Category: Reading Challenges

#SummerReads | Jorie endeavours to read a heap of #INSPY Lit (whilst consuming copious amounts of #AudioReads!) and re-tackles her #20BooksOfSummer challenge of [2017]!

Posted Wednesday, 4 July, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#SummerReads 2018 banner created by Jorie in Canva

This Summer, I intend to be bookishly delirious by all the lovely portals of imagination I shall be entering,.. it is also the *Summer!* I reclaim the ability to read & blog during a volcanic heat wave w/o the threat of *lightning!* derailing my bookish endeavours!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts – ever wonder what Jorie might be getting up to reading this Summer? After a hard Spring & difficult start to Summer (ie. June) I’ve decided to focus on two reading challenges which will help me re-inspire my reading life after the recent adverse afflictions I’ve soldiered through – one is a re-attempt of the reading challenge I first blogged about during Summer [2017] where lightning storms & unreliable connectivity derailed my best efforts to both read & blog with any kind of regularity whilst this year, I stumbled across a lovely reading challenge which brings with it components of JOY I hadn’t quite expected to find within a reading challenge!

Let me break it down for you with a short Q&A I asked of the hostess which I think you might find equally delightful to know about in case your considering joining the bookish FUN this JULY by devouring INSPY Lit.

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The following convo is regarding

the Christian & Clean Fiction Summer Reading Safari, or as you will find the posts on my blog & Twitter feeds: #amreadingcfsrs18 OR #CFSRS18

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We don’t have to review all the books we’re reading this month, but we can talk about them on Twitter or in a wrap-up post on our blogs or just read them w/o socially sharing them? That’s the option in the bookaway for “Read a book”

A: Yes. If you read a book that is Christian or Clean Fiction, you can enter it in the rafflecopter for points in the giveaways. (6th entry down.)

We can read and review ANY author of our choice –

as long as their Christian / INSPY or Clean – right?

A: Yes.  You can read and review and author of your choice as long as it’s Christian or Clean, but you do get more entries in the Reading Challenge Rafflecopter if you read a book by an author or publisher sponsor.

IF we are not in the Facebook group (as I use Twitter) but we read a book on the Facebook Challenge page (on the challenge blog) OR if we read book by an author listed on that page, we enter that title into that space on the bookaway?

A: Yes.  You can enter this title to for extra points in the Reading Challenge Rafflecotper. :)

Here’s what I was most worried about after finding 15+ audiobooks I want to listen to this month which actually count as INSPY/ChrisFic reads —

I am off-setting my readings with audiobooks, as I am trying to curb a repeat of Spring where I had a high frequency of migraines. When you say ‘read’ a book – you are accepting some of us are reading print books *and* audiobooks?

I wanted to confirm this wasn’t format specific to ONLY print or ebooks?

A: As for “reading” a book, this can be print,

e-book, or audiobook.  What ever works best for you. :)

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

First off, for me – more than anything, a reading challenge which INSPIRES me to re-focus on reading INSPY Lit is the best bit whilst finding readers & bloggers who share my passion for these stories is the best part of participating, as I love sharing the stories which enrich my reading hours irregardless if I’m reading INSPY or mainstream stories – however, having said that – sometimes I find it harder to find readers of #INSPY who love the same authors & stories. Thus, I am hoping to find new blogs to follow & new readers to talk to about the stories giving us #booklove throughout JULY whilst extending into convos throughout the year.

I am going to be focusing on the authors on my *70 Authors* List as well as newcomers I’ve found whilst browsing through Audible’s INSPY Romance section as I was gifted a membership to Audible for my 5th Blogoversary by my parents & they added the Rom package this Summer for my birthday!

Secondly, I have INSPY novels I’ve meant to read & review which have been shifted to my ‘backlogue’ which I want to highlight this July as well. The scheduled reviews I have for Clean Fiction & INSPY Lit as well as these backlogued review showcases are NOT going to count towards either the books I’ve read and/or the books I’ve reviewed for the reading challenge directly as I have an ethical conflict of interest in declaring them officially but they will be listed on this post as the stories I’m reading all the same. Some stories I am re-reading in order to continue a series as well such as the Coming Home series by Brenda S. Anderson; those won’t be counted either as technically they’ve been previously read & reviewed.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Jorie’s INSPY Reads for JULY 2018:

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 4 July, 2018 by jorielov in #20BooksOfSummer, #CFSRS18, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, JLAS Update Post, Reading Challenges

Austen In August | This Janeite steps out from behind her blog whilst reading select works of Austen!

