First Line Fridays #37 – The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

“The summer is made for stoop-sitting and since it is the last week before school starts, Harlem is opening its eyes to September.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Library Haul #19

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another Library Haul! Let me just say that this time I went a little overboard, especially since I ended up renewing quite a few books from my previous library haul. I think next time I am going to limit the number of books I check out to about 5 or 6, that way I can actually get to them. Here are the books I checked out this time:

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

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Flora & Ulysses sounds right up my alley, it’s about a girl who befriends a squirrel and the shenanigans they get up to. I’ve read some of Kate DiCamillo’s other works and she is an amazing author and I’m looking forward to reading this one, plus there is a movie adaptation coming out on Disney + next month, so I want to read this and then check the movie out. Plus it is a Newbery Award Winner and I am working my way through the Newbery Award Winners list.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

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As the title infers, this follows Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables in her youth long before her and her brother, Matthew adopt Anne. It sounds really good and I am planning on reading this before I start rereading the Anne of Green Gables series.

Dearly by Margaret Atwood


This is Margaret Atwood’s latest collection of poems. I really don’t know what to expect, I mainly picked this up because it one the Goodreads Choice Awards last year in the poetry section and I wanted to check it out.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

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I don’t know a whole lot about this book except that it is a fantasy novel and a Newbery Award Winner. Also, I’ve heard nothing but goof things about Kelly Barnhill.

The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans

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I know, I know, Christmas is over, but I still like reading Christmas fiction whenever! Plus, I’m interested to read on of Richard Pau Evans’ other works because I absolutely love The Walk series. I think this is told in dual timelines and I’ve heard that it has it’s heartbreaking moments. I’m looking forward to it!

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


I have been meaning to pick up Homegoing for several years ever since I heard about it. It is set in Ghana, and I think later on in the U.S. and it follows several generations of women in this one family. I’m sure it’s also going to be a fascinating read, but also hard-hitting as it does explore the slavery and the slave trade.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson

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I mainly picked this up because I am planning on reading Candace Owens’ new release soon, but I wanted to read a book from someone on the other side of the discussion to kind of get a fuller picture, plus it’s always good to read from different view points. Caste sounds interesting and I am interested to read from the author’s perspective.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

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I have been wanting to read Clap When You Land ever since it was announced that it was going to be released. It is based on a true story of a plane crash that happened shortly after 9/11 and it really affected the Dominican community in New York. It follows two girls who’s father is on the plane, and they discover that they are sisters. It is also told in verse so I’m really looking forward to picking this one up

Cress by Marissa Meyer

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I picked Cress up because I want to continue with my reread of The Lunar Chronicles and I want to try and binge read the rest of the series.

Avatar the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1


Last Fall my husband and I binge watched the Avatar series, and once we watched the series finale I knew I had to read the comics, which are a continuation of the series. I know very little of this, except we get to revisit the world and characters of Avatar!

One Piece Volume 24 by Eiichiro Oda

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Fairy Tail Volume 5 by Hiro Mashima


Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 6 by Hiromu Arakawa


All three of these mangas are the next installments of the three series I am currently working my way through, although I have gotten really behind in my read of Fullmetal Alchemist, but I plan on rectifying that very soon.

I also renewed several of the books from my previous book haul:

  • A Place at Our Table by Amy Clipston
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  • Fairy Tail Volume 4 by Hiro Mashima
  • One Piece Volume 23 by Eiichiro Oda
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 4 by Hiromu Arakawa
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 5 by Hiromu Arakawa
  • The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson – Currently Reading
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

These are all the books I have checked out from the library and I have my work cut out for me.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

The NOPE! Book Tag

Hello everyone,

Today’s post is going to be a little bit different because I am going to be doing a book tag, which I haven’t done in a while. I am going to be doing the NOPE! Book Tag that was created by Zoe from the YouTube channel, Zoe’s All Booked(Note, there is some bad language in this video). I was tagged for this by Riddhi @ Whispering Stories and you should definitely go check out her blog!

Let’s get started!

  • NOPE! Ending – a book ending that made you go nope either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

Honestly, I can’t think of one of the top of my head. I know I have read at least one book like this, but I can’t remember which one it is because it has been so long since I’ve read a book like this.

