Tag Archives: Reading Challenge

Challenge Update, Fourth Quarter 2022

3 Jan

Reading didn’t come easily to me last year. I was learning how to be a mom to a toddler and it took a lot of mental capacity. I’m proud of all the reading I did manage, as scrappy as it was at times. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in October, November, and December

Like No Other by Una LaMarche (4/5)
Easy Prey by Catherine Lo (2/5)
Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe (3/5)
Powering Up by Anne Doyle (3/5)
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (4/5)
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (3/5)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (4/5)
Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner (2/5)

This is very audio-heavy. I was stuck on my ebook for months and my physical book is driving me crazy so I’ve relied on audio to get me through for the last bit. I owe a few reviews still. I had a big push to finish some reading challenges at the end and didn’t make enough time for reviews but I will get to them!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

12/12
By the skin of my teeth, but I made it. I finished Soldier’s Pay on December 30th which filled the 1900-1919 time period for me. Within the same week, I finished The Birth of Venus on audio which filled the 1300-1499 time period, one I often struggle with. So much happened in that time period, but it’s not as common for historical fiction. I’m glad Dunant tends to write of older times. I also sped through The Alchemist on audio. I made good use of some cleaning time and a bunch of car time and adored this short book. The setting is a little vague so I used the publication date which fit it in the 1980-1999 time period. It was a push, but I finished it and it’s never felt this good before!

Goodreads Challenge

24/15
This went so much better than expected and now I’m unsure of where to set the bar for 2023. Can I expect the stay this course? Read more? Will it go down with the toddler? I’m taking a shot in the dark any way I go.

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Book of the Quarter

I enjoyed My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, and Meadows more than I thought I would. I loved the humor and the alternative history was so fun to read. This was unlike any other book I’ve read and I thought it was really fun. I might have to explore the other books by this team, especially if they give me some hard time periods!

Added to my TBR

Making my way back down. I’m at 41 and I felt like I added so many that I’m surprised it’s that low! Will I ever get under 20?!

  • The Story of My Life // Hellen Keller. I thought I needed this one for my challenge last year but I’m going to hang on to it for the 2023 challenge instead!
  • The Lincoln Highway // Amor Towles. I went to a virtual event where Towles was interviewed by Erik Larson and I got a signed copy of this. The sad thing is, that was about 9 months ago. I forgot to add it to my TBR since then. Whoops.
  • Salt to the Sea // Ruta Sepetys. I like this author and my sister in law told me she adored this book. I got a copy in Spanish for Christmas so I’m planning for this to be my Spanish read for 2023!
  • Scattered Showers // Rainbow Rowell. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Rowell.
  • Choosing to Run // Des Lindon. I’ve been following Lindon’s career since she won the Boston Marathon in 2018. She’s from my state and I’m always impressed by her determination.
  • Beyond the Wand // Tom Felton. I feel like this doesn’t need much explanation. I’m pumped!

How did your challenges go? I hope to not push it so close to the end next year! 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.
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Let’s go! The 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge Starts Today!

1 Jan

when are you reading 2023

Today is the first day for the 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge! I hope you’ll consider taking on the challenge and joining me. This is the tenth year! Yes, the tenth! There’s not a lot of things I’ll do for ten years straight, but this is one.

The premise of the challenge is to read one book from each of twelve time periods. It’s up to the reader where a book lies. You can do it based on publication date or setting, whatever you want. Feel free to switch it up, too. I did make a small update this year. For those who have been doing the challenges multiple years, if there are time periods you find very challenging (like I do for the 1300-1499 time period), let me know and we can make changes moving forward.

The challenge is located here. If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment somewhere on the blog letting me know and giving me a link to your challenge page or post. I’ll add a link to my challenge page so other readers can visit you and see what you’ve been reading. 

The time periods are:

  • Pre 1200 [UPDATED]
  • 1300-1499 [UPDATED]
  • 1500-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I do hope you’ll consider joining me. I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge over the past several years and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

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!

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.

Announcing the 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge!

12 Dec

when are you reading 2023

It’s back again! I’ll be running the When Are You Reading? Challenge yet again in 2023. 2022 was a challenging year for me to read so much and I’m hoping things get a little easier in 2023. I think this is a good challenge for me to still aim to complete since it’s a relatively low number of books.

