Showing posts with label 2011 Challenges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2011 Challenges. Show all posts

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

What a challenging year...

At the start of 2011 I agreed to participate in 3 official reading challenges and 1 personal challenge - now the year is all but over, how did I get on with each challenge?

Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011
Hosted by Book Chick City

Details
Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

My Thoughts: So I read 13 books - more than the 12 that were required. Challenge complete! I have to admit though that this was a genuine challenge as mystery and suspense books are not my regular fall back and occasionally throughout the year I had to read books just to make sure I was getting on with the challenge! But this was good as it broke me out of my regular reading habits and I did read some great books - Now You See Me, Hard Spell and Full Dark House are great reads for anyone. I did consider signing up for this challenge again for 2012, but thought I would try to experiment with some different challenges!

Speculative Fiction 2011
Hosted by Floor To Ceiling Books


Details
Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
Rules: To read 12 Speculative Fiction novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum - you can read more if you wish!)

Books Read in Challenge: 19/12 Books
Book 1: The Spirit Thief - Rachel Aaron
Book 2: Foundation - Issac Asimov
Book 3: The Magician's Apprentice - Trudi Canavan
Book 4: The Fallen Blade - Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Book 5: I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
Book 6: Foundation and Empire - Issac Asimov
Book 7: American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Book 8: Spirit Dances - CE Murphy
Book 9: Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde
Book 10: Second Foundation - Issac Asimov
Book 11: The Neon Court - Kate Griffin
Book 12: Married with Zombies - Jesse Petersen
Book 13: Morlock Night - K.W. Jeter
Book 14: Secrets of the Demon - Diana Rowland
Book 15: Change - Jim Butcher
Book 16: Hunted By The Others - Jess Haines 
Book 17: Corsets and Clockwork - Trisha Telep
Book 18: Magic Slays - Ilona Andrews
Book 19: Black Swan Rising - Lee Carroll

My Thoughts: Although I counted 19 books for this challenge but as speculative fiction is probably my favourite type of reading, I know the number should be a lot higher! Overall, this was a pretty easy challenge and not that challenging...so I don't think I'll be doing this again. I did have a thought though...isn't all fiction speculative to some degree - whether it is high fantasy or contemporary romance, it's all made up and therefore speculative. Still it was a fun to take part in! 
YA of the 80s and 90s
Hosted by The Book Vixen
Details
Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011
Read as many YA books that were originally published in the 80s and 90s as your heart desires. The only requirement is that the book(s) have to have been first published sometime between 1980 – 1999. 

Books Read in Challenge: 15/12 Books
Book   1: Nightmare Hall: The Scream Team - Diane Hoh
Book   2: Deepwater Black - Ken Catran
Book   3: Deepwater Landing - Ken Catran
Book   4: Deepwater Angels - Ken Catran
Book   5: Remember Me - Christopher Pike
Book   6: The Last Vampire - Christopher Pike
Book   7: The Last Vampire: Black Blood - Christopher Pike
Book   8: Nightmare Hall: The Roommate - Diane Hoh
Book   9: Remember 2: The Return - Christopher Pike
Book 10: Remember 3: The Last Story - Christopher Pike
Book 11: Sweet Valley High: Perfect Summer - Francine Pascal
Book 12: Teacher's Pet - Richie Tankersley Cusick
Book 13: The Last Vampire: Red Dice - Christopher Pike
Book 14: The Last Vampire: Phantom - Christopher Pike
Book 15: 13 Tales of Horror - Edited by Christopher Pile

My Thoughts: This was a fan challenge! Throughout the year I read 15 books that were originally published in the 80s and 90s aimed at teens. As this was roughly when I was a teenager it was a very nostalgic trip for me and interesting to see how YA has changed. The most notable element was how short YA was back then - typically 200 pages or so. But there were some interesting stories, ideas and characters packed into the short page count and much less teen angst! I don't know if this challenge is being run again for next year, but I still a couple of books I picked up at charity stores for this challenge that I haven't read yet so expect to see a few more reviews for YA of the 80s and 90s... 

Personal Classic Challenge
Challenged by Kris

My friend Kris has set a challenge for me to read a classic every three months. Below are his terms:


  1. Firstly the classic must be a classic or at least 20 years old;
  2. it has to set a definition for the genre or change it in a way which ‘inspire’ later writers;
  3. available for free or a reduced price and
  4. semi easy to read.



