Posted in Book Reviews

Reading Challenges for 2017

2016_0815summer20160156We’re a month into a new reading year. If you’re an avid reader, this is something to celebrate. A whole new year of books, characters, adventures, and all of it is waiting for you! What fun!

One of the way we readers enjoy ourselves is by setting out goals for the year. Almost in the form of New Year’s Resolutions, avid readers tend to have a goal in mind as they approach the new reading year.
Last year my goal had been to try some new authors and I had made a list of authors that I wanted to make time for. I didn’t get too far on my list, but it’s a new year so I can try again.
I also focused on finishing series that I had opened. I finished 4 series last year.
This year my goal is to read more from my personal collection. On Goodreads this year I’m tracking how many books I borrow, read from my personal stash, and pick up through a review program.
But I’d love to hear from you! Did you reach any goals last year? What are your reading goals for 2017? 

One of my favorite things to do each year is to pick up a challenge or two to work on throughout the year. These challenges work like a scavenger hunt as you try to find and read books that qualify in each category. Here are 3 of the challenges that I’m working on this year. Feel free to snag them and play along. Don’t forget to review your reads in January to see if you cross anything off already!

The Disney Challenge
I think this challenge is the one I’m most excited about this year. It’s so creative. I found this challenge on a Goodreads group for Christian Fiction fans. You can join the group here: Christian Fiction Devourers.

1.The Little Mermaid – a character who is out of their element, a “fish out of water”.

2. Cinderella – a character who goes through a major transformation.

3. Snow White – a book with an eclectic cast of characters.

4. The Lion King- a book about a royal family, king, queen, prince, or princess.

5. Sleeping Beauty- a book you lost precious hours of sleep staying up all night reading.

6. Beauty and the Beast – A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful.

7. Mulan – a character who pretends to be someone or something they are not.

8.Toy Story – a book with characters you wish would come to life

9. Pinocchio- When lying got a character into big trouble.

10. Tarzan- a story about man and nature.

11. Aladdin- a book character who travels to a “new world” whether it be a new country, time travel… (Along those lines).

12. Frozen: a book that takes place in a snowy location OR a book in which a character sacrifices (or tries to ) himself/herself for others [the second one would be harder to find books for]

What’s in a Name Challenge
This one also comes from Christian Fiction Devours. Of all the groups I’ve seen, they do the most in the way of challenges each year. The two I’ve shared are the two that I’m participating in. Feel free to visit the group and see what else they have in store!

1) A book with “something you would set your table with” . (Not food) Think cutlery- knife spoon, fork, napkin, tablecloth, goblets, cups, , etc., in the title.
eg.- Take This Cup
(Hint- the biggest variety seems to be under “cup” and “glass”)

2) A book with A compass direction in the title- North, South, East, West or any combination thereof- Northwest, SouthEast, etc.
eg.-Treasures of the North

3) A city name in the book title.
eg.-London Tides

4) A book with one of the Fruit of the spirit in it’s title – LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENTLENESS FAITHFULNESS, GOODNESS or SELF-CONTROL
eg. Quilt of Joy: Stories of Hope from the Patchwork Life

5) A “profession” in the title
eg. The Doctor’s Lady

6) An abbreviated word in the Title.
eg- Bride of a Distant Isle (Isle–>Island)
One Enchanted Eve(Eve—->Evening)

26 Book Challenge
A friend found this one on Facebook and sent it to me. This one seems the be a bit more challenging but it’ll be fun to see how far I get.

1 Something you read in school
2 Young Adult fiction
3 Published over 100 years ago
4 Published in 2016
5 Nonfiction book
6 Male author
7 Female author
8 Someone who isn’t a writer
9 Book that became a film
10 Published between 1900-1999
11 A book set in your home state
12 A book with the character’s name in the title
13 A book with a number in the title
14 A character with your first name (if your name is uncommon, change it to a character with the same name of someone you know or starts with the same letter as your own name)
15 Recommended to you
16 Over 500 pages
17 Something you can finish in one day
18 Previously banned book
19 1 word title
20 Translated from another language
21 A book that will improve a specific area of your life
22 Memoir or journal
23 Written by someone younger than you
24 Setting is a place you’d like to travel
25 Award-winning book
26 Self-published book

I’d love to hear about any personal reading challenges you have for 2017 and how you did in 2016. Happy reading!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Library Scavenger Hunt

2I have the pleasure of working on my church’s library committee. So that means that I have yet one more excuse to surround myself with books and lots of them. 🙂  I’ve even spent the last few weeks shopping for books for the library. There’s nothing more exciting than buying books with someone else’s money! 😉

