Season 2 Episode 62: Aaron Launches Family Book Challenge 2021

St. Albert Library located in St. Albert Place

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in. 

I am heading over the Canadian Rockies to St. Albert, Alberta to meet up with my nephew, Aaron, who has challenged our family to the Book Challenge 2021.

As background, it all started in January 2020, when I received Aaron’s message challenging me to participate in a 2020 Family Challenge which was to read 25 books in the Year 2020. Incidentally, Aaron is a prodigious reader, much like his Aunt Sarah, who is well known to consume vast qualities of books, moving from genre to genre with a dexterity that leaves me breathless. 

Aaron has joined me to today to launch the Family Book Challenge 2021. I want to be the first to know his plans for the coming year and to have head start on my competitive siblings.  Of course, I do not have a competitive nature, but this is survival of the reading fittest.  

I am you host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Thank you for sharing this moment with Aaron and me. 

Thank you, Aaron, for being the champion of the 2021 Family Book Challenge.

Dear listeners, all the very best on your reading adventures in 2021.  As Dr. Seuss wrote in his book, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut:  “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Until next time we meet, be safe and be well.

Klausbernd Vollmar on Beauty Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

  1. Klausbernd Vollmar on Beauty
  2. Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia Season 3
  3. Aaron Launches Family Book Challenge 2021
  4. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
  5. Brian on Music and Celebration

38 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    I love this! Survival of the reading fittest writ large!! Bravo to Aaron for his challenge and may the best family member win! 😂👏🏻

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you Liz, for your suggestion to have Aaron as a guest on TTT. He has such a marvelous sense of humour and a great communication style. His children were in the background which made it all the more fun. I have enjoyed the 2020 Family challenge, which is more than a competition – it is a way to connect the generations of a family. As Aaron mentioned, for some, 25 books is a lot to read while others move very quickly past that number, which is a reminder that we all read differently. The idea of “reading” is more than books, isn’t it? We all read more than we think from news articles to e-Mail messages, blog posts to Instagram. To quantify this amount of reading would be very difficult indeed. I was reading up on the literacy statistics and found this heartening quote: “While only 12% of the people in the world could read and write in 1820, today the share has reversed: only 14% of the world population, in 2016, remained illiterate. Over the last 65 years the global literacy rate increased by 4% every 5 years – from 42% in 1960 to 86% in 2015.”https://ourworldindata.org/literacy

      Happy New Year – grateful to enter another year together. Many hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Mary Jo Malo says:

        It was a delight to hear the children!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clanmother says:

        I knew you would enjoy the background laughter. They wanted to be in the podcast!!! I understand that Aaron’s children know that Santa is real because they saw a video of him placing presents under the Christmas tree. I understand that Aaron and his wife set up a camera to record Santa. I saw it and now I’m a believer too!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Liz says:

        What an amazing statistic – the perfect piece of positivity amidst this year’s challenges. Wishing you and the boys a very Happy New Year with much love and many hugs xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s very encouraging to read of the global literacy rate! It’s so important!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Timothy Price says:

    That was an interesting interview. I would never take up anyone on a book reading challenge. I have too many distractions and what I’m researching often determines my reading list. Although I have to say since I tend to have a lot of followers who are writers, I often buy their books, a lot of times it’s the first book they have published, and they are often genres I would never have read otherwise. It’s interesting what Aaron had to say about electronics being in the background for his kids with his oldest starting to read. Our daughter grew up without TV and reading was her entertainment outside of playing. My wife is in a book group that reads one novel a month, and then they get together to discuss the books over dinner. Most of this year they have been meeting on zoom. My wife is reading something almost all the time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you enjoyed this podcast, Tim. Literacy is a gift that has become so much a part of us that we hardly notice it. That is, until when we find ourselves in a different country trying to figure out the road signs and menus. A few days ago I made note of every time I read something, from a recipe to an e-mail to a grocery list, to Christmas card to a newspaper. A reminder to be grateful to all my teachers! Like you, I enjoy engaging with our vibrant writing community – they have given me great insight into their work. I lived in an isolated mining town in Northern Manitoba, which had no access to TV until much later. And that was a few hours per night and the programming lagged two weeks. Now, the world is in our kitchens and living rooms so Aaron’s idea of disconnecting and reading is challenging when there are so many choices. Your comments have given me another idea for a discussion – what is reading? My mother, Frances, uses audios because of her eyesight. Does the brain process information differently visually and via audio? Your wife is a kindred spirit. Would love to know some of the books that her book club reads. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Timothy Price says:

