul,Benj Pasek,Val Emmich 



Books by author gender:

  • Male: 5
  • Female: 24
  • Male/Female/Non-Binary Mix: 3


Books by format:

  • Physical: 19
  • Audio: 13

Halloween Bingo Update - Blackout!

I got my blackout just in time for Halloween. I had a blast playing. Thank you to Moonlight and OB for putting together another great game!



Called: Pumpkin

Read: Ghost


Books Read:

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris - Gothic (8/31)

Goldie Vance Vol 4 - Hope Larson,Jackie Ball,Sarah Stern,Elle Power - Baker Street Irregulars (9/1)

The Unfortunates - Cathy Liggett - Modern Masters of Horror (9/2)

The Beast Is an Animal - Peternelle van Arsdale - Genre: Horror (9/4)

Truly Devious - Maureen Johnson - Country House Mystery (9/8)

The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken - Doomsday (9/8)

The Afterlife of Holly Chase - Cynthia Hand - Ghost Stories (9/10)

How to Hang a Witch - Adriana Mather - Spellbound (9/12)

The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy - New Release (9/12)

The Call - Peadar Ó Guilín - Cryptozoologist (9/13)

Uncaged - Michele Cook,John Sandford - Genre: Suspense (9/15)

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab - Relics and Curiosities (9/19)

Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire - Supernatural (9/25)

From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris - Southern Gothic (9/25)

Mirror Mirror - Cara Delevingne,Rowan Coleman - Terrifying Women (9/26)

Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire - Terror in a Small Town (9/27)

Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire - Deadlands (9/27)

A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab - Creepy Carnivals (10/1)

Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant - Fear the Drowning Deep (10/3)

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Kiersten White - Free Space (10/5)

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale - Liz Braswell,Parragon Books - A Grimm Tale (10/10)

The Witness for the Prosecution (Short Story e-book) - Agatha Christie - Cozy Mystery / Wild Card (10/19)

The Fourth Man - Agatha Christie - 13 / Wild Card (10/19)

Fatal Shadows - Josh Lanyon - Romantic Suspense (10/21)

Dead And Gone - Charlaine Harris - Shifters (10/28)

Halloween Bingo - Shifters

Dead And Gone  - Charlaine Harris

The were and shifter community decides to reveal themselves to humans in Dead and Gone which made it the perfect pick for the Shifters square. It's also the last square I needed for my card.



Halloween Bingo - Romantic Suspense

Fatal Shadows - Josh Lanyon

Fatal Shadows was a lot lighter on the romance than I expected, although the ending suggested the rest of the series will have a lot more. I'm using this for the Romantic Suspense square.




Halloween Bingo - 13

The Fourth Man - Agatha Christie

My second Wild Card book is The Fourth Man. I'm using it to claim the 13 square.




Halloween Bingo - Cozy Mystery

The Witness for the Prosecution (Short Story e-book) - Agatha Christie

I was debating between two authors for the Wild Card - Agatha Christie and Charlaine Harris. Agatha Christie is my go-to mystery author, but I have been trying to actually finish the Sookie Stackhouse books, so I've been reading a decent amount of Charlaine Harris. I finally decided to go with Agatha Christie. My first Wild Card book was The Witness for the Prosecution. I'm using it for the Cozy Mystery square.




Currently reading

My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Kabi Nagata
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku 1 by Maki Fujita
Silver Spoon, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa
The Prince in His Dark Days 1 by Hico Yamanaka
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, Vol. 1 by Hideyuki Furuhashi, Betten Court
Laid-Back Camp, Vol. 1 by Afro
Kiniro Mosaic, Vol. 1 by Yui Hara
NEW GAME! (1) (まんがタイムKRコミックス) by Shotaro Tokuno
Blue Morning, Vol. 1 by Shoko Hidaka
Oresama Teacher , Vol. 1 by Izumi Tsubaki