Okay… this is a challenge I saw Rebecca at Bookishly Rebecca complete on her blog (see the post here), and after reading through it I KNEW I had to try! Rebecca did this scavenger hunt on her own bookshelves, but as a newer book blogger still building up my collection, I decided to go for it in a bookstore where it would (hopefully) be easier for me to find a book that meets each step’s requirements!
I think I’m supposed to tag others do to this, but I’ll just extend it to everyone – if you think you’re up to the challenge, I’d love to see you attempt the Bookstore Scavenger Hunt! (Be warned, it’s harder than it looks).
Step One: Find your favorite book.
At the time of doing this challenge, I had not yet found my favorite book as an adult. (I might have found it in March, though – see my Buzzwordathon Wrap Up to find out which book that is!) So I went ahead with my favorite book from middle school, Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes.
Step Two: Find a book with an author who has the same first or last name as author #1.
Easy, right? Well, let me tell you – it took me a LONG TIME to find another Kevin on the bookshelves! But eventually, I did.
Do You Realize? by Kevin A. Kuhn, a science fiction novel about a middle-aged man stuck in a rut who finds himself presented with the opportunity to beta-test an app that allows him to journey through alternate versions of his past.
This was a SUPER exciting find – this book gives me major Dark Matter vibes (a book by Blake Crouch which I LOVE), so I was already pretty stoked at this challenge finding me a book I’d never heard of but am excited to read!
Step Three: Open the book to page 74, line 3. Pick two words from that line and find another book with those two words in the title.
Also easy, right? I opened up my intriguing new book to find page 74 and…
line #3 reads “and so few connections…” which left me pretty stuck. I tried all combinations: and-so, and-few, and-connections, so-connections, and few-connections. Even with the help of Goodreads, I couldn’t find any books with those words in the title, let alone any that my local Half Price Books had in stock. So, I went with Plan B: starting over.
My other favorite childhood books were the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. With this new author’s name, I soon found another Barbara on the bookshelves: Barbara Kingsolver. I opened up one of her books to page 74, line 3 and found:
“could swear it was the quiet that woke her, the fact that their talk of” which gave me SO many more options for book titles! I ventured into the mystery/thriller aisle and eventually found The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb.
And even though the word in the sentence was “quiet” and not “unquiet,” I still counted it!
The Unquiet Grave is set in nineteenth century West Virginia and is based on the true story of the Greenbrier Ghost murder trial. Although it doesn’t sound like a book I would choose for myself, it gave me all I needed to know to move onto the next step!
Step Four: Find a book with similar context.
I pretty much only had to turn around in the aisle to find the perfect book to fit this prompt, An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd.
Clearly the titles are similar, but beyond that this book is also an American historical fiction novel centered around a murder mystery.
Step Five: Upon finding that book, find a diverse book with a similar title.
For this one, I didn’t necessarily want to find a third book with “grave” in the title, so I went another route – an unmarked grave would not have a name on it, right?
Didn’t take me long at all to find The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block. This book is about an unnamed African-American girl wandering the streets of Buffalo who is found and brought in to a psych ward for studying. I know that having an African-American main character does not automatically make a book diverse, especially in a book set in the US, but I think this might be as good of a match as I was going to find.
Step Six: Pick a main character’s name from that book and find another book that has that name in the title.
Well, the main character of my book is unnamed, which makes this challenge tough. The doctor is named on the back of the book, Dr. Zoe Goldman, but no books were coming to mind with Zoe in the title. I did also notice that the unnamed main character is called Jane Doe, so I ran with that – I know of a book with Jane in the title!
Hello, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I was extra excited about this one because I don’t own the book and I’ve been interested in picking it up – so this gives me the perfect excuse! (Also, how adorable is this Charlotte Bronte collection? It’s not the one I bought, but it is cute to look at.)
Step Seven: Open that book to a random page and pick a word without looking. Find a book with that word in the title.
I went ahead and opened Jane Eyre randomly to page to 322, laid my finger near the top of the page, and found myself on the word “stranger.” Back to the thriller section I went to find The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda.
Step Eight: Buy or check out your books!!
This was an awesome challenge! Although I had heard of some of these books before, I definitely hadn’t heard of all of them, and wasn’t planning on picking them up on my own accord anytime soon. This gave me a nice push.
The three I decided to actually purchase were Do You Realize? (a sci-fi that I had never heard of but looks up my alley), Jane Eyre (a classic I’ve been meaning to pick up), and The Perfect Stranger (a thriller I have heard of but hadn’t made my decision on whether to pick it up or not). A great variety I would say, and the perfect excuse for new books!
I would love to do this again sometime, in a new bookstore and with a new starting point. I love how limitless the options are and how easy it is to find books you hadn’t heard of before or weren’t planning on reading. I highly encourage this challenge to anyone looking to find some new, underhyped books!
Thanks again to Bookishly Rebecca for introducing me to this challenge! 🙂