This week on the blog:
- I updated my theme to make the colors a little more cohesive with my header. Do you like the new look? Any weird color clashes I didn’t catch?
- Out With the Old… – A fresh start to blogging
- …and In With the New – My 2013 challenge wrap-up
- Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher
- I am trying to work my way through this entire series by the end of the year. These books are funny, gut-wrenching, and totally entertaining. I love Harry Dresden!
- Immortal (Immortal #1) by Gillian Shields
- I tried to squeeze this one in last year for my Gothic book in the Literary Exploration challenge, but didn’t quite make it before the end of 2013. I’m a sucker for boarding schools and creepy moors, so I’m loving it so far.
- I came in second in my fantasy football league this year, and I still can’t shake the football viewing addiction. My favorite college team (Nebraska) won their bowl game, and the NFL playoffs start on Saturday. I’m a happy camper.
- Ironman 70.3 Racine
- This is perhaps the biggest news I’ve had in a long time. In September my husband and I took the plunge and registered for our first Half Ironman triathlon. I’ve been trying to shake a very persistent case of plantar fasciitis, so I’m not in the shape I had hoped I’d be in at the start of the year. Our training program starts in March, so I have 3 months to get my butt in gear! The holidays are over, so no more excuses.
What have you been up to this week?
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?
This week on the blog:
- Book Blogger Confessions – Blogging longevity and evolution
- Top Ten Tuesday – Rewind week – Top Ten Books I HAD to Buy (but are still unread)
- Writing Wednesday – I checked in on my new motivation strategy.
- Spider’s Bite (Elemental Assassin #1) by Jennifer Estep
- I was really enjoying this one until the ending dragged on forever. Plus the writing got irritatingly repetitive. Still a great read, though, and I’ll be continuing with the series.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- I’m working myself into a fever pitch over the upcoming movie, y’all. I forgot how great this book is.
- Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls #2) by Ally Carter
- Fun and fluffy. Can’t wait to start.
- 42 (The Jackie Robinson Story)
- This was an incredible story to see on the big screen. I just wish the screenplay had been better.
- The video of the National Anthem sung at the Boston Bruins game on Wednesday night gave me chills.
- Back full-force into the running. After almost 5 months off, this is not pretty. I also had a Groupon expiring at the Bikram studio, so I had to squeeze in a couple of classes.
- Saturday – 2 miles
- Sunday – 60 minutes on the helliptical
- Monday – Bikram yoga
- Tuesday – 4 miles
- Wednesday – Bikram yoga
- Thursday – 3 miles
What have you been up to this week?