Showing posts from 2012

2013 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge

I did this one last year and had some minor success with it.

Here are the basic rules:

The Rules: Challenge will run January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Participants can join anytime throughout the challenge.Create an intro post, linking back to this post. Sign up with the Linky below. Please link to your challenge intro post, not your blog home page. Chose your own books from the list. You can decide to read books only on the Top 25 list or from the entire recommendation list. You do not have to make a list of books before the challenge begins.All forms of books acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.)Rereads do not count towards the completion of the challenge. The challenge is about discovering books that are new to you.You don't need a blog to participate.Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.
Here are the ones that I am going to attempt to read: • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas • Divergent by Veronica Roth • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline • The Thirtee…

Challenge Addicts 2013

Hi, my name is Melissa and I'm a Reading Challenge Addict.

Here are the challenges that I am participating in this coming year:

Back to the Classics
Book Blogger Recommendation
Chunkster Challenge
Ebook Challenge
Embarrassment of Riches Challenge 
Foodies Read Challenge
Historical Fiction Challenge
The Off the Wall Challenge
Outdo Yourself Challenge
TBR Pile Challenge
Tea & Books Reading Challenge
War Through the Generations Challenge

Clearly I am doing the In-Flight Challenge.

Off The Shelf Challenge 2013

BA’s 2013 Off the Shelf Reading ChallengeAbout: The Off the Shelf Reading Challenge is probably the most popular challenge there is on BA. The goal? To read books on your shelves that have gone unread for far too long. Selecting books from the year before (in this case, 2012 and before), read as many of the unread ones as you can. It’s up to you if you want to keep them or give them away afterwards, the main goal is to turn those unread books into read ones. The Finer DeetsThe Main Rule: Do not include books acquired during 2013, it defeats the purpose, read those books from before 2013 started.Running dates for all 2013 challenges: 1st of January – 31st of December 2013Sign-Ups are accepted until the 16th of December 2013.Formats: All BA Challenges are eBook, audio, short story, and graphic novel friendly.Crossovers: You’re welcome to crossover with BA’s challenges. Include as many books across all the challenges as you can, I always say.How To Sign-Up and Join InChoose Your Lev…

E-book Reading Challenge 2013

This is a first for me.  I could have signed up for this one last year, but I didn't know how much I would love reading on my e-readers (yes, I have multiple e-reading devices).  And so this one seemed natural for me to join this year.

Its pretty simple: all you need to do is to read on a device like your Kobo, Kindle, computer, or whatever other e-device you use for reading (and I am assuming this means your smartphone and/or tablet).  Here are the guidelines:

This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013.Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.You can move up levels, but n…

Chunkster Challenge 2013

All things being said, I did complete this one last year and can hardly believe it (guess I really do like chunksters).  And yes,  I am going to be doing this one again this year as well.
Here are the details for the challenge:

Definition of a chunkster: A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature, whether non-fiction or fiction. A chunkster should be a challenge.
If you read books in large print, your books will need to be 525 pages or more. The average large type book is 10-15% larger or more so it’s a fair estimate.
The rules: No audio books.(There are exceptions to this rule.)No e-books allowed. This was discussed in much detail in the 2011 challenge. The short version: a chunkster isn’t a challenge if you’re reading it on an e-reader.(There are exceptions to this rule.)Essay, poetry, and short story collections will be allowed. Collections have to be read in their entirety to count. If you’ve needed a reason to finally pick up your copy of The Collected Works Of ____ now…

2013 Historical Fiction Challenge

This is another challenge that I did manage to complete this past year and with no problem.  And I am doing it again, since I enjoyed it so much.  Here are the details the ladies over at Historical Tapestry have laid out for the coming year:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review)any kind of historical fiction is accepted (HF fantasy, HF young adult,...) During these following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

20th century reader - 2 books
Victorian reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books

The 2013 TBR Pile Challenge

I know what some of you are thinking, didn't she just sign up for a TBR Pile Challenge?  You might think that with the other one, depending on the order you read the posts, but whatever...

This one is fairly simple to read 12 books off of one's TBR pile during 2013, basically one a month.

Here are the specifics from RoofBeamReader:

Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2012 or later (any book published in the year 2011 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published pre-2012!

*Note – You can read the books on your list in any order; they do not need to be rea…

Embarrassment of Riches TBR Reading Challenge 2013

Did something like this last year and I enjoyed it.  As I was searching the interwebs, I found this one and this one sounded intriguing.  Here are the details for the challenge:

To be considered a TBR book, you must own it prior to Jan 1, 2013. The book can count toward other challenges, as well. It can be fiction or nonfiction, poetry or play, audiobook–as long as it is a book. This is not a picky challenge–just about reading the riches we already own.

There are five levels and I will be aiming for the bronze level.

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
2. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
6. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Foodies Read 2013

During the course of 2012, I started noticing that I was increasingly attracted to "foodie books".  In fact, I read the 2 within several weeks of each other (Kitchen Counter Cooking School and My Life in France).  But I also managed to sign out a couple of others that I didn't get around to, but still wish to read (Dearie and Yes Chef) during the coming year.  Here are the details for this particular challenge:

Many of us who love to eat also love to read. But we go beyond that. We love to read about food. If that is you, then you are invite to join us in the Foodies Read Challenge for 2013. This is the second year in which we’ll indulge ourselves with good food writing.

If you are new to a food/reading challenge, you may be wondering – what is a “food book”? A food book is a book which is centered around food and/or drinks. That could be a cookbook, a food biography or memoir, a non-fiction book focused around a specific food, wine, chef or restaurant. Also allo…

War Through The Generations Reading Challenge 2013

This is a new challenge for me and since I saw it numerous times throughout the year, I was intrigued and thought I would give it a try.  This year the hosts are doing the American Revolution and here are some of the details:

This year you have options when reading your fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, etc. with the American Revolution as the primary or secondary theme.
Books can take place before, during, or after the war, so long as the conflicts that led to the war or the war itself are important to the story. Books from other challenges count so long as they meet the above criteria.

Dip: Read 1-3 books in any genre with the American Revolution as a primary or secondary theme.
Wade: Read 4-10 books in any genre with the American Revolution as a primary or secondary theme.
Swim: Read 11 or more books in any genre with the American Revolution as a primary or secondary theme.

Additionally, we’ve decided that since there are so many great movies out there about the American…

Outdo Yourself Challenge 2013

This probably the one challenge that I did complete because I know that I did outdo myself by reading 15 over what my stated goal was for the year and due to that, I know that this coming year is a little more daunting than last year.  Before I state where I am aiming towards, here are the details:

Reading Challenge Details:
Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog. The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.Grab the reading challenge button and post this readi…

Tea & Books Reading Challenge 2013

I did okay this past year with getting 1 book completed that was on my list.  I am going to be scaling back and not try to do so much this coming year.  Here are the details that are provided:

You may pick both fiction and non fiction books!

Contrary to last year short story collections, anthologies or collected works in one volume are now allowed!

Re-reads will now also be ok (though preferably you should read one of those unread tomes that have been collecting dust on your shelves)!

Last year you had to read 700+ pages but I reduced this to 650+ for 2013 (and no, this is not further negotiable)!

And as a little incentive - books with more than 1.200 pages will count for two books (so theoretically you can read four such super-chunksters to reach the Sencha Connoisseur level)!

Last but not least - no large print editions of a book, please!

You may pick both fiction and non fiction books!

Contrary to last year short story collections, anthologies or collected works in one volume are now allo…

Back to the Classics 2013

I was humming and hawing about doing this one, since last year was basically a failure.  Anyways, I am hoping for better results for the coming year (2013).

Here are the details that Sarah has put up on her blog:

All books must be read in 2013.  Books started prior to January 1, 2013 are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2013.E-books and audio books are eligible!  Books can count for other challenges you may be working on.If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicly accessible online format.  Please sign up for the challenge using the linky below BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013. Please link to your sign-up announcement post (if possible/applicable)You do not have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it is more fun that way :)  You can always change your list at any time.  You can read the books in any order (including mixing in the optional categories at any time)You can decide to attempt the optional catego…

Sunday Salon - 10 Favourite books of 2012

Can't believe the end of 2012 is already here and somehow we survived December 21, despite what some people believed.  As most people are doing here today, I giving you a rundown of my ten  favourite reads for this year.  And to say the least, its a bit of everything.

In no particular order here they are:

The Help  by Kathryn Stockett - this was greatly aided by the fact that the movie was out, but gotta say, I will never look at a piece of chocolate cream pie in the same way.

11/22/63 by Stephen King - I had heard a lot of press about the book when it came out and had wanted it for Christmas, but instead got it from the library and still really enjoyed it.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - Like the Stephen King book, I had heard about the book back in 2011 and when I read it this past spring, I couldn't ignore the amazing reviews that it had gotten the previous year.  

Quiet by Susan Cain - I gave this book to my mom for Christmas and fortunately she di…

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
File Size (Pages): 860 KB (288 pages)
Published: 2010
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Challenges: None
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description:Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. (via

Thoughts:  I personally didn't like this as much as the other two books in the series and I personally thought that it was not as strong as the first two.  I think part of the reason was that the first two books had the games as the central thing that happened and I felt that Collins wrote the book just to wrap up the series too quickly and that she didn't really …

Les Miserables

Title: Les Miserables
Director: Tom Hooper
Running Time: 152 min.
Released: 2012

Description: In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. (via

Thoughts: Normally I save my blog for things that I read, not for the movies based on books/plays/musicals, but this is a special movie, especially since I had just finished the book just prior to seeing the movie.

