Challenges

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.

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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!

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.