Challenges

A to Z in April Blogging Challenge 2017 Masterpost

My very broad theme for this year was My Favourite Things. This included a whole range of stuff including songs, people and places. It was fun thinking of which letters my favourite things can fit and it was tough sometimes not including some of my faves. But all in all it was a very successful month of blogging and I enjoyed it a lot.

Sign Up Post
A – Alive by Sia
B – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
C – Cinema
D – James Keziah Delaney
E – Emma Garland
F – Feminism
G – Grounds for Divorce by Elbow
H – Henrik Hanssen
I – Imagine Dragons
J – Jesús Navas
K – Kim Possible
L – London
M – Museums
N – Ninja Book Swap
O – On a Mission by Gabriella Climi
P – Red Panda
Q – Queen
R – Rag’n’Bone Man
S – Spanish National Football Team
T – Travelling
U – Unstoppable (2010)
V – Viggo Mortensen
W – Denzel Washington
X – X-Men
Y – Anton Yelchin
Z – Hans Zimmer
Reflections on the Challenge

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge 2017 Edition

Another April is over and I’ve completed the A-Z Challenge for the fourth year in a row! This year, my theme was the rather broad idea of my favourites – that included songs, characters, films, actors, and any random thing that I loved a lot. You can find all my posts here.

I received about the same amount of views and visitors as during last year’s challenge but I got almost double the amount of comments and likes, meaning there seemed to be more engagement in what I was posting. This was a nice surprise. My top three posts for the challenge were on Kim Possible, Imagine Dragons and Travelling – showing that I and those who visited my blog really do have an eclectic taste.

I was really very organised this time round and had written and scheduled all my posts by 24th April! I had a whole week when I wasn’t panicking about needing to write posts and could instead focus on visiting and commenting on other blogs. I also followed some new blogs which was great and got a few new followers in return.

As usual, I wasn’t always great at replying to comments (that’s a fact of life on this blog even when I’m not taking part in the A-Z Challenge) and have some I still need to respond to, but I really appreciated every comment I received.

I really enjoyed reading peoples posts this year. There was such a range of subjects written about, from studies on a certain country to old medicine and art and crafting. There’s a lot of talented people taking part in the challenge. Seeing such varied themes this time round has given me some potential ideas for next year – but I won’t get too worried about that just yet!

I hope all those who took part in the A-Z Challenge this year enjoyed it and I hope the challenge went well for you.

The A to Z in April Blogging Challenge – 2017 Edition

Spring has sprung and that means the A to Z in April Challenge is almost upon us! Now somehow, I’m a little less organised this year compared to the previous three years I’ve taken part so I’m a bit later actually saying I’m going to take part and I’ve yet to write any of my posts.

But before I get into all that, I should let you know what the Challenge is if you’re new to it or to my blog. The challenge is to post a 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. So, on April 1st, blog about something that begins with the letter “A”, April 2nd is “B,” April 3rd is “C,” and so on and so forth.

This year my “theme” for the challenge is My Favourite Things. This includes pretty much anything – my favourite foods, favourite songs, favourite actors, characters, films, things to do – anything! I currently have something for 24 days of the challenge (I’m missing something for G and O right now) but I haven’t started writing any of them. I will probably start writing and scheduling posts by the weekend, I’ll definitely have to make sure I’ve got posts from 7th-11th April scheduled as I’m going away for a friend’s wedding over that weekend.

The A-Z in April Challenge has kind of been a bit of a blogging tradition for me now and I’m looking forward to taking part in it again this year. My usual book and film reviews might take a bit of a back seat during April as my focus will be on the challenge, though I suppose it depends on how I do with scheduling everything.

To find out more about the challenge (and you’ve still got time to sign up!) check out their blog here and if you want to see what I’ve written previously for the challenge you can have a look at my 2014 Masterpost, 2015 Masterpost and 2016 Masterpost.

A to Z in April Blogging Challenge 2016 Masterpost

My theme for the 2016 Challenge was my favourite characters and I loved gushing about characters I loved, whether they were from book, films or TV shows. It was a great chance to show off some more obscure fandoms and it was a very successful month of blogging for me.

Sign Up Post
A – Angela
B – Clint Barton
C – Evelyn Carnahan
D – Darcy Lewis
E – Elle Woods
F – Frank Castle
G – Cat Grant
H – Hermione Granger
I – Inej
J – Jessica Jones
K – Kingsley Shacklebolt
L – Aaron Livesy
M – Malcolm Ducasse
N – Nimona
O – Oda Mae Brown
P – Peggy Carter
Q – Happy Quinn
R – Ralph Dineen
S – Number Six
T – Sergeant Terry Jeffords
U – Nyota Uhura
V – Victoria Barton
W – Wadjda
X – Professor Charles Xavier
Y – Yvaine
Z – Zazu
Reflections on the Challenge

All The Short Ones Readathon TBR

All The Short Ones is a month long readathon hosted by Jessica at Novel Cravings. The aim of the readathon is to read as many of your short unread books, those that are 300 pages or less, during the month of March – they can also be novellas, poetry collections, comics and graphic novels.

