Review

Reading Assignment Challenge 2016

See the main rules for this on Fantasy is More Fun or at Because Reading.
This year I am cutting back and going for Reading Level 2. That equals two books a month, and it is geared towards clearing my TBR shelf.  Books must be listed at the beginning of the challenge.
Link ups
At the end of each month, cross off the book(s) you read. We will have a link-up each quarter (hosted by Michelle in April, Berls in July, Michelle in September, Berls in January 2017) for you to link your progress. Details below, but… The link-up will be open for the first 7 days of the new quarter and we will randomly select a quarterly winner of a $5 gift card to Amazon. Giveaway will be open Internationally. 

Tweet your progress to #2016HW and keep an eye out for random tweets from the hosts.

I have all the books below on my TBR bookshelf and I have set them aside on the bottom shelf so that I can easily pick them out.

Books I Intend to Read:

Salvation in Death  J. D. Robb

Promises in Death J. D. Robb
Kindred in Death  J. D. Robb
Fantasy in Death   J. D. Robb

Indulgence in Death  J. D. Robb 
Treachery in Death  J. D. Robb
Celebrity in Death J. D. Robb
Thankless in Death J. D. Robb
Lavender Morning   Jude Deveraux
Looking For Peyton Place  Barbara Delinksy
The Italian Wedding Nicky Pellegrino
And I love Her  Marie Force
The Last Original Wife  Dorothea Benton Frank
A Time For Home   Alexis Morgan
The Horse Dancer Jojo Moyes
Three Wishes Liane Moriarty
Hidden Summit Robyn Carr    ***
Truly Madly Yours  Rachel Gibson
The Last Kiss   Luanne Rice
Second Chance Jane Green
Blossom Street Brides   Debbie Macomber
The Widows Jodi Thomas
Secrets She Left Behind   Diane Chamberlain
A Summer Affair  Elin Hilderbrand   ***

First Quarter:   A Report Card

January
And I Love Her   Marie Force
Salvation in Death  J. D. Robb

February
Promises in Death  J. D. Robb
The Last Original Wife. Dorothea Benton Frank

March
A Time For Home  Alexis Morgan
Kindred in Death  J. D. Robb

Second Quarter:  A Report Card.

April
Fantasy in Death.  J. D. Robb
Second Chance   Jane Green

May
Indulgence in Death  J. D. Robb
Truly Madly Yours  Rachel Gibson

June
Treachery in Death  J. D. Robb
Lavender Morning   Jude Deveraux

And at the end of the second quarter I am taking the opportunity to change two books! One I had already read but it was in a different cover and I didn’t recognise it! And one do you know I just don’t want to read. So out you go:

  • Hidden Summit   Robyn Carr ***
  • A Summer Affair Elin Hildrebrand ***
And in you come onto the list off my TBR list
  • Promises to Keep   Jane Green
  • Overseas        Beatriz Williams

Third Quarter.  A Report Card.

July
Looking for Peyton Place   Barbara Delinsky
The Widows    Jodi Thomas

August
Last Kiss    Luanne Rice
Celebrity in Death   J. D. Robb

September
Blossom Street Brides   Debbie Macomber
 Overseas   Beatriz Williams

Fourth Quarter    A Report Card.

October
The Horse Dancer   Jojo Moyes
 Promises to Keep   Jane Green

November
The Italian Wedding   Nicky Pellegrino

Three Wishes Liane Moriarty

December
Thankless in Death.   J. D. Robb
Secrets She Left Behind   Diane Chamberlain

Review

My Read The Books You Buy Reading Challenge Commitment.

Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2016 Badge

“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes”. Erasmus 

In 2015 I I read 32% of the books I bought this year, and I thought until I did the tally I was doing well. Statistics do not lie!  I’d like to be in the 40-60% range at least. That’s what I will be aiming for in 2016.

20% or less      Money Sitting on the Shelf.

20 – 40%          Making Inroads.

40 – 60 %         Moderately Successful

60 – 80 %        Maximising  Returns

80 – 100%       Mission Accomplished

    I am going to start counting from June 2015.
    I am only counting the new books bought and I am not including audiobooks as I usually buy and read immediately.

    I don’t see myself as a big buyer of books, but when I hear of a good one I like to get it!  Although I do check the library and review shelf first.

