My 100th Blog Post

Well, this is a milestone for my blog. It’s my 100th post. And as of today I have 143 followers on WordPress and 5 who follow by email, mostly people I don’t know IRL. So Yay! Thank you to all of you who take the time to read and respond to my posts and memes. I appreciate it. People who live with me have to read my musings and say they like them. It’s like a law or something. But strangers out there  on the web have no such obligation. So again, thank you.

My plans for the next 100 posts is a bit unclear right now. I am committed to writing about books, book reviews and other bookish topics. Looking back at previous bookish posts I’ve written it’s  And I really feel like I’m just now finding my voice here. So, I’ll be writing more bookish posts to add to the mix along with more book reviews.Thank you again for following and reading my blog.

There are other places on the web where I do bookish things. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Litsy (user name is Loreen).  FYI: My Twitter feed is mostly bookish, but I occasionally harass my elected officials there too.

Happy reading and blogging!

Looking Back at 2016: Challenges

This past year I participated in three challenges: Goodreads, Book Riot Read Harder 2016, and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. And I am so pleased by how I did this year.

GoodReads: This past year my goal was to read 52 books. I moved well past that goal and read 85 books which is 163% of my original goal. I decided on 52 books, or one book a week, since it seemed manageable. I have to say I love the stats page that Goodreads has generated the last two years or so. I love that it shows how many pages I read, the longest book and shortest books I read, and even the highest rated book that I read during the year. And I like the visuals quite a lot.

For 2017 I plan on reading 52 books for the Goodreads Challenge.

Book Riot Read Harder 2016: I’m very pleased with this challenge since, for the first time, I completed it! 24 books for 24 tasks designed to expand a readers reading experience. And, like in 2015, I really focused on using books that I already own. And I have a lot of books that did meet the requirements of each task. So, in addition to finishing the challenge,I knocked out a bunch of books on my teetering TBR pile. I think my favorite book that I read for the challenge is The Silkworm by  Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling): Listen to an Audie award winning audio book. I’ve struggled with listening to audio books, but listening to this book really changed my mind about doing it. I enjoyed to listening to the story, much to my surprise. The narrator did a great job.

And yes, I am planning on participating in the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 . And I plan on using my teetering TBR pile to once again populate the tasks for this challenge. Later on this month, I plan on posting more about my reading plans for this challenge in detail.

Speaking of my teetering TBR pile, in March I ran across another reading challenge that I immediately joined,  #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. It’s hosted by Andi at Estella’s Revenge and it’s awesome. I have so many books that I buy and never get around to reading. So between this challenge and the Read Harder Challenge I read a bunch of books from my TBR pile. So, the grand total is 32 of the 85 books I read this year were from my TBR pile.

Sign Up for 2017

Andi is again hosting the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Challenge. Click on the link to signup and participate in the challenge. Like last year, all the books I purchased before December 31st, 2016 will count towards this challenge. And I will not buy any new books until May 2017. My overall goal is 50% of the books I read this year will be for the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge. And at some point this year I plan on posting about this challenge, and maybe inventory how many books I own but have yet to read. Scary stuff! I’m almost afraid to find out how many books I have on my shelves.

So how did your challenges go in 2016? Did you complete them all? Are there new challenges you are participating in for 2017? Let me know in the comments below. Happy reading in 2017.

October Wrap-Up

It’s November? Already? The month just sped by. So here is my October Wrap-Up. I had a very good reading month thanks to the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. Readathons are great for bumping up my reading. I should do it one every month.

Challenge Update:

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks–4 books

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016–1 book

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon–5 books

Books acquired:

His Wicked Reputation by Madeline Hunter [Library eBook]

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott [Library eBook]

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott [Library eBook]

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick [Library eBook]

Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas [Library eBook]

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron [Library eBook]

The Trespassers by Tana French [Library eBook]

The Daughters by Adrienne Celt {Book Riot Book Mail Box}

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho {Book Riot Book Mail Box}

Books Read:

Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver [Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 and #ReadMyOwnDamnBook]

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott [Library eBook]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling [Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon]

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury [Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon]

Haunted Happenings by Robert Ellis Cahill [Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon]

Haunted Pensacola by Alan Brown [#ReadMyOwnDamnBook and Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon]

Yellowstone Ghost Stories by Shellie Larios [#ReadMyOwnDamnBook and Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon]

Bird Box by Josh Malerman [#ReadMyOwnDamnBook and Dewey’s 24 Hour readathon]

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick [Library eBook]

The Trespassers by Tana French [Library eBook]

Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas [Library eBook]

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron [Library eBook]

In Progress:

His Wicked Reputation by Madeline Hunter [Library eBook]

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott [Library eBook]

Cleopatra  by Stacey Schiff [Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 and #ReadMyOwnDamnBook]

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacey Schiff

S by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst

Favorite Reads:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

The Trespassers by Tana French

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Abandoned:

Still Life by Louise Penny library eBook, book club pick for October. The two in the group who read it hated it! So I didn’t bother.

November TBR Stack:

Cleopatra  by Stacey Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacey Schiff

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Hafisi

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

Across the web:

This year’s winners of Jezebel’s scary story post.

The Girl on the Train and Women’s Dark Fantasies by Anne Helen Peterson. An interesting analysis of the rise of thrillers featuring women.

Brangelina is Dead: Long Live Angelina by Anne Helen Peterson I love gossip so much. This is an analysis of how Angelina controls publicity. She should run a class for other celebrities on how to do this well.

Blogosphere:

I want to read the book featured here.

I read this post on the Little Coffee Fox blog and it reminded me of a good way to help with writing.

