Posted in Chatty

Kindle 2022 Year-End Challenge Achievement Guide!

Hey y’all! With the end of September comes the end of the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge from Kindle. You can see all the achievements and badges for that here, and start preparing to move on to the new challenge: the Year End Challenge! This new challenge runs from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 with 15 possible achievements.

Below is a guide to the Kindle Year End Challenge. It’s following the same format as the previous challenges (you can see an FAQ here). Prior to the reveal of the criteria for each mystery badge, the hint will be shown below. As the mystery achievements are revealed, I’ll update this page to show the criteria for each, and then the badge itself once the challenge is completed!

Kindle Year End Reading Challenge Achievements

This one runs from October 1st to December 31st, 2022. There are 15 possible achievements.

Days Read

  • Bronze Reader: read on any 15 days during the challenge
  • Silver Reader: read on any 40 days during the challenge
  • Gold Reader: read on any 75 days during the challenge

Books Completed

  • Bookish: read one book
  • Bookworm: read two books
  • Bibliophile: read three books


  • Head Start: read one day
  • Perfect Week: read 7 days in a row (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Perfect Month: read every day for a calendar month (ex. every day in November)


  • Mystery 10/10
    • Hint: A Prime Time to Read
  • Mystery 10/24:
    • Hint: You’ll be on the edge of your seat
  • Mystery 11/7:
    • Hint: There’s something for everyone
  • Mystery 11/23:
    • Hint: Skip the crowds
  • Mystery 12/5:
    • Hint: Get the inside scoop
  • Mystery 12/14:
    • Hint: Cozy up for the holidays
Continue reading “Kindle 2022 Year-End Challenge Achievement Guide!”
Posted in Chatty

Word Origins: from fact to compliment with “handsome”

Hey y’all! As I was feeling appreciative of my lovely boyfriend, I was thinking to myself how handsome he is and then started getting distracted thinking about how weird a word that is to mean attractive. And it’s usually in a masculine way these days, but I’ve definitely read older books where it was for women and was mostly a compliment as far as I could tell. And yet the word itself by rights sounds more like an action or request to give an item to another person. So what happened here??

Origins of “handsome”

When did it first get used?

What does it mean?
modern day meaning of attractive, usually for men or strong featured women

originally, though… it meant easy to handle or readily at hand. So my instinct was right: it did have more to do with being given something or an object being held!

and then in 1580s it started to track with the meaning of an attractive or pleasing thing (or person)

and then in 1680s to extend the 1580s meaning to items to mean generous more broadly, as in “I’ll reward you handsomely”

And you know when it finally started to mean heavily that something was “agreeable to the eye” as they used to phrase it? Not until 1848!!

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Why I try to keep an open mind about authors

A month or so ago, I started a book that I’d seen a few times and thought sounded like one I might enjoy. Not long after, I ended up abandoning the book because of how unlikable the characters were to me. With a plot that was focused on redemption, I was lost without being able to cheer on and support the character. I put it aside and thought, “well that was a waste.”

Around the same time, I requested an ARC on NetGalley for a book about a woman whose life is turned upside down so she tries to live to the fullest while coming to terms with recent changes. I finished that one recently in just a few days and really enjoyed it the whole way through, already planning out how I would write the review and what moments in the story I wanted to focus on.

So color me surprised when I turned to the last page and the author’s bio mentioned their previous book, which you might have guessed already is the one I had abandoned a month before! Maybe it was subconscious that I had recognized the author’s name on one book after seeing the other when looking through titles.

The book I disliked was the author’s debut, so maybe their style had shifted a bit in the time between books that let me enjoy it. Or maybe I would have liked the first one more if I had been able to get past the character issues I was seeing at the start. Who knows? But I took this as a reminder to myself not to write off an author just from one book, because another they have might completely resonate with me.

This is your reminder too, if you need one. 🙂

Posted in Chatty

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated: You Wouldn’t Dare!

Boyfriend: hey, whatchya up to? Still blogging?

Me: Noo… See, I found this old post I wrote in college about a project where I read an old newspaper from the 1800s and I went to the link to the newspaper and it’s still up and I started reading it again and it’s really interesting so now I’ve just been reading this newspaper from 1864.


And so I bring y’all some of my favorite selections from the May 7, 1864 edition of the United States newspaper Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. I’ve included clippings of the actual scanned newspapers, but ones that are tougher to read I’ll write out as well. 🙂

You wouldn’t dare!

Continue reading “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated: You Wouldn’t Dare!”
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July 2022 Wrap Up: a month of parties!


How many books that I planned did I read?

Of the 9-ish I had planned I finished 4, DNFd 1, and was in progress with 1. In total though, I ended up reading 13 and DNFing 2.

The Plan:

I planned nine, which was kind of ambitious, but I figured I could at least start them. In particular, The Mists of Avalon was a lengthy one that I knew for sure would be carried over (again).

