Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015 Halloween Reading Challenge

Going to do this one when it begins in October, of course :-)  Since it's already up, I'm signing up now.  Go to Reading Every Season to sign up.

I am really excited to announce the 2015 Halloween Reading Challenge! I have been looking forward to this reading challenge ever since I started the blog.

This reading challenge will take place in the month of October. I will be also be hosting a screamathon (horror themed readathon) Oct 17 - 23. An announcement post and sign ups for the #ScreamathonRES will be posted soon.

How the Halloween Reading Challenge Works:
  • This is a design it yourself challenge. I want you to choose your own reading goals. This is a low pressure challenge meant to be fun.
  • The books can be horror, thriller, supernatural, mystery, or Halloween themed. This means they should be about serial killers, murders, ghosts, demons, witches, monsters, vampires, etc. 
  • When you have reviewed a book, you are encouraged to come back to this post and add the link to your review in the comments.
Additional Rules: 
  • This challenge runs Oct 1 - Oct 31.
  • You may sign up anytime during the challenge. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want. 
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks. 
  • Books may be YA, adult, nonfiction, mystery, chick lit, romance, etc. but must be horror, thriller, mystery, supernatural, or subjects that have to with Halloween. 
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  • Use the hashtag #Halloween2015RES
  • If you could be so kind, please place the Halloween Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • You may sign up using your blog, Youtube channel, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. 

Here is what I'll be reading:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Planning to Host My First Reading Challenge Next Year

After years of participating in other people's reading challenges, I decided a couple months ago to take a stab at hosting one of my own next year.  I mentioned this in an earlier post in June.

I've thought of doing this since I began doing challenges in 2013.  But no real idea for one hit me until recently.  I knew I did not need to do one based on themes such animals, mysteries, romance, colors, food and such, since plenty of those challenges exist already. And there are already plenty of those consisting of lists or Bingo-like grids with categories such as "your favorite childhood book," "a Pulitzer-prize winning book," or "a book with a number in the title."  I love these challenges and do them all the time, but I wanted to do something different.  I just didn't know what until now.

I'm still keeping the idea under wraps until I get my sign-up post done.  I hope to have it up in either November or December when all the blogs begin posting their challenges for the coming year.  But I will tell you this--whatever your preferred reading genre(s) is/are, you will find something that fits what I have planned.  And I am surprised no one else ever came up with the idea I have planned.  Stay tuned to my blog to see what it will be about.   I will be including the post on A Novel Challenge as well,  once it is done.

Meanwhile, I need some help getting started. I asked this at the end of the blogpost linked in the first paragraph.  I need to know where I can get pictures to but on my blogpost and which link up service is cheapest to use for up to a year.  And how I can modify images without Photoshop.  I've looked on these two sites already for images: Dreamtime Stock Photography and  This will all be something new to me,  that is why I am planning now. (I've actually had the idea since May).  Any help for this will be appreciated.  Please leave a comment below with any help you can give me.  TIA.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My Year in Reading So Far

The year is nearly half-over which seems unbelievable.  I've joined a few too many challenges (at least it seems that way) but have completed several already.  I enjoy it, so I guess that's the important thing. Trying to resist joining any more, even short-term ones, but now I  just might have more time for those.   More on that in a while.
Outlander (Outlander, #1)

On a side note, I finally gave into reading Outlander.  So many people whose blogs I follow and those I'm following on Goodreads have read this.  So far I've read just the first book.  It's a long series of chunksters so I plan to take my time.  Not yet in a hurry to read book number two just yet, but will eventually.  My mom has the books so need to buy or get them from the library.

Having read this book, I managed to complete all 12 categories in the Eclectic Reader Challenge in only the first six months of the year.  This brought my completed challenges up to eight as of yesterday.   I'd decided a week earlier to call the Southern Literature Challenge completed since I maxed out the levels on that one.

One unfortunate thing I've been encountering with my challenges is seeing the blogs hosting the challenges get deleted.  The blog that hosted the Reading Bites vampire reading challenge was deleted while ago, but the challenge was picked up by a new blog in May.  And just last week I was informed in an email from Tracy from the blog  Cornerfolds that she was picking up the Dystopian Reading Challenge since the original blog has been deleted.  (I had not noticed that before getting the email).