  • NOPE! Main character – a main character you dislike or drives you crazy.
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Fawn Birchill from Confessions of a Curious Bookseller. She came across as very snobby and just not a great person, especially to her employees. I get she is running a small business, but at the same time she does not treat people well. She is extremely condescending and just got on my nerves.

  • NOPE! Pairing – a “ship” you don’t support.

This is another one I can’t think of….except maybe Jace and Clary from The Mortal Instruments because of the whole “siblings” fiasco. Another would probably be Feyre and Tamlin in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but Sarah J. Maas rectified that in the rest of the series!

  • NOPE! Genre – a genre you will never read.
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I will most definitely never read Erotica it’s just not for me and I don’t even want to give it a try. Another genre would be horror, but that I’m more likely to dip my toes into light horror, for instance, I want to try out Carrie or The Shining by Stephen King, or Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

  • NOPE! Book format – a book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I like almost all book formats. I enjoy graphic novels, I don’t mind reading ebooks or listening to audiobooks. But if I’m being honest, I’m not the biggest fan of audiobooks, mainly because I usually have a tendency to not pay attention to what is going on, and if it is a more complex story I tend to get lost.

  • NOPE! Trope.

When it comes to tropes, that’s hard because most of them are okay. I think maybe one I don’t like a whole lot is the toxic relationship where a sweet character falls for and gets involved with the “bad boy.” One, most times it never works out. Two, it’s used as an excuse to explain away problematic behavior. I can’t think of specific examples off the top of my head right now, but I know there are quite a few.

  • NOPE! Recommendation – a book pushed on you but you refuse to read.

Right now I can’t think of a book that I would refuse, I’m usually willing to try anything unless it falls under Erotica or if it is on a subject matter I just don’t want to read about.

  • NOPE! Cliche – a cliche or writing pet-peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

I have several but the top two have to be the line “letting out a breath that they didn’t know they were holding”, and when it is a series and some of the details such as ages or even other details of a characters life are basically retconned. An example of this would be The Baxter Family books by Karen Kingsbury, which I have read most of, but the latest books in the series leave out, change, retcon, etc details about the characters that, if you read it back to back, get confusing. This is part of the reason I had to take a break from reading the books and am behind on these books because I’m trying to forget details that will make me want to put the book down. There are other books, but I can’t remember them right now.

  • NOPE! Love interest – not worthy of being one.

Jack O’Mara from One Day in December. Warning this explanation does contain a kind of spoiler. Okay, so at first when Laurie has that meet cute with Jack he seems swoon-worthy. However, when he discovers that Laurie is his new girlfriend’s roommate, he doesn’t tell her, and also he kind of emotionally cheats on her at first. Then he kisses Laurie when she is vulnerable…probably the worst thing he could do to her. And there is also the scene when he is borderline abusive to her…yes I know, he was in a bad car accident and was drunk…that is never an excuse for abuse! We need to stop excusing abuse. Jack O’Mara was a horrible love interest, and he constantly blames Laurie for the fact that he has feelings for her, meanwhile he is responsible for his own actions. Everyone has flaws, but there is nothing redeemable about Jack, and I really believe their relationship will never last.

  • NOPE! Book – a book that shouldn’t exist

For lack of a better option I am going to go with A Girl’s Guide to the Outback. I just didn’t like it. First off, it was marketed as a Christian Fiction Romance…and without a little bit of a peppering of references to God, it was like a typical romance except cringier. One line at the beginning especially ruined it for me, where we are told that the main character’s uterus was doing back flips seeing her boss (and later love interest) in a Captain America costume…it was so cringy and I hated it and it was hard for me to enjoy the book. There are other ways to describe attraction, and most romances don’t use a phrase like that do they? Anyway, that is why I wish A Girl’s Guide to the Outback didn’t exist.

  • NOPE! Villain – a villain you would hate to cross.

Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles. She’s wicked and cunning, especially since she can manipulate her appearance and the thoughts of others.

  • NOPE! Death – a character death that still haunts you.

I wish I had a better answer for this, because I feel like this is kind of a cop out, but I have to go with Nehemia in Crown of Midnight. I really liked her and I loved her spirit and I was excited to see what happened to her. But as soon as I became attached, she was assassinated…and for a stupid reason too!

