Emerjas

16 Festive Tasks - Square 15 - Boxing Day and St. Stephen's Day

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake

One Dark Throne, the sequel to Three Dark Crowns, has 3 queens as main characters, and they all have servants.

 

 

 

Book themes for Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.

 

16 Festive Tasks - Square 12 - Saturnalia

Nightwing Vol. 3: Nightwing Must Die (Rebirth) - Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez

Nightwing and Robin are on the cover of Nightwing, Vol. 3: Nightwing Must Die, and both of them wear masks.

 

 

 

Book themes for Saturnalia: The god Saturn has a planet named after him; read any work of science fiction that takes place in space. –OR– Read a book celebrating free speech. –OR– A book revolving around a very large party, or ball, or festival, –OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover. –OR– a story where roles are reversed.

 

16 Festive Tasks - Square 9 - Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night

Long Way Down - Jason Reynolds

I didn't actually realize Long Way Down was poetry until after I had checked it out. I'm not typically one for poetry, but I liked a book by the author and got this one because of that. I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by the author himself. I'm very glad I did that because it let the author share the work exactly as he meant it. I find poetry works best for me when I listen to it, rather than read it.

 

 

 

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.

 

16 Festive Tasks - Square 7 - International Human Rights Day

Honey So Sweet, Vol. 8 - Amu Meguro

I read Honey So Sweet, Vol. 8, which was originally written in Japanese, which is not my mother tongue. With volume 8, I also finished the Honey So Sweet series. It's absolutely adorable from start to finish.

 

 

 

Book themes for International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not anglo-saxon, –OR– any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused. –OR– Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the U.N. and U.N. World Court respectively).

 

16 Festive Tasks - Square 1 - Calan Gaeaf

 In a funny bit of coincidence, potato leek soup was actually planned for early November before the 16 Festive Tasks were announced. This was a new recipe, and it was delicious.

 

 

The recipe came from www.onceuponachef.com. We changed the recipe a bit by halving the number of leeks, using dried thyme instead of fresh, and using half-and-half instead of heavy cream.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2-inchpieces
  • 7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chives, finely chopped, for serving

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so as not to brown.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
  3. Fish out the thyme sprig and bay leaves, then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches; see note.) Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If it's too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
  4. Note: If using a standard blender to purée the soup: be sure not to fill the jar more than halfway; leave the hole in the lid open and cover loosely with a dishtowel to allow the heat to escape; and pour blended soup into a clean pot.

 

 

 

Tasks for Calan Gaeaf: If you’re superstition-proof, inscribe your name on a rock, toss it in a fire and take a picture to post –OR– Make a cozy wintertime dish involving leeks (the national plant of Wales) and post the recipe and pictures with your thoughts about how it turned out.

 

Source: http://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/potato-leek-soup.html

16 Festive Tasks - Square 1 - Calan Gaeaf

Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

 

I ran out of time in October to read Murder on the Orient Express, but I sped right through it once I started it. It had been quite a while since I had read the book, and I didn't remember anything about it. But I wanted to reread it before I see the movie next week, so mission accomplished there. The book was great, and I'm very excited for the movie now.

 

 

 

Book themes for Calan Gaeaf: 
Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, especially if it features witches or witchcraft. Alternatively, read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a book with “Ivy” or “Rose(s)” in the title or as character names.

 

October Books

 I read 31 books for October. 13 were audio books and 7 were graphic novels. More than half of my books were for Halloween Bingo, so I had quite a few mysteries this month. It was a pretty great reading month with no books that I disliked and quite a few that I loved. I'm hoping that continues.

 

 

5 Stars

Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University amid College Football's Sexual Assault Crisis - Paula Lavigne,Mark Schlabach  Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer  A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas  And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  

 

4.5 Stars

Dear Martin - Nic Stone The Names They Gave Us - Emery Lord  Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris  

 

4 Stars

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband: A Bridgertons Prequel - Julia Quinn  The Lovely Reckless - Kami Garcia  The Shadow Land - Elizabeth Kostova  Nailbiter Volume 4: Blood Lust - Joshua Williamson  A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 - Yoshitoki Oima,Steven LeCroy  The Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana Oliver  The Way I Used to Be - Amber Smith  You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott  Nailbiter Volume 5: Bound by Blood - Joshua Williamson  Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray  Archie, Vol. 4 - Mark Waid,Pete Woods  Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris  When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon  A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo  

