Hey y’all! I’m super excited that this year I remembered to plan for the 20 Books of Summer challenge hosted by 746 Books *BEFORE* it actually starts on June 1st! Although that said — I probably won’t be reading much for the first few days due to prior plans, but still, at least I’ll know what I’ve got. 😂
The general idea is to choose 10, 15 or 20 books to read and review between June 1 and September 1.
Last year, I chose 15 book prompts instead of specific books, which allowed me some flexibility in what books I actually chose. I’m going to do the same this year because I really enjoyed that and I think it worked out pretty well. I’m still going to stick with 15 even though I’m sure that will end up being low, because this way I don’t build it into something that will pressure and stress me. Reading is FUN! 😁
If you want to join too, you can check out the signup post here at 745 Books or click the image below to get to the same page.
My list of categories and an idea or two for books to fulfill it are below. The book choices may change a bit, but the categories shouldn’t! For my rules on this challenge, I’m also counting books that I DNF as long as I still write a review. The overall goal for me is to clear out shelf space, and if I try a book and don’t like it, that’s an answer too!
#1-3: What is this book again? x3 — A book that’s been on my shelves so long I forget what it’s about
Inland by Tea Obreeht
The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
#4-5: A book I bought and haven’t read x2
Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yaros
#6: An Aardvark Book Club book
Liar, Dreamer, Thief by Maria Dong
The Perfect Ones by Nicole Hackett
#7: A Book of the Month Club book
As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
#8: A book over 500 pages
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
#9: A World of Warcraft book (because I’ve been craving it!)
War of the Ancients Archive by Richard A Knaak
#10: One of the furthest back added books on my TBR (in 10 oldest, ideally)
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
#11: One of the most recently added books on my TBR (at time of writing)
Chasing Chaos by Jessica Alexander
#12: A book published during this challenge (June 1 – Sep 1)
If You Still Recognize Me by Cynthia So
#13: A memoir
How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair
#14: A book by an author I’ve enjoyed before
A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova
#15: A book I really wanted to read, and yet still haven’t
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
Yo, I’ll be honest, writing out this list has gotten me super excited for some of these books and now I don’t want to wait until June 1st to start them. It’s entirely possible I’ll just read some of these now and finish them before this challenge even starts. xD Oh well, I have plenty of options!
If you’re signed up for the challenge too, add a link to your post in the comments so I can check out what books you’ve included for ideas of my own! 😊
It’s February, and I’m just starting some of my “2022 wrap up” kinds of posts, because I’ve been procrastinating a lot. These posts take a tonnn of formatting which often bores the heck out of me. But finally, it is done: my list of books for the A-Z title challenge, where I read a book that begins with each letter of the English alphabet. Below is the gallery of my 26 representative books from 2022, as well as some notes on each in the section below the gallery!
“But wait!” you cry. “What about those crazy end letters, like V and X and – my god – Z?!“
Yep, I got those covered too. This year, I only read two F books and two R books and yet there was a shocking abundance of H books. And Z? I read TWO Z books this year! Wild!
C: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty was a book I had planned to read for a while, and I finally did. And I LOVE IT. Enough to buy the second and third books and immediately read them back to back, finishing the whole ~1500 page series in about 2.5 weeks
E: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is one that I honestly don’t remember why I read it, but I think it was for a challenge. My overall thoughts at this point are “meh” since I don’t really remember it.
F: Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen was a book from Aardvark book club, a new one I joined! It was about Northern Ireland in the 90s and a girl graduating high school and trying to figure out what she wants to do, or at least what she’s able to do in the shitty life she has.
H: A Hundred Silent Ways by Marie Jojie was an incredibly emotional hit with a really well-done deaf main character and a love story that’s equal parts pain and harsh truths mixed with genuine “I’d do anything for love” moments. I adored it so much, and I want everyone to know about it.
I: I Named My Dog Pushkin by Margarita Gokun Silver is one of those long-time TBR lingerers that I finally bought after admitting that no library was going to have it, for some reason. It was SO FUNNY! I enjoyed it quite a lot, and got a lot of unique insight to Russian culture that I’ve never encountered before.
