Saturday, December 31, 2022

2023 Read Your Bookshelf Challenge


This is one more that I feel I can actually accomplish, lol! Details are below:


This year each of the prompts are going to play off of the book you chose for the previous prompt which is a lot of fun!

If any of the prompts need more explaining, watch the video, hopefully that will help clear things up.

Also, you can head to this page to share which books you’re reading for each month!


We’re kicking things off by reading a book that starts with the word “a” or “the”. This should give you lots of options and be a good place to start for the year.

Great Audible Deals!


In February the prompt is to read a book where the cover or spine is in a complementary color from your January book. There is a cool complementary color generator here you can use.


For the next prompt the title has to start with the next letter in the alphabet from your February book. So if your book in February started with the letter C your March book will have to start with the letter D. (If your February book happened to start with Z just start back with A for March.)


April is pretty simple, just read a book that is in a different genre than your March book.


This month we will just be reading a book that is longer than our last one. One of my goals for 2023 is going to be to read some bigger books and this will help me for that I think.


The title for your June book will have half as many letters as your May title.


This book needs to be set in a different country or world than your June book.


If you watched my video I originally skipped August somehow. Well, I’m pretty sure I know how, I was prepping for this video while we were babysitting our former foster kids and they were sick with fevers and I was running on little sleep and then I filmed it in the morning they went home so I was exhausted. Anyway, I had to slide something in for August so I decided to keep it simple and we’re just going to read a book that is the same genre as our July book.


In September we are going to be turning to page 50 in our August book (or 49 or 51 if your page 50 is blank) and our September book has to have one of the words from that page in the title.

Old Favorites Made Modern - a modern Anne of Green Gables


For October the title of our book will start with the first letter of the author’s last name from our September book.


Choose a book from a different time period from your October book.


And for the last month your book has to be within 20 pages of your November book (so if your book had 300 pages your December book will need to be between 280 and 320 pages).

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The TBR Pile Challenge 2023


If you are like me, your TBR pile is enormous and continues to grow. I think this is a great spot to be held accountable. Here are the details:

The Goal

To finally read twelve books that have been sitting on your “TBR Pile” list or shelves for a year or more.

About the Challenge

I am pleased to announce that Roof Beam Reader’s official TBR Pile Challenge is back for its TENTH YEAR! This challenge started when I realized I had some MAJOR issues with buying books but never reading them (not because I don’t read – but because I have such a book buying problem!) Year after year, books would sit on my shelf untouched, and I would end up reading newer ones first. I realized I was missing out on a lot of great books because I let them sit there gathering dust instead of reading them as I bought them.

How it Works

1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2022 or later (any book published in the year 2021 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books ends up in the “did not finish (DNF)” pile.
2. To be eligible, you must sign-up with the Mr. Linky below. Link to your list (so create it ahead of time!) and add updated links to each book’s review. Books must be read and must be reviewed (doesn’t have to be too fancy) in order to count as completed.
3. The link you post in the Mr. Linky below must be to your “master list” (see mine below). This is where you will keep track of your books completed, crossing them out and/or dating them as you go along, and updating the list with the links to each review (so there’s one easy, convenient way to find your list and all your reviews for the challenge). See THIS LINK for an idea of what I mean. Your complete and final list must be posted by January 15, 2023.
4. Leave comments on the monthly posts as you go along, to update us on your status. Come back here if/when you complete this challenge and leave a comment indicating that you CONQUERED YOUR 2023 TBR LIST! Every person who successfully reads their 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win up to $100 of books from The Book Depository! (That’s right! To celebrate TEN YEARS of this awesome challenge, I’ve doubled the final giveaway prize from $50 to $100!)
5. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before, and it was published in 2021 or earlier!

*Note: You can read the books on your list in any order; they do not need to be read in the order you have them listed. Audiobooks count. Graphic novels count. Poetry collections? Essay collections? All good! As you complete a book – review it, go to your original list and turn that title into a link to the review. This will keep the comments section here from getting ridiculously cluttered. For an example of what I mean, Click Here.

Where Can I Post My Reviews? Anywhere! Tik Tok, Instagram, Mastodon, Hive, Facebook, Goodreads, a blog, YouTube, Twitter (if you haven’t abandoned it). It’s really up to you to choose the format that works for you, as long as your posts are public so that you can link them up on our Mister Linky and we can see them.

