On Joining the Legendary Book Club of Habitica

Apparently I didn’t actually join the Legendary Book Club of Habitica when I joined the guild’s 2016 Modest Reading Challenge. Or maybe I did and they kicked me out because I didn’t post enough? But I did complete the challenge, which was a mere 12 books. Anyway, when I went to look at the 2017 challenges, I made sure to join the guild. And this year I decided to attempt the Ultimate Reading Challenge, which is 52 books.

I know, I know, I said I was done joining annual challenges, but I took a peek at this one and realized that it’s composed almost entirely of tasks I already have for other challenges. So I would be a fool not to join. A fool, I say! So, here are the 52 tasks (in no particular order):

  • A book with a red spine
  • A book set in two different time periods
  • The oldest book in your TBR pile/list
  • A book with a month or day of the week in the title
  • A book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending
  • A book set around a holiday other than Christmas/Yule/Hannakuh/Kwanzaa/Festivus/etc
  • A book about a topic you already love – Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book by Joss Whedon et al
  • A book set in a hotel
  • A book in translation
  • A book that takes place over a character’s life span
  • A book you never finished
  • A book that is mentioned in another book
  • A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit
  • A book recommended by an author you love
  • A book with a single-word title
  • The first book in a series that you haven’t read before
  • A book about food
  • A book about a difficult topic
  • A book with a subtitle
  • A script or screenplay – Black Coffee by Agatha Christie
  • A book by an author who goes by at least one of their initials instead of their name
  • A book with a family-member term in the title
  • A book involving a mythical creature
  • A book featuring something that doesn’t normally talk doing so
  • A book with a cat on the cover
  • A book that is set within 100 miles of your location
  • A book by a person with a disability
  • A classic by a non-European author
  • A book with multiple authors
  • A book based on mythology
  • A book that is a frame story
  • A Newbery Award winner
  • A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
  • A book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color
  • A book with a title that has a character’s name
  • A collection of stories by a woman
  • A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
  • A book of letters or about letters
  • A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited
  • A book with one of the four seasons in the title
  • A book you loved as a child
  • A book recommended by a librarian or bookseller
  • A book with pictures
  • A book that you can finish in a day
  • A book with a chase scene – Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • A book by an indigenous person
  • A book set in the wilderness
  • A book published before you were born
  • A book from a non-human perspective
  • A book nominated for an award in 2017
  • A book with career advice
  • A book of any genre that addresses current events

Since double-dipping is discouraged in this challenge, and I have to mark a task as completed in order to get the xp for it, I’m going to be declaring each task as it is completed and just hope it works out well. Most of these I have a pretty good idea what I’m going to read, but a few are new tasks. Like “a book with a chase scene.” Anybody have any suggestions for that one?

Fancy Chicken Salad Sandwiches

One of the book clubs I belong to occasionally meets for afternoon tea, and over the years, we’ve each developed a specialty of sorts. Mine is chicken salad croissants. (Though I don’t make the actual croissants myself.)

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I will not be finishing the book. I lasted all of seven paragraphs before giving up.

This time I somewhat unintentionally got a little fancy. Okay, okay, the croissants were from the grocery store (which I doubt I will be doing anymore, as their quality has really declined, and it’s not like this town doesn’t have any decent bakeries), and the chicken was from a can (which I will always do because I simply will not handle raw poultry). But I think nearly everything else I used was organic.

My recipe, if you want to call it that, is not difficult or even all that unusual, if you ask me, but I get a lot of compliments on it, so here it is.

 

I drain the canned chicken, plunk it into a bowl, and fluff it with a fork. For this, I used two of the largish (I think 12.5 ounces, but I wouldn’t swear to it) cans. Then I chop up an apple and put most of that in. (I usually end up eating a wedge or two of the apple in the process.) Then I add some chopped sweet onion, chopped nuts (in this case, pecans, but it’s often walnuts), and some sort of fruit. I prefer to use halved grapes, but this time all I had was dried cherries. I really should have chopped those cherries up, but I was in a bit of a rush. Ah, well, I’ll remember that next time.

I empty an entire 16-ounce container of sour cream (this time I used Wallaby Organic) into a separate bowl, then spoon in some mayonnaise. I never measure it. You’ll just have to engage in some trial and error to find what ratio you like best. (My advice is to start small; you can always add more.) I then season it to my liking, which is different every time I make it, but some of my favorites are garlic salt, ginger powder, herbes de Provence, and paprika. Then I do some taste testing and adjust the mayo content and the seasonings.

Then I spoon some of the goo into the chicken bowl and mix it up. Again, start small, then add more until you reach a consistency you like. Once you have it all mixed up to your liking, you can scoop some onto your croissants or rolls or whatever and enjoy!