M: My Inner Sky by Mari Andrew was an excellent therapeutic read with it’s combination of beautiful words and a beautiful physical presentation through the whole book. I think this will become a mental health re-read for me each year, similarly to Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy.
S:Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty made me think about death a lot, but in a good and healthy way. I will probably re-read this one every few years for both it’s pratical knowledge and the way it makes me reflect on where I’m at
T: Take It From Me by Jamie Beck was overall decent, but was unique in it’s handling of a main character with kleptomania, which I have not often seen and especially not in a serious manner (as opposed to being used as a laugh).
Hey y’all! A couple years ago, I learned of a challenge that was able to wholeheartedly embrace. My impulsiveness will actually help me with this one, since it’s the 2023 Library Love challenge! Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures & Books of My Heart, the goal is simple: read books from the library!
Who doesn’t love the library? When I move to a new place, I always go to the library to check it out and get a card within a day or two of moving in. Usually before I’m even fully unpacked. Priorities, right? 👌🏼
So this year I’m joining the 2023 Library Love challenge and going to shoot for at least 24 books. In 2022 I went absolutely library mad (apparently) and read SEVENTY-TWO books from the library. But in 2023, I have some challenges for myself centered on reading books from my shelves to help determine what I want to keep, so I actually want to aim lower for library reads this year since I own a lot already. I’m sure it will end up being a lot of library reads anyway, though. xD
Hey y’all! In a few years ago, I stumbled upon my favorite reading challenge ever, the Library Love reading challenge! Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures & Books of My Heart, the goal is simple: read books from the library! And boy, do I ever do that!
2022 was a surprise to me in how much I read from the library, considering I don’t often walk to one anymore. Technically it’s within walking distance at about a half hour, but the walk is on some busy streets for about half of that so I don’t love doing it. I did take advantage of any time I was out near the library for another reason to stop by and browse, though. 🙂 And of course, I read so many books digitally from the library!
Here are the tiers that were established from the hosts for level of reading:
Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books
Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books (my goal)
Library Addict: Read 48 books
Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books
I actually ended up surpassing the final tier of 60+ books with a total of 72 which is WILDLY UNEXPECTED but okay! So yes, I hit my goal. xD I love this challenge because it’s fun to see how much I really am getting from the library. There are so many books I first learned about by just wandering around their displays! (a few examples in the full list below are #3, #19, #57, #61… honestly a lot of my nonfiction reads come from discoveries at the library!)
Now this year I have something extra included in this post. Below is the usual list of all the reviews with links to each, but ALSO I have a lot of custom statistics courtesy of The Storygraph for all the books I tagged with the library reads 2022 challenge! I’m really excited to dig into those. 🙂
~ the stats!
I love Storygraph stats and this was a fun one to see what they can do with their custom tag stats (a really lovely Plus plan extra!)
Hey y’all! If anyone’s been paying attention to this blog in the last month, you likely will have noticed that you’ve been pretty much bashed over the head with book reviews. I moved away from my usual more varied book related content and posted only book reviews in December 2022. There was an actual reason for this! In late November, I went a little crazy and felt very motivated for some reason and decided that I would finish the year strong by reviewing a bunch of books that I had not yet done for the year. So many in fact, that I would post a review every day in order to catch up!
Well, in a manner that is both shocking and not I did actually end up posting a review every day in December. Also shocking yet not, is the fact that I did not prepare most of them ahead of time (despite my intentions) and was usually writing a review each day to post that same day. And yes, there were at least two or three days where it got to be about 11:00 PM and I was exhausted and then realized I still had to post a review. But hey, I got them done!
I will now celebrate this in the best way I know how: with data and insight!
Below is a brief summary of some of the things I learned through posting a book review every day in December and how I’ve changed since the start of it. That feels kind of ridiculously grandiose to write that it’s changed me, but there were actually some pretty noticeable differences after doing it.