But at least these two challenges have been picked up so I can continue with them.  I've gotten into reading both vampire and dystopian novels over the last year or two and would have been sad to see these two go.  I would have gladly have called them complete, however, if they had not been picked up.  This is what I had to do with two other challenges I signed up for this year.  One was the Curvy Heroine Reading Challenge, which I looked forward to when I saw it on a Novel Challenge last December.  I knew it was just for me.  Unfortunately, I noticed some time ago that though the blog still exists, the link to the challenge has disappeared.  After deciding for some time, I decided today to just call this one off.   The same was true for the Mental Illness Awareness Reading Challenge.  Having my own mental issues, I looked forward to participating in this one.  But the blog was deleted several months ago, and today (after I finished listening to the audiobook Devil in the Details, which I got for $3 at Goodwill last month), I decided to call this one complete.  As far as I know, no one is picking up either of these challenges, both of which I would have continued if that had been the case.

All the above being said, I'm still deciding if I will join any short-term challenges. I have some ending soon.  The Bookish Bingo Spring Edition is over at the end of this month, and I believe the blog will be hosting a summer one.  I'd passed on the Winter one.

And while I'm on the subject of reading challenges, there is something I've been wanting to do--host a challenge of my own. That I plan to do next year.  I came up with an idea for one a while ago, but am keeping my theme under wraps until I am ready to make my post official.  Since most blogs begin announcing their challenges for the upcoming year in November or December, I hope to get mine up then.  I'm taking the next few months to find reading suggestion links, an image for my post and to decided what link service to use.  Those who have hosted challenges before--can you give me some ideas on what link to use and where to find pictures, and how to put your info on the photos.  I must admit I'm still using an older computer and have never used Photoshop :-)  What else can you do for this?  Thanks in advance  for any ideas. And as I said, I'm keeping my idea under wraps for now :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Semi-Charmed Summer 2015 Book Challenge

I'm doing this challenge now, too.  It's hosted by Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, and is a summer-only challenge, beginning in May and ending on August 31.   I'm sure I can do this one now too.  Click above to sign up and see more information.

  • The challenge will run from May 1, 2015, to August 31, 2015. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on May 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on August 31 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print versions meets this length requirement.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book during a later check-in, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • Rereads can be used for a maximum of three books in the challenge. This rule is meant to encourage you to try new books while still allowing you to revisit books from your childhood or young adulthood that you might get more out of now. Please reread the entire book within the timeframe of the challenge in order to count it; no simply finishing old books or partial rereads.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge.

And now for the exciting part: the challenge categories!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
The Mother-Daughter Book Club--Heather Vogel Frederick (book never heard of before) (completed 5/29) 3 stars, 237 pages 
10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before.
Blue Ridge Reunion--Mia Ross  (completed 5/25)  3 stars, 288 pages

10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years.
1st to Die--James Patterson  (completed 6/27) 3 stars, 462 pages

10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.
The Book of Life--Deborah Harkness (completed 6/24) 3 stars, 561 pages

15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.
The Martian--Andy Weir  (completed 5/13) 3 stars, 369 pages

15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)  Art Geeks and Prom Queens--Alyson Noel  (completed 5/14) 4 stars, 240 pages

15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")
Light of the Moon--Luanne Rice (completed 5/23) 4 stars, Audio (400 pages on hardcover)

20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. Edited to add: The place must be real, either current or historical, but not fictional.  The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul--Deborah Rodriguez  (completed 5/19) 3 stars, 304 pages

20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.  Murder Past Due--Miranda James (completed 6/25) 3 stars, 304 pages

25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
Storm Front--Jim Butcher (completed 6/3) 3 stars, 372 pages

25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.
A Salty Piece of Land--Jimmy Buffett  (completed 5/5) 3 stars, 544 pages

30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it's worth the most points!)  
Hush, Hush--Becca Fitzpatrick (completed 6/20) 3 stars, 391 pages

.... Challenge completed June 27.....

Sunday, May 3, 2015

What Makes You a Loner?

