2018 Reading Challenges


Tanya and Kim of Girl XOXO have posted the Master List of Book Challenges for 2018.
Although I read the 400 books for my Goodreads Challenge for this year, I did not follow the challenges I had listed back in December of last year. I read in most genres, but I wasn’t organized at all.
This year I plan to be more disciplined about my reading. I am signing up for 12 Reading Challenges and am looking forward to taking part in a wide variety of them – from scifi to key words to memoir.
Here are the challenges, with a link to the guidelines/lists for each:

52 Books in 52 Weeks

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Hosted at Mommy Mannegren, this is a new challenge this year, with 52 books to read, based on different genres and themes.

Check here for the guidelines.


A to Z Reading Challenge

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I have tried this challenge before, but have never completed it. This year I hope to read the 26 books required, letter by letter.

Check here for the guidelines.


Bookish Resolutions Challenge

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I have taken part in ROW 80 on and off for several years – the challenge that encourages us to post goals and then achieve, recognizing that we do have lives to lead.

I like the idea of this yearly challenge posted by Laura and Michelle, that requires us to post bookish resolutions, for reading, writing and blogging, as they rlate to books only..

Here are mine for 2018:

Reading Goals:

  1. Read 400 books (and enter titles on Goodreads)
  2. Participate (and complete) actively in 12 reading challenges
  3. Read at least 52 books from my overflowing TBR pile.

Blogging Goals:

  1. Write one book review a week.
  2. Develop my author online presence.

Writing Goals:

  1. Write at least 1000 words a day.
  2. Contribute to an anthology.
  3. Submit at least once a month.


Check here for guidelines.


Creativity Reading Challenge

Creativity Reading challenge


I love the premise of this challenge posted by Jamie Ghione:

“This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, music and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life. “

I hope to read at least one creative book a month, especially on art and writing.


Check here for guidelines.


Memoir Reading Challenge

Memoir Reading Challenge 2018

I love reading memoirs, as biographies. I am also working on my own memoir.

We are asked to read at least 5 memoirs and Jamie has given us 32 possible categories to choose from.

I hope to read at least 12 – one a month.

Check here for guidelines.


Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge

At Modern Mrs. Darcy, this year’s challenge lists 12 categories to read for the year.

Check here for guidelines (and the list)



Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge

Monthly Key Word Challenge

This challenge will add a bit of research, as opposed to just picking up any book!

Each month there are several key words to choose from – so a book a month is quite doable.

Check here for guidelines (and the key words).


Monthly Motif Challenge

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Tanya and Kim have come up with 12 different categories to read this year – some will definitely be a challenge.

Check here for the guidelines and the motifs.


Mount TBR Challenge

Mount TBR 2018


This is the most necessary challenge – as I have wayyyy too many books not read. I collect books instead of jewellry or makeup. Only trouble is that they take up wayyyy more space!

My goal is:  Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s

I hope to read more, but this would mean at least a book a week. Doable!

Check here for the guidelines.


Newbery Reading Challlenge


I have wanted to read all the Newbery winners – but still have a ways to go. This year I want to read many more.

This is my goal this year:    Lowry: 60 – 74 points

Check here for guidelines.


Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge

I especially like their goal of encouraging everyone to read more.

“This year, there are 40 book prompts to broaden your reading scope and push you to actually accomplish your New Year’s resolution to read more in 2018. If you’re really hardcore and breeze through the main list, there are an additional 10 book prompts in the “advanced” section.”

So 50 books to read – with lots of variety.

Check here for the list and guidelines.


Swords and Stars Reading Challenge

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I love reading fantasy and science fiction, so although I will read a lot of this genre, this challenge appealed to me for its variety.

There are twenty challenges – so 20 books to read.

Check here for the checklist and guidelines.


  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – –

There are so many challenges – a master list is posted here. Be sure to check it out.

What challenges will you pareticipate in this year??


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’m Hoping Santa Brings


This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the theme is what we hope Santa will bring us. This meme is hosted at  The Broke and the Bookish each week.

News this week was that Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl! will be taking over the challenge in the new year. The ladies who have been hosting since 2010 have done a fabulous job. Thank you!

So here goes with my list – even stopping at 10, although my list is a long one. (I am even cheating as I already know several are under the tree already!)

