Books, Games

Words and Games that Challenge You and Books + More

Today, I bring you a few fun games that challenge your brain, ensure you use your noodle, and have fun in the process. Plus, as always a couple of books, and then some.

note: This is another 3Rs (renew, reuse, recycle!) post, another one that I brought back from the archives (March 18, 2012 to be exact). As always, I have made some updates to the original post (formatting/rewording it a bit to work for current date/ and added some new content).

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I definitely would (or have already) use myself 💗

5+ Fun Games that Challenge You to Use Your Noodle

The first two games below were originally reviewed in the 2012 post. As mentioned earlier, I made minor updates to reflect today’s date. The last game is a more recent discovery


A totally fun game to keep your brain occupied – helps improve visual perception and spacial abilities with its 2D and 3D puzzles.

The game comes in a black case where all the ‘noodles’ (linked spheres in different shapes) are packed together. The case is also the playing area. The included booklet has 100 puzzles of various levels. Use the diagrams in the booklet to place some of the noodles as shown in the diagrams and then try to fill in the empty/remaining spaces with the remaining noodles.The initial puzzles for both 2D and 3D are simple and get more complex as you move on. The 2D puzzles till level 4 can be easily done by younger kids.


  • Compact, easy to carry
  • Perfect for travel to avoid ‘Are-we-there-yet?’ questions as well as for waits in waiting rooms for you or the kids. 
  • Improves visual/spacial perception
  • Kids of all ages (even adults) can enjoy this
  • Great to gift
  • Has a two-played headon challenge game as well (different from this one reviewed here)


  • Many of the puzzles are easily solved by older kids/adults
  • Once solved, may not present a challenge

Rating: B+
Ages: 4+ (Manufacturer age – 7+)

Rory’s Story Cubes

This game can provide hours of fun while engaging your imagination. Perfect to come up with story ideas if you are ever facing a writer’s block. A family favorite that all of us play at all odd hours of the day. This game is simply put, genius!

There are nine six-sided die with detailed images on each side. The concept is simple – roll the die and make up a story. The images range from smiley faces to a tepee and even a dice!! I play played the game with my then nine year old son and six year old daughter – and the result is was – amazing stories and I am left amazed at how much my kids know knew at that time and at their imagination! My children come came up with new rules and ways to play the game each time which makes made it all the more fun and interesting.

The box includes a few different ways to play this game and you can find many more ways to play it online at the Story Cubes site.

This can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.


  • Compact, easy to carry
  • Perfect for travel and for waiting room blues; can be played just about anywhere
  • Kids of all ages (even adults) can enjoy this
  • Can be used as a conversation-starter/ice-breaker at parties for kids and adults
  • Can help writers get over writer’s block
  • Come up with wonderful stories! 
  • Wonderful family game
  • Improves vocabulary, creative thinking, imagination, perception, and more!
  • Great to gift


  •  None

Note: There is also an app available to play on the iPhone/iPod Touch. And many more sets of cubes that can be used with this to enhance the experience.

Rating: A+
Ages: 4+ (Manufacturer recommended age – 8+)

Get it here


Venn is a cool combination of so many things I love – art, math (the name of the game), and of course, words! Check out my review for this game here.

Hues and Cues

Hues and Cues comes with its own vibrant coolness as well. You can read my thoughts on this game here.

Get these here along with other fun and colorful games.

More Games that Challenge

To be a Supercommunicator and More: The Bookish Memes Five

Being a supercommunicator today.. or trying to be..I had just started reading this book and then put it aside for a few picture book reads (Digital ARC thanks to Netgalley) when I heard the author’s interview on NPR. Made me want to get back to it sooner 🙂

Supercommunicators: Back to the Future Today

Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection by Charles Duhigg

Description: Come inside a jury room as one juror leads a starkly divided room to consensus. Join a young CIA officer as he recruits a reluctant foreign agent. And sit with an accomplished surgeon as he tries, and fails, to convince yet another cancer patient to opt for the less risky course of treatment. In Supercommunicators, Charles Duhigg blends deep research and his trademark storytelling skills to show how we can all learn to identify and leverage the hidden layers that lurk beneath every conversation.

(1 & 2) Book Beginnings and First Line Friday

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY is hosted by Rose City Reader. What book are you happy about reading this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) on BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY! Add the link to your blog or social media post and visit other blogs to see what others are reading.

Happy Friday and welcome to the FIRST LINE FRIDAY, hosted by Reading is My Superpower! It’s time to grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line.

3 Friday 56

THE FRIDAY 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice (currently by Anne at HeadFullofBooks) To play, open a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% on your e-reader). Find a sentence or two and post them, along with the book title and author. Then link up on Freda’s Voice and visit others in the linky. 

4 Book Blogger Hop

The purpose of THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, and befriend other bloggers. THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.  

 On average, how long do you spend writing a review?

Depends! Anywhere between 10 minutes to much longer (if I am including quotes/excerpts/etcs).

5 Blast from the Past Book: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

This was the book I used for Book Beginnings and Friday 56 back in March of 2012!

Book Beginnings:
 “I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
If the reviews across blogland had not made me add this book to my TBR and caught my attention, these first lines would certainly have. Now I know I will be hooked.

Friday 56:
‘He closed the laptop, a sure sign I was about to receive his full attention. “I can see you’re disappointed.”’

The Fun of Word Challenges: Writing Poetry and Prose-ry!

Now: Back to the Future

Mixing up dVerse Prompts as I Wonder

Linking this up to dVerse for three different prompts over the last week on dVerse (I know, I couldn’t stop once I got started!). The prompts used are:

  • OLN’s optional prompt to use the painting below (Van Gogh’s Window in the Studio)
  • This week’s Poetics prompt to use at least three of the ‘daffodil-ly’ words provided and write a poem in any way we want. I used 10 in my poem below (in bold).
  • Last Thursday’s MTB: Echoing Back prompt where the requirement was to include AT LEAST ONE of a few suggested questions in our poem, from Pablo Neruda’s ‘Book of Questions’ and write either in free verse or a ghazal with the poem including questions, answers and repeat lines (refrains). I chose to write in the ghazal form and use the question ‘Do unshed tears wait in little lakes?’
Van Gogh’s Window in the Studio

I wonder…

Do unshed tears wait in little lakes? I wonder.
Do silver smiles shine on salty waves? I wonder.

When that golden dawn breaks across the western sky
Do those beautiful eyes get misty? I wonder.

Under ice follies created by unseen hands,
Do yearning hearts hear golden echos? I wonder.

Beneath white lion sentinels tall with pink pride,
Does love call out for feelings unknown? I wonder.

Under the sweet fragrance of that lemon beauty
Do double smiles do double duty? I wonder.

In loudly silent canvases on orange walls,
Do unheard tete-a-tete tales enthrall? I wonder.

To the beauty of amazing Neruda’s words
Will Ladyinread weave a ‘worth’ verse? I wonder.
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites

Prosery at dVerse

The Prosery challenge is:
Write a piece of flash fiction of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line in the order in which it has been given. You may add or change punctuation, but you may not add words in between the given ones.

all of the names swallowed up by the cold (from Swedish Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer’s  “After someone’s death” )

Just before she opened the door into the bitter frozen land, she wrote down all of the names. Swallowed up by the cold monstrous snow storm as soon as she took that first step out, she disappeared from view instantly. The residents awaited her return, their hopes pinned on her courage. Each name on that list represented a loved one of theirs, needing rescue from the relentless winter they had vanished into. Days turned into weeks, and with each falling snowflake, her absence weighed heavier on their hearts. Then, the storm relented, and a figure emerged from the swirling white abyss, clutching the list tightly. Faces brightened as they saw her, alive against all odds. And soon, joyous tears streamed down their faces when they realized she was not alone.  She had braved the icy tempest and emerged victorious, a heroine of the frost.

AI generated for this

Then: aka Blast from the Past

Both these memes are no longer active but I wish they were. I did consider restarting the Friday 55 but then decided against it.

Friday Flash 55

My 55 today of years ago is the story the kids and I came up with this set of Rory’s cubes (image and story below). This was hosted by the wonderful Gman at Mr.Knowitall for years.

Once there was a bee who buzzed around a huge house; she loved  stinging the fish, scaring the shell off the turtle.

The little boy was sad – the bee troubled his pets. On a rainbowy day, the boy had an idea; phoned the exterminator who lived in India; flew here, his foot squashed it.

Note: no bees or turtles or fish were harmed in the making of this literally ‘once upon a time, many years ago’ story!! And additional note, this was written by my kids when they were 9 and 6 years old respectively! Now they are 21 and 18 🙂 and would cringe at this story and the fact that I am re-sharing it.

Write a Book Blurb

Lisa Ricard Claro hosts used to host the book blurb meme on her blog (now no longer there). She postsed a photo each week and our task – imagine this is a book cover and come with a blurb for this book in 150 words or less. Entice your readers to buy the book with your blurb.

Thatis week’s book cover wais by writer-photographer-blogger Kathy Matthews.

Cook wanted tuna, and fresh too. Who knew he would be sent off on a tuna hunting expedition the moment he arrived home after years? So here he was, at the pier which held fond memories. As he neared the sign that said ‘Fresh Tuna’, the name on the boat caught his attention – ‘Chelsea Rose’, it said and he remembered. (Did Cook know he would end up here?)

Adam was young, ambitious and not wanting to get handed over a tuna empire from a potential future father-in-law, so he had fled. Chelsea was in love, with her best friend Adam, but also loved her father -the ‘Tuna emperor’ of the small town of Halibut, so she stayed.

Now Adam was back – Why? Only he can answer it and only to Chelsea. Can they submerge the past and sail forward?  (142)

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read the featured books? Or have played Kanoodle or used Story Cubes? What are the games that challenged you recently – either mentally or physically too?

12 thoughts on “Words and Games that Challenge You and Books + More

    1. Hi, I really enjoyed your story, and would like to read on to see what happens next. I like the insight that Adam didn't want to get stuck fishing for a living so he split the scene, instead of staying with the girl and standing firm on another career choice.

      It is nice to have you here on BBF with us!

      Kathy M.

  1. I love playing games and reading with my son. Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful ideas to enjoy time together.

  2. Vidya, wow…. There’s so much in just one blog post! I really liked the poem you wrote for d’Verse in particular… The questioning works so well! I love how you explored the theme of wonder and curiosity 🙂

    I felt like your poem, with its consistent questioning and exploration of various scenarios, was inviting me to ponder along with you!


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