I head of this readathon via Kristen’s Twitter when she shared her TBR and I thought it was a great way to get reading more books. I’ve nearly finished reading Hiding in Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah so once I’ve finished that these are the books I’ll probably be picking up.

all-the-small-ones-readathon-tbr

At 157 pages there’s Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, a classic I’ve been meaning to read for ages, How I Came to Know Fish by Ota Pavel has 136 pages and would count towards my Read the World Project as would Nineveh by Henrietta Rose-Innes (236 pages) and The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (212 pages). Then I have some comic trade paperbacks – Saga Volume Six by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, Mockingbird Volume One: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk and Ibrahim Moustafa and The Fix Volume One: Where Beagles Dare by Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill and Nic J Shaw. I have more unread graphic novels that I can pick up if I manage to read all these and/or fancy something a bit different.

I’m looking forward to seeing how I do. My main goal is to read at least four of these but really, I’ve got near enough the whole month so that, and more, should be doable.

There’s still time to sign up if you’re interested in taking part – you can do so here and sign ups close on the 7th. You can also use the hashtag #ATSOReadathon on Twitter and Instagram to see others progress and to share your own.

The Read the World Project

Louise Marie over at A Novel Haul has decided to do something pretty cool. She wants to try and read a book from every country in the world before her 30th birthday in 2021. You can read her post about this project here. It got me thinking, I always want to try and read more diverse books, stories and voices, so maybe I should give this a go as well?

So I’m going to and I’m going to have a very similar time-frame as Louise Marie. My 30th birthday is in September 2021 and by then, I want to have read a book from every country in the world. That gives me nearly five years.

I’ve started listing countries with the help of the internet and I currently have 172 countries on my list. I must be missing some as when you google, “How many countries are in the world?” it says there are 195 but I have five years to figure out which ones I’m missing.

read-the-world-project

I’ve had a look through my bookshelves and I currently have seven unread books that are set in various countries around the world. This is the thing about this challenge, I’ve yet to decide if I want to work it out so it’s just that the book is set in a country, or if I should go by the author’s nationality as well. This might make things a bit interesting as you’d have some books like And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini which is set in Afghanistan and is written by an Afghan author, but then there’s a book like Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon which is set in Germany but is written by an American author. I suppose I’ll have to see how I do with finding books for different countries, but it’s something I’m thinking about at the moment.

If you have any suggestions for books by international authors or are set in countries that aren’t England or the USA that would be much appreciated. And if anyone else would like to join in with the Read the World Project, then just go ahead. You can set whatever time-frame you’d like and the hashtag that’s being used on Twitter and Instagram is #readtheworldproject.

Non Fiction November TBR

Non-Fiction November is a readathon/challenge hosted by NonFicBooks and ABookOlive over on YouTube. The point of the challenge (as the name of it suggests) is to read more nonfiction books during November than you would normally read in a month. So if you normally read a couple of nonfiction books a month, try reading three, and if you never read nonfiction just try and make the time to read at least one nonfiction book.

I go through phases of reading nonfiction; I suppose I usually end up reading a couple of nonfiction books a year and it depends what books have grabbed my attention.

There are four challenges for this readathon, they are basically four words and you can interpret them however you wish. The words are; New, Controversial, Important and Fascinating. They are broad categories and they can be combined so you don’t have to read one book per challenge word.

When I looked at my bookshelves I actually only have a few non-fiction books that are unread – well I have like four autobiographies but besides from that I don’t have a lot of non-fiction. I could have easily made up my TBR with autobiographies of actors and comedians but I decided to try and keep it a bit eclectic. So the books I have on my TBR for Nonfiction November are:

nonfiction-november-tbr

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla which is a collection of essays from British people of colour about what living in modern in Britain is like. I already started this book when I got it at the end of September but I’ve only read a few of the essays and would really like to finish as I’ve found it very interesting. As it’s a new release it fits the New challenge and I’d also say it is an Important book, especially for someone like me who is a young white person in Britain so I can learn more about my country and how it treats people of colour.

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. This book has been on my shelves for over a year and it’s from the Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Nasty Gal, an online retailer that draws A-List publicity. It’s all about women in business and how to channel your passion and hard work while keeping your insecurities from getting in your way. This would fill the Fascinating category as while I’m not really a business-minded person I do find it interesting reading about women in traditionally male-dominated areas and how they succeed.

The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton. This is a memoir from Graham Norton who is an Irish television and radio presenter and host of the hugely popular and amazing The Graham Norton Show. I love his humour and his show, I’ve actually been to the recordings of his show twice, so I think his memoir should be equally hilarious. I don’t think this fits any of the challenge words but that’s OK.

So those are the three books I’d like to read for NonFiction November 2016. Really as long as I read one nonfiction book in November I’ll be happy, especially as I spent most of this month in a reading slump. Also in the latter half of November is the TomeTopple readathon which’ll hopefully be taking part in soon – my TBR post for that will be up in the next couple of weeks.

Are you going to be taking part in Nonfiction November? The hashtag to use on all social media channels is #NonfictionNovember2016 and there’s a Goodreads group as well.