Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

I only have a little more than a year and a half to finish my Classics Club list, with 21 books remaining.  So, I decided to join the Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate.

It’s simple; there are 12 categories, and the idea is to read one book, published at least 50 years ago, from each of the categories, review it, and link the review to the category your fulfilling.  At the end of the year, participants will post a challenge wrap-up and link that up as well.  We’re not required to read all 12 books or choose our books in advance, but I listed my potential reads next to each category below.  Go to the main challenge page for the full details.

The Categories:

1.  A 19th century classic – Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist

2.  A 20th century classic – Kafka, Franz: The Trial

3.  A classic by a woman author – Brontë, Anne: Agnes Grey

4.  A classic in translation – Remarque, Erich Maria: All Quiet on the Western Front

5. A children’s classic – Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction – Collins, Wilkie: The Woman in White

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction – Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Hobbit

8. A classic with a single-word title – Du Maurier, Daphne: Rebecca

9. A classic with a color in the title – Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you – Lawrence, D.H.: Lady Chatterley’s Lover

11. A classic that scares you – Melville, Herman: Moby Dick

12. Re-read a favorite classic – Hugo, Victor: Les Misérables

The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 1, 2018.  Are you planning to participate in Back to the Classics challenge?  Are participating in the Classic Clubs reading challenge?  Let me know in the comments!

#ShelfLove Challenge 2017

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I’m joining the Show Your Shelves Some Love Challenge again!  Below are my goals.

My Goals

  • Read at least 51 books from my personal library that I got before January 1, 2016 (my shelves and I are going steady).
  • With the exception of one book, I can only buy books using the money I get from selling books to the used bookstore.  I can “buy” as many free books as I would like,  as well as accept ARCs and enter giveaways to my heart’s content.
  • If I’m purchasing ebooks with my book money, I may add on the audio narration without it counting against my book money.  To me, adding on the audiobook is like buying a second copy of a book I already own.
  • Participate in the monthly discussion posts.  I didn’t do so well with this goal last year, but I’m hoping to get back to writing a discussion post every month.

My TBR

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These are, of course, only my physical books, and not all of them are books I haven’t read yet, but the majority of them have never been opened. Total, I have 293 unread books sitting on my shelves or in my Kindle and Nook, according to my TBR shelf on Goodreads.  However, I know that’s not all of them.  I don’t know how close it is to last year’s 400+, but considering I acquired a few more books and only read 58 of the ones I got prior to 2016, I’m sure it’s not far off.  One of my projects this year will be to update my TBR shelf on Goodreads to get a more accurate total (most of the ebooks on my Nook aren’t on it).

#COYER Black Out: Winter Storm

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This COYER, from December 17th to March 3rd, is much more strict than it has been in the past.  Participants can only read ebooks we already own and got for less than $1 or audiobooks we got for less than $5.

However, there is the “generator” option, but I won’t be taking advantage of that.  If you would like to know more about using your generator, click on the COYER picture to get the full details over at the official COYER website.

Since the rules are tight this time, I’m not going to read any ebooks until December 17th, and I’m going to concentrate on finishing the books I’m currently in the middle of reading.  Once COYER starts, I’ll concentrate on reading as many of my ARCs as possible.  With any luck, I’ll get completely caught up on them.  Since library books don’t count, I’ll also be focusing on the few audiobooks I own that I got for free.

Usually, my goal for COYER is 10 books, but this time I’m going to try for 12.  Bout of Books is coming up during the first week of January and I’m taking vacation during that week as well, so I’m fairly certain I can manage 12 books by March.

Are you participating in COYER?

Sci-Fi Summer Wrap-up

SCI-FI SUMMERReading Challenge

Today is the last day of the Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge!

We started the challenge on June 20th, the official first day of Summer, and agreed to read a certain number of Sci-Fi books by the official end of Summer, today, the day before the Autumnal Equinox.  Below are the levels:

  • Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
  • Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
  • Jedi – 11 to 15 books
  • Time Lord – 16 or more books

I was successful in reading 16 books for the Time Lord level, and I managed it with more than a week to spare.  I’ve still got a couple reviews to write, however.  While the review link-up isn’t closed yet, I wanted to share with everyone the amazing reviews that the other participants wrote throughout this Summer:

 

 

Thank you for a great Summer filled with Science Fiction!  I plan on doing this again next year, and perhaps by then I’ll be able to do a giveaway to go along with it.  The review link-up will remain open until September 25th, so if you were a participant in the Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge, you’ve still got a few days to get those reviews posted!

