Category Archives: Book Challenges

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI Sign-Up and TBR

RIP XI

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI takes place from September 1st, 2016 through October 31st, 2016. It’s a low-key reading challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings focused on completing different tasks (called “perils”) all focused on reading within the following genres:

Mystery
Suspense
Thriller
Gothic
Horror
Dark Fantasy

For more info, check out the link above!

In general, I always like to do some Halloween-themed reading during the fall, which to me usually means horror or dark SFF (last October I read Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, and The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire), so this challenge feels perfect for me. I also have a bunch of books on my TBR that seem like they would fit really well into these categories. I’m planning on participating in two of the perils, but I hope to read even more books in these genres if possible–it’s just more fun to read this type of book in the fall 🙂 This will be my first time participating in the challenge.

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For this peril, you need to read four books from any of the six suggested categories (Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic, Horror, or Dark Fantasy). There are so many awesome-sounding books on my TBR that would work for this peril; the only problem will be picking which ones! Some of these are on my physical TBR shelf and some I might try to get from my library, depending on how things go. I’m probably most excited about finally reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which I’ve heard so much talk about, and Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, an author I’ve yet to try but think I’ll love.

The Daylight GateThe VegetarianIn a Dark, Dark WoodLet the Right One InBird BoxCrooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)OutWhite is for WitchingMiserere: An Autumn TaleCold HillsideDeathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)Dreams of Shreds and Tatters

 

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For this peril, all you need to do is read a short story that fits one of the above categories. I love short stories, so this peril is perfect for me; Kelly Link’s blend of horror and fantasy in particular fits in really nicely, and I also have Margaret Atwood’s short story collection on my TBR. I also think that Alyssa Wong’s Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers sounds really intriguing after hearing about it on Bina’s blog post about horror and women of color. Sharlene at Real Life Reading also posted a lot of great diverse suggestions for the RIP challenge.

Pretty Monsters: StoriesStone Mattress: Nine Wicked TalesHungry Daughters of Starving Mothers

 

Who else is participating in this challenge? Let me know and feel free to link me to your post!

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Bout of Books Days 5, 6, and 7 Updates and Wrap-Up

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Bout of Books is complete, and I am super late with this wrap-up post! Overall, this was such a fun week of reading for me; I always love the bookish community aspects of readathons, and having more of a motivation to devote myself to books really helped with the craziness I’ve been having at work. Here’s how the last 3 days of the challenge went for me:

Day 5

  • Audiobook time: 40 minutes
  • Pages read: 249
  • Books started: none
  • Books finished: Everbound

Day 6

  • Audiobook time:  228 minutes
  • Pages read: 23
  • Books started: none
  • Books finished: none

Day 7

  • Audiobook time: none
  • Pages read: 57
  • Books started: Love Poems
  • Books finished: Love Poems

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And here are my overall totals for Bout of Books!

  • Books read: 5
  • Audiobook time: 586 minutes (about 9.8 hours)
  • Pages read: 958

I’m honestly super impressed with the amount of reading I got done; I’m already looking forward to the next Bout of Books from Jan 2-8. For more info, check out the Bout of Books site: http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/

Bout of Books Days 3&4 Updates

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And Bout of Books continues! I’m a little late posting this update, but here’s how days 3 and 4 went for me:

Wednesday was my day off from work, so I was able to sleep in and read in bed that morning. Morning reading is such a luxury and is getting to be rare for me, so it felt really nice to just be able to delay responsibilities for a bit and focus on my book. After running some errands (and hitting a library used book sale) I read on the roof for awhile in the sunshine, another thing I haven’t done in awhile but that I absolutely love. I was able to finish both my audiobook, The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg, and Everneath by Brodi Ashton; I ended up liking Everneath so much that I stopped by the library and got both sequels (Everbound and Evertrue). I’m heavily on Team Cole, although I have a bad feeling about how it will all go down in the end. Has anyone else read these books??? I would love to chat about it in the comments 🙂

Anyways, on Thursday I wasn’t in an audiobook mood; I downloaded the Suicide Squad soundtrack and was listening to that during my commute instead. I did start Everbound, the second book in the Everneath trilogy, and am really enjoying it so far, although the beginning was frustrating as I really wanted the action to get going.

So, I always do this thing where I tell myself I’m going to #readmyowndamnbooks during readathons, and then I end up getting hooked on a new series and reading a bunch of library books instead. I tend to get quicker reads (especially YA) from the library rather than buying them because it’s hard to justify spending money if I’m going to read something so quickly and am not planning on re-reading it. I’m trying not to feel guilty about abandoning my goal; I’ll have plenty of time to #readmyowndamnbooks after I finish this trilogy 😉

Here are my stats:

Day 3

  • Audiobook time: 73 minutes
  • Pages read: 314
  • Books started: Luckiest Girl Alive
  • Books finished: The Underground Girls of Kabul, Everneath

Day 4

  • Audiobook time: none
  • Pages read: 109
  • Books started: Everbound
  • Books finished: none

 

I hope everyone’s Bout of Books is going well! I’m hoping to get a bunch of reading done this weekend and finish strong.

#ReadThemAllThon Reading Challenge TBR!

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The awesome Read at Midnight is hosting a 3-week reading challenge from August 14 to September 4th: the #ReadThemAllThon! Essentially, your goal is to read at least 8 books that correspond to Pokemon badges; there’s also a points-scoring aspect of the challenge that involves picking a Pokemon and potentially earning a prize, but I think I’m going to sit that part out and just try to get some books read. You can sign up at the link below:

Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon Sign Up

I haven’t done much reading during the first week of August, and although I’m planning on participating in Bout of Books (August 22-28) which always re-inspires me to dive into my books, I figured that I’d like to jump-start my reading sooner if possible and join another challenge. So here are 8 books that I’m going to attempt over the next 3 weeks!

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Lailah by Nikki Kelly – the first book in the Styclar saga! What is Styclar? I guess I’ll find out. I’ve heard so little about this book but it looks like romance-focused, angsty, post-apocalyptic YA.

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The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante – I’ll probably be sobbing during this book. I just have a feeling that we’re not in for a happy ending. Plus, just the idea of finishing Ferrante’s gorgeously written quartet makes me sad.

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Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – everyone seems to love this graphic novel; I’ve even heard of several colleges assigning it as a freshman read. I’ve seen the movie already but hearing all the hype made me want to pick up the source.

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – I have yet to read a less than stellar review of this multi-generational saga that follows the descendants of two half-sisters in the U.S. and Africa after they are set on two very different paths.

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Love Poems by Pablo Neruda – this is sort of cheating, but since Neruda is acclaimed for his romantic poetry, I feel like this collection will work fine for this challenge.

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Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link – Kelly Link writes gorgeous fantasy/horror/fairytale/occasionally scifi short stories that I suppose you could categorize as “slipstream,” so this should work perfectly.

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Afterparty by Daryl Gregory – science fiction involving the widespread use of designer drugs that involves some sort of murder mystery, I think. I’ve read some good reviews and this sounds fast-paced and creative.

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Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrim – this is supposedly creepy post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a small town; it’s also a very short book, which works well for readathons.

Let me know if you’re participating, and feel free to link up to your post!

#24in48 Readathon Day 1 Updates

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Honestly, the first day of #24in48 went a lot better than I thought it would. I went in with very low reading expectations because I knew I had to work this morning, and I also had concert tickets to an outdoor musical festival that lasted most of the day. However, I was still able to sneak in some reading (a little over 5 hours!). The books I finished were all shorter works (a novella, a graphic novel, and a short story) and I also started a new audiobook that I’m really enjoying. Tomorrow I’m expecting to read from some longer books compared to today; there are three in particular that I have my eye on, and I’ll have to see which I’m in the right mood for. I think I’m absolutely going to meet my tentative goal to read for 12 hours during the readathon (I knew going in I’d never hit 24, and that’s OK!) and I’m really looking forward to some quality reading/relaxing time after a crazy work week and crazy day today.

