Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Ultimate Reading Challenge

(I borrowed the top part of the infographic from, where this challenge is posted, to make a button to use on my blog here.  The infographic contains all the categories they suggest to expand your reading horizons this coming year.  Click the button to go see.)


Here are the first 10 categories.  Once I finish them, I will add more to my personal version of this challenge:

1.  a book with more than 500 pages

2.  a classic romance

3.  a book that became a movie

4.  a book published this year - Twisted Threads by Lea Wait

5.  a book with a number in the title

6.  a book written by someone under 30

7.  a book with nonhuman characters

8.  a funny book

9.  a book with a female author - A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren

10.  a mystery or thriller - Kill 'Em With Cayenne by Gail Oust

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Around the World Reading Challenge

The Around the World 2015 Reading Challenge is hosted by Crini at It's All About Books.  Click the button above to go to her blog and find out the details and to sign up! :O)


From All About Books, here are some mini-challenges:

  • Read one book for each continent

  • Europe (England) Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen

  • Read one book for each state in the US

  • Virginia:  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nard 

  • Read one book for each ocean (the character travels across the ocean, no matter how)

  • Atlantic Ocean - A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren

  • The mountaineering challenge: climb the Seven Summits
  • Three Poles Challenge: visit North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest
  • Visit a certain number of extreme points of Earth
  • Read a certain number of books set in capital cities 
  • Read a certain number of books set in at least 5 different places (e.g. road trip books)

  • The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton (Brussels, London, Venice, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Colorado)

  • Read a certain number of books that are set in two places from different continents
  • Read a certain number of books within a 100km/1.5 Mile radius of where you live
  • Visit a certain number of the most famous landmarks in the world
  • A to Z challenge: Find a place for each letter in the alphabet
  • Visit a certain number of countries.
  • Read books from authors from a certain number of different countries.
  • Read a certain number of books set in places you’ve visited yourself.

  • ~~~oOo~~~

    Here's my map:

    Here's my list of books:

    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren (oceans mini-challenge)
    2.  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi (US/VA)
    3.  Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen (Europe/England)
    4.  Twisted Threads by Lea Wait (US/ME)
    5.  Dying Before "I Do" by Judy Fitzwater (US/GA/Macon)
    6.  Big Mojo by Jack Getze (US/NJ)
    7.  The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton (various - Brussels, France, Switzerland, Germany, Venice, Israel, Colorado)

    2015 - 105 Reading Challenge

    The 105 Challenge is hosted by ReadWriteLove28.  Click the button above to go to the sign up page for the details and to join in! ;)


    From ReadWriteLove28:

    The 105 Challenge is a goal where I’m going to try and read 105 books during 2015. I got the number 105 by taking 12 (months in a year) and adding 11 + 10 + 9 + 8…+ 1.

    To make things interesting, I didn’t want my challenge JUST to be trying to read 105 books. Instead, I am going to try to read…

    12. 2015 new releases
    11. YA Contemporary
    10. E-ARC’s from NG + EW
    9. Indie books
    8. Debut books (from any year)
    7. 2014 new releases
    6. Self Help/Motivational/Business books
    5. Sequels
    4. Books that were recommended to me (that I had never heard of before)
    3. New Adult books
    2. Books with rainbow covers
    1. Re-read a book

    So, my list will be different, of course, but I wanted to include the list from RWL28.  Here's mine:

    14.  5-star reviews (1 of 14)
    13.  non-fiction books
    12.  2015 new releases (because that seems like a good idea) (1 of 12)
    11.  cozy mysteries (because they are my favorite) (4 of 11)
    10.  e-ARCs from Netgalley (because my percentage is dismal) (1 of 9)
    9.  indie books (because I support the 'little gals and guys')
    8.  books from my non-dominant genres (because reading outside the box is important) (2 of 8)
    7.  books (1 from each continent if that is possible - because I love to travel) (1 of 7)
    6.  books about writing and publishing (because I want to know more)
    5.  books set in states where I have lived (PA, MD, UT, TX and Kentucky)
    4.  biographies or autobiographies
    3.  cookbooks (because I have cookophobia).
    2.  religious texts (think scriptures rather than books about the different world religions)
    1.  book won in a contest or giveaway.