  • NOPE! Author – an author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

This is a hard one because usually I am willing to give authors several chances. But I think one I would have to go with most definitely is Jessica Kate. Her debut, Love and Other Mistakes was okay, but her sophomore release, The Girl’s Guide to the Outback was awful…I cringed the whole time I read it, and I honestly would have DNF’d it if I had not been apart of a blog tour for it.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Reading Experiments #3 and #4 Update

Hello everyone,

Today I thought I would share an update on both Reading Experiments #3 and #4 and whether I’ve been successful with either of them. If you are interesested in checking out my original posts for these, click here for Reading Experiment #3 and here for Reading Experiment #4.

Let’s start with Reading Experiment #3, which following the read-a-like trail from NoveList. The first book I started with was Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter. My original plan was to read 14 books that made up this read-a-like trail, which honestly was super ambitious considering I have not even continued on with this experiment. However, I would still like to do it, so my plan is to narrow it down to 9 books (so that there are 10 in total including the first one) and hopefully it will make it less intimidating and maybe motivate me more to work on this experiment. My plan is that if I have not made much progress by June, I will abandon this reading experiment, but hopefully it won’t come to that. Here are the 9 books I’m planning on reading:

1. The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis


2. A Place at our Table by Amy Clipston

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3. Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard


4. A Son’s Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray


5. Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller

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6. Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter


7. When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

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8. A Cousin’s Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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9. Courting Cate by Leslie Gould


Reading Experiment #4 was also a bust and I have decided to abandon for the time being, at least until I can have more time to dedicate to it. I think what I need to do is read a read-a-like for a book as soon as I’ve read it. And then move on to another book. Like I said, I’m abadoning this for now, at least until I finish the other three reading experiments and then I might try and pick this back up again with a more clear cut plan of how I want to do it.

Update: Since writing this post I have read The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis and I am about to start A Place at Our Table by Amy Clipston.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Line Fridays #36 – A Phoenix Must First Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books. Since today’s book is an anthology, I am going to include the title of the first story in this collection along with the title.

A Phoenix Must First Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell – When Life Hand You A Lemon Fruit Bomb by Amerie

“When I was ten, the orcs dropped out of a clear summer-blue sky and landed in the middle of Central Park.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

On My Radar – January 2021

Hello everyone,

Today I’m going to be sharing the January book releases that are on my radar. These are all the books that sound the most interesting to me and I am hoping to pick them up eventually. This month there were a lot of good books coming out, so this list is pretty long. Here are all the January releases I am looking forward to:

