Monday, 21 January 2013

A Winter's Respite Read-a-thon


This read-a-thon could not have come at a better time! I need something to keep my mind off of how anxious I am for the birth of my 5th child. I'm not due until Feb 7 but keep having contractions every few days and it's driving me nuts. She keeps teasing me! Along with giving me something to do while I wait, I can also get caught up on my reading. I am so behind on my reading goals! And once my newborn is here I will have even less time to read. So I plan on taking this read-a-thon fairly seriously!

Here's more info about the read-a-thon hosted by The True Book Addict at Seasons of Reading.

It's here! The official sign up for A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon! It will be on January 21 - 27! It will start at 12:00am Monday and end at 11:59pm on Sunday. Times are central standard time so adjust your times accordingly.

 Of course, like most read-a-thons, the books read must be novels or novellas, adult or young adult are fine, and you can read children's books too (as long as you do read some novels too). Note: Non-Fiction is also okay!

You DO NOT have to participate the entire week. Join in when you can, start in the middle, end early...whatever works best for your schedule. As long as you sign in at the sign-in post and do some kind of wrap up post, you're in for the big giveaway at the end.

As with my previous read-a-thons, it will be a week of relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away those ever looming TBR piles/shelves/libraries.

 I hope you will join me! I will not be hosting any mini-challenges, as we learned from my last two read-a-thons, focusing on the reading rocks. However, if anyone else would like to host a mini-challenge, you are more than welcome. We will have a few scheduled Twitter chats again (and perhaps some more reading sprints). Our twitter hashtag is #WintersRespite

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Feature and Follow #132 (A Day Late)

Featured Blog This Week:

On Starships and Dragonwings

Reading Under the Willow Tree

Question of the Week

Q: Who is your favorite villain from a book?

My favorite villain is Leland Gaunt from Needful Things by Stephen King. He's supposed to be a demon in human form but I always thought of him more like a god such as Loki, especially because of the knowledge he possessed about everyone in town. I found some of his pranks downright amusing, but I have a sick sense of humor sometimes.

Want to participate in Feature and Follow?

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Get Steampunk'd 2013

Yay! I finally found a Steampunk reading challenge at Bookish Ardour. I found it at another book blog, not at A Novel Challenge. Here's more info about the challenge:

How To Sign-Up and Join InChoose Your Level

1. Sign Up Post: Create a post on your blog, in a group, or on a forum (where possible) to let others see what you’re aiming for (a predefined list of books is optional).

2. Grab The Badge: Download or grab the badge and place it in your sign up post. Then link back to Bookish Ardour.

3. Link Up: Grab the direct URL to your sign up post, not your blog, click the Mr Linky graphic and enter your link.

4. Blogless? Don’t worry, you can sign up with your social network profile (YouTube, Twitter, GoodReads, Shelfari included), just make sure you link to your review list, shelf, tweet, or category. If you don’t have any of those feel free to comment.

5. Your Reviews: Reviewing is optional! But if you do review it would be great for you to share them by submitting them on the review page.

6. Finished: When you’re done it’s completion post time and you can share these on the completion/wrap-up page.

Challenge Levels 
Geared – Choose 5 books to read
Cogged – Choose 15 books to read
Goggle Mad – Choose 30 books to read
Victorian Lord/Lady – Choose 50 books to read
Inventor – Choose 75 books to read
Zephyr Pilot – Choose 76-135 books to read
Steampunk’d – Choose 136-200 books to read

Extra Challenges
If you feel like that extra kick to your reading challenges here’s several you can choose from.
World: Choose a country as your theme, reading only books from that country or where it’s the setting. For how high you go you can choose more than one country; Level Geared and Cogged: Choose one country Level Goggle Mad and Victorian Lord/Lady: Choose two countries Level Inventor to end of Zephyr Pilot: Choose three countries Level Steampunked!: Choose four countries.

Gender Battle: Read books only by female or male authors. Another alternative is to read equal amounts of both.

To sign up go HERE!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge

I have found a reading challenge that truly has meaning for me. As someone who struggles with severe depression and other issues (sadly professionals can't quite agree on what those other issues are), I am certainly an advocate for mental illness. I want to get rid of the stigma mental illness has and make people more aware of the need for research and inexpensive care. Because this topic is so personal, I will be aiming to read the highest level, 12 books.

Here is more info about the challenge which is hosted by Opinions of a Wolf:

About the Challenge
I started the Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge in December 2010 in an effort to raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of mental illness.  Reading, both fiction and nonfiction, is an excellent way to broaden one’s horizons and expose one to new ideas and ways of thinking and being.  Many reading challenges already exist in the book blogging community to address racism, sexism, and homophobia, but I could not find any to address the stigma faced by those suffering from mental illness.  In spite of mental illnesses being recognized by the scientific community as diseases just like physical ones, many still think those suffering from one are at fault for their own suffering.  I hope reading and reviewing books featuring characters struggling to deal with mental illness, whether their own or another person’s, will help remove the stigma faced on a daily basis by those with a mental illness.  They already have to struggle with an illness; they shouldn’t have to face a stigma too.

Challenge Levels:
Acquainted–4 books
Aware–8 books
Advocate–12 books
Reading Suggestions:
I’ll be maintaining a listing here of books featuring characters with a mental illness depicted in a sympathetic light.  I do my best to organize the book by the main type of mental illness featured, although some feature more than one.

Sign Up:
Please sign up for the 2013 challenge by commenting here with a link to your announcement post.  You may sign up at any point before the end of 2013!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

My Classics Club Readathon Results and Partial Review of Pride and Prejudice

I did read some of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I read the first 90 pages. I stopped reading in the afternoon because my kids all were staying the night at someone's house and it was the first time I had the house to myself in weeks? Months? I don't even remember how long it has been.

