Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had incredibly happy holidays and had a great New Year’s Day. I spent the majority of my holidays traveling, so I’m looking forward to some time at home the next few months!

In reflecting over the past blogging year, I took some time today to update my 2012 Challenge Index. Here’s a quick recap of how I did on my reading challenges:

2012 Goodreads Challenge: 50/100 books read

Compared to the 120 books I read in 2011, this is a pitiful number. I’m not sure why I read so many fewer books this year, but I think I simply wasn’t as motivated to power through so many review copies. I focused much more on library books and didn’t pressure myself to read quickly. I’ve adjusted my 2013 challenge to 75 as a “split the difference” strategy between my 2011 and 2012 reading goals.

Debut Author Challenge: 6/12 books read

I read far fewer review books this year. I even had my NetGalley account deactivated and changed my review policy so that I no longer accept advance copies at all. As a result, I read fewer debuts as their availability at the library is more limited than older titles, and I only purchased a couple of them. I probably won’t participate in this challenge anymore.

YA Historical Fiction Challenge: 6/10 books read

This is a favorite genre, so I’m not surprised I got closer to completing this one. I was derailed by finding lots more adult historical fiction this year, which doesn’t count for this particular challenge. I think I’ll try a less narrow genre challenge this year.

Get Steampunked Challenge: 3/15 books read

Yikes! I’m surprised I didn’t get through more of these. I have amassed a large selection of steampunk books this year, so now I need to get to actually reading them. I’ll be signing up for this one again.

Off the Shelves Challenge: 1/30 books read

At least it’s not zero! This was a challenge to read books sitting on my shelves, which did not happen (obviously). Because my book horde is approaching unmanageable proportions, this is a MAJOR goal of mine in 2013 – read the books I already own before I buy (or borrow) old ones. The library is proving to be the toughest competition, because I justify borrowing books because they are free, but doing so does nothing to increase the books read on my shelves. I am definitely doing at least a couple of TBR-oriented challenges this year to get my butt in gear!

Books Started But Not Finished Challenge: 2/6 books read

The idea here was to finish books from my short list of abandoned titles. It did not go well. There’s usually a reason I didn’t finish them, so most of these titles just didn’t appeal to me over shiny new books that might be the best book ever. I’ll give this challenge a miss in the future.

Graphic Novels Challenge: 0/12 books read

Another embarrassing failure. Because my graphic novel collection is precious to me, I don’t really want to take them out of my house. This means I don’t take them on the train, which is where I do most of my reading. Still, I plan to keep the same list and try again with this challenge. I can usually finish a graphic novel in a relatively short amount of time, so I need to pick a gloomy weekend this winter and get through a few at a time. Maybe that should be the primary focus of a read-a-thon?

Why Buy the Cow? Challenge: 0/12 books read

No freebies read this year. I also think I acquired very few (if any) of them. I have plenty of paid-for books to read, and I’m not really interested in glutting my Kindle with more freebies. Unless it’s a title I’ve been itching to read anyway, no thanks. After two years in a row of failing, I won’t be doing this challenge again.

Speculative Romance Challenge: 3/12 books read

This was another one that surprised me. I really thought I would read more than that in this genre. Instead of doing a strict romance genre challenge, I’ll be substituting the Seriously Series challenge, since I have so many UF/PNR series books in my TBR pile.

Dusty Volumes Challenge: 3/6 books read

Finishing half of my list is a definite step up from 2011, so I’m happy with that number. It’s entirely thanks to the Austen in August event hosted by Roof Beam Reader that I even got this far! I don’t think Midnyte Reader is hosting this again (so I’ll probably do her Authors After Dark challenge instead), but I’ll attempt a different classics challenge, since I have a good list in mind that I want to finish this year. 

Outlander Reading Challenge: 1/6 books read

This didn’t turn out to be a big priority for me, so it fell to the back of the pack. I know I’ll get to the rest of these eventually, but I don’t need a challenge to do so.

1st in a Series Challenge: 9/12 books read

I did the best in this challenge, partly because I like starting series, and partly because it’s hard to find books these days that aren’t part of a series.

Finishing the Series Challenge: 1/3 series finished

I guess I got too distracted by new series to finish the ones I’ve already started!


Now, on to 2013!

In the coming weeks I’ll be posting challenge sign-ups and getting my 2013 index ready. It felt really good to update links and do, well, anything, blog-related. Maybe this year I can get around to posting my challenge progress bar widgets to help keep me on track. 🙂

 

 

 

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Updates and Outlander!

My apologies for being so absent of late, but life is full of All The Things these days. The last month has been lots of travel, a birth, a wedding, and the start of a rigorous group weight loss program. All good things, but all things that have taken an enormous amount of time and energy. I hope to get back on a regular schedule, but things may be a bit spotty over the next few months as I try to focus as much as I can on dropping pounds and getting healthy. 

In the meantime, I’ve had the delightful experience of finishing two more YA series sequels (joining Pandemonium) that I actually preferred to their initial installments (Vanish and Wings of the Wicked), completing an impromptu long-distance group read of Divergent with my sister, and jumping back into the River of Time series by reading one novella and buying another (get Bourne and Tributary now!).