🎙 I narrate my reviews now
I finished an audio book in early December, and I liked it so much that I decided to write the review for it by using voice to text dictation software. And then I was surprised by how much I liked doing that voice to text review! And now I’m almost always voice to text writing my reviews and posts. It feels like I’m talking to a friend about it. If you happen to have noticed that the reviews have gotten a little bit wordier and longer, that would be why! It’s a lot harder to track how long the text is getting when I’m speaking since it just feels natural. And yes, if you were wondering, I am currently voice narrating this as well. 😊
Hey y’all! With the end of 2022 comes the end of the Year-End Kindle Challenge! You can see all the achievements and badges for that here, and start preparing to move on to the new challenge: the New Year challenge! This new challenge runs from January 1, 2023 to March 31, 2023 with 15 possible achievements.
Below is a guide to the Kindle New Year Challenge for 2023. It’s following the same format as the previous challenges (you can see an FAQ here including links to past and current challenges). Prior to the reveal of the criteria for each mystery badge, the hint will be shown below. As the mystery achievements are revealed, I’ll update this page to show the criteria for each, and then the badge itself once the challenge is completed!
If you’ve been following along this month, you’ll have noticed that every day in December, I’ve posted a book review. That’s because in late November, I decided on a whim that it would be fun to do so every day in December. xD
Well I’m officially at the halfway-ish point at December 15, and though I have used up my handy little backlog of pre-written reviews and will need to write one fresh for today, it’s going pretty well! I’ve been really enjoying it, actually, which is great since that is what I had thought would happen. I haven’t had as many backlogged as I had planned, and I have been writing a lot of reviews to be posted for that day. Still, it’s been going fairly smoothly. Except…
There was one night I went to a holiday party and as I was drifting off to sleep just before midnight after a long, fun night, I sat bolt upright in a panic as I realized I hadn’t posted a review! Thankfully, this was when I did still have backlog ready, so I just needed to do a little formatting. Got that sucker posted at about 11:50pm. 🤣
I’ve also discovered that I really enjoy doing my reviews by narrating them aloud for voice-to-text functions. This came about after I did one for an audiobook and ended up really liking the style. It feels very natural to just speak about the book as though I were talking with a friend about it. Then I go back and correct any words it got wrong (which is impressively rare!) and tweak the phrasing of any sentences that I want to make flow better. It also feels like doing them this way has made it faster than usual too, which has definitely helped on some of the days when I needed to get one done with not much free time. Anyway, just thought I’d do a little update! And now to prep today’s review. 🙂
As it’s almost December, I’ve been taking stock of where I’m at with my various reading challenges, and the news since I checked in around halfway through the year is that they are basically all done! This is great since I don’t feel pressure to cram things in December to try to hit my arbitrary goals, but also… now I can set more goals… 😁
So the short status is that I need to read my X book for the alphabet challenge, which I’ve started and don’t think will take long. I also have 5 more books to go on my newer nonfiction goal of reading 25 books this year. I have several ready for hold and/or on my bookshelves ready to go, as well as a few in progress, so I think I’ll be good on this one, too!
the new goal…
So with no real reading pressure coming to me in December, I’ve decided, apparently, to give myself a different goal for the writing/blogging side of things. In November, I posted barely at all compared to my usual, and it was mostly just laziness I guess. I even had some reviews written that I just needed to format and post, as well as quotes ready to go, but nope! Just didn’t bother. That makes me sad.
To change that and finish the year strong and proud of myself, my new goal for December is quite a stretch, honestly:
Hey y’all! With the end of September comes the end of the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge from Kindle. You can see all the achievements and badges for that here, and start preparing to move on to the new challenge: the Year End Challenge! This new challenge runs from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 with 15 possible achievements.
Below is a guide to the Kindle Year End Challenge. It’s following the same format as the previous challenges (you can see an FAQ here including links to past and current challenges). Prior to the reveal of the criteria for each mystery badge, the hint will be shown below. As the mystery achievements are revealed, I’ll update this page to show the criteria for each, and then the badge itself once the challenge is completed!
Hey y’all! In early June, I started my first year challenging the 20 books of summer goal that’s hosted at 746 Books. The goal is to read and review 20 books from June to September 1. The reviewing is the key part!
In my sign up post, I chose to go for 15 based on specific prompts that I wanted to fulfill. I did hit all 15 prompts, as well as a lot of other books that I read and reviewed outside of it! Below is a list of the books I completed for each prompt, as well as the other reviews I posted during the summer. 😊