Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sunday Salon & My Reading Challenges 2014 Recap…

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that day of the week we can sit down, relax and talk books! So grab a cup of joe, find a comfy chair and let's talk… This week we wrap up our reading challenges discussion and I make one new Readers Resolution! (Plus, I did some reading)…

How many Reading Challenges can a girl handle?! Overambitious? overachiever? Voracious reader? How about just plain book lover! These reading challenges were just calling my name. As I read about them, I envisioned the books I wanted to read fitting in the categories, how fun it would be to "fill in the  books", check off the lists and just having fun discussing the books with the people participating. But as Ernest Hemingway said…

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

And so, if my goals are a bit over the top, it really is all about the reading. Whether I finish all the challenges is not as important as the fun I will have attempting to meet those challenges. I have posted all the challenges I have signed up for this week, but here is the recap of the complete list…

Southern Literature Reading Challenge 2014 is all about the South! I need to choose a Southern author and a book set mostly in the South. I've read some great books that could be filed under this category, including Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The Help! There are 4 levels to the challenge, I'm going for level 2, Pull up a seat and stay a while! Which mean 2 books to read to meet the challenge. I'm thinking of Gone with the Wind as one of my choices, but I'll be hunting down some more choices. Any suggestions?!

2014 Book Bingo Reading Challenge is all about filling in your Bingo card with the types of books designated in each square. Now you only have to fill in one row in any direction to meet the challenge, but I'm going to try for an X, which means 17 books! These 17 books include 6 from my TBR pile, which would be great! I don't have to commit to any specific amount ahead of time, so I will work towards the first Bingo and go from there. First Bingo for my choice would be 1 new release, 3 books in a series, and 5 books from my TBR pile. The series I'm planning on reading is Wool, which I've had downloaded on my eReader for sometime. It was a stand alone indie kind of breakout book, and with the popularity of the first book the author continued and finished it. It's a 5 book series, a little over 5oo pages, and it dystopian at it's best. Mostly 5 star reviews for the series.

2014 Chunkster Challenge is all about FAT books! I love fat books, but sometimes it is hard to fit them in a busy schedule. No levels so, enjoy reading Chunkster's without worrying about how many you need to read! I've already read my first book for this challenge - Three Souls by Janie Chang! I'll be reviewing this amazing book in the next week or so. One of the books I will be reading for this challenge is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and I can't wait! I started it, but had other obligations so I put it aside until I could totally absorb myself in it!

Graphic Novel Reading Challenge 2014 is all about Graphic novels and Manga! I love both, don't read enough, although more than most, and will enjoy exploring more, especially Manga. 3 levels to this one, and to dip your toe in is a 12 book obligation, but that really shouldn't be a problem. Graphic Novels and Manga are a nice diversion sometimes when life gets hectic, and I'm already making a list of what I'd like to read. I've read 1 for this challenge already too - Saga vol. 1. A great start to a new series that had been getting on all the "best of" lists the end of last year. I reviewed this Graphic Novel this past Saturday, check it out!

TBR Pile Reading Challenge 2014 is about dusting off those books on the shelf you meant to read, but haven't gotten around to reading. And boy do I have quite a few of those! 6 levels to this challenge, with my choice being level 1, A Firm Handshake, which means reading 1 - 10 of those dusty old books! I'm going to read 5 from my TBR pile for the Bingo challenge, so I'm all set for accomplishing this, and then there will be 5 less books on the shelf. Unless of course they are great reads, and then I tend to keep them on the shelf. ugh.

Dystopia Reading Challenge 2014 is all about post-apolyptic worlds or Dystopia! I love reading this genre. Favorite book? The Unit! But I have The Hunger Trilogy collecting dust on my Kindle, so this reading challenge will push me to read it. I wanted to read the books before I saw any of the movies, so I better get a move on because the movies are calling my name! Also to fall under this challenge would be the Wool series I plan on reading for the Bingo Challenge. Books can generally be used for multiple challenges, so either series would work for both challenges. There are 4 levels to this challenge, and I signed up for level 1, Recruit, which is reading 1 - 7 books. Easy.