The premise of the challenge is to read one book from each of twelve time periods. It’s up to the reader where a book lies. You can do it based on publication date or setting, whatever you want. Feel free to switch it up, too. I did make a small update this year. For those who have been doing the challenges multiple years, if there are time periods you find very challenging (like I do for the 1300-1499 time period), let me know and we can make changes moving forward.

The challenge is located here. If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment somewhere on the blog letting me know and giving me a link to your challenge page or post. I’ll add a link to my challenge page so other readers can visit you and see what you’ve been reading. 

The time periods are:

  • Pre 1200 [UPDATED]
  • 1300-1499 [UPDATED]
  • 1500-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I do hope you’ll consider joining me. I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge over the past several years and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

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!

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, Third Quarter 2022

4 Oct

I’m afraid to say I’m finally hitting a stride, but I feel like I’m reading more regularly. That’s been such a joy. I’ve met some major goals, too and I’m feeling like I read enough I can still be a book blogger, haha. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July, August, and September

Into White by Randi Pink (3/5)
Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (5/5)
Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab (3/5)
Malorie by Josh Malerman (4/5)
Dollface by Renee Rosen (3/5)
Rebeldes by S.E. Hinton (5/5)
Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa (3/5)
Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols (3/5)
The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving (2/5)

I’m really happy with this list! I’ve got three audiobooks, three ebooks, and three physical books. Not bad! I can’t remember the last time I had a mix this varied.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
I got through three more this quarter! I need five more to go to finish, but that might just be possible. I knocked out The Future with Malorie, The 1700s with The Steel Prince (my best guess for fantasy), and 1960-1979 with Rebeldes. I’ll cut it close, but I just might make it this year!

Goodreads Challenge

16/15
No one is more shocked than me that I’ve completed this challenge! Reading with the Baby had been a challenge, to say the least. But we finally found something that works for the family and I couldn’t be happier at the role books have taken in my life again. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

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Cover image via Amazon

Book of the Quarter

This was easy for me since I flew through one of the longest books I read this quarter. I loved the mystery behind Troubled Blood. I’m even more excited that the next in the series came out almost as soon as I’d finished this so I’ll have another on the list to read soon.

Added to my TBR

I blew my list up a bit this quarter, up to 44. This tends to happen to me in the summer. My library hooked me up with a Summer Reading service that gives you free audiobooks. I don’t download all of them, but some I can’t resist!

  • Mississippi Trial, 1955 // Chris Crowe. This was a summer audiobook from the library and since it’s set in a time period I’m missing for my challenge, it might end up being listened to sooner than I would usually plan.
  • This is My America // Kim Johnson. Another book from the summer program. The summary is giving me thoughts of Just Mercy and An American Marriage.
  • The Last Chairlift // John Irving. I had an Irving flop this quarter, but maybe there are brighter days ahead!
  • Ink Black Heart // Robert Galbraith. I can’t wait to read the latest in this series!

How are your challenges going? I might just finish, but it’s going to take some major planning. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2022, 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, Second Quarter 2022

5 Jul

Quarterly is the plan moving forward. I feel like I need that long to finish a book sometimes! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in April, May, and June:

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson (2/5)
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati (3/5)
A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman (4/5)
A True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Caray (3/5)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling (3/5)

I’ve got a great mix of audio, digital, and physical books here! It’s been a while since I’ve had that so I’m very thankful to have time to enjoy books in all formats.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
It didn’t help that I read three books in the 1800s this quarter. I’m not confident I’ll get this one this time around. I’ll try, but I’ll have to be super intentional with my book selections and I’m not sure I’ll enjoy it so much if I do. I’d rather enjoy my reading while it’s so limited rather than read to meet a goal.

Goodreads Challenge

7/15
Oh my goodness, I’m on track! I thought I was irrecoverably behind but finishing so many books this last week has put me on track. I couldn’t be happier!

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Book of the Quarter

I’m going to pick A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman for my book this quarter. I enjoyed the suspense of the book and I read it quickly. I don’t read many novellas so it was a nice treat to find one that I liked so much as well.

