Well, I don’t even know what to say. Somehow 20 people who really like what I have to say about books grew to over 200. If that’s not a pressure monster breathing its hot wet breath down my neck, I don’t know what is! In all seriousness, thank you all! I’m really looking forward to chatting with you about books and stories and characters!
This post is going to be fairly informative. Normally, I’m going to aim for one post a week, two if I just can’t contain my excitement and I have enough material to write about. First things first, on the right hand side of this blog is a few things. The top is pretty self-explanatory, it’s the recent search/posts/ archive section that you will be able to access my other posts from. Underneath that, you will see a Goodreads widget where I will post the books that I’m currently reading. This will show where I am in my personal reading challenge and whether or not I’ve finished a book recently. Right now I have three books listed, but I’m really only currently reading two of them, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (2014) and The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (2001). You will most likely always see a book by Diana Gabaldon on that list. I’m working my way through her Outlander series, which currently has eight books out, but she did announce the ninth one is in the works. Each of these books is over 1000 pages long and deal heavily with the politics and wars of wherever they’re set so I usually read them simultaneously with others. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (2015) is also listed. I received that book as a Christmas present but I quickly discovered that while it’s the first of its series, it is a continuation of a world that was set up in Bardugo’s earlier series, The Grisha Trilogy . The world and writing descriptors are unique enough that I feel lost so I’m going to try to knock out that trilogy while I’m catching rays on the beach in a couple weeks.
The last two things you will see is a “follow” button if you’d like to receive a notification when a new post has gone up (if you’ve done so, thank you!) and lastly, a link to my sister’s blog, The Perspicacious Bookworm. Again, her blog is brilliant! We will usually try to cover different reading material, but sometimes if a book strikes both our fancy, we will do compare and contrast book reviews on each of our sites. Her writing frequency is currently planned to happen every other week, as she is has a much larger workload on her plate and we both have a lot happening this year.
Now that the boring “tour my site” is covered, let’s get down to brass tacks. My 2016 Reading Challenge. As we are currently in May, I have already begun this challenge. My Goodreads challenge is very simple, just fifty books. I know I did one hundred last year, but this year comes with new challenges. My son is very comfortably in the toddler stage and rarely stops moving, we are taking two large trips this year (one overseas) and our holidays haven’t even started and they’re already packed, so I went a little lenient on myself. My personal challenge is a little more difficult, designed to make me step out of my comfort zone. There are thirty-three different individual challenges and I’ve already outlined most of the books I will cover in this challenge. Some of them this isn’t possible with, which will be abundantly clear once you see the challenge. Let’s jump into it.
- A book based on a fairytale.- I’ve read several Disney press books recently, and I’m going to call this good with the Twisted Tales books I just finished. I plan to review those next week. They are A Whole New World and Once Upon a Dream , both by Liz Braswell. She has a third coming out later this year, As Old As Time , that I am really looking forward to.
- A National Book Award Winner- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. I really enjoyed the movie and hadn’t realized it was based on a book, much less a NBA winner!
- A YA (Young Adult) Bestseller- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Another one I’ve already read this year, and will review on the blog at a later date. There are actually three books in the series (I’ve only read two) and it’s becoming a Major Motion Picture directed by Tim Burton later this year.
- A book you haven’t read since high school- The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. This bullet point was actually pretty difficult to nail down because I am a big fan of rereading books I enjoy over and over again. I remembered this beauty because it’s been almost continually “checked” out from my personal library over the past few years and I just recently got it back. It’s book one in a trilogy about Alice in Wonderland. I highly recommend it.
- A book set in your homestate- 100 Cupboards by ND Wilson. A book set in Kansas, this is actually a young reader’s chapter book, so I intend to read it to my son at night. It’s about 12 year old Henry who discovers portals to another world in the shape of 99 cupboards on the wall in his house. It seems pretty lively, so I’m excited to start this soon(ish).
- A book translated to English- What’s to Become of the Boy? Or, Something To Do With Books (original German is Was soll aus dem Jungen bloß werden? Oder: Irgendwas mit Büchern) by Heinrich Boll. It’s about a man who grew up in pre-Hitler Germany and was becoming a young man when Hitler took power. It’s pretty short, only 82 pages, but my mother lived a good chunk of her childhood in Germany so it’s a topic that interests me.
- A romance set in the future- To be decided. I have several that could qualify but I’m also taking suggestions. If you have a recommendation let me know!
- A Book set in Europe- Also taking suggestions for this book as well. I’m pretty sure I have a couple in mind that would work, but I haven’t settled on anything yet.
- A book under 150 pages- The Possession by Annie Ernaux. This is translated from French and comes in at a whopping 62 pages. If I’m being honest, I am pretty nervous about this one. It’s waaaaay completely out of my comfort zone, both writing style and subject wise. It’s about the dissolution of a love affair between a man and a women and it’s greatly speculated among people who’ve read it if it’s nonfiction or not. I think it’ll be good for me to try it out as the subject matter is pretty pertinent to a story I am working on. Plus it’s only 62 pages. If I absolutely abhor it, it’ll at least be quick like a Band-Aid.
- A NY Times Bestseller- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. This book has been recommended to me at least half a dozen times by a few different people, but I’ve never actually taken the plunge on it. I don’t know why not, its subject matter fits very comfortably in my preferred reading content. Thanks to my friend Alicia, I’m now in temporarily in possession of this book and will be reading pretty soon.
