Shakespeare 2020

Two weeks ago or so, the Shakespeare 2020 Project came across my social media feeds. It’s been a long time since I read any Shakespeare – not since some really excellent college classes, I think. In fact, it’s even been years since I donated/sold off the various volumes I acquired for said classes.

But y’all know how I love a self-imposed challenge. And I’ve still got Lamb’s Tales on my Classics Club list. (Although, oddly, no Shakespeare on that list.) Of course, I’m already two plays behind. I’ll get caught up on Henry VI before we all move on from part III, and I’m planning to go back and revisit Twelfth Night in December.

Yesterday, I took a bag of books to my local used bookshop to sell (they bought about half of them). Between that and a gift certificate from Christmas, I was able to pick up this lovely three-volume annotated complete works from the 1970s, in its somewhat battered slipcase. They’re not exactly portable, so I’ll be doing most of my reading from them at my desk, but I’m awfully pleased with the purchase.

Are you in for Shakespeare 2020?

Reading Challenges 2020

The Reading Challenges haven’t gone so well for me the last two years. But I’ve once again succumbed to the promise of a brand new year and brand new challenges. Here’s what I’ve got lined up for 2020:

  • Back to the Classics is hosted by Books and Chocolate. I read two out of 12 last year (and failed to post about either one). Some of the titles I’ve picked for this year are carry-overs from last year’s list.
  • The Georgian Reading Challenge is hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews. The goal is a minimum of four books – fiction or non-fiction – related to the Georgian era (I’m using the 1714-1830 period – sorry, William IV). I’ve earmarked some possible titles, mostly the same as last year, since I read exactly zero books from the list in 2019.
  • The Victorian Reading Challenge is also hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews, and she’s switched it up with bimonthly themes, plus a year-long bonus theme. I’ve picked some books to match.
  • Classics Club is a multi-year challenge. I have a list of 50 books that I plan to read before the end of 2023. I read two of them in 2019, but I never posted about them. Whoops.
  • Read Harder comes from the fab folks at Book Riot. Some of the 24 tasks are going to be more challenging than others.
  • The Reading Women challenge comes from the Reading Women podcast. It also has 24 tasks, and some of these will definitely be challenging.

How about you? Are you doing any of these challenges? Or different ones?

2019 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Remember all those reading challenges for 2019 I was so excited about back in December of 2018? Turns out, 2019 had its own special set of challenges for me. Still, let’s take a look back and see how things went.

12 Children’s Classics for 2019 (hosted by Book Hippie)
Goal: 12 books (pre-selected by challenge rules)
Result: 1/12 (8.3%)

January: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Finished: March 8)
February: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
March: Goody Two Shoes by McLoughlin Brothers
April: The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
May: The Tale Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
June: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
July: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
August: Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
September: Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault
October: Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
November: Raggedy Ann & Andy by Johnny Gruelle
December: Nutcracker and Mouse-King by E.T.A. Hoffmann

2019 Middle Grade Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 6 or More Books with optional checklist
Result: 10/6 (166%) (I know there were more, but I seem to have forgotten to log them somewhere in the middle of the year.)

  1. a Newbery Winner: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (finished February 11)
  2. a Newbery Honor: The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (finished February 14)
  3. realistic/contemporary: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (finished February 23)
  4. Author beginning with C: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (finished March 7)
  5. nonfiction: Camp Panda by Catherine Thimmesh (finished March 8)
  6. children’s book published in the 1880s: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (finished March 8)
  7. historical fiction: Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransom (finished March 13)
  8. mystery: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (finished March 28)
  9. fantasy: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper (finished December 3)
  10. any book in a series: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (finished December 21)

Back to the Classics (hosted by Books and Chocolate)
Goal: 12 books
Result: 2/12 (16.67%)

  • 19th Century Classic (1800-1899): Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (finished March 8)
  • Classic in Translation: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Marie Borroff (finished December 28)
  • 20th Century Classic (1900-1969)
  • Classic by a Woman Author
  • Classic Comic Novel
  • Classic Tragic Novel
  • Very Long Classic
  • Classic Novella
  • Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean)
  • Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia
  • Classic From a Place You’ve Lived
  • Classic Play

Georgian Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 4 books
Result: 0. Just didn’t happen.

Victorian Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews)
Goal: 20 books
Result: 1 (5%) – Little Lord Fauntleroy was the only one here.

Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies (hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews)
Goal: 10 cozy mysteries
Result: 4 (40%)

  • Paranormal: Fatality in F by Alexia Gordon (finished June 28)
  • Based outside the US: A Dream of Death by Connie Berry (finished February 8)
  • Career-based: Reading Up a Storm by Eva Gates (finished May 30)
  • Travel: Savasana at Sea by Ava Dunne (finished March 24)
  • Culinary
  • Animal-related
  • Craft-related
  • Historical
  • Holiday based
  • Freebie

Read Harder (Book Riot)
Goal: 24 Books
Result: 13 (54%)

  1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters: To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer (finished December 20)
  2. An alternate history novel
  3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (finished January 2)
  4. A humor book: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (finished July 28)
  5. A book by a journalist or about journalism
  6. A book by an AOC set in or about space: The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum (finished April 24)
  7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
  9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads: Savasana at Sea by Ava Dunne (finished March 24)
  10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Marie Borroff (finished December 28)
  11. A book of manga
  12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
  13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
  14. A cozy mystery: Fatality in F by Alexia Gordon (finished June 28)
  15. A book of mythology or folklore: Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson (finished January 27)
  16. An historical romance by an AOC: An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (finished January 9)
  17. A business book
  18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author: Hurricane Child by K. Callender
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime
  20. A book written in prison
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator: Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe (finished December 18)
  22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009: Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (finished February 13)
  23. A self-published book
  24. A collection of poetry published since 2014: Wait for Me: The Irritations and Consolations of a Long Marriage by Judith Viorst (finished December 18)

Reading Women (Reading Women podcast)
Goal: 24 Books
Result: 9 (37.5%)

  1. A mystery or thriller written by a woman of color: Fatality in F by Alexia Gordon (finished June 28)
  2. A book about a woman with a mental illness
  3. A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand
  4. A book about or set in Appalachia
  5. A children’s book: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (finished February 11)
  6. A multigenerational family saga
  7. A book featuring a woman in science
  8. A play
  9. A novella
  10. A book about a woman athlete
  11. A book featuring a religion other than your own
  12. A Lambda Literary Award winner
  13. A myth retelling: Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson (finished January 27)
  14. A translated book published before 1945
  15. A book written by a South Asian author
  16. A book by an Indigenous woman: We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell (finished March 8)
  17. A book from the 2018 Reading Women Award shortlist
  18. A romance or love story: An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (finished January 9)
  19. A book about nature
  20. A historical fiction book: The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye (finished January 19)
  21. A book you bought or borrowed in 2019: A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard (finished February 4)
  22. A book you picked up because of the cover
  23. Any book from a series: By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates (finished May 24)
  24. A young adult book by a woman of color: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (finished January 2)
  25. BONUS: A book by Jesmyn Ward
  26. BONUS: A book by Jhumpa Lahiri

Official TBR Pile Challenge (Roof Beam Reader)
Goal: 12 (pre-selected) books
Result: 1, but I didn’t post about it. Whoops.

Did I perhaps overcommit myself on challenges for 2019?

Mmmmm, possibly.

Am I going to let that stop me from signing up for more challenges in 2020?

Of course not. But more on that another time.

Reading Challenges 2019

low angle photo of tower of books
Photo by Ajda Berzin on Unsplash

I’m still working on a 2018 Reading Challenge wrap-up, but I’m already looking forward to these new challenges. This year, I’ve created separated pages to keep track of most of the challenges, all linked up there in the menu bar.

Children’s Literature Challenges

Genre- and Period-Based Challenges

Expanding My Reading Horizons Challenges

  • Read Harder comes from the fab folks at Book Riot. Some of the 24 tasks are going to be more challenging than others, but I’ve got #14 covered.
  • The Reading Women challenge comes from the Reading Women podcast. It also has 24 tasks, and some of these will definitely be challenging.
  • The Official TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I’ve already picked out my list of 12 books (plus 2 alternates). I completely forgot about the check-in posts in 2018: another thing to improve on in the new year!

Outside Category Challenges

  • Blogger Shame Challenge: Hosted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup, this is a challenge meant to nudge those of us who read advance review copies to actually, well, review the books. I’m hoping to improve my NetGalley feedback rating a lot.
  • Reading Challenge Addict Challenge: If you’ve made it this far down the list, you already know why I’ve signed up for this one. My goal is “On the Roof” (6-10 challenges entered and completed.
  • Classics Club: I’ve put this in “Outside Category” because it’s a multi-year challenge. I have a list of 50 books that I plan to read before the end of 2023.