Added to my TBR

I blew my list up a bit this quarter, up to 44. This tends to happen to me in the summer. My library hooked me up with a Summer Reading service that gives you free audiobooks. I don’t download all of them, but some I can’t resist!

  • Can I Say // Travis Barker. How did I not know such an iconic musician had a memoir? My husband alerted me so I had to add it.
  • This Book Betrays my Brother // Kagiso Lesego Molope. One of the summer audiobooks. I’m trying to read more stories based outside the US so this appealed to me.
  • Under the Banner of Heaven // Jon Krakauer. I couldn’t resist another Krakauer book of real life things that blow you mind!
  • A Brief History of Fascist Lies // Federico Finchelstein. A little non-fiction is always appealing. Looking forward to learning something with this one.
  • Paradise // Laura Maria Censabella. I liked the premise of this one, involving a good teacher-student relationship. Looking forward to the audio!
  • The Family Outing // Jessi Hempel. This is a bit of a story. I wrote a review for an essay collection called Knitting Yarns a few years ago. In the review, I mentioned I enjoyed an essay by Hempel and was disappointed to see they didn’t have any novels. Hempel found my review and reached out to thank me and let me know their book is coming out this fall! So excited to support.
  • Bacchanal // Veronica G. Henry. Another audiobook. I was feeling the need for some fantasy!
  • Striking Distance // Sarah Rees Brennan. I like the idea of a book about a non-mainstream sport like fencing. Sounded like a fun ride!

How are your challenges going? I’m not flying through the year, but I’m making it despite some major life adjustments. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2022, 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, First Quarter 2022

5 Apr

I think quarterly is going to be my new thing. I can actually finish a few books in that time frame (I hope) so there’s something to post about! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January, February, and March:

The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott (3/5)
Tabula Rasa by Ruth Downie (3/5)

Unsurprisingly, this was all audio again. I’m slowly starting to get back to print books, but I’m not going to be surprised if it takes me a while.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

2/12
As usual, I’m starting off strong at the beginning of the year. It’s easy to knock out new time periods when you’re only finished with one or two books. This will be a bit challenge this year so I’ll have to focus on it and be very deliberate about my books.

Goodreads Challenge

2/15
I’m already behind, haha. I know 15 is a really low goal compared to where I am normally, but I think it’s reasonable with how much my life has changed. The lack of a work commute also makes this a lot harder. I think I can hit 15, but it’s going to take some work.

41JYZlm4QsLBook of the Quarter

This doesn’t mean a whole lot when there are only two to choose from, but I’ll pick Tabula Rasa by Ruth Downie for this quarter with full recognition that this might be a recency bias. Downie is always good for a laugh and I did laugh my way through this one. It was enjoyable and got me to add the seventh book to my TBR. Speaking of which…

Added to my TBR

39 is a very manageable number! Though higher than last month. I hope I can keep picking away at this.

  • The Puzzler // A.J. Jacobs. I will read almost anything Jacobs writes. He’s a perpetual favorite and I can’t wait to see what else he’s explored.
  • Running with Sherman // Christopher McDougall. I loved McDougall’s other running related book so I’m excited to see what else he can share about running culture.
  • Vita Brevis // Ruth Downie. I’ll be happy to dive into book seven in this series. I’ve not been let down yet.

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 2022, 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, October, November, December 2021

20 Jan

With how slow reading has been for me, quarterly updates might make the most sense for a while. I hope to get back to reading near the level I was before Baby, but I’m not going to count on it. With how late this update is, you can tell I’ve got a lot going on! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in October, November, and December.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (4/5)
The Running Man by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) (4/5)
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda (4/5)

All audiobooks this time. That feels about right with how slowly I’ve been getting through books. I’m a little sad at how short this list is. I used to read this much in a month and now it’s taking three times as long. I hope I can find a new pattern for reading soon.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

8/12
In the end, I didn’t finish the challenge. None of these three added to the time periods I was missing. I’m hoping to try this again in 2022 and be MUCH more purposeful about the books I read to fill up the missing periods.

Goodreads Challenge

23/45
In the end, I only finished 51% of my goal. With Baby coming about half way through the year, that doesn’t surprise me. I thought I went low with 45, but not quite low enough. I’m aiming for only 15 in 2022 and I think I can make that.