The Top 10 Books I’m Hoping Santa Brings

!. Glass Houses by Louise Penny. LOVE her series and can’t wait to read it!

2. What Happened by Hillary Clinton.

3. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

4. On Tyranny by Timothy Synder

5. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

6. Hunger by Roxane Gay

7. Beartown by Frederik Beckman

8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

9. Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

10. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


There are already books under our tree and one of my suggestions for Christmas was a Chapters card! I’m already anticipating lots of great reads in 2018!


Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Reads of 2017


I haven’t taken part in Top Ten Tuesday for a while but when I saw the theme for this week, I knew I had to respond, even though I’m a bit late.
This week we are sharing our Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017.
I record the books I read and it was a treat to reflect on what I have read this year and try to limit it to just 10. I ended up with a list of top ten adult books, both fiction and non-fiction and top ten children’s and young adult books.

Juliet’s Answer by Glenn Dixon  A non-fiction but a great read.
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid
Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe (as well as the rest of the books in this series)
Time is a River by Mary Alice Monroe (had to include this as I loved it especially)
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Stargazey Point by Shelley Noble
Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (I’d definitely include all her books though)
Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs
Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn (another non-fiction, but loved the cooking tips and the interaction of the students)
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Tim Defede (in the political climate of today, this was such a feel-good story)

Top Ten YA/MG/Children’s Books

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Ms Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick
Wish by Barbara O’Connor
Magyk by Angie Sage
Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne la Fleur
Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds
Claymates by Dev Petty
Between the Lines by Jodi Piccoult and Samantha Van Leer
If you Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

What were your favourite reads of 2017??

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“Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne: A Book Review

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I am very pleased to be part of the WOW – Women on Writing Blog tour for Jennifer A. Payne’s book of poetry  Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.


My Review:

Jennifer Payne has written 73 poems that “ask the reader to deeply consider the effects of our actions and how they influence everything else in the universe.”

Included in her collection are several short stories, photographs as well as vintage photos. But it is the series of photographs of discarded flossers that provides the title for her exploration of just what our legacy is.

Many of the photos provided inspiration for the poems – from the turtle, frog to flowers, suck, even a snake skin.

She explores the seasons and their impact on us as well as nature.

Two poems in particular had me rereading several times and moved me. In just a few words, Payne captures so much:

In “Losing My Religion”  we have the images of a bully most days and then so pious on Sunday. And then of a priest who locks his door to her.

In “The Promise of More”, the promise of a new store and the ability to buy more “Thingies”, really has us look at our own excessive consumption of more and more and more.

I was struck many times by so many brief, but powerful lines that hit like a sledgehammer – to make us think, reflect and explore our place in the world.

Lines like: “Salvation, like love, is random.”

      “Am I flirting with echoes?”

   “…the candidate who preaches God from his bully pulpit”


 These are definitely poems to ponder, with words and images to reflect on. Payne gives us poetry that moves us, challenges our perceptions and inspires us to look deeper into our place in the world and what our legacy can or should be.

Evidence of Flossing is well worth the read – and one you will revisit over and over again.



Book Summary:


Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection? Find the answers to these questions in more in this new book by Connecticut writer Jen Payne. Her poems in EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND investigate the human condition and its folly, the beauty of our natural world, and the possibility of divine connection. 80 original and vintage photographs include a series of discarded dental flossers that inspired the book’s title.

ALA Notable Book author Dale Carlson calls the book “a brilliantly incisive commentary on our simultaneous human sense of beauty and waste and loss.”

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING speaks to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It asks us all to consider the effects of our actions and how they influence everything else in the Universe.


Paperback: 180 Pages

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Three Chairs Publishing (October 1, 2017)

ISBN-10: 0990565114

ISBN-13: 978-0990565116


Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is available in print on Amazon.


About the Author:



Jen Payne is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. Her writing serves as witness to these in the form of poetry, creative non-fiction, flash fiction and essay. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world.

Very often, her writing is accompanied by her own photography and artwork. As both a graphic designer and writer, Jen believes that partnering visuals and words layers the intentions of her work, and makes the communication more palpable.

In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, a collection of essays, poems and original photography. Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is her second book.

