Tag Archives: When Are You Reading

Challenge Update, July 2019

1 Aug

Another great month for audiobooks! I’m glad something good came out of my crazy fitness endeavors. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July:

Being Mortal // Atul Gawande (4/5)
Ajax Penumbra 1969 // Robin Sloan (4/5)
The Golden Rules // Bob Bowman (3/5)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius // Dave Eggers (2/5)
A Storm of Swords // George R.R. Martin (5/5)
Good Morning, Midnight // Lily Brooks-Dalton (3/5)

Eggers slowed down my physical book progress a bit. I really slugged through that one. And Martin was a big win for my car-audio. I’m glad to call that one ‘finished’ finally! Overall, a good haul for the month.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

9/12
Another one bites the dust! Since the A Song of Ice and Fire series is based on the factual War of the Roses, I decided to count the book in the time period that the war happened which means A Storm of Swords fulfills the 1300-1499 time period. If you want to, you can fight me. But it’s my challenge so I made up the rules so good luck. None of the books I’m reading now will fit the periods I have left so it might be time to start getting strategic.

Goodreads Challenge

37/52
Killing it! I’m feeling great on this one and I’m really far ahead of schedule. Even the long audiobook didn’t bring me down so I’m happy to be confident in this one. Maybe I can bring my goal back up next year. You never know.

 

Book of the Month

Limiting it to this month seems wrong because I worked on it for so long, but I’m giving the title to A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This was my favorite of the series so far and it feels like such an accomplishment just to have finished it.

Added to my TBR

It’s finally coming down again! I’m down a total of six books this month to 71. I know I’ll have a book club season role in here soon that will bring it back up, but I’ll enjoy this while it lasts. What’s even more amazing is that I didn’t add anything to my TBR this month. Yes, I am feeling alright, don’t worry!

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! I’ll do a full post on this at the end of the month but it went wonderfully, better than I could have expected. And no, it didn’t change my mind about doing another one. Never again.
  • Attend six weddings: We’re at the halfway point. Three down, three to go. One in August and two in October. I think we only have one more gift to buy so we’re well on our way!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I started getting caught up on this last week so I’ll be up to date pretty soon. I’m in mid-July right now, not too far off!
  • Write: I’m rededicating myself to this. With the time I’m not spending training, I can spend more writing. August is my rededication month so I’ll be beginning next week. My goal is a minimum of two hours a week and I hope for more.
  • See my friends more: Up and down. I had a friend reach out to me after my race so I got to see her and it was lovely. I have some fun adventures with friends happening soon that I’ve been planning for a while. So yes for planned trips/parties, but no a lot spontaneously. A mixed bag.

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 2019, 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!

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Challenge Update, June 2019

1 Jul

Not great progress, but I’m still moving forward! June has been a crazy busy month and I think it will continue through the summer. We’ve got a lot to pack into these warm months and we’re not wasting a minute of it. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in June:

Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy (4/5)
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (4/5)
Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens (3/5)

I’m trucking through a long audiobook in my car so I’m not surprised to see two physical books on here, but it makes me happy to make some progress with printed books!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

8/12
I was excited to see that Lair of Dreams would fill in the 1920-1939 time period for me! I love that time period and being able to fill it with such a fun book was a great way to explore my favorite decade.

Goodreads Challenge

31/52
I’m slowing down, but I’m still moving forward. I don’t think I’ll have trouble finishing this one in time. I’ll start flying through audiobooks again soon, too.

Book of the Month

Because of how helpful it was, I have to pick Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy. I learned a lot about developing characters and how to structure my novel.

Added to my TBR

I’m up again for the second month in a row and it hurts. I’m up a total of three to 77.

  • Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian. This is a book club selection for the fall. The author is local to our area!
  • Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray. I need to keep moving forward with this series! Just two to go.
  • Liam and Heidi by Jason Alpert. One of my writers’ group members published his book! We’re all so excited.
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. After her first book, I have to see what else Morgenstern has up her sleeve!

