Reading Challenge, The Great American Read

PBS’s The Great American Read

american read

So if you saw my post about the National Book Festival, then you know I found out all about the Great American Read there. I had heard of it before, but didn’t really know what it was, and I can’t believe it took me this long to check it out.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, you’re going to want to check it out: https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

PBS hosts the event. The first show aired in May, and there will be seven more shows starting on Septemeber 11th. PBS created a list of the top 100 books Americans love after conducting surveys.

There are so many great books on the list! Some I’ve read, some are on my TBR list, and a few were books I’d never heard of.  Each day until the end of October, you can cast one vote for your favorite book(s).

If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram, then you’ve may have guessed my first vote went to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This book has been a great inspiration in my life, so I had to cast my first vote for this novel. But there are a few other books I’ll have to vote for too – The Outsiders, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, Frankenstein, and Charlotte’s Web – to name a few.

Also, since I’ve only read 30 of the 100 books, I’m planning to read several more before the finale airs. I’m starting with books in the YA genre since that’s my favored genre, both to read and write.

Here are the books I’m starting with:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Hachet by Gary Paulsen

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

What about you? Are you participating in the Great Read? What book(s) are you voting for? Are you reading any books from the 100? Let me know in the comments!

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Mermaid Read-a-thon, Reading Challenge

Let’s Be Mermaids Read-a-thon

mermaid readathon

So I found out about this read-a-thon on Instagram, and decided to give it a go. I’ve haven’t yet participated in a read-a-thon, but have been wanting to. I love the mermaid theme of this one, and since I already have several mermaid books on my summer TBR, it works out. 🙂

The read-a-thon runs August 5th -11th. There are video challenges as well as the reading challenges, but I’m going to be focusing on the reading challenges, as I don’t have a YouTube channel. You can find out all the details about the read-a-thon on the YouTube channel here.

mermaid reading challenge

So my TBR list for the read-a-thon includes:

1. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill (the chosen group read for the read-a-ton)

2. Emerge by Tobie Easton (a recommendation from one of the hosts, Ashten, https://wonderlandiansbooks.wordpress.com/)

3. Submerge by Tobie Easton (the 2nd book in the Mer Chronicles)

4. Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman (a book that is also a movie)

5. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (just another mermaid book on my TBR list 🙂 )

mermaid books

You can also follow the read-a-thon on Twitter and Instagram.

 

How about you? Are you participating in this read-a-thon? Or reading any mermaid books this summer? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Check-in – #unreadshelfproject2018

shelf update

So since we are halfway through the year (hard to believe, isn’t it?) I decided to do a check-in to see how I’m doing with the #unreadshelfproject2018. If you haven’t heard about this challenge or missed my first post about it, you can check it out here.

I have read 86 books this year, and 23 of them were my own unread books. My original goal was to read 120 of my unread books, so I have a lot of work left to get to that goal. I love my local library, and every time I go, I find more books to read. I’m going to have to limit library visits so I can finish more of my own unread books! 🙂

These are the 23 books of mine I’ve read so far:

  1. Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
  2. Finding my Edge by Karen Chen
  3. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  4. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  5. In Her Skin by Kim Savage
  6. Veronica Mars: The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
  7. Fall of Night by Rachel Caine
  8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  9. Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
  10. Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
  11. Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
  12. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  13. Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
  14. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  15. The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
  16. Private by James Patterson
  17. War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes
  18. Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  19. Ferdinand and the Bullies by Walt Disney Company
  20. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  21. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  22. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  23. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

How about you? How are you doing on your challenges for this year? Let me know in the comments.

Reading Challenge

Fairytale Bingo Reading Challenge

fairy-tale-2321777_1920

With National Fairy Tale Day coming up tomorrow (February 26th), I felt it appropriate to share one of the other reading challenges I’m doing this year to help me get through the #unreadshelfchallenge2018.

This is a bingo challenge, and it’s the second bingo challenge I’ve done. There are two ways to complete the challenge. You can either choose to get a BINGO (five squares in a row- horizontally, vertically or diagonally), or you can choose to complete the whole board.
fairytale bingo

I’m going to focus on completing a BINGO for the next month or so, but am aiming to complete the whole board by the end of the year. I have already read Spindle by Shonna Slayton (and loved it 🙂 ), but that’s the only square I’ve filled in so far.

The Fairytale Forum facebook group (ran by Ashlee Willis and Shonna Slayton) is hosting this challenge. If you love fairytales, you should definitely check this group out.

And tomorrow, I will be posting an original fairy tale to my blog. Be sure to check it out! 🙂

How will you be celebrating National Fairy Tale Day? Let me know in the comments.

 

Reading Challenge

Fantastic February

The first smaller reading challenge I’m doing this year is a monthly (February) book challenge. If you missed my previous post about the yearly reading challenge I’m doing  you can check it out here.

The Fantastic February reading challenge is hosted by Kathy, author of the Books and Munches blog, and you can find all the details here.