While I read the first 90 pages, I can't honestly tell you much about what I read. What I have figured out is that this is one of the shallowest books I have ever read. For all of it's fancy English and big words, the whole thing so far has been about snagging a husband. Most of the book seemed to be boring conversations where Mr. Darcy tries not to like Elizabeth because "of her lack of connections."

The story is full of women that are fake, gossip about each other, and scheme in order to get a mate. The whole thing reminds me of a nineteenth century version of Mean Girls. And until Elizabeth meets Mr. Wickham on the street, nothing much plotwise had seemed to have happened up until that point.

However, I must admit that I am curious to see just who Elizabeth ends up with and whether or not Mr. Darcy is as horrible as Mr. Wickham claims. So far we only have Wickham's side of the story about being cheated out of his inheritance. I am curious to hear Mr. Darcy's side of the story.

What shocks and fascinates me though is how fast courtship proceeds in the nineteenth century. Nowadays it's not uncommon to date for a year to a few years before becoming engaged. At one point Elizabeth's mother hopes Mr. Collins will propose by the end of the week. The end of the week!?

I do think the novel has the potential to go deeper. There seems to be an underlying theme about who Mr. Darcy truly is. Is his pride and obnoxiousness just an act? Is he truly insecure underneath? Maybe even a good guy? Is Mr. Wickham really a liar and the bad guy? Will Elizabeth fall for Mr. Darcy? I want to know!

I'm also anxious to watch the movie (or is it movies?) of Pride and Prejudice. Maybe after seeing the movie I'll understand a bit more about the first 85 pages or so.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Back to the Classics 2013

Since I'm doing the classic book readathon, it only makes sense that I should do a classics reading challenge. Honestly, I don't like that this challenge has required categories, but I suppose most of the classics I have in my TBR pile match up pretty well with the categories anyway. 

Here is more information about the challenge hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much:

You asked for it....   so here you go!  I am now formally announcing the Back to the Classics Challenge 2013!!  This is the third year in a row for this challenge, and I hope that you are ready!  

I am making a few small changes this year, including requiring less categories to complete.  Wait, did I say*requiring*?  Yes, I did.  This year will feature 6 required  categories that all participants must complete.  Then, I will have additional categories that those super-motivated participants can choose to complete if they'd like.  All reviews must be linked on the appropriate pages again, and those will be listed on the left hand side of this page.  When you've finished, you will also need to link a wrap-up post.  Everyone who completes the 6 required categories and the wrap up post will be entered to win a $30US gift card or choice of book(s) from The Book Depository.  Any one who completes 3 categories from the optional list will earn one additional entry into the prize drawing.  Any one who completes all 5 categories from the optional list will earn two additional entries into the prize drawing.

  • All books must be read in 2013.  Books started prior to January 1, 2013 are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2013.
  • E-books and audio books are eligible!  Books can count for other challenges you may be working on.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicly accessible online format.  
  • Please sign up for the challenge using the linky BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013. Please link to your sign-up announcement post (if possible/applicable)
  • You do not have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it is more fun that way :)  You can always change your list at any time.  You can read the books in any order (including mixing in the optional categories at any time)
  • You can decide to attempt the optional categories at any point (you can also bow out of the optional categories at any point as well).
  • Please identify the categories you've read in your wrap up post so that I may easily add up your entries for the prize drawing!  


The Required Categories:
  1. A 19th Century Classic
  2. A 20th Century Classic
  3. A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic
  4. A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience - This can be an African-American author, or a book relating to slavery, civil rights, or African-American culture.
  5. A Classic Adventure
  6. A Classic that prominently features an Animal This can feature animal characters or animals in the title (real or imagined)
Optional Categories:

    A.  Re-read a Classic
   B.  A Russian Classic
   C.  A Classic Non-Fiction title
   D.  A Classic Children's/Young Adult title
   E.  Classic Short Stories collection must include at least 3 short stories by the same author, or at   least 3 stories collected together by genre, time period, etc.

As in years past, I just want to take a moment and let you know that especially for the purposes of this challenge, I do not subscribe to any set definition of a Classic. I think that anyone looking to participate in this challenge already has their own personal definition that works best for them.  If you are choosing to include a title that you feel may be questionably described as a Classic, please just explain your position in your review.  

As always, I hope you have fun with this Challenge!  Good Luck!  

The Classics Club Readathon

I can't believe I actually found this in time and it will be on a date that will work for me. Well, sort of. I do have some errands to run tomorrow but it's a better day than most. I'm a little thrown that it starts at 8 AM not midnight, but I suppose that means I can get some chores done in the next several hours and some sleep. Then tomorrow night I can spend all night reading rather than trying to get finished by midnight and catch up on sleep on Sunday. What should I read? Anna Karenina? Gone With the Wind? Pride and Prejudice? I have so many in my TBR pile!
While I'm deciding here is more info about the challenge hosted by The Classics Club:
I wanted to give you a head’s up that we are going to be undertaking a 24-hour readathon in the beginning of January to jump-start the new year! The first ever “The Classics Club Readathon” will be taking place on January 5th, 2013. We wanted to pick a date that would help ring in the new year and all that excitement of tackling reading lists and conquering classics.
We will be following the same timezone rules as the 24-Hour Readathon, with a kick-off post debuting at 8am EST here on the blog. We will be reading for 24 hours after that! We’re hoping this will inspire you to knock a classic or two off your challenge list!
To sign up, fill in the Mister Linky. We’d appreciate it if you spread the word (through a post on your blog or on twitter) so we can get as many participants as possible! I look forward to reading with you on the 5th!