Tag Archives: challenge

Blogging Resolutions 2017

Wow, the beginning of 2017 has been crazy around here, we’ve all gone through a serious combination of illnesses (including pneumonia) but we’re okay now. This is why I’m only posting these today. Better late than never, eh?

My blogging resolutions for 2017

  • Complete my challenges.
  • Comment back more (and keep up to date on my own comments).
  • Not stress as much – this one is a must.
  • Read 3 classics, 3 French books, 3 Slovenian books, and 3 translations.
  • Keep my NetGalley ratio at 80% or higher – I did really well last year and I don’t want to do worse this year.
  • Stick to 3-to-1 rule for buying books and 2-to-1 rule for starting new series.
  • Review ARCs within the week of their publication date.
  • Review all old (read in 2016) books by the end of January (this is going to be hard, so let’s say February 15).
  • Finish at least 7 series.
  • Blog twice a week.
  • Read more diverse books.
  • Have 3 posts written as a buffer at all times – this is hard but takes off so much pressure!
  • Allow myself to DNF more – because life’s too short to read books I don’t like.

And that’s it! 

What are your resolutions for 2017? Do you even make them?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

My Ultimate TBR List + Challenges

ultimate-tbrI’ve been thinking a lot about how many books I buy and how many I read – starting somewhere in the middle of 2016, I’ve been keeping meticulous notes on my book expenses and so on. I also pulled unread books off our bookshelves and made one hell of a mess, then put most of them back again.

The bottom line is that I have a huge number of unread books languishing on my shelves while I fall prey to new shinies and spend too much money on books I really don’t need to read (like over-hyped YA fantasies or bad romances – cue Lady Gaga). I know my list isn’t nearly as long as that of other readers but it’s too long for me and I need to fix it because I really want to read these books!

So I decided to make this ultimate list of all the books I already own and want to read (we do own books that I haven’t read but have no intention of ever reading – like Moby Dick, purchased (and read) by my husband). And in 2017, I want to bring it down by … let’s say a half. These are books I genuinely want to read, not just those I think I ought to read, either. And it doesn’t include re-reads! A lot of them are huge fantasies (hello, Robin Hobb!) so I hope I’ll get some of them out of the way.

I’ve been putting some of them on my seasonal TBR lists (see summer, autumn, and winter), and I think I’ll keep doing that because it seems more manageable that way.

backlist-reader-challenge-2017I’ll keep linking back to this post in each monthly recap to report on my progress – and I’m joining two reading challenges to keep myself motivated! And before you ask – YES, they are very similar but I’m joining both because I’m hoping more people looking at me fail with keep me accountable and on track.

The first is The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017 hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard. The rules are really straightforward: the books that count towards the challenge must be published before 2016 and must already be on my tbr list or pile. Then I need to review the books I read and add them to the linky on Lark’s site.

beatthebacklist2017The second is Beat the Backlist challenge hosted by NovelKnight. For this one, the books read must be published before 2017 (which is even more lenient) and I have to create a tbr list (see below). There’s also the option of joining the Hogwarts house cup mini challenge – go Gryffindor!

I’m probably going to read some e-books I already own that have been published before 2016/17 but I’m definitely focusing on cutting down my physical tbr pile. If I happen to buy (or get) more books to be put on this list, the ratio stays the same. I’ll figure it out as I go along.

srcek

The List (forgive me for not putting the titles in italics, I don’t have the patience for that):

  1. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
  2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  3. Dune by Frank Herbert
  4. Nikolikje by Neil Gaiman
  5. Dobra znamenja by Neil Gaiman
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. To noč sem jo videl by Drago Jančar
  8. Vreščji mojster by Walter Moers
  9. Več kot to by Patrick Ness
  10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  11. Norveški gozd by Haruki Murakami
  12. The Book of Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland
  13. Irish Folk and Fairy Tales
  14. The Secret Life of Words
  15. Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
  16. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  17. Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
  18. Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
  19. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Suzanna Clarke
  20. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  21. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  22. Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb
  23. Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
  24. Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb
  25. Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb
  26. The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb
  27. Fool’s Fate Robin Hobb
  28. Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
  29. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
  30. Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier
  31. Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  32. Un Secret by Philippe Grimbert
  33. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
  34. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
  35. Castle in the Sky by Diana Wynne Jones
  36. Biographie de la faim by Amelie Nothomb
  37. Les Catilinaires by Amelie Nothomb
  38. Le Fait du prince by Amelie Nothomb
  39. Tuer le pere by Amelie Nothomb
  40. Antechrista by Amelie Nothomb
  41. Chercher le vent by Guillaume Vigneault
  42. Champagne by Monique Proulx
  43. Le Sexe des Etoiles by Monique Proulx
  44. Le Combat d’hiver by Jean-Claude Mourlevat
  45. Deviški samomori by Jeffrey Eugenides
  46. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  47. Laurus by Jevgenij Vodolazkin
  48. The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
  49. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