Dive into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014 is about reading poetry. I don't read enough of it, do you? I enjoy poetry, in fact my Secret Santa this year got me Billy Collins new book of poetry, Aimless Love, which was on my wish list! So, this is my way of motivating myself to sit back and enjoy reading some poetry. Plenty of wonderful poets out there to choose from too! I'll be starting with Billy Collins, but will add some Pablo Neruda and Mary Oliver. There are various creative ways to meet the challenge for this one, with reading 2 books of poetry as the basic way. I'll be reading 2 books and then maybe participate in some of the other cool ideas.

2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge is all about setting reading goals. How many books do you want to read in 2014? I never counted my books read, but thought after seeing what fun people were having in recording their first books read over the years, that it would be fun to write down what I read. Then I was reading about people who made a goal of how many books they were going to read in a year, and decided I would participate with my Goodreads friends. I made a goal of 50 books, which may be ambitious, but we'll see how close I come with my normal reading. Some readers had amazing goals of 100 and more! So, if you want to check it out, go to Goodreads. If you've never been to Goodreads, it's a great resource for readers, with lists, reviews, giveaways, a way for you to record the books you've read, want to read, etc. It's free to join too!

So there you have it... A somewhat insane list of reading challenges. Not to mention I will be reading books that will not fit into any of these challenges. And my local library has a Bingo Book reading challenge too. It will all be loads of fun, though, and I'm looking forward to doing a lot of reading this year! You can find out about any of these challenges by clicking on their title. It will bring you to my post describing the reading challenge with a link to the host site with more information.

Weekly Recap… This has been quite a reading week for me. I finished…

 *Three Souls by Janie Chang, Review was posted here, Saturday, Jan. 11th. I loved it by the way!

 *Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, Review will be tomorrow, for Memoir Monday, so check back tomorrow! It's Sonali's story of how she survived the Tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004. It's how she survived the actual Tsunami and survived loosing her whole family that fateful day. Wonderful honest writing.

 *Now in the process of finishing Tenth of December by George Saunders, which is a collection of stories. Tenth of December got so many raving endorsements, I decided I should read it. It has been a bit of an adjustment because I haven't read satire in a long time, and that's what George Saunders writes. Going from historical fiction to satire?! Well, finally I got in the groove and am enjoying his writing. Will review the book after I finish it completely. BTW, I took this book out of the library…. which brings me to another subject...

Readers New Years Resolutions… Besides all the reading challenges, which are fun to try and accomplish, I have another reading resolution for the new year… Enjoying my library more! My bookshelves are stuffed because I love books, but do I have to own every book I want to read?! No, so I am resolved to use the library more! My library has a great selection of new books (and old books), and if they don't have it, they can usually get it from another library for me. SO… I'm going to use that library card more, which actually benefits my library. It shows there is a reason to keep funding it! Along with checking out physical books from my library I also check out eBooks too!

This Weeks Wrap up… Are you participating in any reading challenges?! Which ones? What do you think about reading challenges? And suggestions? What are your favorite books that fit in any of these categories?! And do you use your library? How often to you go? Share it all here, I'd love to hear about what you think… And next week, we'll be back to our regular Sunday Salons, with blurbs about the great books coming out and you may have overlooked!

Happy reading… Suzanne


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

You've signed up for some great challenges...for several years, I've done a Mt. TBR Challenge, and it really helps. I am also doing the Southern Literature Challenge. My first one for that challenge was rather hefty (768 pages), so maybe I should also have signed up for the

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Bryan G. Robinson said...

As a library assistant, I applaud you wanting to use the library more...I know I get many of my books from our own library and also via ebook from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Yvonne said...

Good luck with your challenges! Have a great week!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Laurel-Rain! I have a copy of Gone With the Wind waiting for me for the Southern Literature Challenge, but need to make sure I have a good block of time- it's a chunkster for sure! I'll have to check out what you read for the Southern Literature Challenge now!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Bryan! I decided I have a nice library and want to support them, so this year I'm going to make the effort! And I have a Free Library of Philadelphia card too! They have a great selection of eBooks! Amazon may miss me, but my hubby will be happy! ;-)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Yvonne!
Thanks for the encouragement! I was tempted by your Finish the Series Challenge, but just had to stop somewhere! ;-)

ErinPaperbackstash said...

I'm doing a lot of these as well. Challenges are such fun things aren't they? I overdo it, but I find it helps my reading

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