Duration: 21st March – 20th June
Number of books: 20
Hosted by: Crazy Challenge Connection
Winnie-the-Pooh: Christopher Robin! I think it would help with this deception if you would just kind of open your umbrella and say, “Tut-tut, it looks like rain.”
Christopher Robin: Tut-tut, it looks like rain. Tut-tut, it looks like rain.
1. Scientists speculate that “sun protecting umbrellas” have been used since the dawn of human civilization. The first use of simply-made palm leaf parasols comes from three to four thousand year old Egypt and Assyria.
☂ Read a book that takes place in any ancient civilization (before 1200 AD; tell us when)
or in modern day Assyria or Egypt OR read a book with a palm tree or palm fronds on its cover; remember to post the cover. – Tough Mothers by Jason Porath
2. As mentioned above, the umbrella’s original purpose was to shade a person from the sun (umbra is Latin for “shade”), a function that is still reflected in the word “parasol,” (derived from the French parare, “to shield” and sol, “sun”) a smaller-sized umbrella used primarily by women.
☂ Read a book written by a female author
OR read a book with a bright, sunny scene on its cover; post the cover. – Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh
3. During their first thousand years of life, parasols were viewed as a symbol of wealth and power. Many civilizations practiced a tradition of showcasing exotic and complexly made parasols of their rulers. From around 1000 BC to 400 AD, small and foldable parasols represented one of the fashion accessories of females in Greece and Rome.
Read a book in any position from 400 – 1,000 (inclusive) on your TBR; tell us the position OR read a book with a wealthy female character (tell us who). – Once Upon a Curse by E.D. Baker
4. History accords two sources for what we consider a water-repelling umbrella. Some sources note that Roman women oiled their paper sunshades, intentionally creating umbrellas for use in the rain. Other sources report the first waterproofed umbrellas were created in ancient China, over 3,000 years ago.
☂ Read a book with a rainy or stormy scene on its cover (post the cover)
OR read a book with an intact “20” in its total page count (tell us how many pages). – Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
5. Modern day widespread acceptance of umbrellas started to spread across Europe in the middle of the 18th century. Up until that point, umbrellas were viewed as a female fashion accessory. The first man who publicly carried an umbrella was Englishman Jonas Hanway. His influence finally introduced the umbrella to the male population of England, and soon after the entire world.
Read a book that takes place in the 1700’s OR read a book that takes place in England. – Stardust by Neil Gaiman
6. Jonas Hanway endured laughter and scorn, before he popularized the umbrella. The largest detractors were English coachmen who saw umbrellas as a threat since they derived a good portion of their income from gentlemen who took cabs in order to keep dry on rainy days. (In the late 1700s and early 1800s, another name for an umbrella was a “Hanway.”)
Read a book by an author whose last name ENDS in “Y” or read a book where a character is scorned or ridiculed for an idea (briefly tell us what). – Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
7. The umbrella eventually became so popular that by the mid-twentieth century, etiquette demanded that the uniform of the English gentleman include hat, gloves, and umbrella. European fashion demanded that umbrellas must be held in the middle of their shaft, with handle pointing toward the ground. English nobility preferred umbrellas made from blue or green silk.
☂ Read a book that is in the middle of a series (anything but first or last; tell us the book’s position in the series)
OR read a book with a blue and/or green cover; post the cover. – Dragon’s Breath by E.D. Baker
8. In nineteenth-century England, specially designed handles that concealed flasks for liquors, daggers and knives, small pads and pencils, or other items were in high demand by wealthy gentlemen.
Read a book with any of the following items on its cover: liquor, dagger, knife, paper, or pencil; remember to post the cover OR read a book in which a character hides something significant (physical objects only; tell us what). – The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
9. Umbrellas can be used as offensive and defensive weapons. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first to start using a Kevlar coated umbrella as a part of his security measures. The shaft can effectively hide a secret blade or any substance. For example, Bulgarian president Georgi Markov was assassinated in 1978 by a KGB agent who carried deadly poison in his modified umbrella.
Read a book involving a spy or secret agent of some type OR read a book whose location starts with a letter in WEAPON; tell us where. – Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions by David Attenborough
10. One of the most important innovations for the umbrella came in the early 1850s, when Samuel Fox conceived the idea of using “U” shaped steel rods for the ribs and stretchers to make a lighter, stronger frame. Previously, English umbrellas had been made from either cane or whalebone; whalebone umbrellas especially were bulky and awkward.
