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2020 linz the bookworm

reading challenge  -  60 CATEGORIES

Calling complete december 2020

**1 DNF and 2 not completed

First and foremost, I look at challenges as a gateway to new reading paths, a way to nudge me in a new direction with my reading. It's not a competition and if I don't finish, I don't care; but, I'm going to give it a shot! Are you inspired to join me?


As I was perusing the hundreds of challenges flooding book blogs, this one caught my eye: 2020 Reading at Linz the Bookworm. The format is a bit different in that she's organized it into 5 tiers of 12 books each, so you can read just from one tier at a time, read randomly (me), or attack the list however you choose.

Here's where I'll track my efforts to complete the challenge in 2020. I'll be double dipping some of the books that will also fit categories in other challenges. I started by taking the lists and perusing my own bookshelves to see what I already own that will fit the challenge. Then, as I search the forums for ideas, I watch for books I know are already on my TBR list. Finally, I fill in with books totally new-to-me. Completed books will be in bold with a cover image and links to the reviews.  (AOC, author of color) 

Tier one: book of the month club

wee free men

1 - title that starts with W:

Wee Free Men (The) by Terry Pratchett

fantasy story about a 9 year old girl who wants to grow up to be a witch and when her little brother is taken, she teams up with the 'wee free men' (who are surprisingly funny) to save him

doomsday book

2 - book you got for under $3:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis 

part sci-fi, part historical fiction as a young woman time travels back to medieval England


3 - book with blue cover:

Nightingale (The) by Kristin Hannah

the story of two strong French sisters who fight, each in their own way, during WWII; loosely based on true stories of the French Resistance


4 - by my favorite author:

Close to Home (#5 Crosswhite) by Robert Dugoni 

a good addition to the series, in trying to solve a hit and run, Crosswhite gets tangled up with the military police, a drug ring, and crooked cops

how light gets in

5 - with the word 'light' in the title:

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny 

the ninth in the Inspector Gamache series; a complex, action filled, character driven mystery

native tongue

6 - book set in future:

Native Tongue #1 by Suzette Hadin Elgin

a very feminist look at a future where women have NO rights and are essentially slaves to men and work to develop a secret language to break away from men

wizard of oz

7 - book from Project Gutenberg:

Wonderful Wizard of Oz (The) #1 by L. Frank Baum (the whole series of 14 books can be found in order here)

a quick read of this classic story; I luckily found an edition that had the original artwork which enhanced the experience


8 - short stories or novella:

Different Seasons by Stephen King 

a collection of four "short" stories, none of which are horror, but there's a creepy one or two in there

fifth season

9 - on my TBR for more than a year:

Fifth Season #1 by N.K. Jemison 

on my TBR for years, I'm so glad I finally read this fantasy novel - clever and smart and filled with complex characters

enders game

11 - re-read recommended to a friend:

Ender's Game #1 by Orson Scott Card 

I reread this for other challenges and loved it again so recommended to a friend

Tier two: casual reader club

there there

13 - under 400 pages:

There, There by Tommy Orange 

the story follows a dozen Cheyenne who live in and around Oakland as they prepare to attend the first Oakland Powwow


17 - suspense or horror:

Only Good Indians (The)  by Stephen Graham Jones

a blending of Native American culture and horror as four young men pay the steep and violent price of slaughtering a herd of elk 10 years after the event  (received as ARC)


19 - book with a building on the cover:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

a classic about a little girl growing up and learning about life in Brooklyn

such a fun age

23 - recommended by my library's website:

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Kepnes

listened to this story of a young black woman who is babysitting a white toddler and is challenged by a store manager about whether she kidnapped the child


24 - FREE space - pick any book:

 Sleeping Giants #1  by Sylvain Neuval

a sci-fi book about a young girl who falls into a deep hole, to be caught by a giant metal hand; she grows to be a scientist and study the hand, it's composition, and makes discoveries

Tier three: dedicated reader club


27 - a book published in 2020:

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

the story of a small Nigerian village that is being destroyed by pollution from an American oil company and the woman who tries to save her village  (received as ARC)

end of your life bk club

28 - recommended by a friend:

End of Your Life Book Club (The) by Will Schwalbe 

Memoir telling the story of a man's mother dying of cancer and the way books gave them a way to talk about more difficult topics. Good bookish notes and insightful, caring thoughts.

tattooist of auschwitz

Tattooist of Auschwitz (The) by Heather Morris

the based-on-true story of a man who becomes the primary tattooist at Auschwitz and how he and the woman he falls in love with survive the war