  • Confessions of a Curious Bookshelf by Elizabeth Green – January 1st 53331137This sounds really good, it is about a bookseller who’s life is interrupted when a new indie bookseller opens up a shop just down the street from hers. And a war starts to ensue between the two of them. It also looks like an epistalory novel, which is one of my personal favorite formats. Also, it sounds a little like You’ve Got Mail, which is one of my favorite movies!
  • Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White – January 5th 53918360This is a historical novel set during the Civil War. It is about Cordelia Owens who is a skilled storyteller, and even when her love seemingly dies in a shipwreck, she convinces his family that he will return. Phin (who I think is her love) returns, but he is jaded and cynical from the things that he has faced over the previous months, and it also makes him think more about the war. Events happen that force both Delia and Phin to think through what America will look like once it emerges from the Civil War.
  • The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley – January 5th 51178523As the title suggests this a book about Anne de Bourgh, Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s daughter, from Pride and Prejudice, who was originally believed to be bethrothed to Mr. Darcy. I’m interested to see what the author does in exploring this minor character and see what happens to her in the aftermath of Pride and Prejudice.
  • The World Between Blinks by Amie Kaufman and Ryam Graudin – January 5th 53018246This is a middle grade book about two cousins who always go on adventures together. One summer they discover a map that their Nana left to a lighthouse and they discover that the lighthouse serves as a doorway to a magical world that contains a lot of mysteries from history and from myths. It sounds really interesting and I am curious to read it.
  • Court of Swans by Melanie Dickerson – January 5th52573908. sy475 Court of Swans is the start of a new series by Melanie Dickerson and this time we are being transported to medieval England for a retelling of the Wild Swans – which is a fairy tale I’m not familiar with, but I intend to read it before I pick this up.
  • Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz – January 5th 53911583Tidewater Bride is a historical novel set in the Virginia Colony where the most eligible maiden in the colony has no desire to get married. She also spends her time matchmaking other people, but a new landowner comes to the colony that could change her mind about marriage.
  • The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins – January 5th 53137893The Wife Upstairs is supposedly a modern retelling of Jane Eyre and it follows Jane who falls for the wealthy widow, Eddie Rochester. However, as their romance starts to bloom, she discovers that everything he told her surrounding his wife’s death might not be what it seems and there might be something more sinister at play.
  • Star Wars: The High Republic – A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland – January 5th 51734016A Test of Courage is the first middle-grade book in the new Star Wars: High Republic series. It is set 200 years before the events of Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. It follows a young Jedi and a padawan, and a couple other of youngsters that find themselves stranded on a jungle moon.
  • The Sea in Winter by Christine Day – January 5th 53018234The Sea in Winter follows Maisie Cannon, a young Native American girl who is forced to drop out of her ballet training. While her family is supportive, she still feels like no one understands her. Her and her family go to visit her mom’s family who are part of the Makah community, but Maisie is not looking forward to it. And during the trip she starts having anxiety and dark moods and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule – January 5th 51637946This is the first adult book set in the High Republic era. Not much has been revealed about the plot of this particular book, except for there being jedis – and I’m okay with that, I don’t think I want to know any more of the plot. I will say that I am excited to pick this up soon!
  • Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert – January 12th53138251The Tales from the Hinterland is a collection of tales that The Hazel Wood and The Night Country or centered on. I’m looking forward to reading this collection, and I definitely plan on rereading The Hazel Wood and finally picking up The Night Country.
  • The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin – January 12th53425138This is a historical novel set in January 12, 1888 and it is a fictional account of a freak blizzard that hit the Dakota territory and the children were trapped in the school house and decisions have to be made whether to keep them in the school house or try and get home to their families. It follws two teachers, one who is praised for her decisions made and the other one who is judged for her decisions in the aftermath. It sounds fascianting and I can’t wait to read it.
  • Many Points of Me by Caroline Gertler 53175355This follows Georgia Rosenbloom, who’s father was a famous artist. However, he died before he could make his final piece, but she discovers a sketch that she think is related to it and she decides to go and do some digging into what happens.
  • Neverland by Meagan Spooner – Janaury 28th 

GoodReads doesn’t have a lot of information about this book, the cover hasn’t been released yet either. However, I’m assuming that it is going to be a Peter Pan retelling and we might follow Wendy. Again, that’s just my assumption, but we shall see.

And those are all the books that are coming out in January that I am looking forward to reading once I can get my hands on them!

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Reading Experiment #2 Update

Hello everyone,

Today’s post is an update for Reading Experiment #2. For this reading experiment I was rereading Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin and then reading the 9 read-a-likes that were listed on the database NoveList. Just like the first reading experiment, I did not do well with this one, but I am planning on trying to get the ones done that I haven’t read read by the end of June, so watch this space for a wrap-up of that experiment. With this update I want to share which books I have read, my brief thoughts and then the list of books I still need to get to.

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin


I read this first because it made sense to start with this before reading the other books on this list. It was enjoyable to reread this book and while I read it I remembered all the reasons why I loved it. If you are interested in reading more of my thoughts, check out my full-length review.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

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I read this one next because it is honestly the book that kind of inspired me to this reading experiment because I read the synopsis and realized that it had some of the same elements that were in Wonderland Creek. I also liked this one, even though it was different from Wonderland Creek, however I liked seeing a different take on the pack-horse librarians. If you are interested in reading more of my thoughts, check out my full-length review.

The Patient One by Shelley Shepard Gray

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This was the other read-a-like I got to in 2020, and honestly, I couldn’t tell you why this was recommended as a read-a-like. The only thing I can think of is that it is Christian fiction and a tragedy does take place in several of the characters’ past, but other than that there was very little in common with Wonderland Creek and it was just an okay read. If you are interested in reading more of my thoughts, check out my full-length review.

And now for the seven books that I still need to read for this experiment:

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

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The Homestead by Linda Byler


The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg


Rainwater by Sandra Brown

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Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

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The Edge of Town by Dorothy Garlock


The Quilter’s Homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini


Stay tuned for later this year to see if I actually completed this experiment (I sure hope so).