    Kindle:
    2015 since June 2015
    Cinder  Marissa Meyer       Read
    The Other Daughter   Lauren Willig  Read
    The Bliss King: Captive   Ainslie Paton
    Switchback  Catherine Anderson   Read
    The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behaviour. Jennifer McQuiston

    2016
    The Edge of Lost  Kristina McMorris   Read
    New Leaf   Catherine Anderson   Read
    From Glowing Embers   Emilie Richards – Kindle Read
    At the Edge  Laura Griffin – bought in March – Kindle  Read
    Smokescreen Emilie Richards – bought in April – Kindle
    A Single Thread Marie Bostwick – bought in April – Kindle
    All of Us and Everything – Bridget Asher – bought in April – Kindle  Read
    May
    Linny’s Sweet Dream List  Susan Schild   Read

    July

    Fatal Identity   Marie Force  Read
    The Summer Bride Anne Gracie  Read
    Wild Horse B. J. Daniels
    October
    Only Beloved   Mary Balogh
    Beach Season   Lisa Jackson, Cathy Lamb, Rosalind Noonan
    Second Chance Grill   Christine Nolfi     Read

    Paperbacks:
    Since June 2015
    In the Unlikely Event – Judy Blume
    The Possibilities  –      Kaui Hart Hemmings
    It’s You –  Jane Porter       Read
    Saving Grace   – Jane Green
    Still Life With Bread Crumbs  – Anna Quindlen
    Accidents of Marriage – Randy Susan Meyers
    The Gilded Hour   Sara Donati
    We Never Asked For Wings  Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    The Coincidence of Coconut Cake – Amy E Reichert   Read.
    The Lake House    Kate Morton
    Between Sisters   Cathy Kelly
    Tamar    Deborah Challinor     Read
    White Feathers    Deborah Challinor
    Blue Smoke         Deborah Challinor

    2016
    April
    Close to You Kara Isaac   Read
    May
    The Beekeeper’s Secret Josephine Moon  Read
    Christmas Ever After   Sarah Morgan   Read
    Sleepless in Seattle   Sarah Morgan      Read.
    Saving CeeCee Honeycutt   Read
    The Secret Life of Violet Grant   Beatriz Williams
    June
    Flight Patterns    Karen White   Read

    August 
    Wild Invitation   Nalini Singh
    First Star I See Tonight  Susan Elizabeth Phillips   Read

    September
    A Promise of Fire   Amanda Bouchet    Read
    The Language of Sisters    Cathy Lamb  Read

    October
    Too Good To be True   Kristn Higgins
    The Iron Duke    Meljean Brooks
    The First Day of the Rest of My Life   Cathy Lamb

    Review

    Full House Reading Challenge 2016

    Challenge Guidelines:

    • Challenge will run from Jan 1st to December 31st 2016
    • Write and publish a post stating your intention to participate. In the post please include the Challenge graphic and a link back to this post. Then link your intention post at the bottom of this post.  Make sure it is the actual post and not just a generic link to your blog.
    • Add your reviews back here on the link in this post. At the end of every three months there will be a U.S. $12 prize with a book of your choice from the Book Depository or U.S. Amazon voucher, for the entries. There will be a new linky then for the next quarter and so on to the end of December.
    • Reviews are not mandatory and if you prefer to keep a list of the books read and the category they cross off the card, then you can still enter for the completion of a Full House by linking to that list on the final linky or in a comment.
    • Each review can only be linked up once in the year. However it doesn’t matter when you read the book in 2016 – which month, just link as you remember or have time. So if you read it in January you may not get around to linking it until say… May. That is fine.
    • Books may cross over from other challenges that you are doing. 
    • There will be a final post to link in a summary post for the challenge for those who have completed a full house. This will close on the 2nd January 2017  and a winner will be chosen using random.org for a U.S. $30 prize which again can be used to buy books at the Book Depository or be received as an Amazon voucher.
    Completion link is now live.

                                  Link Full House post here

      • Complete the card below.  You can do it in any order you wish.  You are allowed “one free exchange“, if there is something on the square you really dislike you may change it to something of your choice. Once you have played this free choice that is it. Mention the exchange in the final summary post.

