…and In With the New!

The year 2013 is done, and so my many challenges have come to an end. I’ve updated my 2013 Challenge Index and overall I did pretty well, though some areas definitely could use some improvement. Here’s a quick recap of how I did on my reading challenges:

2013 Goodreads Challenge: 130/75 books read

My previous high (since I started tracking everything I read on Goodreads) was 120 books in 2011. In 2012 I had a pitiful 50 books read. This year, I was glad to get back on track and I blew my conservative estimate out of the water. I think I reached my initial goal of 75 books by July or August! 

Debut Author Challenge: 4/12 books read

Once again, I didn’t read very many debuts. My self-imposed restriction on advance review copies has limited my access to debut author books, and they are harder to find at the library. I also found that I love reading new authors, just not necessarily debut authors.

Seriously Series Challenge: 12/12 series read

My focus for this challenge was to get up to the last book in a series that I had already purchased. I ended up getting quite a few from the library too. I’m happy I finally caught up on the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and I also finally read the entire trilogies of Across the Universe and the Infernal Devices. 

Get Steampunked Challenge: 5/5 books read

I managed to read more than my goal of five books, actually. I read 9! My favorite was the first in a new series combining steampunk and faeries, A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz.

Off the Shelves Challenge: 20/50 books read

I did better than last year, but still not as great as I would have liked. I made copious use of the library this year, and my shelves suffered as a result. I’m doing two challenges on Goodreads this year that focus on whittling down our TBR lists, so hopefully I can exceed this number in 2014.

Graphic Novels Challenge: 6/12 books read

I think I read all 6 of these in January and then promptly ignored my collection after that. I acquired two new graphic novels this year, one of which I’m reading for my YA book club in the spring. It would be nice if I could read another 6 this year.

Back to the Classics Challenge: 2/6 books read

I had so hoped to devote some time to the classics this year, but this was a pretty spectacular fail. I only read one of the required six, and read one alternate. I think in 2014 I’ll consider it a win if I read just one!

TBR Pile Challenge: 6/12 books read

There’s no cheating in this challenge run by Roof Beam Reader. The lists were set even before 2013 began, and I did pretty well. Ultimately, the rest of the list just didn’t appeal to me over the newer, shinier choices as the year progressed. 

Authors After Dark Challenge: 2/8 books read

I thought I would do better in this one this year, given the amount of PNR/UF I read. Turns out I just read a bunch of authors who happened not to be going to AAD. After two years of limping to the finish, I think it’s time to give this challenge a rest.

Literary Exploration Challenge: 33/36 books read

I came so very close to finishing this one, but just ran out of time. The five books I had left included a play and some sonnets – easy and quick reads. But the others I couldn’t quite sneak in. I had a lot of fun challenging myself to read such varied genres, and I struggled with the ones I expected to find more difficult. In many ways, however, it was easier than I expected. I learned that I tend to read in a lot more genres than I thought. This challenge has its own widget and group on Goodreads for easy tracking, and they’re offering it again in 2014 if any of you are interested in giving it a try.

Book to Movie Challenge: 6/6 books read and movies watched

This was the most fun to complete, I think. It helped that there were so many new movies this year based on great books. I saw Beautiful Creatures, The Great Gatsby, Ender’s Game, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and snuck in two oldies: The Princess Bride and One Day. I managed to read Austenland, The Book Thief, and Carrie, but didn’t get a chance to see the movie adaptations. I also haven’t seen City of Bones yet.

Did I miss any biggies? What book to movie adaptations did you see this year?

That’s it for my challenge round-up. Are you doing any challenges this year?

 

 

 

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Bout of Books 7.0 – Wrap Up

Bout of Books

 
Bout of Books 7.0 is over! I managed to meet all but one of my goals, which is super exciting for me. I am looking forward to returning to a more leisurely pace, however!
 
Time devoted to reading: I read both ways on my commute and before bed every weekday. I even managed to find good chunks of time on the weekend, which is rare for me. I did better on Sunday than Saturday, and still managed to sneak in a trip to the ballet Sunday afternoon.
 
The goals I accomplished:
  • Read five books total
  • Finished the two books I started prior to the readathon
  • Read at least 1,000 pages
  • Updated Twitter at least three times per day – well, I averaged 3/day

Books read:

  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
  • Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Total pages read: 1,614

Challenges completed: 0 – ran out of time for these

Thank you Amanda and Kelly and all the challenge hosts for a great Bout of Books 7.0! I had a great time, as always. Looking forward to 8.0!

