Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Wrap-Up

I'm reviving my old practice of doing monthly wrap-up posts! So here's a summary of my book-related activity for January. Basically I've been trying to get through my enormous backlog of library books!

Books I read

The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike (library book)
Ghost Circles (Bone #7) by Jeff Smith (library book)
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon (audiobook) (library book)
Shade's Children by Garth Nix (library book)

Books I bought

Quista: Book One: Danay by Aviva Bel'Harold
Insomnia by Stephen King
Needful Things by Stephen King
The Birthday Party of No Return (Goosebumps Hall of Horrors #6) by R.L. Stine
Indiana Jones and the Cult of the Mummy's Crypt by R.L. Stine

Books I got for free

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Progress on challenges

I read 0 books for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge.

I completed the following letters for the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge: G, N, S

I read 1 book for the Women Challenge.

Progress on my TBR pile: I added 6 books to my to read list and removed 0, so my pile increased by 6 this month.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Winter's Respite 2017 Read-a-Thon

OK so I know week-long read-a-thons are weird and don't make sense but I feel like it, OK? I feel like having a week where people ask me to do stuff and I say "Can't. Reading."

My reading plan is to work on my big library stack. Here's what I'm hoping to get through this week:

  1. Shade's Children by Garth Nix (351 pages, of which I've already read 28)
  2. Amulet, vol. 7: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi (199 pages; graphic novel)
  3. Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City by Gwendolyn Leick (274 pages; I don't expect to finish this one because non-fiction takes me forever)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Women Challenge

I'm taking on the Women Challenge for the 5th year in a row! Signing up, as usual, for the highest level, Wonder Woman: read 20+ books written by a woman author.

I'll list the books I read for this challenge below.
  1. The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike
  2. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

The Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge involves reading a book whose title starts with each letter of the alphabet. I always have fun with this one! I don't make a list ahead of time. I just fill books in as I go and then spend December panicking to fill in my missing letters! :D

I'll list the books I read for this challenge below:

G: The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike
N: Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
S: Shade's Children by Garth Nix

2017 Mount TBR Reading Challenge

I will once again be starting out the Mount TBR Reading Challenge by aiming for Pike's Peak: 12 books off my TBR pile. I've reached that peak the last two years so I know it's achievable. I'm hoping that this will be the year when I'm finally able to upgrade to a higher peak. We'll see! I am also joining the Goodreads group for this challenge this year, in hopes that the group atmosphere will further encourage me.

I will list the books I read for this challenge below.

2016 Reading Challenges: How Did I Do?

In 2016, I participated in a total of 11 challenges that span the calendar year, with my usual mixed success, but overall I'm happy! I finished school this year and that allowed me to read more than I've had time for in recent years. I'm still getting used to the whole concept of having free time, so I'm hoping to make time for even more reading in 2017!

Let's see how I did in each of my 2016 challenges:

First, there was my own challenge, the Anne Rice Challenge. I brought it back this year after taking a year off from hosting, and only one other person joined. (Yay Carol of Open Page! You rock!) So the lack of interest drained my own enthusiasm and I didn't even end up getting to any of my Anne Rice books.
Original goal: 6 to 10 books
Read: 0 books
Next, there's the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted by My Reader's Block. I've been doing this challenge for the last 5 years (wow!) and didn't succeed in it until 2015. Well, in 2016, I passed with flying colours! Hooray!!
Original goal: 12 books
Read: 18 books
A new one for me this year was the Read the Books You Buy Challenge, hosted by The Book Date. This was always going to be a tough one for me because I tend to buy a lot of books and not get to them any time soon. (Hence my 800+ book TBR pile...) But I have been buying fewer books lately so I thought maybe I could improve. Nope.
Original goal: read 40-60% of the books I bought this year
Read: 5% of the books I bought (2 out of 38)
One challenge that I always think I'll do better than I actually do on is the Finishing the Series Challenge, hosted by Bea's Book Nook. I did end up reaching my goal, but didn't actually finish any of the series that I planned to (though I did get further in them than I was!).
Original goal: finish 3 to 6 series
Actually finished: 3 series
Next up is the Dystopia Reading Challenge, hosted by Cornerfolds. This is one of those challenges that I totally could have completed had I just tried to complete challenges instead of reading willy-nilly.
Original goal: 6 to 10 books
Read: 5 books
This year I did the NetGalley Reading Challenge, hosted by Fictively, in hopes of getting my NetGalley score up to snuff. I didn't do very well, but on the bright side, my NetGalley score didn't go down, either! :D Ultimately I've resolved to only take one NetGalley book at a time and make sure I review it, which will ensure that my score will slowly creep up.
Result: FAIL (but at least I did something)
Original goal: read and review 5 to 10 NetGalleys
Actually accomplished: read and reviewed 2 NetGalleys
I also did the Banned Books Challenge, hosted by Buckling Bookshelves. I think I was doomed to fail this one simply because it's too specific. I know there are a lot of banned/challenged books out there but I just don't happen to read very many of them in any given year.
Result: FAIL
Original goal: 3 to 5 books
Read: 2 books
Next up is always a favourite of mine: the Alphabet Soup Challenge, hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book. I was SO CLOSE! I even had X. I ended up missing just 6 letters, and I even own books for all those letters and just didn't squeeze them in in time. Next year I'll beat this one! I've actually set aside a pile of books starting with the less common letters to read early in 2017 to improve my chances. :)
Result: FAIL
Original goal: read a book for every letter of the alphabet
Actually accomplished: 20 letters, just missing J, K, Q, V, Y, and Z.
I was surprised by how badly I did on the LGBTQIA Challenge hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews. I only read two books with an LGBT+ main character, though minor characters appeared in a few others.
Result: FAIL
Original goal: 6 to 12 books
Read: 2 books

I always participate in the Women Challenge, hosted by Peek-a-booK! As usual I completed the highest level of this challenge no problem, but I did notice that this year only about 40% of the books I read were written by women, down from a bit over half in past years.
Original goal: 20 books
Read: 34 books
One big area of improvement in my reading this year is in the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge hosted this year by The Englishist. In a way I almost feel like I cheated, since my high number of books for this challenge is because of several graphic novel series, but still, a full 25% of the books I read in 2016 were by or about people of colour!
Original goal: 7 to 12 books
Read: 21 books
In summary, I completed four challenges and failed seven. Honestly that's pretty typical for me, but I have fun tracking the books I read for them anyway. :) And I did beat my Goodreads reading goal for the first time since 2012: as of now I'm at 84 and I hope to squeeze in a few more by year's end! Now I'm off to sign up for a bunch of 2017 challenges!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Read-a-Thon hours 23 and 24: 5:00 - 7:00

Currently reading: Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Pages read these hours: 90

Pages read so far: 1148

Books finished:
  1. The Sickness (Animorphs #29) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Amulet, vol. 6: Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi
  3. Stop in the Name of Pants! (Georgia Nicolson #9) by Louise Rennison
  4. Feathers by Jorge Corona
  5. The New Girl (Fear Street #1) by R.L. Stine
Food consumed: None.

Status report: Made it to the end! Here's my end of event survey:
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I had a few sleepy hours right at the start, and a few more around hour 18 or so.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison are very enjoyable to read in one sitting.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? Nope!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I really like the Facebook group. I'm not very active on Twitter and find Facebook more natural to engage with other read-a-thoners.
  5. How many books did you read? I just about finished my 6th book.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    1. The Sickness (Animorphs #29) by K.A. Applegate
    2. Amulet, vol. 6: Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi
    3. Stop in the Name of Pants! (Georgia Nicolson #9) by Louise Rennison
    4. Feathers by Jorge Corona
    5. The New Girl (Fear Street #1) by R.L. Stine
    6. Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I'm loving Anything but Typical.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? The New Girl, mostly because the main character was too stupid.
  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I always do! I just like to be a reader for the whole thing.