The Result:

I read a lot of books I didn’t plan to read this month, clearly. And I never actually published a TBR post. So I guess I’m back to my old habits! 😁 A lot of these were planned based on my 20 (well, 15) books of summer sign up! book list that I’m trying to finish up. Now that I’m in the last month (halfway through the last month!!) the pressure is on! But I have most of them wrapped at this point. 🙂

The best surprises of the month were A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice and Love, Comment, Subscribe by Cathy Yardey.

Morgan Rice’s book was delightfully classic fantasy, with knights and princesses and chosen ones and noble deeds. I frickin’ loved it. There was something so comfortable about it embracing some of the classic tropes of good versus evil and humble, chosen peasants that made it super easy to sink into and love. The voice all through is wonderfully accessible and I just loved hearing about every character. There was never a point where I was bored or wanted to skip a part. Plus, highest praise of all, I immediately started (and finished) the second book (also great).

Continue reading “July 2022 Wrap Up: a month of parties!”
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The Amazon First Read results are in… Kind of…

I mentioned recently that I was finally reading a book from Amazon’s first reads program that I was enjoying. After a few rounds of stinkers, I had pretty much given up on it. I finished one from it today though and it was…

Fine. It wasn’t excellent, but it wasn’t terrible. I’d say solidly average. Some good, some bad, overall fairly forgettable and some moments where I checked how much was left.

That’s not even the book I had posted about though, so there’s a second chance to impress me in the running. We’ll see if it can be anything better than “ok at best!”

Posted in Chatty

My Amazon First Reads picks may finally break their streak of being really disappointing!

Hey y’all! I’ve mentioned before in some reviews of books I read that were from the Amazon First Reads program that they had continuously not impressed me. Some were so unenjoyable that I just DNFd the book usually between 20-50% depending on how generous I was feeling about giving it a chance.

WELL! I think I’ve finally found one that’s working for me! Oddly enough, it was for the July first reads that I put off choosing until the very last day of the month that I was able to choose them. I’ve been so disheartened by how bad previous choices were for me that I was feeling like I shouldn’t bother… but ultimately, I can’t have 2 free books offered and not even look at them!

I’m glad I did because there were several intriguing choices. I was debating on, and accidentally opened the chapter sampler of it. I realized that was a good idea to help me decide if I would like it, and three chapters later I realized yes, I liked it, and should probably just get the whole book. xD

Hopefully this holds true, and I’ll have a cheerful review of No Ordinary Thursday by Anoop Judge soon!


Lena Sharma is a successful San Francisco restaurateur. An immigrant, she’s cultivated an image of conservatism and tradition in her close-knit Indian community. But when Lena’s carefully constructed world begins to crumble, her ties to her daughter, Maya, and son, Sameer—both raised in thoroughly modern California—slip further away.

Maya, divorced once, becomes engaged to a man twelve years her junior: Veer Kapoor, the son of Lena’s longtime friend. Immediately Maya feels her mother’s disgrace and the judgment of an insular society she was born into but never chose, while Lena’s cherished friendship frays. Meanwhile, Maya’s younger brother, Sameer, struggles with an addiction that reaches a devastating and very public turning point, upending his already tenuous future.

As the mother, daughter, and son are compromised by tragedy, secrets, and misconceptions, they each must determine what it will take to rebuild their bonds and salvage what’s left of their family.

Posted in Chatty

Word Origins: Ditto? ditto?? ( . ___ . )

I’ve become a Wordle convert after months of resisting the baffling squares being shared by everyone on my social media feeds. One of my friends today played the word “ditto” which made me think of it outside the context of children being snotty or Pokemon for maybe the first time ever. I mean… ditto? That’s a real word? Is it just me or does it seem like a word that adults don’t use? An unprofessional word?

So… what does it mean, technically? Could I defend my usage of it in a meeting or should I probably pass that one on by in favor of “I concur?”

Origins of “ditto”

When did it first get used?
1620s, in Italian! Specifically the Tuscan dialect. Go you!

What does it mean?
modern day meaning is “what they said” or “same here” kind of mentality. Agreeing with a previous statement or sentiment

Originally, it was “in the month of the same name” which is… weird and specific and kind of confusing?

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Word Origins: Big Word Summer

It’s friggin’ hot here, and while it’s usually hot in late July, this has been excessively hot for the area. Heat warnings galore! My puppy is spending about ten minutes outside and most, then coming inside to slurp a gallon of water and pass out on the cool tile floor for a few hours. I’m not far behind.

So today’s word is “summer,” and let me tell ya: I thought this would be a boring AF word to search but the results told a different story. Who knew?!

Origins of “summer”

When did it first get used?
1300s, but it had other points of innovation all the way up through 1941!

What does it mean?
Hot season of the year. In Old Norse, that was starting on the first Thursday between April 9 and April 15, which is weirdly specific and very sensible for Norwegians way up in the north, I guess.

What did it come from?
The word summer itself is so old that the roots I found were basically just looking at all the other words in old languages that also meant summer, which wasn’t really helpful. But I did learn a lot of other little things related to summer that were fascinating! Such as:

Continue reading “Word Origins: Big Word Summer”