- A book that’s becoming a movie this year- Me Before You by JoJo Meyes AND The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I was having a really hard time deciding which one to choose and then it hit me, they’re books! I can choose both! Since Me Before You comes out fairly soon, I’m also hoping to get this book read while on vacation. I realize that brings me up to four books in eight days, but I have time on my side. The trip is twelve hours there and twelve hours back. We are splitting it up into two days each time, but that’s still at least six hours of reading time each day. I’m pretty confident in my reading skills. Probably too confident, but we will see.
- A book recommended by a stranger- I am also still deciding on this one. I have received some really great suggestions from my friend’s friends (who I don’t know) but the one I had decided on fell into another category and I went with that category over this one. So here’s your chance to choose what I read! Don’t know me in person? Shoot me a suggestion in the comments!
- A book you can finish in a day- In the Orchard, The Swallows by Peter Hobbs. This is a little outside my normal content as well. It comes in at 139 pages, easily doable in a day, and is the heartbreaking story about a Pakistani boy who falls in love with the wrong girl and spends 15 years in prison because of it. Even though it’s not typical of me to read this sort of novel, I’m actually pretty excited about it.
- A book written by a celebrity- Elixir by Hilary Duff. I am fully aware that there are some pretty great books out there written by celebrities. Or their ghost writers. Probably their ghost writers, but since I’m not about getting sneaky murdered by irate celebrities, we will pretend that we think it’s them actually writing it. I chose Hilary Duff simply because I grew up watching her grow up on Lizzie McGuire. We are roughly the same age and so the issues she went through on the show were issues that I happened to be going through and so I, of course, thought the show was genius. I still love it, but I’m a little more enlightened to the term “genius” now. Her book appears to be a nice fluffy read and, after the other books on my reading challenge, I think it’ll be a nice break from what I have planned for myself reading wise.
- A book more than 600 pages- The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. Once I finish The Fiery Cross (book 5), I will have satisfied this particular bullet point, but I put the whole series so you can see what I have ahead of me.
- A book from Oprah’s Book Club- Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz. I am not thrilled about this bullet point. If there are any two women highly regarded by the general public that I find utterly boring, it would be Oprah and Beyoncé. The book itself looks okay, and I’m trying really hard to get over the fact that I will now be able to say I read a book off of Oprah’s Book Club list.
- A science fiction novel- I need some serious suggestions for this one. I do enjoy science fiction but I don’t even know of any off the top of my head that I could add to the list. I’m trying to stick with books I haven’t personally read before this year so that knocks out any repeats. List your choices in the comments!
- A book recommended by a family member- Storm Front: Book #1 in the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. My husband suggested this to me. He is a pretty avid reader, but our content rarely crosses paths. He refers to this as his grown up, kick ass Harry Potter, so I’m going to give a try for him.
- A Graphic Novel-Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman. I adore Neil Gaiman and I’ve been wanting to try this series so this is the push I needed to start!
- A book published in 2016- Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices, book one by Cassandra Clare. This is a series that I already love, and a continuation of the Shadowhunter world introduced to us in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices . I highly recommend reading these two series first to get the whole package with The Dark Artifices. This book came out in March and I finished it less than twenty-four hours later. I couldn’t put it down!
- A book that takes place during the summer- That Summer -by Sarah Dessen. Thanks for the suggestion of author, Alicia. I decided to go with the aptly named one as well, ha. It actually has fairly terrible reviews on Goodreads, but mostly by people who complain it’s not as happy as Sarah Dessen typically is. I don’t know what Sarah Dessen they read, but the one I read in high school typically had some pretty serious main and subplots happening in her books. Either way, it’ll be fun to dive into a book from an author I haven’t read in almost a decade.
- A book and a prequel- most of the bullet points from here down don’t have much.
- A murder mystery-Malice by Lisa Jackson. This was the one suggested by a stranger that I decided fit better here. It’s the 6th in a series that can be read in any order.
- A dystopian novel-
- A book with a blue cover-
- The first book you see in a bookstore- I can already tell that this one is going to give me anxiety, ha.
- A classic from the 20th century-1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Both have been on my “to read” list for years and so I’m going to try and knock them both out with this bullet point.
- A book from the library– I’m sure that I could just use one of the many books we check out for my son, but I will actually look for myself the next time I am there, ha.
- A book about a road trip- this isn’t my typical go to, so I’m going to have to look into this subject matter to find a good one.
- A book that takes place on an island-
- A book guaranteed to bring joy-
- A book by a famous author you’ve never read-11.22.63 by Stephen King. My mum and my friend Alicia have both read several books by him so it’s a wonder I’ve made it almost 30 years and haven’t touched a single book of his! This one was recommended by Alicia due to my love of history and time travel.
- A book by a new author- Genesis Girl, Blank Slate #1 by Jennifer Bardsley. This one is actually pretty near and dear to my heart since this is a fellow book blogger and Facebook presence that I follow. I’m so excited for her and I’m excited about her book!
Okay, I realize how long this post was, so if you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there! There are plenty of empty spaced and undecided bullet points. Is there a book that you think fits a bullet point that I should read? Shoot me a recommendation in the comments below! I love book suggestions. Even if they don’t end up in the reading challenge, there is a good chance I will add it to my “to read” section of Goodreads!