      Full House Reading Challenge Grid 2016
      * Self Challenge means setting a challenge for yourself for this square. For example I might set read a book my a male author, because I hardly ever do that. Or …
      * Setting beginning with B. This can be a country, a state, a place, a street. Or it could be a beach or the bush or a bookshop. Long as a good part of the book is set there, the whole book might be, but it doesn’t have to be.
      This is a challenge designed for fun rather than stress! Just keep reading and see how many just naturally check off a square. That’s how I play this kind of card. I don’t set out to do it – it just happens in my reading year. Mostly!
      If you have any questions, ask in the comments and I will add the answers in the post just above here.

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      Review

      Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2016

      Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2016 Badge

      “When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes”. Erasmus 

      Bought the book, you really want to read it…. and then it gets surpassed by review books or library books or other TBR books.

      So this is a Reading Challenge to Read the books you buy. You don’t buy books? Well then this challenge isn’t for you. Now at the start of 2016 you won’t be sure of what you are going to buy or how many books you will buy.

      So far in 2015 I as I write I’ve read 32% of the books I bought this year, and I thought until I did the tally I was doing well. Statistics do not lie!  I’d like to be in the higher end of 40-60% range at least. That’s what I will be aiming for in 2016.

      So – choose from one of the percentages below and go for it.  Make a commitment post and link up below. List the books you buy in the post as you spend throughout the year and then mark off as you read them.

      If you don’t have a blog you can do this on Goodreads with something like a ‘bought 2016’ shelf and you’ll easily be able to see at the end of the year how you’ve gone. Leave a comment on the post with a link to the shelf to signal your participation, if using Goodreads.

      20% or less      Money Sitting on the Shelf.

      20 – 40%          Making Inroads.

      40 – 60 %         Moderately Successful

      60 – 80 %        Maximising  Returns

      80 – 100%       Mission Accomplished

      Rules.

      • Books have been bought in 2016 by you or you can decide to include from and including June 2015 buys. Anything previous to that definitely falls into the dusty TBR realm! There is a challenge somewhere in the book world for that!
      • Can be ebook, print book or audiobook
      • You can decide whether you include books bought in 2016 second hand or in book fairs etc.
      • You may adjust your level if needs be during the year.
      • Books for this challenge can also be included in other challenges.
      • Runs from 1st January to 31st of December 2016
      I encourage you not to think this through too much, go on buying as you normally do – in a large or small way.

      Authors write books, they deserve to be read and enjoyed and paid as well! So I know we love our review books, library books, 2nd hand books etc. But … if you can – buy books as well.

      There will be one mid year link up to share how you are going, in the beginning of July.

      In December there will be the final link up to share where you reached. You may not reach your goal, but just link up to account for yourself!

      The link ups just mean re linking your commitment post but updated.

      In the July link there will be a $10 Amazon voucher giveaway prize for one reader among those who link up and at the end in December a $25 Amazon voucher or books to that amount from the Book Depository if it delivers to your country.  Even if you don’t get to where you hoped you can still link up, so long as you bought a book during 2016 and joined the challenge!

      Final Link Up Now Live

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      Review

      Link Up for Completion of 2015 Women’s Fiction Reading Challenge.

      Women's Fiction Reading Challenge Button

      Here is the final link up post  for those who complete their 2015 challenge.  All those who complete the challenge will go into the draw for a $25 prize to be in the form of a book from the Book Depository or voucher for U.S. Amazon store.  A Gone Reading voucher is also an option. This link up will be open until the 2nd of January 2016.
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      Review

      Women’s Fiction Reading Challenge 2016

      Reading challenge badge
      This challenge is for those who enjoy reading women’s fiction.  How might you define this type of book?  I define it as any book that is mainly written and marketed for women (although that doesn’t stop men reading them, they can and sometimes do),  they may contain elements of romance but the book mainly centres around the development of women or a woman throughout the book.  Women centered books, that might focus on the issues relating to women, it may be a mainstream novel, slightly less or slightly more.  This website probably best describes what I am thinking of Women Fiction Writers.  
      It is distinct in that it is different from literature written by women. Women write many different genres and literary fiction plus non-fiction.

      The Romance Writers of America organization defines women’s fiction as, “a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others.” 
      Take whichever definition suits you – both of the  above or write your own definition  in your challenge post and then join in. There is a little controversy over women’s fiction, but at present it is what it is, and its a a type of book I like to read. Let’s celebrate Women’s Fiction.

