Category Archives: reading challenges

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril (R.i.P.) Challenge Sign-Up & TBR!

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XII takes place from September 1st, 2017 through October 31st, 2017. It’s a low-key reading challenge hosted by Andi at Estella’s Revenge and Heather at My Capricious Life focused on completing different tasks (called β€œperils”) all focused on reading within the following genres:
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Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
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I’ll be participating in Peril the First, which entails reading at least 4 books that fit into the R.i.P. categories. It’s possible that I could also end up accomplishing Peril of the Short Story or Peril on the Screen, but I’m not to hold myself to it.
Β .
For this reading challenge, I don’t like to set a solid TBR; instead, I like to find a bunch of books on my TBR shelf that could possibly fit the challenge categories so that I have a lot of wiggle room for mood reading and instead of a small pile that I definitely want to read, I have a bunch of books to choose from. And no, I am definitely not going to be reading all or almost all of these books, not even close! I tend to do most of my R.i.P reading in October, but I might pick up one or two of these in September, too, depending on how my reading is going!
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All the Missing GirlsFinal GirlsNight FilmHaemansSee What I Have DoneAgents of DreamlandDusk or Dark or Dawn or DayFever DreamVampire Girl (Vampire Girl, #1)Fearscape (Horrorscape, #1)ThreatsLailah (The Styclar Saga, #1)The Last OneZoo CitySunshineWhite Is for WitchingDeathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)BelzharThe DevourersChime
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Who else is participating? I love this reading challenge πŸ™‚
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24 in 48 Readathon Wrap-Up

That’s a wrap on this round of 24 in 48! I had a great weekend of reading, even though I of course didn’t finish my TBR (I never do) or read for 24 hours (again, I never do). Here’s how my readathon went:

Books finished: 3

Books started, but not finished: 3

Audiobook time: 7 hours 35 minutes

Pages read: 400 pages

On Saturday, I had to work in the morning, so I kicked off my readathon with some audiobook time with Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell during my commute. Then I was able to grab some lunch and some time with The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson at a coffee shop before I got my hair cut.

After my haircut (yay, my hair looks decent again for a bit!) I read for a little while longer, did some cleaning, and met up with a friend for dinner. When I got back, I got completely sucked back into A Million Junes by Emily Henry and ended up finishing the book Saturday night.

On Sunday, I had a lot more free time to read, and I also had a lot of things I wanted to get done around my apartment, so I ended up finishing Eleanor & Park while doing tons of laundry. Because I still had some cleaning to do, I started another audiobook, Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham (Lorelai from Gilmore Girls!). After that, I started getting a bit distracted with my reading; I had trouble focusing on The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (even though it was great!) until later on in the evening, but once I did, I really ended up loving the weirdness of the story. I was sort of at a loss for what to pick up next; I didn’t really feel like I had enough time to finish another book completely, even a novella, so at first I picked up Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker, which I’d gotten in the mail the day before and was totally tempted to pick up even though it wasn’t on my TBR.

Then, after only a few chapters, I was suddenly and totally in a short story mood. So I ended up finishing my readathon by reading the title story of Bloodchild by Octavia Butler, which was amazing and disturbing, and I’ve been thinking about it all day today.

Books started, but not finished: Talking as Fast as I Can, Phantom Pains, Bloodchild

Books finished: A Million Junes, Eleanor & Park, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Amount read: 5 hours 20 minutes of Eleanor & Park, 165 pages of The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, 175 pages of A Million Junes, 27 pages of Phantom Pains, 33 pages of Bloodchild, 2 hours 15 minutes of Talking as Fast as I Can

A Million JunesEleanor & ParkThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

#24in48 Readathon TBR

So this weekend is another round of the 24 in 48 readathon, which is one of my favorite bookish events. 24 in 48 is a readathon where you ostensibly try to read for 24 hours over the course of a weekend, although it’s really low pressure and a lot of people (like me) just read as much as they have time for without attempting the full 24 hours. You can find more information and sign up here.

I actually did really terribly during the last round of #24in48 in January, because I was in D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington. So, failing at the readathon for a good cause!

This time around, I do have to work on Saturday, and then I have plans to get my hair cut and get dinner with a friend. So I’m planning on squeezing in some audiobook time on Saturday when I can and maybe also sneaking in a few pages at night. Sunday will hopefully be a day full of reading, hopefully outside if it’s nice!