    XIV 5-Star Reviews
    1.  The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton

    XIII Non-fiction Books
    1.  ( to be added)

    12 New Releases:
    1.  Twisted Threads by Lea Wait

    11 Cozy mysteries:
    1.  Kill 'em With Cayenne by Gail Oust
    2.  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi
    3.  Dying Before "I Do" by Judy Fitzwater
    4.  Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker

    10 e-ARCS from NetGalley
    1.  MacDeath by Cindy Brown

    9 indie books
    1.  (to be added

    8 books from my non-dominant genres
    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren (romance)
    2.  The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin

    7 books (one from each continent)

    (to be added as the categories are breached)

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

    2015 Play On Challenge

    The Play On Challenge is hosted by Listra at Half-Filled Attic.  Click on the button above to go to the blog, get all the details and sign up!


    From Half-Filled Attic:

    So here are the rules:
    The challenge will run for four months, beginning from January 2015.
    Each month, there will be a monthly theme. 
    A master post will be published shortly before the challenge begins.
    Participants are expected to read and post a review each month, and post it in the upcoming Master Post.

    We want to keep the theme wide enough in order to allow everybody huge options. So I'll just split plays into four categories based on the period when they were written and assign each period to each month.

    January: Ancient Plays, including Greek and Roman plays
    February: Renaissance Plays, including Shakespeare and his contemporaries
    March: Post-Renaissance Plays, anything post Renaissance is allowed. Wilde and Shaw are very welcome
    April: Freebie Plays, if you find any particular playwright interesting during the 3 months, feel free to read another of his/her plays. Or if you want to experiment with other genre or other playwright, you are in.


    I was really happy to see this challenge, because I love plays.  I majored in Musical Theatre in college.  Well for the first year at least, at the end of which I was told I should find something else to do because I had no future in theatre.  I switched to business, but my heart wasn't in it, so I stopped going to college for 10 years.  When I went back, at a different school, I majored in Finance.  But I went to an audition and got a part (Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest).  After that, I did about 25-30 plays over the next six years or so.  So...*pppbbbttt* to that person back in my first college experience! *LOL*

    I'm leaning towards a Greek play for January.  Shakespeare is a given for me in February as Will is my favorite playwright of all time.  And I have no idea for the rest.  But that doesn't really bother me, because I'm in my element with theatre.


    January:  (to be added)

    2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge

    Because reading is better than real life

    (Click the button to go to the host blog's sign-up page!)

    From a host's blog:

    1.    Create between 1 and 5 resolutions related to books/book blogging (there are examples below but you can make up your own)

    2.    If you have 2 or more resolutions than 1 can be unrelated to books/book blogging

    3.    Create a sign up post and add it to the Linky on this post (sign up before Feb 1st)

    4.    On the 30th of each month (and the 28th for February) create an update post about your goals and add the post to the Linky that will be on Laura’s or My blogs

    5.    This is a year long challenge, so you can’t add resolutions that could be done in a day these must be year long goals.

    6.    For each goal you complete you get one entry into the giveaway that will be in our wrap up post on December 31, 2015.


    My 2015 Bookish Resolutions:

    1.  I review books for book blog tours one week in advance (posts done and scheduled).

    2.  My NetGalley percentage up to 75.

    3.  I have made up a reading challenge for 2016.

    4.  I update my reading challenge books read records in a timely manner.

    My 2015 Semi-Bookish Resolution:

    1.  Make a quilt top with squares designed by me based on the books I read in 2015.


    Books Read/Reviewed in January:

    1.  (to be added)

    2015 Women (Authors Reading) Challenge

    The Women Challenge #3 is hosted by Valentina at Peek-a-booK.

    This seems right up my alley, as genre of choice is "cozy mystery" and the majority of cozy authors are women! :O)

    From the blog:


    * anyone can join;
    * you don't need a blog to partecipate: if you are a non-blogger please leave a comment with a link (if you review elsewhere) to your review or with the list of the books you read and the level you choose;
    * audio, e-books, bound books and re-reads are ok;
    * create a sign up post on your blog and post the link in the Linky below (scroll down please, it's at the end of the italian translation);
    * challenge goes from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015;
    * here you can link for your reviews.


