Books and Bites Bingo Fairy Tale Collection: Snow White and Rose Red: And Other Tales of Kind Young Women by Kate Forsyth and Lorena Carrington

books and bites game card
I’m moving through this challenge a bit slower than I’d like – for several categories I do have the books, I just need to read them. For others, I’m waiting for the right or specific book to arrive. One square I might struggle to fill is the book I keep putting off, as I don’t intentionally put a book off if it’s on my TBR or shelves. In a way I am because I have been working on a strategy to get through everything.

SnowWhiteCover copy

Back to this post though, I had a few ideas of what I was going to read, and I finally settled on the latest in the long-lost fairy tale collection by Kate Forsyth and Lorena Carrington, Snow White and Rose Red – And Other Tales of Kind Young Women. This fulfilled several challenge categories, and was a much-anticipated book. It was released at the height of the pandemic, and so I invited Kate and Lorena to appear on my blog in an interview – I am biased in saying it is one of my favourite interviews of the series, because we chatted about fairy tales, writing and illustration processes and many other things about writing and Kate’s books.

This book is lovely – from the stories chosen and retold, to the beautiful layered, photographic and digital illustrations Lorena created to be paired with Kate’s magical and spellbinding words. It is a fantastic fairy tale book and I am glad I chose it for this square.

Book Bingo Six 2020 Themes of Crime and Justice

Book Bingo 2020 clean

Welcome to the June edition of Book Bingo with Theresa Smith Writes and Mrs B’S Book Reviews. This time around, I am checking off Themes of Crime and Justice with the tenth book in the Rowland Sinclair series by Sulari Gentill, A Testament of Character.

Book bingo 2020

Rowly and his friends take a detour on their way home from China and find themselves in America looking into the death of an old friend of Rowly’s. As the story progresses, Rowly and his friends fall deeper into a mystery of deaths, and who killed Daniel, as well as who Otis Norcross is, and where he is. In terms of justice, it has more to it than just solving the crime. The justice system that gives certain people preferential treatment or deems certain proclivities criminal – and how Rowly and his friends help those they are working with deal with these issues in 1930s America. These issues are not always overt, but they are bubbling there and hinting at what is to come and why things are the way they are.

ATOC_3D

I’m finding this book bingo a bit easier. It means that there is the chance that all books will be read, reviewed and scheduled long before December, which is a bonus in trying to get through it all easily.

 

Books and Bites Bingo Book to movie: Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

books and bites game card
My next square is the one for book to movie. For this option, there were many, many options from Harry Potter to Jane Austen, The Book Thief and Northern Lights (The Golden Compass), which is now a television show and will be marking off my book to television category later this year in another challenge.

As luck would have it, I received the new bind-up edition of Nim’s Island, celebrating twenty-one years since it was first published, and I have seen the movie, so this worked for this challenge and another that had a book to movie adaptation choice.

NimsIsland_roughs

I chose this because it was a fun read as well, and I’m trying to see how many review books work for my reading challenges, and how many they crossover into as well – in doing so, across the first few months of the year, I have managed to knock off quite a few categories and squares. Some books have filled in more than others.

I need to watch Nim’s Island again sometime but for now, I’m trying to focus on the reading. Before I used this book, I had The Book Thief earmarked for this category. It’s one of those categories that is open and can change – and those are the ones I am aiming to mark off first, as some are more specific, sometimes down to the author or the book, and some specific to a month – so I have to wait until then to fill them in.

One category that comes up in two challenges I might have trouble with is the book you haven’t finished or that you have said you’ve read but haven’t – as I finish the books I commit to. So those could be a challenge, but I might find some way to tweak and stretch them so it works for my means.

Book Bingo Five 2020 – Coming of Age

Book bingo 2020

May, and round five of 2020 book bingo with Amanda and Theresa! Many of the posts have been from books I have read in January and earlier in the year, yet something about checking off the categories during the quieter times of the year is really satisfying, as I know that by checking off the ones I can easily fill in, that by the time I get to the harder ones, there’ll be less pressure to get through it all and make sure it is done. Also, when it comes to my Book Bingo wrap up post, I won’t have to add in links as I go, I can do it all at once.

