Posts Categorized: Reading Challenges

Bout of Books 10: The Master Post

May 12, 2014 Reading Challenges 5


This post will track my reading this week. Let the reading begin! And scroll down for new posts!


- Read. A lot. Duh.
- Read at least two books. As in all the way through and FINISH THEM.
- Try to participate in at least one Twitter chat because GOSH DANG IT, it’s fun.
- Comment on a least 20 other participants’ blogs.
- Find a new-to-me blog to follow

Pages read: 294
Books finished: The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Titles experienced: The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie; The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

Pages read: 154
Books finished: The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Titles experienced: The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

Pages read: 174
Books finished: The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon; Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes
Titles experienced: The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon; Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Pages read: 72
Books finished: None
Titles experienced: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Pages read: 376
Books finished: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, Among the Thorns by Veronica Schanoes, A la Carte by Tanita S. Davis
Titles experienced: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, Among the Thorns by Veronica Schanoes, A la Carte by Tanita S. Davis, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Pages read: 88
Books finished: Kinds of Blue by Karen Beilharz
Titles experienced:We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Kinds of Blue by Karen Beilharz

Pages read: 95
Books finished: none
Titles experienced: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

Total pages read:
Total books finished:
All titles experienced:




The Woman in White – Epoch 1

January 27, 2014 Books, Reading Challenges 7

The Woman in White was my first Wilkie. Your first of anything you love is always special, and The Woman in White is no exception in my book. I loved it then, and I am loving it even more now. Like most exciting books, WIW kept me on the edge of my seat the first time I read it. I had to know WHAT IS GOING ON and I had to know it RIGHT NOW. As I’m reading it this time, I am able to slow down, pay attention, and wonder about Mr. Collins and what he’s trying to say in addition to enjoying the mystery.

Because, you see, I think my Wilkie is saying a lot (or at least I choose to believe he is saying a lot) (this is a discussion in its own; is he saying a lot for society sake and for the sake of change or for sensationalism sake to sell more books?), about a lot of things and I find myself enjoying reading his musings. His thoughts on class; is Marian so unmarriageable because she is ‘man-ish” or because she is basically a pauper? Or because she doesn’t need a man. Why is it if you are smart, it makes you manly? Marian is my favorite and my best. Laura isn’t allowed to have feelings for Walter, because he is of a lower class than her, and is forced to marry Sir Percival because he is of her class (the SPOILER ALERT! I can’t say what I want to say about Sir P.). Is Sir P. a ***** because he is of the gentry? (I’m barely controlling myself here people.

Best move on.

Wilkie was a well known opponent of marriage. What is he saying about marriage in this book? Is it for the strong? The weak? The poor? The wealthy? Are they all just marrying for money? Or love? Which is better? Marry for love or money? Should you try to get both? Should we EVEN CARE? Oh Wilkie, my brain hurts. Is Laura’s only purpose in this book to be an attraction for the men, either with her looks and soft ways or for her money? Poor Marian.

I choose to feel Wilkie is saying all of this is ridiculous. Do what the heck you want. With whomever the heck you want to do it with. Just watch your pocketbook.

I can’t wait (because I can’t quite remember what happens in this next section) to see (remember) where Wilkie is going with poor Laura, Marian, and Anne. Well ALL NEED MORE ANNE. What is her deal!!! Seriously! And I want to see Sir Silly P Glyde get what’s coming to him. Oh. And more Fosco. Lots and lots more Fosco.



Bout of Books 8.0

August 3, 2013 Reading Challenges 5

Bout of Books

What can I say? I’m a glutton for reading. Yep, I’m joining the 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 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 

It’s right after The Dog Days of Summer Readathon (August 17, join us?), so it will (hopefully) be a lovely week of reading. I have so many books I need to get through! In fact, I should be reading right now! I’ve been playing around with my template though.



Ready to Go! April 2013 Readathon

April 27, 2013 Reading Challenges 18

I’ve been so busy this week, I haven’t even had time to post what I’m reading! That’s okay, I’ll just take care of it in the opening hour post. First, the introductory meme!

Okay, here is my primary stack:



and here’s my back up. Always need a back up.

Screenshot_4_27_13_6_27_AM 2

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I’m in sunny and weatherially confused North Carolina!

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

All of them? Okay, that’s cheating. Relish by Lucy Knisley for a start. Since I’m starting there!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Guacamole and chips!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I read The Graveyard Book at least once a year. Last year, I read it twice.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m not even sure how many read-a-thons I have participated in. One thing I do know, I need breaks, and I need to go outside a bit. Hopefully it will be beautiful all day long.

I’ll be updating this post through out the day, so check back for updates!



Making Reading Plans….