    Level 1: BABY GIRL - read 5 books written by a woman author
    Level 2: GIRLS POWER - read 6 to 15 books written by a woman author
    Level 3: SUPER GIRL - read 16 to 20 books written by a woman author
    Level 4: WONDER WOMAN - read 20+ books written by a woman author

    I'm going to start at Level 1: BABY GIRL - 5 books, and work my way up as time and endurance permit.


    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren
    2.  Kill 'Em With Cayenne by Gail Oust
    3.  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi
    4.  Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen
    5.  Twisted Threads by Lea Wait

    apparently I'm moving up to level 2 GIRL POWER!

    6.  Dying Before "I Do" by Judy Fitzwater
    7.  The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton (Norma)
    8.  Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
    9.  MacDeath by Cindy Brown

    2015 Audiobook Challenge

    The 2015 Audiobook Challenge is hosted by Jennifer at The Book Nympho and Loupe at Hot Listens.  Click the button to go to the sign-up page!

    From the blog:

    Reading Challenge Details:
    Runs January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015. You can join at anytime.
    The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2015 than you did in 2014.
    Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
    ANY genres count.
    Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
    You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads,Shelfari, Booklikes, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc. – I’ve created a Goodreads Group for the challenge, feel free to join.
    If you’re a blogger grab the button (on the sidebar) and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.
    By request, a new level (Marathoner) has been added this year for the hardcore listeners and the numbers for My Precious has been changed from 30+ to 30-50.
    Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
    Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
    Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
    Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
    My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
    Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+

    I'm going for the "Newbie" level of 1-5 audiobooks.


    1.  (to be added)

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

    2015 TBR Reading Challenge

    The TBR Challenge is hosted by Wendy at The Misadventures of Super Librarian and is designed to help us whittle away at the stacks of books we have waiting To Be Read.  Click on the button above for all the details and to sign up!

    Here is some information from the blog:

    Monthly Commentary Dates + Suggest Themes
    January 21 - We Love Short Shorts! (Category romance, novellas, short stories)
    February 18 - Recommended Read (A book recommended to you by another reader/blogger etc.)
    March 18 - Series Catch-Up (A book in a series you are behind on)
    April 15 - Contemporary
    May 20 - Kickin' It Old School (Copyright date is 10 years or older)
    June 17 - More Than One (An author who has more than one book in your TBR pile)
    July 15 - Lovely RITA (past RWA RITA winner and/or nominees)
    August 19 - Impulse Read (The book you bought because of the cover or The book you bought on impulse or The book you cannot remember why you bought in the first place!)
    September 16 - Historical
    October 21 - Paranormal or romantic suspense
    November 18 - It's All About The Hype (a book or author that got everybody talking)
    December 16 - Holiday Themes (Christmas, Valentine's Day, any holiday!)

    These are theme suggestions only, but sometimes it's nice to play along.  I'll have to find out what a RITA is, though, because I have no idea if I have one on my TBR or not. *lol*


    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren (romance for the January theme)
    2.  Kill 'Em With Cayenne by Gail. Oust
    3.  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi
    4.  Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen
    5.  Big Mojo by Jack Getze
    6.  Twisted Threads by Lea Wait
    7.  Dying Before "I Do" by Judy Fitzwater
    8.  The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton
    9.  Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
    10.  Broken Trust by Thomas Maurin
    11.  The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin
    12.  MacDeath by Cindy Brown

    2015 Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge

    Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge

    The Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge is hosted by Rebecca at Reading Diversity and Estelle and Magan at Rather be Reading.  Click the button to go to the sign-up page and for all the details!

    Taking the definition of diversity from Reading Wishes:

    As for what counts as diverse, we like this definition taken from the We Need Diverse Books tumblr: "We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities."

    I'm going to challenge myself to read 12 diverse books, one for each month.  It seems easier to me to have one a month to read, and then I can participate in the monthly link-ups as well.


    1.  (to be added)

    2015 Fur and Fangs Reading Challenge

    The 2015 Fur & Fangs Reading Challenge is hosted by Jessi at NOVEL Heartbeat and Reanna at Phantasmic Reads and features your own goal of how many books to read with vampires or werewolves (or other shapeshifting animal types) as MC's.  Click on the beautiful button at the top of the post to be taken to the sign-up page!

