Social Saturday

Social Saturday: January 18, 2020

One of my resolutions for 2020 was to more fully participate in my challenges and to be more social. So, Saturday I try to sit down and think about my challenges and socialize. You are always welcome to join and I have made it as simple as possible. My challenges are still too new to really have an update so instead I will focus on the social this week. So, tell me;

What are some of your favorite posts from this week?


This week I am highlighting people being BRAVE! All of these posts are bloggers stepping out of their comfort zone for 2020!

Nikki @ The Night is Dark and Full of Books is going to try reading series books. Check out her choices! I can’t imagine not reading series books but I can imagine why other people don’t like them.

Laurie @ Relevant Obscurity has made it her goal to read like a snail this year and I cannot applaud it enough. I mean, how many of us has met a challenge requirement by picking the shortest book or the quickest read? I certainly have done that before! And that isn’t what reading is all about is it?

Sofi @ A Book. A Thought is diving into Science Fiction this year. Sofi should totally start with Illuminae Files am I right?


It is a short but sweet list this week but since I missed last week I wanted to just keep trying to become more social. Always moving forward right?


Tell me, please!

What are your favorite posts from this week? How are you being brave in 2020?


 

 

 

 

Audio Book · FrighteninglyGoodRead · nonfiction · Over 18

NonFiction Friday: Me by Elton John

Elton John has been a major star my entire life. I remember him singing at Princess Diana’s funeral and I have always been impressed by the work his AIDS foundation does for the world. I love all of his popular songs and I was aware of his struggle with addiction. But I wouldn’t have considered myself an Elton John fan. That is, until I read Me, his new autobiography. All of the things that knew or liked about Elton John have been transformed into full blown admiration.

me
cover of Elton John book “”Me” featuring Elton wearing rainbow sunglasses

Here are the Top Ten things I learned and love about Elton John.

10. Elton John was born Reginald Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex. Pinner sounds like every small town everywhere in the developed world. His talent in music was evident from an early age and he quickly went from playing his grandmother’s piano to winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.

9. Elton John only met his long time writing partner Bernie Taupin when he was rejected for a job with Ray Williams. Even though Elton had been in Bluesology and working as a studio musician for years, he was really going nowhere until he met Bernie. Rejection + Happen Chance meeting = the success we know today. The mega-star Elton John we know today is a direct result of a failure.

8. Elton John was a late bloomer and didn’t understand sex or that he was gay until he was 21.

7. Elton John has a terrible temper and he knows it. I know a lot of people with terrible tempers but the ones that are aware of this defect in their nature have always been near and dear to my heart since I myself fly off the handle like a cartoon character on occasion.

6. Elton John is always looking for a new challenge and this desire for self improvement has led him to say yes to numerous opportunities he intially thought were outside of his comfort zone. The Lion King is just one of those projects. I can only hope that one day my growth mindset leads me to such an opportunity.

5. He maintains a strong connection with all the performers that inspired him and believes that artists should support the next generation of performers. Lady Gaga has changed his children’s diapers and he is Eminem’s sobriety sponsor. He found artists that inspired him and recorded with them, performed with them, or found them jobs when their jobs ran out. This open door policy didn’t always mean that he got along with everyone (ahem, Tina Turner), but it does mean that his mind is always open to the possibility of collaborating. This open door policy also applies to people who hold different ideals than Elton.

4. Even though Elton John is a gay man who lived through the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s and 90’s and he sang on, “That’s What Friends are For,” in 1986, he didn’t become the fundraiser and humanitarian for AIDS that I always thought he was until the 1990s. His inspiration for getting involved was after the death of Ryan White in 1990 and Freddie Mercury’s subsequent death in 1991. In 1992 he founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation and, to date, it has raised over $450 Million dollars. It is never to late to get involved and make a difference.

3. Elton John loves his hometown football team of Watford. At one point he was a chairman for the team and he still takes his boys to games.

2. He knows that the surest way to failure is to surround yourself with people who always agree with you.

1. “There’s really no point in wondering ‘what if?’ but instead to focus on ‘what’s next'” is the quote Elton puts at the end of his autobiography. This sums up his life so perfectly.


I had the pleasure of listening to this as an audiobook and Taron Egerton is absolutely perfect as the narrator. I haven’t seen the biopic of Elton’s life starring Taron but it is clear that he really understands Elton John at his core. If I was going to make one criticism it is that now I am having a difficult time not picturing Taron Egerton as the real Elton John.

This will definitely be one of my top audiobooks of 2020.


Tell me, please!

Which autobiography is your favorite?


 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: January 8, 2020

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! My favorite meme was last hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and has found a new home with Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. Don’t forget to check all the other participants. It is the #1 way I keep my TBR overflowing!


The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


WHAT AM I CURRENTLY READING?

I have five books on my currently reading list. This would normally be one more than I find works for me but Burnout, The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amber Nagoski is a chapter-a-week buddy read. I have to say though: I am obsessed with this book. From the first chapter I felt like this was going to be an incredible useful and wonderful book and each chapter has me nodding my head and marking sections like mad.

Atomic Habits is similarly stress-less because it is a re-read. It was one of my favorite books of 2019 and it is my January book club pick. It is having a huge impact on again as I go back and refresh my memory on the different ways to build and break habits. This book was great for building habits last year. This year I hope it can help me break a few.

I am a third of the way through my audiobook of The Alchemyst and enjoying it tremendously. Denis O’Hare is the narrator and he is doing an impressive job with the huge cast of characters and all their different regional and historic accents.

I am also loving my way through an ARC copy of How to Outline Your Novel Chapter by Chapter by Sussu Leclerc. I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2019 somewhere on the evening of October 31st and, suffice to say, I could have used an outline. While I did technically “win” by finishing, the book I wrote is a big old stinker. Reading this book has given me loads of organizational ideas.

Finally, I could resist no longer and I cracked into The Toll. I love this series and I am so happy to finally have the third book in my hands!

WHAT DID I RECENTLY FINISH READING?


I just finished Me by Elton John and, you guys, it is so good. I have always enjoyed Elton John’s popular music but I don’t own a single album. I was more intrigued by him as a person. Much as Mercury made me an enormous fan of Freddie Mercury, Me has made me a die-hard Elton John fan. His world view and growth mindset are a thing of envy and listening to the history that he lived through was jaw-dropping interesting. I listened to the audiobook and Taron Egerton was as delightful to listen to as you would suspect. My full review is here for NonFiction Friday.

Denton’s Little Deathdate by Lance Rubin was a spontaneous purchase and an enormously enjoyable YA book. If you think gallows humor is funny, this book is for you. You can read my full review here.

I also read Red, WhiteRoyal Blue by Casey McQuiston. This was Goodreads Best Romance of 2019 and I found that I just couldn’t resist it. I am pretty desperate to chat about this book because I have a LOT of thoughts. Short comments: I really enjoyed it as a young adult book. If you want to know what that means to me, check out my full review here.

WHAT WILL I READ NEXT?


The same three books are still just waiting for their turn this week. I did start Hearing Happiness but not enough to move it from “next” to “currently reading.” Am I the only person that does this?


Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW?


 

humor · YA

Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Tomorrow is the day I’m going to die.

I don’t mean to get all dramatic about it.

I saw this book while Christmas shopping and I just couldn’t resist buying it for myself. I love gallows humor and this book certainly didn’t disappoint. Of course, the fact that Denton Little’s Still Not Dead was shelved right next to it reassured me how the first book would end.

dentonlittle's

SYNOPSIS


Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle—as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure—see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Denton Little’s Deathdate from Amazon.

REVIEW


Poor Denton. Imagine trying to fit so many firsts into a time period that means they will also be your lasts. But Denton doesn’t have time to feel sorry for himself. When he wakes up hung over (on Schnappes no less, barf) and alone in a bed that isn’t his just two days before his Death Day does he lay there dwelling on it? No. He pulls himself together in a way only a person who understands that time is truly limited can.

As Denton tries to replay the prior evening he gets more and more confused. Watching him try to piece everything back together with his best friend Paolo are some of the funniest moments in the book. I mean, who amongst us has been either hung over, confused about what has happened to their life, or both? But Denton doesn’t have time to ponder or leave these things unresolved. He only has two days.

Certainly, with the discussion of death there must be some poignancy. Even though in Denton’s world nearly everyone knows their Death Day from an early age, there is still uncertainty as to how it will happen and exactly when during the day your death will occur. That small amount of unknown creates the panic that we all feel when we contemplate death – how do we want to be remembered? How will we spend those last precious few moments?

And I must mention that watching his step-mother deal with loosing her son was difficult for me. This changed the book from a straight humor book to something with more depth and I was frequently sad for her (after all, she doesn’t know about the second book!). What kept it from being too maudlin was my excitement in seeing her reaction when Denton survived.

There was romance, mystery, intrigue and humor. But the best part was the pure loveliness that is Denton. As a character I just really liked him. He loved his family, was connected to his friends and community, and at such a young age was a genuinely good person. I can hardly wait to see how his adventure will continue in the next book.


Tell me, please!

Do you enjoy Gallows Humor?


 

fiction · New Adult · Over 18

Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston was voted the Winner of Goodread’s Best Romance for 2019. I saw this book everywhere lately and found that I couldn’t resist diving into it myself.

redwhiteroyalblue

SYNOPSIS


What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic. Red White & Royal Blue from Amazon.

REVIEW


When I started reading this book I was immediately sucked into the story. Alex and his sister June are the children of the first female President of the United States. Along with Nora, the daughter of the Vice-President, the three are a power trio of influence in Washington, D.C. They are the first children of the President and Vice-President to stay actively in the political eye and, for the first one-hundred pages, I was completely enamored.

It was in the middle of the book that I had two major issues. The first is that I just didn’t like Alex. In this middle section of the book he fills his days with denial and a schedule specifically designed to keep him too busy to think. That kind of running for the sake of running always drives me insane. I found myself checking the back of the book to make sure the last fifty pages weren’t advertisements or special bonus chapters for another book. And, honestly, for about a hundred more pages I wished the book would just end already.

It was in this section I found one other major problem. Both Alex and Henry found ways to be together secretly all of the time and most of it was by ditching their security details. I don’t know much about having a security guard but I could not accept this as a realistic possibility. So, every time they were alone my brain was screaming, “error!”

Still, I wanted to continue reading. People love this book. It was around two-hundred and fifty pages that I realized that this wasn’t a romance book as much as it was a Young Adult book. The romance is what people are talking about but what made me like the book was what the characters were going through in order to make the romance happen.

Alex begins this book driven by specific, expiration date, marked goals. He is exhausting. His sister June and his best friend Nora try to balance him but Alex is so determined to make deadlines and fulfill goals that he made up in his early youth that he often ignores them. Did I mention exhausting? He is exhausting. He is twenty-one years old and a senior in college but he reeks of “If I don’t fulfill (blank) goal by (blank) date then I have failed and my life is over.

And then he falls for Henry. And someone in his life betrayed him. Alex messes up and fails professionally. And the world kept spinning and his life didn’t combust. This is important.

Young Adult books are specifically targeting for the ages between 18 and 30. If there is one thing that I could impart on this group it is that failure is a necessary part of life. Everyone fails. How we get up, who we look to for support and what we do afterwards –  all of those things matter.

And this book does all of that. Some people never learn how to look inside themselves and change. But Alex does. For that reason alone, this book is a great read. Additionally, there are countless women in power, parents who are supportive and part of their children’s lives, and friends who have your back and this was an excellent book. I just had to stop thinking of it as a romance book to fall in love with it.


Tell me, please!

What are your favorite Young Adult books?


 

Social Saturday

Social Saturday: January 4, 2020

One of my resolutions for 2020 was to more fully participate in my challenges and to be more social. Which is why Saturdays will be dedicated to socializing. You are always welcome to join and I have made it as simple as possible. You can either comment below or link up a post of your own answering two big questions.

How are your reading challenges this week? 

What are some of your favorite posts from this week?

READING CHALLENGES


It is so early in the year. Later, when I have more accomplished (fingers crossed!), I would like to head over to the hosting sites and enter my progress and see what else is going on. But, this week is really more about checking in on 2020 intentions.

Start on Your Shelfathon from The Quiet Pond.

startonyourshelfathon

CW @ The Quiet Pond is so incredibly nice! In the one brief interaction we’ve had (me asking to join the challenge late) CW made me feel welcome. Also: its turns out you can join this one anytime throughout the year so don’t despair! You can view details of the challenge and join here.

For this challenge I put together a list of my Stunning Stack which will be stuck to the top of my page here. And, I made a Stunning Shelf Jar! That way I can take a color coded slip of paper out when I need a new book.

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So far, I haven’t needed to take anything out of the jar or off my shelf because I am still wrapping up ARCs and books I started in 2019. Soon though. Soon.