December 26, 2012 Books, Reading Challenges 12

It’s the time of year! When the new crop of reading challenges pop up and, even though I’ve sworn not to join any, I do it anyway! So, let’s see what I have cooking so far…

2012 TBR challenge

The TBR Pile Challenge 2013 is organized by Adam of Roof Beam Reader. The idea behind this challenge is that you read older books on your shelves, books that have been there for longer than a year. They deserve to be read, too!

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).

1. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
2. Affinity by Sarah Waters
3. The Namesake by Jhumpta Lahiri
4. Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
5. Before Women Had Wings by Connie May Fowler
6. The Bells: A Novel by Richard Harvell
7. Beyond Black: A Novel by Hilary Mantel
8. The Bone People: A Novel by Keri Hulme
9. Symphony by Jude Morgan
10. The Chronicles of the Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
11. Atonement by Ian McEwan
12. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

2012 Back to Classics Challenge

The Required Categories:

  1. A 19th Century Classic - Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  2. A 20th Century Classic - Excellent Women by Barbara Pym  
  3. A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic: - The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox
  4. A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience – Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  5. A Classic Adventure - King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
  6. A Classic that prominently features an Animal - The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 

Optional Categories:

A.  Re-read a Classic - Either The Scarlet Letter or Dracula by Bram Stoker
B.  A Russian Classic - Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
C.  A Classic Non-Fiction title – The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell
D.  A Classic Children’s/Young Adult title – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
E.  Classic Short Stories Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories by Angela Carter

Other goals:

Read more nonfiction
Read more classics
Read (or try to read) Dickens again. Dickens is my literary nemesis. We hate each other. He’s my Moriarty.
Try Diana Wynne Jones again. With a different book. Fire & Hemlock…it’s another nemesis.
Try Eva Ibbotson again.
Read more with the children.

Description: Description:

At the rate I’m going, I may be wrapping up The Count of Monte Cristo this day. If (HOPEFULLY) I’m finished with the Count by then, I’ll be reading something else. Not sure what yet, though.

I also plan (hope) (wishful think) that I’ll keep better track of my challenge participation this time. I’ll have a page dedicated to all the challenges I join throughout the year and will try (no promises) to update monthly. We shall see! I hope to finish more than the RIP and the OUAT challenges this year!

What challenges have you joined? Go on, get me in more trouble. :)



Dewey’s Read-a-thon: The End

October 14, 2012 Reading Challenges 10


Golly pete y’all. I can’t believe it’s come and gone again. This year was incredible. I got to kick of the read-a-thon with four hours of hosting, which was absolutely amazing, then, despite having to leave for my daughter’s birthday part, I still managed to read 4 fantastic books. All in all, I call that a success. Then, to top it off, I feel like we managed to do what we set out to do; to honor Dewey’s memory and create another memorable event for everyone. At least, I hope we did.I hope you had as much fun as I did!!

So, now for the final meme!

Which hour was most daunting for you?

11:00 PM EST. I gave up. I pretty much woke up at 3:00, excitement and nerves I think, and I was just beat.

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

All the books I read this year were all very engaging. Graphic novels always work great, and short ones like The Prince of Mist, are great too.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I have my own ideas on THAT. lol

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I’ll reserve judgement on that as well. :)

How many books did you read?


What were the names of the books you read?

The Good Neighbors Kin, Kith, and Kind by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Which book did you enjoy most?

All were great,  but The Prince of Mist was something very special.

Which did you enjoy least?

None of them

If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I didn’t get to cheer. I signed up before Andi and I became co-hosts anyway, and I just didn’t have time. If I hoped to read, that is. And I hoped to read. :)

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I’ll be here. Hosting again in April! Can’t wait!



Dewey Read-a-thon: Half way there!

October 13, 2012 Books, Reading Challenges 6

Wow, what a day. Busy, busy, busy. I’m finally home, settled, and getting some reading done while hosting behind the scenes. Not nearly as crazy as HOSTING hosting. Imma just watching. While watching, I’ve been reading The Good Neighbors trilogy by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh. It’s quite good! Easy reading, that’s for sure. Not sure what’s next.

Here’s the mid-point meme answers for me:

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?

A little bit. I’ve been up pretty much since 3:00. Nerves, I guess. And excitement! I hope I don’t crash too soon!

2) What have you finished reading?

The Good Neighbors #1: Kin
The Good Neighbors #2: Kith
The Good Neighbors #3: Kind

all by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

3) What is your favorite read so far?

All, since it’s a trilogy. It’s hard to pick!

4) What about your favorite snacks?

Milk and cookies!

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!

Not yet, but I will I’m sure! Will explore on my next break.


Books read:3
The Good Neighbors #1: Kin
The Good Neighbors #2: Kith
The Good Neighbors #3: Kind
Pages: 360:
Snacks consumed: Cheetos
Apple with Caramel
Peanut butter and honey toast
Milk and cookies!
Naps: 0. And kinda feeling it.
Reading now: The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. LOVE!



