2016 Reading Challenges

This year, I will be participating in some reading challenges along with my Goodreads challenge. I was a little late to the game last year (in fact, I didn’t even know about reading challenges), so I’ve been waiting in anticipation for months to decide on my challenges. I’ve decided on 4 and several of them will overlap, so I feel confident that I can succeed on all fronts.

Bookish Bingo

As you may or may not know, I’m already participating in Holiday Bookish Bingo hosted by hosted by Bekka from Pretty Deadly Reviews. Once this round is complete, I will participate using her next card that she creates.

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Popsugar

Popsugar puts out a reading challenge each year and I really wanted to participate last year, but I was too late. I’m SO excited to participate this year. I think I will be able to hit all items, but there are a few that will be a bit of a stretch for me. It’s called a challenge for a reason, right?

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#RockMyTBR

I saw this reading challenge come alive through Twitter updates and the initial post and I knew I had to participate. Sarah from The YA Book Traveler is hosting a challenge that focuses on reading books you already own. What a novel concept! (haha, get it?) I’m participating because I own some pretty amazing books that are just screaming to be read. Click the picture to be taken to her post with all of the details.

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Discussion Challenge

Remember yesterday when I said I wanted to discuss lots of things on my blog this year? Well, why not feel accomplished while doing it? The discussion challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight. Basically, the goal is to discuss over the course of the year. My goal is to post over 50 discussion posts which would put me at the “Gift of Gab” level. Click the graphic to be taken to their post with full details. 2016-Discussion-Challenge

1-12 – Discussion Dabbler
13-24 – Creative Conversationalist
25-36 – Chatty Kathy
37-48 – Terrifically Talkative
49+ – Gift of the Gab

I’ve created a tab on my menu bar that has all of these challenges listed. I will periodically update and you can see how I’m doing.

So what do you say? Will you participate in a challenge, too?

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Bookish Bingo

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Bookish Bingo is a challenge created by Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews. Every three months, she creates a new bingo card with various categories of books on each square. The goal is to get as many bingos as possible by reading a book for each square. With each bingo, you get an extra drawing into her giveaway at the end of the 3 months. 

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This is the card for December 1, 2015 to February 29, 2016.

This is my first go at bookish bingo and I could not be more excited! I have some ideas for a few of these, but I’m really just planning to play it by ear and see how things fit into the card. I think that if I plan it right, I can fill the entire board, because I will definitely read 24 books in the next 3 months.

I will do monthly updates and let you know how I’m doing. I strongly encourage you to participate – it should be a lot of fun!

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Blog Ahead Wrap Up – October 2015

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In the month of October, I participated in Blog Ahead with the goal of scheduling 31 posts for November on.

I was successful… kind of. I managed to schedule 16 posts for the future.

Stats: 

7 Top Ten Tuesdays

6 Waiting on Wednesdays

1 Top 5 Wednesday

1 Tag

1 Award 

I’d say that the challenge was moderately successful. While I didn’t finish all of the posts, I’m really excited to have those 16 posts scheduled so I can focus on other different types of things. I hope to just adopt a proactive approach to blogging so that I can feel good (instead of rushed) about my content. I will absolutely participate in the next Blog Ahead!

I didn’t manage to work on my upcoming feature at all (for shame) but that doesn’t mean it won’t be happening! I am announcing the feature TOMORROW (11/5/15) and it will kick off on FRIDAY (11/6/15). So stay tuned!

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Non-Fiction November

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Non-Fiction! There’s a lot of it out there but I don’t read it.

Why not? Because I love reading the same old tropes, that’s why… (that was sarcasm). Actually I have no idea why I never read non-fiction, but that’s all about to change!

I will be taking part in Non-Fiction November

I decided that I wanted to read non-fiction in November and guess what? Other people do too!

Non-Fiction November (#nonficnov) was created two years ago by Sophisticated Dorkiness and Regular Rumination. Last year, they were joined by two more co-hosts, Doing Dewey and I’m Lost In Books. From their announcement post:

On the Monday of each week in November, one of us will put up a post with the weekly discussion topic. The post will have a place to share links with responses to the topic OR reviews of nonfiction books that are posted during the week. On the Friday of each week, the weekly host will do a roundup of submissions to peruse. Please also share your posts and recommendations throughout the week on Twitter with the hashtag #NonficNov.

They are also doing a read-along, but I probably won’t be participating in that portion of the event.

During November, I pledge to read non-fiction. As much of it as I can. Only non-fiction, if possible. I have a few books that have been sitting on my physical shelf (as well as Goodreads shelf) for ages that are of the non-fictional variety that I will be reading this month. I am making good on my Fall TBR when I said I wanted more non-fiction my life.

Here’s the thing… I like learning. I’ve always loved school. I went to school for Instruction. I like to consider myself a life-long learner. What better way to learn some stuff than read about it in non-fictional books?!