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: Going OK. I’ve had some knee pain that’s stopped me from most running and biking. I did a sprint triathlon last week and it went well but it set me back a bit in my recovery. The race will happen before my next post so we’ll see!
  • Attend six weddings: Two down four to go! Another this coming weekend and then a break until August.
  • Finish a weather blanket: I haven’t touched this in a while but I’m not too far behind. I have the data, I just need to do the knitting!
  • Write: This got redirected. After reading Writing Fiction for Dummies, I realized I needed a bit more of a re-write than I thought. I’m working through that now and will have to reconsider sending it to agents after that.
  • See my friends more: The weddings are helping with this. I’m finally seeing a light at the end of the triathlon tunnel when I can be really good at this.

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 2019, 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, May 2019

3 Jun

I’m feeling pleased as punch about my reading this year! I know most of it is audiobooks because of training time, but I’m still happy about it! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in May:

Hawkes Harbor // S.E. Hinton (2/5)
The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing // Mira Jacob (4/5)
Exit West // Mohsin Hamid (4/5)
Survival in Auschwitz // Primo Levi (4/5)
Born a Crime // Trevor Noah (4/5)

I’m happy to have two physical books on this list (Hawkes and Auschwitz) and still be killing it with audiobooks. I’m making great progress toward my challenges for the year, too!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
Nothing new this month. I’ll probably have to start being strategic soon. I’ll see what book club picks will hit for me and then start filling in the rest. I don’t want to be rushed in December with this one!

Goodreads Challenge

28/52
Over 50% done! Feeling good about this one for sure. I don’t think I’ll be sweating when it comes to the end of the year. I think I’ll be sailing through to the end.

Cover image via Goodreads

Book of the Month

It could be a recency bias. Or it could be a ‘cute TV host’ bias, but I’m going to pick Born a Crime by Trevor Noah as my book of the month. I learned a lot about apartheid from this book but I also laughed at it because Noah has a great sense of humor. He had a very effective way of telling his story.

Added to my TBR

It hurts to see this list up, even if it’s just by two to 74. I added my book club picks for the rest of the year so it took a bit of a jump.

  • Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols. I saw this on an ‘upcoming SciFi’ list and it sounded so good that I added it to the TBR.
  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. Here’s the beginning of the book club list. I hadn’t heard of this one before but I’ll be reading it soon.
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. This one I had heard of and I’ve read another book by Jones, Silver Sparrow, a few years ago.
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I hadn’t heard of this one but our sponsoring librarian was pushing it. I think another group is ordering it, which means we sometimes get roped into books we didn’t ask for. We’ll see what comes of it.
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck. We’re trying to read more classics so here’s the first attempt!
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. After so much good press surrounding this one, I’m excited! I wish it wasn’t a year out, though!
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I was excited to see this on the list because I have an autographed copy after meeting Lee at the Midwest Literary Walk a few months ago. I’m excited to have people to discuss it with!

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: I’ve been able to ride outside a few times so I’m feeling better about this. I’ve got a big charity ride coming up so my bike seat muscles are about to get a crash course!
  • Attend six weddings: Feeling good about this. Two in June so I’ll be sure to let you all know shortly!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I’m no more than a week behind at any point so it feels great. I need to start some more baby blanket projects soon to keep up with those.
  • Write: I finished my editing, just making a few adjustments as I gather a list of agents. This doesn’t feel real but I’m so excited at the same time.
  • See my friends more: I am terrible at this. Does seeing my tri club count? If not, then I failed. I see my training partners, but that’s about it right now. I’ll argue I’m becoming closer friends with them.