For my fifth square, I chose coming of age. For this square, there will be many books, and many ways this story can be told. For this one, however, I chose a book that came out in February that Scholastic asked me to review, and one that even though I knew it was for review, I kept thinking of quiz questions for.

ella at eden

The book is the first in a new series, that is part of the Ella and Olivia family, where each stage of Ella’s life is focused on by a different author. This new series is about Ella as a teenager at a boarding school called Eden. Ella at Eden: New Girl by Laura Sieveking shows Ella on the brink of becoming a teenager, where she starts at a new school, far from home. Here, she will discover more of who she is and what she likes, and Eden will help her do this.

As the teenage years are a time of big change for people, this is why it works as a coming of age – Ella is starting to discover who she is separate from her family, and for those who have read Ella and Olivia, and the Ella Diaries, it is a great continuation from these series, and having written some Ella and Olivia quizzes, I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to more in the series.

Books and Bites Book Bingo Travel Memoir: The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

books and bites game card

 

A travel memoir is one area I wasn’t sure what I would find – but as with all my challenges, I have been finding fun and inventive ways to interpret the categories I thought I might struggle with. This time I am marking off my thirteenth square and gaining a BINGO for the first row. I have checked off travel memoir but done something a little different and bent a fictional book with travel in it to work here.

 

books and bites game card

I used The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by LD Lapinski – the review went live on the 28th of April. When Flick discovers a travel agency unlike any other and is invited to join the Strangeworlds Society. With all the travelling Flick and Jonathon Mercator do, it feels and reads like it could be a travel memoir – as we experience the journeys as they do. In this way, it has a sense of travel memoir, even if told in third person and the action takes place as we’re reading and isn’t described after the facts as one typically finds with a travel memoir.

strangeworlds

 

It might seem like a bit of a stretch, but in the current isolation climate, I’m finding I could be doing that a lot over the next few months – and I’m trying to use new reads as much as possible, and will slot re-reads in where I need to.

 

Books and Bites Bingo Progress Report One – First Bingo

I should be doing this for each bingo line I hit – with the regular book bingo, it is being included in the relevant post. For this one with Monique, I am trying to update as I complete a line.

books and bites game card

 

My first BINGO of the sheet is the top lime – which I actually completed last month but have only just managed to find time to write this brief post. This was possibly the easiest line – some squares I am still finding books, or waiting for a release, or am, not sure what I will use. Luckily, these are fairly broad categories and I can go with anything for many of them, so when I find something that fits, that is what I will use. This is my overall challenge strategy and I am finding it less stressful as it allows me to read what I have and if it fits, that’s a good thing.

This was a challenge I signed up for later than the others, but am having fun with it nonetheless. Of the books I used in this challenge, I loved them all and there were so many others that could have worked here. I admit to stretching the travel memoir category – using a fictional book with travel that felt like it could be a travel memoir – I expand on this more in the post, however.

I look forward to filling the rest of the squares and reporting on them in the coming months.

Books and Bites Bingo
Set in Europe:Josephine’s Garden by Stephanie Parkyn

Debut Novel: The Soldier’s Curse by Meg and Tom Keneally (Monsarrat Series Book One)

Travel Memoir: The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

Published More than 100 Years Ago: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Written in the First Person: Pippa’s Island: Puppy Pandemonium by Belinda Murrell

Books and Bites Bingo – Scary: The Monstrous Devices by Damien Love

books and bites game card

Choosing a scary book was hard for me – I tend not to read much horror fiction that most people would classify as scary. So I always knew I would struggle with this square and how I would interpret it. As I move through this bingo, some squares have been open to interpretation, others not so much, and so I have been filling it as books fall across my path, whilst others, I have books planned – I just need to read them.

Scary, much like a book with bad reviews, is going to be subjective. With the book with a bad review – I chose that one because other people had given it a bad review, but it turned out that I didn’t want to continue with the series, especially after being inundated recently, and I do have one that I am putting off that will fit that square.