  • So my task for Mel is to read:
    1. Homer’s Odyssey – this is the cornerstone of Western Cannon and seems to have the basis for most fantasy. Easements: You can read a modern version (i.e. made into something that is easier to read).
    2. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. Yes I know it is three books, but they are short ones. They are very good and they are the foundation (not a pun) for modern space epic’s such as Iain M Banks Culture and Star Trek. The Foundation series was published in 1942 and then collected in proper book in the 50s.
    3. Ring World by Larry Niven. I thought it looked quite good. It is a interesting story about a space structure.
    4. Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard I have not read these book, but I think they may underpin some hero fantasy or it might be tripe
    Books Read in Challenge: 6 books

    Book 1: Foundation - Issac Asimov
    Book 2: Foundation and Empire - Issac Asimov
    Book 3: Second Foundation - Issac Asimov
    Book 4: The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
    Book 5: The Invisible Man - HG Wells
    Book 6: The Midwich Cuckoo - John Wyndham

  • Book 7: Frankenstein - Mary Shelley



    My Thoughts: This was a challenge set my friend Kris and officially I did read a classic at least every three months. I think those books inspired future writers and were easy to read and get hold off. However, off the books listed above I only read the Foundation series by Issac Asimov - although I do now own Ringworld, just never got a chance to start reading it! So did I complete this challenge? There's only one person who can answer that...Kris - how did I do? :-)

    Kris' Thoughts: When I set this challenge, I was also going secretly read these books in parallel. However, I could not keep up with Mel. The other reason to set a challenge was to hook Mel into the world of Sci-Fi as Mel hooked me into Fantasy. The classics I chose were a mixture of Fantasy (Odyssey and Conan) and Hard Sci-Fi (Foundation and Ringworld). I had read the Foundation Series of books before I set the challenge and I was very nervous that Mel would not like them. I was pleased that Mel enjoyed them <insert blog post links here>. They are interesting books that are more about people and society than Dilithum Crystals. This prompted a conversation between Mel and Myself about these books, which gave me the feeling of being cultured. I hope it inspires Mel to read more of Asimov's works. Homers Odyssey is something would be a challenge to read. It is a classic book and would be hard going. This was more of an aspiration target. I have it in my bookcase and it looks at me (although it looks a lot more readable than any Dan Brown Book).
    On balance, Mel has met the challenge and surpassed it. Well done.

    Yay me! So I'm four for four on 2011 Challenges! Lets hope 2012 goes as well!

    Wednesday, 22 December 2010

    What have I let myself in for? Or 2011 Personal Classic Challenge

    
    A few weeks ago I asked what challenges I should sign for in 2011. After searching round I decided to sign for three official challenges - Book Chick City's Mystery & Suspense, Floor to Ceiling Books Speculative Fiction and Book Vixen's YA of the 80s & 90s (if you are interested in any of these please check them out on my sidebar on the right!). One of my friends also suggested I throw in a few classics of a genre basis to mix it up. It sounded intriguing so I asked him to write me a few guidelines that I could post as a personal challenge to myself for next year. Boy, did he deliver...

    I've known Kris for years and he certainly wasn't afraid to make sure it was a challenge! Below is his terms and conditions:

    Below are my terms for reading a classic every three months:
    1. Firstly the classic must be a classic or at least 20 years old;
    2. it has to set a definition for the genre or change it in a way which ‘inspire’ later writers;
    3. available for free or a reduced price and
    4. semi easy to read.
    So my task for Mel is to read:
    1. Homer’s Odyssey – this is the cornerstone of Western Cannon and seems to have the basis for most fantasy. Easements: You can read a modern version (i.e. made into something that is easier to read).
    2. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. Yes I know it is three books, but they are short ones. They are very good and they are the foundation (not a pun) for modern space epic’s such as Iain M Banks Culture and Star Trek. The Foundation series was published in 1942 and then collected in proper book in the 50s.
    3. Ring World by Larry Niven. I thought it looked quite good. It is a interesting story about a space structure.
    4. Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard I have not read these book, but I think they may underpin some hero fantasy or it might be tripe.
    Good luck :-)

    Gulp! Now, I'm scared! But I going to give it a good go. I'm also going to try a to add a few other classics to that list including Frankenstein, Dracula, The Three Musketeers and maybe some HG Wells - all of which some under the Inspiration to other writers condition.  So what do you think of this challenge? Any other classics I should read?

    *Shameless Plug* And if you've got some time stop by Kris's blog here - it's not about books but focus's on knitting and public transport in London. Might seem like a strange combination at first but it works! And he's rants about commute are both familiar and funny to other commuters! :)

    Wednesday, 8 December 2010

    YA of the 80s and 90s Challenge: 2011

    My New Years resolution is to get involved in the blogging world challenges a little more and I made the decision to do three official challenges this year - and this is my third challenge for 2011 - and probably the one I'm most looking forward to too! I saw this one at The Book Vixen a little while ago and jumped at the chance. I grew up in the 80s and 90s so I'm looking forward to recapturing a lot of the fiction that I read in those decades - long before the term YA came into common use! I even have some books on my shelves that I've saved from then that I plan to reread and will be scouring the second-hand book places for any others. I'd really like to find some Sweet Valley High books as I loved them for a time! I'm really looking forward to this challenge - and I'm having to stop myself from starting before January!