Monthly Check-Ins: On the 15th of each month, I’m going to post a “TBR Pile Check-In.” This will allow participants to link-up their reviews from the past month and get some recognition for their progress. There will also be small mini-challenges and giveaways to go along with these posts (Such As: Read 6 books by the June Check-in and be entered to win a book of your choice!) I’m hoping this will help to keep us all on track and make the challenge a bit more engaging/interactive. I started these mini-challenges in 2014, and I think they were a great success, so I am continuing them this year!

Chat: On Social Media, please use #TBRYear10


All My Rage
The Great Alone
I'm Glad My Mom Died
A Little Life
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Remarkably Bright Creatures
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Dark Matter
Black Cake
I'll Give You the Sun
The Giver of Stars

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Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2023

This is a perfect challenge as it makes me have to read more of the books I already own. I really want to pick a higher level but am going with Mt. Vancouver. That way I can always move up. 

Here are the details: 

Challenge Levels:

Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancounver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro*: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s (*aka Cerro El Toro in South America)
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

The Rules:
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. You are welcome to voyage further and conquer taller mountains after your commitment is met. All books from lower mountains carry over towards the next peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2023

*You may sign up at any time--no matter when you see this challenge. All qualifying books read after January 1st count.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2023--items requested or ordered prior to January 1, may count even if they arrive in the new year. No library books~. If you're looking for a library book challenge or one that counts books on your non-owned TBR list, then please see Mount TBR's sister challenge: the Virtual Mount TBR Challenge.
   ~The ONLY exception to the library rule: If you own the book in any form and have a reason to check out a version from the library instead, then you may count it. For example--if you own a hard copy, but are planning on taking a trip where listening to the audio version would be a great way to knock out a book while you drive, then by all means check out the audio version and have a wonderful trip! Please check with me if you have questions.

*Rules for Rereads: Any reread may count, regardless of how long you've owned it, provided you have not counted it for a previous Mount TBR Challenge.

*Audiobooks and E-books may count provided they are yours prior to January 1. ARCs are also fine.

*You may count any "currently reading" book that you begin prior to January 1--provided you had 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around. I will trust you all on that. The only exception is if you have participated in Mount TBR in 2022 and were unable to finish the book in time for the final Check-in Post. Then--if you finish the book post-January 1, you may count it as your first step of the new challenge.

*You may count "Did Not Finish" books provided they meet your own standard for such things, you do not plan to ever finish it, and you move it off your mountain [give it away, sell it, remove from e-resources, etc.]. For example, my personal rule (unless it's a very short book) is to give it 100 pages. If I decide I just can't finish it and won't ever, then off the mountain it goes and I count it as a victory--the stack is smaller!

*No page limit--if it was published as a book, it counts. No single short stories--but collections of short stories do count.

*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

*Feel free to submit your list in advance or to tally them as you climb. 

*A blog and reviews are not necessary to participate. If you have a blog, then please post about the challenge and link that post (not your home page) in the form below. My link provider has limited the number of link "parties" I can have open at a time--so I will be using Google forms for all my sign-up links this year. Non-bloggers may enter their names only without a blog link OR members of Goodreads are welcome to join the Goodreads group HERE
*Anthologies which contain more than one full-length book may count for the number of books included in the edition--provided that you read all books included AND that the books were published individually at some point. For instance, I own a large number of 3-in-1 Detective Book Club editions. Those three books count as three separate entries on Mount TBR. Occasionally, publishers put together editions of "previously unpublished works." Those editions would only count as one entry since those works have not been published separately at any time.

*If you post on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media to log a book, please use #MountTBR2023.

* As I have in the past, I will have a headquarters link in the left hand side-bar which will offer links to this original post, monthly review links, and the final wrap-up. I will update it at the beginning of the new year The Headquarters will also have a link to a list of our climbing crew with their commitments. 

Happy climbing!


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2023 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge


I've tried to do this one before but think I MAY just have a handle on it this year...we'll see, lol!


This challenge will run from January 1st, 2023 until December 31st, 2023.

You can join anytime. You do not have to post a review of the book. Books can come from any genre.

Children’s Books and Novellas are acceptable but they need to be over 50 Pages. 

You do not need to link up each spoonful.

Grab a notebook or make a page or a post or a GoodReads shelf where you will keep track of your spoonfuls. I keep track of mine on my Challenge Page.

Crossovers to other challenges are allowed and encouraged!

It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.

You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles as shown below.


The First Main Word Needs To Be
The Letter You Are Counting 

Except For that pesky Q, X, AND Z titles then the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.

So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.

A – How I plan to do it: Make a list from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.