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 2019, 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, April 2019

2 May

Who would have guessed Half Ironman training is so good for reading time? Not as good as last month, I concede, but still awesome. I’m OK being a bit behind on reviews because I’m not struggling for things to blog about lately. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in April:

News of the World // Paulette Jiles (4/5)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone // Laini Taylor (4/5)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda // Becky Albertalli (5/5)
Midwives // Chris Bohjalian (5/5)
The Power // Naomi Alderman (3/5)

I’m loving this so much. I’ve got a few more cooking but I’ve got time to get to them. I’m just glad to have gotten through one physical book this month. I think that’s where I’ll continue to be slow. My audiobook game is killing it.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
Killing it so far! Two time periods knocked out this month. News of the World is set in the 1870s which knocked out 1800-1899. And then The Power is set in the future, knocking that one out. Yay for book club picks! Maybe they’ll help fill in some of the other time periods and I won’t have to worry about this challenge at all. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

Goodreads Challenge

23/52
I’m still flying through these books and I’m seven ahead of schedule now. I don’t know if I’ll keep this up since I started a long audiobook lately and training will end in July. I’ll have to find another way to read more than is normal and keep this going because it feels really good.

Book of the Month

This seems to be an easy pick every month. This month the easy winner is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. My review went up Monday if you want to hear more about how much I adored this amazing book and why everyone should read it. I think I’ll watch the movie tonight…

Added to my TBR

72! I’m still taking it down, even if it’s just a bit at a time. I’ll get to a manageable number, I’m sure, but I’ll keep adding to the list so it may take a while.

  • Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani. I heard Trigiani speak a few weeks ago and when I found out she had a YA title, I had to snatch it up. I hope it doesn’t take me forever to read this one. I need a happy YA title from time to time.
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. The book club has spoken and this one is coming up soon! I hope the hype was worth it and I enjoy this one.

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: I thought I’d be able to ride outside in April but I’m still out of luck. Rain and (believe it or not) snow have kept me on the trainer. Maybe I’ll have one good weekend before July?
  • Attend six weddings: On pace. I have hotels booked for all except one and I don’t have an invitation for that one yet. So things are looking good!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I’m caught up through mid-April so I’ll say I’m on pace for this. I tend to let myself fall behind before catching up on this so I can binge-knit while I binge-watch TV. They go well together.
  • Write: Going wonderfully! I’m actually close to querying. I KNOW! I never thought I’d be here but I am and it feels wonderful.
  • See my friends more: I didn’t do so great with this one this month. I have a lot going on in May so April ended up being a lot of focus on me. I have some friends who got face time, but it was their asking, not mine. May already demands some travel and friend time so I think I’ll do better next month.

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 2019, 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 2019

1 Apr

I feel like I killed it this month! I’m flying through audiobooks and I’m fairly up to date on reviews. I’ve got my posts scheduled ahead of time and I’m feeling great about meeting my challenges. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

The Wednesday Sisters // Meg Waite Clayton (4/5)
Books for Living // Will Schwalbe (3/5)
Out of the Easy // Ruta Sepetys (5/5)
Origin // Dan Brown (4/5)
This Is A Book // Demetri Martin (3/5)
Thunderstruck // Erik Larson (3/5)
Wonder // R.J. Palacio (4/5)
Dodgers // Bill Beverly (3/5)

KILLING IT! Five of these are audiobooks and I’m going to attribute that to massive amounts of tri training and now I’m feeling doubly productive. I’m working on the reviews that are missing and you should see those in the next week or two as I catch up.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

5/12
One more done! The Wednesday Sisters knocked down another time period for me. I was hoping Out of the Easy would get another, but I already read a book for the 1940-1959 period. Still, forward progress! I’m hoping I can tackle some more without trying before October, which is when I start to read a little more strategically.

Goodreads Challenge

18/52
I just doubled my books for the year in March. That’s how good of a month I had. Killing it! Very happy with this progress. I’m now about six books ahead and feeling a lot more comfortable. I might have to tackle some longer books now that I’m feeling good about it. I’m looking at you, George R.R. Martin!

Book of the Month

An easy choice this month, I have to go with Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. The book blew me away and had me wanting to ride my bike trainer so I could listen to more. That’s really saying something.

