Challenges and Resolutions

Wow, how has the year gone by so fast? It’s the end of August, people, and I feel like it should be April or something. But I still have more than four months of blogging to go in 2015, so I thought I should do a little review of how well I’m holding on with my reading challenges and resolutions.

srcek

Challenges

uprooted-naomi-novikFlights of Fantasy (info): I reviewed (favourites are starred) Hounded, Shadow Scale, World After, The Thief, *A Darker Shade of Magic, *Half the World, Angelfall, *Stardust, *Heir of Fire, Gates of Thread and Stone, *Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, *Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, *Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, *The Accident Season, Perfect Ruin, *White CatEnd of Days, *Uprooted, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Hidden Huntress, Soulless, Kiss of Deception, Half a WarThis means I’m up to 23/24 books, which is still ahead of schedule, YAY! One more and I’ll be finished with this challenge!

Dusting Off the Shelves (info): I read AllegiantEleanor & Park, Eleven on Top, Twelve Sharp, My Sister Lives on the MantelpieceThe Mad Ship and Looking for Alaska which is 7/12This means I’m still behind the schedule – barely! I’m working on it (see this post)!

ScarletUS.inddFairytale Retelling (info): I reviewed ScarletUprooted, A Court of Thorns and Roses and I wrote about why I love fairytales and about the same old story, but I’m still behind schedule (3/5-9 books) but I have high hopes of meeting my goals with this one!

Re-reading (info): I re-read half of the Sweep series but I haven’t written any reviews yet :( I wrote a mini review for How to Entice and Enchantress. Here are the others: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I also read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but haven’t reviewed it yet. Since I set a goal of 12 books, and I’m currently at 6, I’m still behind, but not by much (I’m counting Sweep as one book, they’re so short).

In terms of Classics – which was my self-imposed challenge – I read The Handmaid’s Tale. This isn’t going well! Ugh. I’m participating in The Classics Spin, though, so I’m supposed to read Dune by Frank Herbert by the end of October! :) I’m also currently reading To Kill a Mockinbird by Harper Lee and I’m really enjoying it!

srcek

Resolutions

  1. I want to succeed at my reading challenges. Ok with some, really bad with others.
  2. I want to read more classics. Oops.
  3. I want to finish more series. Again, oops – and I wrote a post about it. I’m trying to do better, though!
  4. favicon1I want to update my blog design. YES! I did that! And after four months, I still love how it turned out.
  5. I want to comment more on other blogs, interact more and use social media to their full potential. I don’t know about the social media part and the full potential part but I have been commenting more on blogs and I love interacting with other bloggers!
  6. I want to read more non-English books. Ahh. This is a tough one. I read 35 Kilos d’espoir which was short but sweet. Nevertheless, I will try to read some more books in these four months!
  7. I want to be better at managing my ARCs. Yep, I’m doing OK with this one. My NG ratio is at 70% all the time – I don’t request new books if I’m below that – but I could go higher, I guess.
  8. I want to read less fluff. Weeeelll… I have been reading more YA fantasy but I really should try to read less romance. But I’m in a bit of a romance-slump anyway so things are looking up.
  9. I want to continue posting three times a week. Mostly done, some weeks I do 2 posts but I think I’m pretty consistent!
  10. I want to write more discussion postsAaah, this is the one I’m really proud of! I’ve written several discussion posts that drew really nice reactions from my readers! <3 Here they are: Why I Love Fairytales, Reading Fantasy in a Tiny Country, The Same Old Story, Are You Into Safe Sex?, Finishing Series, Sh*t Just Got Real: My Physical TBR Pile, On Jazz (And Maybe Modern Art), Fan Fic (+ A Ramble On Harry Potter and Sex), Just Another Love Triangle. YAY!

srcek

How are you doing with your challenges and resolutions? Do you like to review yours or do you put them out of your mind as soon as you write them down? 

Did you read any good books that would fall into my categories lately?

I’d love to hear from you!

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  • It’s always good to check in with our goals for the year. It looks like you’re doing really well!

    • Thanks, Quinn! :)
      Yeah, I feel like it’s nice to see that I’m actually making progress and that my plans didn’t go completely awry. I like sticking to plans, even though it’s hard sometimes!

  • You’re killing it, Kaja! I confess that this is the first time I’ve heard about many of these challenges – Dusting Off the Shelves sounds like one that I desperately need. The classics challenge also sounds interesting – good luck with To Kill A Mockingbird, it’s one of my favourites (the film starring Gregory Peck is also worth a watch).

    Three cheers for the blog design! I honestly love it so much. When I was updating my own site (with Ed’s help…LOL) I actually pointed out some things that I really liked about this blog as reference for what I wanted. :D

    Social media is tough. I don’t like feeling as though I’m screaming into the void, but I also want to know how to use these things so I don’t become super out of touch. My attempts to tweet regularly are basically a fail, haha.

    HA, “less fluff.” Who are you and what have you done with the real Kaja? ;) In all seriousness though, my personal philosophy on fluff is to indulge when I’m in the mood – it helps me in between reading heavier titles and tends to circumvent massive fluff binges. But I will always unabashedly love fluff. Fluff forever!

    • YES for guys who help us blog :D My blog would still be a generic WordPress (not even self-hosted, probably) if I was doing it on my own or I would end up paying lots of money to someone to make it look pretty if it wasn’t for A. I really like your site, too, especially those cute pics you use in reviews to sum them up!

