Tag Archives: When Are You Reading

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.

Challenge Update, June 2020

2 Jul

This month wasn’t a fruitful as last month, but I’m still happy with it! I’ve been trying to bike outside more so that’s less listening time. I’ve also started watching Netflix while I ride, so I really should say that time for listening is gone. Oh well. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in June:

It’s All Relative // A.J. Jacobs (4/5)
The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits // Emma Donoghue (3/5)
Stories of Elders // Veronica Kirin (4/5)
Fiction Writer’s Workshop // Josip Novakovich (3/5)
Semper Fidelis // Ruth Downie (4/5)
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes // Suzanne Collins (4/5)

And caught up on reviews! Killing it!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

9/12
Without even trying, this was a great month for the challenge! I knocked off the two extremes, Pre-1300 and the Future. Downie’s Ruso novels are always good for the earliest time periods with her Roman Empire setting. Traveling to Panem in the future with Collins knocks that one off, too. I’m feeling good about this challenge without having to do much planning!

Goodreads Challenge

35/55
Nine ahead! This is so crazy to me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this far ahead in my Goodreads challenge. Maybe I need to start a George R.R. Martin book to slow me down.

Book of the Month

Always a winner with me, this month has to go to Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie. I love Ruso and Tilla and I’m always looking forward to what they’ll get up to next. I’ve got the sixth book on my TBR now and I don’t know what I’ll do with myself when I catch up.

Added to my TBR

So I’ve gone up, I’m at 47 now. It’s only one higher than last month but I thought I’d be going down with so many books finished. I’ve gotten into a YA audiobook trap as my library has a summer listening program that I’m stocking up on for later.

  • Into White by Randi Pink. The first of my YA audiobooks. I’m going to make an effort to read more about race and challenge any prejudice I might hold. Most of these books were selected for that reason.
  • Like No Other by Una LaMarche. Same as above. Thank you, libraries!
  • Easy Prey by Catherine Lo. Ditto above.
  • Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena. Rounding it out. This summer program has stocked me up!
  • Tabula Rasa by Ruth Downie. The next in the series. I’m excited to keep this one going!
  • The Book Women of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. This is my next book club selection so I expect to start this soon.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: Not sure what to say here. The race was officially canceled a few weeks ago. I put up a post about it if you want to read my thoughts. I’m a bit bothered by this and don’t like thinking about it so I might remove or change this goal for next month.
  • Submit my novel: Wow, I was so far off base when I wrote my goals for this year. I haven’t touched my manuscript since COVID hit. There have been other priorities. I might look at editing this one as well. Priorities changed a lot and I want to have goals that reflect the new ones.

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.

Challenge Update, May 2020

1 Jun

What a good month for reading! Picking up my training has increased it though I’ve been getting outside for my bikes more and more with the nice weather which is a bit less listening time. I’m still happy with how this has gone. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in May:

The Starless Sea // Erin Morgenstern (4/5)
The Bookseller // Cynthia Swanson (3/5)
Viola In Reel Life // Adriana Trigiani (3/5)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky // Mackenzi Lee (4/5)
White Oleander // Janet Fitch (4/5)
Wayward Son // Rainbow Rowell (4/5)
The Lola Quartet // Emily St. John Mandel (3/5)
The Great Believers // Rebecca Makkai (4/5)

I’m a bit behind on reviews but should be caught up by next week. Hopefully.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
One more which is all the progress I really need, right? I marked off the 1700-1799 time period with The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee. It’s such a short book that it feels a bit like cheating, but it also feels good to knock off the time period so I’ll roll with it.

Goodreads Challenge

29/55
Seven ahead. I feel like I’m dreaming, I’ve never been this far ahead of the challenge before. I’m loving the cushion. I’m not at all nervous about what happens if I start a longer book. And yes, I do really get anxiety about that.

Book of the Month

I’m wondering if it’s a recency bias, but I think The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai might be my book of the month. I loved this story about love and friendship. The 4.21 rating on Goodreads is helping me reinforce that this is a solid choice. I’ll be reviewing this next week to explain what it is I liked so much.

Added to my TBR

I’m gobsmacked that I’m down to 46! This seems almost impossible after how high this number was even a year ago. It’s been a lot of work getting it down but it feels really amazing.

  • Nothing! Nothing added this month. Man, it’s shrinking fast.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: Well, I’m doing the training. With the COVID19 pandemic, this is really likely to be canceled so I’m not holding my breath but I’m going to put in the work. We’ll see what happens in the coming months.
  • Submit my novel: Ha, that’s funny. I’ll post again tomorrow about how the submission process has been going. I’m not optimistic that this goal will be one I feel I can really check off this year.

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.

Challenge Update, April 2020

4 May

Another weird month of complete lockdown. It’s funny how much our lives have changed and I wonder when my reading will start to feel normal and less like an escape. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in April:

The Girl in Green // Derek B. Miller (3/5)
Cuando era puertorriqueña // Esmeralda Santiago (4/5)
Pope Francis Speaks to Our Hearts (3/5)
A Mother’s Reckoning // Sue Klebold (4/5)
Moby-Duck // Donovan Hohn (5/5)
The Alice Network // Kate Quinn (4/5)
The Girl Who Took an Eye for an Eye // David Lagercrantz (3/5)

My last review will be up later this week and then I’ll be all caught up. A lot of audiobooks but that’s my norm when I’m training a lot.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

6/12
Any forward progress is good, even if it’s one step. I used A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold to the 1980-1999 time period. The majority of the book focused on Dyland Klebold’s mental state leading up to Columbine that I feel was more prominent than the time after the event.

Goodreads Challenge

21/55
Three ahead! This is the biggest cushion I’ve had in a while. I hope I can keep it up through the summer and this quarantine. I’m finding a lot of comfort in reading, especially on the weekends and I’m enjoying my books a lot so I’m optimistic about this challenge.

Book of the Month

I just adored Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn. The author’s tone kept me interested and always surprised at how far I’d come in the book. The topics were interesting, too, and covered a lot of the implications of the spill and the factors that contributed to it. It was good to read some great non-fiction.

Added to my TBR

I’m at 53 and wondering what I do when the list gets too short. I might have to take recommendations or just browse shelves? Whatever will become of me.

  • Old Baggage by Lisa Evans. This is a book club pick, swapped out for another that our moderator decided sounded too dull.
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. My husband’s friend praised this book and I’m enjoying some Mandel now so it will be fun to enjoy more of her writing later on.
  • The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott. A friend from college was recommending non-fiction and included a 1920s gangster book on her list. How could I not add it?
  • Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati. I enjoyed the first book in this series over a year ago and I look forward to continuing with the series!

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: I started training at least. I’m doing two workouts per day six days per week. It’s hard not being able to swim but I’ve found some other exercises to substitute that are helping build core strength. So far, this event is still on. But I’m not optimistic that it will take place. All I can do is wait and see.
  • Submit my novel: I’ll do a whole post on this tomorrow. Suffice it to say, not happening, and may have to get scratched for this year’s goals.

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!

Challenge Update, March 2020

2 Apr

What a weird month. That’s all I’m going to say about that one. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

Lethal White // Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) (4/5)
August Snow // Stephen Mack Jones (2/5)
The Girls at 17 Swann Street // Yara Zgheib (4/5)
Fingersmith // Sarah Waters (3/5)
The Yellow Wallpaper // Charlotte Perkins Gilman (3/5)

And caught up on reviews! Here’s a positive side of the pandemic.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

5/12
Moving forward! I used Fingersmith to mark of the 1800-1899 time period and The Yellow Wallpaper could have been used for it, too. I’ll call that a double win. I hope to keep ticking these off, one after another.