B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet, and check them off as you read them.

A - All the Lies

B - Before I Go To Sleep

C -  Clown in a Cornfield

D - Dark Matter

E - Expiration Dates

F - 

G -

H - The Haunting of Alejandra

I - I'm Glad My Mom Died

J - 

K -

L - A Little Life

M - My Darling Girl

N - Natural Beauty

O - Only Good Indians

P - Penpal

Q - The Quiet Tenant

R - Remarkably Bright Creatures

S - Stolen Tongues

T - Thornhedge

U - The Unhoneymooners

V -

W - What Have We Done


Y - 

Z - 

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The 52 Book Club's 2023 Reading Challenge


I decided not to join as many challenges this year - I feel like I stress out a little, lol! But, I did choose this one just to see how I could do. 

Here are the details:

The 52 Book Club’s 2023 Reading Challenge

Want to take your reading to the next level? The 52 Book Club is back for its sixth annual challenge, and we’ve got fifty-two new prompts for 2023. This is the perfect place to expand your reading, connect with fellow book lovers, and have a lot of fun! We’re so glad you’re here and can’t wait to see what you come up with for this new year!

What is the challenge?

The 52 Book Club’s annual reading challenge is made up of 52 unique prompts. (You may have heard it described as 52 books in 52 weeks.) The goal is to match one book to each prompt. This means that participants will read a total of fifty-two books throughout the year. We encourage participants to try new authors or genres, push themselves to read more, read differently, and get creative with it!

How does it work?

  1. Follow The 52 Book Club on social media. You can find us on FacebookGoodreads or Storygraph, and Instagram.
  1. Using the list below, match one book to each of the 52 prompts. (52 books total.) Get as creative as you like with interpreting the prompts!
  1. When January 1, 2023 rolls around, start reading!
  1. Once you’ve finished one of the prompts, check it off the list and share your read! The Facebook group is our most popular spot for posting your recent 52 Book Club reads. When sharing on other social media sites like Instagram or Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #the52bookclub2023 and #the52bookclub. This helps us find everyone!
  1. How often you share is up to you! You can share after every read, share all of your reads at the end of the month, or even just at the end of the year! Some participants chose to track their reads privately and simply follow along in the groups to find amazing recommendations. How you decide to participate is up to you. We’re just glad you’re here!

Other helpful reminders:

  • You can complete the list in any order. You can also interpret the prompts as creatively as you like, using any format of reading, and any author or genre that you feel fits the prompt. Want to make your challenge more difficult? Check out these suggestions for increasing your 2023 challenge difficulty.
  • Remember that the challenge doesn’t officially begin until January 1, 2023! (We just release it early so you have time to plan and invite friends!) Have more questions? Check out our FAQs.

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The Backlist Reader Challenge 2023


I'm really looking forward to this one! If you are like me your TBR pile just keeps growing and growing. I hope to see some of you there!

The Backlist Reader Challenge 2023 runs from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in. You can still post reviews, and link them, up until January 5, 2024, but only for books that you finished reading in 2023.

The Rules

Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2022 AND already be on your TBR list or pile. 

You don’t have to own the book. If it was on your want-to-read list when you signed up for the challenge, and it came out in 2021 or earlier, it counts. You can count a book in any format, from any source — as long as it was on your TBR list before you signed up for the challenge.

What does”TBR list” or “to-read” list” mean, exactly? It means wherever you keep track of the books you want to read: Goodreads, a spreadsheet, a handwritten list in a notebook, a Word document, or any other digital or written list, as long as it’s actually recorded somewhere. A mental list doesn’t count.

If you have multiple TBR lists, that’s OK. I have both a “to-read” shelf and a “someday” shelf on Goodreads. I count both of them as TBR lists.

Do I have to list every unread book in a series on my TBR list, or can I just list the series?

Technically, you should list each book by title. So if there’s a series you want to start or continue in 2023, make sure you add all the books to your TBR list before you sign up for the challenge. (I’m not going to quibble if you miss one when you’re adding them. If most of the books in a series are on your list, it’s pretty clear that you plan to read the series.)

Do rereads count?

I love rereading familiar books. But... the goal of this challenge is to encourage yourself to read books you have never gotten around to, even if you wanted to. So here’s the compromise: you can only count a book you have read before IF (a) you haven’t read the book in the past 10 years, AND (b) you can’t remember much about it. In other words, it’s like reading a book you haven’t read before.

