#20BooksofSummer20 and #ReadARainbow Midway Check-in

In which I do Summer reading challenges in my winter months because Dec-Feb is too busy and annoying a period to do challenges, and the Internet is all Northern Hemisphere-centric anyway. 😝

20 Books of Summer is hosted by Cathy at 746books.com and the aim, as you may have guessed, is to read 20 book in Summer (i.e. 1 June to 1 September).

How am I going? Well, if you mean in terms of the number of books I’ve read during this period… I’m going great!

If you mean, am I sticking to the TBR I set for myself at the start of June?

Um… I’ve read one of them. Honestly, this was always bound to happen. It’s happening with the low-pressure readathon I’m doing this July (see below). It happened with my first readathon last year. It happens.

So what have I read so far?

  1. Burn by Patrick Ness.
  2. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  3. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
  4. What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin
  5. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
  6. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  7. Of Hair and No Hair by P. A. Mason
  8. Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans
  9. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Of these, Euphoria Kids was the only TBR read. And it’s not looking promising for the next little while. I’ve got a couple of ARCs to read. And my July book club book. Nyyyargh. 

I’m also doing the Read A Rainbow challenge on Twitter and Discord. This is  hosted by Books and Pixie Dust.

My original TBR for this one has gone out the window, too, but at least both my ARCs will count towards it! Here’s what I’m going for now: 

  1. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (red on the cover) (read)
  2. A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson (orange on the cover)
  3. Angel Mage by Garth Nix (yellow on the cover)
  4. The Opium Smuggler by Celine Jeanjean (green on the cover) (ARC)
  5. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte (blue on the cover) (currently reading)
  6. The Lost City by Amanda Hocking (purple on the cover) (ARC) (currently reading)
  7. Scones and Spells by Rosie Pease (pink on the cover) (currently reading)

Unfortunately my July book club read – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – doesn’t fit any of those colours (only red, which I’ve already covered), so I’m also going to fit it in somewhere! I’m sure this is all fine! (*cries in the corner*)

So that’s where I am right now! Reading is going a little slowly at the moment because it’s been a bit of a busy week, but I’m hoping to be able to dive in on the weekend and make some solid progress. 

How is your reading going? Is lockdown helping or hindering your reading goals? 

#20BooksOfSummer20 TBR

I’m hoping that 746Books, the host of this reading challenge, doesn’t mind me taking liberties and making my own graphic for it. I wanted to make reference to the fact that it… is really not summer here right now.  😁 I am writing this in front of the heater, wearing woolly socks and with a blanket over my lap.

But why should that preclude me from a challenge?! Sure, I could start my own Southern Hemisphere version and run it December – February, but… eh. That sounds like work!

The 20 Books of Summer challenge is exactly what it sounds like. Between June 1 and September 1, participants can choose to read 10, 15 or 20 books.

I’m going to continue my 2020 challenge of reading all the Australian books that I own.

My Australian fiction bookshelf, showing a number of the books on my 20 Books of Summer list, as well as some I’ve already read, and some I’ll get to a bit later.

I find that even when I only do month-long reading challenges, my final result is always a little different from my intitial TBR, but these are the ones I’m going to try for:

  1. The Beast’s Heart by Lief Shallcross (fantasy)
  2. The Iron Line by L. M. Merrington (historical fiction)
  3. Rheia by Cassandra Page (fantasy)
  4. Where Shadows Rise by Amy Laurens (YA fantasy)
  5. Through Roads Between by Amy Laurens (YA fantasy)
  6. Mud and Glass by Laura E Goodin (fantasy)
  7. Harlequin’s Riddle by Rachel Nightingale (YA fantasy)
  8. The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren (horror)
  9. No Limits by Ellie Marney (YA crime/contemporary)
  10. A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson (YA contemporary)
  11. The Grinding House by Kaaron Warren (horror/short stories)
  12. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (YA fantasy)
  13. The Dry by Jane Harper (Crime)
  14. She’s Having a Laugh ed. George McInroe (non-fiction)
  15. Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer (sci-fi)
  16. Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth (historical fiction)
  17. One Summer in Santorini by Sandy Barker (romance)
  18. The Blood Countess by Tara Moss (YA fantasy)
  19. Angel Mage by Garth Nix (YA fantasy)
  20. Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans (YA fantasy)

This might be ambitious because I also have a couple of ARC reviews due in June, and a couple of books from the library still to get through. And book club! But I do have the first week of June off work. So we’ll see. See you on the other side! Or at least, at a June 30 check-in.

Introducing #StartOnYourShelfathon! Dec 2019 – Dec 2020

Hello friends! Blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside for the rest of the year. I have two more books to read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, plus one more general one, and they are the only ones I’ll be reviewing between now and January.

I’ve ended up in a bit of a reading funk, brought on by end-of-year exhaustion, a couple of books I didn’t enjoy, along with some other life-related stresses that don’t help. That meant I fell completely off the bandwagon with the Triwizard Readathon from a few posts ago, but that’s okay.

