2017 Reading Challenge

Happy New Year! It’s the time for reflections and resolutions. I’m already excited about 2017 because this year I plan to write a book! I hope to eventually post it on my blog (as like a modern serial) after it’s written and revised, but let me stop from getting ahead of myself! This post is about my reading goals for 2017.

Modern Mrs. Darcy is one of my favorite bookish blogs to follow. She is also one of the rare blogs I follow by email because she sends out a list of the daily kindle e-book deals. Since I’ve been wanting to branch out of my reading comfort zone, I’m so happy she’s created this 2017 “Reading for Growth” reading challenge for 2017.

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I haven’t picked out all the books I want to read yet, but I am excited about these categories! Some of the books I do know I want to read are Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (ok, not really outside of my preferred genres, but I’ll probably read some other plays or poetry, too), The View From Saturday (Newbery Award winner) and All the Light We Cannot See (Pulitzer Prize winner).

Any recommendations for me? Please share!

  • A Newberry Award Winner or Honor Book – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • A book in translation – Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
  • A book that’s more than 600 pagesHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection – The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare (finished 2/15/17)
  • A book of any genre that addresses current events – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • An immigrant story – My Two Italies by Joseph Luzzi
  • A book published before you were born – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (finished 1/14/17)
  • Three books by the same author – Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery
  • A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author – Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (finished 5/3/17)
  • A book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending – We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • A book nominated for an award in 2017 – When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award Winner – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
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December Highlights

Happy New Year!! I know this post is a few days behind schedule, but I was taking advantage of some vacation time to relax and not worry about blog posts. Instead I was catching up on some reading :)

December was a pretty stressful month, actually, and I think a lot of that had to do with my reading goals for 2014. I’m a predictable procrastinator, and I pushed myself to read some bigger books near the end of the year because I didn’t feel like reading them months ago (I’m also a mood reader). BUT,  I was actually pretty satisfied with how I finished the year.

I read 9 books in December

That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but 3 of those books were Classics, one of which was in French! 

themessenger julesverne NorthandSouth
MontanaChristmas MatchMadeInTexas FullSteamAhead
aseparatepiece ThisisWhatHappyLooksLike PaperTowns

Most Popular Post From December

My post about my and my husband’s 3rd Wedding Anniversary received the most hits last month :)

Highlights from December

  • Christmastime!!! I love decorating the house for Christmas. Our tradition is to bake Christmas cookies and watch It’s A Wonderful Life after the tree has been set up and decorated.
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  • Visiting Mount Vernon for our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. We attended their special Christmas Illuminations event, and it was so much fun that we hope to go again this year!
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  • The Broke and the Bookish’s Annual Secret Santa Event. This was my second year participating in this event, and this year it was the best ever! I was so thrilled when I found out that I had received the event’s coordinator, Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner, as my secret santa! I think I had more fun picking gifts for her than opening my own gifts! But my secret santa, Alana, did a phenomenal job at gifting me the perfect books! And she also sent me a dinosaur magnet and a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows necklace! So awesome, right??
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December’s Challenges

  • For me, the hardest thing about December was how busy and stressed out I was. Since I started my new job back in November, I’ve realized how little time I can devote to reading now. My commute is 1 hour-1 hour 30 minutes each way, depending on traffic, and so when I get home at night it feels like I have enough time to eat dinner and watch an episode of Supernatural with my husband before I either crash from exhaustion or force myself to go to bed so I can get up for work again in the morning. I’m still shocked that I was able to read 9 books this month, two of which were solely audiobooks. A couple of the Classics I would listen to from YouTube during my commute and then pick up the paperback at home. I’m hoping that we’re able to relocate somewhere closer to my job in January or February, but until then I will just need to come to terms with the fact that my job trumps reading :(
  • Reading Journey to the Center of the Earth in French! To cross off one of my 25 Things, I finished reading Jules Verne’s epic adventure in French last month. I had read the first half back in July (each July to celebrate Bastille Day, I like to read a Verne book. This is my patriotic side coming out, something that Americans delight in having while the French kind of laugh at), but I hadn’t finished it and I wanted to read it by the end of 2014 for my Back to the Classics Challenge. It was hard, but I managed to finish the book in 4 days (I could only read about 50 pages a day before my head started hurting).

Looking forward – January TBR

JanuaryTBR

What I’m Looking Forward to in January…

  • My husband had a phone interview last week and he has another interview tomorrow where he will be given a software test (he’s an engineer so it’s some type of design software). We’d appreciate prayers! He’s been unemployed for over a year now and it has gotten really hard on him.
  • I’m really looking forward to working towards keeping my bookish New Year’s Resolutions! So far, so good. I’m stressing out less about reading, and I’m NOT checking out books from the library until I’ve finished the ones I’ve been renewing since November. I’ve also avoided buying any books in the 4 days since New Years Day (hey, for some people, that could be a record).
  • I bought some yarn today and plan to crochet an afghan this month! I haven’t crocheted anything in about a year, and this is also a bucket list item I’ve put on my 25 Things list :) So expect a post in a few weeks about that!

What were some of your highlights from December? Any big wishes for January that you’d like to share? I’d love to know!

Back to the Classics 2014 Reading Challenge

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I looooove challenges…they make things so much more fun! Even reading, which I already find such a thrill in :) I’m already participating in The Classics Club reading challenge, but I’ve found another challenge that I can combine with it to knock off some more novels. So, here is my tentative list for the Back to the Classics 2014 reading challenge, hosted by Books and Chocolate:

  • A 20th Century Classic – Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (1904/1911) (finished 10/19/14 – review here)
  • A 19th Century Classic – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847). My read along for this novel starts Sunday!! (finished 1/22/14 – review here)
  • A Classic by a Woman Author – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) (finished 4/9/14 – review here)
  • A Classic in Translation – Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862), which I plan on trying my hardest to read in French! Maybe I should get started on that novel right away… Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1864). Les Mis was too long and I started reading this Verne classic instead, and in French too! (finished 12/28/14 – review here)
  • A Classic About War War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (1898) (finished 11/21/14 – review here)
  • A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868), which I can’t believe I have never read before. (finished 5/24/14 – review here)

Optional Categories:

  • An American Classic – For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (1940), better get one of my dreaded Hemingway novels out of the way…perhaps I’ll enjoy it this time? I tried!! I decided to go with A Separate Peace by John Knowles (1959) instead (finished 12/19/14 – review here)
  • A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1817), the only Austen novel I have yet to read! (finished 2/25/14 – review here)
  • A Historical Fiction Classic – The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844) The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (1883) (finished 11/3/14 – review here)
  • A Classic That’s Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series – North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855) (finished 12/14/14 – review here), I’m really excited about this one because it’ll give me an excuse to watch the mini-series for the…
  • Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4 – North and South, obviously :) (finished 12/14/14 – review here)

This is just a tentative list…I may just change the novels I read, or I might not even complete the optional categories. We shall see :)