Tag Archives: Quite Possibly Overambitious

2016 Reading Challenges Check-In 1/12


Here we are, a month into 2016, and I have not forgotten about my Reading Challenges for the year!

Let’s see where we stand. First up…

I Love Libraries RC BBN

I Love Libraries Challenge
hosted by Bea’s Book Nook

Goal: Middle Grades (18 books)

End of January Progress: 17% (target pace: 8%)


One month in, and I’ve read three library books. I haven’t managed to post a single review for any of them (we’ll come back to that later), but it’s still not a bad start.

Moving on to…

Mount TBR 2016Mt. TBR Challenge
hosted by My Reader’s Block

Goal: Pike’s Peak (12 books)

End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)

Right on target with one book from Mt. TBR. I’d kind of like to get ahead of this one, though, to be honest.

Okay, now for the embarrassing confessions.

NERC2016Button12016 Netgalley/Edelweiss Challenge
hosted by Falling For YA

Goal: Bronze Level (10 books)

End of January Progress: 0% (target pace: 8%)

Oh, dear. I did start a book from NetGalley. Did I finish it? No. Is my Nook sitting on my nightstand, looking sad and neglected? Yes.


2016 Review Writing Challenge
hosted by DelightedReader.com

Goal: 50 Reviews

End of January Progress: 0% (target pace: 8%)

No reviews yet. I really have no excuse, either. That image is pretty spot-on.

So, how’s your 2016 reading going?

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Challenges 2016

I found this list of 2016 Reading Challenges.

I promise, I will not sign up for all of them. But I am signing up for these:


I Love Libraries RC BBNI Love Libraries Challenge
hosted by Bea’s Book Nook

Goal: Middle Grades (18 books)

I check out a lot of library books. This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, given that I spend 40+ hours per week in a public library. The books are right there! And they’re free! I am choosing a low-ish goal for this, though, because I have a few other book sources I want to focus on in 2016.

Mount TBR 2016Mt. TBR Challenge
hosted by My Reader’s Block

Goal: Pike’s Peak (12 books)

And here’s the main complement to the library challenge, because this one is specifically for books one already owns but has not read. A great many of the books in my GoodReads to-read queue are not books I own, but I certainly own more than 12 books I haven’t yet read. In an attempt to give myself the best possible start (and – okay, let’s be honest – because I really, really, really love the planning phase of these things), I’ve tagged 12 books for this already.

NERC2016Button12016 Netgalley/Edelweiss Challenge
hosted by Falling For YA

Goal: Bronze Level (10 books)

I have a terrible habit of requesting books from Netgalley and Edelweiss and then neglecting to read them before the files expire. This challenge is intended to force gently prod me to actually read the books. The next step, of course, is to write and post a review of each book, but there’s a whole separate challenge for that. I’m going for the lowest level on this one, because, honestly, 10 books would be way more than I read from Netgalley/Edelweiss in 2015.

2016 Review Writing Challenge
hosted by DelightedReader.com

Goal: 50 Reviews

I already mentioned my issue with downloading e-ARCs and then letting the files expire. Now that I’ll be reading them, how about some reviews, eh? My feedback percentage on Netgalley is appallingly low, and I’d like to change that. I’m not limiting my reviews to e-books, though. I’m setting a goal of 50 reviews – just under one review per week.

I’m not sure that I have ever successfully completed any Reading Challenge I have signed up for in the past. 2016 will be the year, yes? Yes.

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Read Harder!

instabooksI am such a sucker for a reading challenge. They always sound like so much fun, and sometimes my TBR just inspires analysis paralysis, so a little guidance can come in handy.

(It’s not unlike the way the Sock Knitters Anonymous Sockdown monthly challenges have prodded me to actually knit certain patterns from my insanely long Ravelry queue.)

