Tag Archives: reading challenges

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 Challenge – June Reads

I am a few days into July and late with this post. My apologies! Life has been insanely busy on my end and reading has oddly slowed down. It’s summer now so I feel like I can get my reading mojo back to where it needs to be. Only one Book Riot challenge was completed in June, and while I am sad I didn’t read more, I am happy that I still managed one over none. Here’s what I tackled in June.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Completes Challenge #11: Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.

Note: Based on where my location is, Nigeria is 5,686 miles away.

Thoughts: This year I have slowly been working my way through all of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s works. While I find her writing to be impeccable, Purple Hibiscus wowed me from the first page. Taking place in Nigeria, Kambili and her brother Jaja lived a privileged life until visiting their Auntie. Soon they start to see the corruption that exists in Nigeria, along with religious and political struggles as well. This is a book about family ties, father-daughter relationships, and the way in which religion can play into peoples lives.

This book is just beautiful written, completely engrossing, with Kambili and Jaja being such wonderful characters to follow along throughout the story

June Wrap Up and July Reading Goals~

June was a mostly productive reading month. I read a lot of books both from my own physical TBR, as well as books I borrowed from the library. I kinda of have this problem where when I am at work, I bring new books home. Let’s see the physical pile I finished!


My favourite read out of the pile is a toss up between Winter by Marissa Meyer and How it Ends by Catherine Lo. I thought both books were absolutely fabulous, but I do think How It Ends edges Winter out just slightly.

I also participated in #TBRTakedown this month and I managed to finish ALL the books I selected for the event. Here’s a recap of what I read for that event:


1. TBR over a year [longest] – The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
2. Sequel – Thanatos by Karen Dales (Book Three of the Chosen Chronicles)
3. First book in a series – This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
4. Out of comfort zone [whatever that means for you] – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (Non-Fiction)
5. Most Recent Book Haul – How It Ends by Catherine Lo

And lastly, I had folks on Twitter craft me a challenge for the month of June. I… almost completed it. Here’s my results:

  1. Read an Adult Fantasy novel (Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish)
  2. A one-word title. (Tangled by Carolyn Mackler)
  3. A book that is has purple on the cover. (Sex Criminals Vol 3: Three the Hard Way Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky)
  4. A must-read Molly recommendation! (Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi)
  5. An LGBTQIA+ read (The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson)
  6. Read This Savage Song by V.E Schwab
  7. Something by a Canadian author. (Thanatos by Karen Dales)
  8. A book with a dog in it or as the main character.
  9. Something sci-fi. (Winter by Marissa Meyer)
  10. Read something that has blue on the cover. (The History of Love by Nicole Krauss)

So I managed to get to everything but challenge nine, and honestly I think I did well!

My goals for July are simple: No library books (haha this is going to be funny) and work some more at the Shelf of Shame. I am going to allow myself whatever library books I already have out, but the goal will be to read at least fifteen of my own books from my collection. It’s summertime, I have a long commute to and from work, so I think this is do-able. We shall see!

What are some if your reading goals this month? Let us know down below!

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #10 & Other Challenges

We have exactly one month left until the end of the year, and I am SO CLOSE to finishing my challenges that I can taste it! Here’s what I managed to read for my Book Riot Challenge this month! This means I only have two out of twenty four books left to read. Here’s how my shelf is looking for this project. Hard to believe I’m two books to finishing this year long challenge.

#4: A Book Published by an Indie Press


Shadow of Death, Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles by Karen Dales (Indie Press: Dark Dragon Publishing, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

I really like this series, and I thought this installment really ramped up the drama for Angel. Furthermore, I really loved how the majority of this book took place in Toronto. Considering its a city I am familiar with, it was great to be able to visualize the landmarks and streets that Dales was referencing in the story. Also omg Gywn! This book did however, feel like less of a horror novel compared to the first one. In fact, it read closer to an urban fantasy novel for me than it did horror, but that’s okay. My only gripe is while I loved the story, the editing in this book was a little wonky at times. Still, I really dug the story and I’ll have to bump Thanatos up in my TBR soon. Seriously, I love it when a vampire series actually uses vampire mythos correctly. SO HAPPY!

And since this is an indie press release, here’s some links to where you can buy this series, and support the author if you’re curious about it! Karen is a great writer, and a pleasure to know.

#8: A Book by an Author from Africa


Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

I’ve had Zoo City on my TBR for like, ever. It was one of those books where I was like HELLSYESINEEDTOREADTHIS and then just plum forgot about it. Yeah, I’m an ass. However, I have finally read it now, and the challenge it’s under is quite appropriate given that this is an African science fiction novel. Not only does this book highlight some of the issues facing African countries, but it taught me a surprising amount about countries I didn’t know a lot about to begin with, and with the science fiction setting, it was completely fascinating. Plus Zinzi just kicks major ass, and Sloth is a brilliant partner. I loved Beniot, but feels. Feels folks.