        We do take literacy for granted. When we lived in Spain, I was in a store and there as a Gypsy with a can in his hand showing it to people and they were shooing him away like he was trying to sell them the can he held in his hand. Then he saw me, the nice American, came over with the can and pointed at the label. His dialect was very difficult to understand, but with some patience I finally figured out that 1) he didn’t know how to read, and 2) his wife had sent him to the store to get a can of whatever it was. The problem was, the label had changed. We went back to the isle he got the can from, and we finally determined that that was the right can with a new label. I didn’t want that poor man to go home with the wrong can. I come home with the wrong can often, and it’s not pretty. At that point I really appreciated that as bad as my Spanish was and is, I could at least read a label.

        I’ll send you a list of the books my wife’s book group reads.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I had goosebumps reading your comments. This is an excellent story to begin 2021 – and one that I was carry with me in the months ahead. Thank you!!!!! Looking forward to the books! And give you wife my thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I was fortunate to grow up without a television as well, so by the time I went to college, I was very well-read.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Timothy Price says:

        I can imagine you were.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Jean-Jacques says:

    Ah books to be read…a family passion that dates back to my early days of schooling to the present, long ago shared with the writing of said books in genre. Also sharing a life with a partner who devours books in both English and French, her native tongue, being from France. Both of us, are addicted to a wide variety of literature as in a few lines from a poem of mine hints… in my “My Bibliotheca” – from old scribes, to new books –
    I’ve a library Overflows With books I’ve read, While some Want doze,Tho be tale Old that flows,To ones soul And so wait, For old eyes To be fed, A said read Afore avid dies… I’ve books In my veins,

    Good luck, Rebecca, on your 2021 Book Challenge!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I remember that poem!

      https://fournierjj.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/my-bibliotheca-from-old-scribes-to-new-books/

      I shall keep your words with me as we enter a New Year of exploration via books. Which reminds me – have you seen the upsurge in reading during Covid19. Here is a quote from the World Economic Forum – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-escapism-book-sales-surge-covid-19/

      “Self-isolation around the world has seen a boom in reading,” said Hugo Setzer, International Publishers Association (IPA) president. “Books and reading are the ideal way of escaping our four walls, but also to understand what is happening around us, how to overcome this and how to make our lives better in the future.”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I remember “My Bibliotheca”!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    What a great thing to do as a family! Well done, Aaron for organizing it. I look forward to hearing how everyone does. Happy reading in 2021.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Darlene! I was delighted when Aaron contacted me last year about the 2020 reading challenge. I have chosen your book, “Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone” as one of my 25 books. Since this 25 in 2021 started in Alberta, I thought that Amanda should be a part of the adventure.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Darlene says:

        That is so cool, and it’s a quick read too. Enjoy being 12 again. xo

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Looking forward to going back in time….

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Paul Andruss says:

    Very enjoyable. Big fan of The Expanse TV show and have now got the complete set of books on my TBR so I was quite chuffed to hear the series were the origin of this read-a-thon. Aaron is right you need to make time if you want to do anything other wised it never gets off the ground. Enjoy your reads for 2021

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I have never heard of The Expanse TV show, which is why I am excited to connect with Aaron on the 25 in 2021 Challenge. I need to expand my reading options to include genres that I would never consider reading. My sister, Sarah, said that she had read Witcher a series of fantasy novels and short stories written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. While reading is first a solitary experience, it is connecting with others that allows me to explore nuances within the narratives from different perspectives. Now, I want to explore books from a writer’s perspective. I am looking forward to our conversations on writing, Paul. 2021 will bring many reading adventures to our homes.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Oh I do hope you share some of these books on one or more of your blogs! Retirement is a great time for reading as much as we choose, but I do so admire anyone who takes time to read in their busy lives. I remember the days of squeezing reading time on work breaks, lunch time and weekends. Sometimes chatting with co-workers during work hours was just a rehashing of the news…not very conducive to eking out creative thought or reading. When you’re raising children, working outside the home and/or continuing education, it’s important to walk the fictitious moccasins of others if only for adventure, escape and general distraction from daily stresses. Some chocolate and a nice cup of tea also help 🙂 Hugs to you, my dear friend! Thank you for introducing us to another kind and thoughtful family member.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      We will be sharing the books and Aaron is coming back to discuss how reading different genres creates a broader perspective and understanding of how generational reading preferences nuance the evolution of our society over time. We read differently than we did 30 years ago. For example, The advent of the e-reader has had a huge influence on how and what we read. I am looking forward to our ongoing conversation on this topic, Mary Jo! Happy New Year. Many hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, that should be an interesting discussion! I look forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ms Frances says:

    Thank you, Aaron and Rebecca for the challenge for 2021. Last year and the experience of reading together as a family was special to me. I am looking forward to another year. I am going to try to find new subjects and new reading experiences. It is good to join with others in various projects, it is not so much the competition but the encouragement that we get from others as we join together. I am waiting for y9ur next post! ! Thank you for the 2021 invitation! Happy New Year 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree it is not about the competition, but about the encouragement to read because others are reading with you. They may not read the same books, but there is a sense of togetherness in the reading journey. I am looking at organizing my reading in a different way this year. Looking forward to 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ms Frances says:

    I’m glad I’m joining with you, let us start Jan. 1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      It is going to be a great year of reading.

      Like

  9. HI Rebecca, I was most interesting in this challenge and Aaron’s comments. I agree that you have to make time for reading every day. Reading is the root of all learning. I read 80 books in 2020 and wrote 2 myself. I also wrote several short stories. My stories usually involve a lot of historical research which is also a learning process. I am currently reading All Quiet on the Western Front which is completely shocking and heart rending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, Robbie – reading is indeed the root of all learning. The gift of literacy opens the doors to unimaginable possibilities. You remind me of my sister Sarah’s voracious reading habits. For every book I read, she is able to read three or four books. You and Sarah inspire me! By the way, serendipity has come calling. I have “All Quiet on the Western Front” as one of my books for 2021. Here’s to a marvelous year of reading!! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I must admit, Rebecca, that All Quiet on the Western Front is deeply disturbing. The descriptions are most harrowing and I had nightmares after the one scene. It is good to learn these things though, and remember the horror of war. Do you review books you read? I’d be interested in your thoughts on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clanmother says:

        I agree wholeheartedly that books allow us to recognize war for the horror it is. I find that these narratives give challenge me to seek a peaceful way in my daily interactions. I will be discussing my reading adventures on my blog OnTheRoadBookClub.com, but it does not that the book review formats. This past year I devoted my posts to poetry, but this coming year I will be focused on writing about the books I read. Your comments reminded me of a post I did several years ago on Remembrance Day. https://ontheroadbookclub.com/2012/11/11/a-writer-lives-on/. Sending hugs!

        Like

      3. I read this post about Tolkien and his compatriots who died, Rebecca, a terrible tragedy. I also read your post about William Shakespeare [I have also visited his birth house as well as Anne Hathaway’s house and the Globe Theatre in London] and your post about Pilgrim’s Progress which I also love. Have you read The Land of Far Beyond by Enid Blyton? It is also a children’s version of this book. It is my favourite children’s book. I have followed you on this blog too. Do you have any others?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Clanmother says:

        I just found and downloaded “The Land of Far Beyond” by Enid Blyton on Kindle! This is the very first time that I have heard of this book and this author – many thanks for the introduction. We never made it to the Globe Theatre in London, which was on our plans for our trip in August 2020. Alas! But I have found a way to visit it virtually, until we tread the boards together (Love our technology) https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/discover/about-us/virtual-tour/.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I hope The Land of Far Beyond enthralls you, Rebecca. I’ve read it to both my sons. I love Enid Blyton, especially her Faraway Tree series. Thanks for the link, we visited The Globe in 2018 and I’m glad we did. We were also due to go to the UK in August 2020 – I have hope to make it there this summer.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Clanmother says:

        Serendipity is a powerful force. We could have passed each other in the street. So now, we travel comes back, we’ll meet up at the Globe!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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