I loved the movie and as I write this, I am very seriously considering purchasing the movie when it comes out on DVD (and also Lincoln).  Since I had just finished the book, a lot of the plot in the book was still freshly in my head, so it saved me from having to quickly read a brief summary of the book before going to the movie, although I wish that the woman that was sitting near me had, as she was asking her husband quite loud…

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Title: Les Miserables
Author: Victor Hugo
Pages: 1232
Published: 1985 (originally published in 1862)
Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction
Challenges: Back to the Classics, Historical Ficiton
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal Library

Description:Victor Hugo’s tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty. A compelling and compassionate view of the victims of early nineteenth-century French society,Les Misérablesis a novel on an epic scale, moving inexorably from the eve …

A Winter Dream - Richard Paul Evans

Title: A Winter Dream
Author: Richard Paul Evans
Pages: 266
Published: 2012
Genre: Christmas
Challenges: Support Your Library, Christmas Spirit
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description:The author of the bestselling phenomenon The Christmas Box presents a new holiday novel about family, fate and forgiveness.

Joseph Jacobson is the twelfth of thirteen siblings, all of whom are employed by their father’s successful Colorado advertising company. But underneath the success runs a poisonous undercurrent of jealousy; Joseph is his father’s favorite and the focus of his brothers’ envy and hatred. When the father seems ready to anoint Joseph as his heir, the brothers make their move, forcing Joseph from the company and his Denver home, severing his ties to his parents and ending his relationship with his soon-to-be fianceé. Alone and lonely, Joseph must start a new life. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts:  I read this book a couple of weeks ago and so my thoughts about the book have been somewhat f…

Musing Mondays (Dec.17)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Is there a particular book that is your nemesis - the book you are determined to one day finish?
If this had been asked a year ago, I would have given you a totally different answer, but I am still determined to finish Les Miserables by the end of this calendar year.

After that, I would suppose it would have to be War & Peace.  I started reading it a couple years ago, but didn't and I keep kicking myself because I didn't finish it and its one that I would really like to finish.  And maybe that will be my goal for next year.

I don't know how much I will be on in the next couple of weeks, but if I have some time, I will answer that weeks question.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Dec. 17)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted byShelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:
Nothing; should have something up this week.

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Anna Karenina
• The Hobbit
• Les Miserables
• Mockingjay
• Team of Rivals
• City of Women
• Wishin' and Hopin'

I don't know how much reading I will get done, due to stuff that needs to get done before Friday night, but time will tell.

Mailbox Monday - December 17

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week. Mailbox Monday, for December, is being hosted by Suko's Notebook.

Got only one book in my "mailbox" this week:

Sunday Salon - For those wondering...

Some of you are probably wondering why I have finished some books but I haven't written the reviews for those two books.  There are several reasons for that.

The first reason is that I have been quite busy with things in the evenings and those have been my primary focus and by the time I remember it, I am usually some place else and by the time I am home, I have forgotten or I am tired.

The second reason is that I am really trying to get Les Miserables completed by the time Christmas Vacation starts.  And I have also been reading Mockingjay by Susanne Collins.

The third reason is that I have been tired.  I have been reading late for the past couple of weeks and therefore my afternoons turn into a nap session, if I am not busy with something else or my mind is occupied with thoughts running through my head.

I don't know when I will have the reviews for my last two books up or the next two up, but they will be up by the end of this year, if I remember to post them.  And I will …

Virtual Advent Tour 2012 - A little late

I am really sorry for being late, but due to some very late nights reading the last few weeks, I seem to have forgotten things or have nearly forgotten about things.  My brain has become mush and I should have put a reminder in my calendar to remind me.

In any case I wanted to talk about something that is slowly becoming a part of my Christmas.  About a year ago, I was looking for something to do, specifically something that I could volunteer at and it was suggested that I could help out with Help-Portrait, which was being organized locally and had been held in my town the year before.  Thinking it was a good thing to do, I volunteered and I really enjoyed it.

Again this year I helped out with the registration of individuals who were getting their portraits taken.  To explain what Help-Portrait is, it is a community of photographers that come together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to those in need.

We see a lot of individuals and families that come rec…

What Are You Reading? It's Monday (Dec. 10)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:
1) The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (review)
2) The Sweetness of the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (review)

What I am planning on reading this week: 
• Anna Karenina
• The Hobbit
• Les Miserables
• Mockingjay
• A Winter Dream
• Team of Rivals
• City of Women