 

Bout of Books 7.0 – Goals and Updates

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 7.0 is here! I’ll be participating here and on Twitter (@loganturner). For those not in-the-know, here is the official Bout of Books blurb:

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 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th 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 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

-From the Bout of Books 7.0 team

Time devoted to reading: I want to read at least 2 hours every weekday and 3 hours each weekend day.
My goals for participation:
  • Read at least three books
  • Finish the two books I started prior to the readathon
  • Read at least 1,000 pages
  • Update Twitter at least three times per day – well, I averaged 3/day
  • Participate in a few challenges (view the Official Schedule) – ran out of time

Books to read (subject to change):

  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
  • Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Updates:

5/13
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 185
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 185
Books read today: Phoenix Rising (finished) and The Twelve
Today’s tweet: First book down! Now on to that behemoth I keep pretending I’ll finish: THE TWELVE.

5/14
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 106
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 291
Books read today: The Twelve
Today’s tweet: I’m falling behind on my #boutofbooks tweet goal! I need to get reading and cover 140 pages to make my daily quota. Gulp.

5/15
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 178
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 469
Books read today: The Twelve
Today’s tweet: Dang! I missed tonight’s chat! FINE. I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO READ. #boutofbooks

5/16
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 272
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 741
Books read today: The Twelve and Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Today’s tweet: 2 books down! Hope to finish one per day from here on out. #boutofbooks

5/17
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 235
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 976
Books read today: Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Today’s tweet: Whee! Done with book three! #boutofbooks

5/18
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 128
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 1,104
Books read today: Splintered
Today’s tweet: I always overestimate my weekend reading time. #boutofbooks

5/19
Number of pages Iâ??ve read today: 510
Total number of pages Iâ??ve read: 1,614
Books read today: Splintered and Only the Good Spy Young
Today’s tweet: Book 4 done. Can I push it to 5 by midnight? #boutofbooks

Challenges: None this round.

 

Bout of Books 7.0 Sign Up Post

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 7.0 is coming up! Join me here and on Twitter (@loganturner) from May 13-19. For those not in-the-know, here is the official Bout of Books blurb:
 

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 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th 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 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 

-From the Bout of Books 7.0 team

 
Want to join in the fun? Visit the Bout of Books 7.0 sign up page for all the details, create a post, and link up. It’s that easy!
 
C’mon. You know you wanna.
 
 
 
 
 

2013 Debut Author Challenge

 

The Debut Author Challenge is hosted by Hobbitsies this year! 

The goal of this challenge is to read at least 12 books by authors writing their debut middle grade or young adult novel. The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014, with the extra month to give us time to read the end of year debuts. I hesitated over this one because I’m trying to keep the acquisition of new books to a minimum, but ultimately I couldn’t resist. I love supporting new authors too much! 

This year, in addition to the monthly link-ups, the monthly and grand prize giveaways are back! Every review gets you entered for the monthly prize. New this year is a Goodreads group where you can track your progress and chat with participants.

Sign up here!

My list so far:

  1. Splintered by A.G. Howard
  2. Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway
  3. Coda  by Emma Trevayne
  4. Pantomime by Laura Lam
  5. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
  6. Prophecy of Oz by Megan Shan
  7. The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
  8. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
  9. The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
  10. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  11. Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell
  12. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2013 Challenge Index.

Bout of Books 6.0 – Wrap Up

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

 
Bout of Books 6.0 is over! It was amazing how much I was able to accomplish this week thanks to this incredible event that I love to death. I’m sad that it’s come to an end, but there will be another one soon enough. *waits on edge of seat*
 
Time devoted to reading: I managed to meet, and some days exceed, my goal of reading 1 hour each weekday, and 3 hours on Saturday and Sunday. 
 
The goals I accomplished:
  • Read six books (planned on three!)
  • Wrote a review for one of the books I read this week (coming tomorrow)
  • Read one graphic novel
  • Updated Twitter at least three times per day
  • Participated in two challenges

Books read: 6

  • Over Sea, Under Stone (Dark is Rising #1) by Susan Cooper
  • The Dark is Rising (Dark is Rising #2) by Susan Cooper
  • Greenwitch (Dark is Rising #3) by Susan Cooper
  • Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 1 by Conor McCreery
  • Bared to You by Sylvia Day (started prior to challenge)
  • The Athena Project by Brad Thor (added to list 1/12, started prior to challenge)

Total pages read: 1,253

Challenges completed: 2

Thank you Amanda and Kelly and all the challenge hosts for a great Bout of Books 6.0! I had so much fun and this was by far my most successful readathon ever. I can’t wait for 7.0!