Posted Tuesday, 8 August, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Austen in August badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Carli Jean (Creative Commons Zero) Unsplash.com)

2017 Participants | Northanger Abbey RAL

Call-Out for Participants *wherein I started to make plans!

Converse via Twitter: #AustenInAugustRBR + #CBAM2017 + #theclassicsclub

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

If you’ve been digging round my Story Vault or stopping by #JLASblog for the past four years – you’ve have gained the strong impression I have a particular curiosity about Classical Literature! You might have even noticed a strong passion for Jane Austen – wherein, I’ve been happily participating in this lovely book blogosphere, twitterverse (and this year: Instagram) event! Being I’m a Joyful Tweeter and bookishly bubbly book blogger – you’ll happily find my participation in the blogosphere and Twitter!

This August marks my 4th Year attempting to curl into the wicked lovely world Ms Austen left for us to explore and discover new characters to love whilst we step back into her corner of English society! I decided to do things a bit differently this year – although, I suppose looking back at my past #AustenINAugust* posts I might have appeared to be quite ambitious in how I wanted to absorb so many dear lovelies by Ms Austen and her Contemporary After Canon writers – however, each previous August I felt I would have HOURS to devout to the reading and blogging event – therein, I made my cardinal mistake! If you factor in the life of an active book blogger (ie. a regularly booked blog calendar), life’s unexpected diversions and the high frequency of Summery (lightning) storms – you could say, attempting to accomplish anything during this volcanic Season would seem rather futile! However, I’m a bourne optimist which is why each Summer I try to do the impossible even if I falter to achieve all of my goals – I make an effort to do as much as I can and not let set-backs derail my intentions.

You might be curious to know – what is Jorie doing differently this year?!  

I’ve decided to sort out a shorter list of #mustreads for #AustenINAugust – the stories I wasn’t able to read (for whichever reason which affected my readerly life per each August I attempted to read the lovelies) until my second favourite annual bookish event came back round! (you might have heard of #RRSciFiMonth?) I thought this would be a good year to attempt to be a Guest Blogger for the event, too! I cannot even express my wicked sweet JOY in finding out I was picked to write a guest topic for Adam – as I have held such a deep appreciation for not only how he hosts this annual event but for the selections of guest bloggers who have entertained me, educated me and generally given me such a hearty knowledge of Jane Austen and the continuing legacy of how she touches readerly and writerly lives all these centuries lateron since her stories were first published and known. It’s quite the special event – bloggers get to engage with fellow Austenites and Janeites (personally I relate to being called the latter) whilst fellow readers who love Classical Literature get to drop by our blogs and/or join in on the reading challenge of R E A D M O R E A U S T E N for one month every year! Truly remarkable how Adam has brought of all us together – especially considering we’re global bloggers and readers!

Therefore, let me give you a sampling of what you will be seeing from me this year – as I’m holding a few surprises back whilst revealling my main plans of what I will be focusing on as August renews my passion for Austen!

*NOTE: Throughout my blog I reference this annual event as #AustenINAugust, however, I am participating in Roof Beam Reader’s event which is happily conversed about on social media tagged as #AustenINAugustRBR. There are different events happening each August which use the general tag. I’m being mindful to remember how to tag my tweets whilst keeping my personal reference on my blog as the original tag. If I’ve confused you, I apologise.

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Guest Blogger for Austen In August 2017 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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Posted Tuesday, 8 August, 2017 by jorielov in After the Canon, Austen in August, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Classical Literature, Jane Austen Sequel, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie the Writer, Reading Challenges, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

#20BooksOfAutumn 2018 | #JorieReads twenty books which dance through genres and timescapes | *re-attempted Autumn, 2018!!

Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

#20BooksOfSummer reading challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

#20BooksOfSummer is hosted by 746 Books | @cathy746books

Read the Rules | Link your Book List | Follow the tag on Twitter

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In JULY 2018, I decided to resume this challenge as #20BooksOfAutumn due to the insanity of electrical storms last Summer which took the JOY out of reading these lovelies. Due watch my Twitter @joriestory for updates and reading queues for which story is being read next!

I created a new badge for this redemptive attempt to read *20!* specific books for *20!* unique reasons of interest throughout one Season of the Year. The first review will be the wild card selection “Like There’s No Tomorrow” by Camille Eide (as it replaced the previously inclusive “Ignoring Gravity”) before the schedule I set forth on this challenge commences from how it was meant to begin – where the following stories will be featured back-to-back:

As Death Draws Near | Allie & Bea | Worthy

Join me on the Autumnal Equinox 2018 : 22nd of September until 21st December.

#20BooksOfAutumn banner made by Jorie in Canva.

