Tag: Reading Challenge

Bookish Thoughts: Reading Challenges, Rereads, Goodreads Romance Week, Silver Silence by Nalini Singh and Amazon Fresh

Posted February 9, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 8 Comments

The last few years I signed up for a Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my reading goal at 200 books per year. Last year I fell short of that, but I’ve managed to meet or surpass it every other year. I get really frustrated with Goodreads, because reads aren’t tracked for the challenge unless the “date read” info is entered. Since I use the app 98% of the time, and there’s no “date read” option on the app, 98% of the time the challenge isn’t tracked properly. Last year, for example, because I did a lot of re-reading, Goodreads said I only read 33 books, when I actually read 124. It’s really annoying. Thankfully I create my own “200 Books in {year}” shelf, so I have an accurate total. I wish they’d fix that, however, so I could keep an accurate accounting.

In better Goodreads news, we can now log rereads and have them count toward our Reading Challenge. I do a ton of rereading, so I’m really excited about this. Of course, this means I need to start using the “Currently Reading” feature, but I suppose it’s a small price to pay.

How Do I Start Using the Rereading Feature?
Next time you decide to reread a book that you’ve already marked as Read on Goodreads, simply mark it as Currently Reading. When you are done, just mark it as Read. You can do this from the Goodreads iOS and Android apps and on Goodreads.com, as well as in the About the Book feature on Kindle (if you have connected your Goodreads and Amazon accounts – click here to connect your accounts). We take care of marking it as a reread for you. Bonus, it will also automatically be included in your Reading Challenge.

Speaking of Reading Challenges, as an avid reader, I get pretty down on myself when it comes to how many books I read per month. Reading is life, right? So when I don’t read a lot of books in a month I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. But then I log on to Goodreads and see others have set their Yearly Reading Challenges at 10 or 20 – PER YEAR – and I realize I’m not doing so bad with my 12 per month. Not that I’m shaming anyone. Whether a person reads 1 book or 1000 per year, the fact that they’re reading is all that matters. I just tend to be hard on myself, when there’s no need.

It’s Romance Week on Goodreads. They have a list of the Top 100 Romance Novels on Goodreads (based on 4.0 ratings for adult romances on the site). I’ve read 44. I was really surprised at some of the titles listed, and even more surprised some weren’t listed. What do you think of the list? They’ve also broken down the top 10 Paranormal, Contemporary and Historical romances.



Nalini Singh‘s most recent newsletter included a full chapter excerpt from Silver Silence, her upcoming Psy/Changeling Trinity book. It doesn’t release until June and she’s torturing us with an excerpt now? Ahhhh. I need this in my life. Even though I’m sort of anti-werebear. I’m willing to make an exception because I know and trust Singh. Plus, it’s Silver! And, Bonus! It probably means more Kaleb (rwar).

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

In my quest to try more new authors, I’ve been randomly buying or downloading books from Kindle Unlimited and Prime reads. So far they’ve mostly been duds. Part of it is probably my reading taste, but it’s kind of solidified my choice not to subscribe to KU.

Not book related, but I recently tried Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service. For Prime Members the service is $14.99/mo and includes free delivery, sometimes same day (though same day doesn’t seem to be available in my area yet). I used the 30-day trial to test it out and I don’t think I’ll continue my subscription. I can get most of the items for the same price or less at my local grocery. So really I’d end up paying $14.99 for the convenience of delivery. Some items, like meat, were really expensive. Bulk items, too, were more spendy than Costco. Since I would still have to visit the store, I don’t think it’s worth the money. I might consider subscribing if it were a bit less per month, but at $14.99 I just can’t justify it. I’m all for anything that allows me to shop from home, but my thrifty soul won’t let me do it.

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2015 Reading Challenge Review

Posted January 19, 2016 by Holly in Discussions | 2 Comments

2015 reading challengeRowena and I both signed up to do the 26 Books in 2015 reading challenge. Sadly, I didn’t get all 26 books marked off my list. I cheated a little to get some of these.

The two I didn’t get to? A Book You Learned About Because of This Challenge and A Book Based on a True Story. I have several books marked TBR from this challenge, but I didn’t get to them. Same with a book based on a true story. Let’s hope 2016 is a better reading year for me.

1) A Book you own but haven’t read | Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini SinghI had this book in my TBR pile for years. I’m so glad I caught up on the series in 2015.
2) A Book that was made into a movie | Beastly by Alex FlinnI still haven’t seen the movie, but, hey, I read the book!
3) A Book you picked solely because of the cover | The Friend Zone by Kristen CallihanYum.
4) A Book your friend loves | Honor’s Splendour by Julie GarwoodRowena loves this book. I’ve read it before, but it’s worth listing here since I know she adores it.
5) A Book published this year | Midnight’s Kiss by Thea HarrisonIs it cheating if it’s a series I’m already invested in? Eh…I’m counting it.
6) A Book by an author you’ve never read before | Black Wolf’s Revenge by Tera ShanleyI didn’t love the book, but I may try the author again.
7) A Book by an author you love | Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini SinghSeriously, does the woman write anything that isn’t amazing?
8) A Book at the bottom of your “to be read” pile | Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews – I bought this book ages ago but didn’t read it. I’m glad I finally dug into the series.
9) A Book with a color in the title | White Out by Linda Howard – An old Howard favorite. 
10) A Book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit | Heart Legacy by Robin D. OwensThe Planet of Celta is one of my favorite fictional places. I would love to visit it.
11) A Book you started but never finished | Undressed by Shannon RichardI started this one several times and just couldn’t get into it. I’m glad I stuck with it, though, since it turned out to be a cute read. 
12) A Book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe | Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews – Curran, Kate’s leading man, is a Lion. 
13) A Book with a female heroine | Magic Rises by Ilona AndrewsThe books are all about Kate and her personal journey. This is one of my favorites of the series.
14) A Book set in the summer | Suddenly One Summer by Julie James And it has Summer in the title. Bonus!
15) A Book of poems | The Complete Works of Emily DickinsonI loved revisiting some of my favorite poems. Full disclosure: I didn’t read the entire book. Only my favorites. 
16) A Book you learned about because of this challenge
17) A Book that will make you smarter | Saving Grace by Julie GarwoodI know this seems like a strange choice for this category, but Johanna’s personal journey, and her struggle with her place as a woman in the church, really spoke to me.
18) A Book with a blue cover | Soaring by Kristen Ashley
19) A Book you were supposed to read in school, but didn’t | The Awakening by Kate ChopinI don’t know how I missed reading this in school. It was wonderful.
20) A Book “EVERYONE” but you has read | Branded by Fire by Nalini SinghI’m not sure that this specific book is one everyone but me has read, but I finally read the entire series this year, and I feel like I’m the last one, so I’m counting it.
21) A Book with a great first linePride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThis was hard for me, because I don’t really pay attention to first lines, until I remembered I re-read P&P over the summer. Love.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

22) A Book with pictures | Go The F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach – This is a hilarious book given to me by a friend just after my youngest was born. Every parent knows the struggle. For real.
23) A Book from the library The Foot Book by Dr. SuessMy daughter and I visit the library once a week and we always get several books, but most of them are children’s books for her. I love this book, so I decided to list it rather than one of the adult books I picked up for myself.
24) A Book you loved….read it again | Fall Into Me by Linda Winfree – I adore this book. I read it at least once a year. I recently learned Winfree is writing again and plans to release a book this year. So.Effing.Excited.
25) A Book that is more than 10 years old Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase – This might be cheating a bit since it’s a re-read, but it was published 20 years ago (1995!) so it counts.
26) A Book based on a true story

24 out of 26 isn’t too bad considering my sad reading mojo in 2015.

How about you? Did you complete your 2015 reading challenges or meet your goals? 

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Announcing the 2016 Five Books Everyone Should Read Challenge

Posted January 4, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Five Books Everyone Should Read was a feature we ran in 2015. We asked some of our favorite authors, readers and bloggers to share five books that touched them or have stayed with them throughout the years.  We hope you guys enjoyed this feature as much as we did.  There were so many books listed that we haven’t read, we’re challenging ourselves to read as many books from the list that we can, and we’re inviting you to join us.

You can read as many of the books featured last year as you’d like, but the challenge is to read at least five over the course of 2016. Rowena and I are committing to read at least six of the books from the master list. Each month, we will be reading and discussing one book from the master list.  You’re welcome to join us in reading the book each month, or you can choose your own to read.

Reading Challenge Details:

  1. The challenge runs from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Any books read before January 1, 2016 do not count toward your challenge.

