Join our Book Reading Challenge for May 2018

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”  
~  Marcus Tullius Cicero

Do you love to read?

In January of 2017 a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge. It was a fine year of reading, friendship and sharing of our love of stories and all things book-related. Now, in 2018, with a successful Challenge already completed, we’ve embarked on a new year of reading adventures.

This year the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Team has nominated Pencils of Promise as the charity we’ll be supporting through our Book Reading Challenge. Pencils of Promise build schools in the developing world, train teachers, and support kids and communities to be able to access education. In 2018 more than 1 in every ten children around the world is illiterate and in developing countries, that figure is 1 in 3. I’m hoping that our loyal blog community can change that, and help provide opportunities for some of those kids to be able to read, write and learn so that their lives can open out in front of them in more meaningful ways.

It’ never too late to join us! Let me explain the Challenge to you:

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book, short story or journal article 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. It could be an e-book or an audio-book. It can be any kind of book, story or article 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. A comment piece, investigative journalism, or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book, story or article you are currently reading or listening to here or have finished during the month on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest any books, stories, articles or audiobooks that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of resources that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Sign up to become a Team Member of the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Fundraising Team for Pencils of Promise. Here’s the link for you to join.
  4. Download the Book Tracker. Each month write the name of any book/story/article you have read in the corresponding month. It’s fine to add more than one. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read or go directly to Pencils of Promise and make a donation there. It doesn’t have to be much. Whatever you can afford will be great. Here’s the Book Tracker for you to download – just click on this link: BOOK-TRACKER-3. There’s a space for you to write down your reading wish list. Then start filling in the Monthly Tracker when you’ve read your first book.
  5. During the year I will put up a Book Challenge Post on the fourth Saturday of every month so that we can discuss the books and stories we’ve read or listened to, and swap ideas and reviews. I’ll also be asking you to donate the money you set aside from your completed books and stories to Pencils of Promise. When you donate that money is up to you. Just make sure you have registered as a team member first. 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!
  6. During the year we will also be holding a Read-A-Thon so that you can get your family, friends and workmates to sponsor you for the books and stories you read or listen to. It will be a great way for you to indulge in some reading for a good cause, and to raise some extra money towards our goal.

Download this: BOOK-TRACKER-3

I’d love you to get your friends involved, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end, and at various points before that, we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else in the form of a donation to help Pencils of Promise deliver more readers and writers to the world.

So, that’s our Reading Challenge for 2018. Want to join us? Go add your name below, join our Fundraising Team and don’t forget to let us know what books have you been reading or listening to this past month.

And now for May…

This month I’ve enjoyed an excellent book called Dirty Genes by Dr Ben Lynch. It’s a practical and informative book to help you understand how various genes within your body affect your physical health, mental health and personality and what to do when your genes aren’t working well so that you can optimise your health. I know I have a problematic MTHFR gene, and it has been empowering to realise what I can do with diet and stress management to improve my overall health. I highly recommend this book!

I’ve also listened to The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, narrated by Jeremy Irons. This is an old favourite of mine and while I’ve been unwell it has been such a comfort listening to this classic again.

How about you? What books, stories, articles and audiobooks have you enjoyed in May?

Go ahead and tell us in the comments 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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3 thoughts on “Join our Book Reading Challenge for May 2018

  1. I read “A Wake of Vultures,” by Lila Bowen. It’s about a runaway half-Black, half-Native non-cis girl in the old American West who kills a vampire and can then recognize the monsters around her. She discovers some of her destiny and powers on her quest to kill the Cannibal Owl. Not my usual fare, but I’m really glad I picked it up, as the main character was compelling and it had so many original elements. Despite the monsters, I wouldn’t describe it as particularly gory. It was more empowering in its focus on Rhett coming into her/his own.

  2. I have read a non fiction book this month. The first ever that wasn’t a study book.
    I have met the author on 2 expeditions where he was the ornithologist.
    His lectures were always very witty, erudite and informative.
    His 20 minute talk on Tits and Boobies was hilarious. (2 Types of birds)
    This book is called “The Thing With Feathers”

    He postulates how and why pigeons find their way home, how and why starlings flock and move in their thousands, ( a murmuration of starlings) There is a chapter on Buzzards and their sense of smell, and other birds and their specialist behaviours.
    If you have the slightest interest in birds then this is definitely one to read

  3. I have just finished ‘Leila’s secret’ by Kooshyar Karimi.

    Spellbinding and heartbreaking, the true story told by Kooshyar Karimi in ‘Leila’s Secret’ shows us everyday life for women in a country where it can be a crime to fall in love.

    Born in a slum to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother, Kooshyar Karimi has transformed himself into a successful doctor, an award-winning writer, and an adoring father. His could be a comfortable life but his conscience won’t permit it: he is incapable of turning away the unmarried women who beg him to save their lives by ending the pregnancies that, if discovered, would see them stoned to death.

    One of those women is 22-year-old Leila. Beautiful, intelligent, passionate, she yearns to go to university but her strictly traditional family forbids it. Returning home from the library one day – among the few trips she’s allowed out of the house – she meets a handsome shopkeeper, and her fate is sealed. Kooshyar has rescued countless women, but Leila seeks his help for a different reason, one that will haunt him for years afterwards

    Couldn’t put it down!

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