Tuesday, January 09, 2018

There Be Madness Here! One More Sign-up

Host: Bev @ My Reader's Block
Dates: Throughout 2018 (sign-ups open until November 1, 2018)
Challenge Goal: Each month during 2018, read at least one book with a title that includes one or more of that month's key words (see the sign-up page for the monthly word lists).

There are soooo many reasons why I should NOT be looking around for more reading challenges to sign up for in 2018 – the main one being that I promised myself I wouldn't overdo it again this year. I've already got myself involved in ten other challenges, and I figured that was more than enough to keep me busy.

But it's really hard to pass up the Monthly Key Word Challenge. All those lovely lists of words to match up with books! I tried it last year and did pretty well for the first four or five months. Then the host blog (My Soul Called Life) disappeared, but even if it hadn't gone away I don't think I would have been able to finish the challenge. Too much real-life stuff going on. And I'm really not sure I'm likely to do any better this year, but I do love the idea of using Bev's word lists to guide some of my reading choices each month. And I'm hoping it will help me knock a few books off my ridiculously enormous TBR lists.

The plan is (in theory, at least), to make a list of possible reads for each month and then somehow choose at least one, as randomly as possible. (Is "randomly" a word?). For January, the key words were: white, ice, year, baby, hat, dance, top, road, if. And after spending quite a while combing through my physical library and my want-to-read list at GoodReads, I came up with a batch of possibilities for the month. It was surprisingly short:
  • Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn #7), by Ngaio Marsh
  • The Road to Lichfield, by Penelope Lively
  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, by Henry Farrell
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion

I thought about using a randomizer to choose my book, but with just four titles, that seemed a little like overkill. So I wrote each title on a slip of paper, put all the slips in a teacup, and pulled one out. And the winner was... The Road to Lichfield – which was actually the one I was intending to read anyway. Must be fate.

OK, now I should get reading. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress over on my challenge blog.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

2018 Picture Book Reading Challenge

Host: Becky @ Becky's Book Reviews
Dates: January - December 2018

I shouldn't try to kid myself. I know I'm gonna be reading picture books this year -- so why not make it official? I did pretty good on Becky's 2017 Picture Book Challenge, and certainly enjoyed reading all the books. For 2018, I think I'm going to go with the checklist option (see below), and just try to read as many books as possible. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress over on my challenge blog (HERE), but I'll also try to remember to update the list on this post.

_1. Title beginning with A
_2. Author beginning with A
_3. Title beginning with B
_4. Author beginning with B
_5. Title beginning with C
_6. Author beginning with C
_7. Title beginning with D
_8. Author beginning with D
_9. Title beginning with E
_10. Author beginning with E
_11. Title beginning with F
_12. Author beginning with F
_13. Title beginning with G
_14. Author beginning with G
_15. Title beginning with H
_16. Author beginning with H
_17. Title beginning with I
_18. Author beginning with I
_19. Title beginning with J
_20. Author beginning with J
_21. Title beginning with K
_22. Author beginning with K
_23. Title beginning with L
_24. Author beginning with L
_25. Title beginning with M
_26. Author beginning with M
_27. Title beginning with N
_28. Author beginning with N
_29. Title beginning with O
_30. Author beginning with O
_31. Title beginning with P
_32. Author beginning with P
_33. Title or Author beginning with Q
_34. Title beginning with R
_35. Author beginning with R
_36. Title beginning with S
_37. Author beginning with S
_38. Title beginning with T
_39. Author beginning with T
_40. Title or Author beginning with U
_41. Title or Author beginning with V or W
_42. Title or Author beginning with X or “Ex”
_43. Title beginning with Y
_44. Author beginning with Y
_45. Title or Author beginning with Z
_46. An alphabet book
_47. A counting book
_48. A color word in the title
_49. A number word in the title
_50. Concept book of your choice— picture book
_51. Concept book of your choice — board book
_52. bedtime book —board book
_53. bedtime book — picture book
_54. book that rhymes —picture book
_55. book that rhymes — early reader OR board book
_56. holiday of your choice — board book or early reader
_57. holiday of your choice — picture book
_58. wordless picture book
_59. new to you author
_60. new to you illustrator
_61. favorite author
_62. favorite illustrator
_63. free choice
_64. fairy or folk tale adaptation
_65. fairy or folk tale traditional
_66. a title with the word “first” in it
_67. a book set in the state you live
_68. a book set in a place you’d like to visit
_69. a book set in an imaginary place
_70. a book set in the past — fiction or nonfiction
_71. a book set in the present
_72. picture book for older readers — fiction
_73. picture book for older readers — nonfiction
_74. early reader — fiction
_75. early reader — nonfiction
_76. picture book with photographs
_77. one word title
_78. long title (four or more words)
_79. oversized book
_80. tiny book
_81. a book about playing (hide and seek, tag, or peekaboo, etc.)
_82. a book about school
_83. a book about hobbies (art, dance, music, crafts, sports)
_84. a title that is a question
_85. a title that is an exclamation
_86. an award winner or an honor book
_87. a collection (of poems OR stories)
_88. a book with animals (fiction)
_89. a book with animals (nonfiction)
_90. a book about books or reading
_91. a book celebrating family
_92. first book in a series
_93. any book in a series
_94. book with an adventure or misadventure
_95. a book about a pet
_96. A title with the word “yes” or “no” in it
_97. A title with the word “big” or “little” in it
_98. a classic published before 1968
_99. a book you think should be considered a classic
_100. Out of print
_101. Library book
_102. Impulse Pick
_ 103. Board book published in 2018
_ 104. Picture book published in 2018

