Tag Archives: reading challenge

August TBR

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted a TBR on here! I’ve been giving in to my mood-reading tendencies a lot more lately, so I haven’t been setting as many actual TBRs.

But this month, I’m participating in a fun reading challenge that’s hosted over on Litsy by @TheReadingMermaid called #MakeMeReadIt. For the challenge, you had to make a stack of potential TBR picks last month and then have Litsy users vote on which book(s) you would commit to reading during the month of August. I set myself the goal of reading at least the top two vote-getters. Here’s the stack of my possible reads:

The winner, after a lot of voting, turned out to be Circe by Madeline Miller (by a mile). And then there was actually a tie for second place between The Mothers by Brit Bennett and The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, so I’ll be picking up those three titles this month.

#MakeMeReadIt TBR:

CirceThe MothersThe Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1)

Of course, that’s not all of the books that I’m planning to read this month. I’m going to be participating in one of my favorite readathons, Bout of Books, from August 20-26, and I’ll be posting a separate TBR for that which may or may not include a #MakeMeReadIt book or two, depending on where I’m at with that challenge, but probably also some shorter, quicker reads, which is what I prefer during a readathon.

I also have 2 books that I’m currently reading that I’ll look to finish this month:

The Hating GameThe Answers

Since I’m now apparently a contemporary romance reader (as of last month), I decided to pick up The Hating Game by Sally Thorne after hearing glowing recommendations from one of my favorite booktubers, ChelseaDollingReads. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but once I got into the story I started to really enjoy it. I’m about halfway done now and I can totally see what the hype is about. It was recently announced that it will be made into a movie, so I’ll have to check that out when it happens.

And I was really struggling to find an audiobook that I was in the right mood for until I tried The Answers by Catherine Lacey. I picked it up on a total whim, but I’m really into it so far; it’s deeply weird and I have no idea where things are going, but that just makes me want to keep reading.

And then there are a few other books I might try to get to, depending on where I’m at with the books above. These might end up being part of Bout of Books, depending on what kind of reading mood I’m in. Both are actually the third books in series (the Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai and the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers):

Hurts to Love You (Forbidden Hearts, #3)Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)

 

What’s on your TBR for August?

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Bout of Books 18 Sign-Up, Discussion, & TBR

Bout of Books 18

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

The timing for this round of the Bout of Books readathon is really perfect–it kicks off on January 2nd, so that you can start your reading year strong in 2017. Since it’s a week-long readathon, Bout of Books is less condensed than Dewey’s or 24 in 48, and the past few times I’ve participated it’s worked really well as a reading motivator. In the past I’ve talked about how I prefer to read shorter books and graphic novels during readathons, and I think I’m mostly going to stick to this tradition for this round of Bout of Books. I’ll be out of town during New Years’ Eve weekend, so I’m posting my TBR a bit early so that I don’t forget!

Because it’s so early, my TBR could, of course, end up being a total lie depending on my mood and what I read between now and the challenge, but most of these are books I’ve had in mind as good readathon picks for awhile now, so I actually think it’s going to be pretty accurate.

So Much for That WinterKissing the Witch: Old Tales in New SkinsPull Me Under: A NovelThe Stranger

So Much for that Winter by Dorthe Nors – this short book is actually two novellas with unconventional formats: the first one is told in lists and the second in headlines.

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue – I’m really looking forward to this short story collection of unconventional fairy tale retellings, and the only way I won’t be reading this during Bout of Books is if I get too impatient and pick it up beforehand.

Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce – I’ve been hearing that this Book of the Month pick tends to be a really immersive read that is impossible to put down, so that should work well for a readathon.

The Stranger by Albert Camus – I’ve been meaning to read this short existentialist novel approximately forever, and this seems like the perfect time.

Giant Days, Vol. 1 (Giant Days, #1)Alex + Ada, Vol. 2Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Graphic novel-wise, I’ve picked out a few options that I think might end up being fun, including the second volume of Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, a series focused on artificial intelligence; the first volume of Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Trieman, which is about a group of girls going away to college for the first time; and Relish by Lucy Knisley, which is a graphic memoir focused on food.

