Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Historic Fiction Reading Challenge Sign-Ups

This seems like a great area to read about so I will be doing this one now too.  I will go with the first level, but just may go over.  To enter this one go to Ramblings of a Daydreamer.

For the last three years I’ve hosted month-long challenges in July (the Canadian Reading Challenge) and October (the Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge). I’ve wanted to host a yearlong reading challenge but all my ideas were for challenges that already existed. 

In 2013, my love of historic fiction was rekindled. When all the sign-up posts for 2014 challenges started going up, I noticed there were none for historic fiction. I searched and searched and even asked on Twitter, but as far as I can tell, no one is hosting one…so I decided I would. This will be my first yearlong challenge in three years of blogging, and I’m excited! I hope you guys are too.

~Challenge Details and Guidelines~

  • The challenge will run from January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014. Sign-ups will remain open until December 15th, 2014
  • You don’t have to have a blog to participate, as long as you can post your reviews somewhere (GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc)
  • This challenge encompasses both YA and adult historic books
  • Any subgenre of historic fiction counts - historic romance, paranormal historic fiction, historic fantasy, etc. Time slips (where a character(s) goes back and forth between the present and the past) also count. Publication date doesn’t matter - whether it was published this year or thirty years ago, it counts.
  • Any length and format of book count - audiobooks, ebooks, novellas, etc.
  • Create a sign-up post for the challenge (or tweet, Facebook post, GoodReads status, etc if you don’t have a blog), include the graphic at the top of this post, along with a link back so other people can sign up, and be sure to tell us which level you’re aiming for (levels are below). You don’t have to list the books you intend to read, but you can if you want. When you add your link to the Linky below, please use the direct link to your sign-up post.
  • At the beginning of each month, I’ll post a new Linky where you can add your reviews for the month. If you forget to link up one month, you can link up the next, just please don't link the same review twice. Unfortunately I can’t afford to do giveaways each month, but I’m hoping to do surprise giveaways* for participants, and there will definitely be a giveaway at the end of the year. The more books you review, the more entries you get in the grand prize giveaway!
  • Reviews must be posted for the first time between January 1st, 2014 and December 31st, 2014 to count.
  • If you’re on Twitter, feel free to tweet updates, reviews, etc using the hashtag #2014HFRC so we can all find each other and cheer each other on. I’ll randomly retweet tweets using that hashtag throughout the year.
  • You don’t have to follow Ramblings of a Daydreamer to enter the challenge, but you might want to follow via BlogLovin’ or email so you know when the monthly link-ups are posted, along with surprise challenges or giveaways.
  • Each month I’ll be updating the 2014 Historic Fiction Reading Challenge page at the top of the blog with everyone’s progress. Each person who posts a review will get their name added, along with all the reviews they link up each month - hopefully that will drive more traffic to your blog!  

    *If you’re an author, blogger, publisher, publicist, etc who would like to donate historic fiction books (physical, ebooks, audiobooks, anything) or swag as prizes for this challenge, or if you'd like to offer books for review opportunities to participants, please contact me at irishstar_83(at)hotmail(dot)com. For anyone willing to donate, I’ll do my best to promote your blog, book, website, etc., and you'll get special acknowledgements on the 2014 Historic Fiction Reading Challenge page at the top of the blog.

1-5 books ~ Testing the bonds of time
6-12 books ~ Slipping through time
13-20 books ~ Traveling back in time
21+ books ~ Living in the past

My books for this challenge:
  1. Serafina's Stories--Rudolfo Anaya
  2. Water For Elephants--Sara Gruen
  3. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter--Carson McCullers
  4. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe-- Fannie Flagg
  5. Number the Stars--Lois Lowry
  6. The Night Circus--Erin Morgenstern
  7. Through a Glass Darkly--Karleen Koen
  8. Jacob Have I Loved--Katherine Paterson
  9. The Paris Wife--Paula McLain
  10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  11. The Red Tent--Anita Diamant
  12. Pomegranate Soup--Marsha Mehran
  13. Rosewater and Soda Bread--Marsha Mehran
  14. Harlem Redux--Persia Walker
  15. The Wednesday Letters--Jason F. Wright
  16. The Postmistress--Sarah Wright
  17. Mystery of the Dark Tower--Evelyn Coleman
  18. Al Capone Does My Shirts--Gennifer Choldenko
  19. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court--Mark Twain
  20. A Single Shard--Linda Sue Park
  21. Dream Tide--Robin Lee Hatcher
  22. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch--Jean Lee Latham
  23. The Black Opal--Victoria Holt
  24. The Devil Wears Plaid--Teresa Medeiros
  25. Magical Kittens--Donna Bell/ Catherine Blair/Joy Reed
  26. Mount Vernon Love Story--Mary Higgins Clark
  27. The Memory Keeper's Daughter--Kim Edwards
  28. The Sherbroke Bride--Catherine Coulter
  29. The Hellion Bride--Catherine Coulter
  30. The Heiress Bride--Catherine Coulter

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Vampire Challenge 2014

OK, I just have to do this challenge.  This is another reading genre I've become addicted to.  I've already read "The Vampire Diaries" and "Twilight," and started "Vampire Kisses" and "House of Night," but still have a way to go on those two.  And I would like to begin "Blue Bloods." This is just right for me.  Any others I have missed?  Please feel free to comment with some suggestions.

Visit Parajunkee to sign up for this one.  Details below, copied from the blog:

I stepped back from hosting challenges in 2013 and it was a big mistake. So, I’m bringing them all back. Including the VAMPIRE CHALLENGE, which was another one of my favorites. This is the official sign-up post for the Vampire Challenge 2014. Join me today in theVampire Challenge, where we celebrate those fantastically fanged peeps that are quite normal except for the fact that they spend a good bit of their time dining on A negative.

  1. The Vampire Challenge runs from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014
  2. The challenge is to read 10 books that have a VAMPIRE as a main, or supporting character
  3. Books can be in any format and should be at least 100 pages. Short stories do not count. You can also post about rereads.
  4. Post about this challenge on your blog stating that you are participating or create a shelf via Goodreads, Booklikes etc. That post or shelf is the link that you will include in the link-up below. The link should be the post link not just your direct blog link. Please be courteous and include a link back to this post.
  5. Post your reviews on the Review Post: Click here to log your reviews!
Here are my books for this challenge:
  1. Awakened--P.C. Cast
  2. Destined--P.C. Cast
  3. Dragon's Oath--P.C. Cast
  4. Hidden--P.C. Cast
  5. Revealed--P.C. Cast
  6. City of Heavenly Fire--Cassandra Clare
  7. A Touch of Crimson--Sylvia Day
  8. Blue Bloods--Melissa de la Cruz
  9. Dead Ever After--Charlaine Harris
  10. Dead End Dating--Kimberly Raye

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Harlem Renaissance Challenge 2014

Yet another reading challenge--so totally addicted.  Though this blogger has me beat as far as the number of challenges signed up for :-) And I still don't know if I'm done yet ;-) This one looked like good one.  I like to learn abut other cultures and this is one such challenge.  It also goes quite well with the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge.   Since this is a new one to me, I'm going with the first level, though as always, I may go over.  To sign up, go to Dusky Literati.

2014 Harlem Renaissance Reading Challenge

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s. At the time, it was known as the “New Negro Movement”, named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. The Movement also included the new African-American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States affected by the Great Migration (African American), of which Harlem was the largest. Though it was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in addition, many francophone black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris were also influenced by the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance is generally considered to have spanned from about 1919 until the early or mid-1930s. (Source: Wikipedia)
Last year I read quite a few books by authors of the Harlem Renaissance and in 2014, I want to delve deeper.
Details of the Challenge:
  1. This reading challenge runs from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 (books read prior to January 1, 2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before November 1, 2014
  2. Read fiction and non-fiction books by and about authors and other personages associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Feel free to expand to black writers from Africa and the Caribbean during this timeframe. The goal is to really immerse yourself in this era. For a list of books related to the Harlem Renaissance, check out the Harlem Renaissance listopia at Goodreads OR books from my personal library tagged ‘Harlem Renaissance’ on LibraryThing.
  3. Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio)
  4. Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed
  5. You can choose your books as you go or create a list in advance
  6. I will put up a post for reviews at the beginning of January
1-5 books — 
New Negro (phrase coined by Alain Locke)
6-10 books — Garveyite (follower of Marcus Garvey)
11-15 books — 
Niggerati (This term is not meant to offend but was associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Phrase used by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Wallace Thurman)
16+ books — 
Talented Tenth (phrase coined by W.E.B. Du Bois)
Once you pick a level you can go higher and read more books but you cannot go down a level.

Here is what I'm reading for this one:

  1. Their Eyes Were Watching God--Zora Neale Hurston
  2. In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African-American Poetry
  3. Harlem Redux--Persia Walker
  4. Mystery of the Dark Tower--Evelyn Coleman

Day After Christmas

How was everyone's Christmas? For me it was quite low-key which it usually is.  My family and I had our usual white elephant gift exchange.  I got a popcorn machine--something I didn't think people used anymore (it seems like everyone microwaves popcorn these days!) And my aunt ended up with the present I bought.  I'd waited till Sunday till get my present and happened upon this Seat Pet as I entered Walgreens that day.  And on Christmas Day I saw "Anchorman 2." 

Today I got a call from a temp agency for a job starting tomorrow! Yeah!  I'm excited.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Romance Reading Challenge 2014

I had to do this reading challenge again next year.  I happen to read a lot of romances and this one encompasses all different types of romances as opposed to those challenges that just look at one kind of romance.   This is one that works just great for me.  I plan to read as many different kinds of romance as possible, including contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, erotic, young adult and if I can find any, gay romance (can't seem to find a lot of those).  

To sign up for this one click here.   

Here are my books for this challenge:
  1. Gone Girl--Gillian Flynn
  2. The Night Circus--Erin Morgenstern
  3. The Lemon Orchard--Luanne Rice
  4. He Loves Lucy--Susan Donovan
  5. Dream Tide--Robin Lee Hatcher
  6. Lost Lake--Sarah Addison Allen
  7. Tangled--Emma Chase
  8. Love the One You're With--Emily Giffin
  9. The Black Opal--Victoria Holt
  10. Tangled Vines--Janet Dailey
  11. Little White Lies--Gemma Townley
  12. The Devil Wears Plaid--Teresa Medeiros
  13. A Touch of Crimson--Sylvia Day
  14. Dead Ever After--Charlaine Harris
  15. Dead End Dating--Kimberly Raye
  16. Magical Kittens--Donna Bell/ Catherine Blair/Joy Reed
  17. Daddy-Danielle Steel
  18. Mount Vernon Love Story--Mary Higgins Clark
  19. The One & Only--Emily Giffin
  20. The Sherbrooke Bride--Catherine Coulter
  21. The Hellion Bride--Catherine Coulter
  22. The Heiress Bride--Catherine Coulter
NOTE (11/23):  I still have a few romance novels that I plan to read this year (still working on the erotic Romance challenge), but the site hosting this challenge has been removed, and I've met my goal on this one,  so I will call the Romance complete.  Hoping to find a different challenge for romance reading for next year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Attempt at an Ugly Christmas Sweater

Along with the white elephant gift exchange at my favorite local bar, there was an ugly sweater contest last night.  For about three days last week I worked on one.  My mom lent me the sweater and I pinned a tinsel garland around the length of the sweater and on the front and back pinned on curled ribbons.  Sadly, didn't win the contest,  but others liked it.  And I had to keep it on a hanger in my car so that the ribbons would not get smashed while I was driving.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Quiz: What is Your Holiday Element?

Your Holiday Element is Fire
You shine brightly every time of year, but you shine especially bright during the holidays.
You have so much fun this time of year - whether you're getting friends together or crafting fun items.

You are enthusiastic and optimistic about the holidays. You make the best of whatever holiday you're able to have.
You know this is a hard time of year for some, so you try to cheer up everyone you know with cookie deliveries and little surprises.

Quiz: What Movie is Your Christmas Most Like?

Your Christmas is Most Like: Miracle on 34th Street
Sweet and caring, Christmas is about helping for you.
While Santa may not exist, you try to share his spirit.

Postal Challenge 2014

Still another challenge. These posts are taking over my blog, but that's OK.  I'm not sure when I'll be done yet, but more new ones keep coming and there are still some others I'm considering.  Here is one with a great theme. For this one I'm going with the first level since it's new to me.  I've been planning on reading "The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake, so I've got a start on this challenge.   To sign up, go to this link at the Indextrious Reader.

What is the Challenge?

The key is to read and review books with a postal theme. These can be non-fiction on the subject of letter writing, collections of real letters, or epistolary fiction of any era. Be creative! Review each one and link back to the challenge -- there will be quarterly roundup posts for you to link reviews and posts to as you create them.

The challenge runs from January 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2014.  You can sign up ANY TIME throughout the year.

Any books chosen can overlap with any other challenge, and rereads are allowed. Just remember to review them somewhere online in order for them to count toward the challenge. Lists don't have to be made in advance, though feel free to share your choices and inspire other readers if you wish! I always think that making lists is half the fun :)

How do I join in?

There are a few ways to participate in this challenge. 

Postcard Level:   Read and review books with a postal theme.

Snail Mail Level:   Read and review 8 books with a postal theme.

Parcel Post Level: Read and review 12 books with a postal theme.

Air Mail Express Level:   Read and review 12 books with a postal theme AND commit to sending more old fashioned letters this year. At least 12 pieces of mail (or more!), and you can share numbers or even images of your mail art in the quarterly roundups.

Anyone who completes the challenge at any level will have their names thrown into a draw to win some letter-related goodies at the end of the year. In addition, if you complete the Air Mail Express Level, you'll get a chance to win a lifetime membership to (and some goodies from) the Letter Writers Alliance!

Need ideas about what to read? Check out the links at last year's sign-up post, or scroll through some of the epistolary titles that were reviewed in 2013.

Here are my books for this challenge:

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower--Stephen Chbosky
  2. The Day the Crayons Quit--Drew Daywalt
  3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  4. The Wednesday Letters--Jason F. Wright
  5. The Postmistress--Sarah Blake
  6. Ella Enchanted--Gail Carson Levine 
  7. Pardon My French--Catherine Hapka
  8. Heart and Salsa--Suzanne Nelson

EDIT: After seeing this blogger's post, I decided to add the crayons book even though I read it months ago.  It did not occur to me then that it could count.  and since Ella Enchanted contains some letters, I'm including that one, too.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Everything YA Challenge 2014

Yes, another reading challenge.  I'm big on reading YA books so this one should be easy. Here are the details copied from Books and Iced Coffee.  To sign up, click here.

Reading Challenge Button

As you could probably tell that I am in love with all books that are YA. So I figured, to start this new year off, why not create a super fun and simple challenge of it. You guys ready???
Challenge Details
How long will the challenge run?
The Challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 :)
Who can participate? 
Anyone can participate! As long as you can provide a link to an online shelf or blog page of where you will list the books you have read :) 
What are the rules to the challenge?
  • Participants must create a shelf or a page to where they can list the books that they have read for the year. 
  • Book must meet any of the sub- genres of the young adult category, whether it’s paranormal, romance, drama, contemporary, horror, etc. 
  • Must be longer than 100 pages.
  • The year of when the book was published does not matter. As long as you have read the book in 2014, it will be accepted. 
  • TO THOSE WHO HAVE A BLOG, feel free to post up a review of each book that you have read for the challenge and provide a link please?? I would love to read it :) 
  • All formats are acceptable (paperback, ARC, ebook, etc.)
Why participate?
Because it’ll be fuuuuunnnnnn :) It’ll help you reach that reading goal you’ve always wanted to achieve :) Plus, there will be the occasional giveaways accessible only to those who participate and a ginormous giveaway at the end of the year to whoever reads the most (TBA) :) 
How to sign up:
It’s easy! Just fill out the form below before September 15, 2014 :) Feel free to grab the challenge button to easily link back to this page for any updates and announcements to the giveaways :) 

Happy Reading Everybody!!! 

My books for this challenge:

  1. No Laughter Here--Rita Williams Garcia
  2. Serafina's Stories--Rudolfo Anaya
  3. The Gospel According to Larry--Janet Tashjian
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower--Stephen Chbosky
  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God--Zora Neale Hurston
  6. Divergent--Veronica Roth
  7. Insurgent--Veronica Roth
  8. Number the Stars--Lois Lowry
  9. A Wrinkle in Time--Madeleine L'Engle
  10. Allegiant--Veronica Roth
  11. A Summer to Die-- Lois Lowry
  12. The Fault in Our Stars--John Green
  13. Gossamer --Lois Lowry
  14. The Night Circus--Erin Morgenstern
  15. Awakened--P.C. Cast
  16. Destined--P.C. Cast
  17. Dragon's Oath--P.C. Cast
  18. Hidden--P.C. Cast
  19. Revealed--P.C. Cast
  20. The Giver--Lois Lowry
  21. Gathering Blue--Lois Lowry
  22. Messenger--Lois Lowry
  23. Son--Lois Lowry
  24. Jacob Have I Loved--Katherine Paterson
  25. Just One Day--Gayle Forman
  26. Of Poseidon--Anna Banks
  27. Witch Season; Summer and Fall--Jeff Mariotte
  28. Cinder--Marissa Meyer
  29. Scarlet--Marissa Meyer
  30. A Wind in the Door--Madeleine L'Engle
  31. A Swiftly Tilting Planet--Madeleine L'Engle
  32. Mystery of the Dark Tower--Evelyn Coleman
  33. Will Grayson, Will Grayson--John Green and David Levithan
  34. Many Waters--Madeleine L'Engle
  35. Al Capone Does My Shirts--Gennifer Choldenko
  36. An Acceptable Time--Madeleine L'Engle
  37. Hatchet--Gary Paulsen
  38. Because of Winn-Dixie--Kate DiCamillo
  39. Cinderella 2000--Mavis Jukes
  40. Ella Enchanted--Gail Carson Levine
  41. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court--Mark Twain
  42. An Abundance of Katherines--John Green
  43. A Single Shard--Linda Sue Park
  44. Pardon My French--Catherine Hapka
  45. Heart and Salsa--Suzanne Nelson
  46. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch--Jean Lee Latham
  47. Fairest--Gail Carson Levine
  48. Fallen--Lauren Kate
  49. Torment--Lauren Kate
  50. City of Heavenly Fire--Cassandra Clare
  51. The Maze Runner--James Dashner
  52. Passion--Lauren Kate
  53. Fallen in Love--Lauren Kate
  54. Rapture--Lauren Kate
  55. The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams--Rhonda Hayter
  56. Three Tales of My Father's Dragon--Ruth Stiles Gannett
  57. Blue Bloods--Melissa de la Cruz
  58. Flora and Ulysses--Kate DiCamillo
  59. The Mercy Watson Collection Volume 1--Kate DiCamillo
  60. The Mercy Watson Collection, Volume 2--Kate DiCamillo
  61. The Polar Express--Chris Van Allsburg
  62. Saving Zoe--Alyson Noel