Looking for something to read?


I love books. The weight of them in my hand, the smell of paper, and most of all, the promise of knowledge and imagination and meeting new characters and sharing their journeys, and all the emotions that go with that. I inherited this love quite naturally – my parent’s house is full of books. And now, so is my house.

Including quite a lot which I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Oops.

So when I stumbled across the treasure hunt reading challenge over at Doing It The Open Way, it seemed like a perfect way to get through some of the (many, many) books I’ve been meaning to read for ages, and discover a few more along the way.


The idea behind it is simple and cute – there’s a list of challenges, and for each one you have to find a book with that thing in the title and read it. No pressures of timelines, and you don’t have to do the challenges in order – but they’re a great way of looking at your reading list a bit differently. Lots of fun!

Here are the challenges:

– Weather
– Something you’d find in space
– Geological formation
– A colour
– A farmyard animal
– A zoo animal
– A type of building
– A profession
– An illness
– A month
– A country
– A girl’s name
– A boy’s name
– A body of water
– A mode of transportation
– A kind of food
– A kind of drink
– A feeling
– A flower
– A hobby you have
– A hobby you don’t have
– Something made of metal
– Something made of wood
– Something made of plastic
– A toy or game
– A family relationship
– A number
– A mythical creature
– A shape
– Something you’d wear
– Something you don’t like
– Something scientific
– A question mark
– A precious stone
– A bird
– A time of day


I chose to start with the “girls name” challenge, and had a lot of fun scouring my book collection to find one that fit the category that I hadn’t read yet. Conveniently, I’d picked up a copy of Kitty by Deborah Challinor at the second hand shop the other day, so I started reading that last night. It’s set in mid-1800’s New Zealand, and is the story of a 17 year old girl who’s been sent to New Zealand from England with her missionary uncle and his long-suffering aunt. I’ve read a couple of Deborah Challinor’s other books, and really enjoyed them, so I have hopes for enjoying this one as well. (Plus, I have a bit of a fondness for books set in historical times – I get to learn snippets about history while following the characters on their journey, it’s like a double-win.)

I’ll let you know what I think of it once I’ve finished reading it. But in the meantime, I think I’ll tackle the “time of day” challenge next. Got any suggestions/recommendations for a book to read that would fit that category?


(In case you’re wondering, the photos are of some of my book collection. What can I say? Books are awesome. Fact.)


21 responses to “Looking for something to read?

  1. I loved Kitty, and the next book in the series. I’m waiting for book 3 now. I got hooked on Deborah Challinor when I randomly picked up “Fire” in the library. I didn’t like “Tamar” as much. Seemed less …. less cohesive, and the characterisation not as good *shrugs*
    Then later I got hooked on another NZ historical author who writes whodunnits, Joan Druett. This is her latest book, but I read the previous ones hardcover. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260215
    And the JD Robb/Nora Roberts makes me smile too. I read every Nora Roberts I can get my hands on. I’m saving the JD Robb for a rainy day, or when I’ve finished all the Nora Roberts 😀

    • Oooh, isn’t ‘Fire’ a great book?! I haven’t read ‘Tamar’ yet, just picked it up the other day to add to my collection so it’s on my reading pile. 🙂 ‘Union Belle’ is another great one of hers, set in the 1950s.

      Nora Roberts is one of my guilty secrets, I love her books, especially the trilogys. 😉 I haven’t actually read any JD Robb yet – my mother is a huge fan of those ones, and keeps telling me how good they are, so I’m going to have to try them sometime soon!
      That Joan Druett one looks interesting! Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to hunt some of hers up and read them.
      Have you read any of Jenny Patrick’s books? They’re great – also set in 1800’s New Zealand. One of her more well-known ones is The Denniston Rose: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/113238.The_Denniston_Rose

      • I thought ‘Fire’ was fantastic. The dramatic tension wasn’t the love story at all, but the fire, yet it was a really sweet love story too. Soooo well done!
        I haven’t got my hands on ‘Union Belle’, I’ll have to hassle my local library. The love it when they get requests for them to stock in particular books or authors. (I think it means they can get more funding. Proof someone uses libraries WOW!!! ;-D)
        Tamar is one of those books where it’s good if you’re a fan, and are a bit more forgiving. I wondered if it was her first, or close to her first. The others were much more polished.

        I’ve given up being guilty about Nora Roberts. I’ve read so many of hers it was impossible to keep her a secret 🙂 I’ve accepted I just love romance – so long as it’s well-written. She ticks all the boxes.

        Yeah the whodunnits are my usual bread-and-butter. Mum gave me a Joan Druett books to read, but when I read the blurb I almost gave it back saying “Mum, just coz I’m engaged to a Maori man doesn’t mean I have to read EVERYTHING ever written about Maoris.”
        Almost… because mum is usually spot on with recommendations. I’m glad I didn’t, they’re great yarns, entertaining! And I like adventure on the high seas kinda stories.

        Nope, never heard of Jenny Patrick. Thanks! I’ll have to bug my library about her as well. They’ll love me!

  2. Based on what I’m seeing in your pictures, “Hourglass” looks like it might fit the “Time of Day” challenge, at least simply going by the title.
    I did see one thing I have read in there, “The Paradise War” by Stephen Lawhead. It’s been awhile, but I do remember liking that one. But then, I’m an unapologetic fantasy geek in my book choices!

