Join Our Book Reading Challenge – June 2017

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”
~ Vera Nazarian

Do you love to read?

In January a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge.

Already we have read some fine books, and learned about new reading possibilities from our friends who have posted their own recommendations. My personal reading list is now long enough to get me through until next year, and it was a wonderful resource when it came to loading up on e-books and audio books before I went on holidays.

For those of you who are just joining us now let me explain the Challenge to you. It’s pretty easy!

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when… Or it could be an e-book, or an audio book. It can be any kind of book at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. Or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book you are currently reading here on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest another book that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of books that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Download the Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet. Each month write the name of the book you have read in the corresponding square. If you read two books in one month it’s fine to allocate one to another month. Or add the extra book to your existing month. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read. It could be as little as ten cents per book. Here’s the Bingo Sheet for you to download – just click on this link: Book Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet Then start filling it in when you’ve read your first
  4. In December I am going to ask you to use the money you have saved to buy and donate a book to a charity for a Christmas gift OR donate the money to a literacy project or similar. (Even if you only saved ten cents each month $1 will buy you a decent second-hand book just about anywhere.) It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!

For those of you who are already participating, I can’t wait to hear about your book recommendations! Pop them in the comments below.

But if you haven’t joined us yet, it’s not too late. And I’d love you to get your friends involved too, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

On the first Saturday of every month, I’ll post an update here on the blog, and ask you what you are reading and if you have any recommendations to share.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else.

Do you want to join me?

Go ahead and write your name below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx


Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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11 thoughts on “Join Our Book Reading Challenge – June 2017

  1. I am sitting with a good friend who has suddenly and unexpectedly come to the closing of this life span. I have brought books to escape but not started reading yet. I will, but when he wakes we reminisce instead. There will be time later to read. Books are my escape from reality. Glad you are FINALLY getting good “me time” and resting.
    Thank you for giving me the tools to help him.
    Love and light and lots of hugs.

  2. I’m in! I’ve got a few books I need to complete and a quite a few in the to-read pile. I love the idea of making a kitty to buy a book to donate. Paying it forward 🙂
    Right now I’m reading Jodi Sweetin’s memoir, it’s a raw and brutally honest account of her experience growing up as a child star and then her battle with alcohol, drugs and her own identity. I’m also reading the 15 invaluable laws of growth by John C Maxwell – a how to guide to pursue intentional personal growth and development. Next on my list is Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon because, aliens 😉 I plan to pick up more from the library, I’m wanting to learn more about body safety, teaching kids healthy boundaries, consent – that sort of thing. I’m open to suggestions too of course! Happy reading Nic and everyone else in the challenge! Xx

  3. Hi Nicole, this is a very interesting project you have, it is such a good way to do a random act of kindness. I very much like the idea. I’d like to do the Jar and donate it in December 😊

    Thanks for sharing this.


  4. Last month I was mostly in hospital or home in my bedroom. This month is shaping up to look quite similar. If nothing else it’s great for reading – so that’s one lovely thing to come out of an otherwise horrible health adventure…

    Here’s what I consumed last month:
    Mary-Rose MacColl’s ‘For a Girl: A true story of secrets, motherhood and hope’. This brave memoir is a rich and deep-diving emotional journey as we follow Mary-Rose’s account of being secretly groomed and seduced by a trusted teacher and his wife at fifteen, having a baby to them a few years later and then giving her away and resuming her life as though nothing had happened. As a grown woman and mother to a young son Mary-Rose’s body suddenly begins to discharge troubling flashbacks and memory snippets of this great time of loss and upheaval in her life, after years of living with those emotions locked away. I found this book to be so insightful, kind and wise. And it made me want to immediately race to Mary-Rose’s house with tea and cake and hugs.

    ‘After’, by Nikki Gemmel is also a memoir. Nikki writes about her mother’s suicide and aftermath, as well as exploring themes of family, pain management, motherhood and euthanasia. The early writing style captures Nikki’s fractured state of mind and barely-copingness, and then gradually moves from staccato back to a gentle rhythm as the book, and Nikki’s timeline, move on. It’s sensitive, considered and brutally honest. I enjoyed this immensely, even with the difficult topics it covered. It is certainly the kind of conversation we need to be having in our families and within our communities.

    ‘Buddhism for Breakups’ by Meshel Laurie is a book I’d recommend to ANYONE who has ever been hung up on a relationship that failed or failed to deliver. It’s written in the backwash Meshel’s own marriage breakdown, and she has used Buddhist principles to examine her feelings and actions to be able to come to a place of peace and acceptance of what is, so that she and her ex-husband can successfully continue relating and co-parenting their young children. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t in the same situation. If you’ve ever been dumped, fired, treated badly, rejected or just had a friendship, family situation or other relationship create hurt and hardship this book will help you to navigate your feelings and move on. It’s very much a how-to book with lots of examples and activities for you to try or reflect upon.

    A big thank you to my friend Kelly Exeter for recommending ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara. This novel is quite a dark tale in some respects. It follows a group of friends from their time at college until middle age, and focuses in particular on one character, Jude, whose traumatic past is slowly revealed throughout the book. It deals with ‘difficult’ themes – sexual abuse, trauma and self-harm, and some people have focussed on that as the sole offering of this book. But I didn’t see it like that at all. I saw a sweeping tale with tight focus details of the events that make up real lives and real relationships. As someone who has also suffered from chronic illness and pain, I thought that Hanya did an incredible job, with a light but deft tough, at portraying the many emotions and complexities of such a life. The writing is exquisite. The story is breath-taking. And when I finished the last page I held the book to my chest and sat quietly while afternoon turned into evening. This is the kind of book where the characters stay with you long after the book is back on the shelf.

    How about you? What did you read? Biggest hugs and love, Nicole xx

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