How about you? Are you doing any of these challenges? Or different ones?

Looking Ahead: 2019 Challenges

It’s getting to be that time of year. The time when we (I) look at our valiantly attempted reading challenges, shrug off the incompletes, and look ahead to a fresh new year with fresh new challenges. Finding them really couldn’t be easier, since Feed Your Fiction Addiction has already done the work and compiled a Master List of 2019 Reading Challenges.

low angle photo of tower of books
Photo by Ajda Berzin on Unsplash

I’m a big fan of list-based challenges (Read Harder, anyone?), so I’m intrigued by Around the World in 52 Books and the Reading Women Challenge.

The Victorian and Georgian Challenges would combine nicely with my personal Classics Club list. And I’m just tickled by having the option of a list or a BINGO card for the Victorian one. That’s a nice touch right there.

I love a cozy mystery, and both Craving for Cozies and Cruisin’ through the Cozies look like fun.

12 Children’s Classics is a book-club style challenge with a set sequence of books assigned to months. February is Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, which happens to be on my Classics Club list.

Speaking of children’s books, there are challenges for both middle grade and picture books hosted at Becky’s Book Reviews.

I may feel a tiny bit called out by the Blogger Shame Challenge. My NetGalley feedback rating says I should do this challenge.

And then there is the Reading Challenge Addict Challenge, wherein one takes a challenge to complete a number of challenges. Wonderfully meta!

R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) XIII

You know what I really (don’t) need? Another reading challenge.

But I’m going to do one anyway.

I heard about Readers Imbibing Peril XIII on the latest episode of the For Real podcast. I am, as ever, late to the party, since the challenge started at the beginning of September.

And what is this challenge, you ask? From the site linked above:

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

I think I can make that work. In fact, since I’m so far behind on my personal challenge of reading my entire Doubleday Sherlock Holmes this year, I’m already planning on reading both Hound of the Baskervilles and Valley of Fear this month, so there are two books already. (Yes, I am counting them as two separate “books” even though they’re both in my one massive volume, since I think that’s in the spirit of the challenge.)

I’d also like to read Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate this month, for my extremely neglected TBR Pile Challenge. Also on that list is Shadows over Baker Street, another seasonally appropriate choice.

That makes four books, which qualifies as “Peril the First”. Because why not aim high?

2018 Reading Challenge Check-In #3

The first quarter of 2018 has been and gone, so how are those Reading Challenges going?

 

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)
Goal: 24 books
End of March Progress: 16(ish)% (target pace: 25%)

I did finish A Study in Lavender, but I haven’t yet reviewed it, so it doesn’t count toward the TBR Pile challenge yet, and so I’m not counting it here yet.

February:
None. Whoops.
January:

 


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader
Goal: 12 books
End of March Progress: 8(ish)% (target pace: 25%)

What I wrote up there under the last challenge? That.

February:
None.
January:

 


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves
Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)
End of March Progress: 21% (target pace: 25%)

Falling a bit behind again.

  • Grand Canyon by Jason Chin: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  • Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2004)
  • Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  • Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 2018)
  • A Different Pond by Bao Phi: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)

February:

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 1963)
  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)
  • Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: 3 points (Newbery Winner, 2018)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)

January:

  • Sounder by William Armstrong: 3 points (Newbery winner, 1970)

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom
Goal: 12 books
End of March Progress: 17% (target pace: 25%)

This one sort of sneaked in.

  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum

February:
None.
January:

  • Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969

 


Book Riot Read Harder 2018
End of March Progress: 21% (target pace: 17%)

By the way, my hold on Mother of Black Hollywood finally came in.

  • A comic written or drawn by a person of color: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (Book One), written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze

February:

  • A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author: Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon
  • A romance novel by or about a person of color: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

January:

  • A children’s classic published before 1980: Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969
  • A one-sitting book: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

 


2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge
Goal: Creative Conversationalist (11-20 posts – aiming for 12)
End of March Progress: 8% (target pace: 25%)

Okay, this month, the blog’s been pretty much TBR stuff, one way or another.

February:
None.
January:

 


2018 Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge at Becky’s Book Reviews

I have still not posted anything about tea this year. I’ve been drinking quite a lot of tea, though.

So, how’s your 2018 reading going?

2018 Reading Challenge Check-In #2

We’re two months into 2018, so how are those Reading Challenges going?

