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Kell's Reading Realm

Life is short, read fast! 


Reblogged from Jennifer's Books:



I know that I previously said that I wasn't going to do any games aside from Halloween Bingo in 2020, but that was Pre-COVID-19. Here we all are, stuck in our houses and reading like mad.


So, why wouldn't we play a game?



I decided to just repurpose Snakes & Ladders for this one! It's an easy, fun game and I don't have to do any work at all to get it ready.








Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.


1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.


2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.


All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 


You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.




1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!



See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions


When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.


With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.


For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.







Hope everyone has a fantastic one! 

24 Festive Tasks Door 7 - Book task


Door 7:  International Day for Tolerance

Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, or set in Paris (seat of UNESCO).



The moving, uplifting true story of an unlikely friendship between a man on the streets and the ginger cat who adopts him and helps him heal his life. - Goodreads


There was just something about this story that I could not put down. I finished it in two sittings. Bob is extraordinary. I believe he was sent to James to save not only himself, but James too. It is so heartwarming to read a story about soulmates and soulmates they are, even though one is of the furry persuasion. I am so happy that James turned his life around. It was hard to hear about how James was treated when he was out in the streets. Until he started taking Bob with him, he was invisible. Bob not only saved James but showed people that those who are homeless are real human beings too that need to be treated with loving kindness. It was an eye opener of the struggles street people go through. Such a beautiful story. 


Dying for Devil's Food

Dying for Devil's Food - Jenn McKinlay

Giving this another read! This was the second book I read in the series but actually the latest one so after I went back and started with book 1, I just kept wanting to go through to the end again. This will surprisingly fit under International Human Rights Day for a couple of reasons. I'll explain once I'm finished! :) 



Door 2: Japanese Culture Day

Sorry for the spam! 


Door 2:  Japanese Culture Day


Task 4: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.


My teenage daughter and I spent a wonderful evening together at the mall, shopping and laughing and talking. We ate at my favorite restaurant called Yummy Japan and I got Teriyaki Chicken. It is the best meal ever out of a Styrofoam container. :D They cook it all right in front of you. I don't know how they get their veggies so tender and yummy but it's the best part of the meal. 



Book: Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting. I read Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. 




Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?


My take: This graphic novel made it to the finals of the goodreads choice awards. It was a really fun read and the pictures are amazingly detailed and beautiful. I loved the message it sent. The ones most important are right in front of us if we just opened our eyes and looked at them and appreciate how much they bring into our lives. It was heartwarming! 


Door 8: International Children’s Day


Task 1:  What was your favorite children’s book growing up? Your favorite middle grade book?

I cannot recall the name of my favorite children's book, but it was one that my mom sent away and they put my name in as the lead. It was about an alligator and I and we were private detectives. My husband actually found it earlier this year in a box in our garage. I was so thrilled to have it back. I thought I had lost it. My favorite middle grade book was hands down The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. I would mark in the book each time I read it and the inside cover was full of check marks. I read it so much that is literally fell apart. 




Book: Read a children’s or YA book or a book where children or teenagers play a significant role, or written by an author who was under the age of 18 at the time of publication.

When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.

Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolor illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author’s note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace will help readers of all ages feel grounded and restored.


My take: This is an adorable little book with beautiful pictures to introduce children to mindfulness. I wanted to read it because I am beginning to learn mindfulness and thought it would be nice to start out at a child's level with it. I really enjoyed the simple introduction and highly recommend this to parents of young children.


Total Points = 2

Caramel Crush

Caramel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) - Jenn McKinlay

Well this is the last "new" book in the series for me. I am so engrossed in it, I am going to re-read the next two just to keep up with the storyline. It will be sad when I am done (although there is a new book due in the spring). I hope I can find another series I love as much as this one! 


I am using this one for: 


Door 24: Jan. 6 – Twelfth Night / Epiphany

Book: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.


This series has always been about Mel, Angie and Tate. Three bestfriends since middle school. It fits perfectly! ,

Door 4: Guy Fawkes Night


Door 4:  Guy Fawkes Night

Task 1: Make a list of the top 3 treasonous crimes against books that an author can commit.


1. Making characters do uncharacteristic things. There is nothing more annoying than reading chapter after chapter how a character is this or that and then toward the end have them do something completely against their nature with no explanation. 


2. Extensively descriptive writing. If someone grabs a cup of tea, I can envision that without being told someone grabbed a tea cup that was blue and made of fine china that so and so bought in England on a trip they took years ago and they poured hot water into the tea cup while holding it in their left hand and pouring with their right and the tea tasted sweet, nutty, floral and grassy, etc etc. You get my point. 


3. Having books in a series that don't stand alone. I want to be able to pick up any book in any series and not feel lost. I shouldn't have to read them all in order. I love when authors give you just enough information (but not too much so that each installment reads the same) so that I am intrigued enough to pick up the other books. I hate being lost in a series and I usually just bag it and don't bother getting the first one. 


Task 2: Start a revolution: What one thing would you change about the book reading world? (Be it publishing, distribution, editing, cover art, bookstores – anything having to do with books.)

I wish people didn't think of libraries as cheating authors and publishers out of money. Libraries are an extremely important part of society for many reasons and deserve respect. 


Task 4: How do you order the books on your shelves?

