Jackie's Very Hungry Cat---egory Challenge

Forum2022 Category Challenge

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Jackie's Very Hungry Cat---egory Challenge

Dez. 5, 2021, 3:52pm

Welcome to my 2022 category challenge thread! This year I’m using pictures from the classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The pictures have no relation at all to my themes, but the book has a great relation to me, because I discovered that I was born on the very same day that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was first published! Maybe one day I’ll be as well-loved and considered a classic! :D All pictures are taken from our own classic copy of the book - first bought 18 years ago for my then-baby niece, and returned to us 10 years later for my own daughter.

I am using the same themes as always, 12 themes in total, and my 12th theme (which is usually changed each year) will stay the same as last year, as I loved it so much, and still have plenty of books to read in that category. Within each theme, I will use my Jar of Fate (a jar with colour-coded slips of paper with all my unread book titles on them) to determine which book I will read. I’ll also take part in some of the CATs and KITs (plus the non-fiction challenge in the 75 group) if the fancy takes me and I happen to have an unread book which fits the theme for that month.

I enjoy all the book chat here and in the ROOTs group, so am looking forward to another year of reading and chewing the literary fat!

Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 4:27pm

1. Central & Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union

I have been lucky enough to live, work and travel in parts of eastern Europe over the years, and have maintained a strong connection, so this is where I’ll record my books related to this part of the world.

1. Julian Barnes - The Porcupine. Finished 5.1.22. 3.5/5.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 17, 2:28pm

2. Non-fiction (general)

All my non-fiction that doesn’t fit into one of the more niche categories.

1. Sarah Wilson - First, We Make the Beast Beautiful. DNF 17.1.22.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 5, 2021, 4:19pm

3. Contemporary fiction (1969-present)

All fiction published from the year of my birth to now.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 15, 3:39pm

4. Sexual/reproductive health & rights; gender; sexuality; parenting; children

A wide category that reflects professional and academic interests. Not just dry academic books though; sweary parenting books from popular bloggers also find their way in here.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 5, 2021, 4:21pm

5. Celtic

Book relating to the Celtic lands - particularly Scotland, where I now live, but not exclusively: Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, Isle of Man could also appear on the list.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 5, 2021, 4:22pm

6. Vintage fiction (1900-1968)

For 20th century literature published before I was born. This is a relatively small category for me, but features occasional rewarding surprises.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 5, 2021, 4:23pm

7. Academic

Books that I’ve picked up over the years of my academic career and beyond. Even though I’m no longer on the academic gravy train, I do still appreciate a good, well-written and thoroughly researched academic tome every now and again.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 16, 2:05pm

8. Biography; autobiography; memoir; true story

Featuring all sorts of people I’ve had a random passing interest in, from celebs to mere mortals.

1. Cassandra Alexander - Year of the Nurse. Finished 15.1.22. 4.5/5.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 5, 2021, 4:25pm

9. Ancient fiction (pre-1900)

Books published pre-1900, which I’m not very good at reading but occasionally feel like I ought to. As long as there’s one book in here by the end of the year I’m happy.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 5, 2021, 4:27pm

10. Travel

I’m always up for some armchair travel, and good travel writing is one of my happy places.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 8, 5:54am

11. Religious

Mainly books related to Christianity, but not exclusively.

1. ed. Hugh Hillyard-Parker - News of Great Joy: The Church Times Christmas Collection. Finished 7.1.22. 4/5.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 20, 3:06pm

12. Nature

My main literary sweet spot is nature, place & environment writing. Last year I read at least one book a month in this category, and I’d like to carry on doing this into 2022.

1. Robert Macfarlane - Underland: A Deep Time Journey. Finished 11.1.22. 5/5.
2. Jacob McAtear - An Engagement with Nature. Finished 19.1.22. 3.5/5.

Dez. 5, 2021, 4:29pm

Welcome to my 2022 thread!

Dez. 5, 2021, 4:42pm

Cute theme! Good luck with the challenges.

Dez. 5, 2021, 4:59pm

I love this theme, especially for the extremely clever title :D Have a great reading year!

Dez. 5, 2021, 8:18pm

Wonderful theme! Love the Hungry Caterpillar and look forward to following your reading!

Dez. 5, 2021, 9:08pm

I'm placing a star here, Jackie, I love all the non-fiction recommendations that I get from your thread!

Dez. 5, 2021, 9:13pm

Great looking thread for this year. Happy Reading.