 


Challenge: Beat the Backlist from Novel Knight

BeatTheBacklist2020_Banner-scaled

I’m in it to win it this year! I joined the Borrowers team and my plan is to work through my Goodreads TBR list by borrowing books instead of buying them. This should work (in theory) together with my Start On Your Shelf Challenge. Only time will tell. You can still join the challenge here.


Challenge: Audiobook Challenge – Caffeinated Reader & Hot Listens

Audiobook-Challenge-2020

Hot Listens and Caffeinated Reviewer co-host this challenge. I’m hoping to reach Binge Listener (more than 20 audiobooks!). Or maybe My Precious (more than 30). I LOVE this challenge! I always (always) have something cued up to listen to and this week I am half way through Me by Elton John and a quarter into The Alchemyst by Michael Scott.

There are a ton of wonderful blog participating in this challenge so if you head over to sign up make sure and check out some of the participants. Here are some of my favorites I found this week.

Maybe it is because the name looks similar to my own or because of the beautiful yellow but I just love the bright and cheerful look of Sunny Buzzy Books.

Lola’s Reviews which lead me to another social post called Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ The Caffeinated Reviewer. #SundayPost has a different purpose than my Social Saturday but it might just be perfect for you.


MY FAVORITE POSTS FROM THIS WEEK

I blog-bumped into Elizabeth @ ComplexChaos somehow this week and our 2020 reading goals are nearly identical. Elizabeth is also a Ravenclaw and Netflix addict so I started to worry that I might actually have a clone out there. But then I saw her post about her TBR. I’m too much of a mood reader to even put one together! Whew! Not a clone after all just an awesome blogger. You can check out her Jan – Mar TBR here.

Have you all ever seen the meme Six Degrees of Separation? It is a monthly link up hosted by Kate at  Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

Every month I sit in awe of the participants because I just can’t seem to get my chain organized past the third degree of separation. Fine. Sometimes it’s the second link that stumps me. But, this week the link up took me to Margaret @ Books Please.  I’m pretty much in awe of her post this week and I love her blog so everyone should absolutely check it out. It’s masterful.

Finally, in 2019 I found this fantastic blog Captain’s Quarters. On it, The Pirate Captain has hilarious and insightful reviews. Really, the whole blog is a true delight. Today happens to be the fourth anniversary of the blog so head over there to check it out and say Happy Blogiversary (Blog-a-versary? BlogAversary?)


Tell me, please!

How are you being social today?


 

 

nonfiction

NonFiction Friday: January 3, 2020 The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss


This post contains affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure.

I first read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas in high school during a period of time when I fantasized almost constantly about revenge. I complained one too many times to my Dad who recommended I read what he called, “the ultimate book of revenge,” and I have been a fan of The Count since. I re-read it every five years or so and I am always struck by the sheer power and fortitude of Edmond Dantes. 

In 2018’s NonFiction November I saw The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss. It was recommended for all fans of Dumas’ fiction work and I knew I had to read it. Sadly, it joined my shelf for more than a year until I pulled it off for 2019’s NonFiction November. But I must say, if you enjoyed the tale Dumas wove in The Count you will love the true story of his grandfather and the unbelievable life he lead that inspired so many of the author’s larger than life characters.

blackcount


Synopsis

WINNER OF THE 2013 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY

“General Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiarbecause his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

But, hidden behind General Dumas’s swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slavewho rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolutionuntil he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.

The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count “one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible.” But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.” The Black Count from Amazon.


Review

I had the pleasure of listening to this book as an audiobook and reading it in tandem. If you, like me, love a good accent, the narrator of the audiobook does the most glamorous and beautiful French pronunciation of all the individual’s names and geographical locations. Meanwhile, my brain reads everything like, “Alex-an-der Doo-maah.” For that reason alone, the audiobook is worth a listen.

I loved the characters that Dumas created but the deep and profound respect I have for his grandfather, Alex Dumas, cannot really be described. A man of honor and romance is hard to find but a powerfully built one who is a master sword fighter and dedicated family man? This is the stuff of legends. Apparently, his grandson agreed because between GeorgesThe Three Muskateers, and The Count of Monte Cristo, the author Dumas retolded his grandfather’s heroic feats again and again using him as inspiration for a range of characters.

