Challenges

A to Z in April Blogging Challenge 2018 Masterpost

Another April has gone by and that’s another A-Z in April challenge completed. This year, my theme was my favourite songs – I featured a lot of different artists from different genres and decades, and here they are if you missed any.

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A – Acadia by Marianas Trench
B – Before It’s Too Late by The Goo Goo Dolls
C – Can’t Hold Us Down by Christina Aguilera ft. Lil’ Kim
D – Dancing Queen by ABBA
E – Everywhere by Michelle Branch
F – Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
G – Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
H – Hold On! I’m Comin’ by Sam & Dave
I – Independent Woman Pt. 1 by Destiny’s Child
J – Jack Sparrow by The Lonely Island ft. Michael Bolton
K – Kings and Queens by Thirty Seconds to Mars
L – Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble by Ant & Dec
M – Mr. Brightside by The Killers
N – No Man’s Land by Rupert Gregson-Williams
O – The Other Side from The Greatest Showman
P – Praying by Kesha
Q – Qué Caro Es el Tiempo by El Canto del Loco
R – Revolution by The Veronicas
S – See You Again by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
T – Take a Hint from Victorious
U – Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie
V – Val Kilmer by Bowling for Soup
W – Wakka Wakka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira ft. Freshlyground
X – X-Training by Henry Jackman
Y – You are Unstoppable by Conchita Wurst
Z – Zero to Hero from Hercules
Reflections Post

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Reflections on the A-Z Challenge – 2018 Edition

It’s been just over a week since the April A-Z Challenge ended for another year and I’m very happy to say I completed it for the fifth year in a row! Can’t quite believe I’ve been taking part in this challenge for five years now, and that means I’ve been blogging for over five years! Time flies when you’re having fun.

My theme this years was My Favourite Songs. I was quite lucky in the sense that I found it pretty easy to find songs for every letter, the difficulty came when I would have about five great songs that I loved for one letter and had to figure out which one would be the chosen one. I found it easy to write each post and I had them all scheduled before the end of the month. I do wonder if because each post was made up of a music video, whether my actual written content wasn’t as good compared to my content generally. The reason I say that is because if I’m honest I sometimes wrote the posts without much real thought, and sometimes I found it difficult to say more than “this is a song I love a lot” and that’s it.

I think my content had an effect on how people interreacted with my blog this year. Compared to last year, I received more visitors but less views and comments which I found interesting. My top three most popular posts of the challenge were Take a Hint, Under Pressure and Mr. Brightside which I think shows off both my eclectic taste in music and the people who came to my blog.

I also did a terrible job at visiting other people’s blogs. I would always try and respond to comments left on my blog (they may be about a week late, but I generally responded to them all – sorry if I missed yours) but I rarely visited peoples blog either via comments left on my posts or by finding blogs through the Master List. April was a bit of a hectic month for me and my mind wasn’t really on blogging in general never mind focusing on the challenge itself. It’s a shame because reading other people’s A-Z posts is always such a joy but I missed out on it this time round.

I think for next year, the best way for me (and potential readers) to get the most out of this challenge is to think ahead and start writing posts for the challenge months in advance. This year’s challenge kind of crept up on me and I didn’t sign up till a week before the challenge started – leaving me with a lot of work to do.

That being said, as I was kind of apathetic to the challenge this year I am considering I might take a break from it next year. We shall see how I feel in early 2019.

I hope all those of you who took part in the challenge had a great time and you achieved what you set out to do. For more information on the challenge and to find many other blogs who participated, check out the blog.

The Blogging A to Z in April Challenge – 2018 Edition

April begins next week and that can only mean one thing – the A-Z in April Challenge is back! This year’s challenge has kind of crept up on me but I have a theme, a good idea what each post will be for each letter, and I just need to write them.

But first some information on the Challenge. The challenge is to post on your blog, every day of April bar Sundays. Since there are 26 days in April (not including Sundays), that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet.

This year will be my fifth year in a row participating in the challenge! Five years with this blog have just flown by! I did want to have a theme that was something to do with forgotten women in history but due to my late planning I feel I wouldn’t be able to give that sort of topic justice. Instead, I’m embracing my musical side and each letter of the alphabet will correspond with the title of one of my favourite songs. I don’t really post about music a lot here, so it’ll be a chance to sample my musical tastes. There will be old favourites and new ones so expect an eclectic mix of genres and music from a variety of decades.

During April I should still have my usual film reviews on Mondays, book reviews on Thursdays and my MCU rewatch reviews on Saturdays – there will just be a lot more music here than normal.

To find out more about the challenge, visit the blog and you can check out what I’ve done for the challenge on previous years here. Do let me know if you’re planning to take part in the A-Z Challenge – I love to see what people put as each letter, especially some of the harder ones like Q, X and Z!

Reading Challenges in 2018

It’s that time of year again where I start finding some interesting challenges and I decide to sign up for a bunch of them. To save space I’m going to put all the challenges I maybe somewhat foolishly sign up for here.

Over on Twitter I saw the hashtag #BeatTheBacklist doing the rounds and after checking it out I knew I had to sign up for the challenge.

Beat The Backlist is hosted by Novel Knight and the challenge is to read books during 2018 that were published before 2018 – thus not letting us forget about the potentially awesome books that are sitting on our shelves just because a shiny new release has come out.

My target is to read 30 books published before 2018 – a target I should meet as I the majority of my reading is “older books” and my physical TBR is close to 100 hundred books so I’ll have plenty to choose from.

There’s Instagram challenges as well as the chance to win points for your team (I’m a Novel Knight!) if you post reviews of your Backlist Books on your blog/Goodreads as well as on retail websites like Amazon.

Another challenge I’m signing up for is the A to Z Reading Challenge hosted by Ginger Mom Reads. The aim is to read books that start with every letter of the alphabet during 2018. Words like “The”, “A” and “An” don’t count as a title, instead it’s the following word that counts towards a letter, and you don’t have to read books in alphabetical order.

Having a quick look at my physical TBR, I have books for every letter but Q, X and Y at the moment, so this challenge is doable. Plus, you have one “Freebie” you can use for a letter that you can’t find a book for. So for example, if I couldn’t find a book I wanted to read that began with X, I could choose any other book beginning with any letter and put it as my X read. A Freebie can only be used once so I better make it count.

The final challenge I’m signing up for (at the moment anyway) is the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Girlxoxo. This challenge is to read a book that fits the assigned motif or theme for each month. I like how each theme is pretty broad so there’s a lot of choice when it comes to deciding what books to read while still making it a challenge.

Non-Fiction November TBR

November begins next week and that means Non-Fiction November is back! It’s a readathon/challenge hosted by ABookOlive and NonFicBooks on YouTube. As the title suggests, the aim of the challenge is to read more non-fiction than you normally would in a month.

There are four challenges for this readathon. They are four words that can relate to the books you read and they are Scholarship, Substance, Love, and Home. You can apply these words to non-fiction books however you like but the challenges are a choice, you don’t have to use them.

I’ve got a few unread non-fiction books sitting on my shelves but I’ve just chosen just three for my TBR as I like to vary what I read. None of them really fit the challenges as I picked the books before the challenge words were revealed, but I’m not too fussed about that.

One of Us by Asne Seierstad
One of Us is about the terrorist attack in a Norwegian summer camp in July 2011. I got it for my Read the World project and it’s a bit longer than I thought it’s be (it’s a bit over 500 pages) so Non-Fiction November definitely gives me an extra push to read it sooner rather than later. I can imagine it being a tough read, especially as it has testimonies and interviews with those involved with the attack and the subsequent trial.

Nasty Women
This is a collection of writing from various British female writers that I backed on KickStarter. It was put together as a response to Trump’s election and the general attitudes women are facing in in the twenty-first century. I’m really into feminist writings and just generally learning more about what different women go through in day to day life.

Know Your Place
This is another essay collection I backed on KickStarter (I love backing books on KickStarter) this one is essays on the working class, by people who are a part of the working class. I suppose you could say I’m a part of the lower middle class, so I haven’t had it as difficult as many people, so I’m keen to learn more about what life in the UK is like for such a big proportion of the population.

I’m looking forward to reading these books, as I always say with readathon challenges, if I read one book from my TBR I’ll be happy. Are you going to be taking part in Non-Fiction November? The hashtag to use on all social media channels is #NonfictionNovember2017 and there’s a Goodreads group as well.

