Tag Archives: Reading Challenges

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.

 

Writing-Reviews-Challenge1
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.

Writing-Reviews-Challenge1
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.
  4. 
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.
  6. 
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
  10. 
Read a book over 500 pages long: A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
  11. 
Read a book under 100 pages: I’m not sure what this will be. Maybe a graphic novel.
  12. 
Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender: George by Alex Gino
  13. 
Read a book that is set in the Middle East: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
  14. 
Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
  15. 
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
  16. 
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?
  20. 
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
  22. 
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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Reader’s Advisory Challenge Redux

Ever since I saw the Reader’s Advisory Challenge for 2013 posted on Angelina41’s tumblr, I’ve been turning the idea over in my head. Reader’s Advisory is a tricky business, and those of us who’ve been around for a while can easily fall into the trap of recommending the same old books again and again. After all, Librarians can’t really spend our entire day reading (wouldn’t that be great, though?), and it’s so easy to fall behind in terms of new releases. It’s even easier to fall behind in those genres you’re I’m not drawn to.  And for Librarians brand-new to Youth Services (by choice or by chance), the sheer volume and variety of Children’s Literature can be… overwhelming.

I fell into Children’s Librarianship after spending my two years of Library School focused on the techie side of things, planning to become a Systems Librarian. Instead, I discovered how much I love working with kids, and just how rich Children’s Literature is. In 2008, I moved into a position where I work with Children’s Librarians at 10 other branches in addition to my responsibilities at my own branch. Not long after, my very large public library system went through several years of staff shake-ups, with early retirements, lay-offs, transfers to fill the vacancies left behind, and re-hires. Working with some of these new-to-Children’s Librarians, I’ve heard their questions about how to get up to speed.

I think something like the Reader’s Advisory Challenge is a great idea, and one that I can adapt into something that will work in a live group setting. The Children’s Librarians in my area already have a regularly scheduled meeting, and collection development is one of the topics we discuss. In 2013, I’m going to add a Booktalk Roundtable to our agenda, with a monthly theme for which each Librarian will pick a book to read before the meeting and booktalk to the group. We’ll all find out about new books, get to hear examples of booktalks, and practice our own booktalking skills. I’ll definitely be using some of the (sub-)genre’s from the original challenge, but some will be replaced.

Themes for 2013:

January – Past Newbery Winner
February – Fantasy
March – Funny
April – Novel in Verse
May – Sports
June – Science Fiction
July – Graphic Novel
August – Realistic / Contemporary
September – Mystery
October –  Scary
November – Historical Fiction

All books will be Children’s Books, which, for us, means written for kids roughly age 12 and younger. (There are some Newbery winners that we consider YA, so those would be exceptions for January.) Want to read along with us? I’ll post my reviews here, and I’d love to hear some suggestions of titles for the different themes!

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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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NetGalley Knockdown

… or, Just What I Need, Another Challenge.

Thanks to Katy over at BooksYALove, I just heard about the NetGalley Knockdown, which starts off tomorrow. Talk about timing!

I have a crazy backlog of NetGalley titles to read (surprise surprise), so this sounds like just the thing. Plus, it’ll give a little boost to a couple of other Reading Challenges that I signed up for back in the optimistic days of late December.

And, who knows, it might even mean some new reviews getting posted over here!

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Oops – Another Challenge

I do most of my bloggy reading via GoogleReader. It’s convenient. I can access it anywhere with Internet access and a web browser. I don’t spend time clicking through blogs that haven’t been updated. And it puts all the entries in a clean, simple format.

There’s one teeny, tiny issue with the fact that all the blogs look the same, especially when just scrolling on through. It’s easy to confuse them. Which is how I accidentally posted a link to my review of Under the Never Sky to the wrong challenge.

Oops.

I’ve decided this means I just have to sign up for the other challenge, as well. Which is how I’ve come to sign myself up for the Mega Size E-Book Reading Challenge at The Eclectic Bookshelf. Twenty-five e-books.

Excuse me. I have some reading to do.

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Reading Challenge Wrap-Up: Off the Shelf Challenge 2011

Oh, Bookish Ardour‘s Off the Shelf Challenge. It was such a good idea. I was so excited. I had already picked out 12 books from my shelves to read in 2011, so adding 3 more to make the “Trying” level seemed like no big deal. No problem, right?

So. How’d I do, you ask?

Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein's Brain

Yeah. One book. And I never even managed to post a review. Sad, really.

I still think the challenge itself is a great idea, so I’m going to try again in 2012. I’m going for the “Tempted” level this time. Just five books. No problem.

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Reading Challenge Wrap-Up: E-Book Reading Challenge 2011

When I joined in the E-Book Reading Challenge, hosted at Ladybug Reads, I didn’t make a list of titles. I just put my name in for 12 books.

So, how’d I do?

The Goddess Test Science Fair Season: Twelve Kids, a Robot Named Scorch . . . and What It Takes to Win Junonia Invisible Inkling This Girl Is Different Bumped Shine Delirium Bird in a Box Jane Austen: A Life Revealed Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home The Rise of the Dorkasaurus The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus: A Novel About Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem

14/12 (117%) – Not bad at all.

Thirteen (93%) were e-ARCs courtesy of NetGalley. One (7%) was a library book. This tells me two things: (1) I really should take advantage of the e-books my library has, and (2) I really should read some of the books I’ve purchased (or downloaded for free). I did use my Nook quite a bit to read the New York Times Book Review. Between the Les Mis Read-Along and the fact that I’ll be doing more traveling in 2012 than I did in 2011, I think my Nook will be getting more use next year.

Because lots of people knew I had the Nook, I tended to get referred questions about e-readers. As the prices have come down, more library patrons have been getting them, and the library/e-book check-out isn’t quite as user-friendly as it could be. So, I sort of had to stay on top of how it worked, even though I didn’t use it much myself! (I used it a bit more than my one book up there would indicate, since I checked out a few e-books that I didn’t finish. At least they return themselves!)

Will I be doing the E-Book Challenge again (hosted for 2012 at Workaday Reads)? Absolutely! And I’m planning to get 25 e-books read this time.

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Reading Challenge Wrap-Up: Debut Author Challenge 2011

Last November, I tossed my hat into the ring for my very first Reading Challenge. To complete the Debut Author Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren, I was supposed to read 12 debut MG/YA novels. So, how’d I do?

The Mostly True Story of Jack I Am J The Goddess Test You Will Call Me Drog Ten Miles Past Normal Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading Like Mandarin This Girl Is Different Bumped Sparrow Road The False Princess Forgotten What Can't Wait Across the Universe The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu The Emerald Atlas Rival

17/12 (141%) – Pretty well, I’d say! Seven of them were from my original list. Three more were Middle Grade Fiction Cybils nominations (Lucy Wu was a fourth nomination, but also on my original list).  I posted reviews of twelve of them here, plus one more at GoodReads that never showed up on the blog (oops).

This was a fantastic challenge, and I loved finding new authors. Aimee Carter, Tommy Greenwald, Kirsten Hubbard, Megan McCafferty, Cat Patrick, Ashley Hope Pérez, and Beth Revis all have books slated for publication in 2012, too.

Will I do this challenge again in 2012? Of course!

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