“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 decided to nominate 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.
Would you like to join us? Let me explain the Challenge to you:
It involves four simple steps:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 September…
Let’s end the month off with the list of books, stories, articles and audiobooks we’ve already enjoyed in September.
This month I’ve listened to the audiobook version of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, narrated by Richard Armitage. Based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, it is a tale of love and survival set amidst the horror that was Auschwitz. I found the story deeply moving, and I had to stop listening to it at bedtime because I found myself setting my story timer for another fifteen minutes and then another and then lay awake thinking about the story instead of sleeping! I won’t give too much away, but I do recommend this book. I found myself crying and smiling by turn, and the postscript at the end gave me closure. The story has stayed with me.
I also read Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee. This brave and sensitive memoir by a young Brisbane woman narrates her journey first as a newly-minted judge’s associate within the legal system where the majority of cases dealt with were sexual crimes, and then as a complainant when she went back into the same system to pursue the man who had sexually assaulted her as a primary-school aged child. It unexpectedly became a launchpad for my own discussions about the sexual assaults I experienced as a child and young woman. An important book, that I hope will lead to even-more-important conversations and action.
Go ahead and tell us your September reads in the comments below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.
Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx