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Reading Challenge

Rock My TBR 2017

rockmytbr17header

I hadn’t heard of Rock My TBR until recently, but it sounded like a great idea, so I’ve jumped right on board!  The idea is to read at least one book from your TBR a month, and although you can set more challenging goals, I think one a month is more than enough for a slow reader like me.

I was really tempted to pick out twelve books for the whole year, but actually I think it’ll be more fun to just see what I fancy each month instead.

Saying that, I know exactly what book I’m going to knock off my TBR as soon as possible:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen

I was a few short chapters into this story when A Court of Thorns and Roses stole my attention, leaving Red Queen unfinished!  I intend on completing this book once and for all, especially as I have the sequel, Glass Sword, already on my shelf.

Here’s just some of the other books on my TBR at the moment (many I own physical copies of):

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan
  • The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman
  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
  • The Dieter by Susan Sussman
  • The Rose of Sebastopol by Katherine McMahon
  • Armada by Ernest Cline
  • Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
  • Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
  • You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane
  • How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

Do you feel any of these should be bumped up to the top of the list?  What’s on your TBR for 2017?


Fancy joining the Rock My TBR reading challenge?  Find out more here!

Happy reading!

Emma

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December 12, 2016
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Is Goodreads Good for Reading?

I find the best way to track my reading is with Goodreads.  Keeping a log is only something I started doing in the last few years.  Before that, I can only assume that it was less important to me to keep up with what I was reading.  However, I’ve been wondering recently whether tracking books actually takes something away from the experience of reading.  With an endless TBR on Goodreads, with start and finish dates, with yearly goals – is turning reading into a numbers game ruining the fun?

For me, there are obvious benefits to Goodreads.  Since I have used it, I have found that I have been engaging more with the material I am reading.  With access to quotes, author profiles, and most helpfully, reader’s reviews, it has allowed me to tie up loose ends of plots, get second opinions, and offer more books a more permanent place in my memory.  Finishing a book I love (or even one I didn’t like so much), and then being able to engage with a community of readers all suffering from the same book hangover, or the same distaste of certain parts, makes reading a book so much more exciting.  It was this very reason why I set up the Words & Geeks Book Club with The Geek Undergraduate; reading with other people is so much fun.

On the other hand, I feel there is more pressure to read now I have a public profile to upkeep.  Nothing takes the fun out of reading like the feeling that you have to read rather than you want to read.  This is something I have tried to adjust this year by giving myself less reading goals and challenges.

Has anyone else found this problem?  Is tracking your reading beneficial or is it burdensome?

goodreads progressNevertheless, for another year at least I will be participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge.  Last year I read 50 books, and I’ve chosen to do the same this year.  This will be the first year since I started school that I won’t have studying to do, after the completion of my degree last year.  (That is, until I cave in and apply for a Masters).  Anyway, without any set books to read, I have a whole year ahead of me of reading for leisure.  I wonder if I’ll read less without deadlines; we shall have to wait and see.

What are your reading goals for the year?  What are your thoughts on using Goodreads, or any similar sites, for tracking your reading progress?

Emma

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January 9, 2016
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2016 Audiobook Challenge

I enjoyed listening to audiobooks so much last year that I am signing The Book Nymphomyself up for the Audiobook Challenge again.

For those unfamiliar with the Audiobook Challenge, hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens, allow me to summarise.  The aim of the challenge is to find a love of audiobooks or to nurture an existing love, bettering the number of audiobooks you listened to the previous year.  There are seven different levels to aspire to:

  • Newbie (1-5)
  • Weekend Warrior (5-10)
  • Stenographer (10-15)
  • Socially Awkward (15-20)
  • Binge Listener (20-30)
  • My Precious (30-50)
  • Marathoner (50+)

Last year I achieved the status of Weekend Warrior, listening to 8 audiobooks in total.  My wrap-up post for the 2015 Audiobook Challenge can be found here.  Through listening to audiobooks plucked randomly off Overdrive, I have been able to explore new genres and authors that I otherwise would have ignored.  I reckon, with the whole year ahead of me now, that I can reach Stenographer (10-15 audiobooks).

I swore that I would give myself less bookish goals this year, but I am allowing myself to indulge in just one or two.  This includes the Goodreads Reading Challenge, which to be fair doesn’t take much effort other than picking up books and reading them, with none of this ‘read a book with a red stripe across the front cover, 973 pages and written by an English pastry chef’ nonsense that weighed me down in challenges last year (if such a book exists, then a gold star for the one who finds it!)

What are your bookish goals for the year?  Will you be signing up to the Audiobook Challenge too?

Emma

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January 7, 2016
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Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

Since 2015, I’ve been working very slowly through Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.  There’s no deadline for it (apart from the obvious one), but it would be nice to tick off a dozen or so a year.

A link to the Amazon page can be found here, where you can also buy the books, though as most are deemed to be ‘classics’ in one form or another, they’ll almost definitely be available from local bookshops and libraries.

(I’ll be updating this page over time as I tick more off the list)

Just Begun: Children’s Books (9/10)

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
  • The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Moving On: Older Children and Young Adults (3/10)

  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  • Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Approachable Classics (2/10)

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Something More Modern (1/10)

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  • The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
  • The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
  • Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  • The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
  • Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
  • Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin

Classics: Nineteenth Century and Earlier (1/5)

  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Explore Alternative Worlds (1/10)

  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Contemporary Fiction (2/20)

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (I read the graphic novel… is that cheating? Answer: probably)
  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Birdsong by Sebastia Faulks
  • The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Last Orders by Graham Swift
  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  • Dissolution by C. J. Sansom
  • London Fields by Martin Amis

Twentieth Century Classics (2/15)

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  • Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Non-fiction Essentials (0/10)

  • Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkins
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  • London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
  • Venice by Jan Morris
  • Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil Macgregor
  • Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Total read: 22/100

How many have you read?  Are there any books you think are missing from Amazon’s list?

Emma

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August 26, 2015
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