I love notebooks. I buy them and then never write in them. So this article gives suggestions on how to use all of the notebooks I collect. If you collect notebooks too, you might find this essay and links useful.

How was your October? Let me know in the comments below.

September Wrap-Up & October Plans

September was another slow month for reading and blogging. Now that summer is over I’m planning on refocusing on both reading and blogging! The cooler weather will help me focus, I hope! Lots of tea, blankets, and early evenings just makes me want to read!

Books I Acquired this month:

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante.

The Past by Tess Hadley

The Witches by Stacy Schiff

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Way to Rainy Mountain by M. Scott Momaday

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Still Life by Louise Penny {Library eBook}

Books I read in September:

The Bollywood Bride  by Sonali Dev {Kindle}

Way to Rainy Mountain by M. Scott Momaday {Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, Task 4}

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford {Library eBook}

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. {#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks}

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert {Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, Task 21}

Favorite Read:

 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante . This is such a good book.

 

 

 

Stuff from across the Web:

Framed: She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would want to harm her?

This is a long, but fascinating investigative report in the LA Times. If you have a few minutes READ IT!

Reading plans for October:

The three that I’m planning to read are The Witches by Stacy Schiff, The Bird Box by Josh Malerman, and The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante. All of these are for my own pleasure reading. Not that everything I read isn’t for my own pleasure! But I also am participating in a reading challenge or two. So I will read at least two books that will count towards the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 (not sure which books I will read). And The Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is coming up this month so I’m putting together the list of books I’ll read during that event. Since it is October the stack will have some creepy and scary reads. I’m pretty sure The Halloween Tree and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury will be in the pile.

 

So how was your September? What are your reading plans during October? Let me know in the comments below!

August Plans

After the horror of July, I’m determined to get back on the wagon. I’m behind on Book Riot Reader Harder 2016 challenge and need to get more tasks completed.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)  Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

 Here’s a list of books I want to read and finish this month:

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling, Robert Glenister (Narrator) [ebook/audio book]

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne. {Read Harder 2016 Challenge}

One Foot in Eden  by Ron Rash {Skype Book Club}

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab (Pseudonym), Victoria Schwab [eBook]

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert, et. al. {Read Harder 2016 Challenge}

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn {Read Harder 2016 Challenge}

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

S.by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst

What books are you planning on reading in August? Have you read any on my list? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

July 2016 Wrap Up

July was not a good reading or writing month for me. I read only two books in the entire month. Two! And this month I fell off the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks wagon and I “acquired”a number of of books. Book boxes arrived on my doorstep along with settlements from Amazon and book sales at small town libraries. The universe wanted me to get books, so it’s totally not my fault. Plus I did not post to my blog  as much as I had planned in June. Tomorrow I will list my writing and reading plans for August. In the mean time,  here is a wrap up of July!

What I read:

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (paperback)

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (audio book)

Total Pages read: A whopping 807.

New Arrivals in July: 

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard (eBook)

Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (The Taliban Shuffle MTI): Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker

Herland (The Herland Trilogy #2) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert

Persuasion by Jane Austen

One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Quarterly Lit Box:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel by Laura Dave

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

Library Books:

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (audio book)

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (audio book/eBook)

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab (EBook)

July on my Blog:

June 2016 Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday, #1

Time Travel Novels: My Top Ten

Review of In a Dark, Dark Wood

The Friday 56,#6

The Friday 56, #7

Around the Blogsphere:

Just a few links to posts of bloggers I follow that I particularly liked in the past weeks.

Sally Allen wrote a lovely piece about her struggle reading in unsettled times. Click Here.

And here’s a link to a post at Taking on a World of Words discussing her book clubs reaction to The Invention of Wings. Click here.

This one is from Read Diverse Books and discusses lessons learned in the first few months book blogging. As a newbie to this world I appreciate any help I can get. click here.

Across the internet

These are links to articles I’ve read online and want to share.

Here is a link to a list of 10 Habits of Book Lovers that Non-Readers Don’t Understand. I’m not sure this is true, but it’s always nice to see that I’m not alone in my “odd” behaviors. Click here.

I don’t often think of MTV as a platform for articles, but I ran across this one by Brian Phillips earlier this month and fell in love with it. It’s titled Lost Highway: Aliens, Archeology, and the Atomic Bomb-A Road Trip through the Ruins of the American West.  It’s beautifully written and intersects with some of my favorite urban legends and modern mythologies. One day I’ll write about my own visit to Area 51! Warning, it’s a long article, but well worth the read.   Click here.

Have you fallen off the wagon? Have you read any of the books, blog posts, and articles that I’ve listed? If so, what do you think of them? Make sure to let me know in the links below. Cheers, and happy reading in August.

 

 

 

June 2016 Wrap-Up

Well, June is done. That was quick, wasn’t it? It’s already time for me to think about my reading life this past month. I’ve had a very busy month both reading and blogging about reading. I made some dents in challenges, and didn’t do as much in others. But there are still six months left in the year, so I’m not too worried about meeting the goals of the challenges.

This month: I’ve read 9 books total and still have one to finish.

Pages read: 2,950

Challenges:

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 7

Book Riot Read Harder: 1

#WeekofReviews Challenge: 7 (on 6 of the 7 days.)

Book Formats and Genres:

Library Books: 2

EBooks/Kindle: 4

Romance Novels 3

How to/Self-help: 3

Books Purchased: 5.  2 kindle books and 3 paperbacks

Book Box: 1 (#BookMailBox) 2 books, apron, tea towel, bookmark, granola bar.

Book Reviews Posted: 8 (7 for the #WeekofReviews)

 

Reading goals for July:

  • Need to read three books for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.
  • Finish S! I’m dragging my feet on this one.

How was your June?