Get Graphic Readathon TBR

Guess what? There’s another readathon I’m going to try and take part in! This one is the Get Graphic Readathon and it’s a weekend-long readathon that’s focused on reading things like comics, graphic novels and manga – basically anything that’s illustrated. The readathon is the brainchild of BOOKadoodles, Whatskappening and PerpetualPages on YouTube and you can follow all the fun of the readathon on the #GetGraphic Twitter account. The Get Graphic Readathon starts Friday 6th October at 5pm wherever you are in the world and ends at midnight on Sunday 8th October in your time zone.

Like many a readathon there’s some challenges you can try and complete while you read as many illustrated books as possible.

Challenges:
1. Read from a new-to-you series
2. Read two instalments of the same series
3. Read a work over 300 pages
4. Read a work with black and white art
5. Read a work picked out by a friend
6. Read at least 5 works

I always base my TBR on the challenges so here we go.

For a new-to-me series I’ve chosen Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 1: The Boys are Back in Town by David Walker and Sanford Greene. After binge-watching The Defenders the day it was released, I fell in love with the dynamic between Luke Cage and Danny Rand and its got so much potential in the Netflix series. So, I went to Twitter and asked where I should start reading when it comes to the comics and this is what was recommended to me – I’m looking forward to learning more about these characters.

The two instalments of the same series will be Runaways The Complete Collection Volume Three and Four by Brian K. Vaughn and many, many others. These will also work for the work over 300 pages as they are both around 400-500 pages. If I think I’m only going to read one of The Runaways volumes during the weekend, I’ve also got Saga Volume Six and Seven by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples for the read two instalments of the same series challenge.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel will be my read for the “work with black and white art” challenge and I’m currently running a Twitter poll to decide what I’ll read for the “work picked out by a friend” challenge so feel free to go and vote on that.

Potentially I could complete all six challenges and read at least five works, will it happen though? Who knows! On Saturday I am busy, travelling up to London and back to see a couple of films at the London Film Festival, but Sunday I could spend a lot of time reading.

Are you going to take part in the Get Graphic readathon? I think it’s a great way to get some books off my TBR and I haven’t read my comics for a while.

My BookTubeAThon TBR

The BookTubeAThon starts next week! The BookTubeAThon is a readathon that was the brainchild of Ariel Bissett over on YouTube. While it’s a readathon that focusses on the BookTube community and there’s many video-related challenges, you can take part whether you make booktube videos or not. There’s even Instagram challenges during the readathon if bookstagram is more your thing. You can learn more about the BookTubeAThon here.

BookTubeAThon is from midnight wherever in the world you are on Monday 24th July till 11:59pm on Sunday 30th July. This actually works out quite well for me as I am at my dad’s in Spain from the 27th July, and at my dad’s I always get a lot of reading done. Also, you can read anything during the BookTubeAThon – novels, audiobooks, comics, graphic novels, non-fiction, poetry, short stories – ANYTHING!

During the BookTubeAThon there are seven reading challenges you can attempt to complete (you can use a book for more than one challenge and the challenges are in no way compulsory) and here they are:

1. Read a book with a person on the cover.
2. Read a hyped book.
3. Finish a book in one day.
4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
5. Finish a book completely outdoors.
6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7. Read seven books.

Here’s my TBR and theoretically I’ll be able to complete all these challenges with it:

For both the “Read a book with a person on the cover” and the “finish a book in one day” challenge I have multiple comics/graphic novels. The ones I’ve chosen are Saga Volume Six and Seven by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Kaptara Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod and Filmish by Edward Ross. For the “Hyped Book” challenge, I have The Unexpected Everything by Morgan, which coincidentally also works for the “Person on the cover” challenge.

For the “book you bought because of the cover” challenge I have Sirius by Jonathan Crown and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer. Gurkha: Better to Die than Live a Coward by Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu fits the “read about a character that’s very different to you”. This is a non-fiction book but it’s the story of a solider of the Brigade of Gurkhas and I have never been in the army and I don’t really know anything about Gurkhas.

While I’m not sure which book(s) I’ll read outside, I know I will read outside while at my dad’s as I have a spot by the pool in the shade that I always read in. Also, I have eight books on my TBR so theoretically I should be able to read seven of them books during the readathon.

Is anyone else taking part in the BookTubeAThon? Whether you take part or not, I highly recommend checking out the readathon’s discount page here – you can get 10% off all the books listed there with the code “BTAT2017”. I’ve already taken advantage of it – I’ve decided from August I’m going on a book buying ban for at least two months so I’m making the most of it right now!