Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reading Challenge Addict, That's Me!

Yes, I am a reading challenge addict. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, but it's a reality and I have to face it. I always start out saying "only one or two this year," and inevitably end up signed up for a dozen or more (16 so far this year). So, I figure I might as well join the group and declare myself. Also hoping this will help me keep myself organized in 2017. During the year, I'll be doing most of my record-keeping and progress-tracking over on my challenge blog (HERE), but I'll try to update this post too, if I can remember.

My 2017 Reading Challenges:

Reading Goal: 2 books each in 17 categories
Books Read:  

Reading Goal: 50 books

Reading Goal: 50 books

Reading Goal: 12 books

Reading Goal: 2-6 books

Reading Goal: 10 books

Reading Goal: 4 books

Reading Goal: 5 books

Reading Goal: 12 books

Reading Goal: 15-20 books

Reading Goal: No set number of books

Reading Goal: 20 books 

Reading Goal: at least 6 books

Reading Goal: 1-5 books

Reading Goal: at least 6 books

Reading Goal: 6 books


Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Picture Book Reading Challenge

Host: Becky @ Becky's Book Reviews
Dates: January - December 2017

As Becky says, the goal of this challenge is "To have adults read more picture books. To celebrate the fact that picture books are for everyone!" I love picture books, both the kiddie and adult kind. I'm going to be reading them anyway, so why not join the challenge?

There are several reading options for this challenge, including a bingo card that looks intriguing. But I think I'll go with Becky's checklist of categories/subjects/varieties — I love having all these choices:

_ 1. An alphabet book
_ 2. A counting book
_ 3. Concept book: shapes or numbers or opposites or colors
_ 4. a book set on a farm or in the country
_ 5. a book set in the city or in an urban area
_ 6. a book set at the beach, in the ocean, or by a lake
_ 7. a book with human characters
_ 8. a book with animal characters
_ 9. a bedtime book
_ 10. a rhyming book
_ 11. a book celebrating art
_ 12. a book celebrating dance
_ 13. a book celebrating music
_ 14. a book celebrating family (parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc.)
_ 15. a book about feelings, expressing feelings
_ 16. a book with a twist (unexpected) ending
_ 17. a book about pets (cats, dogs, fish)
_ 18. a book celebrating libraries or reading
_ 19. a book translated into English (originally published in another language/country)
_ 20. Mother Goose related
_ 21. a book about adoption
_ 22. a book by Gail Gibbons
_ 23. a book by Jon Scieszka
_ 24. a book featured on Reading Rainbow
_ 25. free choice
_ 26. out of print
_ 27. wordless picture book
_ 28. a book by Margaret Wise Brown
_ 29. a board book
_ 30. a book about trains or planes
_ 31. a book about cars or trucks
_ 32. a book about starting school
_ 33. a book about friendship (sharing, caring, forgiving)
_ 34. a book about being ME, about being unique, special, loved, etc.
_ 35. a fairy tale
_ 36. a twisted (adapted) fairy tale
_ 37. a book about a holiday
_ 38. a new-to-you author
_ 39. a new-to-you illustrator
_ 40. a book about new experiences (dentist, doctor, sleepovers, movies, playing sports, learning to swim, etc.)
_ 41. a series book
_ 42. a book celebrating food (cooking, eating, trying new foods, eating healthy)
_ 43. a book published before 1950
_ 44. a book published in the 1950s
_ 45. a book published in the 1960s
_ 46. a book published in the 1970s
_ 47. a book published in the 1980s
_ 48. a book published in the 1990s
_ 49. a book published in the 2000s
_ 50. a book published 2010-2016
_ 51. a book published in 2017
_ 52. a book by Dr. Seuss
_ 53. a book by Mo Willems
_ 54. a book by Jan Thomas
_ 55. a book by Eric Carle
_ 56. a book by Laura Numeroff
_ 57. a book by Patricia Polacco
_ 58. a book by Jon Klassen
_ 59. a book by Beatrix Potter
_ 60. a book by Kevin Henkes
_ 61. a book written or illustrated by LeUyen Pham
_ 62. a Caldecott winner
_ 63. a Caldecott honor
_ 64. a picture book biography
_ 65. a nonfiction picture book
_ 66. a book from your childhood
_ 67. a book you discovered as an adult
_ 68. a book celebrating writing, being an author or illustrator
_ 69. a library book
_ 70. an audio book
_ 71. a book about dinosaurs OR dragons
_ 72. nonfiction book about animals (or animal)
_ 73. a challenged book OR a controversial book
_ 74. a book that makes you laugh
_ 75. a book that makes you cry
_ 76. hate the text, love the art
_ 77. love the text, hate the art
_ 78. a book with a great cover
_ 79. a book with an ugly cover
_ 80. a book about toys
_ 81. a book about weather
_ 82. a picture book for older readers
_ 83. a book of jokes, riddles, tongue-twisters
_ 84. a book about seasons
_ 85. a song
_ 86. a poetry book
_ 87. a book by a celebrity
_ 88. a book published in Australia
_ 89. a book published in the UK
_ 90. a book about science or math
_ 91. a book about history or historical event
_ 92. a book about sports
_ 93. a book about celebrating birthdays
_ 94. a book about a President or world leader
_ 95. a book about another country
_ 96. a book celebrating faith
_ 97. a pop-up book, or, a book with cut-outs or flaps or fold-outs
_ 98. a bilingual book
_ 99. a television series that has been adapted to a book
_ 100. a book that has been adapted to a television series
_ 101. an adaptation of a myth or legend
_ 102. a book about babies