Weird Loners

I have been watching the new Fox show  Weird Loners and I love it.  The season finale airs this week and I am waiting to hear what the show's fate will be.  When I first learned of this new show, I knew by the name alone that I had to watch it.  From TV Insider:

Imagine Friends with diagnosable neuroses, and you have Weird Loners, the quirky new comedy about four pals who, according to show creator Michael J. Weithorn (creator of King of Queens and a consulting producer on The Goldbergs), "are fundamentally broken in a way that makes it difficult or impossible for them to succeed in relationships."
Inspired by a period of alienation following his own divorce, Weithorn jokes that he divided his psyche into four parts to come up with Loners' central oddballs: intimacy- challenged man-child Stosh (Happy Endings' Zachary Knighton), gold- medal clinger Caryn (Becki Newton of Ugly Betty), Stosh's naïve and alarmingly optimistic cousin Eric (Super Fun Night's Nate Torrance), and Zara (newcomer Meera Rohit Kumbhani), Caryn's artsy, pathological roommate. You might think, "Two guys, two girls, instant couples!" but echoing the off-kilter characters, this is not your conventional comedy. ...
Does this make them loners?  Some people think that the title is a misnomer,  such as in this post on the show's IMDb board.

My point of this blog is to confess that I have pretty much been a loner all my life. Or at least I think that term is appropriate.  I don't dislike others, but I was that person who just didn't quite fit in. When others kids at  high school were out somewhere on weekends or during school vacations, I was always alone at home, longing to be part of a crowd.. But it just wasn't that way.  College wasn't any better. I had by this time become accustomed to spending time and doing things by myself.  It was in college that it hit me that the term was descriptive of me.  It was upon hearing this song on a local classic rock station around 1994 that that happened. It was the first time I heard the song (it came out before I was born) and I sought it out on CD.

Today I live alone and basically still do everything solo.  I tend to be comfortable that way. I mainly get out for shopping for food and stuff or to go to the movies.  I got brave a few years ago and began hanging out at a local bar to perform karaoke.  I sometimes wonder if others see me sitting alone and think "She's a loner."  I still get jealous feeling of those who arrive in groups but am used to being by myself.   Last summer I ran into someone I knew from school whom I barely recognized.  We had a discussion of others from school and he eventually recalled an all-to-true thing about me: "You were pretty quiet, weren't you? You were a loner." I nodded slowly.  I've also been shy and introverted.

Do any of you see yourselves as a loner?  Does it seem bad or good? And why do some people say women aren't loners? If they prefer to be alone, then what are they called? 

...Now time alone may be understood as a kind of measure of a person’s value. Strong and well-cultivated men require and cherish it. With stupid and weak men—that is, the majority—the opposite is true. Their Facebook is like a woman’s, with its 2,421 friends; and it’s also obviously rare for any woman to be a loner, since in themselves most women are nothing but objects of desire and vehicles of external validation. ...[Read more here]

i'm a loner

 I can take being with others, but only a little at a time.  It's just the way I am. I need time to recharge my energy.  I've considered going to school to be a nurse, but feel that it's not right for me, but no other professions seem as interesting.  How many people actually choose to be a medical lab tech? Hardly any.  It seems loners and introverts have limited career choices, though I have heard many argue against that.

My favorite activities include reading--a very solitary activity. And once in while I'll whip out my card deck to play solitaire.  And watching DVDs from Netflix is another thing I like.  And I have been seeking out books about loner characters.   This gives me an idea, that I will be working on.  You will see this later on this year if you are into reading.

What are your loner confessions?

Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them... by deeplifequotes, via Flickr

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekly Update: #ReadingMyLibraryChallenge: Week 4

RMLC - Komika

Here are the books I took out this week on Wednesday (finished the book on top yesterday):

And I am still finishing this pile from last week (already finished the two books on top and am now working on the bottom one):

The discussion topic for this week is: Share how often you visit your library.

My answer is quite often.  I always buy cheap book or use a gift card for books if I ever have one, but borrowing them is easiest because it's free.  I like to do a little of both. Often I join challenges for books that I rarely buy so it means going to the library. And often I'll find a book I did not previously know about, so visiting the library is almost like finding a treasure and it's free.  On the receipts we get at our library, it indicates how much we saved by checking a given item out at the library.  I don't have all my receipts from this month anymore, so I'm not sure how much I've saved in total for this month so far, but on my most recent trip, my total amount saved was $145, with the ones still out from last week and those taken out this past Wednesday.  I belong to one other library in the county, but have not been able to get to that one this month unfortunately, because of their unusual hours.

There are other things I got to library for, namely to glance at newspapers. I'm on a bit a budget right now, so I haven't been able to subscribe lately (which sucks). I try to get to the library to read the paper of a  library trip isn't possible on a given day, I'll have to purchase the paper for 1.50 at a nearby minimart.  

How often do you visit your library?