Sunday, December 30, 2018

Reading Challenges 2018 Summary

Overall, I had a numerical goal for the year that I set at 140. However, that was based on a change I was expecting at my work which didn't happen. So fairly early in the year I adjusted that down to 120. And I hit that.

As for the real Reading Challenges, slightly ironically, the three that are more formal challenges, I finished. The one that I made up myself that was just books I personally wanted to read, I didn't even manage to get half-done.


Challenge Guidelines:
  • January 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019
  • The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour.
  • WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the same list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. THE LIST: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City. NOTE: Even after Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, in Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So one book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom.

Carin says: 
Last year I did 5, and 4 of the 5 were easy. So once again I will sign up for:
FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

1. A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss -- UK
2. Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson -- Denmark (well, half the book. Half is in the UK.)
3. Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown -- Russia
4. My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle -- France
5. Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder -- Greece

5/5 as of 11/29/18 DONE!

Full House Reading Challenge

Challenge Guidelines:
  • Challenge will run from Jan 1st to December 31st 2018
  • Books may cross over from other challenges that you are doing. However a different book for each square, one book cannot cover two squares.
  • Each review can only be linked up once in the year.
  • There will be a final post to link in a summary post for the challenge for those who have completed a full house. This will close on the 2nd January 2019  and a winner will be chosen using random.org for one U.S. $40 prize which again can be used to buy books at the Book Depository or be received as an Amazon voucher. 
Carin says:
A couple of these might be hard but I think 75% I'll hit without any effort. I do like these kind of random challenges, It's always interesting to see which ones end up being the tricky ones.

1. Mystery or thriller. A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss
2. Historical. A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler
3. Over 500 pages. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
4. Setting in library or bookshop. The Library Book by Susan Orlean
5. 4 word title. The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange
6. Last book added to your TBR (as of the time you fulfill this one). Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson 
7. Classic. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (I'm calling this a modern classic, first published in 1959.)
8. Fantasy. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
9. Coming of Age theme. Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller
10. Adapted to a Movie. Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth
11. Holiday season.
12. Has big plot twist. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
13. Humor. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
14. Book to improve your life. How to Argue with a Cat: A Human's Guide to the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs 
15. Redemption theme. Educated by Tara Westover
16. Has a number in the title. Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable
17. Under 250 pages. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
18. New to you author from another country. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
19. From a favorite series of yours. The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal
20. Dual time line. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
21. Non fiction hobby book. Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown 
22. Children's book (could be a picture book if wished). Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level by Jackson Pearce
23. Book chosen randomly from TBR shelf. You might like to do it with your eyes closed from an actual shelf. Or check your TBR on Goodreads, see how many there are and put that number into random.org. Or whatever method you think of.
24. Memoir or Autobiography. Street Warrior: The True Story of the NYPD’s Most Decorated Detective and the Era That Created Him by Ralph Friedman, with Patrick W. Picciarelli
25. Reread. Calypso by David Sedaris

23/25 as of 11/13/18 Close enough! I didn't read a random book or a holiday book. Those two I am not crying over. 

2018 New Release Challenge

The 2018 New Release Challenge is a year-long challenge in which we aim to read books released in 2018

The rules for the 2018 New Release Challenge are simple:
  • Books have to be released and reviewed in 2018.
  • Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley / Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2018 New Release Reading Challenge qualify to the other rules.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.
  • The New Book Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2018, and sign-ups are open until September 1st 2018.
Carin says:
I managed level 2 pretty easily with 37 books for 2017. My big problem is that for 2/3 of the year I'm actually focusing on next year's books. But I think I can do it again. So:
31-60 books per year – New Release Pro

1. My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley
2. Cottons: The Secret of the Wind by Jim Pascoe
3. How to Argue with a Cat: A Human's Guide to the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs 
4. Wish Upon a Sleepover by Suzanne Selfors
5. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
6. Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner
7. The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel (Lady Astronaut #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal 
8. The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal
9. The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
10. The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange
11. Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level by Jackson Pearce
12. A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler
13. Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
14. Thundercluck and the Kitchen of Destiny by Paul Tillery
15. A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss
16. Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose
17. If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together by James J. Sexton 
18. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
19. I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
20. Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller
21. Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar 
22. Listen to the Marriage: A Novel by John Jay Osborn
23. Impossible Owls: Essays by Brian Phillips
24. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell
25. Educated by Tara Westover
26. Calypso by David Sedaris
27. Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
28. Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow
29. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
30. Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox
31. An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere by Mikita Brottman
32. Sadie by Courtney Summers 
33. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
34. The Macmillan Story: Bringing Authors and Readers Together Since 1843 by Macmillan Publishers
35. My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle
36. Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
37. How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery
38. The Library Book by Susan Orlean
39. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
40. Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth
41. I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends by Kelsey Miller 
42. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

42/31 as of 12/3/18 DONE! And then some! But I don't think I'll ever get past level two.

Reading the Books That I Want Challenge

In 2015 I got frustrated with my reading challenges and my book clubs and other reading obligations. And while looking at my end of year post, I was annoyed that I didn't get to read a couple of books from the rather short list of books I was really looking forward to. And then I had an idea. In 2016 I created my own reading challenge, just for me. In the past I've listed 20 books but that's way too ambitious with my job, so this year I'll list 10, and I'll be pretty happy even if I just get to half of them.:
  1. The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan DNF
  2. Women in the Literary Landscape by Doris Weatherford, Rosalind Reisner, Nancy Rubin Stuart, and Valerie Tomaselli
  3. Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life by Amy E. Herman
  4. Ask a Manager: Clueless Coworkers, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and Other Work Conversations Made Easy by Alison Green
  5. Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder by Nancy Tystad Koupal
  6. No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear
  7. Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin DONE
  8. Calvin by Martine Leavitt
  9. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson DNF
  10. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen DONE
2/10 as of 9/1/18 and 2 DNF. Oops! Wow, this was a major bust. But it was my own challenge, so no harm in not coming close to finish!

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