Archive | January, 2018

WWW Wednesday, 31-January-2018

31 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I was able to make some good progress on A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I had a lot of meetings to drive to last week so I got through three disks! I’m still just over halfway through this book but I’m feeling good about finishing it before the library makes me bring it in to prove I didn’t lose it.
I made steady progress in Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. I’ve been training hard and some nights I go to bed without reading so I know I could have read more, but I’m still happy with what I’ve gotten through.
Sad news that the audiobook I have access to for The Poe Shadow was abridged! I decided to pass it up in favor of the full novel sometime in the future. Instead, I started listening to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. A very good friend of mine said a literature professor she had during her MFA said this was her favorite novel of all time and I’ve had it on my shelf for years. I’m glad I’m finally getting to it.
I needed a new ebook and the next on my list is one I’m very excited about: The Circle by Dave Eggers! I really wanted to read this one a while ago and never got around to it. I’ve just started but I’m very excited.

Recently finished: No surprise that I finished The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. It was a quick audiobook though I wish I’d had a different narrator for my experience. I posted my review yesterday if you want to read all my thoughts. I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.
I also finished The Color Purple by Alice Walker which was a pleasant surprise. I was also glad to have a happy(er) ending. I should have my review of that up tomorrow and a movie review up next week. I love when there’s a movie!

I posted my review on How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie on Monday if you want to check that one out. I gave it 3 out of 5 Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll be out-of-town for my next book club meeting so I don’t have any pressure there to put aside Harry for another book. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ll need a CD Audiobook next and I’ll turn to Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire. I read Wicked when I was in high school and I’ll have to find a refresher on what happened so I can continue with the next book in the series!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (4/5)

30 Jan

This is one of those books that I feel I would have read if I majored in English. If I’d taken a writing course, I’d have read this. But, alas, it isn’t taught in Spanish literature courses or alongside Accounting. So I missed this ageless instruction manual of writing and picked up a copy at a used book sale. I ended up listening to a reading of it but I’m glad to have a paper copy that I can reference later when I need to.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Summary from Goodreads:

This style manual offers practical advice on improving writing skills. Throughout, the emphasis is on promoting a plain English style. This little book can help you communicate more effectively by showing you how to enliven your sentences.

I was surprised how much of this I already knew from school. I guess that means I did get a good writing education after all! Or maybe these elements are more commonly taught now and I’m nothing special. They were all good reminders and I think this is a solid reference book. It’s worth reading through every once in a while just to remember how to structure an argument or sentences in general.

I was glad there was a section on parallel phrasing. I try describing this to people all the time and it doesn’t make sense to them. Strunk had a good way to describe it so maybe I’ll just hand people a copy of this book when I tell them to use parallel phrasing in sentence structure. I also really liked Strunk’s advice about how to arrange a sentence to put emphasis on the element that’s most important. That one was new to me and I think I’ll use it.

I found the section on spelling and the one on commas a bit hard to absorb while listening. I think if I’d been reading it, I would have gotten more from those sections. The narrator I had didn’t help, he was monotone and didn’t stress the parts that were different in the example sentences.

William Strunk Jr.
Image via Goodreads

The edition I listened to was narrated by William Bridgewater. I thought he was really terrible. He pronounced some words strangely (semicolon as sem-EE-ko-LON for example) and it distracted me from the narrative. He was also very monotone and had odd inflections that were, again, distracting.

Writer’s Takeaway: This book is worth revisiting from time to time. The advice in it is really solid and at such a short length, it doesn’t take a long time to look through it for a refresher.

A great little reference book that’s probably better read than listened to. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
#10: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White | 1 Year, 100 Books
21 Tips from Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” | worddreams…
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White Review 3/5 | Blogs of a Bookaholic

Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (3/5)

29 Jan

I found a copy of this book at a library book sale that is from 1964! I lent it to a friend and the pages started falling out of the binding because the glue is so old! He got it back to me with all the pages held between the covers but I decided I was better off listening to this book rather than praying I wasn’t reading it on a windy day that would take my pages away.