    I can't believe I didn't read that many books with supernatural characters this year, but in 2014 I just got back to reading for myself (rather than school, work or kids) and did a lot of book tours ... and I loved every minute of it.

    Back in the day when all internet was dial-up and the total visual experience was green or amber words on a black screen (yes, kiddoes, that's no graphics, no video), I played a vampire in an online RPG and my husband-to-be played a shaman on the same game.  That was 1992.

    And I know there are quite a number of supernaturally-inhabited reads on my shelves and ereader, so here I am! :O)  I'm going to start with a self-challenge of 5 books, and move up during the year, as time and whatnot permit, also in increments of 5.


    1.  (to be added)

    2015 Netgalley Reading Challenge


    The Netgalley Reading Challenge is hosted by Ariel at Fictively.  Click on the button above to go to the challenge sign-ups!

    I'm entering at the lowest level, and hoping to be able to move up during the year.  This should mean it's all over but the actual reading and reviews, because I know there are at least 5-10 galleys waiting on my bookshelf there. *yikes* :O)

    So, if you haven't gotten ebooks from Netgalley, before, head on over and sign up!  You can thank (or curse) me later. ;)


    1.  Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen
    2.  MacDeath by Cindy Brown

    Friday, December 26, 2014

    2015 Curvy Heroine Reading Challenge

    2015 Curvy Heroine Reading Challenge

    The 2015 Curvy Heroine Reading Challenge is hosted by Nelle at Nelle's NightStand.  Click the button above to get all the details and to sign up!

    This is a fairly wide-open challenge with the proviso that it should feature a full figure (aka curvy) heroine and with a preference for a romantic element in the book choices.  I'm going for Level 1 of 5-10 books, partly because I'm in a lot of challenges, and partially because I prefer to read sweet vs spicy romances and, well, those seem to be harder to find! ;)

    Nelle also provides several resource links if you are like me and all of a sudden cannot think of books with curvy heroines.  (It's one of those "I could have told you before you asked" things.)


    1.  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi
    2.  The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton

    2015 Ethereal Reading Challenge

    The 2015 Ethereal Reading Challenge runs from February 1, 2015 until February 1 2016, and is hosted by Carolyn at Riedel Fascination.  Click the link above for details and to sign-up!


    From the blog:

    ~ Spiritual, mystical, paranormal:  non-fiction, fictional, religious.
    ~ Serious studies:  dreams, near-death experiences, miracles, astrology.
    ~ Novels with clergy:  Sister Carol Anne O’Marie, Caroline Roe, Margaret Frazer.
    ~ Books with animals talking / doing more than what society credits them.
    ~ Fantasy is certainly otherworldly, as well as witches and fairies.

    Intuition Level:: 5-10 books
    Third Eye Level: 11-20 books
    Healing Level: 21-30 books
    The Soul Level - 31-40 books

    Since I'm in a number of challenges, I'm starting with the lowest (Intuition) level and hoping to move up. :O)  What level will you choose?


    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren

    2015 Gentle Spectrums Reading Challenge

    The Gentle Spectrums 2015 Reading Challenge is hosted by Carolyn at Riedel Fascination.

    This is a very creative reading challenge and has two options:

    a)  Limitless Palette - 10, 20 or 30 color levels.  I'm not sure if this is just for books with actual colors in the title (think The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Hunt for Red October etc), or if it includes books with color related words (list on Carolyn's blog).  I will be asking.  But I'm going for the 10 color level on this option.

    b)  Gentle Subjects - One book in each category. I'm just going to quote this from the blog, because she makes it sound so dang good:

    ~ (1)  STONES  ~
    Variations of the word, gems, jewellery, ruins, geological formations.
    (“The Hidden Mountain”) 
    ~  (2)  CHEERFUL  ~
    Uplifting, positive messages;  conveys pleasant thoughts, images.
    (“The Five People You Meet In Heaven”) 
    ~  (3)  NATIONS  ~
    Cultures, locations:  lakes, towns, even well-known places;  fictional included.
    (“Made In Canada”) 
    ~  (4)  PLANTS  ~
    Trees, flowers, lawns, fields, grasses, grains, and gardening paraphernalia.
    (“Night Gardening”) 
    ~  (5)  WATER  ~
    Water bodies, proper names, closely-connected components:  taps, sinks, pools.
    (“The Lake Of Dead Languages”) 
    ~  (6)  SPACE  ~
    The sky, its contents, spatial matter, concepts, tools.  Star Trek / Star Wars-related.
    (“Clouds Of Witness”)
    ~  (7)  DAUNTING  ~
    Any title that has you thinking:  “Oooo!  That does not sound good”!
    (“If Two Are Dead”)
    ~  (8)  STRUCTURES  ~
    A building, its rooms, proper names, any of a structure’s parts.
    (“The Palace Guard”)
    ~  (9)  TIME  ~
    Any signifiers of time, like seasons.  Any unit-measurers, like watches and calendars.
    (“Night Travellers”)
    ~  (10)  HUMOROUS  ~
    Odd, or anything that gives you a grin.  I’ll accept a ‘pun laid on too thick’ grimace too!
    (“The Dragon And The Dry Goods Princess”).


    7.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren
    10.  Kill 'Em With Cayenne by Gail Oust

    2015 My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge

    The My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge runs from February 1, 2015 to February 1 2016 and is hosted by Carolyn at Riedel Fascination.  Click the button above to go to the sign-up page!

    From the blog:

    What sets us apart is any literature related to mystery ~ not solely novels.  If you enjoy true cases, are a student of investigative techniques, if there were an ‘open a detective agency for dummies’, or you like writing tips and biographies of authors:  all of these angles are included.  No matter when you join, count what you’ve read since February 1st.

    I'm going with the lowest level...for now.  That means:

    The Secret Messages level of 5 - 10 mystery books.

    Well, let's say my record keeping in 2014 for my reading challenges sucked, but I'm hoping to do better in 2015.  Should things be swimming along nicely, I reserve the right to increase my challenge level. ;)

    Thursday, December 25, 2014

    2015 Deal Me In Short Stories Reading Challenge

    The "Deal Me In Short Stories Challenge" is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.  Click above to go to the sign-up page!

    The deal is to read 12, 13, 26 or 52 short stories during 2015.  That works out to 1 per month, 1 per moon cycle, bi-weekly or weekly, respectively.  You 'assign' a story to each card in a deck (for the weekly challenge), and then each week draw a card and read the corresponding story.  Cool!  Of course, that necessitates knowing your stories beforehand.

    I'm going with 1)Swiss short stories (to honor my maternal heritage); 2) short stories from the links provided by Jay on the sign-up page; 3) Scottish short stories (because I have a serious thing for Scotland); and 4) Indian short stories because I 'met' a LOT of rockin' bloggers from India at this year's Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

    (Links in the following roster will go directly to the short story until they are read.  Then I'll either add a link for the review post or change the color of the link or something like that.)

    SPADES (Swiss short stories)
    Ace -  How Jogelli Seeks a Wife by Jeremias Gotthelf
    Two - The Broommaker of Rychiswyl by Jeremias Gotthelf
    Three - Elsi, the Unusual Farm Maid by Jeremias Gotthelf
    Four - The Swiss at Morgarten by Charles Morris
    Five - William Tell and the Swiss Patriots by Charles Morris
    Six - Moni the Goat Boy by Joanna Spyri
    Seven - Toni, the Little Woodcarver by Joanna Spyri
    Eight - What Sami Sings with the Birds by Joanna Spyri
    Ten - The Banner of the Upright Seven - Gottfried Keller
    Jack - The Singing Fir Tree - folk tale
    Queen - The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf

    HEARTS (links)
    whatever's up in Short Story of the Day at American Literature
    Ace - (to be added)
    Two - 
    Four - 
    Five - 
    Six - 
    Seven - 
    Eight - 
    Nine - 
    Ten - 
    Jack - 
    Queen - 
    King - 

    DIAMONDS (Scottish short stories)
    Ace - Better Dead by James Matthew Barrie
    Two - The Courting of the T'nowhead's Bell by James Matthew Barrie
    Three- The Inconsiderate Waiter by James Matthew Barrie
    Four - Peter Pan in Kensington Garden by James Matthew Barrie
    Five - The Body-Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Six - The Crime of the Brigadier by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    Seven - The House of Eld by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Eight - The Poor Thing by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Nine - Something in It by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Ten - The Song of the Morrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Jack - The Touchstone by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Queen - The Adventure of the Hansom Cabs by Robert Louis Stevenson
    King - The Devil and the Innkeeper by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Extras:  Gudrid by Linda Henderson
    Creme de la Creme by Kate Blackadder