The latest reading challenge to catch my eye is hosted by Book Riot and called Read Harder. There are 24 slots on the game card, and 12 months to fill them in. Because I dearly love the planning phase of this kind of thing, I’ve already spent days thinking about what to read for which task. My very much not-written-in-stone plans so far:

  1. Read a horror book: The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin – I picked up a used copy a while ago and haven’t read it (and, yes, I already know the twist, but I’m going to read it anyway).
  2. Read a nonfiction book about science: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach – I love popular science books, so I’m taking the opportunity to read one that’s been on my list a good long time (since 2010, according to GoodReads).
  3. Read a collection of essays: Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson, although I do have Knox’s Essays in Satire on my shelf, too.
Read a book out loud to someone else: Do picture books count? Because I read three of those out loud every Monday.
  5. Read a middle grade novel: I read a lot of middle grade books that come through the library, so something will come along for this one.
Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography): Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices by Leonard S. Marcus
  7. Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge – which could also fit the feminist category
  8. Read a book originally published in the decade you were born: The Seven-Percent Solution by Nicholas Meyer – this may well be the first book on this list I read, since I want to read it before diving into the 2015 BSJ Christmas Annual
  9. Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award: Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy by L. A. Meyer
Read a book over 500 pages long: A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
Read a book under 100 pages: I’m not sure what this will be. Maybe a graphic novel.
Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender: George by Alex Gino
Read a book that is set in the Middle East: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman – going way before 1900 for this one, although it could also count for book set in the Middle East or book over 500 pages
Read the first book in a series by a person of color: Either The Living by Matt de la Pena or Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong by A.J. Low (Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez)
  17. Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years: Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, & Brooke A. Allen
  18. Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick – I think I’ll be watching the movie on DVD
  19. Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes: Reading Women: How the Great Books of Feminism Changed My Life by Stephanie Staal – there’s something awfully meta about reading a book about a woman reading feminist works for this, isn’t there?
Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction): Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are by Jack Kornfield
  21. Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction): Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide by Michael B. Oren
Read a food memoir: Cooking as Fast as I Can: A Chef’s Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness by Cat Cora – a book I meant to read a while back and didn’t get to
  23. Read a play: I honestly have no idea what I’m going to read for this one!
  24. Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness: Challenger Deep  by Neal Shusterman, which is already on my desk, conveniently enough

Are you joining in the challenge? Maybe I’ll actually complete this one!

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Are You Going to #GoTheDist in 2013?

All Runners To Start

If you know me at all, you know I love a spreadsheet. There’s just something about sorting data into rows and columns that appeals to me. And a spreadsheet that tracks my personal progress toward a goal is just irresistible. So, naturally, I was drawn to #GoTheDist when I read it about it over at I Go Through Life in Inches and Pounds. (Detailed instructions on how to join are available there.)

I love the simplicity of it. Pick a quantifiable fitness goal. Break it down into quarterly increments. Then, chip away at it, a day a time, while the spreadsheet does the math and lets you know where you are. And you can see who else has joined and support each other.

My goal for 2013 is to run/walk 365 miles. This was also my goal in 2012, and I was on track until November, when I was sidelined first by the Endless Cough and then by gallbladder surgery. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013.

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Reader’s Advisory Challenge 2013

Okay, I know I’ve been terrible at keeping up with my 2012 challenges. But I think the Reader’s Advisory Challenge for 2013 is a really fabulous idea. I think I’ll play along, but I’m going to read children’s books rather than YA, and I’m going to pull my titles from the collection at my branch.

Tentative List:

January – Horror – Goosebumps: Wanted: The Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine
February – Science Fiction – Son by Lois Lowry
March – High Fantasy – Winterling by Sarah Prineas
April – Mystery – Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O’Connor
May – Verse Novel –
June – Realistic / Contemporary –
July – Historical Fiction – City of Orphans by Avi
August – Graphic Novel or comic –
September – Romance –
October – Dystopian –
November – Steampunk –
December – Humor –

There are a lot of blank spots on that list. Looks like I’ve got some browsing to do!

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Truth in Fiction Challenge

I was not going to sign up for another reading challenge. I really wasn’t. But this is just too neat to pass up.

The Truth in Fiction Challenge, hosted at Fig and Thistle.

From her post:

The Details:
Challenge runs from 01/01/12 – 12/31/2012

Goal:  read a specified number of book pairs that are comprised of one fiction book and one related non-fiction book.  Think outside of the box; the non-fiction book could also be journals, letters, memoirs, etc…. The pairs needn’t be exact matches, although there should be an easily detectable common thread.  Overlapping with other challenges is fine.

The catch:   Instead of individual reviews, after each book pair write a joint review.  For example, if I read The Bell Jar  by Sylvia Plath and then The Journals of Sylvia Plath then my review post will be focused on both books.  