Cover image via Goodreads

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Summary from Amazon

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

-Six ways to make people like you

-Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

-Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

And much more! Achieve your maximum potential—a must-read for the twenty-first century with more than 15 million copies sold!

I had to use the Amazon summary because my Goodreads summary was in Spanish. Is anyone else having this problem?

I really liked this book. It wasn’t the engaging reading I usually have while running, but the short stories did help keep me engaged. They were really good at demonstrating how someone could use the principles in real life. I did feel they were a bit dated, however. The version I listened to was the 1998 publication and I think that it would have felt dated even then. A lot of the advice seems like common sense, but implementing them when you’re in a tough situation isn’t common sense. It would take work to make sure your mind switched to these techniques in throes of anger or frustration.

I can see why this is such a popular book. When I think of my close friends and people at work I want to deal with, I think they fit many of the characteristics in this book. They can win someone over with ease. They’re friendly. They smile, take a genuine interest in something I’m interested in, and they aren’t bossy when they need me to do something.

Dale Carnegie
Image via Biography

I think winning someone to my way of thinking was my favorite section. I’m one who tends to argue when someone doesn’t agree with me. I am quick to anger and I can get to shouting very fast. Carnegie’s advice to get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately is great and I like the idea of it. I’ll try to start doing this one when I have to get my husband to understand cleaning the bathroom is in his best interest.

I thought the first section on how to get people to like you was a little basic and set a lower standard for the rest of the book. The advice here, to smile, to listen, to make the other person feel important, feel like things you do to a boss you don’t actually like, not with a real friend. A friendship in this style would be very one-sided and might not be good for the person following Carnegie’s advice.

My audiobook was narrated by Andrew Macmillian. I felt he did a fair job. His accent reminded me of James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. By that, I mean it sounded ‘old time-y American.’ I’m not sure if Macmillian was going for this, as the original publication date of this book was the 1930s, or if he really speaks like that. As the examples in the book felt dated, the accent didn’t seem out-of-place.

I’m sure we’ve all run across someone, either personally or at work, that was a chore to deal with. This book seems to be written for that person, not for the Average Joe. I know someone people who could really use this advice, but on the whole, most people I know already take some or all of this to heart and are practicing at least some of Carnegie’s lessons unintentionally. It would be a really good backhanded Christmas present for that aunt that no one likes!

Writer’s Takeaway: Carnegie did a good job of illustrating his point with good examples. He drew from a wide variety of people to get good stories to illustrate each example. I’m glad these weren’t as one-sided as I thought they would be (toward dominant men in business). Though I’m not sure how much of that was edited in or included in the original.

I liked this book but didn’t find it as life-changing as I thought I would. Three out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1920-1939 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie | amandanerd
How to Win Friends and Influence People: old vs. new | All Things Alicia

Off Topic Thursday: Brewery Desk

25 Jan

Hello, everyone!

I decided to start a new feature in 2018. On the last Thursday of each month, I’m going to go off topic. I won’t talk about books or reading or writing or libraries. Instead, I’m going to talk about something else I’m doing. Not going far for inspiration, I want to start with the desk I sit at when I write 90% of these lovely blog posts, my Brewery Desk.

I’ve made exploring breweries something my husband and I can enjoy together. He’s a big beer fan and I enjoy it enough to always find something I’ll like. I started with the front of this desk (second picture) after we went on a beer-focused vacation to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of the stickers in that picture are from that vacation. I’d been using this desk for a few years and knew it was old. My mom had given it to me when I moved out and I called her to ask how emotionally attached she was to it and tell her my plan. She informed me she’d gotten it from her best friend in high school who found it in an apartment he was renting. I think her exact words were, “Chuck would be proud to know you were putting it to good use.” Thus, the brewery desk was born.

After I filled up the front, I started piling stickers on top. I started to the right, where my computer doesn’t sit. I’m slowly creeping left and I’ll have to find a way to keep my computer from heating up the stickers too much. My dad has promised to help me put some kind of protective seal on the wood but that hasn’t come to fruition yet.