RunningBook of the Quarter

I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. The projections about the future of reality television, rich/poor divide, and healthcare hit home win this book and it was sick and twisted, but still a fun read. The Running Man by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) was a great dystopian thriller, a genre I haven’t visited in a while but was glad I did.

Added to my TBR

37, a new record low! I did add a few through the holidays, though, or I’d be even lower.

  • The Perfect Mother // Aimee Molloy. My sister in law thought this title was a funny fit for my new title as Mom. It’s a psychological thriller so I’m sure the title is sarcastic but I’m still hoping to enjoy this one.
  • Running is a Kind of Dreaming // J.M. Thompson. I’ve enjoyed a lot of running memoirs and combining that with the mental health benefits of the sport seems like a win to me!

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 2022, 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.

Announcing the 2022 When Are You Reading? Challenge!

18 Jan

when are you reading 2022 final (1)

It’s back again! I’ll be running the When Are You Reading? Challenge yet again in 2022. I wasn’t able to finish in 2021 (more to come on that in a full post), but I’m planning to be more purposeful this year and I’m hoping it will happen! One can only hope.

The premise of the challenge is to read one book from each of twelve time periods. It’s up to the reader where a book lies. You can do it based on publication date or setting, whatever you want. Feel free to switch it up, too.

The challenge is located here. If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment somewhere on the blog letting me know and giving me a link to your challenge page or post. I’ll add a link to my challenge page so other readers can visit you and see what you’ve been reading. 

The time periods are:

  • Pre 1300
  • 1300-1499
  • 1500-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I do hope you’ll consider joining me. I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge over the past several years and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

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!

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.

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Challenge Update, July, August, and September 2021

4 Oct

I’m finally getting back into a groove so I figured I can combine the past few months of updates in one and move forward from here. There’s not a ton to report, as you can imagine, since Baby has taken up a lot of my time and brain space. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July, August, and September:

Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono (3/5)
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson (2/5)
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (4/5)
The Hangman’s Replacement by Taona D. Chiveneko (1/5)
The King of Crows by Libba Bray (4/5)

It’s a short list, but being caught up on reviews does feel good! I’ll take that as a small win considering how scatter brained I’ve been.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

8/12
A Gentleman in Moscow filled a time period for me so I’m inching closer to this challenge but I still may need to make it a focus with my upcoming book picks. Some of the remaining time periods can be a challenge.

Goodreads Challenge

20/45
Goodreads says I’m 14 books behind schedule. That’s a bit discouraging. I don’t think I’ll finish this one this year, but I’m glad I gave it a try. I may have to pick something a bit more reasonable for having an infant next year.

CrowsBook of the Month

Finishing a series felt so good so I’ll say The King of Crows by Libba Bray for this month. While the pacing wasn’t my favorite, I still felt this was a satisfying end to a series I started in 2013. I’m glad I got to read the whole story and I hope to enjoy more Bray books in the future.

Added to my TBR

I’m at 39, the lowest I can remember! and I haven’t added anything new this month so I’m optimistic I can keep bringing this list down and get through some that have been on the list for years.

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, June 2021

6 Jul

Well, this is a first. June 2021 was not a good month for me in the Reading World. I’m not surprised with how tired I’ve been and how much I’ve been doing to get ready for Baby, but it’s still not welcome to make this realization. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in June:

Well. That’s new. Nothing finished in June. Granted, I made a lot of progress on a number of books, but nothing finished. Not feeling great, I’ll be honest. I’m hoping for a windfall of finishing books, but the prognosis isn’t good.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
Still not bad here, I may make this one my focus for the year.

Goodreads Challenge

15/45
Catching up seems a bit out of my league at this point. Maybe not a good goal to fixate on but we’ll see. My mom says I’ll get plenty of reading down while nursing but I’m not going to count on it.

Book of the Month

Hard to have a favorite when you don’t finish anything.

Added to my TBR

Chilling at 40 and happy to be on two pages. Only one add this month!

  • The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett. I will buy anything that says ‘Follett’ and ‘Kingsbridge’ on it. Can’t wait to read this one.

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.