      Levels

      • Motivated 1- 5
      • Savvy     6 – 10
      • Classy    11- 20
      • Go-getter  20 -30
      • Fearless  30+
      Books may overlap with other challenges. Any format of book is fine.  Choose your level and write a commitment post and link it below. Or set aside a Goodreads shelf for this challenge, if you don’t have a blog or would prefer to work that way. State your commitment in a comment below if you are just using Goodreads, or link up the shelf on the link up.

      There will be a link for reviews, although reviews are not a condition of completing the challenge, they are just an extra. There will be a $10 US Amazon voucher or book to that amount from Book Depository for one review linked in Jan-June and another for the July-Aug links, using random.org:

      January to June  Reviews

      Link for Reviews July to Dec

      Completion Link Up

      There will be a final link up post at the end for those who complete their challenge, If you list your books as you read them on your sign up post, then you have the post all ready to link at the end of the year.  All those who complete the challenge will go into the draw for a $25 prize to be in the form of a book from the Book Depository or voucher for U.S. Amazon store.  A Gone Reading voucher is also an option.

      Sign ups are open until mid October 2016
      The challenge goes from 1st January 2016 to December 31st 2016

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      Review

      Clean. Katherine Ashenburg

      book cover

      Clean. An Unsanitised History of Washing
      Katherine Ashenburg
      Published: Profile Books
      Date: 2007
      Format: Hardback
      Pages: 358
      Genre: Microhistory
      Source: Local Library
      Add to Goodreads
      My thoughts banner

      Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing by Katherine Ashenbury is not my normal realm of reading! This is a microhistory and I read it for The Eclectic Reading Challenge. I might have been becoming desperate as to what book I might read!
      I thought it was going to be a general book on being clean like house cleaning and so on. However it is a history of personal cleanliness and was interesting enough.
      The Romans had a sophisticated system for bathing, and spent much time in the bath houses, doing many other things beside bathing. However it was a relaxing place and mostly communal. So I thought well why didn’t it stay that way.
      The early Christians often were more interested in the spirit than the body and some even thought the smellier and dirtier they were the more saintly.  So pleased I wasn’t an early Christian.  So other cultures often regarded Christians as dirty and who can blame them.

      The Middle Ages saw the revival of public and some private bath houses. However with the advent of plagues like The Black Death, these were more and more closed. There was a belief that the body was porous and all kinds of things could get into the body through water, it was believed you might even become pregnant among some!!

      Bathing from the 16 to 18th centuries was not that prevalent, again it was a belief water would permeate the body through pores. Although by the time Napoleon came along he was into long hot baths to relax. Anyone able to say they love a six hour bath?

      The 18th and 19th centuries saw more developments around washing and if you’re interested Charles Dickens believed cold showers were the thing! What makes this book interesting to me are the small inconsequential details and sketches of strange looking things people have used in the quest for cleanliness.

      Now today we have certain beliefs about cleanliness. Products abound. Some people have become germophobic. Practices vary – some shower or bath every day and some still don’t. However most of us expect the people around us to be clean.

      What will it be like one century on? Will a future water shortage have any impact?

      This book had everything I didn’t know I needed to know. If it weren’t for the challenge, I wouldn’t have read it – but there you are!

      The eclectic reader challenge badge.Microhistory

      Uncategorized

      Take Control of your TBR Pile Challenge in March

      March 2015 Take Control of Your TBR Pile

      This challenge is taking place over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the month of March.  This is a chance to focus on books on your TBR released before March 1st 2015.  They can be audio, ebook or a physical book.  Head on over to the Caffeinated Book Reviewer post to get the full details.

      Goals:

      List of books I hope to read and clear either from my actual shelves or my eReader or iPod.

      The following books not necessarily in the following order.  If I read these I will add more as the month goes by.
                                               
      • Outback Blaze                        Rachael Johns   Read
      • Thief With No Shadow          Emily Gee        Read.
      • White Balance                        Ainslie Paton   Read
      • Marking Time                         Marie Force    Treading Water #2  Read
      • The Arrangement                    Mary Balogh   Survivors’ Club #2 Read
      • The Luckiest Lady in London        Sherry Thomas    Read.
      • Written in Red                         Anne Bishop        –  audiobook Read
      • Angel Mine                             Sherryl Woods      –  audiobook  Read
      • By Bread Alone                      Sarah Kate Lynch  Read
      • Last Time I Was Me              Cathy Lamb  Read.
      • The Martian                            Andy Weir   audiobook Read
      • Before the Storm                    Diane Chamberlain Read
      • Shadow Spell                          Nora Roberts  Read
      Goal achieved – just in time!  Review books meant I didn’t go beyond my thirteen!
      Uncategorized

      2015 Bookish Resolutions Update One.

      This challenge is being hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Laura trips down imagination road.  You can read the full details by clicking on the badge above.