Honestly, I assumed before reading The Black Count that many of Dumas’ tales and deeds had become wildly exaggerated. But the meticulous research done by Tom Reiss proved that there was more fact than familial fiction in these stories. The want-to-be historian in me was wildly applauding the length that Mr. Reiss went to in order to get his hands on the Dumas family documents. Listening to how he managed to get those documents out of the locked safe had me applauding as I walked down the street.

But, The Black Count didn’t just provide me with a well researched history of the Dumas family, it also gave me a real understanding of French revolutionary history. Balancing the economics, the wildly swinging social changes, and the general upheaval of the era Reiss brings the day to day craziness of the period alive. And, while economics are my least favorite part of history, the author brings bouts of humor in to break up any monotony. The confusion in France as to who were the ‘brigands’ was especially memorable and had me laughing every time the narrator said “brigand’ again for the remainder of the book.

Another aspect of The Black Count that will stay with me forever are the powerful letters Alex Dumas wrote to his wife. The loving way he addresses her, “my beloved,” and “to the only person I care about in the whole world,” is matched only by the manner of his signature, “your friend for life,” and “your best friend.” It set my romantic heart aflame. Just picturing this larger than life figure writing such beautiful things gave real depth to the character Dumas the author later created and renewed my adolescent crush on Edmond Dantes.

All of this aside, it should not be ignored that much like the Lone Ranger, this iconic character’s ancestry has been (white) washed away. General Dumas was born in present day Haiti and, as the son of a black slave, his rise to his own personal military history is fraught at every turn by changing social acceptance of black people. The range of thinking about the children of slaves or individuals with any black ancestry seemed to change on a whim during that time. The fact that General Dumas was able to rise so far with the addition of Napoleon and the social racism of the day just makes this individual even more unbelievable.

In deed, General Alex Dumas’ life and his place in historical is so audacious and fantastical that there were many times I could not believe I was reading a book of nonfiction. But not matter the fantasy feel, Reiss’ The Black Count is a masterfully researched historical piece that will now live alongside my copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.


Tell me, please!

Who Would You Cast as Edmond Dantes in a Remake of The Count of Monte Cristo?


 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: January 1, 2020

Well, Happy New Year! With all the festivities and the planning and posting of the 2020 Challenges I nearly forgot that today was Wednesday! That means it is time for WWW Wednesday. Thanks go to Sam @ Taking on a World of Words for hosting this meme again – it’s an absolute miracle for keeping me organized! Make sure and pop over to all the other participants – you will have a fully stocked TBR forever.

One of my 2020 Challenges to myself was to more fully participate in everything and that means I am even going to list these books in the order requested. I’m so wild.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What am I Currently Reading?

I have two audiobooks going which is a bit difficult but I started The Alchemyst by Michael Scott during a drive home to visit family. Then, suddenly, Me, by Elton John became available on my Libby app. I couldn’t forsake The Alchemyst and I cannot stop listening to Me. Both are amazing and the tiny bit of confusion I have in listening to two audiobooks feels completely worth it. Also, my house is staying very clean and my dog is getting twice as many walks.

I also started Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski this morning in preparation for a blog tour. Ummm, it is jaw dropping good. Like, I immediately made my best friend sit down while I regurgitated everything I have already read. I can only hope it continues to be this good and insightful because so far I am just blown away.

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a re-read for my January book club meeting. It was my favorite nonfiction book of 2019. Even reading it the second time I am struck by how good his tips are for forming and breaking habits.

Finally, I couldn’t help myself. I jumped with both feet into Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. It was on top of so many lists for 2019 so I am excited to read it. Alex and Henry are amazing characters and I cannot wait for the romance to bloom!


What Did I Recently Finish Reading?

I finished Don’t Panic, Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Neil Gaiman. I really enjoyed Hitchhiker’s Guide but I had no idea at all how many different mediums the story had been through. The book is fascinating and a true fan will get much more out of it than I did (and I loved it). A full review is coming asap.

Christmas Australis is a short story collection set in Australia that is both holiday themed and scary. I was surprised by how much fun it was to read scary stories at Christmas time! If you are the kind of person that enjoys Die Hard as a Christmas movie, this book might be for you.

Finally, I may not have finished my Harry Potter re-read-through but I did finish the fourth book in illustrated form. I think this is my favorite illustrated book so far. It is just stunning.


What Will I Read Next?