Jen is the owner of Three Chairs Publishing and Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993, based in Branford, Connecticut. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Arts Center, the Guilford Poets Guild, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Installations of her poetry were featured in Inauguration Nation an exhibition at Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven (2017), and Shuffle & Shake at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (2016). Her writing has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.

You can read more of her writing on her blog Random Acts of Writing, http://www.randomactsofwriting.net.


Jennifer can also be found online at:

Website: https://3chairspublishing.com/

Blog: https://randomactsofwriting.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threechairspub

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThreeChairsPub



Be sure to visit the others taking part in this blogging event for Jennifer Payne.

———-Blog Tour Dates

November 27th @ The Muffin

Interview and giveaway.



Tuesday, November 28th @ Words, Crazy Words

Tara Meissner reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by fellow author Jennifer A. Payne. Don’t miss Meissner’s insight into this lovely book of poetry and more.



Wednesday, November 29th @ Lauren Scharhag

Today’s guest blogger at Lauren Scharhag is Jennifer A. Payne with a post titled: “The Importance of Retreat” learn more about Payne’s thoughts on down time and going off the grid as well as her latest poetry book “The Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.



Monday, December 4th @ Words, Crazy Words

Jennifer A. Payne pens today’s guest post at Words, Crazy Words – the blog of fellow author Tara Meissner. You won’t want to miss Payne’s insight when it comes to “Blogging as a Creative Tool”!



Tuesday, December 5th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles will be posting a review of Jennifer Payne’s book, “Evidence of Flossing” over at her blog.



Wednesday, December 6th @ Create Write Now

Mari McCarthy at Create Write Now welcomes fellow author Jennifer A. Payne as today’s guest blogger with an insightful post titled: “Everything is Connected”. Learn about this as well as Payne’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.



Thursday, December 7th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley Baird reviews the lovely new poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne.



Thursday, December 7th @ Writers Pay it Forward

“The Bravery of Storytelling” is the title of today’s guest post at Writers Pay it Forward – you won’t want to miss this intriguing topic and opportunity to hear from Jennifer A. Payne about storytelling as well as her latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”



Friday, December 8th @ BookWorm

Anjanette Potter reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne and also takes a few moments to interview Payne about her latest poetry book and more!



Monday, December 11th @ CMash Loves to Read

Today’s author at CMash Loves to Read is the one and only Jennifer A. Payne and her latest book “The Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”. Don’t miss today’s opportunity to hear from Jennifer with her guest post titled: “Finding Inspiration”



Tuesday, December 12th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Jennifer Payne’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”. Don’t miss this insightful blog stop.



Tuesday, December 12th @ The Constant Story

Fellow author David W. Berner reviews the latest work of Jennifer A. Payne – learn more about Payne’s beautiful poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.



Wednesday, December 13th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

“Exploring Mindfulness” is the title of today’s guest post at Madeline Sharples Blog, Choices. Today’s guest author is none other than Jennifer A. Payne. Find out more about her topic, her writing, and her latest poetry book “The Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”!

Exploring Mindfulness


Thursday, December 14th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal Casavant-Otto reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” as part of author Jennifer A. Payne’s WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour for her latest poetry book.



Friday, December 15th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews

Jennifer Payne is interviewed by Lisa Haselton; find out more about Jennifer’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.



Monday, December 18th @ Elaine Drennon Little

Fellow author Elaine Drennon Little reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne.



Monday, December 18th @ The Writer Site

Luanne Castle reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer Payne. Don’t miss Luanne’s insight into this beautiful poetry book.



Tuesday, December 19th @ Life is Full of Sweet Spots

Mary O’Connor reviews Jennifer Payne’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about this lovely book!



Wednesday, December 20th @ Depth of A Woman

Stop by Depth of A Woman to read Joss Burnell’s review of Jennifer A. Payne’s Poetry Book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.




Thursday, December 21st @ Spirituality Without Borders

Jennifer Payne and her lovely poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” is the topic today at Spirituality Without Borders. Read Rita’s review of this lovely book and find out more about the lovely author behind it!



Friday, December 22nd @ Writing on the Rim

Stop by Writing on the Rim and hear from Juliana Lightle about her thoughts after reading “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne. Don’t miss this insightful review!



Disclosure: I received a gifted copy of Jen’s book. Thank you Jen!