I’ll be sharing more on all of this soon, but for now, please consider joining the Outlander Read-along, which starts today! The first questions are live and you have all week to read 7 quick chapters. Join anytime!

The Outlander Read-a-long hosted by Into the Hall of Books, Gone with the Words, The Reading Housewives, Stalking the Bookshelves, Tangled Up in Blue, and yours truly is finally here and there is still time to join us! Starting today through July 23rd, we’ll be reading and discussing Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER. Each Monday during the read-along, we’re taking turns hosting a discussion of 7 chapters.  You’ll have a week to read the chapters and write up a response to the questions. 

Today Jess at Gone with the Words has released the first set of questions for chapters 1-7. So head over to check them out and crack open those books, or scurry off to buy a copy if you haven’t yet (slackers)!

The full schedule:

June 11th
Questions for chapters 1-7 announced at Gone with the Words

June 18th
Questions for chapters 1-7 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 8-14 at Stalking the Bookshelves

June 25th
Questions for chapters 8-14 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 15-21 on Tangled Up in Blue

July 2nd
Questions for chapters 15-21 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 22-28 on Into the Hall of Books

July 9th
Questions for chapters 22-28 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 29-35 on Logan E. Turner

July 16th
Questions for chapters 29-35 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 36-41 on The Reading Housewives

July 23rd
Questions for chapters 36-41 answered on Gone with the Words. 

To join us:

Please create a post announcing the event to help us spread the word, and then link up that post in the linky tool below! It’s that easy! The linky is the same at each host’s announcement post, so you only need to sign up once. And don’t forget to grab a button!

 

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Logan E. Turner

Announcing the Outlander Read-A-Long!

I’m so very excited to announce that Into the Hall of Books, Gone with the Words, The Reading Housewives, Stalking the Bookshelves, Tangled Up in Blue, and yours truly are hosting an Outlander read-a-long! From June 11th through July 23rd, we’ll be reading and discussing one of the most beloved historical romance novels of all time (and one of my personal favorite books of all time) – Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER!

The details:

It’s simple, really. The six of us love Outlander, and we want you to love it, too. If you know me at all, you know it holds a special place in my heart. We know you’ve been meaning to read it, but it’s looong. As looong as your TBR list. And you only have so many hours in a day. You’ve got a schedule to keep, what with your stacks of review copies and trips to the library. Who can blame you?

But the six of us love Outlander. Did we mention that? And we think you will, too. So we’re going to help you out. We’re going to walk you through it. We’re going to break it down into manageable chunks. We’re going to ask you questions and get you talking about it. We’re going to invite you into the community of readers who just can’t stop talking about Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall.

Each Monday during the read-a-long, we’re taking turns hosting a discussion of 7 chapters of the book.  You’ll have a week to read the chapters and write up a response to the questions. Then we’ll post a linky on that week’s host blog for participants to link-up their discussion questions so everyone can hop from blog to blog and see other readerâ??s thoughts. We’ll also post the next week’s questions so you can get prepared for the following week. 

The schedule:

June 11th
Questions for chapters 1-7 announced at Gone with the Words

June 18th
Questions for chapters 1-7 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 8-14 at Stalking the Bookshelves

June 25th
Questions for chapters 8-14 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 15-21 on Tangled Up in Blue

July 2nd
Questions for chapters 15-21 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 22-28 on Into the Hall of Books

July 9th
Questions for chapters 22-28 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 29-35 on Logan E. Turner

July 16th
Questions for chapters 29-35 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 36-41 on The Reading Housewives

July 23rd
Questions for chapters 36-41 answered on Gone with the Words. 

The book:

Outlander is widely available, both in print and ebook. We wanted to give you as much advance notice as possible, so you can get it reserved at the library, order a copy from your favorite retailer, or pick it up in your local store. It’s available worldwide. Mass market copies and the ebook are available for $8.99. Or you can pick up the fancier 20th Anniversary Edition. Or even a signed copy from The Poisoned Pen. You can probably find a copy at a used bookstore, or spring for a used copy online. However you choose to read it, we want you to join us!

To join us:

Please create a post announcing the event to help us spread the word, and then link up that post in the linky tool below! It’s that easy! The linky is the same at each host’s announcement post, so you only need to sign up once. And don’t forget to grab a button!

 

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2012 Outlander Reading Challenge Sign-Up

**I’ve swiped Small Review‘s format for these sign-up posts, because she is awesome and organized and I am lazy and harried**

Challenge Basics:

Name: 2012 Outlander Reading Challenge
Hosts: Literary Escapism

Starts: January 1, 2012
Ends: December 31, 2012
Eligible Books: Any of the 7 Outlander series or 4 Lord John Grey series books by Diana Gabaldon.
Levels: None specified – read as many as you like. I know I won’t get through all of the Outlander books again, but I’d like to catch up with book 7 and the Lord John Grey series.
Prizes? None.
Sign up here!

Why I’m Interested:

Everyone knows I love Outlander. There are going to be monthly chats about this beloved series as well! See the sign-up post for details.

Some books I’m considering:

An Echo in the Bone
Outlander (again)
All of the Lord John Grey series

Books completed:

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2012 Challenge Index.