So here are my stats:

# of books finished: 3

Binti by Nnedi OkoraforSaga, Volume 6 by Brian K. VaughanSix Months, Three Days

Audiobook time: 2 hours

Total time spent reading: 5.17 hours

So here’s what I finished on Day 1 of #24in48:

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – 4 stars

Saga, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – 4 stars

Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders (short story) – 3.5 stars

And I read from these, but haven’t finished them yet:

The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (audiobook)

 

How is everyone’s readathon going so far? Let me know!

Summer TBR & 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge!

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20 Books of Summer is a reading challenge hosted by 746 books (https://746books.com/2016/05/23/20-books-of-summer-is-back-whos-in/) where the challenge is essentially just to complete 20 books during Summer 2016; you can also go for 10 or 15 books as an easier challenge. I feel like 20 is fairly doable for me as a summer reading challenge, although who knows; I might dive into a super long book and get sidetracked.

The majority of my picks are books on my physical TBR shelf that I’d really like to take down, although there are a few library and audiobooks on there. I also tried to include a good mix of SFF and realistic fiction, with two nonfiction thrown in. I honestly have no idea if I will be able to stick to this TBR, but based on my current reading mood, these are the 20 books that I could really see myself getting into this summer!

 

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)North and SouthWhite Teeth

And AgainThe Girl Wakes: StoriesThe Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

LagoonGods Behaving BadlyDeathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)Gold Fame Citrus

Get in Trouble: StoriesUnaccustomed EarthBrideshead RevisitedThe Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksRunning with ScissorsThe Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Roses and Rot

Bout of Books Day 7 Updates and Wrap-Up

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Bout of Books is over! But apparently the next one is August 22nd to the 28th, which seems very soon, so I’m OK with it. My Bout of Books didn’t go exactly as predicted, but I had a really good time and read some awesome books.

 

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The weirdest thing for me about the reading challenge was how much audiobook time I got in. I’ve posted before about how I really struggle with paying attention to audiobooks, but I think I’ve finally found my niche–nonfiction. For whatever reason, it’s much easier for me to pay attention to nonfiction than it is to follow a storyline of a novel. I finished 2 audiobooks this week and started a third, which is crazy for me, as I usually get through one a month at most. I also was really surprised that I only read a little bit of A Court of Mist and Fury; I had really expected to either binge-read it prior to the start of Bout of Books or have it consume my readathon.

First, here are my Day 7 updates:

Books finished: Not That Kind of Girl, My Brilliant Friend

Books started: Citizen: An American Lyric, The Story of a New Name

Pages read: 107 pages of My Brilliant Friend, 18 pages of The Story of a New Name

Audiobook time: 1 hour of Not That Kind of Girl, 43 minutes of Citizen

Not bad for the last day!

 

And here are my overall Bout of Books stats:

Books completed: 4

  • Death My Own Way by Michael S. A. Graziano – 4 stars
  • Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Kznizhnik – 3 stars
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – 3 stars
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – 5 stars

Death My Own Way

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)

Books read, but not finished: 3

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Citizen: An American Lyric

The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2)

Favorite book I read: My Brilliant Friend, which became my 4th 5-star read this year. Seriously, I know I keep talking about it, but you all really need to read it. Then we can talk about it. Especially the ending because OH MY GOD.

Total pages read: 471 pages

Total audiobook time: 9 hours and 38 minutes (if my math is right?)

 

I probably could have read more, but work has been super crazy and I’m very happy with the amount and quality of reading that I got done. The most exciting thing for me is that I’ve been reading books that I’m really loving instead of wasting my time on books that are only OK. I can’t wait for the next Bout of Books, but I also can’t wait to get back into all of the fantastic books I’m reading right now, which is a very good feeling 🙂

 

How did everyone’s Bout of Books go??