Tag: challenge

Jan 04

2018 New Release Challenge

Books/Writing 0

2018 new release challenge

Along with my Beat the Backlist challenge, the 2018 New Release challenge created by (un)Conventional Book Views will (I hope) make up the rest of my “number goal” in books this year! Since my goal is 52 overall, and I’m trying for 40 backlist books…that would mean 12 new releases! Of which…I already have 4 pre-ordered. Ahem. This year I am not attempting the debut author challenge. As much as I love supporting new authors, that one was a real struggle and real guilt inducer for me last year. I felt guilty for not being supportive and even more guilty if I didn’t like their book (because OMG IT’S THEIR FIRST ONE AND I WANT THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND AND AND). Maybe another year when I have more time on my hands, but I want to enjoy new releases by authors I already love with the OPTION to pick some debuts.

My goal of 12 definitely puts me in the “New Release Newbie” category for this one! That made me laugh, because I feel like I am absolutely obsessed with new releases…I add them to list after list and feel like I read a lot of new releases last year…maybe not. I’m excited to see how many I actually get to this year!

Potential list that I’m leaving lots of blank spots on because there are many SEQUELS coming out this year, that I want to read…the first book of which, from LAST year, I still haven’t read but I have hope.

  1.  Reign of the Fallen, by Sarah Glenn Marsh – out January 23rd – read her debut last year, much <3 so this one is preordered!
  2. Purple Hearts, by Michael Grant – out January 30th – last of this trilogy, which I have absolutely loved, an alternate history of WWII in which women are allowed to be combat soldiers.
  3.  Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland – out April 30th – Civil War history, zombies, and diversity, YES PLEASE.
  4. Competence, by Gail Carriger – out on July 17th – I pretty much love everything Gail writes and this is the 3rd in the Custard Protocol series.
  5.  My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton – out on June 26th – OMG GIVE ME MORE the first one was so good!!
  6. Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi – out March 27th – loved The Star-Touched Queen but fell off the bandwagon and haven’t read the sequel, so this is a good one to go back to!
  7. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi – out March 6th – this just sounds fascinating. Also, DEBUT!
  8. Gunslinger Girl, by Lyndsay Ely, out January 2nd (oh look!) – intriguing. Old west + futuristic? Hmm. Also, another DEBUT!
  9.  From Twinkle, With Love, by Sandhya Menon – out June 19th i.e. NOT FREAKING SOON ENOUGH – I loved Sandhya’s first book and am desperate for this one!
  10.  A Girl Like That, by Tanaz Bhathena – out February 27th – oooohhh mystery YA with diverse rep and another debut!
  11.  Love, Hate, & Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed – out January 16th – this sounds like it’s going to make me reevaluate my perceptions so naturally it MUST be read.
  12.  A Thousand Perfect Notes, by C.G. Drews – out June 7th – this is by one of my absolute favorite bloggers, Cait @ PaperFury, so of COURSE.

As always, list subject to change, especially since none of these books come out any later than July! I actually have QUITE a few more titles on my GR 2018 Releases shelf if you want to check that out. I’m sure the list will continue to grow, too.

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Jan 22

Something Else Sunday #22

Life, Musings 4

something else sunday

Hey everyone! It’s time for Something Else Sunday again and I’m feeling very disjointed and a little bit bummed out today…yay for all the political unrest on FB and general arguing I hear every single time I step outside my house (and sometimes within it). Blah. So, I’ve deleted the FB app from my phone (again…I did it for about 2-3 weeks back in November and it was very helpful) for an unspecified amount of time, and am going to try to  channel that energy into reading and writing.

I participated in the Beat the Backlist bookstagram challenge this week! I was SO EXCITED about this because I love bookstagram but feel like I don’t have the time to commit to it the way so many people do. A week long challenge was perfect, and I ended up with quite a few images I really liked. I realized there is a LOT to be said for lighting, because I took the first few pics on a day with perfect natural light and then didn’t have good light for the rest of the week!

I did a lot of stitching the week, accompanied as always by the faithful Sir Tristan. He’ll do anything for chin scratches, I swear.

If you haven’t entered the INTERNATIONAL bookish tea giveaway from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe, be sure to go to the original post and enter!