The third picture is the underside of my desk. These are stickers that are either beer-specific (instead of for a brewery), are duplicates from a brewery represented on top, are for places I didn’t visit personally but got stickers for from friends, or are not breweries. In other words, it’s my catch-all.

I’m excited to keep traveling and exploring new breweries. Each one seems to have a different feel and I love seeing all the fun things brewers are doing with their beers. If I’m coming your way, please let me know of some good breweries along with the great bookstore recommendations.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-January-2018

24 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Still making steady progress with The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Things have finally started to turn around for Celie and I can see a possible happy ending for her! I hope it lasts.
I have a few drives this week that will give me some time to enjoy. A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I made some decent progress this week but nothing to be too proud of. I hope to keep pecking away at this one for a while. Maybe the news will be less depressing when I finish and I can go back to that while I drive.
I slowed down a bit with Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling this week because I’ve been so tired! I’m training hard now for my first swim meet in ten years and I’m not getting as much sleep as I’d like. It’s what I get for deciding to swim again.
I started  The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White and I’ll probably finish it really soon. It’s only a 90-minute audiobook! The narrator is really terrible and I have to concentrate a lot as he reads out the sentences and words to hear where the commas fall. This one might have been easier to read.

Recently finished: I got through How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie like I suspected. There was so solid advice in here and I hope I can retain some of it. I’m trying it out on a co-worker of mine that I find frustrating to deal with. We’ll see if I get anywhere!

I posted my review of Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin on Monday. Please check it out! My book club meets next week to discuss it.

Reading Next: It’s hard to guess. The next book I’ll finish will be The Elements of Style so I’ll need an audiobook for my phone. Next up will probably be The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl. I’ve wanted to read this since I found out about it after enjoying Pearl’s other book, The Dante Club. I’ll see if this one stands up to his first.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writers’ Group: Genre

23 Jan

My writers’ group met last week and talked about genre. As a writer, you can write in whatever genre you want but you need to know what that genre is so you can market your book to readers and agents who like that genre.

We started with the California Department of Education list of literary genres. Fiction seemed to be a catch-all category which included romance and suspense. With those categories selling so well on their own, we felt that though they might not merit their own listing by CDE, they would for sure want to be listed separately when querying or marking a book.

We gained a bit more insight on romance from the Romance Writers of America website. There, they define a romance story as having the central story being a love story and that there is an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. This got us thinking. Would a story that focused on a love-driven plot but did not end well be a romance? Take the movie Titanic for example (a favorite of mine). Spoiler alert, but Jack dies. Does that mean this isn’t a romance? We decided that it’s not a romance, we would probably classify it as a drama.

We took a look at subgenres as well. As a writer of historical fiction, I was a little taken aback to see a definition of contemporary as anything set in the 1950s or later. That seems too far back to me. So much of our culture has changed since the 1950s including family life and never forgetting technology. I think a book set in the 1950s, 1960s, or even the 1970s would feel a bit historic to someone of my (Milennial) generation. I would personally place this cut off at the 1980s when women were empowered and technology started to take off. I think those two things can make a novel feel dated.

It was a great discussion we had. Next month we’re going to talk about things to avoid in book previews. It should be a good one.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin (3/5)

22 Jan

This book falls into the broad category of ‘books I’d never heard of until my book club picked them.’ I’m not sure this is one I would have read normally just because it sounds so sad! In reality, it wasn’t very happy but the style was so interesting that it drew me in. I was interested despite how sad the book made me.

Cover image via Goodreads

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, translated by Chi-Young Kim.

Summary from Goodreads:

You will never think of your mother the same way after you read this book.

When sixty-nine-year-old So-nyo is separated from her husband among the crowds of the Seoul subway station, and vanishes, their children are consumed with loud recriminations, and are awash in sorrow and guilt. As they argue over the “Missing” flyers they are posting throughout the city – how large of a reward to offer, the best way to phrase the text – they realize that none of them have a recent photograph of Mom. Soon a larger question emerges: do they really know the woman they called Mom?

Told by the alternating voices of Mom’s daughter, son, her husband and, in the shattering conclusion, by Mom herself, the novel pieces together, Rashomon-style, a life that appears ordinary but is anything but.