Libraries might offer hundreds of books, but you’ll not benefit from them if you never walk in and check them out. In a day and time where the prices are steadily climbing, it’s nice to know that someone still offers fun for the entire family for FREE. And with four kids, free is the best price.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve enjoyed your local library, allow me to give you some suggestions:
*Take a break and go alone. For busy moms or dads, slip over on your lunch break and enjoy the tall stacks of books and the comfy chairs.
*Visit your library when you have thirty minutes to kill between appointments. Why stay in your car on your phone when your library offers a change of scenery, a free book, and a “screen break?”
*Make it a treat for the kids! After a doctor/dentist appointment or shopping trip, take your kiddos to the library. It’s like sending them into a toy store…only you can take things home for free. 😉
*Make a day of it: Pack a picnic, head to the library to borrow books, take in a few hours of fun at the park, then enjoy your lunch followed by some reading time in the shade.
*Many libraries have summer reading programs already in place and offer prizes to young kids. If your library doesn’t offer anything or your young reader doesn’t read enough to earn them, consider giving them prizes yourself. A half-priced slush from Sonic would hit the spot or an ice cream cone for under a dollar would do the trick without breaking the bank.
*Pick a book to read together. There are tons of classics or favorites from our childhood that you can enjoy with your children. Maybe you’ve read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe but you’ve never read the rest of the series. This summer could be the year you sat down with you kiddos and enjoyed them. Read aloud in the shade of your backyard. Or read a chapter a day from multiple copies and discuss it over dinner. Listen to an audio version together in the car as you run errands all summer.
*Create a movie and book event. After reading the book, watch the movie together, complete with your favorite movie theater snacks, of course. 😉
*Make a book sundae. For every book your child completes, they earn a topping for their sundae. At the end of the appointed time, enjoy a family ice cream party together.

In case you STILL need some convincing, I created a Scavenger Hunt for my church library this summer. I’ll share it with you. I’ve also tweaked the original so if you have children, feel free to use the kid-friendly version.

The key to this particular challenge is to take advantage of your local library. So let’s pull out our library cards, find a book and a nice shady spot, and enjoy our summer!!

I’d love to hear from anyone taking the Library Scavenger Hunt Challenge. I’ll be playing along this summer. Within our church, we’ve decided the dates would run between June 1 – July 31. Of course, you’re welcome to work on the challenge longer but for the sake of this public challenge, we’ll work within those dates. I’ll be back to update you on my progress and ask for yours.
But remember, for this particular challenge, your reading material must be found in the library. Many libraries offer e-reader options. Call and ask for a link if you don’t already have one.
*If you want to save this scavenger hunt list to use for your personal TBR pile or to help clean off your e-reader, feel free to do so.

Adult Library Scavenger Hunt:
Find a book….
Written by a male author
Favorite color on cover
Set in a state or country you’d like to visit
1 word title
With a building on the cover
Published before the year 2000
Author’s last name starts with the same letter as yours
Read a Juvenile book
With a mystery
From a series
Written by your favorite author
Book over 400 pages long
Recommended by a librarian or friend
Novel that isn’t part of a series
Book set in a state you’ve lived in
Published in 2015-1016
Written by an author you’ve never tried
Historic fiction novel
With a form of transportation on the cover
Animal on the cover
Nonfiction book
Written by more than 1 author
Flower on the cover
Written by a female author
Main character’s first name starts with the same letter as yours

Kid-Friendly Library Scavenger Hunt:
Find a book…
Written by a male author
Favorite color on cover
Set in a state or country you’d like to visit
1 word title
With a building on the cover
Published before the year 2000
Author’s last name starts with the same letter as yours
Read a book with a friend or family member
With a mystery
From a series
Written by your favorite author
Book that has a movie made after it
Book chosen by the librarian or adult family member
Novel that isn’t part of a series
Book set in a state you’ve lived in
A new arrival or published in 2015-2016
Written by an author you’ve never tried
Fiction book/novel with historic setting
Form of transportation on the cover
Animal on the cover
Nonfiction book
Written by more than 1 author
Flower on the cover
Written by a female author
Main character’s first name starts with the same letter as yours

*Quick notes and rules: You can only use one book per slot. 
All books for the library challenge must be found in a library.
For some additional fun: Consider writing each scavenger clue on a slip of paper and drawing them out of a jar at random. 
Or since there are 25 scavenger clues, you could create a bingo sheet and try doing 5 in a row. 
Have fun!!! 

Posted in About the Author, Book Reviews

Reading Challenges 2015

47There are more books on my TBR list than I can even begin to get to in a year and the list grows daily. I don’t suppose I’ll ever reach the bottom, but neither do I count that as a problem.

One of the best places to browse books online is On Goodreads, you’ll find a community of readers ready to talk and swap book recommendations. Through one of the groups on Goodreads, I’ve signed up for a few fun reading challenges.

~E-reader Challenge
I’m hoping to take some of the books off my endless collection by reading at least 20 books from my kindle this year.

~New Author To You Challenge
This is always a fun and easy challenge since I’m quick to pick up a new author and give them a try. I’m hoping to try at least 10 new authors this year, but I expect I’ll exceed that quickly enough.

~Support Local Library Challenge
This is another easy and fun challenge. I’m often visiting my library, both online and in person. I hope to read at least 12 borrowed books this year.

~Spell Your Name Challenge
I couldn’t resist adding this fun challenge to my worksheet for the year. The idea is simple, choose books where the first letter of the title is a letter in your name. You can spell your first name, first and last, or all three names. I’m going bold and will attempt to spell all three names. Thankfully, the books can overlap on more than one challenge.

Also on my personal list is to finish The Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan, finally read a book by the classic author Grace Livingston, and to pick up another well known classic that I’ve never read…I’m thinking about A Tale of Two Cities.

You can follow me on Goodreads to know what I’m reading throughout the year and what I think of it.

What’s on your reading list this year? Are you a member of Goodreads?  Have you joined any of the reading challenges?