During this challenge, and all my reading challenges, I’ve been prioritising books based on release date, request or whether or not the author is taking part in my isolation publicity series – at least, that has been and remains, my goal.

Back to scary – what I find scary might not be what others find scary, yet at the same time, I recently read a book that I didn’t find scary all the time, but there were one or two scenes that gave me the shivers, and that sensitive readers might find scary and troubling. This is a book that is to be released on the 19th of May, and my review will be going live that day.

monstrous devices

The Monstrous Devices by Damien Love has elements of scariness in it, or it did for me. The idea that a robot could come to life through magical or other means is a bit scary, because then it means the robot can think and act of its own volition and the consequences could be dire. This is why it fits here, because sometimes, it gets a bit frightening yet at the same time is still engrossing. It may not be as scary as traditional horror but there are some things that I just cannot bring myself to read, and that is one of them. Luckily, this one was also on my review pile so I’ve killed two birds with one stone to get this post done.

Books and Bites Bingo Written by someone called Jane

books and bites game card

Ticking off another square – this time a book written by someone called Jane. It might seem a touch obvious to go with Jane Austen – which I did. But in a pinch, it worked, and as I am working on getting some discussion around Jane Austen’s books in a reading group. And Persuasion was our first pick – hopefully, with the others to follow.

persuasion

As Jane Austen’s final completed novel, Persuasion is quite different to something like Pride and Prejudice – yet both contend with social pressures of making the right match, and concerns about money and appearances in society. Both involve love, yet it is more about the journey than the end goal – and this is perhaps what makes these novels so appealing and timeless – everything leads up to the end goal – marriage, love, the right thing to do in terms of society. The rest is a social commentary on why these are goals and why someone might be more acceptable than someone else.

Hopefully I can get through the rest of her books over the next few months – this square could have any book in it – well, as long as the author is called Jane! I am at least making progress in ticking the squares off, and am looking forward to getting to some of the other squares soon.

Book Bingo Four 2020 – Themes of Inequality

Book bingo 2020

Welcome back to book bingo with Theresa, Amanda and myself. And now we are well into April, and I am ticking off my fourth square, Themes of Inequality with The Nine Hundred: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz. Here, inequality is shown it all its forms, depicting one of the most horrific events of inequality. The first official transport discussed in this book, that was well-researched by the author in collaboration with survivors of that transport, their descendants and relevant Jewish and Holocaust organisations, shows that there are gaps in our knowledge about the Holocaust.

 

the 900

Here is an untold story beyond the numbers, beyond the tattoos. It is made up of extensive research, interviews and collaboration with those from the first transport who survived, and the author acknowledges in her introduction and throughout, where there are gaps, and where she has had to infer what was said based on descriptions of what happened where testimony is lacking. I have said more in my review about this, so won’t repeat it too much here, but this book fits this square nicely, and without knowing what else I’ll come across this year, I’m electing books for squares as I read, and writing these up as I go.

Books and Bites Bingo Has “the girl” in the title: The Girl She Was by Rebecca Freeborn            

books and bites game card

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something for this book bingo – I have been reading but many of the books I have been reading haven’t managed to fit into many of the squares at the moment, and finally, I found one. I thought I was going to have a few other options for this, but I think they’re coming later in the year, and I thought I had better update this challenge.

Some future books could possibly check off multiple categories and boxes in this challenge, and I may have to make a decision about how I will tackle books like that when I come to them.

TGSW_3D

For this post, I am marking off the square Has ‘the girl’ in the title. I chose new release, The Girl She Was by Rebecca Freeborn, published by Pantera Press on the 31st of March 2020. Books with ‘the girl’ in the title appear across genres, and styles, and there seems to have been a trend in these sorts of titles over the last few years. Though maybe we have passed the peak, as I feel like this is the first, I have seen in at least twelve months as a new release.

This was an interesting book – at first glance, perhaps not what I would usually pick up off the shelf, yet it has an intriguing plot that is relevant to the Me Too movement and imbalance of power and the way some people abuse their power and responsibility.