 

Is anyone else participating in Bout of Books? 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).  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:

✓ 1. Read a horror book
Fledgling by Octavia E. ButlerFledgling by Octavia E. Butler
✓ 2. Read a nonfiction book about science
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
✓ 3. Read a collection of essays
Bad Feminist by Roxane GayBad Feminist by Roxane Gay
✓ 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!
✓ 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
✓ 7. Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel
Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann AguirreEnclave by Ann Aguirre
✓ 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
✓ 9. Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award
Bossypants by Tina FeyBossypants by Tina Fey
✓ 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
✓ 11. Read a book under 100 pages
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins GilmanThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
✓ 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
✓ 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
✓ 15. Read an historical fiction book set before 1900
The Passion by Jeanette WintersonThe Passion by Jeanette Winterson
✓ 16. Read the first book in a series by a person of color
Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi OkoraforBinti by Nnedi Okorafor
✓ 17. Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the past three years
Nimona by Noelle StevensonNimona by Noelle Stevenson
✓ 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
✓ 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
✓ 20. Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette WintersonThe Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
✓ 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
✓ 22. Read a food memoir
Yes, Chef by Marcus SamuelssonYes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
✓ 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!

Dewey’s Readathon Game Plan and TBR

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I love October. It’s full of spooky, Halloween-related things and delicious pumpkin everything. October also means it’s time for another Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon, which tend to be the most awesome bookish events of the year. One of my favorite parts about the readathon is actually the anticipation and planning that come before the event; I love creating a TBR pile to sustain me through extended periods of reading, and figuring out how to maximize my reading time when I know I’ll still have to do things like work and sleep.

For me, the Readathon starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. Like last time, unfortunately, I have to work the morning of the Readathon; I’m planning to get as much work as I can done ahead of time so that I can leave work in the early afternoon, hopefully by 1 or 2. I’ve found that listening to my audiobook on the way to and from work helps get me into the Readathon mindset early, even if I can’t fully participate until later.  I had to work the morning of the previous Readathon, too, and this really burnt me out (being on call for work all weekend didn’t help, either; once I started reading I kept getting interrupted). At least I’m not on call this time! And I’m planning on picking up Thai food from the delicious place near my office to bring home after work, as well, which is also a good motivator.

Once I finally get home, I’m hoping to hit the Readathon hard. I’ve found that it helps me to start with shorter books so that I can feel like I’m accomplishing something; that way, if I get stalled on my reading later, I’ll still know that I’ve hit a few reading goals.

Goals!

-Read 3 books – pretty doable if I stick to shorter ones

-Read for 12 hours – this will mean I’m basically reading the entire day when I’m not at work, so I’m being a bit ambitious here

-Post updates on Instagram, Litsy, and here

My TBRs for readathons tend to look a lot different from my monthly TBRs. I find that short books, YA, fast-paced reads, and graphic novels tend to work the best for me in a readathon; I need books that can either hold my attention for an extended period of time or that allow me to jump back and forth pretty quickly. I tend to look for “easier” reads and not try to tackle anything too ambitious, as reading an extremely complicated book for a few hours can make me start to look for a reading break rather than feel inspired to keep going all night long (which I never do, by the way. I’m a terrible sleeper to begin with and I can’t afford to give up a whole night’s sleep). I also need a good, absorbing audiobook that I can listen to while driving and doing random things around the house so that I don’t lose out on reading time if I need to get other things done.

So! Here is my TBR for Dewey’s, ranked in order of most to least likely to actually read. To clarify, there is no way that I would actually be able to read all of these books, but I think that these are a good selection for me to choose from:

Forest of MemoryForest of MemoryForest of MemoryForest of Memory

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal – this is a science fiction novella by the author of Shades of Milk and Honey, which was sort of a Jane Austen retelling with magic that I read a few years ago and liked but didn’t love. This shorter novel is about a woman who loses contact with her A.I. and is unable to connect with the outside world, something that is constant and ubiquitous in the future, and has to deal with some sort of scary situation in the woods. I don’t really want to read too much about the plot since it’s a short work and I don’t want to spoil it, but it sounds sort of Octobery and I’ve been in a science fiction mood lately, so this is currently #1 on my list.