Added to my TBR

I’m still amazed at how my TBR is coming down. I’m at 76 books now! After being over 100 for so long, this feels really liberating. I even added two this month and I’m still impressed with myself.

  • Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. This is the only add as a result of Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living. I thought I’d end up adding millions to my list, but this one caught my attention more than any of the others he mentioned. I hope it works for me!
  • The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib. The summary of this one caught my attention and I can’t stop thinking about it. Eating disorders are so tragic and unfortunately common. I can’t wait to dive into the heads of these women and follow the help they’re given.

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: I keep praying the weather breaks and I can take this training outside. I love the swimming and the running has been fun but I’m still lacking some love for the bike. Maybe once it’s outside more I can appreciate it and look forward to it more. I’m eating more and trying to sleep better. This training is hard but I love the challenge.
  • Attend six weddings: So far, so good! We’ve got two formal invitations now and have RSVPed to both. I’m in one, so that’s a no-brainer. Especially because my brother is the groom!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I finally started! After two re-starts to get the gage right, I’m on track. I always think these things are so ugly for the first month or two until the pattern starts to emerge. So now, I’m only in January and I think it’s hideous. I’ll let you know more when I catch up and get to April.
  • Write: This is my favorite goal so far. I’m making great progress in my book and had a mini break-through (more on that in my Writing Check-In post tomorrow!). I’m glad I pushed myself to do this.
  • See my friends more: I’ll still say this one is OK. Training is keeping me away a bit, but I’m hoping that once the weather breaks, I can work seeing my friends into training and enjoy it even more.

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 2019, 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 2019

4 Mar

I’m very pleased with how this year is progressing. I’m voracious with audiobooks because of my training time and I’ve had decent progress with print books as well. It may be early to say this, but it looks like 2019 will be a great reading year! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in February:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson // John Green and David Levithan (4/5)
Kiss Carlo // Adriana Trigiani (3/5)
Hunger // Roxane Gay (4/5)
The Valley of Amazement // Amy Tan (3/5)
Minutes Before Sunset // Shannon A. Thompson (3/5)
You Are An Ironman // Jacques Steinberg (4/5)

A very good month! And a lot of them are late finishes. I owe you a few reviews in the next few weeks be rest easy, they are coming!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
Still going well! That’s another two this month with Kiss Carlo and The Valley of Amazement knocking down the list. I’m not sure when I’ll get to another one to take it down further, but it’s a bit early to start planning so I’ll rest easy for now and just keep reading what I want before I pick and choose.

Goodreads Challenge

9/52
I’m just ahead! Just a little. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. I guess the month wasn’t quite as successful as I thought. Whatever, I still had fun with the books I chose!

Book of the Month

Partially because it was a fun book and partially because it was a quick Spanish read, I have to pick Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan as my book of the month. I’m thinking of reading most of my YA in Spanish now after such a good experience with this.

Added to my TBR

Still knocking down Mt. TBR! I only added one this month!

  • Stories of Elders by Veronica Kirin. I went to an event where Kirin spoke (she’s a friend’s sister) and, of course, bought the book. You can read more about it here.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. I love connecting with some of you over non-book related things. I posted about my goals last week but in case you missed it, here’s a summary and status.

  • Finish 70.3 Half Ironman: Four weeks into it! So far, so good. I hope I can keep it up. I’m tired a lot and having to squeeze everything in around longer and longer amounts of time on the bike and treadmill. I hope this gets easier when it warms up.
  • Attend six weddings: Well, the one I was on the fence about finally pushed me to commit and I did. I booked the hotel room and requested the time off. On track so far!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I’ve got all the yarn now, but haven’t started knitting yet. I haven’t spent a lot of time on the couch, my normal knitting time so it might be a bit of a delay this time around.
  • Write: Great so far! My husband leaves the apartment when I put ‘Write’ on the calendar. One week I counted my writers’ group time, but I’ve gotten a few solid hour blocks of editing done and I’m feeling great about it.
  • See my friends more: Going reasonably well here. I’m seeing them more, but not as much as I’d like. I blame the training. I wish more of them were endurance cyclist so we could ride together!