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In the interest of the challenge, I should mention this is one reading challenge I have wanted to join in on the bookish fun since I first started blogging in [2013] similar to how I was most anxious to join #AustenInAugust when coincidentally, this blog went LIVE in August 2013. This year, I had projected to participate in a variety of reading challenges (see Challenge List 2017) however, I ought to have known it was going to be a ‘unique year’ once my Spring allergies took such a lockhold of me to where I was unable to read nor blog; much less tweet to my bookish heart’s desire.

I was wicked enthused finding out about the challenge (see this tweet) even if I wasn’t fully able to devout any attention to creating my own #20BooksOfSummer List until two days before the month of June concluded! Ironically or not, I might be late to the party, but I am wicked excited about my selections – which is why I am posting this List on my blog and Riffle.

DUE NOTE: all the books featured on my #20BooksOfSummer were books sent to me for review consideration at some point or another over the past few years. The exception being ‘Memory Box Secrets’ of which was a purchase of my own and ‘Allie and Bea’ which I received as a bookaway. Ergo for one reason or another all of these lovelies were TBR in the most humblest of ways: books ‘to be read’ and quite wickedly itching with curiosity by the reader whose about to broach into their folds!

I have been working earnestly towards erasing my backlogue (of reviews) for almost a full year and this challenge is helping me to become re-inspired to read after two seasons of personal angst. Let’s face it – JUNE was a wash-out. It barely blinked into view before it extinguished out of sight – and I barely posted anything during it’s duration. The one thing I did accomplish is finding a way to bring ART back into my life and to resume KNITTING giving myself a way to put some Zen into my downtime. Especially imperative as I was ill more than well this Spring. As the monsoon Summer rains start to begin now as we enter into JULY, I am most hopeful my seasonal allergies will start to relent and give me back the clarity of calm I’ve missed all SPRING.

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The exact order of how I will be reading these stories is UNKNOWN except for the first three selections which will be the following: WORTHY | As Death Draws Near | Allie and Bea.

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Interestingly enough, for those of you curious how we order things without thinking specifically about how we want to sort the books we’re reading, here is the organic nature of how the books were stacked as I sorted out which books would make into this challenge list:

  1. As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber | Synopsis
  2. Inconceivable by Tegan Wren | Synopsis
  3. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica | Synopsis
  4. Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain | Synopsis ← re-reading
  5. Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan | Synopsis
  6. Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman | Synopsis
  7. Memory Box Secrets by Brenda S. Anderson | Synopsis
  8. Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby | Synopsis ← (see also Review) guest feature forthcoming!
  9. Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey | Synopsis
  10. The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling | Synopsis
  11. A Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley | Synopsis
  12. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks | Synopsis
  13. A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining | Synopsis
  14. Just the Facts by Ellen Sherman | Synopsis
  15. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  16. Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  17. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly | Synopsis
  18. Rooville by Julie Long | Synopsis
  19. The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop | Synopsis
  20. Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen | Synopsis
  21. Like There’s No Tomorrow by Camille Eide | Synopsis | to replace Ignoring Gravity

| by the numbers |

2 rescheduled blog tour books | 2 LibraryThing books | 1 bookaway | 7 BookSparks Reading Challenge Books

7 postponed reads = 17 books erased from my Book Blogger’s Backlogue

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #20BooksOfSummer 2017
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Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov in #20BooksOfSummer, #20BooksOfSummer, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, JLAS Update Post, Reading Challenges, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. Crocker

Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was approached to read a different book than the one I asked to read, as the original choice the publicist made for me didn’t feel like a good fit, to be honest. I asked to receive “Those Who Remain” because I have a strong connection to the war eras as I regularly read war dramas and historical fiction set during this period; yet I do not often think to pick up a work of non-fiction that is connected to the eras. I was thankful I could step out of my comfort zone and read a creative non-fiction account set during the Vietnam War. I received a complimentary copy of the “Those Who Remain” direct from the publicist at Claire McKinney Public Relations, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why letters and correspondences interest me within a story of a war drama:

Oft-times letters and correspondences are all that will remain after a war between wives and husbands; daughters and fathers; sons and mothers, etc. as war is an uncertain time of unforeseeable tragedy. The words etched into postcards, pieces of paper or scribbled onto napkins or other bits of mail become a lasting tribute to not only the person who gave those words to their loved ones but to the receiver who knew a bit of their thoughts before they passed. Not everyone perishes at war, but for the families who lose their relatives, the sudden separation and the lack of a proper good-bye is mind-numbingly anguishing for many years.