Fun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel – this is a graphic memoir about a daughter finding out that her father was gay after his death. I previously read Evie Wyld’s Everything is Teeth, another graphic memoir, and really enjoyed the format; I think this will be a good graphic novel to go with for the readathon.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I was sort of waffling about whether to read this for a really long time, until I sort of did a 180 and decided I needed to own this book immediately. It’s science fiction YA about two teenagers who break up and then get caught up in this huge adventure/conspiracy where their planet is at stake; the reason I think it’ll work well for the readathon is that it’s not written in a straightforward book way but made up of transcipts, emails, interviews, etc. I heard that it’s fast-paced and an easy read, so I think this might be the perfect thing for me.

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The ShrikePretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The ShrikePretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The ShrikePretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike

Alex + Ada, Vol. 1Alex + Ada, Vol. 1Alex + Ada, Vol. 1Alex + Ada, Vol. 1

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios and Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn – I don’t know much about either of these graphic novels but I’ve seen them both recommended around BookTube. I tend to only pick up graphic novels during Readathons, so it’s always sort of fun to jump into a new one to mix up my reading.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – this is my current read, and it’s fantastic. I don’t usually tend to go for what I’m currently reading during Dewey’s, but I like having it as an option.

The Geek Feminist RevolutionThe Geek Feminist RevolutionThe Geek Feminist RevolutionThe Geek Feminist Revolution

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley – this is my audiobook pick, and while I’m really interested in the content, I’m not loving the audio narrator so far. If it keeps going the way it is I might have to do a last-minute switch!

GutshotGutshotGutshotGutshot

Gutshot by Amelia Gray – this is a dark, supposedly super disturbing short story collection; I’ll pick this up if I’m in the mood for something October-y.

FurthermoreFurthermoreFurthermoreFurthermore

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – I started this middle-grade novel last month but wasn’t really getting into it; I think I need to give it another try because I’m a huge fan of Tahereh Mafi and the worldbuilding did seem very cool.

 

So that’s the plan for Saturday! Who else is participating? What are you planning on reading? Feel free to link me to your posts, I love to see what everyone else is doing for Dewey’s!

 

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.

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!

Bout of Books Sign-Up and TBR!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I’ve become a big fan of readathons, especially low-pressure ones; it’s a great way for me to devote more time to my TBR and get inspired by all of the wonderful bookish things on social media. This will be my third time doing Bout of Books (here are links to my first  and second times doing the challenge) and I’m excited for a reading-focused week. Work has been super stressful lately, so I think focusing on bookishness will be a perfect antidote.

IMG_2121

Goals for this Bout of Books:

  • Read at least 4  books
  • Finish 1 audiobook
  • Track my audiobook time and number of pages read

Here’s what I’m planning on reading during Bout of Books:

Love PoemsEverything Is TeethThe Bone KnifeThe Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)

I’m in the middle of two books right now; one of them (Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey) I don’t think I’ll read during Bout of Books; I’ve been using it as a right-before-bed book and prefer to keep it that way. I might read some of The Story of the Lost Child, my other current read, during the readathon, but I also feel like it might work better to save it for afterwards; I tend to prefer shorter, quicker reads during challenges.

For that reason, I picked out a good variety of books that I’d like to get to this week: a short collection of poetry (Love Poems by Pablo Neruda), a graphic memoir focusing on sharks (Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld), a fantasy ebook short story (The Bone Knife by Intisar Khanani), a YA fantasy with a love triangle and alleged references to Greek mythology (Everneath by Brodi Ashton), a short dystopian science fiction novel (Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrim), a collection of slipstream short stories (Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link), and a long-awaited fantasy sequel novel (The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin).

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better WorldPretty Monsters: StoriesThe Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)

I also like to have an audiobook option for readathons, and right now I’m in the middle of The Underground Girls of Kabul (so far it’s so interesting and very well-written). I’m anticipating finishing it this week, in which case I’ll pick up Luckiest Girl Alive, which just became available from my library. I own a physical copy of this book too, but I feel like the fast-paced plot would be good on audio.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in AfghanistanLuckiest Girl Alive

 

Who else is participating in Bout of Books?? Feel free to link me to your sign-up posts!

#ReadThemAllThon Reading Challenge TBR!

ReadThemAllThon

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!

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame

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.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth

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!