    CLUBS (Indian short stories)
    Ace - We Crown Thee King by Rabindranath Tagore
    Two - The Babus of NayanJore by Rabindranath Tagore 
    Three- Cabuliwallah (The Fruite Seller from Cabul) by Rabindranath Tagore
    Four - The Devotee by Rabindranath Tagore
    Five - The Homecoming by Rabindranath Tagore
    Six - The Hungry Stones by Rabindranath Tagore
    Seven - The Kingdom of Cards by Rabindranath Tagore
    Eight - Living or Dead? by Rabindranath Tagore
    Nine - My Lord, the Baby by Rabindranath Tagore
    Ten - Once There was a King by Rabindranath Tagore
    Jack -  The Renunciation by Rabindranath Tagore
    Queen - The Victory by Rabindranath Tagore
    King - Vision by Rabindranath Tagore

    Holey moley, that took a while!  Noticeably the Scottish and Indian sections have one or two authors repeated an inordinate number of times, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

    2015 Books in Translation Reading Challenge

    Books in Translation Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader
    Image courtesy of hywards at

    The 2015 Books in Translation Reading Challenge is hosted by Jen at

    The goal is obviously to read translations of books, from any language into the language(s) you're comfortable reading in; they don't have to be in English.

    You can read any genre and any age range. Crossovers with other challenges are fine. Any format that you choose is also acceptable. The challenge will run from January 1 through December 31, 2014.

    Looking for suggestions? She has a shelf on GoodReads you can check out. There's also a Listopia list on GoodReads. Linked reviews for the 2014, 2013, and 2012 challenges are a great resource.

    She is not limiting the challenge to bloggers. You can also link to a review you wrote on another site, such as GoodReads or LibraryThing.


    Beginner: Read 1-3 books in translation
    Conversationalist: 4-6
    Bilingual: 7-9
    Linguist: 10-12
    Since I plan on participating in a huge number of challenges, I'm declaring for the "Beginner" level here, which means 1-3 books in translation.

    Partly due to my mother having been born in Switzerland, I have some facility with French, German and Russian with a smattering of phrases in other languages (like the Japanese I learned from watching the mini-series "Shogun", or counting from one to ten in Spanish from watching "Sesame Street").  I know I've said this several times before, but it tickles me every time I think about it:  When I was in college (the first time), one semester I took French, German and Russian at the same time.  The French professor asked if I had ever spoken Spanish.  I said no.  She asked, she said, because I spoke my French with a Spanish accent! *lol*

    Anyway, since it is a bookish bucket list item for me to read a book written by a native author of each country in the United Nations (or set in said country...haven't quite figured out the rules yet...hoping to have a good amount of time to figure it out), this seems like a very good challenge for me.  I hope you'll consider joining me; click on the button at the top!



    Saturday, December 20, 2014

    2015 New to You! Reading Challenge

    New to You Reading Challenge

    At the start of 2014, I re-introduced myself to reading for me - not children's books (for/to my kids), nor reading for a college course.  I could probably count on one hand the number of books I had read for me on one hand in the previous 10-15 years.  (I know, but I'm getting better.)

    Nonetheless, I considered myself fairly well-read.  How wrong I was!  I've read probably close to 100 books in 2014 and all of them are new-to-me in some way - be it a new author, a new genre, etc. etc. etc.  And every time in 2014 I started to think I was more literarily (did I just make up another new word :p ?) plugged in, something new came slapped me upside the head.

    I'm starting at level one, which means 6 'new to yous'.  (There are 6 additional levels, going all the way up to 100+ 'new to yous'.)  Hopefully, I'll keep on the ball with record keeping and be able to bump up my level at least once during 2015.

    Click on that l'il button at the top of the post, head on over to visit Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup (host and her blog) to get all the 'Deets' and to sign up!