When it comes to reading war dramas in fiction, I appreciate the writers who fuse history and fact into their stories, but also allow a breath of connection between those at the front and those back home. Finding letters caught inside the tethers of a war drama is one way to anchour me into that story because of how important those letters were in reality. I read quite a lot of war dramas per year, but I also appreciate certain tv serials who augment the same connections I find in their fictional counterparts such as Foyle’s War and As Time Goes By. The latter had the plot focused on a missing letter which was never delivered and thus, became the impetus of how a soldier and a nurse reunited years later in their golden years.

The novel which illuminated the necessity for correspondence at war the best, I felt, was Letters from Skye a novel writ around the letters themselves; taking me to a new vein of reality of how a novel can be told. Reviewing this novel twice was a way I could give the author a second note of gratitude for how convicting her story moved my emotional heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. CrockerThose Who Remain
Subtitle: Remembrance and Reunion After War
by Ruth W. Crocker
Source: Direct from Publisher

She was 23 years old when she was widowed by war and rather than bury her husband in his coffin, she buried every memory of their brief life together. Forty years later she exhumed the grave and came to terms with her loss and her grief.

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 writer-teacher-actress Ruth W. Crocker brings her journey of love, loss, and inspiration to the page in her beautiful memoir THOSE WHO REMAIN: Remembrance and Reunion after War (Elm Grove Press).

Sometimes the reaction to loss is anger along with the need to be reckless and to search for meaning in what has happened. In THOSE WHO REMAIN, Ruth W. Crocker was propelled by her complex emotions at the time. On the one hand she needed to close the door on her previous life, and on the other she wanted to pay tribute to her husband's memory and escape from her grief. To this end she hiked up to the treacherous North Face of the Eiger, the most notorious mountain in the Swiss Alps, to spread her husband's ashes at the top of the climb they were supposed to do together.

Weaving her beautifully-written recollections with diary entries, letters between her and her husband, and conversations with his comrades, Ruth gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of a woman who faced her fears and braved the forces of nature to learn that she could survive anything that came her way. A unique true story of grief and recovery with a surprising revelation, THOSE WHO REMAIN demonstrates the tenacious will of the human spirit to heal.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940863009

Genres: Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, War Drama


Published by Elm Grove Press

on 13th May 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 294

Published by: Elm Grove Press 

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker, PhD, is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominated author, writing consultant, and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy. Her memoir Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War describes her experience following her husband’s death in Vietnam and how she found resources for healing.

Crocker’s essays have been recognized in Best American Essays and her articles have been
featured in the Gettysburg Review, Grace Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, O-Dark-Thirty, and T.A.P.S. Magazine.

She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Bennington College, a PhD in Nutrition and Human Development from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Education from Tufts University. Along the way she also became a Registered Dietitian.

Crocker worked in health care administration and clinical nutrition before becoming a full-time writer. Currently, she is the Writer-In-Residence at Riverlight Wellness Center in Stonington, Connecticut, where she teaches the art of writing memoirs and personal essays to aspiring writers who want to express their own stories. She lives, cooks, and writes in Mystic, Connecticut.

Why the past (and the memories carried therein) can rekindle hope and our humanity’s will towards accepting grace:

There is a point in the story where Crocker mentions the true blessing of living histories (what my family refers to as the stories of our relatives and relations throughout our ancestral past) where we become tethered to our family through the living memories of people who lived before our own time. Sometimes these can be peppered with your living relatives recollections of their lives in the decades before your birth, but generally speaking, it’s a way to keep a tangible impression of your family’s journey through time refreshed and known for the generations who are coming down the line.

I appreciated these stories because they clarified a few finer points of the historical past where I found a bit of fault with lessons in school; as I was being given a wider picture than the option only to recount facts and tidbits someone else deemed worthy of my attention. In a conversation on Twitter earlier in 2015 (believe during #HistoricalFix; follow @HistoricalFix), it was mentioned that if historical fiction was taught in school (especially the authors of today or yesterday who conduct such impressive research to ground their stories) we would have a whole new appreciation for history as a whole. I tend to agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly because when the ‘past’ comes alive for me as I read a novel, it is a kind reminder of how much the past was ‘alive’ for me through the stories of my family. We have a need to make connections whilst we’re alive, it’s not only how we process information and keep a stronghold of knowledge vibrant and a part of who we are, it’s a way of how we internalise what we’re experiencing.

If we start to forget to share the stories, we will soon find ourselves without a path towards reacquiring the hope of where we’ve been and the joy of where we are about to venture forward next. Read More

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Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #NonFictionFriday, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Claire McKinney Public Relations, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, History, Indie Author, Memoir, Military Families of the Deployed, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Quakers, Special Needs Children, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, The Vietnam War, Travel the World in Books, War Widow, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment