Tag Archives: Goodreads

Challenge Update, April 2021

3 May

Well, April wasn’t exactly the windfall I wanted, but it was better. I’m in a good place and if I can keep this pace going for the rest of the year, I’ll be fine. Not a strong possibility, but I can hope. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in April:

Expecting Better by Emily Oster
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All The Way Down) by John Green
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

This was a pretty good mix and I’m happy with that. Two print, two audio. I’ll be caught up on reviews by the end of the week, too, which is a great feeling. Overall, April has been pretty good for reading.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

6/12
Nothing new again which I’m still fine with. For being only 1/3 of the way through the year, having half the time periods finished is pretty great. I plan on starting a book to finish one more off soon. The earlier time periods can be a bit more of a challenge, but I feel up to it.

Goodreads Challenge

12/45
I’m still two books behind but feeling a bit better. I have a few books I’m close to finishing already in early May so May should be a steady reading month for me. One a week will get me through the end of the challenge. Let’s just hope Baby doesn’t mess that up too much. But I can’t count on anything with a baby coming, can I?

Book of the Month

mil veces

Cover image via Amazon

It’s a hard pick this month, but I’m going to go with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All The Way Down) by John Green. I sped through this book and loved how the main character was portrayed. It was my favorite Green, but it was still a solid read.

Added to my TBR

It had to come eventually but I’ve added a few titles this month. I’m at 41 currently, which isn’t overwhelming and I’ll say I’m still happy with that length TBR versus where I’ve been.

  • How To Find Your Way in the Dark by Derek B. Miller. When one of your favorite authors drops a new title, it goes on our TBR. Seems pretty straight forward to me.
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. One of my new coworkers recommended this one and I’ve seen it around enough that I put it on my TBR. Sounds like a solid SciFi read and I haven’t had many of those lately so I’m game.
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Strangely, Towles came up while reading Recursion and it got me thinking about how much I liked my first Towles read. I’ve convinced my reading buddy that we should read this one next so here it is on the TBR for a short time before we pick it up.

How are your challenges going? I hope your year is starting off well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

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!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, March 2021

1 Apr

I have so many books going at once right now that it’s hard to feel like I made any progress this month. Two ain’t bad, but I’m hoping for a windfall in April to make me feel better about it all. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Two physical books! What a change from other months. And I’m caught up on reviews. I’m almost proud. I just wish that list was longer.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

6/12
Nothing new this month, but I’m not concerned. Being half way through a challenge after a quarter of the year has passed is pretty good and I’ll take it.

Goodreads Challenge

8/45
Hm. I’m now two books behind schedule. I’m not a fan of this, I’ll be honest. Between not running and being at home a lot due to an injury, I’m not getting in a lot of audiobook time, which is usually my fastest read. It doesn’t help that my current audiobook is 22 hours. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about finishing some other books here in the near future.

HalfBook of the Month

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was just brilliant and I’d be remiss not to include it as my Book of the Month. My reading buddy and I loved this one and we met much more often than we ever have before, even with the craziness of life getting in our way at times.

Added to my TBR

I’m down a bit to 38, and nothing new added this month! I’ll be adding a few in the near future so I know that won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

How are your challenges going? I hope your year is starting off well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

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!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, February 2021

1 Mar

This month was a bit rough, but we’re coming through it with flying colors. And it’s even warm outside today! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in February:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

Two long audiobooks this time around. I’ve been slow in my physical reading. And I should be caught up with reviews by tomorrow!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

6/12
I’m on a roll here! Every book I’ve read this year has fulfilled a different time period. I know this luck can’t hold forever but I’m going to love it while I’m at it. The time periods I have left are a bit harder to land so I know this will slow down a bit but I’m in a good place to deal with it.

Goodreads Challenge

6/45
I’m a little bit behind here but I’m OK with this. I had some long audiobooks recently and a lot of non-fiction which tend to be slower reads for me. I’m about to get into some fiction that I think will flow a lot faster and it will be fun to see how soon I can catch up.

Book of the Month

Even with only two books, there was a clear winner. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in ages. I can’t wait to talk to my book club about it and see what they thought. I think this will be a good discussion piece.

Added to my TBR

I’m down overall to 39, but I did add a book this month.

  • The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett. This is my next book with my reading buddy and I should be starting it soon. So many people have had good things to say that I’m stoked to get started and see if I agree.

How are your challenges going? I hope your year is starting off well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

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!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, January 2021

1 Feb

2021 is off to a great start so far! Yes, it’s bitterly cold and I still can’t see my friends, but my expectations have been tempered so I still think it’s great. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January:

Hum If You Don’t Now the Words // Bianca Marais (4/5)
A Pale View of Hills // Kazuo Ishiguro (3/5)
The Bear // Andrew Krivak (3/5)
Kindred // Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy and John Jennings.

I’m honestly shocked to say that these are all physical books! I didn’t finish a single audiobook in January.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
So far, each book I’ve read this year has fulfilled a different time period! I didn’t even try to do this yet so I’m really happy about it. We’ll see if I can get to halfway next month. I’m in the middle of two books that could fulfill a fifth, maybe I’ll snag a 6th as well.

Goodreads Challenge

4/45
I tempered my expectations in 2021 a bit because of some big life changes we have going on. I’m glad to be slightly ahead of schedule so far and I hope I can maintain it!

Book of the Month

Hum If You Don’t Know the Lyrics by Bianca Marais wins out this month. There were some parts I disliked but overall this book was a great insight into apartheid in South Africa. My book club had some opinions I’ll be sharing later this week so check back for more on this one.

Added to my TBR

I’m down for the third month in a row, clocking in at 41. I still haven’t added any! That’s two months in a row. Wow!

How are your challenges going? I hope your year is starting off well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

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!

Sign Up for Monthly Newsletters

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, December 2020

4 Jan

I’m so thankful that 2020 is over. Let’s hope that 2021 doesn’t have similar surprises in store for us. At least it was a good year for reading. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page. I’m also starting a monthly mailing list. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

Books finished in December:

Golden Glow // Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona (3/5)
The Cather in the Rye // J.D. Salinger (3/5)
A Burnable Book // Bruce Holsinger (3/5)

Not a lot, but it was enough. I cut it really close, too. Only starting the year one review behind.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

12/12
I finished the final book at 7:30pm on New Year’s Eve. Nothing like cutting it close, right? I was cooking dinner and wrapped up A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger to fill the 1300-1499 time period, my last one remaining for the year. I’ll have to be a bit more diligent next year, I don’t want to cut it this close again!

Goodreads Challenge

59/55
I’d finished last month, so this was just extra icing on a delicious cake.

Book of the Month

Yikes, all three of the books got 3 Stars from me this month. I guess I’d pick A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger. I waffled between Three and Four Stars for this one, so it could really be 3.5 if I did halves. It wasn’t bad, I think it just dragged more than I’d hoped it would.

Added to my TBR

I’m down again to 43 and I didn’t add any this time! I’m shocked with myself.

How did your challenges go? I hope you finished the year well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

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!

Sign Up for Monthly Newsletters

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, November 2020

1 Dec

This month was slow. It wasn’t until I went to write this post that I realize how slow it was. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page. I’m also starting a monthly mailing list. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

Books finished in November:

The Witch of Blackbird Pond // Elizabeth George Speare (4/5)
Knitting Yarns // Ann Hood (3/5)

And that’s it. Yikes. At least I’m caught up on reviews?

When Are You Reading? Challenge

11/12
I’m going to hold on to the win that I finished one more book for this challenge. I’ve got a plan in place to finish it up, I just have to execute. I see the end in sight!

Goodreads Challenge

55/55
Again, the silver lining to a slow month. This was just enough to get me through my annual reading challenge and I’m so glad to have finished!

Book of the Month

Not much of a choice this month, huh? I’m going to pick The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. It was a quick and fun read and I think it would be perfect for middle school audiences to read and learn about early America.

Added to my TBR

I’m back up again at 47 books. I don’t remember adding so many but I took so few off that it’s no wonder I’m not moving fast.

  • Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. I can’t be the only one who’s pumped for this book to come out, right? I can’t wait to read this one and I’m hoping Cline’s kept his page-turning pacing because it’s my favorite.
  • Malorie by Josh Malerman. I went to a virtual author event with Malerman and loved every second of it. It convinced me to add his new book to my list so I can revisit the terrifying world of Bird Box.
  • Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui. With my love for the water, is it any wonder I added this? I saw the book on the Goodreads 2020 polls and added it right away.
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is an upcoming book club selection that I’m getting excited about.
  • The Rebel Wife by Taylor M. Polites. I read an essay by this author that I really enjoyed and decided to give his fiction a try as well.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re closing in on the end of a successful year. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, give my challenge a try next year and join the fun.

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!

Sign Up for Monthly Newsletters

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, October 2020

2 Nov

The month started out slow but I was able to pick up the pace at the very end of the month to finish strong. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page. I’m also starting a monthly mailing list. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

Books finished in October:

The Ghost Bride // Yangsze Choo (3/5) [and Book Club Reflection]
Lipstick Jihad // Azadeh Moaveni (3/5)
The Rise of Wolf 8 // Rick McIntyre (3/5)
Running with a Police Escort // Jill Grunenwald (4/5)
The Millionaires // Brad Meltzer (4/5)

I’ve got two reviews to do and I should have them done by early next week.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

10/12
Nothing new but I’m in progress with one and I have plans for the last one so I’m feeling great about wrapping this challenge up before the end of the year.

Goodreads Challenge

53/55
I’m keeping strong with eight books ahead. This one seems to be wrapping up and I should be able to say I’m done with it next month.

Cover image via Amazon

Book of the Month

I didn’t expect this pick. There wasn’t really a book that stood out to me this month and upon reviewing, I think I can say that I enjoyed The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo best this month. It was a fun ride and I loved the historical and cultural elements.

Added to my TBR

I’m down one to 43 books now. I felt like I added a lot so I’m very happy with that.

  • A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger. I was looking for a book to fulfill the last time period of my When Are You Reading? Challenge. This one looks like a fun one to wrap up the challenge.
  • The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett (Kingsbridge #0). I found out there was a prequel to the Kingsbridge books and didn’t hesitate a second in adding this to my TBR. I’ve loved Follett’s books in this series and I’m excited to visit again. He makes me fall in love with his characters so quickly.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, it’s fun!

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!

Sign Up for Monthly Newsletters

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, September 2020

1 Oct

I picked my pace up again this month but I’ve run into another slow down: moving. Some days, I’m just so exhausted I can’t pick up a book before my eyes are shut! Thankfully, this won’t last long but it will go through October. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page. I’m also starting a monthly mailing list. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

Books finished in September:

The Tory // T.J. London (4/5)
The Virgin Suicides // Jeffrey Eugenides (5/5)
In the Distance // Hernan Diaz (2/5)
Joy, Inc. // Richard Sheridan (4/5)

And all caught up on reviews! Man, does that feel good.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

10/12
Nothing new again. With only two spots to go, I’m feeling good about finishing but I need to start getting picky with my reads so I can be sure to finish it off.

Goodreads Challenge

48/55
Still eight books ahead! I’m feeling great about this now even after being a bit worried early on in the year. This should be easy to wrap up.

Cover image via Amazon

Book of the Month

It was easy this month to pick The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. This book swept me away and had me reading much later than I should have been. I loved the tension in it and how Eugenides used a collective narrator to follow the girls. The movie wasn’t too bad, either.

Added to my TBR

I’m still at 44 this month. I wondered where I’d average out and this might be it. We’ll see if I’m able to dip much below this. I added a lot of sequels this month!

  • The Traitor (Redcoats and Rebels #2) by T.J. London. The sequel to The Tory, I’m hoping to get my hands on this one soon and continue the story. Maybe it will even be on audio soon? One can only hope.
  • Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5) by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). I’m a bit torn on this one. I know JKR has some controversial opinions and from what I’ve heard, she expresses them in this book. My desire to know what happens to Robin is really balanced with the distaste I have for what JKR has done with this. I have it on the list for now, but I’ll see what I think when I have time to get around to it.
  • Malorie (Bird Box #2) by Josh Malerman. How did I not know there was a sequel?! I’m excited to learn more about Malorie and see more into Malerman’s universe. I hope this one doesn’t scare me as much!

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, it’s fun!

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!

Sign Up for Monthly Newsletters

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, August 2020

1 Sep

I slowed down reading this month but I’m optimistic that my slump is over and I’ll be reading more again the rest of this year. I knew a quarantine slump would happen and I’m honestly surprised it took this long. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page. I’m also starting a monthly mailing list. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

Books finished in August:

Before the Devil Breaks You // Libba Bray (5/5)
Old Baggage // Lissa Evans (2/5)
The Narcissism of Small Differences // Michael Zadoorian (4/5)
In the Shadow of the Banyan // Vaddey Ratner (3/5)

With such a short list, I’m glad I’m also caught up on reviews.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

10/12
Nothing new this month. With only two to go, I’m still feeling comfortable with this one. I think I can manage to find some good books to fill in the missing time periods. Now I just have to carve out the time to do it.

Goodreads Challenge

44/55
Eight ahead is nothing to sneeze at! I’m happy with this and I think the cushion I gave myself earlier this year will carry me through to the end of the year. Not a lot that I’m nervous about at this point.

Cover image via Amazon

Book of the Month

I’m enamored with this series and it was easy to pick Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray for this month. I don’t give a full 5 Stars often and this book deserved it. I’m excited to keep moving on with the series though I know I’ll be sad when it ends.

Added to my TBR

I’m down one, to 44 this month. I consider it an overall win to be down even a little bit. If I dip below 40, I’ll be shocked.

  • The King of Crows by Libba Bray. Obviously, I have to finish this series. It’s so fun and I’m sure this last book will be a wild ride. I have my fingers crossed for a satisfying end.
  • In the Distance by Hernán Díaz. This is a book club pick and I’ll probably grab it and start very soon. I know nothing about it, which is how I like to go into books. Fingers crossed it’s one I enjoy.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, it’s fun!

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!

Sign Up for Monthly Newsletters

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, July 2020

3 Aug

With all the stress this month brought, I’m happy with what I have been able to read. We’re buying a house and a car has been in the shop all month which has taken away a lot of reading time. I could keep on like this for the rest of the year and still hit my goal. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July:

These Women // Ivy Pochoda (3/5)
How to Speak Midwestern // Edward McClelland (4/5)
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek // Kim Michele Richardson (3/5)
Chasing Water // Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides (4/5)
The Glass Hotel // Emily St. John Mandel (4/5)

I’ll be caught up on reviews by tomorrow which I’m feeling pretty good about!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

10/12
Steady progress on this goal. I knocked one more off this month. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson filled in the 1920-1939 time period. I’ll have to start taking a look at certain books to fill in the last two time periods. I have 1300-1499 and 1500-1699 left. Those are great time periods for some amazing historical fiction! If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Goodreads Challenge

41/55
Nine ahead again. I’m really happy with this and I hope I can keep this far ahead as my year gets a little crazier with moving. It feels pretty good to be ahead like this, though!

Cover image via Amazon

Book of the Month

It was a long time coming since my buddy and I read this one together, but I have to give this accolade to The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. Mandel has a beautiful way of writing and I look forward to reading anything else she writes in the future.

Added to my TBR

I’ve dipped down again to 45. I think this might be about my equilibrium since I’ll start adding books again as I wear this list down. We’ll see what the next few months bring.

  • Splash! by Howard Means. My aunt knows Means and gave me a copy of this since she knows how much I love swimming and reading. It seems like a fun non-fiction read.
  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson. This was another free audiobook download from my library’s summer program. I can’t wait to dive into this stack!
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. The last of the summer program books. I’ve heard really good things about this title.
  • The Narcissism of Small Differences by Michael Zadoorian. A late book-club pick that I’ll be starting soon for a discussion at the end of the month. We’ve read one title by this Detroit author already so I’m looking forward to seeing what else he’s got.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, it’s fun!

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!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.