The review link-up will remain open until September 25th, so if you were a participant in the Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge, you’ve still got a few days to get those reviews posted!

Let the Challenge Begin!

SCI-FI SUMMERReading Challenge

Starting today, June 20th, and running until September 21st (the day before the Autumnal Equinox), is the Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge!

If you haven’t signed up yet, the link-up is at the bottom.  You can link up your reviews HERE.

Here are the challenge levels:

  • Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
  • Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
  • Jedi – 11 to 15 books
  • Time Lord – 16 or more books

Any book of at least 100 pages that is classified as Science Fiction, including any Sci-Fi subgenres, qualifies for this challenge.  That means audiobooks, physical books, ebooks, library books, free books, other borrowed books, anthologies, and graphic novels are all acceptable options.  You may also count any Sci-Fi book that counts towards another reading challenge.

Link up your sign-up posts below:

The sign-up will remain open until September 14th, a week before the challenge ends.

#ShelfLove: Mid-Year Check-In

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

A lot has changed in my life since I started this year’s Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge.  I got a full-time job.  I moved to a new apartment.  I began to truly focus on my health.  With all of those changes, I’ve come to realize quite a bit about myself that I didn’t previously know, and books have become an even more important part of my life as a result.

For instance, I realized I have to work for the sake of my mental health, not just my bank account, but I also have to have a job or at least be doing or working towards doing something I’m passionate about.  After I was offered the job, I was so excited to finally be working full-time again, but the excitement quickly wore off because my job is 1) not challenging and 2) has nothing to do with books.  So, my game plan has changed a little bit.  It’s no longer “I want to eventually go to grad school to become a librarian.”  It’s now “I’m taking the steps to go to grad school as soon as possible.”

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My TBR shelf before I moved.

That doesn’t have much to do with #ShelfLove, other than the obvious (books, of course), but my recent move to a bigger, but very differently configured, apartment made me greatly appreciative of this challenge’s existence and the lovely women hosting it.  I’ve discussed many times before how my book collection has caused quite a few problems when it comes to moving.  There’s the back-breaking weight, the cost of packing materials, and then the process of unpacking and reorganizing.  Ok, that last one is kind of fun.  Alright, a lot of fun.

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Only 2 of my book boxes before I moved. The other 5 or 6 were in storage.

 

For the first time in nearly seven years, I finally cut down my collection and moved to a place big enough to have all of my books in one place and easily accessible.  No longer do I have to drive out to my storage unit and dig through boxes to find that *one* book I want to read or loan to the Boyfriend.  Granted, not all of those books are on shelves, thanks to my shelves still being in storage until we have the money and time to shut down the storage unit for good, but all my pretty lovelies are READily available 😉 and that makes me a happy gal.

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My TBR shelf now. Though it doesn’t appear to be any different, it really is.

Though the main purpose of this challenge is to read the books we already own, and I’m definitely doing that, it has also made me rethink the books I choose to keep.  I was holding onto a lot of books I knew I would probably never read, but the pressure to read them because I bought them was causing me unnecessary stress.  I finally decided to take them to the used bookstore.  I thought letting go of these unread books would be difficult, but I didn’t shed any tears, and those books are better off in the hands of someone who will actually read them.  So far, I’ve made over $50 off those books and I’ve got another box that is halfway full.  Since my job hasn’t made me rich, that extra money means that I could afford to buy myself some exercise clothes that actually fit and are cute and comfortable so I’m more likely to get off the couch.

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The remaining books after the purge.

What does concentrating on my health have to do with #ShelfLove?  It means I’m reading more.  Not only am I setting aside time every night to read as a form of self-care, I’m also reading while I exercise.  Whether I’m reading a book on my Kindle while I’m on the treadmill or listening to an audiobook while I’m walking during my breaks at work, I’m getting through my books much faster than I did last year.  I’m already at the halfway point of my goal of reading 51 books off my TBR pile.  Last year I was about five books behind.  Of course, I was still in college and taking Summer courses to finish my degree faster, but I wasn’t making as much time for exercise, either, and there’s nothing I’d rather do more while I sweat than read.