As far as my TBR goes, I’m currently reading two books that I’d love to either finish or make significant progress on during the readathon:

A Million JunesEleanor & Park

Emily Henry’s A Million Junes was my Book of the Month Club pick for June and I’m currently about halfway through; I’m absolutely LOVING it so far. I’m continuously surprised by how much I like this book, just because it’s not exactly my typical YA read: it’s more contemporary/realistic than scifi or fantasy, which is what I tend to go for in my young adult reads. But it’s just so well-written and it has ghosts and wonderful local mythology and a fantastic main character, and it’s becoming one of my favorite YA reads of the year.

I also recently started Eleanor & Park, which is actually the only published Rainbow Rowell novel that I hadn’t read yet. I’ve actually had this on TBRs for readathons before but never actually started it; my library had an audio copy available, though, and I’ve been dnf-ing audiobooks left and right so I was desperate for a new one. So far it’s sad and sweet, and a bit better than expected, but I’m very early in the story.

I also have three shorter books that I would love to get into during the readathon. Of course, I’d love to finish all three of them, but I don’t know that that’s super likely; we’ll see!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt BoeDusk or Dark or Dawn or DayBloodchild and Other Stories

I have two Tor novellas that I found on Book Outlet, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson and Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire; I love novellas in general, but especially during readathons, since they’re short and generally pretty absorbing and faster-paced. And I also have set aside Bloodchild, a short story collection by Octavia Butler, one of my favorite authors.

 

Who else is participating??? Feel free to tell me what your TBR is or link me to your post!

Bout of Books Days 4&5 Updates

There was a bit of a drop-off in my Bout of Books participation during Days 4 and 5 compared to the first few days, because work. But! I still managed to read two more graphic novels and start two other books–one is a bind-up of two novellas and an actual book on my physical tbr shelf, and the other is the first book in a romantic post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series.

I’m continuing to fail very hard at my goal of reading my own books, but as I haven’t yet posted about my reading goals of 2017, I’m deciding that it doesn’t count yet. I ended up going back to the library on Tuesday because I literally could not resist, and picked up four books–the next volumes of Alex + Ada and Giant Days, as well as Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (because I decided I was really in the mood for a new YA series) and Lord of the Flies by William Golding (because I have no idea how I haven’t read this book yet). So far Poison Princess seems like it’s a mash-up of like 18 different genres and like it’ll probably be a bit of a mess, but hopefully in a fun way. And for a classic, Lord of the Flies strikes me as a faster read and maybe something I can finish this weekend. So, I’m probably going to be putting the whole #readmyowndamnbooks thing on the back burner until Bout of Books is over, since mood reading seems to pair well with readathons for me.

Here are my stats for days 4 and 5:

Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John AllisonAlex + Ada, Vol. 3 by Jonathan Luna

Day 4

Pages read: 136

Books started: Giant Days, Vol 2

Books finished: Giant Days, Vol 2

Day 5

Pages read: 158

Books started: Alex+Ada, Vol 3, Poison Princess

Books finished: Alex+Ada, Vol 3

 

How is everyone else doing with Bout of Books so far?

Bout of Books Days 1, 2, and 3 Updates :)

img_2783

So far, Bout of Books is going wonderfully, and as always, this readathon really comes at the perfect time. I was out of town visiting friends in New York for New Years’ weekend, so I started Bout of Books on Monday on the plane ride home by finishing a re-read of Ilona Andrews’s Magic Shifts, the 8th book in her Kate Daniels series, and starting the newest and penultimate book in that series, Magic Binds. Tuesday was a long day back at work; unfortunately it was one of those 12-hour workdays that never seem to end, but I picked up Thai food on the way home and settled in with Volume 2 of Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, a graphic novel series set in the near future that focuses on robots and ethics. I also read a bunch more of Magic Binds, which I was able to finish this morning since it’s my day off. I actually had a really productive reading day and was additionally able to finish the first volume of Giant Days, a graphic novel about three friends in their freshman year of college by John Allison and Lissa Treiman and Relish by Lucy Knisley, a graphic memoir about the author’s relationship with food. I also started So Much for That Winter by Dorthe Nors, an unconventionally formatted novella collection.