I forgot to take a picture, but I order them by author. My favorite authors, like J K Rowling, have shelves of their own. Her shelf has all her books with a set of Harry Potter bookends and little trinkets of the characters. 


Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published.

- I read the book American Royals by Katharine McGee and  the link to my review is HERE


Closing the door on this one! :) 

American Royals

American Royals - Katharine McGee

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America's first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she's breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn't care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there's Samantha's twin, Prince Jefferson. If he'd been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.


My take: This was definitely a guilty pleasure read. I am extremely happy Washington did not accept the offer of being a king... but the little girl in me, who loves the history of the British royal family, really got into the story. There are a fraction of readers who have a big problem with the plot of this book because of America's shameful history of the way it treated Native Americans and our terrible history with slavery. They thought this book somehow made light of it only for the sheer fact of it being written at all. I get that, I really do. However, I read this in the spirit it was written, as an alternate reality. Therefore, I checked my common sense at page 1 and really enjoyed the characters. I did find a lot of similarities between the tv show The Royals (an alternate reality look at the British royal family) and this book and those bugged me a bit, but otherwise I liked the character development and I am excited to read the direction the author will take them in the next book. 


Reading progress update: I've read 57%.

Caramel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) - Jenn McKinlay

Reading progress update: I've read 258 out of 448 pages.

American Royals - Katharine McGee

Door 22: Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day: Vanilla Beaned

Vanilla Beaned  - Jenn McKinlay

In the eighth in the New York Times bestselling series by the author of Dark Chocolate Demise, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew goes double or nothing in Vegas...
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who’s looking to bring Mel and Angie’s sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn’t so sure she’s ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger—especially one as brash as Holly.
But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly—one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends...


My take: I am still really enjoying this series. Some of the situations they get into are a bit contrived but it still all works for me. Mel and Joe's relationship back and forths are a little tiring but things seem to be progressing along. It took me a bit to warm up to Holly but I did which is good since it appears she may be in for the long haul. 


I decided to use this one for Door 22: Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day

Book: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.


It was all about Holly's new start and there was definitely a big BOOM in the beginning. It fits nicely. 


Door 6: Veterans / Armistice Day - Task 2


Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day


Task 2: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.


Judith Krantz

January 9, 1928 - June 22, 2019
Los Angeles, California | Age 91

Bestselling romance novelist wrote "Scruples"



Judith Krantz was a bestselling romance novelist whose wildly popular books sent their heroines on opulent shopping sprees between sessions of steamy sex. My Grandma read a lot of Judith Krantz so her books were some of my first in the world of romance. As a tween, she pretty much taught me about sex. lol  Her books also brought about the wonderful cheesy miniseries based on them. Oh the days of the miniseries. :D

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

Vanilla Beaned  - Jenn McKinlay

In Pieces: Sally Field

In Pieces. A Memoir: Sally Field - Sally Field

Gidget and the Flying Nun were a bit before my time so I was first introduced to Sally in Steel Magnolias... one of the biggest dramatic comedies of my youth. She made me bawl like a big baby especially during the cemetery scene when she broke down. That was when I thought damn, she is a brilliant actor.


I had no idea Sally had to endure what she did as a child. I feel so badly for her. It really surprises me to find out that celebrities aren't immune to being victims, although it shouldn't. I am glad she was able to rise above it. I did notice though that she really avoids a lot in her life by not reading letters people send her, etc. That is definitely an emotional self preservation tactic. I hope that in writing the book she was able to overcome that. I really enjoyed reading her book.

24 Festive Tasks, Door 6: November 11th Veterans' Day/Armistice Day

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books:

3 - Melbourne Cup Day
1 - dia de los Muertos
6 - Veterans / Armistice Day
5 - Bon Om Touk
2 - Japanese Culture Day
4 - Guy Fawkes Night

I requested to do today's door opening, as it is a holiday for many to reflect but more so for me and my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. My kids have school today, so I will be visiting both their classrooms to talk about the holiday (teachers asked if I would do this). Afterward, hubby and I are going out to eat and maybe head to Half Price Books to look around without being asked "are we leaving now?" twenty billion times. 


However you celebrate, I hope you have a great day!

Veterans / Armistice Day

Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day


Task 1: Sunrise services are a staple of this day: Take a picture of the sunrise where you live and share it with us.


Task 2: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.


Task 3: Rosemary is for remembrance, but it’s great for chasing away moths, silverfish and other bugs that can damage books (and linens). Make a sachet with some rosemary, lavender, dried basil, etc. to keep on your bookshelves – post a picture of the results and let us know what combinations of herbs you used. A list of possibilities can be found here: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/12-plants-that-repel-unwanted-insects


Task 4:The Forest of Compiègne, just outside Compiègne, France, is the site of the signing of the 1918 Armistice. It was also the site of the signing by the French of a truce with the Germans following the German invasion in 1940. – Find a green space in your local area (or favorite area) and go for a walk or bike ride of a mile (or 1.61 km) and post a picture or screenshot of the map of where you walked / biked.


Book: Read a book involving a war, battle, or where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover, or honor the ‘unknown soldier’ of your TBR and read the book that’s been there the longest.



NEW: Once you've completed a task or tasks, please use the handy form, located in the spoiler tags (to keep things tidy) to let us know. This will make tracking points MUCH easier for the 24 Tasks Team.

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Previous door's tasks are "beneath the fold"

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