I will be posting my TBR soon, so be sure to check back!


Will you read any non-fiction in November? Please join us!

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – Recap and Reflections

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I survived my first Dewey’s 24 17 Hour Readathon!

For my day of updates, go here

All in all, I think I did pretty well. I woke up at 5am (which is hard!). I read for a solid 17 hours or so (which is really hard!). Then I fell asleep and, upon hearing my alarm, decided to stay asleep (also hard!). I was tired and couldn’t keep my eyes open. Ultimately felt like it wasn’t worth it to be behind on my sleep for the next week. So I “tapped out”, so to speak.

Stats

Books attempted: 3

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Books completed: 2

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Pages read: 603, according to my count (Goodreads shows a different page count for The Book of Ivy, so it may be closer to 652.)

Snacks consumed: Ranch seeds, pizza, noodles, lots of Diet Dr. Pepper!

I spent my first readathon really focusing on the reading. I didn’t do many mini-challenges or any of the memes. For the purpose of getting a snapshot of my feelings of the day, I’ll answer some of the questions now.

Opening Survey

Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I actually didn’t go into the day with a set schedule of what I was going to read. But when I woke up in the morning, I was really feeling The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel, so I started with that.

Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Ranch sunflower seeds (which were gone in a matter of hours)

If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Like I said previously, I was really excited to feel a part of this amazing community united in doing the thing that we love!

Closing Survey

Which hour was most daunting for you?

The last 7 or so. I was asleep. I really wanted to stay awake, but I decided I just couldn’t/didn’t want to.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Really, any new-to-you fast paced story. I thought I was going to want to read Harry Potter, but I decided that already knowing the story wasn’t going to keep me engaged enough. That being said, I enjoyed both of my reads.

Which book did you enjoy most?

Vicious! It was so engaging and original. I am excited for the sequel.

Which did you enjoy least?

None of them, really!

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again?

I will absolutely be joining again next April.

What I Learned

  1. Get some really good sleep the night before. I went to bed late and was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. I think it hurt me in the end.
  2. Choose shorter books. I feel accomplished in my 2 books, but I know of people that finished 7 or 8, which is amazing. Perhaps I would have felt more accomplished and motivated if I was completing more.
  3. Do you. At the end of the day, the readathon is whatever you want it to be. The Twitter hosts did a really good job of encouraging people in a “do you” way. I really appreciate that. In the end, if you’ve enjoyed yourself and maybe read a page or two, mission accomplished.

For those that participated this year, thanks for joining me for my first time! I hope your day was as successful as mine!

For those of you that didn’t participate, maybe we’ll see you next time!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – Day Of Updates

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It’s here everyone! 

I’m so excited for my first ever Dewey’s readathon. As of right now (30 minutes before start time), there are 1900 readers which is about 400 more than the last time they did this. Unbelievable! I’m so ready to be immersed in this community of readers. You’re all so awesome.

I’m about as prepared as I can be, I think! I’ve already showered and taken care of some little responsibilities. I told the boyfriend to leave me alone and make me dinner. The house is (relatively) clean and cat is fed. I have a plethora of books and snacks. I’ve got my bookmark printed – on resume paper, I might add – certainly seems appropriate since reading is my profession today. I think that should be it!

Don’t forget to check back here and follow me on Twitter for periodic updates. Also, check the hashtag #readathon to get updates from all of the readers and cheerleaders!

Let’s do this thing!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

5:34am – We’re about 30 minutes out from start time. I’m feeling a bit tired but really excited. I think I’m going to start with something other than the Harry Potter Illustrated because I have a feeling I’ll start snoozing during a story I already know. I’ve got The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel fired up on my Kindle. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read since I found out about it and it’s on my Fall TBR. Also, I read faster on my Kindle than in physical form, so win win! Now I just need some food and I’ll be ready to go.

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7:58am – Hours 1 and 2 were… sleepy. I ate some eggos and drank a Diet Dr. Pepper to try to get some caffeine in me. I am enjoying my book very much.Just going to take a quick Twitter break and get back to it!

9:58am – Still feeling sleepy but ready to knock out The Book of Ivy and start something else. Not quite sure what my next one will be yet though!

11:34am – Just finished The Book of Ivy! It was good — solid 4 stars! I will continue the series once the second book comes out in November of this year. I’m not entirely sure what I plan on picking up next so I’m going to take a break and stare at my shelves for a bit.

11:48am – Let’s go with Vicious by V.E. Schwab!

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2:04pm – I didn’t really know what Vicious was about going into it, so it took me about 30 pages to get excited about, but now I’m hooked! I’m really liking it and just flying through it. Current location: chilling on my bed reading.

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5:07pm – I’m so sleepy. My eyes keep closing which makes reading pretty difficult. I took an hour referesher nap. Hopefully some dinner will do some good and that I can finish Vicious before it gets too dark. I want to switch to something on my Kindle for when it’s dark. That way I can sit outside and read.