In my typical fashion, I did not read this summary before I read the book. I didn’t know the point of view was going to rotate like it did. I think I would have still been surprised by it even having read the summary because I didn’t suspect such drastic differences. The daughter’s section was written from second person point of view. As it was the first section and then came around again at the end, I have a lasting impression of much of the book being in the second person. This is so unusual in fiction that it threw me off.

Using a family with so many kids gave the author a chance to explore different reactions to grief. Chi-hon was manic in her searching and seemed about to give up her personal life and sacrifice her career to find her mother. Hyong-chol was diligently involved at first but seemed to resign himself to having lost his mother as time went on. The father and younger sister seemed to have the same reaction, which was a petrified shock that prevented them from doing almost anything to help find her, much to the frustration of the elder sister. I felt this was al realistic and I was glad we could see so many sides of grief.

Chi-hon was my favorite character. I could understand her mania in searching for her mother and it made sense to me that she would go to the extremes she went to and be affected the way she was because of the loss. Her second-person narration pushed me away at first, but it started to draw me in soon after and I really enjoyed it.

These characters were hard for me to relate to. I’ve been fortunate not to lose anyone major in my family and the loss of a parent isn’t something I could understand well. I’ve lost some more distant family members but the sentiment is not the same. This was part of why it was hard for me to connect with this book overall.

Kyung-Sook Shin
Image via Numero Cinq

I liked how we slowly learned more about mom and realized her dementia was severe. She seemed in denial herself but the vignettes that her husband and daughter share about her make it really obvious that she had been suffering from declining cognitive function for some time. I thought that was really well done by Shin because early on, you think ‘How could she get lost?’ but then later, you start thinking ‘How could they lose her?’ My perceptive of the blame took a dramatic shift.

I really hated the part mom narrated. It felt like a ghost watching over everything and it bothered me. I didn’t like jumping from character to character and I didn’t like not getting a solid answer about where mom was. I wish the younger sister had been given a part of the book instead and that section left out.

My mom and I work at the same company and we sit in the same office. I started seeing my mom very differently when I started working there. She has working relationships and friendships, she is a good boss, and she has her own stresses. It took this for me to start seeing my mom as someone who had a life outside of our house and who might experience things I knew nothing about. That can be hard to do. Clearly, the children in this book had trouble seeing their mom as anything other than a mother. Her life was focused on her children and they didn’t care for her as a person they way they could have.

Writer’s Takeaway: I’m not sure if the POV switches are more common in Korean literature than they are in English literature, but they threw me off a bit. However, it drew me into Chi-hon’s character and made me sympathize with her. The omniscient narrator during the mother’s part was even more jarring and I wish that had been left out. Shin was bold with her stylistic choices and I think some paid off more than others.

I liked the book but some stylistic choices threw me off. Three out of Five Stars.

This book satisfies the 2000-Present time period in my When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin | forthenovellovers
Review: Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin | The Book Stop
Please Look After Mother (2008) – Kyung-Sook Shin | A Novel Approach
Please Look After Mom | Willow Books

Book Club Reflection: The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

18 Jan

My book club met last week to discuss The Professor and the Madman. We usually read at least one nonfiction book per year and I’m glad we picked this one. The subject was one few of us knew about before reading the book so we were all amazed at what we were reading.

Our discussion leader is a library and we meet at a restaurant on the other side of the parking lot from her location. She was able to grab the compact version of the Oxford English Dictionary with her to our meeting. If that’s the compact version, I’d hate to lift the full version! This copy had the text of nine pages printed on each one. It comes with a magnifier so you can read it!

We started off discussing the author, Simon Winchester, in detail. He’s written a lot more than I realized. The title listing at the beginning didn’t cover all his titles. He picked up his pace of publication in the 1970s and this title is twenty years old. His focus seems to be accessible and readable nonfiction. I’ve heard this referred to as narrative nonfiction and these characteristics are the same things I enjoy in Erik Larson’s books. We found it interesting that Winchester dedicated the book to George Merritt. One of the complaints that several members had about the book was that Winchester’s opinions and voice came through strongly. It was clear he sympathized with Minor. He heralded all of the things he was able to accomplish despite his illness and this rubbed some people the wrong way. Minor was a murderer, even if he was ill. He continued to show signs of illusions and even harmed himself. He may have been a genius, but he needed to be in that facility. He wasn’t misunderstood or unrightfully prosecuted, he was ill.