      I’m halfway through with To Kill a Mockingbird and I’m really liking it so far! (I mistyped this “so fart” which is also cool…) I’ll check out the film, too, I’m sure A. will be up for it, he’s already read the book (right before I started it) and loved it.

      I keep hearing advice to start using Buffer for scheduling social media but it seems like such an unnecessary addition to all my internet stuff… I’m not really into blogging professionally but if I ever did have to manage a company’s account or something, I’d definitely look into using social media more tactically.

      Heeeey, I don’t read fluff only! :D Nah, I do still read fluff, don’t worry, it’s just that I’m not in the mood for it so often these days! I think I just read too much of it and now I want to read something else, too. I’m NEVER giving up fluff and will always be your fluff-buddy :)

  • Maraia

    Wow, you have a lot of goals. That doesn’t stress you out? Looks like you’re doing really well with them, though!

    Can I ask why you want to read less “fluff”? (And what do you even consider fluff?) Why do you want to read less romance?

    • Nah, these are things I meant to do anyway but I packaged them up nicely and made a list (because that’s what I do). :) I also don’t go checking them every day, changing what I’m doing just to fulfill them – it’s just a reminder that I wanted to do something differently and I nudge myself towards it.

      Umm it’s not that I want to read LESS fluff, actually, but more of other stuff. I consider romances (not any old book with a romance but actual romances where romance is the main plot, not a side one) to be fluffy. They are comfort reads that are entertaining and make me feel good but don’t really bring anything new to the table. So I want to read more challenging books that make me feel other things, that punch me in the gut (in the best way possible). It’s not because I think romances are bad and it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped reading them, I just read SO MANY lately that I’m a bit fed up with the similarities if you know what I mean!

      • Maraia

        Haha, I love lists, too. :D

        I guess I can understand that. I’m not a fan of the romance genre, but a lot of YA contemporaries and even fantasies end up looking more like romances than anything else these days, and it’s easy to feel as if I’m reading the same thing over and over. That’s the nice thing about adult fantasy. The authors take more risks and don’t have to cater to swoon-hungry readers. (Not that I don’t love my swoons!)

  • Great job on your challenges! I’ve been doing pretty well on mine as well, but for one major exception – my dust/clear off the shelves challenge progress continues to be pretty dismal. It’s tough when there are always plenty of new books added to the TBR!

    ~Mogsy

    • Mm, yeah, I’ve been having trouble with that as well. I have a whole shelf for these books and now I have to stuff them in two rows… I’m not really good at restraining myself when it comes to book buying/requesting…

  • Oh you are doing AMAZING with your goals Kaja^^ I’ve never participated in challenges before, but I’d like to. I just didn’t have the time this year with how crazy work has been but hopefully next year will be different *crosses fingers* I wanted to complete my GR reading challenge this year (after failing the last few years) but so far it doesn’t look great. Stupid real life LOL Anyway, WELL DONE!! You’re an inspiration ♥

    • Yeah, I didn’t set a Goodreads challenge this year because I’d probably fail and then feel bad and it’s just a random number, it doesn’t count pages or anything… I went with challenges that I basically knew I would fulfill, except with the classics and the dusting-off-the-shelves one because I really need to read more of those books…

      But yes, real life gets in the way, doesn’t it? :D

  • Looks like good progress so far! I really need to get on with some of my goals…

    • Yep, I’m pretty happy with how things are going. I’ll put in more effort with the books I already own and with classics and then I’ll be happy, I think!

  • I always think I want to read more classics, but I’ve found I have to be in a very particular mood and even then only connect with certain books. I still hope to read more some day, but for now I’ve mostly accepted watching film adaptations of them instead. ;)

    • Ha, that’s one way to do it :D I just can’t really watch movies without reading books – or rather I know I’ll never go read the book after I’ve already seen the movie. I don’t think I ever did that, watched a movie first and then read the book … So I’m giving classics a try, but I’ve put down some of them because I wasn’t in the mood. I will get back to them at some point, though (hopefully)!
      Thanks for stopping by, Kel!

  • Oh I love posts of challenge-check-ins! :D I’m doing a personal challenge of finish-up-series and I’m not doing horrifically? But I could do BETTER. And I’m doing the FAiry Tale Retelling challenge and I’ve read about 10 books so YEAH I’M HAPPY WITH THAT. hehe
    I admire you for tackling more classics and more fantasy though. Tough genres! I love me some delicious fantasy, but I prefer it on audio. I absorb it better like that for some reason. :)

    • Yeah, I have one of those as well, I should have mentioned it here – I wrote a post about finishing series because I’m terrible at it. I chose a small number for the Fairytale Retelling Challenge because I didn’t want to fail – I still might, though! :D
      Ha, do classics count as a “genre”? *le gasp* :) I can’t really handle audiobooks unless it’s a re-read or a really simple book (like romance), otherwise I get distracted and miss several sentences and then I don’t know what’s happening and that’s frustrating… But I love audiobooks for re-reading, especially if I want to read new books when I’m actually reading.

  • I think you’re doing pretty well with your challenges and resolutions. It is so easy to fall behind on challenges, I have a spreadsheet where I can include my challenges to keep an eye on progress, but I always have them in the back of my mind after committing. I’ve only just caught up on the Fairytale Retelling challenge and now am on 8/12 and I keep forgetting to read old books on my shelf for Dusting off my Shelf. As for resolutions, I never make them but you’ve totally rocked yours. Anyway, it’s only the end of August, you have loads of time to catch up. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.