Last week on the blog:

Down the TBR Hole #8
The Star-Touched Queen (YA review)
Riddle’s Tea Shoppe (bookish review + giveaway)
Silver on the Tree (MG review)

This week on the blog:

Down the TBR Hole #9
The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin (fiction review)
Writing Up Wednesday (new meme for writer-reader-bloggers!)
Fear the Drowning Deep (YA review)
Green Witch (non-fiction review)


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Jan 01

2017 Reading Challenges and Goals

Books/Writing 9


I always get SO EXCITED this time of year, with so many plans for reading and new projects…aahhhh! I love lists and lists of goals…and especially reading challenges. 😀 I’m trying not to overextend myself this year, but last year I feel like I kind of…UNDERestimated how much I could read in a normal year.

 Funny, because…I did the same thing in 2015. Even more spectacularly though. 😛

Ahem. Better overachieve than underachieve though, right? I get all kinds of depressed when I don’t make goals, so I try to be reasonable and realistic when setting my number goal for the year. My number goal for 2017 will be higher, but not TOO high…I do have a big move coming up, as we’ll be moving back to the States some time in spring (despite all the upheaval and stupidity I’ve seen happen in the US in the past couple of years as I’ve been overseas…it’s still home and I miss it terribly). But that’s for an entirely different post! As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been signing up for reading challenges left and right this week. This is an overview of all of them!

GoodReads 2017 Challenge: My goal is 75 this year. I’m hoping for closer to 100, but that move is scaring me. Plus, I’m going to a month-long school for work in February or thereabouts, and I anticipate that cutting into my reading time a lot too. Damn work.


2017 Audiobook Challenge: My goal is 10 audiobooks this year. Small number, because my audiobooks tend to be HUGE. Like at least 15+ hours. Hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Loupe and Melaine at Hot Listens.




2017 Debut Author Challenge: I’m aiming for AT LEAST 12 new authors this year. I’d really love to read more, but sometimes it’s a bit exhausting wading through the myriad of so-so new authors, even only the ones on NetGalley! All the same, I really want to support debut authors. Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.



Back to the Classics Challenge 2017: Time to get back into reading some oldies but goodies! I’m aiming for all 12 categories this year, as I’m sure I can find some shorter ones and I definitely plan to read 3 children’s classics. Hosted by Books and Chocolate.




Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge 2017: Because freedom of speech is important. For everyone. The fear of ideas and knowledge is one of the most crippling fears across the world. Hosted by the Book Dragon’s Lair.

Beat the Backlist 2017: WHOOHOO!! I’m super excited about this one, a chance to “get credit” for a bunch of the books already sitting on my shelves. My goals is 40 of the 70 (!!) books listed in my sing-up post. Hosted by Austine at NovelKnight. Also includes a fun Harry Potter House Cup mini challenge! I’m playing for Hufflepuff, naturally. 😀

Diverse Reads Book Challenge 2017: I read quite a few diverse books in 2016, but I want to make it a point this year. My goal is 12, one for each of the monthly topics put up by Read.Sleep.Repeat and Chasing Faerytales. I’ve already picked my books for January and February!


Newbery Reading Challenge 2017: My goal is at least 25 books, between Newbery Awards and Newbery Honor books. I love children’s literature and really need to brush up on my recommendations for younger readers, since it’s a topic that comes up in conversation fairly often.Hosted by Smiling Shelves.



2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: My goal is 10 books, either fiction or non-fiction but probably leaning towards nonfiction. I’m very curious about all things pagan and metaphysical, even though I don’t consider myself religious. Hosted by Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf.




And THAT’S IT, folks! Are you participating in any of these? Any other reading challenges? The only other one I kind of wanted to find was re-reads challenge, but I couldn’t find any that I liked. I think there was one that was hosted on FB but I find FB groups kind of hard to follow so I gave it a pass. Here’s wishing you all the best in your new year, in both your reading and all your other endeavors!

P.S. Be sure you enter my new celebratory GIVEAWAY! 😀 Open internationally.

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Dec 21

2017 Audiobook Challenge

Books/Writing 7

FIRST UP: The 2017 Audiobook Challenge! So pumped to get in on this one, as I adore audiobooks but don’t utilize them nearly enough. Hopefully this will keep me reminded, between seeing other people’s posts and the handy-dandy little ticker over there. *points right*

Hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Loupe and Melaine at Hot Listens. I listened to a few audiobooks last year but not as many as I wanted, and definitely not as many as my Audible subscription warranted! Haha. Hopefully this year will see me listening to more. I’m aiming for the Weekend Warrior level, since most of what I listen to tend to be LOOOONG books. Like 15+ hours at a minimum. How many of you listen to audiobooks? How many do you go through a year? How do you incorporate them into your regular reading and life?

Challenge details from the hosts:

Join Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the 5th year of great audio books.

Audiobooks are great for those times you want to read but can’t for some reason like driving, doing chores, working out, or if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, listen to them at work. I hope to see old and new faces for The 2017 Audiobook Challenge.  I cannot wait to see what you listen to and how often you listen.Thanks to the continued popularity of Audiobooks just about everything is being published on audio…YAY!

We will hold two updates with giveaways. The first update will be June 30th, 2017 and the final update will be Dec 15, 2017. There has never been a better time for reading with our ears. So grab your earbuds and join in the fun!

Challenge Details

  • Challenge begins January 1, 2017  and ends on December 31, 2017. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2016 than you did in 2016.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.


  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

Audio Resources

Tantor.com (They have some great sales, so sign up for their newsletter)
Ambling Books

Free Resources

Overdrive – through your local library
Audiobook Jukebox – audios for review
Hoopla – through your local library

Are you planning to participate in the 2017 Audiobook Challenge? If so link your sign-up post below! Are you making a TBR list for it? I find that what audiobooks I listen to are REALLY related to what mood I’m in, so I’m just winging it for now.

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Oct 10

Halloween Read-A-Thon

Books/Writing, Life, Reviews 19


I’m so excited to have found a group of people to do this with! As I wrote in my beginning of the month post, I was already planning to spend most of the month with Halloween-type books. This just makes it so much more fun! Many thanks to Lauren at Wonderless Reviews for putting it all together and making the gorgeous graphics available. Pretty much the rest of my month is going to be filled with spookiness and indulging my sense of the paranormal. 😀 😀 😀 I can’t wait to see what everyone else is reading.

costume-party 28962906
My pick: Stalking Jack the Ripper. This cover gives me a slight chill every time I look at it (there’s not actually blood pictured…but I keep thinking I see blood on the knife…), though from what I hear it’s not all THAT creepy of a book! I intend to find out.

haunted-house 22543648

My pick: Dracula. I’m listening to this version from Audible, with different narrators for each person. So, sort of dramatized, but not exactly. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far, but I keep getting annoyed at the way the women just accept being second-class citizens.

urban-legends 248596

My pick: Something Wicked This Way Comes. I don’t know a whole lot about this book, to be honest, but it sounds creepy AF. Lory at Emerald City Book Review posted about it a little while back and I put it on my list!

witching-hour1 19119826

My pick: The Werewolf of Paris. I’m trying to read some of the original supernatural stories this year, stories that started or shaped our modern day ideas of vampires, werewolves, etc. Obviously the legends of these types of creatures have been around much longer than even these books, but I thought this and Dracula were both good starts.

trick-or-treat 16034235

My pick: Treat – Throne of Glass. I still have so many other books to read I have to mix it up a little or I will NEVER get through my pile of library books!

all-hallows-eve 29631300

My pick: The Architect of Song. While not specifically relating to Halloween, it does have a good deal to do with ghosts and again, sounds creepy AF. I am SO EXCITED to read this one!!

Fingers crossed I will get to all of these! Are you reading anything special for Halloween or autumn in general?

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Jun 30

Stacks for July

Books/Writing, Life 0

I have so many delicious books waiting for me, and a long weekend to enjoy them in! I highly doubt I will get them ALL read, but this is a nice start to July nonetheless. One of these I meant to read in June, but life (i.e., other books) happened. I didn’t even manage to get them all in the picture! And of course, there are also the e-books I’m hoping to read.


Starting from the bottom:

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed – Yes, I know. This book has been getting rave reviews pretty much ever since it came out…I stayed away because while I love travel/hiking memoirs, I heard there was a high percentage of drugs/sex in it. I keep seeing it though, and some of my favorite reviewers/bloggers have given it high praise so I decided I’d give it a shot.

The Secret Place, by Tana French – the most recently published of Tana’s books, because I saved it until the publication of the next one (already pre-ordered) seemed somewhat close enough. Ish.

A Killing in the Hills, by Julia Keller – I read a description of this book somewhere recently, and not only does it seem right up my alley as far as the mystery and intrigue, but it’s set in West Virginia. My family’s old homestead in the WV hills is the most beloved place of my childhood memories, so I really just can’t resist.

Jackaby, by William RitterAdventures of a Book Junkie posted about the 3rd of this series coming out soon, and it intrigued me enough to go find the original. New author, new series for me.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas – there was so much hype about this book, which I wrote off as too much high school type fangirling…and then The Book Geek wrote a glowing post on the second book of the series, which obviously means I have to read the first because you can’t start with the second.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a., J.K. Rowling) – I’ve never read any of Rowling’s other books outside of Harry Potter. I didn’t want my image of her as a writer tarnished, as of course I still read reviews on them and they were less-than-stellar. However, a friend convinced me to bite on the procedural/mystery series she has going. So again, giving it a shot!

The Vanishing Throne, by Elizabeth May – this is the sequel to The Falconer, one of my favorite books from last year and that surprised me quite a bit. Granted, I am not a frequent flier when it comes to book about the fae or fantasy. However,  I loved The Falconer enough to immediately pre-order the sequel, and it arrived this week!

First Lord’s Fury, by Jim Butcher – the last in Butcher’s Codex Alera series, that I’ve been putting off forever because I’m scared to see how the series ends. But it’s long past time for me to find out!


My Lady Jane, by Cynthia Hand (and company) – as previously mentioned in the OwlCrate review. I’m anticipating a rollicking good story that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Hopefully I’m not disappointed!


The Graces, by Laure Eve – my attention was first caught by this cover and then by the description, and I’ve been lucky enough to get an early review copy! Squee! It’s a storyline that could be really good or extremely trite…fingers crossed. This one was also from Adventures of a Book Junkie’s post…hmmm. I sense a theme.


Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler – a retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, which is one of my favorite Bard plays. Again, this could be really good or really bad, and again, fingers crossed. I was also lucky to get a review copy of this one, but it is still on it’s way here so I’m only hoping to get it here some time in July.

I know that some of these won’t get read, and that some books WILL be read that are not on this list, but goals are good things to have. 😉

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Jun 15

Books and More Books

Books/Writing, Life, Musings 0

This year, I’m really rediscovering my love not only of books (never doubted that one) but of writing. More on that later, but in the meantime it’s long overdue an update on my Reading Challenges for 2016! I just updated the “Books to Read 2016” page, which is my list of owned-but-never-read books that I am attempting to finish this year. I’m very bad at staying focused, so while I have read a total of 45 books for the year, I’m only at 15/45 from that list. Yikes! Need to work on that. But, while I do have reading goals, I am trying to follow the advice of my new mug and read what I love!

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 6.06.11 PM

Lovely mug courtesy of the Bookworm Boutique. Besides the shop, she has a beautiful Instagram @bookwormboutique and a book review blog.

Squirrel! Anyway, back to the reading challenges…

The challenge I wrote about doing with some friends is still going strong! Out of 50 categories (my original goal was 12, I’ve since raised it to 36) I’m at 26. Some of them are kind of stretches for me, but it’s fun. We’re not making the list public at this point, but it’s kind of like the PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge.

I’m going to get back into doing book reviews. For the above challenge, in order to be able to officially list a book we had to write at least a brief review of it on GoodReads, and writing those has motivated me to write more detailed ones. I’ll be posting them here, and on GoodReads, and some on LibraryThing. I’ve been pretty lucky to be selected for a few ARCs from the Early Reviewers group this year, and it seems to be a fun, easy way to score a free book. And since free books don’t feel like failing at my book-buying ban…score! Besides the ER group, I’m expecting my first book from Blogging for Books soon (soon being a relative term  – overseas media mail shipping takes almost 6 weeks, usually) and can’t wait to get on reviewing from them too!

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