Dez. 6, 2021, 5:27am

That is a really clever title, Jackie! Have fun with your Jar of Fate.

Dez. 6, 2021, 6:39am

Dieser Benutzer wurde wegen Spammens entfernt.

Dez. 6, 2021, 11:46am

Good luck with your 2022 reads!

Dez. 6, 2021, 3:45pm

>15 majkia: >16 rabbitprincess: >17 VivienneR: >18 DeltaQueen50: >19 dudes22: >20 MissWatson: >22 mstrust: Thanks everyone!

I must confess to feeling really smug and pleased with myself for this thread title (I know it bears no resemblance to my actual categories, but it makes me smile every time I see the title :D ).

I'm looking forward to both receiving and giving plenty of BBs next year.

Dez. 7, 2021, 4:59am

Great book! I hope your 2022 has many enjoyable moments!

Dez. 9, 2021, 11:27am

Great thread title. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a wonderful book. Have fun with your reading in 2022.

Dez. 9, 2021, 3:02pm

I love your thread title! Looking foward to seeing how you feed your Cat---egories.

Dez. 15, 2021, 11:37pm

Love the caterpillar theme. Good luck with your 2022 reading.

Dez. 16, 2021, 10:04pm

Hope you have a great year of reading! Love the theme!

Dez. 17, 2021, 10:42am

Great title and I'm looking forward to following along!

Dez. 27, 2021, 3:42pm

Like everyone else, I love your thread title! Such a fun theme.

Dez. 27, 2021, 3:53pm

>24 Tess_W: >25 hailelib: >26 Helenliz: >27 lowelibrary: >28 thornton37814: >29 MissBrangwen: >30 Crazymamie: Thank you all! I still smile goofily when I see the title, I'm ridiculously proud of it! :D Looking forward to getting into 2022 reading now - I made my pile of the paper books I'm planning to read for the various CATs and challenges I'm taking part in; that always feels like an acknowledgement of a new year around the corner!

Jan. 5, 4:27pm

Category: Central & Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union

The Porcupine by Julian Barnes is a novella about the trial of the former president of a nameless eastern European state shortly after the fall of Communism. It was published in 1992 and was widely known to be inspired by Bulgaria and the trial of its former president, Todor Zhivkov. Written mainly from the point of view of the Chief Prosecutor, we see the clash between the old and emerging new ideologies, and the realities of life under Communism and in the early years of the transition away from it. 3.5/5.

Jan. 5, 4:36pm

Happy New Year, Jackie! I love your thread title, brilliant idea. :) Enjoy your reading!

Jan. 5, 4:46pm

>33 Chrischi_HH: Thank you Christiane, happy new year to you too!

Jan. 8, 5:55am

Category: Religious

News of Great Joy: The Church Times Christmas Collection, edited by Hugh Hillyard-Parker, is a collection of columns and articles, poems and stories, that have appeared in the Church Times over the last 20 years or so, relating to Advent, Christmas, and Ephiphany. I read a few articles most days over the whole period, and enjoyed the collection very much. As is always the case with these things, some pieces meant more to me than others, but overall I think this is an excellent collection and I might well end up going over it every year at the same time. 4/5.

Jan. 11, 11:39am

Category: Nature
January Non-Fiction Challenge: Prizewinners

Robert Macfarlane's wonderful book Underland: A Deep Time Journey is my first 5* book of the year, and also (believe it or not) the first audiobook I've ever listened to! I listened to it whilst reading the ebook as well, and that turned out to be a fantastically immersive experience, once I got used to it. And it's a great book to be so immersed, dealing as it does with the land below the surface - caves, underground bunkers, sinkholes, glacier moulins, nuclear burial sites, as well as forest understorey and root systems, and city underground worlds such as the Paris catacombs.

I have to admit to being a total scaredy cat when it comes to being under ground or water, there's no way in a million years you'd get me caving or visiting pretty much any of the places he goes (apart from the forest, I could cope with that!), but his writing is so vivid and visceral that I kind of feel like I was there anyway. His writing does divide opinion - some people think his prose is particularly purple, but I honestly think there wasn't a word out of place here, and this book is a step up (in terms of depth and ambition and impact) from his previous books (which I also loved). This book deservedly won the Wainwright Prize a couple of years ago. 5/5.

Jan. 11, 11:43am

>36 Jackie_K: I get my NF reads from you! On the list it goes!

Jan. 11, 11:50am

>37 Tess_W: I hope you like it!