    • I love the Paradise War trilogy! I’ve read that trilogy probalby 3-4 times now. Celtic mythology and fantasy, great combination as far as I’m concerned. 😉

      Good call about the Hourglass for time-of-day. Thanks!

  3. ooh, I’m doing this challenge too. I looove books and totally get what you mean about the weight & feel of them & the smell. Ebooks just don’t do it for me at all.
    I’ll look forward to seeing what you read (and maybe stealing some of your ideas!!) I’m particularly stumped when it comes to something made of metal or wood or plastic… have you any thoughts on those?
    Kitty sounds like a good story. I have recently rediscovered a love of historical fiction and I see that you are also a fan of fantasy from your other pile of books 🙂

    • I can’t remember, but I think it was actually from your blog that I spotted the reading challenge and went hunting for details! 😉

      Oh yikes, yes, those made-of-wood/plastic/metal ones are stumping me a bit, too. I need to have a good think about some of those, head to the library and go searching….. The metal ones are the easiest of them I think – there’s ‘The Silver Hand’ by Stephen Lawhead (second in the Paradise War fantasy trilogy). And ‘The Bronze Horseman’ by Paullina Simmons.
      Which categories have you figured out books for? Would love to hear your thoughts for them! 🙂

      • I don’t know if I should admit this, but I actually have a spreadsheet with ideas for the categories *blush* – hope that’s not too obsessive ha ha. I could email you it if you like? I still have quite a few gaps though, but plenty to be going on with. I just started “Memoirs of a Geisha” for the profession clue.
        Do you know, I’d never really thought of precious metals when I was looking at something made of metal! I kept thinking of steel and iron, and then all I could come up with was “The Steel Remains” which I tried reading last year and just found too horrid for words.

      • Oooh, I’d love to see your spreadsheet! That sounds awesome. 🙂 My email is macska (at) gmail (dot) com.

        Would you like me to let you know if I can add any suggestions to it?

        I considered ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ for the profession one, but I’ve already read it so I’m making myself look a bit further afield. I think I’ve settled on ‘The Bonesetters Daughter’ by Amy Tan for that one. (Turns out there are a surprisingly large number of books with professions in the title, did you find that?)

  4. Ah, I love Shadow of the Wind!!! This looks like a great challenge- so open. I’m trying a ‘finish the series’ challenge this year- but I like this one alot more!

    • The openness of it is what appealed to me! I’ve seen a few other challenges pop up around the place and none of them have appealed due to having time limits or too many constraints. I don’t do well with being told what to read or when. 😉

      Shadow of the Wind is fabulous, I’ve been meaning to go and re-read that book, I just loved it!

  5. I love books too. I just can’t get into reading books on my ipad. Like you I have a zillion books. I just browsed my bookshelf and came up with Night over Water by Ken Follett, Eleven Hours by Paullina Simons and The Midnight Club.

    • Oh yay, new books to hunt out! Thank you. 🙂

      I’ve read Eleven Hours (good book, but my gosh that plot!), but never heard of the other two so I’ll go hunt them up.

  6. Oh, super challenge! I’m going to have to get myself over to that Doing it the Open Way site and check out the details. I am also a book collector. They are on shelves, in boxes, under furniture, stacked up to look like “table art”, in baskets……need I go on?

    • Haha, yeah, my book collection is about as bad as my fabric stash! Maybe we need a show-us-your-library series so we can all be nosy about each other’s collections. 😉

  7. Me too Kat, about getting my history through fiction. Which is why badly researched historical fiction drives me mad because it is so misleading! I don’t get to read much these days, kind of miss it. Read a couple for me? 🙂

    • Sure, but it’ll take me a while. I’ve gone from getting through a book every 4-6 days to taking about 5 days to get through two chapters! Argh!!!

      Any requests for what you’d like me to read on your behalf? I can come and deliver plot summaries with biscuits. 😉

  8. I love books too. I read when I am walking to and from work. I haven’t tripped over or crashed into anything —- yet. When you get to the hobby book, I recently read a book called ‘The Dressmaker’ by Rosalie Ham. It is set in country Australia in the 30s (?). She makes clothes from illustrations from vogue for the women in the remote town.

    • Wow, I’m impressed you can read while walking! I’ve never managed to master that skill (and believe me, I’ve tried! 😉

      Thanks for the tip about the book – it sounds really interesting! I’ve added it to my to-read list. 😉

  9. Yay for books 🙂 Im guessing you prob have some of mine hidden in thats stash somewhere not that I can remember what they are anymore 🙂

    Despite loving real books I am totally converted to ebooks because of size and space issues.

    Time of day – doesn’t completely fit but if you haven’t read it yet the The Time Travellers Wife is a must read.

    And I still love Nora Roberts – she’s a star.

    • I’ve got a bunch of your Bryce Courtney books here on a shelf for you – still haven’t gotten around to reading any of his work, maybe I should see if I can incorporate one into a challenge… Hmmmm….

      Oh, Time Travellers Wife is so wonderful! I loaned my copy out and couldn’t figure out who I loaned it to, so I bought it again, I loved it that much. 🙂 (Not convinced by her book ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ though, I didn’t really like the characters in it very much.)

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