July 2017 Wrap-Up

At the end of the month I like to reflect on my reading life. Here is a link to my June 2017 Wrap-Up, if you are interested. And now on to July! (FYI: all thumbnail covers are courtesy of GoodReads.)

July Stats

Total Books Read: 8

The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel, #3) The One That Got Away (includes: Effingtons, #8.5) The Fortune Quilt Your Scandalous Ways In Scandal They Wed (The Penwich School for Virtuous Girls #2) A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7) It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8) The Art of Fielding

Number of pages: 3,108

Written by Men: 1

Written by Women: 7

Diverse Authors: 0

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 8

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 8

Library books: 6

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 0

DNF: 2

Funny Girl  The Mothers

I’ve not abandoned this books, but just didn’t finish before the end of the month.

Favorite book of July:  Really didn’t have a favorite this month…..

Challenges to date:

GoodReads: 66/75

Book Riot Read Harder 2017: 6/24 (I’m so behind on this challenge.)

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 1

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach


My Name is Not Easy Remember to Forget Sugar The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor Shadows on the Moon  All of these books are audio books.

The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich One kindle book


Quarterly Box #LIT05 (A book box I subscribe to) :

This is from my collection.

I had forgotten this box was coming so was pleasantly surprised when I found it on my porch. And I love the tote bag.

My Bookish Posts:

My favorite Jane Austen Swag.

My thoughts about NOT reading The Game of Thrones series.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter.

Across the Web:

I’ve read a lot about cults in the last six months, so this essay on Lit Hub really caught my attention.

Across the Blogosphere:

Because I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog. 

Yesterday, July 30, 2017, was the 199th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth.

I love to read what others think of  one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre.

Why Literature Matters is a great companion piece to the Lit Hub essay I linked above.

How was your month of July? Did you read a lot or a little? Did you read anything that rocked your world? Let me know in the comments below.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon


Yes, it’s that time of year again. Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. This year it fall on April 29th which is this Saturday. This will be my third readathon and I’m really looking forward to it. Click on  October 2016  and April 2016 if you would like to see my plans for the last two readathons I participated in.

This is my final-ish stack that I’m planning to read for the readathon. Two of the stack are Harry Potter books because I’ve seen on Litsy that a number of people are doing a chapter a day rereading of all the novels. And I didn’t know about it so I could do that challenge too. So, to help scratch that itch, I decided to read books two and three of the series. Also, I’m reading books that will work for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I’ve fallen woefully behind in this reading challenge and I’m hoping the readathon will get me back on the wagon again. Also, all of the books I’m reading are eligible for the other challenge I’m doing this year #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. All of the books were purchased before 2017. So! I’m ready, y’all.

If you would would like to participate in this Springs readathon, click here to sign up and if you would to read more about the readathon, click here. You can follow me on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram and Litsy (follow me!) to see my updates and the occasional challenge. And I will be post updates through out the day here on my blog, of course.

So, are you planning on doing the Dewey’s Readathon? Are there other readathons I need to know about? If so, let me know in the comments below.

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.

So many reading challenges, So little time

I have a lot of books in my TBR (aka to be read) pile. In fact, it is as tall as it is deep. And the books are layered in the order I acquired them. It’s almost like an archeological dig; the oldest books are on the bottom and the newest on the top. And because of this structure I seldom go back and read books that have owned for years. I have to remind myself that those books do exist because I do want to read them! In fact there is one book that I keep re-buying. At least once a year I re-buy this book even though I have a copy. But I forget time and again that I own that book because it is at the bottom of my TBR stack.

What to do? Well, I came up with a solution one day after reading a book blog that I follow in Facebook. A reading challenge! So many books that I own and never have gotten around to reading fit the tasks for that particular reading challenge. So, keeping in mind all the books I have, I attempted to complete the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge.

What is a reading challenge you ask? Well, let me explain. Reading challenges have been around for a while. In fact, while in elementary or middle school you may have participated in the Pizza Hut Book It! Challenge. Remember? You read a certain number of books and earn a certificate for a free Personal Pan Pizza? Well, in the last few years’ book nerds who missed having fun challenges have begun setting up reading challenges on book blogging sites and reading websites. And the challenges range from number of books (Goodreads) to specific genres (reading only women writers or graphic novels, for instance). One of the reasons I follow the Book Riot Challenge is it encourages the reader to read a variety of different genres that may be outside of their comfort zone. And reading a lot of different genres is something I like to do. I don’t limit myself to reading one genre and I buy books in a variety genres. So their challenge would fit my goal of reading books that I already own.

Sadly, I didn’t complete the challenge in 2015. I was five books shy of reading the 24 books. Plus, I did end up buying two books (a graphic novel and a comic book) and borrowing a significant number from the library. But I still count it as a success since it did introduce me to graphic novels. I had not read any even though I know they are a really popular form right now. And it also introduced me to the world of reading challenges out there on the internet. There are challenges to meet everyone’s fancy. So this year I decided to again do the Read Harder 2016 Challenge and the Goodreads challenge. And quite by accident I found myself attempting some challenges I found on Twitter: #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, #ReadWomenWednesday, #FridayReads, and #WeekendReads. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks dovetails nicely with my commitment to the Read Harder Challenge. I have decided to again read books from my TBR pile, and if I don’t own something that will fit the task, to borrow from the library. I will not buy any new books for the challenge. Also, I want to read one book per task even though I could use a book for more than one challenge according to the Read Harder guidelines.   #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks is reading my own damn books and not buying any new-to-me books until July. Which has also been really hard since I love bookstores. But I’ve only bought one new-to-me book since January. So yay me!  #FridayReads and #WeekendReads are exclusively on Twitter and I just take a picture of whatever book I’m reading on Friday and post it with the hashtag on Twitter.

As of this date I’ve completed six tasks and read six books for the Read Harder Challenge. And for the Goodreads Challenge I’ve read 23 of the 52 books I’ve set for myself (last year I read over my goal of 52 books and read 77! That was the first time I’ve ever met and exceeded nothing happened to move the plot along. And the main character seemed stuck as well. But in the end she did move and grow as did the plot. But it might not have needed 900 pages to do it (maybe my goal for that challenge). My favorite read so far for the Read Harder Challenge is Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach. My least favorite is The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. And I thought I would really love this one! But there is a huge section where cut out 200 or so pages to tighten it up a bit?

Like many book nerds on the internet I love the challenges. But I think for me the challenges really do help me find and read books that I already own. And have owned for years, in some cases. I like that it gives me an opportunity to look at my bookshelves to find a book that will work for a task. And it makes me appreciate how wide ranging my reading tastes are and have been for a while now. I’m not locked into reading only one genre as I was only a few years ago. But at the same time the challenges help my focus my reading and not be overwhelmed by the large TBR stack.