      My Bookish Goals

      1. Complete all the reading challenges I have signed up to for 2015.
      I’ve made a good start to the reading challenges and am happy with where I am at, at this point in the year!

      2.  Ensure I post all book reviews to Amazon and Goodreads as well as on my blog.
      I’ve set up a spreadsheet in Google Docs so that I can visually see what I have posted and where.  This has helped me remember and when I notice there is a gap I can then go in and add reviews to where I may have missed.  Up to date at present.

      3.  Visit and comment on ten different reading blogs per week in 2015. (Does not include meme commenting)
      I think I have done this although I just noticed the wording yesterday – 10 different  blogs! So I have set up  something to help me track and be more sure that I am achieving the goal.

      4.  Limit spending on books by checking at the library first for a book.  Track my spending on books and see what I do spend over a year – this does not include Audible credits or book gift vouchers received.

      I am tracking what I buy and spend and when I read it, all within the same spreadsheet where I am recording where I have placed my reviews.  I did check library first.

      Books Purchased in January
      Silver Thaw   Catherine Anderson – paperback
      Fatal Scandal      Marie Force – Kindle and now already read.
      House Broken Sonja Yoerg – Kindle
      Hero Duty  Jenny Schwartz  – Kindle
      Scarlett  Marissa Meyer – Kindle, it was on special!

      Total spent in January
      In U.S dollars $21.72  which is about $29.94 NZ dollars


      My Not So Bookish Goal

      5.  Try a new meal recipe at least once a fortnight.  ( I am such a boring cook!)

      The weather has been very hot and not conducive to cooking. However I did try a chicken recipe and a meat loaf recipe.  Both were okay but wouldn’t use them again.  So hopefully I find something nicer for February.

      Review

      To Challenge or not to Challenge – that is the Question!

      Let's Discuss banner

      This year I have signed up for about 22 reading related challenges all told.  ( A couple only run for a few months). As well signing up for 22, two of those I am hosting.
      Some of us appear to be quite the challenge addict – and yes there is a challenge to cover that too! This year I’ve stepped a little outside the box and my comfort zone and even signed  in for a Discussion Challenge (reading related).

      I enjoy a reading challenge for a number of reasons:

      • fun and simple pleasure
      • the satisfaction of ticking a book off the list
      • helps me step outside the boundaries of my normal reading
      • it extends my knowledge of books and blogs as I read others’ reviews
      • the satisfaction of completing the reading challenge by the end of the allotted time
      • this year I am enjoying seeing how many challenges I can hit with one book!
      • I quite enjoy entering a giveaway related to the challenge 

      Why do you sign up (or not sign up) to reading challenges?

      Reading challenges aren’t for everybody and that’s okay.  Why wouldn’t you be involved?
      Perhaps:
      • it feels like a pressure
      • too difficult to track and some reading challenges call for reviews
      • just not interested
      Last year I found one blog had completely been deleted when I went to link at the end.  Never mind I had completed the challenge.
      One reading challenge host blogger got completely taken over by life and never updated links etc. She had a huge number of people who had signed up, and very few of the promises were carried out. I completed the challenge, but found other challenges to do in that area for this year. 

      Organisation and Tracking challenges

      Every challenge has variations about linking/not linking.  Some link at the end of the month, some never link, some link at the very end…. and so on.  When you are doing a number of challenges it can be quite difficult to remember what about which!

      This year, along with my sidebars that help me visually track, I have linked all my challenges on one page so that I can quickly find them and I have written a note to myself in places about each challenge, although I am still a little muddled!!

      What works for you organisation wise?

      Hosting a Challenge


      Last year I hosted a reading challenge and I learned one or two things.  I had link ups every month, but didn’t leave the link posts where participants could easily find them, so that they could check if they had linked up a book or not.  I will remedy that this year.
      With the final link up I closed it off at the end of December, but I see many challenges leave that open until mid January or so.  I am not sure about that, as I have forgotten all about last years’ challenges, now I am thinking about this years.   
      How long should the final link up be for?  End of December or Mid January? Or?

      What are your thoughts on reading challenges?