9:45pm – Well, I ate some dinner and then read like crazy. Finished Vicious and it was really good! Solid 4.5 stars! Now I think I’m feeling more Victoria Schwab? Maybe A Darker Shade of Magic? I’m going to brew on it for the rest of this hour.

9:54pm – Let’s go with The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Again, Kindle read so hopefully it goes quicker!

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Stats:

Hour 1 – 45 pages

Hour 2 – 44 pages

Hour 3 – 41 pages

Hour 4 – 47 pages

Hour 5 – 44 pages

Hour 6 – 12 pages (1st book complete!)

Hour 7 – 34 pages

Hour 8 – 50 pages

Hour 9 – 28 pages

Hour 10 – 41 pages

Hour 11 – 0 pages – zzzz

Hour 12 – 23 pages

Hour 13 – 28 pages

Hour 14 – 46 pages

Hour 15 – 51 pages

Hour 16 – 36 pages (2nd book complete!)

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

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This Saturday, October 17th, I will be participating in my first Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! If you haven’t heard of it, Dewey’s 24 Readathon is pretty much what it sounds like! Everyone all over the world starts at the exact same time and reads as much as they can for 24 hours. Originally started in 2007, it has grown from 37 participants to over 1500. There are hourly posts on their website, cheerleaders that cheer readers on, and tons of prizes. If you would like to participate as a reader, sign up here. If you would like to participate as a cheerleader, sign up here.

I am beyond excited to participate. I am excited to get a lot of reading done, but I’m more excited to really feel immersed in the book community for 24 hours.

I will create a post here and update my progress periodically. I also may participate in the hourly memes that are hosted on Dewey’s website. You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest updates too!


Onto the exciting stuff! What do I plan on reading during these 24 hours? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve been known to be a mood reader that freestyles often. But in order to avoid indecisively staring at my bookshelves (ain’t nobody got time for that!), I’m going to make a pile of options. I’m actually going to a used bookstore today, so my option pile may grow, but these are in my pile currently:

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated) by J.K. Rowling (Illustration by Jim Kay)

I am currently about 30 pages into this beautiful book and hope to finish it first. It’s an easy read and the pictures should make it go pretty quickly. 

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Unravel Me and Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

I just finished Shatter Me last night, so I may continue on with the series? They’re certainly quick reads.

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Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

I picked both of these up at the library yesterday. They’re relatively short and seem pretty interesting.


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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The Name of this Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

City of Thieves by David Benioff

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella

These are some books that are on my shelf that I could potentially pick up, depending on my mood.


Be on the lookout here and on Twitter for updates all day Saturday!

Will you be participating? If so, let me know!

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Blog Ahead Challenge – October 2015

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I was scrolling through Twitter yesterday and saw Emily from Emily Reads Everything talking about writing 31 posts in the month of October for Blog Ahead 2015. For those of you that don’t know what the Blog Ahead Challenge is (don’t worry, I didn’t either as of about 20 hours ago), it’s a challenge created by herding cats & burning soup and Caffeinated Book Reviewer where you write/schedule 31 blog posts in the month of October. Basically, you’re getting ahead on your November-and-beyond blog posts. To participate, create your own post declaring your intentions then go to the challenge page (liked above) and add your link at the bottom of the page.

Blog Ahead 2015 Summary (from the challenge page)

  • Purpose: Increase the number of scheduled blog posts you have ready to publish by 31 posts during the month of October. (You can set your own goal) All post will be scheduled from November 1st or later.
  • Who Can Join: Any blogger or author can join. Brand new, been around for years.Blogger, WordPress or other platform. Any heat level, genre or theme, etc. If you blog…you’re welcome to join!
  • Types of Posts that Count: Any finished posts count! Meme, review, guest post, interview, discussion. Top Ten Posts, Favorites posts, Shopping Guide Posts, Cooking posts, pet posts, photo posts, etc. Posts do NOT have to be book related.
  • Required: The post must be complete and scheduled from November 1, 2015 onward. (So not just blurb, buy links, etc for a review post. The review needs to be complete for the post to count.)

I am participating because:

  1. I only just learned that you can schedule a post… yeah I know… I’m new to this!
  2. I have some ideas for posts that I just haven’t written yet, so I figure I should knock them out.
  3. Life will (hopefully) be busier come November, so I will proactively alleviate some stress.

I doubt I will be writing a post a day. I will probably knock a few out on one day a week. I plan to write some of the following:

  • Tags
  • Bargains
  • Reviews
  • Memes

I’m excited for this challenge and really think it will help me out in the long run. Stay tuned for some updates on how I’m doing on the challenge, and (of course) the posts themselves come November and beyond.

Are you going to take the challenge? What are you waiting for?!