These are all ARC books I need to get on before the pile becomes insane. I am excited about each one and I am trying to get them all done by the end of the Month. Any suggestions?


Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW?


Challenges · Uncategorized

2020 Reading Goals and Challenges

I have been spending the past week thinking about my reading habits, what I want to change, and how I want to grow as a reading and reviewer. I started by looking at my successes and failures of the past year and selected challenges that would (1) not make me insane and (2) would help me achieve my goals. As much as I would like to be the kind of person that would successfully complete a crazy challenge I think I have hit a point in life where I realize that being a mood reader is not something I can (or am really even willing) to change. And so, drumroll please, I present my 2020 Reading Goals and Challenges!

If you are looking for a fun challenge, check out The Master List of Challenges Tanya @ GirlXOXO has compiled!


Goal: Read My Stack of Books

I have a gorgeous stack of books in my house. I need to stop feeling guilty about all the books I own and replace that negative feeling with the joy having those books brings me. So, for 2020, I will no longer refer to it as a burden or an embarrassment. Instead, I want to read my Stunning Stack of books. All of them.

Challenge: Start on Your Shelfathon from The Quiet Pond.

startonyourshelfathon

CW @ The Quiet Pond has the most beautiful site and I am so glad that this particular challenge popped up because I will look forward to checking her site more and participating fully in the StartOnYourShelfathon which challenges us to start with the books we are reading on our own shelves.


Goal: Read Through My Backlist

As of today I have 305 books on my To Be Read list on Goodreads. This list grows exponentially every week. I am fine with it continuing to grow but I am sad for the books that keep getting buried further and further down the list. I must rescue those books! I want to read 24 books from my backlist this year.

Challenge: Beat the Backlist from Novel Knight

BeatTheBacklist2020_Banner-scaled

This will be my third year participating in Novel Knight’s fantastic Beat the Backlist Challenge but I vow that this will be the year I fully participate. This means looking at the mini-challenges and actually logging my books. This challenge really inspires me to tackle that backlist every year but I never follow through with the social aspect of it. Which is changing this year! For 2020, I am going to request to join the Borrowers team and try and get all of my TBRs from my library.


Goal: Listen to More Audiobooks

I love audiobooks! Listening to audiobooks means that I am never “wasting time.” Running errands = reading time. Commuting = reading time. My frustration level with the general junk life throws at me is almost totally gone because everywhere I have to go I am listening to or reading a book all the time. I would like to listen to 24 audiobooks this year – two a month.

Challenge: Audiobook Challenge from Caffeinated Reader and Hot Listens

Audiobook-Challenge-2020

Hot Listens and Caffeinated Reviewer co-host this challenge. In 2018 I participated for the first time and last year I saw my audiobook reads go through the roof. If adding audiobooks to your year is something you want to try, I highly recommend this challenge. You can sign up here!


Goal: Keeping Better Data

One of my biggest failures of the past few years is not keeping track of my data. I don’t remember who recommended books to me so I can’t tag them back. I don’t transfer data from my Goodreads into my other challenges. I’m ridiculous. There is no challenge for this (that I know of right now) so I am going to start my own.

Challenge: Social Saturday

Social SaturdayHosted right here @ SilverButtonBooks. Every Saturday I am going to be social. That means checking other sites, entering my data on the challenges, and just being a responsible participant. If you struggle with this or just need to designate a day to be more social, feel free to join me!


Tell me, please!

What are your 2020 Reading Goals and Challenges?


 

Challenges · Uncategorized

Challenge Update: The Goodreads Challenge and My Favorites of 2019

This year I vowed to log every single book I read on Goodreads. I know that this sounds silly – what is the alternative? Well, what I did pre-2019 was to only log the books I was proud to read or ones that I reviewed. Which is just silly because every single book is a labor of love from the author and deserving of a place on my GR list. So, for 2019, I wanted to log them all. And I did!

I wanted to read 100 books and I managed to read 124. The number of books is pretty consistent from year to year but the fact that I wrote them all down is a wonder to me. In case you haven’t been reading – my other challenges all suffered from a sheer lack of data. I need to change this in 2020. I need data to be my friend.

I was going to do a best of list but, honestly, this is the first year that I feel like every book added something to my life all year long. It was a wonderful year of reading and I cannot wait for 2020’s reading to begin!


Tell me, please!

How was your 2019 Reading?