End of Yearathon!

I didn’t originally have a post planned today, but I woke up to find two friends on Twitter (@whatvickyread and @amandalynnbxo) are hosting the “End Of Yearathon” – a reading challenge spanning December 26th to January 1st, to try to knock out the last of everyone’s 2018 reading list. While I’ve made my Goodreads challenge for the year, and mostly given up on the others, I do still have a bunch of library books to read!

The prompts for the challenge are: 

A book released in 2018

A book with Christmas colors on the cover (red, green, gold, or any combination of the three)

A book in a series

A book with more than 400 pages

A book released before 2018


I actually really like these prompts, because I think I have library books currently out that will fit all of them! For the the first one, I have several choices – A Blade So Black, Good and Mad, Give the Dark My Love, and more. I have a lot of new releases right now!

For Christmas colors, I have either The Dreaming Stars or The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

For a book in a series, I have the latest Mercy Briggs novel that I somehow missed reading at the beginning of the year. (The Dreaming Stars would also fit in this category.) silence_fallen_layout.indd

Ten Years In The Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books is 464 pages. ten years in the tub

And I again have options for a book released before 2018. Where Am I Now? and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, plus any number of books I actually own.

I’m really looking forward to knocking out a bunch of my library books. This will be fun!

Sunday Stuff

I’m starting to look over this year’s challenges and think about what I want to do in 2019. I’m currently at 40 out of 50 on the PopSugar Challenge, so if I buckle down, I could totally finish that by the end of the year, especially since I own most of the last ten books I need to read for it. To be honest, though, I probably won’t. I have far more interesting library books to read!

I’m debating starting two challenges without end dates on them next year. I’d still do the Goodreads Challenge, but that’s just number of books. The first of the two challenges that have been interesting me lately is the Dewey Decimal Challenge, where you read a book for every category of the Dewey Decimal System – or at least every 10s category. It’s a lot of books, but with no time limit on the challenge, it’s just something to keep track of over the next few years.

The other challenge is a geographical one – there’s two main ones, and I think I’d start first with the US challenge – read a book set in each state and territory of the US. Once I finish that, I might move onto the world challenge, which is a book for each country on Earth. Preferably written by an author from each country.

I have about six weeks to figure out what challenges I want to start.

On a completely different topic, I’m really glad I have posts scheduled out about a week and a half on average, because right now I am NOT feeling good. I caught my husband’s cold – which is really just a sore throat and some stuffiness, but it’s made my thyroid flare. So I’m coughing but trying not to, face is full of snot, and my immune system is going absolutely INSANE because the tiniest upset sucks when you have an autoimmune disease. I’m not getting much reading done, is what I’m trying to say! Heck, I’m having trouble focusing long enough to type up this post. Chronic illnesses, man. I just need it to clear up by Thanksgiving, as we’re getting away for the weekend up to Philadelphia, mostly to see VNV Nation in concert Friday night!

And of course this all hit me the same day I finally got my pre-ordered copy of Girls of Paper and Fire, and then the very next day the library sent me The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, but instead of reading either I’m about to go pass out. Blargh.

The Canada Reads 2018 Longlist is out!

I’ve been looking for more books to finish up my Read Canadian challenge, and conveniently, the Canada Reads 2018 Longlist came out today, January 8th! There are fifteen books on the list, one of which I’ve already read. (American War by Omar El Akkad)

I just put Saints and Misfits on hold at my local library. It’s about a Muslim teen struggling with being sexually assaulted. The Marrow Thieves is another dystopia, in which most of humanity has lost the ability to dream, but the bone marrow of North American Indigenous people can restore it. So it’s being taken. Forcibly. My library also stocks that one, so that’s on my list! Tomboy Survival Guide is a memoir written by someone outside the gender box – and I love reading books about minorities. My library doesn’t have it, but I did find it in the Marina state-wide network. So it should be getting shipped to my library eventually! I’d like to read Out Standing In The Field, the memoir of Canada’s first female infantry officer, but neither my library nor the Marina network has it. I’ll keep an eye on it. The Clothesline Swing is about a pair of gay Syrian refugees, and Marina has it. I’m also interested in Mark Sakamoto’s Forgiveness: A Gift From My Grandparents, about his grandparents’ lives. One was a prisoner of war in Japan in WWII, while the other was a Japanese-Canadian sent to an internment camp in Canada during the same period. It’s not available through my library, though. Who knows? By the time I finish the ones that are available through the state system, the others might be, too.

The rest of the Longlist:

Several of these sound interesting, too – Seven Fallen Feathers is about racism and First Nations peoples. Dance, Gladys, Dance is apparently a humorous book about a woman and a ghost. The Measure of a Man is about a tailor remaking his father’s suit to fit himself. Scarborough is about a poor neighborhood, Precious Cargo about a man’s experiences driving a school bus of special needs kids. Brother is another book about racism, masculinity, and inner city violence. Suzanne is a portrait of the author’s grandmother, and The Boat People is the story of a boat full of Sri Lankan refugees that lands in Canada.

I’m excited to knock out the rest of the Read Canadian Challenge. I wasn’t really sure what to read next, so the Longlist coming out was EXCELLENT timing!

Looking Forward: 2018 Reading Goals

I’ve been browsing through various reading challenges to find one I might like to do in 2018. I’ll be finishing up the Read Canadian Challenge in July. (It’s from Canada Day to Canada Day.) I wasn’t sure whether I just wanted to beat a number, or go with a more restrictive challenge. I think a mix of both is where I’ve ended up, along with two more specific, personal goals.

So first, 100 books. I read 85 in 2017, so 100 doesn’t feel like that much of a stretch. I’ll set this as a goal on Goodreads.

ColonizethisSecond, I like the looks of the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge. There are 50 prompts total on it, so that’s only half my goal, leaving me with plenty of space to read whatever I want that doesn’t fit on the prompts. My next post will be a master list of prompts and the books I’ve chosen to fit them. As I review them, I’ll link from the master list as well.

Third, I want to read more of the books on my Civil Rights and Activism list on Goodreads. I have 152 books on it, only 5 of which I’ve read. I’ll start with Colonize This! since I found it at a used bookstore recently. (Incidentally, that qualifies for a couple of categories on the PopSugar list as well! The recommendation is one category per book, no doubling up, so I’ll have to pick which category I assign it to.)

americaFourth, I’m going to read America, a US history textbook I picked up. My history and science education were never the best, and I’ve been trying to remedy that most of my adult life. (I worked through a biology textbook a few years ago, and I have a Zoology textbook I should work through as well.) America has 36 chapters, so if I read 3 chapters a month, I’ll have read it by the end of the year. I’m going to try to come up with activities to do about my reading, because I absorb things more permanently if I actually DO something with the information. Not sure what I’ll do yet, but we do live in Maryland so there is a lot of history around us. We might try to make some trips to historic sites, or go to the American History Museum or the American Indian Museum in DC again. We also haven’t been to the African American Museum yet.

Fifth, I’m also going to try Booked 2018, the seasonal Litsy Challenge. There are six prompts per quarter, so that only adds two books a month. Should be doable, and I might be able to make books double up between this and the PopSugar Challenge.

I think these five goals will keep me pretty busy this year. I’d like to do a few more Literary Landmark posts, so I may try to do some research into local authors and literary places. I unfortunately missed 2017’s Baltimore Book Festival, on account of being incredibly sick, but I’m hoping to make 2018. I know there are more Book Festivals nearby, so I’ll look into those as well. I’d like to do more non-book review, book-related posts.

What about you? Are you doing any Reading Challenges this year, whether organized or personal?