Basically, this is a challenge that focuses on reading fantasy/paranormal books. Since I have a bunch of those on my unread bookcase, this is perfect!

Here is my TBR list for February:

fantastic february books

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine- I started this series awhile back and only have four books left in this series, so I’ll be finishing the series this month – Black Dawn, Bitter Blood, Fall of Night (not pictured), and Daylighters. 

The Queen of Hearts series by Colleen Oakes – I loved the first book and can’t wait to read the last two in this trilogy – Blood of Wonderland, and War of the Cards.

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz – This books sounded so good I pre-ordered it, and just haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve heard so many good things about this book,  it had to be added to the list.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire – I’ve actually never read a book by Maguire before, but have heard many good things about him, I decided to give this book a try. Also, this is an audiobook. (Audiobooks are one way I up my book count for the year.)

If you couldn’t tell, I love fairytale retellings, and am psyched to be doing a fantasy-themed challenge. I realize this is an ambitious list, but I will be trying to fit them all in. Like I said in my previous post, challenges motivate me. 🙂

What’s on your TBR list for February? Are you participating in Fantastic February or any other reading challenge for the month? Let me know in the comments.

 

Reading Challenge

The #unreadshelfproject2018 Reading Challenge

unread shelf

This year, I’m focusing on my reading by having more specific goals, and with that comes the reading challenges. I love a good challenge. I’m a bit competitive, so challenges really motivate me. 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@charityrau), then you know I’m participating in the #unreadshelfproject2018. What is that, you ask?  It is a reading challenge hosted by @theunreadshelf,  @katereadsbooks_, and @calsreads on Instagram.

The objective of the challenge – to focus on reading your own unread books. I have a ton of books that I haven’t read yet, and had been contemplating doing something like this for 2018 when I found this challenge. It’s the perfect motivation! The hosts will be posting weekly, and sometimes monthly, challenges throughout the year which will help me stay motivated and stick to my goal.

One of the first challenges was to count your unread books. Now, when I say I have a ton of unread books, I’m not exaggerating. Some are in boxes and others are scattered among books I have already read. I started with the one bookcase I know contains mostly unread books.

unread bookshelf

There are 120 unread books on that shelf, so that’s my goal for the year – to read 120 of my unread books.  I read 140 books last year, so this is doable for me. I will read a few library books as well, but only ones that qualify as highly anticipated reads for this year.

First I’ll be reading series – there are several series I’ve started, but haven’t finished. I’m currently finishing up the Lunar Chronicles.  I’m also planning to finish The Queen of Heart series, The Morganville Vampire series, the Beautiful Creatures series, and The Throne of Glass series.

This is my big reading challenge for the year, but I’ll also be doing some smaller challenges to help me stay motivated. I’ll be posting about some of those a little later. 🙂

What are your reading goals for 2018? Are you participating in any challenges? Let me know in the comments!

 

Beauty and the Beast Series, Reading Challenge

As Old As Time

IMAG1849 (1)

The next book in the challenge is As Old As Time. This is also a Disney book. However, this one is based more on the animated classic, than the new live action movie. This is part of a series of books called Twisted Tales. (There is also an Aladdin and a Sleeping Beauty story in the series.)

The twist in this story is that Belle’s mother was the enchantress who cursed the Beast. While there were a lot of scenes taken straight from the animated movie, there were also some flashback scenes telling how Maurice and his wife met, and the events that led up to the Beast’s curse. At part two (1/3 of the way through the book), the book takes a different turn from the movie and really develops into it’s own story.

I liked the way this book used inspiration from the movie, and enjoyed the twists along the way.  It was entertaining, though a bit darker than the animated movie. One of the things I really liked was the way the author highlighted Belle’s and the Beast’s parents choices versus their own. In other words, the child does not have to make the same choice as the parent.  In fact, one of Belle’s quotes near the end is a great reminder of this. “Everyone is different. Each person has his or her own soul and is master of his or her own destiny.”

The only thing I didn’t like was the open-ended ending. I’m not going to give anything away, other than to say, everything wasn’t totally knitted up into a perfect happy ending. It was for the most part happy, and gave the impression that all would end that way, but I personally, like the nicely tied up endings better.

Overall, it was a good read that I enjoyed. I read it within three days and it’s nearly 500 pages long! I would recommend it to any Disney fan, any Beauty and the Beast fan, or any fairytale fan. Just be prepared for the twist and turns it takes from the original Disney classic! 🙂

If you missed all the information about the reading challenge, you can find it here. Feel free to jump in for any or all of the books. Reviews are nonspoiler, so you have plenty of time to read each book. Whenever you finish, you can answer the questions or comment on the book via the comments section.

And the questions:

  1. Do you think that a parent automatically determines the choices/path a child has to take? Why or why not?
  2. How did you like the backstory of Maurice and Belle’s mother?
  3. What did you think of the twists the book took away from the movie?
  4. What was your favorite part of the book?