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Line Fridays #35 – Radioactive! by Winifred Conkling

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Radioactive! by Winifred Conkling

“Their moment had finally arrived. In the fall of 1933, scientists Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie were invited to present their latest research at the 7th Solvay Conference in Brussels, Belgium.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Reading Experiment #1 Update

Hello everyone,

Some of you may remember that last year I tried to attempt several different reading experiments, my plan was to complete them within the year, but that didn’t happen for a number of different reasons, but I am planning on completing them this year. With each of these updates I am giving myself 6 months to complete these challenges…I think I can do it!

The first reading experiment I did was books recommended to me by my husband (when he was still my fiance). Let’s see how I’ve done so far!

  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – Read


I liked this, but it was a little confusing too. However, I think that had more to do with the time in which I read it which was when I was getting ready to move across the country, planning a wedding and finishing stuff up at my old job. If you’re interested to see more of my thoughts, click here to read my full-length review.

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy – Read


I liked The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I honestly preferred the movie because the book seemed to drag in places where it probably shouldn’t have. Click here if you’d like to read a mini-review of my thouhgts.


  • The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – Read


I really enjoyed The Virgin Suicides. Out of the three books that I’ve read so far, I enjoyed this one the most. Click here for my full-length review, I also wrote a review of the movie adaptation.

So I’ve made it through half of the six books my husband recommended. Here are the three I still have to read:

  • Waiting for God by Simone Weil


  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac


  • The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee



I think I will be able to get through these three over the next 6 months. We will see, I plan on writing some sort of review for each of these, whether it be a full-length review or a mini-review. I will also have a post with my concluding thoughts on the experiment as a whole.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge 2021 Prompts

Photo by Pixabay on

Hello everyone,

Today I will be sharing the prompts for the Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge 2021. I’m not going to include my tentative choices for each of these prompts, but I will be doing a mid-year check in at the beginning of July to share how I’m doing. Also if I have any book reviews for the books I read, I will include a note about which prompt it fulfilled. Here are the prompts for this year:

1. A book related to “In the Beginning…”
2. A book by an author whose name doesn’t contain the letters A, T or Y
3. A book related to the lyrics for the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music
4. A book with a monochromatic cover

5. A book by an author on USA Today’s list of 100 Black Novelists You Should Read
6. A love story
7. A book that fits a prompt suggestion that didn’t make the final list
8. A book set in a state, province, or country you have never visited

9. A book you associate with a specific season or time of year
10. A book with a female villain or criminal
11. A book to celebrate The Grand Egyptian Museum
12. A book eligible for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation
13. A book written by an author of one of your best reads of 2020

14. A book set in a made-up place
15. A book that features siblings as the main characters
16. A book with a building in the title
17. A book with a Muslim character or author

18. 3 books related to “Past, Present, Future” – Book 1
19. 3 books related to “Past, Present, Future” – Book 2
20. 3 books related to “Past, Present, Future” – Book 3
21. A book whose title and author both contain the letter “u”
22. A book posted in one of the ATY Best Book of the Month threads

23. A cross genre novel
24. A book about racism or race relations
25. A book set on an island
26. A short book (<210 pages) by a new-to-you author

27. A book with a character who can be found in a deck of cards
28. A book connected to ice
29. A book that you consider comfort reading
30. A long book

31. A book by an author whose career spanned more than 21 years
32. A book whose cover shows more than 2 people
33. A collection of short stories, essays, or poetry
34. A book with a travel theme
35. A book set in a country on or below the Tropic of Cancer

36. A book with six or more words in the title
37. A book from the Are You Well Read in World Literature list
38. A book related to a word given by a random word generator
39. A book involving an immigrant

40. A book with flowers or greenery on the cover
41. A book by a new-to-you BIPOC author
42. A mystery or thriller
43. A book with elements of magic

44. A book whose title contains a negative
45. A book related to a codeword from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet
46. A winner or nominee from the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards
47. A non-fiction book other than biography, autobiography or memoir
48. A book that might cause someone to react “You read what?!?”

49. A book with an ensemble cast
50. A book published in 2021
51. A book whose title refers to person(s) without giving their name
52. A book related to “the end”

Let me know down in the comments if any of you are planning on taking part in the Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Chaallenge this year!

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.