Rule #2: Create a goals or sign-up post on your blog

…or wherever you usually post your reviews or your thoughts about a book (Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) Please link back to this post! Then link your sign-up post below, where you see the “Add your link” button. (Please link your actual goals/sign-up post, not your home page or account.)  

Set your own goal — as many or as few books as you want. You can list the specific books you want to read this year, or leave it completely up to your mood. 

You can sign up any time, right up through December 1, 2023; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

Rule #3 (optional): Review the books you read for the challenge*, and post your links on the review linky

You can find the 2023 review linky here. You can also get to it through the top menu bar. The linky will go live on January 1, 2023.

*You don’t have to write reviews to do the challenge, but your review links are your entries for the year-end giveaway. Reviews don’t have to be long; a few sentences is fine. If you don’t have a blog, you can post your reviews on Goodreads or LibraryThing or even on your Facebook or Instagram. Please link reviews to your review itself (not to your blog’s main page, your profile, or the book’s main Goodreads or LibraryThing page.) If you’re not sure how to find that link, email me and I’ll walk you through it.

Note: The review linky will not go live until January 5, 2023, because InLinkz restricts the linky to one year, and I need to give you time in January 2024 to post your last-minute reviews.

Rule #4: Before January 5, 2023, create and link a wrap-up post 

Let us know how you did! I’ll create a link-up post like this one for the wrap-up posts, so you can share your achievement with others who are participating!

Show your support for other participants

Please support other members of The Backlist Reader Challenge by reading and commenting on their reviews, found in the review linky. This isn’t a rule, and you don’t have to check out every review on the list, but please try to visit a few every time you post a review of your own. Your fellow readers will appreciate it!

What else you need to know

There will be at least one giveaway: a $15 Amazon gift certificate (US), or up to that amount in books from Book Depository (as long as they deliver to your country.)  The winner will be chosen from the review links at the end of the year, using a random number generator.

Social media: Please use #BacklistReader on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else hashtags are useful!

Go find those older titles you still haven’t gotten around to, and make 2023 the year you finally read them!

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Friday, December 23, 2022

Book Review: Graveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe

Title: Graveyard of Lost Children
Author: Katrina Monroe
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Pages: 384
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Genre: Ghost Thriller/Gothic Fiction

Once she has her grip on you, she'll never let you go.

At four months old, Olivia Dahl was almost murdered. Driven by haunting visions, her mother became obsessed with the idea that Olivia was a changeling, and that the only way to get her real baby back was to make a trade with the "dead women" living at the bottom of the well. Now Olivia is ready to give birth to a daughter of her own...and for the first time, she hears the women whispering.

Everyone tells Olivia she should be happy. She should be glowing, but the birth of her daughter only fills Olivia with dread. As Olivia's body starts giving out, slowly deteriorating as the baby eats and eats and eats, she begins to fear that the baby isn't her daughter at all and, despite her best efforts, history is repeating itself.

Soon images of a black-haired woman plague Olivia's nightmares, drawing her back to the well that almost claimed her life―tying mother and daughter together in a desperate cycle of fear and violence that must be broken if Olivia has any hope of saving her child...or herself.

Baby Teeth meets The Invited in a haunting story of the sometimes-fragile connection between a woman's sense of self and what it means to be a "good" mother.

A disturbing story to say the least but one that kept me turning the pages quickly to find out what was going to happen.

This story is told from two different perspectives - that of Shannon and that of Shannon's daughter, Olivia. Shannon has Olivia as a teenager and there is something that isn't right...she believes that Olivia is a changeling. After seeing the dark haired woman and seemingly losing her mind, she is sent to stay in a psychiatric facility leaving Olivia to be raised by her grandparents.

Olivia seems to be leading a normal life, married to her wife and pregnant. When she has Flora it is one of the happiest days of her life. But soon she realizes that something is wrong with her baby. Something only she sees. And the only person that might be able to understand is her mother who she has never spoken to. Why is the black haired woman around all the time? What is her significance? And where is her true baby, not the infant that everyone else thinks is normal but Olivia knows is not.

An interesting take on motherhood and what pregnancy can do to you, I really enjoyed the story and what the black haired woman truly represented. A lot of suspense which is one of my favorite things. Were these infants human or not? Were the mothers crazy or was something more sinister going on? You'll have to read to find out!

Katrina Monroe is the author of They Drown Our Daughters, and Graveyard of Lost Children (coming May 2023). A private investigator by day, she lives in Minnesota with her wife, two children, and Eddie, the ghost who haunts their bedroom closets.

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