Jan. 12, 9:28am

>36 Jackie_K: Underland sounds terrific and my library actually has it.

Jan. 13, 2:54am

>23 Jackie_K: As you should- hope the positive feeling lasts all year. I love the illustration: have been very tempted by the Hungry Caterpillar socks/bag and other merch now available.

>32 Jackie_K: I hadn't heard of this one, sounds interesting.

>36 Jackie_K: This one is still on my shelf, I really want to read it, just haven't quite found the time. I am a fan of his writing. Definitely not purple for me.
Maybe this year...

Jan. 15, 3:32pm

>39 hailelib: It really is - it's very hefty though!

>40 charl08: The Porcupine was published in the early 90s; I must admit I preferred his more recent The Noise of Time (about the composer Shostakovich in Stalinist USSR). And yes, Underland definitely needs a bit of a time commitment, but I really do think it's worth it!

Jan. 16, 2:06pm

Category: Biography; autobiography; memoir; true story
January CATWoman: Biography/Autobiography/Memoir

Year of the Nurse: A 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic Memoir by Cassandra Alexander is a searing account of 2020-21 on the front line of healthcare in the US. The author is an ICU nurse in California, and in this account she draws on her journal/diary entries, tweets and author newsletter entries (she has a side-hustle as an indie author of paranormal romance books), to give a powerful account of how traumatic many nurses found working during the pandemic. It has to be said that if you (a) don't like swearing; and/or (b) voted for Donald Trump; and/or (c) are particularly Evangelical, and/or (d) are anti-vax and/or anti-mask, then you will hate this book (she is very sweary and she does not hold back over who she blames). If you can get past that then this is a very personal, angry, and no-holds-barred account of the trauma faced by healthcare workers and the ways they had to deal with things to look after themselves (the author herself already had long-standing mental health issues, which you can imagine were absolutely not helped by PPE shortages, unsympathetic hospital management and the political shenanigans of 2020). Despite it all, I'd have no hesitation in wanting her as my bedside nurse if I ever found myself in ICU. 4.5/5.

Jan. 16, 9:18pm

>42 Jackie_K: Well, I am a couple of those things--but it sounds like a phenomenal book. I will put it on my WL.

Jan. 17, 2:29pm

>43 Tess_W: It is phenomenal, Tess, but consider yourself suitably warned :)

Category: Non-fiction (general)

Sarah Wilson's First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is my first DNF for over a year. Honestly, if I'd realised when it came up on offer on Bookbub that she was the author responsible for the I Quit Sugar brand, I'd have left well alone. It's subtitled "A New Conversation about Anxiety", and as someone who's (pretty successfully, for the most part) living with anxiety I was interested to see what she had to say. But the overly chatty, familiar style, and the overwhelming bland soundbitey self-help vibe just ended up annoying me. I didn't recognise anything here that chimed with my own experience of anxiety, and I just found myself rolling my eyes more and more the further I got. I did read for 3 hours and got about 2/3 of the way through, so I think I did give it a fair chance, but it really wasn't for me. Compared to the previous book I read (Year of the Nurse) where the author writes so clearly and eloquently (and yes, swearily) about her mental health, this just didn't come anywhere close. 2/5.

Jan. 20, 3:06pm

Category: Nature

An Engagement with Nature by Jacob McAtear is a selection of the author's walks in the English Lake District, describing the landscape and nature. Its subtitle is "Ideal for Bedtime Relaxation, Meditation and Mindfulness", and I think this is the key to enjoying this book. Each short chapter focuses on the landscape and one or more of the creatures he comes across, and I felt (as I read several chapters a day during my lunchbreak at my nature-poor workplace) that I would enjoy reading this with a backdrop of 'natural white noise' (birdsong, rustling leaves, tinkling water, etc). It certainly helped me to slow down and remember nature, which I appreciated very much in my sterile work environment.

I do have to say that he is very fond of complicated words where simple ones would do just fine - every step feels like it is described with multiple adjectives, and there were a few times when I was jolted out of the lushness of the imagined nature experience by reading a word I'd never come across before and not having a clue what it meant. Just occasionally I would really have appreciated a description of the sky as blue, the clouds as white, and the view as amazing - that really would have done me fine! I will read other things this author writes though, as the book was certainly very evocative of the place, and the landscape was easy to picture as I read along. I did also laugh at a very funny description of a group of three birds swapping places with each other on top of a wall to keep him always at the same distance from the group - that was really well done. 3.5/5.