…and In With the New!

Jan
01
7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Announcements, Reading challenges, Updates

The year 2013 is done, and so my many challenges have come to an end. I’ve updated my 2013 Challenge Index and overall I did pretty well, though some areas definitely could use some improvement. Here’s a quick recap of how I did on my reading challenges:

2013 Goodreads Challenge: 130/75 books read

My previous high (since I started tracking everything I read on Goodreads) was 120 books in 2011. In 2012 I had a pitiful 50 books read. This year, I was glad to get back on track and I blew my conservative estimate out of the water. I think I reached my initial goal of 75 books by July or August! 

Debut Author Challenge: 4/12 books read

Once again, I didn’t read very many debuts. My self-imposed restriction on advance review copies has limited my access to debut author books, and they are harder to find at the library. I also found that I love reading new authors, just not necessarily debut authors.

Seriously Series Challenge: 12/12 series read

My focus for this challenge was to get up to the last book in a series that I had already purchased. I ended up getting quite a few from the library too. I’m happy I finally caught up on the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and I also finally read the entire trilogies of Across the Universe and the Infernal Devices. 

Get Steampunked Challenge: 5/5 books read

I managed to read more than my goal of five books, actually. I read 9! My favorite was the first in a new series combining steampunk and faeries, A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz.

Off the Shelves Challenge: 20/50 books read

I did better than last year, but still not as great as I would have liked. I made copious use of the library this year, and my shelves suffered as a result. I’m doing two challenges on Goodreads this year that focus on whittling down our TBR lists, so hopefully I can exceed this number in 2014.

Graphic Novels Challenge: 6/12 books read

I think I read all 6 of these in January and then promptly ignored my collection after that. I acquired two new graphic novels this year, one of which I’m reading for my YA book club in the spring. It would be nice if I could read another 6 this year.

Back to the Classics Challenge: 2/6 books read

I had so hoped to devote some time to the classics this year, but this was a pretty spectacular fail. I only read one of the required six, and read one alternate. I think in 2014 I’ll consider it a win if I read just one!

TBR Pile Challenge: 6/12 books read

There’s no cheating in this challenge run by Roof Beam Reader. The lists were set even before 2013 began, and I did pretty well. Ultimately, the rest of the list just didn’t appeal to me over the newer, shinier choices as the year progressed. 

Authors After Dark Challenge: 2/8 books read

I thought I would do better in this one this year, given the amount of PNR/UF I read. Turns out I just read a bunch of authors who happened not to be going to AAD. After two years of limping to the finish, I think it’s time to give this challenge a rest.

Literary Exploration Challenge: 33/36 books read

I came so very close to finishing this one, but just ran out of time. The five books I had left included a play and some sonnets – easy and quick reads. But the others I couldn’t quite sneak in. I had a lot of fun challenging myself to read such varied genres, and I struggled with the ones I expected to find more difficult. In many ways, however, it was easier than I expected. I learned that I tend to read in a lot more genres than I thought. This challenge has its own widget and group on Goodreads for easy tracking, and they’re offering it again in 2014 if any of you are interested in giving it a try.

Book to Movie Challenge: 6/6 books read and movies watched

This was the most fun to complete, I think. It helped that there were so many new movies this year based on great books. I saw Beautiful Creatures, The Great Gatsby, Ender’s Game, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and snuck in two oldies: The Princess Bride and One Day. I managed to read Austenland, The Book Thief, and Carrie, but didn’t get a chance to see the movie adaptations. I also haven’t seen City of Bones yet.

Did I miss any biggies? What book to movie adaptations did you see this year?

That’s it for my challenge round-up. Are you doing any challenges this year?

 

 

 



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Book Blogger Confessions: Blog Evolution

Apr
15
20 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion, Meme

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme run by Midnyte Reader and For What It’s Worth. Every first and third Monday participants post and discuss common frustrations to book bloggers. Link up your post on either blog and hop around to listen to and learn from your fellow bloggers!

This week’s question is:

How long do you see yourself blogging? Do you think it’s okay for a blog to evolve over time? For example: You may have started out as a book review blog but now your interest is in cooking as well. Do you incorporate that or start over?

 I have had an online blog or journal in some format for 12 years. I’m not sure that this blog, in this format, will exist in decades to come, but I’d like to think that I’ll always have an online presence. 

I think a blog can evolve as long as the author is okay with a changing audience. This blog was created for readers, and mostly YA readers at that, so if I decide to start focusing more on running, say, or even on my writing, I have no doubt that my audience would change and likely grow smaller. And that doesn’t bother me. I want readers who connect with my content, pure and simple.

Where I get a little confused is whether a blog can have more than one focus. For now, I’m keeping my other interests confined to my weekly recaps. I’m afraid if I do book reviews, and a weekly post on writing, and a weekly post on running/training, and so on, that I’ll end up attracting no audience at all because there is no common theme. At that point it starts to feel like a journal/diary, and there are better (and more private) venues for that on the interwebs.

At the very least, I see this blog continuing on for a few more years. Let’s hope! 🙂

 

 



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Book Blogger Confessions: Blog/Life Balance

Apr
01
24 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion, Meme

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme run by Midnyte Reader and For What It’s Worth. Every first and third Monday participants post and discuss common frustrations to book bloggers. Link up your post on either blog and hop around to listen to and learn from your fellow bloggers!

This week’s question is:

How does blogging affect your *real* life? Are friends and family supportive? Do you find that blogging cuts into family time? How do you strike a balance between the two?

I generally don’t talk about my blog with people in my life. My family and husband and a few friends know it exists, and some of them follow my posts and even comment from time to time (mostly my fellow voracious readers: Mom and my sister). But generally, its content doesn’t apply to or interest most of my regular peeps.

That said, they’re very supportive, and my husband usually just lets me go about my business. He did object to the alarming increase of books that started to pile up, but I’m doing better about that these days. And while in the beginning (and during design changes) I was devoting hours every day to blog setup and upkeep, I’ve gotten better at managing my time and not doing blog stuff when we’re supposed to be doing things together.

 

 



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A lover of words and sparkly things.

A fan of historical, dystopian, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, mystery, steampunk, and young adult fiction, as well as any book that thinks smartly and imaginatively.

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