Not that I'll be reading that many books, but it does give me something to shoot for. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress over on my challenge blog (HERE).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Beginnings: Two Days Gone

Two Days Gone, by Randall Silvis (Sourcebooks Landmark, January 2017). These are the book's opening lines:
The waters of Lake Wilhelm are dark and chilled. In some places, the lake is deep enough to swallow a house. In others, a body could lie just beneath the surface, tangled in the morass of weeds and water plants, and remain unseen, just another shadowy form, a captive feast for the catfish and crappie and the monster bass that will nibble away at it until the bones fall asunder and bury themselves in the silty floor.
About the Book:
"A literary page-turner about a beloved college professor accused of murdering his entire family, and one small-town cop's dangerous search for answers."
My Thoughts:

Two Days Gone is apparently the first book in a planned series of mystery novels centered around police detective Ryan DeMarco. And somehow that beginning makes me think this is not going to be a light and sunny read. Maybe a tad darker than I want right now, but it's got my interest. Well, I was looking for something different from my first read of the year (Alice Hoffman's Faithful), and this is definitely very different from that.

So, what about it? Would that opening draw you in and keep you reading?

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Book Beginnings: Faithful

Faithful, by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, November 2016). These are the book's first lines:
In February, when the snow comes down hard, little globes of light are left along Route 110, on the side of the road that slopes off when a driver least expects it. The lights are candles set inside paper bags, surrounded by sand, and they burn past midnight. They shouldn't last for that amount of time, but that's part of the miracle.
About the Book:
"... a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. 
Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world.... Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night."
My Thoughts:

I was a little nervous about this one at first — angels, miracles, and troubled teenagers aren't usually my subjects of choice. But so far, I'm enjoying the book quite a lot. But I have to admit, I was initially attracted by that cover. So lovely.

Admit it — you sometimes buy books for the cover, too. Am I right?

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

2017 New Authors Reading Challenge

Host: Literary Escapism
Dates: January 1 - December 31, 2017

For some reason, I didn't participate in the 2016 edition of this challenge, but I'm in for 2017. Hoping to discover at least 15-20 new authors. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress and keeping all my lists over on my challenge blog (HERE).

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Challenge Wrap-Up: 2016 What's In a Name? Challenge

The 2016 What's In A Name? Reading Challenge was hosted by Charlie @ The Worm Hole. I didn't do very well with this one. Of the six categories, I was only able to read books for three of them:
  • An item of furniture: The Clocks (Hercule Poirot #34). Agatha Christie 
  • A profession: Dreaming Spies. Laurie R. King
  • A month of the year: The Last September. Nina de Gramont 
But even though, technically, I didn't complete the challenge, I did enjoy what I read. And had a LOT of fun making lists of possibilities! Thanks so much to Charlie for hosting.

Note: The 2017 edition of the challenge has been announced, and you can see the guidelines and sign up HERE.

Challenge Wrap-Up: 2016 Women's Fiction Reading Challenge

The 2016 Women's Fiction Reading Challenge was hosted by The Book Date. I signed up at the "Motivated" level (Level #1: read 1-5 books) and actually read seven books I think qualify for the challenge. Didn't do such a great job of reviewing those books, but still think the challenge was pretty successful.

Here's what I read:
  1. The Last September. Nina de Gramont 
  2. The People in the Photo. Hélène Gestern 
  3. My Name Is Lucy Barton. Elizabeth Strout 
  4. Miller's Valley. Anna Quindlen
  5. A Fine Imitation. Amber Brock 
  6. This Too Shall Pass. Milena Busquets 
  7. The Book That Matters Most. Ann Hood 
I haven't seen an announcement for a 2017 edition of the challenge, but I want to say thanks to Kathryn at The Book Date for hosting this one.