    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren (new author)
    2.  Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen (new author)
    3.  Dying Before "I Do" by Judy Fitzwater (new author)
    4.  Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker (new author)
    5.  Broken Trust by Thomas Maurin (new author)
    6.  The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin (new author)
    7.  MacDeath by Cindy Brown (new author)

    Bout of Books Readathon January 2015

    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, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

    I don't think I've ever tallied how many books I read during a week before, so this will be fun.  I'll be going for 7 books, like 'a book a day keeps the boredom away' or something like that.  I'll either be reading ARCs for reviews (I've got 3 scheduled in that time frame, and 9 others during the rest of January and early February, but I've read a couple of them already) or from my extensive, almost-crush weight TBR pile and list.  Seriously, I keep wondering when my Kindle app will say, "Does not compute."

    If you are a reader, click the button at the top and join in!  If you don't read, but know someone who does, share this post with them!  (Heck if you do read, share it anyway?  I'd be ever so grateful!)  

    I seriously like this early-in-the-new-year readathon.  Last year (or is that this year, since it's still 2014), I got a wonderful jump start on my reading year from participating.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, y'all! :O)


    1.  (to be added)

    2015 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge

    The 2015 edition of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge is hosted by Robin at the blog by the same name.  (Click the button to go there, see the details and sign up!)

    There are several mini-challenges this year, which I think are new and fun features.  I actually read more than 52 books last year, but slipped up on the record keeping and linking reviews, so I'm trying again this year and determined to do better!

    Week 1 -
    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren
    2.  Kill 'Em With Cayenne by Gail Oust

    Week 2-3 (updated 3:17 pm Sun 1/18)
    3.  Murder in the Arboretum by Christa Nardi
    5.  Big Mojo by Jack Getze
    6.  Twisted Threads by Lea Wait
    7.  Dying Before "I Do" by Judy Fitzwater
    8.  The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton

    Week 4 (updated 6:53 pm Mon 1/19)
    9.  Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
    10.  Broken Trust by Thomas Maurin
    11.  The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin
    12.  MacDeath by Cindy Brown

    January 2015 (updated 14:08 hrs Thu 12/03)

    13.  Windy City Blues by Marc Kuhlewitch (21st)
    14.  Murder, Mayhem and Bliss by Loulou Harrington (26th)
    15.  Climax (pts 1 and 2) by Christina George (26th)

    February 2015 (updated 14:20 hrs Thu 12/03)

    16.  Death of a Beauty Queen by Barbara Jean Coast (4th)
    17.  Scent of Butterflies by Dora Levy Mossanen (6th)
    18.  Community Affairs by Michele Lynn Seigfried (9th)
    19.  The Monster That Ate My Socks by A.J. Cosmo (11th)
    20.  Close to the Sun by Donald Michael Platt (11th)
    21.  Between the Cracks by Carmela Cattuti (17th)
    22.  The Witch Hunter's Tale by Sam Thomas (18th)
    23.  Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities by Mary McHugh (23rd)
    24.  The Fairytale Keeper by Andrea Cefalo (23rd)
    25.  I am Abraham by Jerome Charyn (27th)

    March 2015 (updated 14:20 hrs Thu 12/03)

    26.  Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn (4th)
    27.  Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan (10th)
    28.  Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford (10th)
    29.  Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword by Christian Kachel (11th)
    30.  The Trouble with Flirting by Rachel Morgan (17th)
    31.  Vostok by Steve Allen (18th)
    32.  Sea Change by T'Gracie and Joe Reese (23rd)
    33.  Sex Change by T'Gracie and Joe Reese (23rd)

    2015 BooksNTunes Challenge

    The Books N Tunes Challenge is hosted by Sophia Rose and Shari at A Delighted Reader, and pairs the books we read with the songs that come to mind while reading those books.  Sounds like fun, right?  So click the banner above to learn all the details and sign up!  (There is also a blog link-up or two for during the year so you can share with others doing the challenge!)

    It can be as simple as hearing the Star Wars theme when reading a book such as:

    (link goes to GoodReads)

    which, BTW, is SO funny I nearly spewed my coffee on several occasions.  

    I'm starting out at the lowest level - Hum Baby (10 books/tunes) with a strong hope to be able to move up during the year.

    1.  A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren


    2.  Big Mojo by Jack Getze