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 2019, 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 2019

4 Feb

The year has started off great! Or at least as great as it could have. I’ve read some great books so far this year and I hope it’s a harbinger of the year to come. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January:

Furiously Happy // Jenny Lawson (4)
Bird by Bird // Anne Lamott (3)
Before the Fall // Noah Hawley (4)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette // Maria Semple (5)

A lot of audio here, which says a bit about my book-time versus my bike-time. Time inside in the winter is time with audio in my world. I think it’s start to show. And I think it’s bound to continue for a while.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

2/12
Starting off strong! I know it’s almost by default, since any book I read first will fill at least one time period. I’ve got two more lined up and ready to go so I’m doing much better than I thought I would this early on. Hopefully I make this with a bit more of a margin than I did last year.

Goodreads Challenge

4/52
After missing last year’s goal of 55 and ending with 51, I’m re-grouping this year and I’ve decided on 52, averaging one per week. I think this is very doable, especially with no school, but it also means less driving and fewer audiobooks. I’m on pace now; I’m just hoping I can stay there.

Book of the Month

I had a lot of good books this month so this is a hard decision. I think I’ll have to pick Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. Enjoying this book with my husband and my book club was a great experience and I enjoyed the story a lot. It may not be my highest rating, but it brought me the most joy in January.

Added to my TBR

None! I’m down to 85 and feeling great about it. I know I’ve got a season of book club reads to add soon, but for now I’ll do a happy dance and celebrate getting that TBR under control.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. I love connecting with some of you over non-book related things. I posted about my goals last week but in case you missed it, here’s a summary and status.

  • Finish 70.3 Half Ironman: Today is the first day of my training plan! We’ll see how it’s going in a few weeks.
  • Attend six weddings: No update yet, which means no conflicts yet.
  • Finish a weather blanket: Still buying yarn, so not a lot of progress here. I’m hoping to start soon and I know I’ll catch up quickly.
  • Write: Still picking my day. I let myself take January off like I would have if school were still in session. February is time to buckle down and get started!
  • See my friends more: My husband has a very busy social life which is letting me pick more time to spend with my friends while he’s away. I had a great weekend last week where I saw three different friends and it was wonderful. I’ll try to keep it up going forward.

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 2019, 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 2018

7 Jan

Well, I tried. This month was busier than I anticipated, especially around the holidays. So I tried my hardest. What else can I ask of myself? You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in December:

The Poe Shadow // Matthew Pearl (2)
Brainiac // Ken Jennings (4)
The Gilded Hour // Sara Donati (3)
People of the Book // Geraldine Brooks (3)
Henry VIII // William Shakespeare (3)

So it was a good month, but not the month I needed to finish my Goodreads challenge. Good news for When Are You Reading? but it feels bittersweet. I’ll have to reassess my goal for next year. It was a close one. I owe you all a few reviews before I close out the year.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

12/12
By the skin of my teeth! I finished off The Poe Shadow and Henry VIII this month, just sneaking Shakespeare in at the end. I was frantically reading this one the weekend before and was so relieved to take it off my ‘to do’ list. I’ll be back again with this one this year and maybe I’ll be a little more organized. Maybe.

Goodreads Challenge

51/55
Just shy. I’m still four books behind, the same as I was last month and couldn’t catch up. Five in a month is great for me and I’m really happy with that. Too bad I couldn’t do just a bit more. I think 50 for next year is sounding much more doable. But 55 is a good stretch goal. Any opinions?

Cover image via Goodreads

Book of the Month

I’m not surprised that I’m putting a memoir as my book of the month for December. I adored reading Ken Jennings’ Brainiac while I was on vacation and I know he has a few other books that I’m now interested in reading as well.