I always have these intentions of reading a bunch of books on my physical TBR shelf for readathons, but it usually doesn’t end up happening and I end up seduced by library and ebooks instead, since they tend to be my faster reads. For the first part of the readathon at least, I’ve really been in a graphic novel mood and I’m even tempted to return to my library to look for the next issues of Giant Days and Alex + Ada, so we’ll see how that goes.

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)Alex + Ada, Vol. 2 by Jonathan LunaMagic Binds by Ilona AndrewsGiant Days, Vol. 1 by John AllisonRelish: My Life in the Kitchen

Here are my stats for the readathon so far:

Day 1

Pages read: 171

Books started: Magic Binds

Books finished: Magic Shifts

Day 2

Pages read: 246

Books started: Alex + Ada, Vol 2, Relish

Books finished: Alex + Ada, Vol 2

Day 3

Pages read: 456

Books started: Giant Days, Vol 1; So Much for That Winter

Books finished: Magic Binds, Giant Days Vol 1, Relish

Is anyone else participating in Bout of Books? How is the readathon going for you? Let me know!

I Finished the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge!

Time to celebrate! For the second year in a row, I’ve finished the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! *parties*

I definitely was cutting things close here by finishing at the end of December; last year I was much more on top of my game. Oddly, the challenge task that I found most difficult was reading a middle-grade novel; I’ve had the rest of the challenge finished for over a month, but I just couldn’t find a middle-grade novel that really interested me. I actually ended up loving my choice (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente) and am really grateful to the Read Harder Challenge for making me pick it up. Other highlights from this challenge for me were Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (essay collection), The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (historical fiction set before 1900), and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (book featuring a main character with a mental illness).Β  My least favorite book of the challenge (because you can’t love everything, unfortunately) was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play), which was basically just a huge disappointment. It’s probably my own fault for not branching out more with that challenge task.

So, here’s what I read for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge:

βœ“ 1. Read a horror book
Fledgling by Octavia E. ButlerFledgling by Octavia E. Butler
βœ“ 2. Read a nonfiction book about science
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
βœ“ 3. Read a collection of essays
Bad Feminist by Roxane GayBad Feminist by Roxane Gay
βœ“ 4. Read a book out loud to someone else – I actually don’t know the name of the picture book I read out loud to my baby cousin. It was about a fancy dog who goes to visit a farm. That’s all I remember!
βœ“ 6. Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography)
Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin CarmonNotorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
βœ“ 7. Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel
Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann AguirreEnclave by Ann Aguirre
βœ“ 8. Read a book originally published in the decade you were born (1980’s)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
βœ“ 9. Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award
Bossypants by Tina FeyBossypants by Tina Fey
βœ“ 10. Read a book over 500 pages long
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick RothfussThe Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
βœ“ 11. Read a book under 100 pages
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins GilmanThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
βœ“ 12. Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane AndersAll the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
βœ“ 14. Read a book by an author from Southeast Asia
Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1) by Zen ChoSorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
βœ“ 15. Read an historical fiction book set before 1900
The Passion by Jeanette WintersonThe Passion by Jeanette Winterson
βœ“ 16. Read the first book in a series by a person of color
Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi OkoraforBinti by Nnedi Okorafor
βœ“ 17. Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the past three years
Nimona by Noelle StevensonNimona by Noelle Stevenson
βœ“ 18. Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better. (Spoiler alert: both were bad.)
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy FowlerThe Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
βœ“ 19. Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
βœ“ 20. Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette WintersonThe Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
βœ“ 21. Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction)
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels #3) by Elena FerranteThose Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
βœ“ 22. Read a food memoir
Yes, Chef by Marcus SamuelssonYes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
βœ“ 24. Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean RhysWide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Now that I’ve finished the 2016 challenge, I’ve started looking ahead to the 2017 Read Harder Challenge, which looks really interesting. Several of the tasks are pretty specific, but the Goodreads group has been a really helpful resource for finding ideas for each task, so I’m not too concerned. I’ve generally been able to complete the majority of the tasks without really trying to because I tend to read a pretty good variety of books; this year, though, it may not be so easy. But that’s why it’s called a challenge!
Did anyone else participate in the 2016 challenge, or are you thinking about joining in 2017? Let me know!

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 πŸ™‚ This will be my first time participating in the challenge.

ripnineperilfirst

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

 

ripnineperilshort

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!