We looked at the book as having three main characters: Minor, Murray, and the dictionary. Murray was a unique man in that he was so dedicated to a single project and didn’t waver for 58 years. He was also very accepting of Minor despite his housing. We wondered how he would be received today. If it was found out someone with schizophrenia had contributed to a project like the OED, would people react more severely now or in the 1800s?

Minor was one of the top contributors to the OED. While many came and went and some seemed in it for the free books, he kept on. A large part of that was the free time he had in his home. He’s very fortunate that he had the money to receive treatment in that facility. His life would have been very different with his condition if he’d been in a different setting. Presently, paranoid schizophrenia like we conjecture Minor suffered from is treated with ‘upper’ and ‘downer’ pills. We wondered how Minor would have lived with modern treatment. Would the pills have hampered his mind and made it impossible for him to contribute to the project like he did?

The dictionary was a truly massive feat. We were impressed that it was not abandoned during the long effort. It made us really think about life before a dictionary. It’s crazy to think that men like Shakespeare wrote without that resource that many of us take for granted. It’s relatively recently that the dictionary was completed so much of human history was lived without such a resource.

Our next selection is one I’ve already read and really didn’t like. I’m interested to see if the discussion sheds any positive light on it.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 17-January-2018

17 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’m still moving forward slowly with The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I think I can finish this in the next month but that’s going to depend on having no lunch meetings for a while. We’ll see if that ends up happening!
I realized I’m going to have to renew A Widow for One Year by John Irving a couple of times! I’ve already renewed it once and I’m only on the fourth disk! This is a long one and I don’t drive a lot so I plan to be listening to it for a while.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie on audio will be the next book I finish. I’m making decent progress on it and I got about an hour in with it at the gym yesterday. Winning!
I know Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling is going to be a slow go. I made it about five chapters in reading during my vacation and it felt like a big dent but nothing’s that great when a book is 638 pages! I’m about 1/10 done.

Recently finished: Nothing! I hope to have at least one here next week. My review of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides went up on Monday so please check that out.

Reading Next: I’ll need a new phone audiobook next and the next on the list is the short wonder of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. I’ve never read this one and there’s a quick audiobook available of it so I’ll give that a listen and hopefully absorb something useful.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

My 2018 Challenges

16 Jan

Hello! I know I’m getting late into January and I haven’t yet posted about the reading challenges I’m going to take on in 2018. How negligent of me. I’ll fix that.

The first is the 2018 When Are You Reading? Challenge. This is a challenge I host and I’m on my fifth year and loving it. The challenge has been well streamlined now and I think it’s safe to say participants have enjoyed it a lot! The challenge is to read books that are set or written in 12 different time periods ranging from Pre-1500 to the future. I’ve already knocked two off the list (#winning) and I usually finish about 10 of these without trying each year. If you want to join, let me know! I’ll add you to the participants’ list. If you want to see how I’m doing, I track my progress here.

My second challenge is my Goodreads challenge for the year. In 2017 I challenged myself to 50 books and came in at 53. I’m going to push that just a little bit more this year and strive for 55. I may have to read some shorter ones toward the end of the year if it looks like I’ll be short, but I’m going to really focus on it this year.

I told you all about some personal goals in 2017 and you were all so great at encouraging me to complete them! Here are my non-reading goals for 2018:

  • Graduate! And keep my 4.0.
  • Travel to Europe with my husband
  • Complete a race per month and try to find new races in different parts of the state. (One of my long-term goals is to do a race in every county in Michigan’s lower peninsula.)
  • Finish a 2018 Weather Blanket

I’m going to stop there before I’m tempted to go on further. I’m very goal-driven so this can become an issue if I set too many.

What are you reading goals? Any personal goals you want to share?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!