Monday, January 01, 2018

Books Read in 2018

Cumulative Reading List

Here's where I'll be tracking my reading in 2018.

My goal for the year, as usual, is 50 books. In 2017 I just barely made it to 30, so I'm hoping for a much better showing in 2018.


1. Balthus: Cats and Girls. Sabine Rewald (2013; nonfiction/art history; 176 pages)
2. Intruder in the Dark (Chief Inspector Littlejohn #43). George Bellairs (1966; fiction; 196 pages)
3. A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple #5). Agatha Christie (1950; fiction; 298 pages, e-book)
4. Vintage Murder (Roderick Alleyn #5). Ngaio Marsh (1937; fiction; 278 pages, e-book)












Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018

Host: Bev @ My Reader's Block
Dates: January 1 - December 31, 2018

I'm trying to be a little more selective about the reading challenges I sign up for next year. During the past year, I think I spent more time working on the bookkeeping for all my challenges than I did actually reading. Not good.

But one of my goals for 2018 is to read more of the books I already own and to try to get to some of those titles I've been intending to read for decades. So I'm signing up for Bev's Mount TBR Challenge. I'll be going for Pike's Peak (12 books) -- I'd really like to do better than that, but twelve sounds like a fairly realistic figure to aim for.

During the year, I'll be tracking my progress and keeping all my lists over on my challenge blog.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 European Reading Challenge

Host: Rose City Reader
Dates: January 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019

Another of my favorite challenges. I didn't do so well with the 2017 edition, so I'm scaling back a bit for 2018 -- signing up at the Three Star ("Business Traveler") level, which means I'll be committing to three books. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress over on my challenge blog.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Host: Doing Dewey
Dates: January - December 2018

I used to read quite a lot of nonfiction, but haven't really read much in recent years. I'd like to remedy that, and this challenge is perfect for me -- no set numbers or categories to read. I'm not going to commit to any definite number of books, but I'd like to try for at least four or five.

Some I'm hoping to read in 2018:
  • Blue Nights. Joan Didion (autobiography/memoir)
  • Books. Larry McMurtry (memoir)
  • Just Kids. Patti Smith (memoir) 
  • The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws. Margaret Drabble (autobiography/memoir)
  • South and West: From a Notebook. Joan Didion (essays, notes)
  • The Year of Magical Thinking. Joan Didion (autobio/memoir)
And I have a longer list of possibilities over on my challenge blog, where I'll be tracking my progress.

2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Host: Amy @ Passages to the Past 
Dates: January 1 - December 31, 2018

My Goal: "Victorian Reader" (5 books)

I usually read quite a bit of historical fiction, and this is always one of my favorite challenges. Didn't really do all that well with it this year, but I'm hoping for better results in 2018. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress over on my challenge blog.