Overall, the changes in my life have improved my relationship with books and reading.  I didn’t believe that was possible, especially since I was sure my new job, moving, and exercising more would all cost me valuable reading time.  Instead, the opposite has happened, and maybe this challenge has something to do with that.  Perhaps my determination to stick with it has made me come up with workable solutions.  All I know is that before #ShelfLove, and before I started blogging, I was barely getting through half the books I now read in a year, despite owning double the number of books I own today.

#COYER Summer Vacation!

COYER Summer

The COYER Summer Vacation reading challenge is from June 18th to September 2nd, and I’ll be participating!  The lovely hosts of COYER have decided to throw out the rules and allow ANY book, regardless of price or format.  I’m super excited about this because during most of the challenge, I’ll be hosting my Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge, and a large chunk of the Science Fiction titles I own are physical editions, which is what I want to concentrate on clearing from my TBR mountain since I’m also participating in the Shelf Love reading challenge.  That’s THREE awesome challenges!

Since the rules for COYER have been tossed like hot potatoes for the Summer, I’m not setting any goals.  I’m just going to read as much as I can, mostly Sci-Fi, but also a few of my ARCs that have publication dates between June and September.  This is going to be a wonderful Summer! 🙂

Are you participating in the COYER Summer Vacation reading challenge?

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge

Take Control of Your TBR Pile

The Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge is entering its fourth year, but this is the first year I’ll be participating.

The Rules:

For the entire month of March, read books in your TBR pile released before March 1, 2016. They can be eBooks, physical books, or audiobooks.

My Goals:

  • I will read nothing but physical books I already own.  That means no borrowed books, whether from the library, a friend, or the Boyfriend’s bookshelves.
  • I’ll update my progress in my weekly “Monday’s Minutes” posts, and write a final wrap-up post at the end of the month.
  • I’ll also write a review for every book I read.
  • I will participate in the 24-hour TBR Readathon on March 12th.
  • I will try to participate in the Twitter party on March 16th.

My TBR:

As you all know by now, I have an entire floor to ceiling bookcase full of books I’ve never read.  Thanks to the Boyfriend and giveaway winnings, I haven’t cleared out any space yet this year.  While I also haven’t run out of space again, that needs to change because we’re moving in March, and I’d love to have at least one box of books headed to the used bookstore before then.  While I don’t have any specific books I plan to read during the challenge, I do plan on attacking the paperbacks I’m pretty sure I won’t want to keep after I finish them.

Feel the Paper Love February

FeelPaperFeb

Litha over at Victorian Soul Book Critiques is hosting the Feel the Paper Love February reading challenge!  I’m joining in because if there is any section of my TBR mountain I need to concentrate on, it’s clearing some space on my physical bookshelves.  As most, if not all of you know by now, I live in a small apartment with the Boyfriend, and between the both of us and our book collections, there just isn’t enough space to display all of the books we own.  At least half of my books are in storage, and the ones I’ve never read are residing in a floor to ceiling bookcase that, to put it frankly, is overstuffed.  I’ve lost count since the last time I updated my Goodreads shelves and have since added more, but there are at least 150 physical books I have never read.

The rules are simple: participants have to either read nothing but physical books -or- set a goal number of physical books to read during the month of February.

I’m going with the first option.  I don’t know how many books I’ll get through, or even which books I’ll read, but they’ll all be sniffable 🙂

Are you participating in the Feel the Paper Love February challenge?

Bout of Books 15!

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 12:01 am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th 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 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

It’s that time again!  Unfortunately, I’m considerably more busy than I was during Bout of Books 14, but I’m determined not to let that stop me from reading every day instead of doing other things with my free time.

My Goals

  • Read for at least 2 hours each day.
  • Finish at least 1 book, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish 2.

Books to Read

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Updates

I will be posting an update each day with the amount of time I read, the number of pages read that day, and the titles of any books I’ve finished.