    I'm aiming to read 12 books of YA from the 80s and 90s but if I can get more in then I will! :)

    If you want to join check out the rules below and sign up over the Book Vixen here

    YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge
    hosted by The Book Vixen
    • Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 (books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
    • Read as many YA books that were originally published in the 80s and 90s as your heart desires. The only requirement is that the book(s) have to have been first published sometime between 1980 – 1999.
    • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
    • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
    • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
    • Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
    • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.

    Saturday, 4 December 2010

    Speculative Fiction Challange 2011

    Having looked round the blogosphere, I've decided to do three 'official' challenges this year and one unofficial challenge - taking Krispy Kreme up on his challenge - but more about that next week when I figure out the details.

    Today I'm announcing my participation in Floor to Ceiling Books' Speculative Fiction Challenge next year. Most of the books I read have some speculative element in it so hopefully this will be a fairly 'easy' challenge - but I hoping to add a few Science-Fictions books to this challenge as well. Most of my reading for the last few months has been on Urban Fantasy & Fantasy arena so hopefully this will help me stretch a little! :)

    Details for  this challenge are below - if you fancy joining in as well head over and visit Amanda at Floor to Ceiling Books for the sign up.



    Sign Up
    • To sign up you must make a post on your blog about participating in the Challenge - you then use the URL of the sign up post to add to Mr Linky on FTC Books. 
    • You must  add the button to your sidebar - make sure that it links back to this post so others can join the challenge if they wish.

    Other Details
    • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
    • Rules: To read 12 Speculative Fiction novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum - you can read more if you wish!)
    • You don't have to choose your books ahead of time, you can add them as you go. If you do list them upfront, you can change them. Books for this challenge can be used to fulfil other challenges.
    • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next week - but the sooner you start, the sooner your chances for prizes!
      • At the beginning of Jan 2011 (and the beginning of all subsequent months in 2011), you will find a link to add your reviews. Amanda will be putting up a monthly prize which will be formed from duplicate books/ARCs that received as a reviewer. You must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw

      Friday, 3 December 2010

      Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011

      I've been making my way through the variety of reading challenges out there in preparation for my New Years Resolution and I've started to narrow it down. I want some challenges that will stretch me as well as be fun - it wouldn't be a challenge if I knew I'd read it anyway! So the first challenge I've decided to participate in is Book Chick City's Mystery & Suspense  Challenge. I like mystery & suspense but probably don't read as many as I would like - this should be fun. Plus Carolyn has cleverly wrangled a free book for participates! :) Have a look at the instructions below and head over to Book Chick City if you fancy joining in as well!




      Sign Up
      • To sign up you MUST make a post on your blog about participating in the challenge - you then use the URL of the post to sign up to the challenge by adding it to Mr Linky below. DO NOT just add your blog URL - this will be deleted. Also please be aware that unless you show you are joining the challenge with a participation post your ARC will not be sent.
      • You must add the button to your sidebar - make sure that it links back to this post so others can join the challenge if they wish. Easiest way to do this is to copy and paste the code displayed above!

      To Claim ARC
      • Courtesy of publisher SIMON & SCHUSTER UK, all participants of this challenge will receive a free ARC of The Survivor by Sean Slater to start you off on your challenge! Once you have made your participation post and signed up for the challenge, email me with your full name, address, post URL and your entry number from the participants list below (so I can verify) and I will pass on your details. This is INTERNATIONAL!

      Other Details
      • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
      • Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
      • You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
      • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
      • At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster - you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.
      Now, there are many different sub-genres of mystery and suspense - you can choose from the numerous sub-genres, from cosy mysteries such as Agatha Christie to the more hard-boiled kind like V I Warshawski by Sara Paretsky, or romantic suspense written by the likes of Linda Howard, forensic crime such as those written by Kathy Reichs and even paranormal/supernatural suspense such as Kelley Armstrong.
      Can't wait to get started! :)

      Wednesday, 1 December 2010

      Early New Years Resolution!

      Ok, ok, so it's officially a little early for a proper News Resolution, but I need some help. My New Years resolution will be to take on a few reading challenges, but which ones? A number of bloggers have already started posting their sign up sheets for next year but I'm not sure which ones I want to take part in. They all sound good but I don't want to take too many on. How many do people usually take on a year? Which ones would be good?

      If you have any recommendations or are hosting a challenge please let me know! Or if you have any advice on talking part drop me a comment below!

      Thanks! :)