 

2013 Authors After Dark Challenge

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The Authors After Dark Challenge is hosted by Midnyte Reader to encourage readers to check out books by the authors attending the annual Authors After Dark conference, held this year in Savannah, Georgia. The challenge actually started in November, but books can be retroactively counted after you join up. It runs until the conference’s last day, on August 18, 2013.

The challenge has no set levels or minimums. You choose books written by the authors listed on the official AAD author page. I’m going to try for 8 books by different authors.

Sign up here!

My list so far:

  1. Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep
  2. Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine
  3. Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
  4. Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
  5. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
  6. Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge
  7. Taken by the Others by Jess Haines
  8. Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2013 Challenge Index.

2013 Get Steampunk’d Challenge

 

This challenge is one of my favorites, as I do love steampunk! Hosted by Bookish Ardour, this challenge is all about reading steampunk books.

The challenge has seven levels ranging from 5 to 200 books. I’m going to take it easy this time around and go with the Geared level, which is only 5 books. I have a lot of other reading goals this year, so I don’t want to pressure myself so much in individual genres.

Sign up here!

My list so far:

  1. Native Star by M.K. Hobson
  2. The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
  3. Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
  4. The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
  5. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2013 Challenge Index.

2013 Book to Movie Challenge

 

The 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, hosted by Doing Dewey, asks us to review books and their movie versions. I am a huge movie buff, and will usually try to read the book before I see the movie, so this is right up my alley.

There are four levels to this challenge, and I’m choosing the Movie Aficionado level to review 6 books and movies. As more movie information becomes available, this may change.

Sign up here! 

My list so far:

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  3. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  6. Austenland by Shannon Hale

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2013 Challenge Index.

2013 Literary Exploration Challenge

 

The Literary Exploration Challenge pushes readers to explore new genres and read outside their usual tastes. This challenge primarily takes place on Goodreads, where you can create a unique shelf and link it to the challenge page to track your progress. The Literary Exploration group also has an optional book club, forums, and the rest of the normal Goodreads group perks. If you want to participate via your blog, sign up in the comments section of the Literary Exploration blog post announcing the challenge.

There are three levels to the challenge: easy, hard, and insane. You read 12, 24, or 36 books in the respective levels, and as the levels increase, the genres get narrower/more unusual. I’m going to choose the insane level and try to read 36 different genres this year. I tend to read a large variety already, and I wanted to try some of those listed in the insane level anyway. If you have suggestions, I could use them, particularly in the biographical, educational, poetry, and philosophical genres.

Sign up here! Or track your challenge on the Goodreads Literary Exploration challenge page!

My list so far:

  1. Adventure – The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  2. Auto-Biography/Biography – Without You by Anthony Rapp
  3. Chick-Lit – A Royal Match by Tyne O’Connell
  4. Childrens Book – Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
  5. Classics – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  6. Cyberpunk – Coda by Emma Trevayne
  7. Drama – August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
  8. Dystopian – Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  9. Educational – Quiet by Susan Cain
  10. Erotica – Bared to You by Sylvia Day
  11. Espionage – The Athena Project by Brad Thor
  12. Fantasy – Railsea by China Miéville
  13. Graphic Novels – Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower
  14. Gothic – Immortal by Gillian Shields
  15. Hard-Boiled – Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  16. Historical Fiction – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  17. Horror – The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  18. Humour - My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster
  19. Literary Fiction – The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
  20. Magical Realism – Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
  21. Mystery – Deadly Politics by Maggie Sefton
  22. Noir – White Cat by Holly Black
  23. Non Fiction – Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz
  24. Paranormal – Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
  25. Philosophical – Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  26. Poetry – Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence by D. H. Lawrence
  27. Post-Apocalyptic – The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
  28. Romance – In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
  29. Science Fiction – Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  30. Steampunk – The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
  31. Supernatural – Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
  32. Thriller – Bloodlines by James Rollins
  33. True Crime – Actual Innocence by Barry Scheck
  34. Urban Fantasy – River Marked by Patricia Briggs
  35. Victorian – Changeless by Gail Carriger
  36. Young Adult – Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2013 Challenge Index.