Added to my TBR

I’ve shocked myself by dropping to 89! I know I need to add some book club picks to this list, but I’m going to enjoy being below 90 for now.

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling. This was my Christmas present to myself. Of course I’m going to read the screenplay. Of course I’ll love it even though it was only OK. Potterhead for life.
  • The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. My annual gift from my soon-to-be sister-in-law. We all get a book every year (except my dad) but I’m still over a year behind with reading them. Gotta catch up soon!

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- Done and done! My diploma is next to me, I’m a graduate and can annoyingly put MBA at the end of my name.
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- Already dreaming of going back…
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- I’m writing this a bit early and I’m only one day behind. I’m going to say I knocked this one out of the park!

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 2019, 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!

When Are You Reading?: Challenge Insight 1

24 Dec

I want to focus on and feature the When Are You Reading? 2019 Challenge this week. And I want to give myself a break over the holiday. Double win.

I’ve moved some of the time periods over the past few years but there are always a few eras I enjoy more than most. 1500-1699 is great for European history and always seems to delight. The future gives me fun ideas of how our world could change.

But far and away, my favorite is 1920-1939. I think this is a great period for US history, involving Prohibition and the Great Depression. For the rest of the world, Depressions and pre-World War II events were happening as well. With so much of our world involved in WWII, it’s interesting to see what built up to it. I’m also a little sick of the WWII novels out now (just too many to count!) and can appreciate the change an inter-war era book brings.

What’s your favorite time period? Let me know in the comments and consider joining in this challenge to push yourself to read others.

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!

Challenge Update, November 2018

3 Dec

I’m in the final stretch. It’s time to power through to the end of the year to finish all my goals and read those books that have been lingering on my shelf for too long. Can I do it? You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in November:

Not Me // Michael Lavigne (3)
That Night // Chevy Stevens (5)
Old School // Tobias Wolff (4)
The Nick Adams Stories // Ernest Hemingway (3)
Treasure Island // Robert Louis Stevenson (4)

I’m very happy with this number! I can tell I’ve had more reading time since I finished school. I hope I can report this number again next month because I’ll need to in order to finish my challenges. Bring it on! I’ll also be caught up on reviews by the end of next week, so that will feel good, too.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

10/12
I’ve got this one. I’m just finishing up a book for the 1800s and I’m in the middle of a short one for the 1600s and then I’ll be done! Just in the nick of time but it counts! I’m going to make a small adjustment for next year that should make this a bit easier. Stay tuned!

Goodreads Challenge

46/55
I’m still four books behind. I’m not sure I can make this one anymore. I was optimistic, but that goal is seeming very far off now. Maybe it’s time to surrender defeat? And I need to start thinking of a goal for next year. 50 is sounding more achievable.

Cover image via Goodreads

Book of the Month

I’m so glad I push myself to read outside of my comfort zone! I loved reading Chevy Stevens’ That Night this month. It was a great fall read for me. The creepy overtones were great for fall-tree studded runs and cozy snuggles with a blanket. I may have to change some of my go-to reads if they’re all this good!

Added to my TBR

I’m still at 92. I expect it to go up soon only because I got the to-read list for another book club that will take me through the summer. I’ll read them all slowly, but it does inflate this a bit. ‘Tis the life of a bookworm!

  • American by Day by Derek B. Miller. This was described as a sequel to the amazing Norwegian by Night so I’m excited to see what else Miller has in store!
  • Birthright by David Hingley. I’m excited to have a 1600s book on my shelf to be ready for some historical fiction reading next year! I think this will be a good one to start with.

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- Done! I walk on the 11th and I’ll be officially graduated and have kept the 4.0 the whole time!
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- All done and I’m dreaming of some more trips to come!
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- I’ve been catching up on this lately. I’m in early/ mid-October but catching up fast. I think I’ll be fine finishing around the end of the year or really early in 2019.

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 2019, 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!