The Twelve Books of Christmas Challenge

12 Books of Christmas

Shaina @ Shaina Reads has challenged those of us who wish to participate to read 12 books during the month of December!  I would have posted this earlier, but I refuse to do anything Christmas related, other than stashing away presents for those I love, before Thanksgiving.

The only rule is that the books have to be at least 100 pages in length.  So, I’m making up a rule for myself.  All the books I plan to read for the challenge will be Christmas or Winter related.  Some of the books on my challenge TBR are maybe stretching that a little bit, but it’s my rule, so I can do what I want 🙂  I doubt I’ll be able to read all 12 on the list since a couple of them are door stops, but I’m going to try.

My TBR List

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I read this every year.)
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Snowglobe 7 by Mike Tucker
  • The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
  • White Fang by Jack London
  • The Winter Freak Show by Daniel Parsons
  • Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  • Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  • Fire and Ice by Patty Jansen
  • The Girl from Krakow by Alex Rosenberg
  • Ice Demon by Elizabeth Watasin

I have several backups in case any of these wind up being DNFs.

Are you participating in the 12 Books of Christmas challenge?  Even if you’re not, are your December reads Christmas or Winter themed?  What are your favorite Winter books?  Comment below!

#COYER Going Back to Basics Challenge


From December 19th to March 4th, I’ll be participating in the Clean out your E-reads (COYER) Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More FunBecause Reading & Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh, My!

The Rules

  • Read your e-reads. Every book read for the challenge must be in an electronic format – meaning ebook or audiobook.
  • The books must be FREE or NEARLY FREE. What’s nearly free? No more than $5 for ebooks and no more than $16 for audiobooks.
  • Review & link reviews.

My Goals

  • Read at least ten ebooks/audiobooks.
  • Clear out my Netgalley ebooks.
  • Participate in at least one Twitter party.


This list will probably change by Dec. 19th since I’m hoping to have several of the books already finished and reviewed by then.

Dewey’s 24 Hour #Readathon – Cover Escape Mini-Challenge

Audra @ Unabridged Chick has challenged those of us participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon to find a book with a cover we would love to escape to and away from where we’re at now.

Lisey's Story

I chose the cover of Lisey’s Story by Stephen King.  I understand that most people living anywhere that isn’t Texas won’t understand how anyone could possibly want to escape to all that snow, but it’s still getting up into the mid to high 90s here in Austin!  Also, I’m not a native, and I was born during the Winter in a considerably colder locale (Japan).  I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the Texas heat, no matter how long I live in the South.  It’s been over four years now, and I’m not convinced I’m acclimated yet.  Plus, I miss snow!!!  I also miss all the wintry stuff that I used to wear and do when I was a kid staying at my grandparent’s house in Wisconsin.  Yeah, I know, shoveling is back-breaking work that no one wants to do, and the salt on the roads slowly destroys cars but forget about all that grown up stuff.  If you’ve ever built a snow fort, snowman, or created an angel in the snow, remember how much fun you had, and the taste of hot chocolate and peppermint sticks, and the smell of pine trees and that crisp cold air.  Don’t even get me started on Christmas!  *sigh*

The Never-Ending Anne Rice Reading Challenge

I recently found out about the Never-Ending Anne Rice Reading Challenge and decided to join in.  However, I’m only challenging myself to re-read the “Vampire Chronicles”, including Anne Rice’s latest book, Prince Lestat, and “The Lives of the Mayfair Witches” trilogy.  I’ve already finished Interview with the Vampire, but the Boyfriend is currently reading The Vampire Lestat.  So, I’ll have to wait until he’s done.  He takes awhile to finish the books I loan him, mostly because he’s busy reading other books, and that’s ok.  I just won’t be able to set a time goal, but while I wait, I’ll be reading The Witching Hour.  I’ll update this post as I finish each book, and link the titles to my reviews.

The Vampire Chronicles

  • Interview with the Vampire
  • The Vampire Lestat
  • Queen of the Damned
  • The Tale of the Body Thief
  • Memnock the Devil
  • The Vampire Armand
  • Merrick
  • Blood and Gold
  • Blackwood Farm
  • Blood Canticle
  • Prince Lestat

The Lives of the Mayfair Witches

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X

               Image: Abigail Larson

Andi and Heather, of the Estella Society, are taking over as hosts for RIP X, and this is the 1st year that I’m participating!