Anyway, I’m here to talk about a year-long readathon I’ll be participating in next year! Technically it’s already started, but it’s unlikely I’ll manage much for it between now and January 01.

#StartOnYourShelfAthon is all about reading the books you already own, be they physical or electronic. It’s hosted by The Quiet Pond and you can read all the info here.

What I appreciate about readathons like this one is that they have a lot of wriggle room for setting your own goals. This challenge ties in with some goals I was already planning to set myself for 2020, and this way, I’ll have some public accountability.

So what are those goals you ask? Easy!

  • Read 20 Australian books – this will tie in with my Australian Women Writers Challenge, as well as give me plenty of fuel for my Booktube Channel, where I talk about Aussie books.
  • Read 10 Discworld novels – I’ve had a whole bunch of Discworld novels sitting on my shelf that I bought off a friend who was going overseas… years ago. I’ve only read a few. And it’s ridiculous, because I know I enjoy them.
  • Read 10 other ebooks – I have all the unread books on my Kindle in a collection together, so it’s easy for me to see what I have and haven’t read, and I’ve got plenty to choose from.

I usually read about 75-90 books in a year, so aiming for 40 challenge books still gives me plenty of room for new releases, library books, that sort of thing.

In the coming weeks, I’ll set up a separate page here on the blog to keep track of the titles I read for the challenge. I don’t think I’m quite up for a star chart, so  a page will have to do.

Come join in the fun if you feel so inclined!

Triwizard Tournament Readathon – First Task Wrap-up and Second Task TBR

WElcome to the Triwizard Tournament Readathon!

This readathon snuck up on me so this is my first blog on the subject and we’re at the end of the First Task. Probably stating the obvious here, but the challenges for this readathon are based on the Triwizard Tournament tasks in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. You can find more info at Chapter Charms.

Teams were decided on by date of birth, and I am on Team Durmstrang. For the first task, I had to Swedish Short-snout.

The prompt: These dragons are sought after to use their skin to make shields and gloves, re-read a favourite that makes you feel protected.

When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne

I’ve got to be honest, part of me was freaking out about this prompt because I’ve got so many books to read for the first time right now, and I didn’t think I had time to re-read anything. However, I can always count on the Winnie-the-Pooh books to give me warm fuzzies, and they are very quick reads.

There was also the method of defeating the dragon. I used distraction.

The prompt: Distract your dragon by transfiguring a rock into an animal, read a book with an animal on the cover.

Portable Curiosities: Stories by Julie Koh

With a cat on the cover! This was a really entertaining collection of short stories. There were some I didn’t really get, but others were fantastic. They were all a bit weird in some way or another.

So now that the first task is over, there is a week until the second task begins. In the second task, Harry and the other Triwizard Champions had to rescue a loved on from the Hogwarts Lake. Durmstrang team members will be rescuing a friend.

The prompt: Read a book about friendship.

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

I’m going to hope this works for this prompt anyway! Otherwise there’ll be a mad dash for me to find another one. But there’s such a large cast in the Diviners novels, I figure I’ll be able to make it work in one way or another.

And of course, the question is how do I rescue my friend from the lake? I’m going with transfiguration.

The Prompt: Partially transfigure yourself into a sea creature by reading a book about a sea creature.

Into the Drowning Deep by MIra Grant

I originally had this book down for the third task, under “read a book containing something you fear” because you can bet I am terrified of the ocean. I mean, I’m happy enough going to the beach, but anything more than a few feet underwater and I start getting bothered. But I didn’t really have anything else for any of the prompts for this challenge, so I’m moving it here. There’s till plenty of time to figure out my titles for the Third Task.

The second task runs from Monday November 25 to Sunday December 01, so I’ll be back with another wrap-up post sometime after that.

See you then!

Beat the Backlist Challenge 2017 #BeatTheBacklist

2017beatbacklistbanner

Recently I learned of this challenge over at It’s All About Books, and even though I had said no challenges in 2017, this one actually fits in quite well with my general reading goals for 2017, so I thought why not.

The 2017 Beat The Backlist challenge is hosted over at Novelknight. The aim of this challenge is to attack the books that have been languishing on your TBR for a while, while you’ve been favouring all those shiny, new releases as they come out. As such, no 2017 releases count towards the challenge, but everything published 2016 or earlier does. If you’re up for it, there’s also a Harry Potter themed mini-challenge running as well as other mini-challenges. I am just doing the bare bones, though, as I don’t really want to have another thing I have to remember to log each month or whenever.

My goals for the challenge will be as follows:

  • Read at least 20 books that I own
  • Read at least 20 books that I added to my GoodReads TBR prior to 2016.

I thought about doing a tentative challenge TBR but I decided against it. I’ll pick and choose from what I feel in the mood for at any one time.

At the moment my plan is to write an update on the first of each month, and I’ll also create a page under the “What’s all this?” link above to keep track of the books I read. My review posts will have the #BeatTheBacklist tag so that they end up in the right places on Twitter.

I read 93 books in 2016, so if I continue at that pace, I should be able to topple both these goals, as well as have plenty of time for new releases.