e-books

  1. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
  2. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
  3. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  4. Us by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
  5. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I’m sure there are more but these are on the top of my digital tbr for now.

Read

srcek

I am also joining the Discussion Challenge, which was the best challenge I participated in last year. It’s hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight and involves writing discussion posts. It’s a great one for building your community and meeting lovely new bloggers who have something to say!

I’m trying for the category called Creative Conversationalist, which means I’ll be writing at least eleven discussions this year. Let’s do this!

srcek

Have you read any of these? Which one should I pick up first?

Are you joining any reading challenges this year?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

Challenges and Resolutions Update #3

challenges3

December is here and it is time to take stock of what I’ve been doing on this blog in 2016. Given that I had a baby and worked a lot, I think I did well with these, even if I didn’t necessarily stick to all of them.

Resolutions

  • I want to succeed at my reading challenges. I finished my Discussion Challenge and I’m really proud of that. I will definitely be participating in next year.
  • I want to read more classics. I didn’t do well with this one. I read one tiny Penguin Classics edition of Christina Rosetti’s poetry and I re-read Pride and Prejudice. I’ll be keeping this resolution for 2017.
  • I want to finish more series. Okay so I’m not doing too bad with this one. I’ll consider this one a mediocre success. I also dropped some series because I decided not to purposefully read bad books anymore, which was pretty liberating.
  • I want to get better at using Instagram. Er, no. I’m still posting stuff from our trips and some Lego creations, but I haven’t been all that consistent.
  • I want to read more non-English books. I aced this one, I think – especially compared to previous years. I have read eleven (I think?) non-English titles (though one was an English translation of a Finnish book).
  • I want to keep up-to-date with my ARCs. YES! I am doing great at this. Woop! :) I’ve kept my NetGalley ratio above 80% for the entire year and I am not requesting many books, only those I’m genuinely interested in. YAY!
  • I want to post more of my reviews to Goodreads. Yes. I am doing way better with this. Putting reminders into my Google calendar for each review really helps.
  • I want to buy fewer books and read more of the ones I already own. I’m not QUITE keeping to my 3-to-1 ratio but let’s say I’m making some progress.
  • I want to post at least twice a week. Yep, apart from the break in November, which I needed badly, I’ve kept this up!

I’d say I was pretty good with these. I’ll have to think of new resolutions for 2017!

srcek

Challenges

2016-Discussion-Challenge

The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight. My goal was to write at least 13 discussions this year and I made it!! So this challenge is definitely a success and I will be participating in it next year for sure – it makes me write better posts that get the most engagement and I also met some great new people through it!

You can see my discussions here: Supernatural Love Interests, Should Romance Be Realistic?Are Bloggers Really Introverts?, How Are You?, All the HypeHigh Expectations, Watching People, Reading Novellas, Super Long Books, What Makes a Fantasy, Reading Bad BooksRe-reading Childhood Favourites, and Friends.

And I participated in the Retelling Challenge 2016 again. It was hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. I am failing this one – I thought A Court of Mist and Fury would count towards this challenge but it really isn’t a retelling of anything as far as I could tell, despite the fact that the first part of the series was a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I also read Son of the Shadows by Juliet Mariller – the first book of the series was a retelling (The Daughter of the Forest), but this one just isn’t. So the only retellings I’ve read were Lock & Mori, a YA contemporary version of Sherlock Holmes, and The Wrath and the Dawn.

See – I won the challenge that isn’t dependent on my mood swings and current tastes in books. I think I’ll choose more challenges of this sort for 2017. More on that next week!

srcek

How did you do with your challenges and resolutions?

Do you feel guilty if you didn’t succeed?

