The 2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

I love a good book.

But do you know what’s even better than a good book? A good book – about books!

There’s something so meta about reading a book involving book lovers, or that takes place in a library, or that jumps from book to book within that book. It’s like a secret that only book lovers can appreciate.

When I saw this reading challenge over on Susan’s blog Bloggin’ ’bout Books, I knew I had to sign up. I could already think of a handful of books with book themes on my shelves that I wanted to read, and what better motivation to read them than a reading challenge?

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2023 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Raise your hand if you love a reading challenge!

I know it’s already February, but I’ve had the idea in the back of my mind that I really should join a reading challenge other than the usual Goodreads reading challenge (where, if you’re curious, I’ve said I’ll read 50 books this year).

I was clicking around the internet and trying to get ideas on what to write for my blog (even though there is a handful of reviews I could write but keep putting off) and came across the 2023 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge over on Helen’s Book Blog.

This challenge is hosted by Dollycas over at Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book and runs for the entire year.

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Revisiting Old Favourites: 3 Scary Books Reread

I never used to be a rereader of books, but when I started reading more and more earlier this year, I had the urge to do a LOT of rereading.

When the spooky season rolled around, I wanted to reread all of the books I remembered finding scary in the past – as in, books that really and truly creeped me out. Would they still scare me now?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.

Reread #1: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The first book I reread was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I first read this long before the Netflix adaptation was released, and I remember it being creepy but also not so creepy. It was almost like you knew something scary was there, but it was just on the edge of your peripheral vision, so you never caught it clearly. This book is fantastic and worth many, many rereads. Since this was my first time rereading the story since watching the Netflix adaptation (which I had watched at least 3 times – it really is fantastic), I went into it wanting to look for similarities. What parts from the book made it into the show? And were any of the characters the same?

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12 Swoon-Worthy Romances You Need to Read Before the End of the Year

The end of the year is upon us, and with that, for many people, comes the stress of the holidays. The best way to relieve that stress is with a good book. Below is a list of swoon-worthy romances you need to read before the end of the year, with books full of romance, will they/won’t they, travel, secret relationships, friends to lovers, and so much more! Romance books are full of tropes people either love to love or love to hate, and the best part is getting to read all the romance to find the best of the best.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.


swoon-worthy romances #1-4

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah Green, who is quite happy with her life in New York, far away from her hometown of Bright Falls, is called back to her old life when her sister asks her to photograph her wedding. While there, she meets Claire and wonders if her life with a different woman every night back in New York is really what matters. Will this clash of Delilah, who lives a life of surprise, and Claire, who prefers life with no surprises, collide? Or will sparks fly?

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5 Unique Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors You Need to Read This Month!

5 books by Canadian Indigenous Authors to Read With Your Kids Article by Hygge Dreamer

If you’re looking to support Indigenous authors in children’s publishing this month — which you should — look no further! Here are 5 unique and emotional books written by Canadian Indigenous authors for you to read this month. Whether you read them with your kids or on your own, you’re sure to love this selection. Of course, there are way more than 5 amazing books by Canadian Indigenous authors available today, so be sure to check back in the future for more recommendations.

The Barren Grounds (The Misewa Saga #1) by David Alexander Robertson

Four figures on a barren landscape.

From Goodreads: Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.

Forever Birchwood by Danielle Daniel

Four friends walk toward a treehouse.

From Goodreads: Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her.

But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives–and construction company–seem equally suspect.

As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much–can they even stay together long enough to save this special place?

With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person’s life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended.

Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children by Wendy Proverbs

Two girls hold hands before a dark night.

From Goodreads: Based on the true story of the author’s biological mother and aunt, this middle-grade novel traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school.

When Maddy discovers an old photograph of two little girls in her grandmother’s belongings, she wants to know who they are. Nan reluctantly agrees to tell her the story, though she is unsure if Maddy is ready to hear it. The girls in the photo, Aggie and Mudgy, are two Kaska Dena sisters who lived many years ago in a remote village on the BC–Yukon border. Like countless Indigenous children, they were taken from their families at a young age to attend residential school, where they endured years of isolation and abuse.

As Nan tells the story, Maddy asks many questions about Aggie and Mudgy’s 1,600-kilometre journey by riverboat, mail truck, paddlewheeler, steamship, and train, from their home to Lejac Residential School in central BC. Nan patiently explains historical facts and geographical places of the story, helping Maddy understand Aggie and Mudgy’s transitional world. Unlike many books on this subject, this story focuses on the journey to residential school rather than the experience of attending the school itself. It offers a glimpse into the act of being physically uprooted and transported far away from loved ones. Aggie and Mudgy captures the breakdown of family by the forces of colonialism, but also celebrates the survival and perseverance of the descendants of residential school survivors to reestablish the bonds of family.

Treaty Words: For As Long As the Rivers Flow by Aimee Craft (Luke Swinson – Illustrator)

Two people sit on a riverbank as a bird soars above.

From Goodreads: The first treaty that was made was between the earth and the sky. It was an agreement to work together. We build all of our treaties on that original treaty.

On the banks of the river that have been Mishomis’s home his whole life, he teaches his granddaughter to listen—to hear both the sounds and the silences, and so to learn her place in Creation. Most importantly, he teaches her about treaties—the bonds of reciprocity and renewal that endure for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow.

Accompanied by illustrations by Luke Swinson and an author’s note at the end, Aimée Craft communicates the importance of understanding an Indigenous perspective on treaties.

The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills

An illustrated graveyard with a cat and two figures.

From Goodreads: Ghosts aren’t meant to stick around forever…

Shelly and her grandmother catch ghosts. In their hair.

Just like all the women in their family, they can see souls who haven’t transitioned yet; it’s their job to help the ghosts along their journey. When Shelly’s mom dies suddenly, Shelly’s relationship to ghosts—and death—changes. Instead of helping spirits move on, Shelly starts hoarding them. But no matter how many ghost cats, dogs, or people she hides in her room, Shelly can’t ignore the one ghost that’s missing. Why hasn’t her mom’s ghost come home yet?

Rooted in a Cree worldview and inspired by stories about the author’s great-grandmother’s life, The Ghost Collector delves into questions of grief and loss, and introduces an exciting new voice in tween fiction that will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home and Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.

Have you read any books written by Canadian Indigenous authors lately with your kids? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!

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