Read a book whose title starts with “U” (disregard a|an|the) OR read a book by an author whose first or last name is Samuel (reasonable variations accepted – i.e. Sam, Samantha, Samuels). – The Romantic Poets by William Blake, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, George Gordon Byron, William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge
11. The first working “folding umbrella” was introduced in 1969 by Bradford Philips. Modern day umbrellas are made with fabrics (nylon, most commonly) that can withstand a drenching rain, dry quickly, fold easily. Umbrellas are coated with Teflon, which makes their canopy waterproof.
Read a book by an author whose first or last name is Bradford or Philips (reasonable variations accepted – i.e. Brad, Bradley, Phillipa) OR read a book in which something is invented; tell us what. – The Alchemist’s Key by Traci Harding (a time / immortality machine)
12. Umbrellas continue to represent an important part of modern fashion. There are many types of umbrellas on the market – traditional, automatic, compact, bubble, storm and crutch umbrellas (they can serve as a walking stick or cane).
☂ Read a book in which a character uses a cane or walking stick
OR read a book whose author’s first and last initial may be found in one of the types of umbrellas (tell us which one). – Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
13. Umbrellas found their way into many new areas of modern life, such as a decoration of many exotic cocktails and drinks. The famous hat that serves as a big parasol is the Mexican sombrero (which can be translated as “shade maker”).
☂ Read a book with an alcoholic beverage on its cover; post the cover
OR read a book that takes place in Mexico. – Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
14. The majority of modern umbrellas are made in China. One city in China (Shangyu) has over a thousand umbrella factories. Umbrellas are made by a hand-assembly process that, except for a few critical areas, can be done by semi-skilled workers.
Read a book that takes place in China OR read a book with a character who is a blue-collar worker; tell us the occupation. – Wicked by Gregory Maguire
15. Slightly more than 33 million umbrellas are sold in the United States each year, for an annual market of 350 million dollars.
☂ Read a book whose author’s name or any title word contain double L’s (LL)
OR read a book in which someone owns a successful business (tell us who). – Kisses and Curses edited by Lauren Burniac
16. “Stick” umbrellas’ shafts may be wood, steel, or aluminum. Fiberglass and other plastics are occasionally used; they are common in the larger golf umbrella. Wood from various types of ash trees, including Rowan wood from Asia, is among the popular choices for a sturdy wood shaft.
Read a book in which a character plays golf (tell us who) OR read a book whose title begins with a letter in “ROWAN” (disregard a|an|the). – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
17. In assembling an umbrella, the ribs and stretchers are first. Ribs run underneath the top (or canopy) of the umbrella; stretchers connect the ribs with the shaft of the umbrella. The stretchers are connected to the shaft of the umbrella with a plastic or metal runner, the piece that moves along the shaft of the umbrella when it is opened or closed.
☂ Read a book whose title contains a noun that ends in “ER”
or read a book whose cover shows an open umbrella (table umbrellas are fine); post the cover. – Shutter by Courtney Alameda
18. There are two catch springs in the shaft of each umbrella; these are small pieces of metal that need to be pressed when the umbrella is slid up the shaft to open, and again when the umbrella is slid down the shaft for closing. Metal shafts are usually hollow, and the catch spring can be inserted, while a wood shaft requires that a space for the catch spring be hollowed out.
☂ Read a book with a 2 in the total number of pages; tell us how many pages
OR read a book with any of the following words in its title: OPEN, CLOSE, PIN, SPRING, or HOLLOW. – Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (328 pages)
19. The cover or canopy of the umbrella is hand sewn in individual panels to the ribs. Because each panel has to be shaped to the curve of the canopy, the cover cannot be cut in one piece. The typical rain umbrella has eight panels, although some umbrellas have only six panels (children’s umbrellas and parasols) and some have as many as twelve panels. At one point, the number of panels in an umbrella may have been an indication of quality (or at least of the amount of attention the umbrella maker paid to his product).
Read a book that is an even number in a series (tell us the series and the book’s position) OR read a children’s book (must still meet the 150 pp. minimum requirement). – Hans Christian Andersen Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
20. The umbrella handle is connected to the shaft at the end of the process, and can be wood, plastic, metal, or any combination of desired materials. Though handles can be screwed on, better-quality umbrellas use glue to secure the handle more tightly.
Read a book that may be classified in at least two different genres; tell us the genres OR read a book in which a character ‘handles’ a situation in a quality manner (briefly tell us why). – Dangerously Fierce by Deborah Blake