 

3.5 Stars

Genuine Fraud - E. Lockhart  Razorhurst - Justine Larbalestier  Sif: Journey Into Mystery - The Complete Collection - Kelly Sue Deconnick,Kathryn Immonen,Ryan Stegman,Valerio Schiti,Pepe Larraz  Dark Star - Bethany Frenette  The Girl I Used to Be - April Henry  The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Chelsea Sedoti  Daughters unto Devils - Amy Lukavics  

 

3 Stars

A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Gray She and Her Cat - Tsubasa Yamaguchi,Makoto Shinkai Nailbiter Volume 6: The Bloody Truth - Joshua Williamson  

Halloween Bingo Wrap-Up

To start off, a big thank you to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for putting this together. I had a blast playing and loved seeing what everyone was reading for it.

 

My plan for the game was to only read books that were already on my TBR list, so I went through it and put together a list of all mystery, horror, thriller, and other books I thought might fit a square. I got a decent number of books read off that list, although I still have quite a few left. I think I'll be working on continuing to read off that list going forward, but at a slower rate.

 

I did manage to get a blackout on the final day, so I'm happy with that.

 

I had quite a few great reads. My favorites were:

If We Were Villains: A Novel - M. L. Rio  Lover Revealed - J.R. Ward  The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter  A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Siobhan Dowd  A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas  And Then There Were None  - Agatha Christie

Half of those are murder mysteries. The other half are a vampire romance, a faerie fantasy, and a tearjerker. I loved all of them.

 

My least favorite was, luckily, my only bad read.

Bleeding Earth - Kaitlin Ward

It grossed me out more than anything. And the ending was weird.

 

Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood - Joshua Williamson  Nailbiter Vol. 2: Bloody Hands - Mike Henderson,Joshua Williamson  Nailbiter Volume 3: Blood in the Water (Nailbiter Tp) - Joshua Williamson,Mike Henderson,Mike Henderson  Nailbiter Volume 4: Blood Lust - Joshua Williamson  Nailbiter Volume 5: Bound by Blood - Joshua Williamson  Nailbiter Volume 6: The Bloody Truth - Joshua Williamson

I got through the entire Nailbiter series, which stayed consistently good until that last book. The last book wasn't bad. It just wasn't a strong ending for the series.

 

Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris  Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris  Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris

 

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the Southern Vampire Mysteries until I started reading them again for this. I'm up to book 6 out of 13 now. I need to keep working on these.

 

4:50 from Paddington - Agatha Christie  The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie  The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie  The Adventure of the ‘Western Star': A Short Story - Agatha Christie  The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie  And Then There Were None  - Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was my go-to author for the game. I used 4 of the 6 I read for squares. I'm already planning on reading a few more of her books soon.

 

Below are all the books I read for Halloween Bingo. I've included books that I didn't end up using because I had the square filled by the time I read it. If you want to see which books were used for which squares, you can check here.

 

 

4:50 from Paddington - Agatha Christie    Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick (Young Animal) - Gerard Way,Nick Derington  Little Monsters - Kara Thomas  Long May She Reign - Rhiannon Thomas  Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood - Joshua Williamson  The Archived - Victoria Schwab  If We Were Villains: A Novel - M. L. Rio  Three Truths and a Lie - Brent Hartinger  Lover Revealed - J.R. Ward  The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie  White Night - Jim Butcher  The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie  Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris  Unfollow Vol. 1 - Rob Williams,Michael Dowling  Nailbiter Vol. 2: Bloody Hands - Mike Henderson,Joshua Williamson  Bleeding Earth - Kaitlin Ward  The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter  Nailbiter Volume 3: Blood in the Water (Nailbiter Tp) - Joshua Williamson,Mike Henderson,Mike Henderson  The Adventure of the ‘Western Star': A Short Story - Agatha Christie  A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Siobhan Dowd  The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie  Genuine Fraud - E. Lockhart  The Shadow Land - Elizabeth Kostova  Razorhurst - Justine Larbalestier  Dark Star - Bethany Frenette  Nailbiter Volume 4: Blood Lust - Joshua Williamson  The Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana Oliver  The Girl I Used to Be - April Henry  You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott  Nailbiter Volume 5: Bound by Blood - Joshua Williamson  Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray  The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Chelsea Sedoti  A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas  Nailbiter Volume 6: The Bloody Truth - Joshua Williamson  Daughters unto Devils - Amy Lukavics  And Then There Were None  - Agatha Christie  Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris  Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris  A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo

Halloween Bingo Blackout

A bat means I've read a book for the square. A pumpkin means the square has been called.