February flew by. I know it’s a short month, but it felt particularly short this year.

On to the Challenges!

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)
Goal: 24 books
End of February Progress: 16% (target pace: 17%)

I read a lot of library books in February, but I didn’t finish any books from my own shelves! Whoops.

January:

 


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader
Goal: 12 books
End of February Progress: 8% (target pace: 17%)

No progress on Mt TBR means there was definitely no progress on this one. I started reading both Listening for Madeleine and A Study in Lavender, so I’m hoping to catch up by the end of this month.

January:

 


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves
Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)
End of February Progress: 15% (target pace: 17%)

As predicted, my point total jumped after the YMA announcements on the 19th. And I haven’t even started this year’s Caldecotts.

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 1963)
  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)
  • Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: 3 points (Newbery Winner, 2018)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)

January:

  • Sounder by William Armstrong: 3 points (Newbery winner, 1970)

 

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom
Goal: 12 books
End of February Progress: 8% (target pace: 17%)

Another neglected challenge! A Wrinkle in Time is due for a re-read before the movie, so that will probably be next.

January:

  • Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969

 


Book Riot Read Harder 2018
End of February Progress: 21% (target pace: 17%)

I thought that “Celebrity Memoir” would be my next category, but my hold on Mother of Black Hollywood has not yet come in. Instead, I curled up with some cozy mysteries for one task and a fantastic historical romance for another. I recently picked up a copy of the first volume (four issues) of the Black Panther comics written by Ta-Nehisi Coates; the “comic written or illustrated by a person of color” task is likely to be next.

  • A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author: Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon
  • A romance novel by or about a person of color: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

January:

  • A children’s classic published before 1980: Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969
  • A one-sitting book: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

 


2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge
Goal: Creative Conversationalist (11-20 posts – aiming for 12)
End of February Progress: 8% (target pace: 17%)

Um, oops?

January:

 


2018 Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge at Becky’s Book Reviews

I have still not posted anything about tea this year.

 

So, how’s your 2018 reading going? I’ve got some room for improvement this month!

2018 Reading Challenge Check-In #1

We’re one month into 2018, so how are those Reading Challenges going?

I’ve fallen a bit behind, though not as much as I thought before I went and put together this post! I went to New York in early January, then came home and promptly got a massive cold. Which I attempted to ignore while catching up at work.

The cold would not be ignored. So, that went well.

On to the Challenges!

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)

Goal: 24 books
End of January Progress: 16% (target pace: 8%)

Ahead of schedule, and I even posted reviews of three out of the four. Of course, the one I liked the most, The Dollhouse, is the one that I didn’t get around to actually reviewing.

 


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader

Goal: 12 books
End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)

This is the only Challenge that required a list at the beginning of the year. I’m right on target pace-wise, but I’ve discovered that I might have actually gotten rid of one of the books on my list! Oops.

 


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves

Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)
End of January Progress: 4% (target pace: 8%)

  • Sounder by William Armstrong: 3 points (Newbery winner, 1970)

A bit behind on this one, but no reason to think I won’t catch up soon – probably later this month, once the 2018 YMAs are announced.

 

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom

Goal: 12 books
End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)

  • Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969

Right on target with this one. I’m also planning to re-read A Wrinkle in Time, which wasn’t on my original list, but qualifies, since it was published in 1962.


Book Riot Read Harder 2018

End of January Progress: 12.5% (target pace: 8%)

  • A children’s classic published before 1980: Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969
  • A one-sitting book: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

My next challenge will probably be the celebrity memoir one, just as soon as my library hold on Jenifer Lewis’s The Mother of Black Hollywood comes through.


2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge

Goal: Creative Conversationalist (11-20 posts – aiming for 12)
End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)


2018 Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge at Becky’s Book Reviews

I’ve fallen down on this one and not posted about any teas in January. I’ll have to get to work on that!

So, how’s your 2018 reading going?

2018 Discussion Challenge

Welcome to the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

Even when I’ve failed to complete specific reading challenge lists, I’ve still read a lot of books. What I haven’t done is post about them! This challenge is all about starting discussions on book blogs.

There are five levels for this challenge:

  • 1-10 – Discussion Dabbler
  • 11-20 – Creative Conversationalist
  • 21-30 – Chatty Kathy
  • 31-40 – Terrifically Talkative
  • 41+ – Gift of the Gab

I’m aiming for “Creative Conversationalist” with a personal goal of 12 posts, because one post each month sounds reasonable.