Dewey’s Read-a-thon!

October 13, 2012 Reading Challenges 15

It’s here, it’s here! You guys, I had no idea how much prep work went into the read-a-thon. I have a new appreciation for this event like you wouldn’t believe. And I didn’t get to help out nearly as much as I wanted. Now we get to sit back, stress out enjoy it, and (hopefully) read a bit ourselves.

I have my books. I have my snacks. I have my snuggly blankets, because dude, it’s cold in here! I’m ready to go!

I’ll be over at the read-a-thon blog for the next 4 hours doing the hosting thing. Then, I’ll be back here to finish out the day. See you there! And then!


Well, my 4 hours of duty are over, so now I can relax. It was SO MUCH FUN and so much work! Now, I have a birthday party to do, then I’ll be back. I did manage to read one book while I was hosting, so yay me!

Books Read: 1
Pages: 114
Titles: The Good Neighbors #1: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
Snacks: Apple with caramel dip, peanut butter and honey toast, and dark chocolate almond milk (YUM)
Cheetos (a guilty pleasure while reading) and more chocolate milk (I swear, the stuff is like a drug)




R(eaders) I(mbibing) P(eril): Year Seven

August 30, 2012 Books, Lists, Reading Challenges 8

The leaves are turning shades of red and orange. The air is cooler. I made my first pot of soup last night. School started weeks ago. It’s time for this young girls’ thoughts to turn to vampires, werewolves, psychological terror, and grisly horror.

RIP VII is here.

I cannot believe it’s been seven years since I first took part in this magical, mysterious, and blood-curdlingly exciting event. Without a doubt, it is the highlight of my favorite season. My plans are to do Peril the First (read up to 4 books), Peril of the Short Story (I never succeed at this, but I always keep trying!), Peril on the Screen (hopefully starting with ParaNorman!), and Peril of the Readalong. Andi and I are hosting a readalong of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, a bloody good spooky book, over at The Estella Society. And, despite the fact I’ve already reread The Graveyard Book this year, I will probably do that one too. It is, after all, probably my most favorite book, now that The Princess Bride seems to have been knocked from that pedestal (hangs head in pitiful sadness).

Come on over and join in. It is SUCH a good book and perfect for RIP.

Contenders, since no RIP post is complete without pictures of books, am I right?

And also on my iPod:

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, read by Simon Vance
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova , read by Justine Eyre, Paul Michelle (reread, if I can get my husband to read it too)
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, read by Steven Crossely (ditto the above)
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, read by Stefan Rudinicki (if I can’t get into the book. I’m determined to read this one this year!)
Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Anthony Valentine (reread, since last years’ reread was so disappointing. I think this one is unabridged!)
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, read by Simon Vance (haven’t read this since college!)
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Scott Brick
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (got hubby reading listening to this now, may have to reread so we can discuss)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (this makes me laugh. I’ve never read this book and despair that I ever will!)


The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (It may be a stretch, but I’m putting it down anyway. Those monkeys are hella scary.)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes ed by Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Peterson
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Ratcliffe
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

And maybe also this:

Do I get a nose?

Now I think I’ll sneak off and start reading. If you would care to join in the fun (please, you should!), head on over to Carl’s blog and sign up. Happy RIP everyone!



Once Upon a Time VI

March 21, 2012 Books, Reading Challenges 7

Okay, can we just sit back right hear and bask in the beauty that is that fox, with his golden crown, as he surveys the beauty of that magical butterfly.


Lovely. Just lovely.

In case you have never heard of it, every Spring, Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings hosts the Once Upon a Time challenge. OUaP celebrates the awakening of our beautiful land, our minds from the long (usually cold, but not so much this year) winter, and the magic whispering in the wind. It’s time to:

“Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”

~William Butler Yeats

As usual there are different quests to take part in. I plan to do Quest the First:

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

And the Short Story Quest:

This quest involves the reading of one or more short stories that fit within at least one of the four genres during the course of any weekend, or weekends, during the challenge. Ideally you would post about your short story readings on Sundays or Mondays, but this is not strictly necessary.

And perhaps a bit of Quest on the Screen:

Stories are not just limited to the printed page. Many entertaining, moving, profound or simply fun stories are told in the realm of television and film. To participate in this quest simply let us know about the films and/or television shows that you feel fit into the definitions of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore or mythology that you are enjoying during the challenge.

There will also be two group reads. In April, there will be a group read of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Then in May, there will be a read of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I plan to try to read Neverwhere, as it is one of the few Gaiman’s I haven’t read yet.

I have plenty, PLENTY of books to choose from. I will track my progress in the sidebar. Want to come away with us? Join in over at Carl’s blog, right here. It’s a magical journey you don’t want to miss!