And for this challenge, Lauren Beukes is of South African descent, and is from  Johannesburg, South Africa.

You may recall last month that I said I was going to work through a lot of my series, playing catch up mostly. Well, I started a few new series, I caught up in a few. Here’s what I managed to get to:

First in a Series

  • Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman (Book 1 in the Vineart War series)
  • Riders by Veronica Rossi (Book 1 in the Riders series, releasing Feb 16th 2016)
  • Bitch Planet Volume 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick et al.
  • Nailbiter Volume 1 by Joshua Williamson et al.
  • Bridget Wilder: Spy-in-Training by Jonathan Bernstein (Book 1 in the Bridget Wilder series)
  • The Death and Life of Zebulone Finch: Volume One by Daniel Kraus (Volume 1 in the Zebulon Finch series)
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale et al. (Book 1 in the Princess in Black series)

Sequels in a Series

  • Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire (Book 9 in the October Daye series, caught up)
  • Fables Vol. 21 & 22 by Bill Willingham and co. (Completed!)
  • Ava XOX by Carol Weston (Book 3 in the Ava and Pip series, caught up. Releasing Feb 1st 2016)
  • Shadow of Death by Karen Dales (Book 2 in The Chosen Chronicles)
  • Black Widow, Vol. 3: Last Days by Nathan Edmondson, Phil Noto (Completed!)
  • Morning Glories, Vol. 2: All Will Be Free

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #8 & Other Challenges

September was an insanely busy month and it officially started me working two library jobs. Craziness ensued, but thanks to my longish commute, I was able to read quite a bit this month. I did start The Count of Monte Cristo this month for my Book Riot Challenge, which is complete “A book published before 1850,” but since it’s over 1000 pages, it’s going to take me a bit. I did however complete…

#19: A book Originally Published in Another Language


Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

If I’m being honest, I would call this book a page-turner. However, I actually didn’t enjoy the book! I found it just too ridiculous and out there for my tastes, and I am generally someone who loves a novel featuring time slips. The romance in this book felt so problematic (I don’t see the appeal of Gideon if I’m being frank, he was kind of a douche). Seriously, why is this series popular? I’m curious, but damn if I wasn’t disappointed by this first book. I kept turning the pages hoping it would grab me in a positive way, but I found it a fast, if problematic read at times. Cie la vie.

For the monthly husband challenge, let’s see how I did. The monthly husband challenge is my husband encouraging me to not just read my ARCs every month!

1. the September that never ended – read a book from 1993 — Here’s to You Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume (got this from the library and still need to read it as of this post!)
2. pre-chewed food is better than nothing – a work in translation — Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
3. all i got are these bitty hooves – catch up on a series
4. something something a flower was in the title..or maybe it was a tree? — Uprooted by Naomi Novik
5. new shiny – something that released in august – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
 Edited by April Genevieve Tucholke 


A readathon by Elena Reads and Sam @ Cold Tea Crumbs where you are encourage to read a bookish friend’s favourite books. It ran from September 7th to the 13th, and here’s what I managed to complete.

The Challenges
1) Choose three books and get your buddy to pick one from them for you to read. — What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
2) Buddy read a book with your buddy. — A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern
3) Read a book with your buddy’s favourite colour on.  — A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (River’s fave colour is blue!) 

4) Read a book your buddy gave 5 stars. — Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (which I also gave 5 stars to!)
5) Read a book that you want to… just because. — Americus
by M.K. Reed, Jonathan Hill 


CPMtIwYUwAAHkp3Read-Your-Book-Shelf-A-Thon (or #RYBSAT) happened on September 22nd through the 29th. The goal is to pick a part on your shelf, and then read the next book behind it throughout the week to see how much you complete. My goal was from Pike to Taylor, and I only managed three books. I finished Life After Theft (Pike), Miss Pergerine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Riggs) and The Winner’s Curse (Ruthoski). I’d say that was a success given the insanely busy week I had!


Not sure what next month is going to bring, but I will be updating you all soon on my shelf challenge as I was quite enjoying it, and I’d like to keep widdling this shelf Molly picked down some more. We’ll see how it goes since I also need to get through the last six books for my Book Riot Challenge within the next three months (and seriously, Count of Monte Cristo wants my soul). We’ll see what I have time for also given that I have a huge stack of ARCs that are demanding my attention!