31 - over 600 pages long:

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry - our Buddy Read for Feb'20

the epic western classic of Gus and Call and Texas and a cattle drive

32 - by Isaac Asimov:

calculating stars

33 - has the word 'star' in the title:

Calculating Stars (The) #1 by Mary Robinette Kowal

a meteorite strikes the earth, destroying Washington DC and some scientists realize that the after effects of that strike is killing the earth and humans have to leave so the space program becomes accelerated and women "computers" are invaluable


34 - about a historical figure (fiction or non):

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese  (Klimt)

some history and information about the life of Gustav Klimt but also a storyline about a young family forced to leave Vienna at the beginning of WWII

assassins apprentice

35 - book about an assassin:

Assassin's Apprentice #1 by Robin Hobb

Excellent fantasy story about a bastard son raised in the castle; book one focuses on his formative years as he's taught assassin skills and tries to find his place in the royal hierarchy.

Tier FOUR: SPEED reader club

ten thousand doors

40 - from NPR's fave books of 2019 list:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E . Harrow

wonderful fantasy about little girl growing up as a ward of a wealthy man but never belonging and wishing she could be with her dad....then she finds a magic door that takes her to another dimension

career of evil

41 - by an author using a psuedonym:

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith  (JK Rowling psuedonym)

a continuing installment of the investigator Cormoran Strike and his assistant as they try to solve a couple murders that have direct ties to Strike's history


42 - a graphic novel:

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

a graphic memoir of Takei's time in a Japanese internment camp as a child

rapid falls

43 - book with a season in the title:

Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie

a twisted story of sisterly jealousies as a teenage tragedy sends one sister to jail while the other marries and goes on with her life


45 - book about a writer (real or fictional):

On Writing by Stephen King 

an entertaining look at his personal life and writing habits as well as plenty of tips on how he thinks a good story should be told

jeremy thatcher

46 - book with a title that rhymes:

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville

middle grade story about a nerdy boy who finds a mysterious orb in a mysterious magic shop; he takes it home to hatch a dragon; fun story with a couple of lessons

story of arthur truluv

47 - author's name of Elizabeth / Beth or variant:

Story of Arthur Truluv (The) by Elizabeth Berg 

a heart warming story of an elderly widower, his nosy, interfering neighbor and a lonely teenager and their unlikely friendship


48 - FREE space - pick any book:

She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J.D. Barker

horror story of a few young people with unusual abilities - their friendships, loves, and tragedies

Tier Five: over-achiever club

49 - a motivational / inspirational book:

Prophet (The) by Kahlil Gibran   (DNF)

the classic inspirational / motivational book of poetry and essays wasn't for me - struggled through about 20 pages


50 - book with 2 or more authors:

Last Mrs. Parrish (The) by Liv Constantine (pseudonym of 2 sisters)

a conniving social climber insinuates herself into a family in order to steal the husband

51 - book by John Creasey:

the mist

52 - published in 1980:

Mist (The) by Stephen King

a typical King horror story of a group of people trapped in a grocery store as a deadly mist filled with creepy critters swirls around the store, keeping them prisoner

red queen

53 - a 'rags to riches' story:

Red Queen  by Victoria Aveyard

a young girl lives a life of struggle as a slave to the 'Silvers' but is elevated to royalty status when she discovers she has the same powers as Silvers

notes from young black chef

54 - book with an occupation in the title:

Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi

an interesting memoir describing Kwame's difficult early life and how he came to his love of cooking and the path the leads him to open his own restaurant at 27 years old

its what i do

55 - book about travel or that involves travel:

It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario

a memoir by a photojournalist and how she ended up being a war correspondent and the challenges she deals with in blending a "normal" life with her work

enders game

56 - takes place in outer space or another planet:

Ender's Game #1 by Orson Scott Card

takes place in space and on an asteroid where Ender goes to Command school as an 11 year old to learn how to be the best spaceship commander to command Earth's fleet against invasion


57 - a title that starts with J:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson  

nonfiction by a lawyer who tries to overturn convictions for people on death row who were wrongly convicted


59 - about a video game or virtual reality:

Ghostland by Duncan Ralston

a horror story where an amusement park opens featuring guests getting to 'see' ghosts - but, is it a matter of "guests dying to get in, but ghosts will kill to get out"?


60 - FREE space - pick any book:

Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan by Deborah Reed

a famous, but reclusive, abstract painter reflects on her life and loves in the days before her death; there are deep family secrets and rifts that she tries to repair before it's too late   (received as ARC)

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