 

 

 

Books Read:

4:50 from Paddington - Agatha Christie - Cozy Mystery (9/1/17)

Little Monsters - Kara Thomas - Amateur Sleuth (9/2/17)

Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick (Young Animal) - Gerard Way,Nick Derington - Aliens (9/2/17)

Long May She Reign - Rhiannon Thomas - Murder Most Foul (9/4/17)

Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood - Joshua Williamson  - Serial/Spree Killer (9/4/17)

The Archived - Victoria Schwab - Chilling Children (9/4/17)

If We Were Villains: A Novel - M. L. Rio - Country House Mystery (9/7/17)

Three Truths and a Lie - Brent Hartinger - In the Dark, Dark Woods (9/8/17)

Lover Revealed - J.R. Ward - Vampires (9/10/17)

White Night - Jim Butcher - Supernatural (9/12/17)

Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris - Gothic (9/14/17)

Bleeding Earth - Kaitlin Ward - Genre: Horror (9/17/17)

The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter - Terrifying Women (9/2/17)

The Adventure of the ‘Western Star': A Short Story - Agatha Christie - Darkest London (9/27/17)

The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie - Free Space (9/28/17)

 A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Siobhan Dowd  - Magical Realism (9/28/17)

Razorhurst - Justine Larbalestier - Ghost (10/8/17)

Dark Star - Bethany Frenette - Demons (10/9/17)

The Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana Oliver - Witches (10/10/17)

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray - Haunted Houses (10/17/17)

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas - Monsters (10/21/17)

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie - Locked Room Myster (10/23/17)

Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris - Werewolves (10/24/17)

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris - Romantic Suspense (10/30/17)

A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo - Diverse Voices (10/31/17)

Halloween Bingo - Diverse Voices

A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo

For my last book, I read A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo for the Diverse Voices square.

 

 

Halloween Bingo - Romantic Suspense

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris

My pick for the Romantic Suspense square was Definitely Dead, the next book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries.

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo - Werewolves

Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris

I continued the Southern Vampire Mysteries with Dead as a Doornail. This book had a number of supernatural beings in it, including vampires, werepanthers, fairies, shifters, and weretigers. And werewolves, of course. The werewolves featured prominently with Sookie getting pulled into a dispute over who will be the new packmaster. I used this for the Werewolves square.

 

 

Halloween Bingo - Locked Room Mystery

And Then There Were None  - Agatha Christie

I did a reread of And Then There Were None for the Locked Room Mystery square. It had been over a decade since I'd last read it, and it was just as great as I remembered.

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo - Monsters

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin was my pick for the Monsters square. It's got a cast full of fae with a couple other creatures thrown in there.

 

 

Second Bingo!

Today's call of Amateur Sleuth got me my second bingo on the far left column!

 

 

Books read for this bingo:

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray - Haunted Houses

Long May She Reign - Rhiannon Thomas - Murder Most Foul

Little Monsters - Kara Thomas - Amateur Sleuth

Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick (Young Animal) - Gerard Way,Nick Derington - Aliens

4:50 from Paddington - Agatha Christie - Cozy Mystery

Halloween Bingo - Haunted Houses

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray

My pick for the Haunted Houses square was Before the Devil Breaks You. The city in this book is being overrun by ghosts, so there are quite a few haunted buildings that the Diviners have to deal with. The most prominent haunted building was a hospital, but there were several houses that were haunted as well.

 

 

Currently reading

Queen's Quality, Vol. 1 by Kyousuke Motomi
Land of the Lustrous 1 by Haruko Ichikawa
Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi, Vol. 1 by HaccaWorks*
Non Non Biyori Vol. 1 by Atto
The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 1 by Rei Toma
Idol Dreams, Vol. 1 by Arina Tanemura
My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 (Pantheon Graphic Novels) by Gengoroh Tagame, Anne Ishii
Behind the Scenes!!, Vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori
My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 by Caleb D. Cook, Kohei Horikoshi
My Monster Secret Vol. 1 by Eiji Masuda