What are some of your reading goals for October? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

May Reading Challenges + What Has Been Up With Sam

Hello readers! I realize it’s been forever since I’ve done a more personal/bookish post (unlike River who is so much better at doing that)! Life has finally calmed down somewhat — I officially graduated from my Library and Information Technician Program, with some pretty solid grades might I add! So it’s official — I’m a library professional now. The only thing I have left to do? Is to get myself into a library! Finding employment can be both rewarding and discouraging, but I plan to keep my chin up and do the best that I can. Part of the reason I started blogging with River, outside of the fact that it reconnected us in a bigger, stronger way, was also because she inspired me to get back into reading young adult. I was always a huge fan of middle grade, but I realized for a long time I was reading the kind of YA that didn’t appeal to me. However, as I’ve learned over the years, even a book you dislike can be useful for Reader’s Advisory, because what might be one person’s trash could easily be another’s treasure.

big pinkSince classes were finally let out, I also finally went on my honeymoon with my adorable husband. We ended up going to Disney World (with a day in Universal Studios) and SO MUCH FUN. It was so nice to finally get a break from life, stress and insanity. and Disney just has this way of putting a smile on anyone’s face. It wasn’t as insane as I thought it would be at this time of year, and we managed to hit up every park and nearly every ride. Also at Universal, my husband took me to Krustyland (He knows how much I adore the Simpsons) and BIG PINK IS REAL. For those of you who don’t know, Pink Big is one of the donuts sold at Lard Lad Donuts, and it’s the signature donut that Homer eats. We got one, but it was huge… and fluffy. So fluffy. We also tried out the Love Tester at Moe’s Tavern, and he got Hot Tamale and I got… Luke Warm. Yeaaaah, he rubbed that in my face all week! 😛

I’m happy to be home, though I’m already dreaming of another vacation sometime soon. I’m still hoping to make it out to New York and Boston in the near future to see a few of my favourite ladies. Wish me luck on the library job part!

I also came home to a package from River. Let’s just say, I am beyond excited to read all these beauties!


And that’s how things have been really. I am planning to attempt a couple reading challenges this month. You may have noticed there was not an April Wrap Up for my Book Riot Challenge, you will see that wrap up coupled with the May one as I plan to attempt at least one book from that challenge this month. Not sure which one yet, but we shall see!

Husband’s Reading Challenge

My husband also came up with a challenge for me this month. He is trying to encourage me to read more outside of the YA/MG genre (though he isn’t going to win entirely on that this month) and to also read books I actually own instead of going to the library and bringing home more goodies. Here’s what this challenge consists of:

1. To read The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie  — my husband has been nagging at me to read this chunker of a novel forever, so it looks like I am going to be tackling this.

2. Pew Pew Lasers Sci-Fi — Space fiction! Or.. Star Wars. Not sure yet what I am going to read when I complete this challenge.

3. “I don’t know what it’s called but the cover is blue.” — So this comment happens a lot in libraries and it’s something we discussed at extensive length in my Library Programs class. For this challenge I am going to read Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin because it has a blue cover! 🙂
4. Deadpool stuff — So my husband’s favourite Marvel character is Deadpool, and for awhile I was keeping up with Deadpool Classic (which I admit, I enjoy). I’m debating between reading more Deadpool classic or jumping into Deadpool vs. Hawkguy (which I just devoured all of the latest instalments of Hawkyguy by Matt Fraction and I loved it.)
5. Spy fiction — I think for this challenge I am going to finally read From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming. I have never read a Bond novel, but I enjoy the films and From Russia With Love is one of my favourites. Plus it is a pretty short looking read that I can easily knock out.
#CrushYourTBR Challenge

So Raeleen over at PadfootandProngs07 and a friend of hers came up with idea of doing a #CrushYourTBR challenge where every month they would select a weekend and work on crushing their TBR piles. They are also both participating in #0by2016 wherein the goal is to complete your entire TBR by the beginning of 2016. I have too many books and I know I would not be able to complete that challenge, but I love the idea of #CrushYourTBR because it definitely encourages the idea of trying to tackle books from the backlog. The next #CrushYourTBR is occurring May 15th to the 17th. Check out the video above for more details.
My goal for that challenge is to read… five books in a weekend. I think it can be doable depending on the size of the books I’m in the middle of. I told myself May was going to be a bit of a free month even though I do have some review books coming do (and I’m going to alternate between one review book and one book for pleasure to keep up). I mean, I also have digital collection of graphic novels I can jump into as well, though my real goal will be to read actual books for the challenge. We shall see and does it really matter? I just want to read, read, read!
And there you have it! At the end of May, I’ll let you know how I did on all these challenges and whether or not I completed them in my BookRiot wrap up. I think I may be acting a bit over ambitious, but you never know, right? RIGHT!