It officially started yesterday, September 1st, but things have been so crazy busy since the Fall semester started that I feel like I’m I always running just a little bit behind and forgetting to do things.  The challenge is for two months (ending on Halloween), and this is the time of year when I love to read Horror and Gothic literature, and there is a reading “Peril” for everyone.  Perhaps it will help me feel a bit more grounded and get me into the spirit of Autumn.

I will be doing Peril the First: Read four books, any length, which fit the definition of RIP literature.

I don’t know what other books I’ll be reading, but the 1st one will be Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.  I’ve been itching to re-read the series for years, and now I’m finally going to do it.  I also want to read some Classic Horror like Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft, but I’m not going to lock myself down to anything specific right now.

I may also participate in the group read of The Quick by Lauren Owen, but I haven’t decided yet since it overlaps with my read-along of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

Are you participating in RIP X?  Are you reading any Horror or Gothic titles that you think I should add to my TBR?  Let me know in the comments!

Bout of Books: Fictional World Travel Challenge

Leann @ Between Library Shelves is hosting the first Bout of Books 14 challenge.  She has tasked all of us that want to give it a try with coming up with books set in countries other than where we live.  I’ve been traveling since I was born (in Japan), but much of my travels have been within the United States, where I currently live.  Ever since I started college, though, I haven’t been outside of Texas (I’m going to New Orleans soon, though).  However, that doesn’t stop me from traveling via armchair.  Here are only six books out of too many to list* that are set in various countries around the world (The book covers are linked to Goodreads):

ForeignForeign Correspondences by Lesley Krueger (India, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Canada)

Smile, You’re Traveling by Henry Rollins (Africa and so many other places around the world) Smile








Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (The title says it all)

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg (France) Dream








The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Germany)

The Historian (Hungary, Turkey, Romania, and several other countries) Historian

*To find other great armchair traveling reads, check out Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl, which has a lot of great suggestions.

COYER Scavenger Hunt


It’s time for COYER again, hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @ Because Reading. It runs from June 20th – September 4th, 2015 and you can sign up here (or click on the pic)!

My Goals

I have no idea what I’ll be reading, but I’m going to try to finish off as many of my Review books as I can. I also have a ton of FREE ebooks that I’m going to try to get to.

  • Read & review at least 10 books.
  • Participate in at least one Twitter party.
  • Join in at least 1 social media activity a week in the Facebook group.

I’ll be putting my updates in my weekly Monday’s Minutes posts.

So, what do you say? Will you join me?


Bout of Books Mini-Challenge: Cover Color

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, please visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team


Tressa @ Wishful Endings has challenged us to come up with four books of ours that have covers with the same color or colors.  I chose to go with sky blue:

2015-05-15 11.50.38

  • Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  • So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Dresden decided he wanted to help me.  Either that or he felt an urge to check out the So You Want to be a Wizard book.  His namesake is a wizard, after all.

Bout of Books Mini-Challenge: Bookish Survey

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 May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
Today’s mini-challenge, a Bookish Survey, is from Lori @ Writing My Own Fairy Tale.


The Questions: 

1. How do you organize your shelves?  I organize my shelves by hardcover to mass market paperback and by height.  So, my tallest hardcovers are on the left side of the top shelf and my shortest paperbacks are on the bottom shelf (I have a lot so they’ve got their own shelf)  I try to keep books by an author together, but sometimes that’s impossible, and I also keep series together as long as I own them in the same size/type of book.
2. What is one of your favorite books that isn’t in one of your favorite genres?  I don’t have one; every single one of my favorite books has come from my favorite genres.
3. What is the last five-star book you read? The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg.
4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon? I really want to finish The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon.
5. What book do you recommend the most?  That greatly depends on who I’m recommending a book to.  Sometimes it’s Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, other times it’s The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, still other times it’s The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

Bout of Books 13: It’s Time to Read, Read, Read!

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, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

It’s that time again!  I’m super excited about this Bout of Books because, with the exception of two Final exams, I’ve got the whole week to read, read, read!

My Goals

  • finish off whatever books I’m currently reading.
  • Read at least one new book off of my TBR shelf.
  • I want to be able to finish at least 3 books, but I’m really hoping I’ll be able to finish 4.

Books to Read

This list has changed a bit since my sign up post:

  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  • A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall
  • Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book I: Yasamin by J. Matthew Saunders


I will be updating with one post each day with the number of books I’ve read that day, the titles of the books I’ve finished, and the total number of books read.  If I wasn’t able to finish a book that day, I’ll put the number of pages read instead.  I’ll also list any mini-challenges I participated in.