Freshman:  1 pair
Sophomore: 2 pairs
Junior: 3 pairs
Senior: 4 pairs
Masters: 5 pairs
PhD: 6 pairs
Professor:  7 pairs

Doesn’t this sound like fun? I put my name in for Freshman Level, planning on reading Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? and re-reading one of my favorite books, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

I can think of at least two more pairings, though. I never did get around to reading Carole Estby Dagg’s The Year We Were Famous, which I was planning to read paired with Linda Lawrence Hunt’s Bold Spirit. And, of course, there’s Wendy McClure’s The Wilder Life, which just begs for a re-reading of Little House on the Prairie.

Thoughts? Suggestions for pairings with books already on my TBR list? Want to join in?

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Les Miserables Readalong!

It’s not another Reading Challenge, see? It’s a Read-along. Totally different.

And it’s just one book!

OK, so it’s a 1286-page book (in the edition I’ll be reading).  I downloaded it from Project Gutenberg months ago, with the intention of reading it “someday”. It looks “someday” is coming soon! I especially like that other people will be reading it right along with me, a sort of virtual book club. The fact that I can count it toward the EBook Challenge (oh! and the Off the Shelf Challenge!) doesn’t hurt, I must admit.

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That Wonderful Time of Year

No, not that one.

It’s Reading Challenge (Planning) Time! I’ll do a wrap-up on my 2011 Challenges sometime later this month, but the time has already come to start planning those 2012 TBR lists.

First up, the challenge that started me down this merry path: The Story Siren‘s Debut Author Challenge!

I had a lot of fun with this one in 2011, and I’m looking forward to finding more great new MG/YA authors in 2012. My preliminary reading list:

    1. The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet (January 3, 2012)
    2. Shadow’s Edge by Maureen Lipinski(January 8, 2012)
    3. May B. by Caroline Starr Rose (January 10, 2012)
    4. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards (January 17, 2012)
    5. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth (February 7, 2012)
    6. Above World by Reese, Jenn (February 14, 2012)
    7. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (February 14, 2012)
    8. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (February 14, 2012)
    9. Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould (March 13, 2012)
    10. Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank (April 10, 2012)
    11. You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother, Please by James Mihaley (April 10, 2012)
    12. The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash (April 24, 2012)
    13. The Selection by Kiera Cass (April 24, 2012)
    14. The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes (May 15, 2012)
    15. Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy (June 14, 2012)
    16. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin (August 21, 2012)
    17. Touched by Corrine Jackson (December, 2012)
    18. The Marble Queen by Stephanie J. Blake (??, 2012)
    19. The Nightmare Factory by Lucy Jones (??, 2012)

Subject to change, of course.

Next up, the EBook Challenge, hosted this year at Workaday Reads. My poor little Nook has been underused of late, since my focus has been on the deluge of Cybils books. I’m going to shoot for the “DVD” level – 25 e-books. No reading list yet, though.

I’m going to take another crack at the Off the Shelf Challenge, hosted at Bookish Ardour. I was clearly too ambitious last year (or maybe distracted by all those shiny new e-books and debuts), so I’m just committing to the “Tempted” level. Five books. Just 5 of the many unread books on my shelves. I can do that, right?

My working list is really just a repeat of last year’s list. Don’t judge.

  1. Crossword Obsession: The History And Lore of the World’s Most Popular Pastime by Coral Amende
  2. Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity edited by Anna Camilleri and Chloë T. Brushwood Rose
  3. Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale by Catherine Orenstein
  4. Wild Heart: A Life: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris by Suzanne Rodriguez
  5. We Look Like the Enemy: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands by Rachel Shabi

I couldn’t help but add one more this year, but it overlaps quite a bit with some of the other challenges. It’s the YA/MG Fantasy Reading Challenge, hosted at The Book Cellar.

My working list so far:

  1. Above World by Jenn Reese
  2. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
  3. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
  4. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
  5. Shadow’s Edge by Maureen Lipinski
  6. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin
  7. Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
  8. Touchedby Corrine Jackson
  9. The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
  10. Winterling (Winterling, #1) by Sarah Prineas

I’m thinking that quite a few of the titles will cross over into the e-book challenge. I can hardly wait!

But, for now, Cybils nominees are calling my name….

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