What challenges will you be joining in 2017?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

Challenges and Resolutions Update #2

challenges-resolutions-2

As the year has passed well into the second half, I thought it would be a good time to check what progress I’d made on my challenges and resolutions for 2016. In May, I bemoaned my lack of progress and felt kind of bad that I wasn’t doing as good as I’d thought I would be. But now, I just can’t bring myself to feel bad about this kind of thing – blogging is and should remain a hobby and as long as I’m enjoying it, I’m good. The same goes for reading. Let’s see how I’m doing:

Resolutions

  • I want to succeed at my reading challenges. Well – I finished my Discussion Challenge already but the others are less of a success.
  • I want to read more classics. Abysmal. I read one Little Black Classic which hardly counts because it has 40 pages, I think (it was Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market, a really great poem – accompanied with several more of her poems that I never read before and I really liked them).
  • I want to finish more series. Okay so I’m not doing too bad with this one. I’ll consider this a good work in progress. I also dropped some series because I decided not to purposefully read bad books anymore, which was pretty liberating.
  • I want to get better at using Instagram. Er, no. Nope.
  • I want to read more non-English books. This isn’t too bad. I have already read six (I think?) non-English titles (though one was an English translation of a Finnish book).
  • I want to keep up-to-date with my ARCs. YES! I am doing great at this. Woop! :) My NetGalley ratio is currently 82% and I am not requesting many books, only those I’m genuinely interested in. YAY!
  • I want to post more of my reviews to Goodreads. I am doing way better with this. Putting reminders into my Google calendar for each review really helps.
  • I want to buy less books and read more of the ones I already own. I’m not QUITE keeping to my 3-to-1 ratio but let’s say I’m making some progress.
  • I want to post at least twice a week. Yep, doing okay with this most of the time!

So the tally is: 4 resolutions are a success, 3 are a work in progress, and 2 are fails. This is better than with my May update, which I’m counting as an overall success! :)

srcek

Challenges

As I said, I am doing very poorly with the Back to the Classics Challenge (hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate). My goal was to read six books and so far I can’t even say I’ve read one. I want to change that soon but I don’t know if I’ll manage. We’ll see. I’m such a mood reader it’s difficult to plan my reading in advance, though I’ve had some success with my Summer TBR list.

2016-Discussion-Challenge

The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight, and it’s the only challenge I’m acing so far. My goal was to write at least 13 discussions this year and I made it!! So this challenge is definitely a success and I will be participating in it next year for sure – it makes me write better posts that get the most engagement and I also met some great new people through it!

You can see my discussions here: Supernatural Love Interests, Should Romance Be Realistic?Are Bloggers Really Introverts?, How Are You?, All the HypeHigh Expectations, Watching People, Reading Novellas, Super Long Books, What Makes a Fantasy, Reading Bad Books, and Re-reading Childhood Favourites.

And I’m participating in the Retelling Challenge 2016 again. It is hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. I am failing this one – I thought A Court of Mist and Fury would count towards this challenge but it really isn’t a retelling of anything as far as I could tell, despite the fact that the first part of the series was a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I also read Son of the Shadows by Juliet Mariller – the first book of the series was a retelling (The Daughter of the Forest), but this one just isn’t. So the only retellings I’ve read were Lock & Mori, a YA contemporary version of Sherlock Holmes, and The Wrath and the Dawn, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

So. One in three challenges – not horrible but not good, either. See – I won the challenge that isn’t dependent on my mood swings and current tastes in books. I think I’ll choose more challenges of this sort for 2017.

srcek

How are your challenges and resolutions coming along?

Do you feel guilty if you aren’t succeeding at them?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

Read All The Books!

read-all-the-booksI have decided to put myself through another challenge of sorts – though this one isn’t really time-limited, so I like it more than my other challenges. I got this idea in a rather convoluted way: Quinn mentioned she was doing a challenge hosted by The Herd Presents – and I modified it to suit my needs because the original challenge was too extreme for me (oops).

This is what my challenge is all about: picking an author (or multiple authors) that I loved but only discovered when they were already well into their writing career. Proceed to read all of their published books. That’s it.

