2018 WHEN Are You Reading? @SamAnnElizabeth ‘s Challenge – Completed

Way back in January I decided to try this challenge run by Sam Ann Elizabeth 

The complete challenge was to include at least 12 books, one from each of the following eras:

  • Pre 1500
  • 1500-1599
  • 1600-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I wasn’t sure if I read widely enough across the timeline, but today my results surprised me. In sections where I’ve read a high volume of books, I’ve chosen a selection of books. Book titles have links to my reviews.

Pre 1500s

Athena’s Champion by David Hair and Cath Mayo – Greek mythology

Brethren by Robyn Young – Knights Templar

Smile Of The Wolf by Tim Leach – Set in Iceland

The Greenest Branch by J.K. Adams – Set in Germany and features Benedictine abbess Hildegard

The Heart Of The Conqueror by G. Lawrence – About William the Conqueror

Daughter Of War by S .J .A. Turney – Knights Templar



The Golden Lynx by C.P. Lesley – Set in Russia


Flood by Ann Swinfen – Set in England’s Fenlands

The Green Phoenix by Alice Poon – Set in China


The Earl And The Enchantress by Paulette Golden – Historical romance

Whales And Strange Stars by Kathy Sharp – Set in Kent


The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett – YA tale of emigration

The Mysterious Lord Millcroft by Virginia Heath – Historical romance

From Governess To Countess by Marguerite Kaye – Historical romance

The Dressmaker’s Secret by Charlotte Betts – Features Princess Caroline Of Brunswick

Winds Of Time by Lilly Gayle – Historical romance set in Texas

My Antonia by Willa Cather – Classic American historical fiction set in Nebraska


The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull – Featuring early women aviators

Call Of The Canyon by Zane Grey – Set in Arizona

The Captain And The Calvalry Trooper by Catherine Curzon – M/M romance set during WW1


Trusting The Currents by Lynnda Pollio – Set in small town America, with a spiritual theme.

The Madonna Of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida (begins in 1923) Set in Italy


A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton – Family saga set in London during WW2

Never Say Goodbye by Hilary Green – A resistance-themed WW2 drama


Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (begins in 1962) Set in southern Georgia

Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton – Set in Memphis


Nightfall Berlin by Jack Grimwood – A cold war thriller

Dear Comrade Novak by Silvia Hildebrant – Set in Romania during the revolution

Lucky Star by Holly Curtis – Coming of age story

2000- present

Connectedness by Sandra Danby (begins in 2009) – Story featuring adoption

Lush by Gabrielle Fernie – A true story soaked in gin

The Woman At Number 24 by Juliet Ashton – Set in Notting Hill


Amendments by Hannah Lynn – Set in futuristic Britain

The Afterlife Of Alice Watkins by Matilda Scotney – Mild scifi

If you’d like to join in with the challenge for 2019 check out Sam’s blog post here.

Gentle #SciFi Rosie’s #Bookreview of The Afterlife Of Alice Watkins by Matilda Scotney

The Afterlife of Alice Watkins (The Afterlife of Alice Watkins #1)The Afterlife of Alice Watkins by Matilda Scotney

3.5 stars

The Afterlife of Alice Watkins is book one of a gentle science fiction series. It opens with Alice, who lives in Australia and is about to celebrate her sixty-fifth birthday. She falls asleep in her chair; when she awakes she is very confused; everything seems different. A carer and doctor explain that she has been asleep for around four-hundred-years, and her name is Alexis Langley.

Each day brings new discoveries for Alice. Currently her home is on a spaceship near Saturn, but the team around her are preparing for her return to earth. Alice is shocked when she sees a reflection of herself; gone is her grey hair and wrinkled skin. The women who returns her gaze is red-haired and aged around thirty-years-old. Alice still insists she’s Alice Watkins, but there are unexplainable moments. Sometimes she speaks and acts in ways that the old Alice would never have done. Could she perhaps be the Alexis that the others insist she is?

This had aspects of interest, but it is a slow read. There are technical scifi elements, mixed with everyday relationships, plus whispers of a romance and a degree of mystery. However, book one of any series needs to grab the reader with interesting characters, perhaps some tension or high drama and a tempting storyline. Although I understood the need for world-building and descriptions of the futuristic space technology, there was room for another round of strict editing. I thought the main storyline was watered down by too many secondary characters and time spent on unnecessary mundane activities.

Alice’s dual-character was intriguing, but I would have liked to see more of a dramatic contrast in behaviour between the two personas that share the same body. There was also room to give the other significant characters more clear-cut personalities. I understand that this series sets out with a time-travelling granny, but the contrast of sharing her body with someone who is half her age is a hard task to pull-off convincingly. Overall an interesting idea, but it all took too long to unfurl for me.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

In the distant future…
Alice Watkins is history.
Time’s attention must have been elsewhere the moment old, grey, unsophisticated Alice Watkins died in her armchair a few days before her birthday in November 2016.
It still wasn’t minding what it was doing on Saturn Station in the year 2513.
Dr Jim Grossmith, one of the most eminent scientists of the age has devoted his career to The Sleeping Beauty Phenomenon, guarding the beautiful, red-haired young woman who sleeps peacefully, in a mysterious sarcophagus, her life perfectly suspended, her body preserved in a strange fluid. The woman, cocooned in her protective shell has defied scientific analysis for almost four hundred years. History recorded little, only that she is Dr Alexis Langley, a noted scientist of her time.
When the sarcophagus opens and vanishes without a trace, leaving the young woman in his care, Jim Grossmith eagerly awaits the day when she can tell him the manner of her preservation. A strange science, lost in the annals of the past? Alien technology?
But as he learns her story, Jim Grossmith finds himself faced with an even deeper mystery. He is certain the physical form of Dr Alexis Langley emerged from the sarcophagus, but as for anything else…

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