Goodreads Challenge

14/55
I’m one ahead right now but I don’t know how long that will last. I’m in the middle of a lot of books, too, which I know will slow me down or a while but I think it will be for the best in the long run.

Book of the Month

I’m going to have to go with Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It was really fun and reminded me while I like this series so much. I’m glad the fifth book is coming out soon so I can’t forget too much before learning more about Robin and Strike.

Added to my TBR

I’m shocked to say this is down to 55! I haven’t been this low since I joined Goodreads. I’m killing it.

  • None! Can you believe it? I’m in shock.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: Well. I’m set to start training on April 20th. We’ll see how that goes. At this point, I haven’t been in a pool for almost three weeks. I’m running or biking 6 days per week and doing stability exercise each day as well. I’m probably in a better place than most since I’m not concerned about the swim. This race isn’t until August so we should be in the clear, but I’m still not holding my breath.
  • Submit my novel: Here’s somewhere I’m slacking. With everything going on, this hasn’t been a priority. I’ll get more into it next Tuesday when I do a post about my writing, but a good summary is that I’m not moving forward with this at the time since the world isn’t moving forward at this time. I do hope to get back to this, but it may be quite a while.

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!

Challenge Update, February 2020

12 Mar

This is a bit late because of my vacation but it’s helping me fill in some posting time before I actually finish a book. That’s not going so well right now. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in February:

The Dutch House // Ann Patchett
Sarah’s Quilt // Nancy E. Turner
Finding Gobi // Dion Leonard
Wild Ink // Victoria Hanley
What the Eyes Don’t See // Mona Hanna Attisha

I’m actually caught up on reviews! This also means I haven’t finished a book in a while. But I’m going to look at it in a positive way.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
Still going strong! I was able to use The Dutch House to check off 1960-1979 and Sarah’s Quilt to get 1900-1919. What I’m reading now should get me at least one more so I’m sitting pretty in this challenge for a while.

Goodreads Challenge

9/55
Goodreads says I’m one behind. I’ll take it! I think I can catch up quickly, especially if I’m going to start tri training in the next month. That always gives me a lot of audiobook time while I’m on the bike.

Book of the Month

I’ve been dwelling on The Dutch House for a while since I finished it and I’m still in love with it. The characters were great and I had a blast doing a Buddy Read of it with my best friend.

Added to my TBR

I’m down to 62! Though I could be doing better if I wasn’t in book clubs. And my only add this month is because of book clubs.

  • A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold. I think this will be a really good book for discussion. Klebold’s son, Dylan, was one of the Columbine High School shooters. I’ve wondered how the parents of criminals deal with the crimes their children commit and this will be very insightful.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: I start training early next month. I’m still coming off some vacation lethargy but my goal is to get a few double days worked into my schedule so I’m ready for six 2-a-days per week when I start.
  • Submit my novel: I’ve submitted to five and been rejected by them all so far. Five more to go before I reevaluate what I’m submitting a bit.

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!

Challenge Update, January 2020

3 Feb

I’m finally caught up on reviews! Reading a few long books really helps with that. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January:

Pachinko // Min Jin Lee (5/5)
American by Day // Derek B. Miller (4/5)
Colombiano // Rusy Young (4/5)
The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 // J.B. Morrison (3/5)

It feels so good to be near caught up! I expect I will be again next week.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

2/12
I’m off to a good start so far. The four books I’ve read so far represent two different eras and I’ve got another one in the works. I’ve ticked off 1940-1959, and 2000-Present. So far, so good!

Goodreads Challenge

4/55
So far, so good! I’m right about on track. If I’d been reading shorter books, I might be ahead. Maybe a few shorter ones coming soon will help with that.

Book of the Month

I’m so in love with Pachinko this month. I’ll be doing a book club reflection on it soon with even more love to share. This book swept me away and kept me engaged for its entire length which was a gift. I loved it so much and I hope I can convince everyone I meet to read it as well!

Added to my TBR

I’m holding steady at 65. Though I think I’ll have a book club blow-up coming soon.

  • Any Way the Wind Blows / Rainbow Rowell. I know I still need to read the second book in this series, but I’m so sure I’ll love it that I’ve added the third.
  • What the Eyes Don’t See / Mona Hanna Attisha. This is a book club pick and one I’m curious to read. It focuses on the Flint, Michigan water crisis. I live about 40 minutes from Flint and this ongoing crisis is one I’m interested to learn more about.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: I’ve registered for the race and booked my hotel room. This is my focus race for the year. I’ve signed up for six triathlons this summer and this will be the fourth. The other two are just bonus fun.
  • Submit my novel: I’ve submitted to three agents so far and heard back from one. I’ll talk more about this in my writing check-in.

I’m keeping it basic this year for personal goals. Anything else would be a bonus. Maybe I’ll add more later, but this is good for now.

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!

Challenge Update, December 2019

2 Jan

I’ve been trying to catch up on reviews all month. And I’m almost there! No, really, I am! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in December:

The Maximum Security Book Club // Mikita Brottman (4/5)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue // Mackenzi Lee (5/5)
Sing, Unburied, Sing // Jesmyn Ward (3/5)
Between Shades of Grey // Ruta Sepetys (3/5)

I’m so close to catching up. I guess that’s the advantage of being in the middle of several long books right now.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

12/12
DONE! I wrapped up with Gentleman’s Guide this month and absolutely loved it. I don’t like pushing the challenge right until the end like this, but it felt so good to wrap up in December and I’m ready to go for it again starting in January.

Goodreads Challenge

62/52
I’m so awesome.

Book of the Month

No one should be shocked here. I wrote a ballad to this book in a review on Tuesday so go check that out if you’re wondering why. I absolutely adored The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I’m hoping to read the sequel soon.

Added to my TBR

Only down one to 65. December tends to be bad for the TBR with so much gift-giving.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Finish 70.3 Half Ironman: DONE!
  • Attend six weddings: DONE!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I’m caught up to Friday so I’m going to call being less than a week behind a complete success and celebrate this one as DONE!
  • Write: What a great year for this. Not only did I finish NaNo, but I SUBMITTED MY MANUSCRIPT TO AN AGENT! Yes, after editing for three years, I finally hit send. Now I plan the waiting game (and submit to more while I wait). I’m ready for 2020, bring it on!
  • See my friends more: I’ll call this a win overall. I was much more social and made a lot of new friends in 2020 that I’ll hold close for a long time to come. December was filled with lots of good friends so I ended this on a high note to be sure.

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 2020, 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!

The 2020 When Are You Reading? Challenge Starts Today!

1 Jan

Happy New Year! And it’s also WWW Wednesday. What an amazing day. Do you know what makes it even better? Today is the first day of the 2020 When Are You Reading? Challenge!

The challenge is to read 12 books, one from each of the below time periods. The books can either take place in the time period or be written in it. The reader has the final say on if a book qualifies for the time period.

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

If you’re interested in participating, please let me know and I’ll add a link to your blog or tracking page on the page for this year’s challenge.

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!

Presenting: The When Are You Reading? Challenge 2020

31 Dec

Yes, it’s a little late, but that’s always better than never. I’m so excited to announce the 2020 When Are You Reading? Challenge! My husband finished the beautiful image this morning. Isn’t it great?

I hope you’ll consider joining me for the 2020 edition of this challenge! I’m going to use the same format as last year. I think the change in time periods was effective and I’d like to give it another go.

The challenge is to read 12 books, one from each of the below time periods. The books can either take place in the time period or be written in it. The reader has the final say on if a book qualifies for the time period.

  • 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’ll be getting pages for the challenge set up today. Expect a few more posts about it this week and GET EXCITED! This challenge has been a great way to make sure I’m reading historical fiction from a variety of time periods. I hope you’ll consider joining me.

If you are participating, please let me know and I’ll include a link to your tracking page or blog on the page for this year’s challenge.

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!