Okay, well, maybe not. I won’t be putting novellas or short stories on this list. I’m not that crazy. Also, I probably won’t choose authors if I’ve only read one of their books and they have a massive backlist. This is why the original challenge was too difficult for me: it says I should pick an author who has published 45+ books and read them all. Even assuming this criterion only works for romance authors, who tend to be most prolific (with some other genres like crime coming in as close seconds – but I don’t read those), this is a massive undertaking. To massive for my current reading situation.

I’ll be updating this list/post when I make progress; I may even add new authors to it as I discover them. For now, I’m listing all the unread books I want to read – if it’s not on the list, you can safely assume I’ve read it already. I also added some of their upcoming titles – just so I get to cross them off the list once I get to them.

That said, if there’s anyone out there willing to join me in this very vague challenge, feel free to do your own post, pick your own authors, then drop me a link in the comments so I can add it somewhere in this post. The more, the merrier, eh? :)

srcek

Behold, the list:

  • Rainbow RowellLandline
  • Victoria (V. E.) SchwabThe Unbound, A Conjuring of Light (coming in 2017), New Beginnings, Second Chances, Last Wishes
  • Patrick NessMore Than This, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, The Crane Wife
  • Karen HawkinsCatherine and the Pirate, Lois Lane Tells All, Mad for the Plaid (coming in late 2016). I also want to reread some of her work, she’s great, but that’s another topic altogether.
  • Laini TaylorStrange the Dreamer (coming in 2017), Blackbringer, Silksinger
  • Tessa DareDo You Want to Start a Scandal (coming in Sep 2016), Goddess of the Hunt, Three Nights with a Scoundrel, Twice Tempted by a Rogue, Surrender of a Siren, A Lady of Persuasion

I think this is plenty for now – I’m sure new favorites will pop up all the time and I’ll be expanding this list instead of conquering it, as usual.

srcek

Are you in the habit of reading your favorite authors’ backlists? 

Who would you add to my list (whose work should I know in its entirety)?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

Challenges and Resolutions Update #1

challenges-update

People, this is less of an actual update and more of a blogger’s walk of shame. I know (I know) that blogging challenges and resolutions are made at the beginning of each year in order to have more fun but I can’t help but be disappointed in myself when I look at how I’m doing. Okay, so not all of my goals are a complete bust and I still have most of the year to catch up but I’ll need to change my tactics if I want to achieve at least a half of these.

srcek

Resolutions

  • I want to succeed at my reading challenges. Hah.
  • I want to read more classics. Abysmal. I read one Little Black Classic which hardly counts because it has 40 pages, I think (it was Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market, a really great poem – accompanied with several more of her poems that I never read before and I really liked them).
  • I want to finish more series. Okay so I’m not doing too bad with this one. I’ll consider this a good work in progress.
  • I want to get better at using Instagram. Er, no. Nope.
  • I want to read more non-English books. This isn’t too bad. I have already read three non-English titles (though one was an English translation of a Finnish book).
  • I want to keep up-to-date with my ARCs. YES! I am doing great at this. Woop! :) My NetGalley ratio is currently 82% and I am not requesting many books, only those I’m genuinely interested in. YAY!
  • I want to post more of my reviews to Goodreads. I have started making some progress with this, so let’s consider it a work in progress.
  • I want to buy less books and read more of the ones I already own. I’m not QUITE keeping to my 3-to-1 ratio but let’s say I’m making some progress.
  • I want to post at least twice a week. Yep, doing okay with this most of the time!

So let’s see: 3 resolutions on track, 3 mediocre ones and 3 fails. Eh, it’s not as bad as you’d think, right?

srcek

Challenges

As I said, I am doing very poorly with the Back to the Classics Challenge (hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate). My goal was to read six books and so far I can’t even say I’ve read one. I want to change that soon.

2016-Discussion-Challenge

The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight, and it’s the only challenge I’m acing so far. My goal is to write at least 13 discussions this year.

You can see my discussions here: Supernatural Love Interests, Should Romance Be Realistic?Are Bloggers Really Introverts?, How Are You?, All the Hype and High Expectations.

And I’m participating in the Fairytale Retelling Challenge 2016 again. It is hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. I am failing miserably at this one since I haven’t read a single book to make progress – though I’m waiting for my copy of A Court of Mist and Fury to arrive in the mail.

So. One in three challenges – it seems everything is going in thirds today.

srcek

How are your challenges and resolutions coming along?

Do you feel guilty if you aren’t succeeding at them?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Follow me: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.