  2. The challenge is to read books from the feature we ran here on Book Binge in 2015, Five Books Everyone Should Read. Popular readers, bloggers and authors shared the five books that they thought everyone should read, so the goal here is to read at least five of those books in 2016. You can find the master list here.

  3. To join the challenge, all you have to do is sign up below and track your progress throughout the year. You do not have to have a blog to participate. You can participate using your Goodreads, BookLikes or LibraryThing profile as long as you have a dedicated bookshelf for books you’re reading toward this challenge. It would also help if your profile wasn’t private so that we can see what you’re reading. Grab the reading challenge button to post on your blog and invite others to join us!

Grab the Button

Sign Up Here

Good luck and happy reading!

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Reading Outside My Comfort Zone

Posted October 28, 2015 by Holly in Discussions | 19 Comments

I’m a creature of habit. It’s hard for me to break out of my comfort zone. Especially when it comes to reading. I have my favorite authors and I tend to stick with them. When I’m confronted with a new-to-me author, I tend to shy away unless I’ve seen a lot of really great reviews from people in my trust network. giphy Belle

Back in 2012 I decided to branch out and start reading more new-to-me authors and get out of my comfort zone. I ended up trying 32 new authors, which was great, but I thought I could do better. 2013 and 2014 were great years for new authors. I tried 48 in 2013 and 46 in 2014. Considering I average about 200 books a year, that number isn’t great. Breaking it down in months, however, it’s not so bad.

2015 hasn’t been a great reading year, period. Life has been crazy and my reading has suffered. I’ve fallen back into the habit of sticking with my favorite tried and true authors. It’s almost the end of October and I’ve only tried 10 new authors so far this year. I’m really disappointed in myself. It’s much too late to do anything about that number for this year, but I want to get back on track for next year.

Something else I want work on is being more adventurous in my reading. Not just new authors, but genres outside what I currently read. I tend to stick mainly with contemporary romance. I’d like to branch out to read more paranormal romance, fantasy and even sci-fi. The funny thing is, I tend to enjoy fantasy, sci-fi and PNR when I read it. I fall right into the worlds and get swept away by the stories. Yet I shy away from them. I have issues. Clearly. (No comments from the peanut gallery, please)

Going forward, I’m challenging myself to go back to trying more new authors and to being more adventurous in my reading. I’m not going to set a number for myself – I don’t want my reading to become a chore – but I do plan to be more conscious of the books I read.

How about you? Are you pretty good about trying new authors and reading outside your comfort zone? Do you have any reading goals for next year?

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My Book Challenge So Far…

Posted July 23, 2015 by Rowena in Miscellaneous | 6 Comments

In the beginning of the year (or maybe it was the ending of last year), Holly and I set some reading goals and this book challenge was one of them. I haven’t been paying any attention to what I’m supposed to be reading for this challenge so I thought I’d write up a post and find out.

2015 reading challenge

Here goes nothing…

1) A Book you own but haven’t read | The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
2) A Book that was made into a movie | The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
3) A Book you picked solely because of the cover | Chaos by Jamie Shaw
4) A Book your friend loves | Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams
5) A Book published this year | Trade Me by Courtney Milan
6) A Book by an author you’ve never read before | Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
7) A Book by an author you love | Suddenly One Summer by Julie James
8) A Book at the bottom of your “to be read” pile | Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
9) A Book with a color in the title | The Duke and the Lady in Red by Lorraine Heath
10) A Book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit | Hard Rock by Nalini Singh (New Zealand)
11) A Book you started but never finished | Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh (started it last year but never finished it so I picked it up again this year and not only did I finish it, I loved it too!)
12) A Book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe | Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
13) A Book with a female heroine | Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy (Juliet set out to avenge her brother and protect some innocents, she was definitely a heroine)
14) A Book set in the summer | Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
15) A Book of poems | I’m low key curious to see if I’ll ever do this. I don’t really have an interest in reading a book of poems, not even for this challenge. Ha!
16) A Book you learned about because of this challenge
17) A Book that will make you smarter
18) A Book with a blue cover | We Can Work it Out by Elizabeth Eulberg
19) A Book you were supposed to read in school, but didn’t
20) A Book “EVERYONE” but you has read | Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
21) A Book with a great first line
22) A Book with pictures
23) A Book from the library | I’m probably not going to do this one either since I don’t have a library card. I have issues with returning books so I gave this one up a long time ago.
24) A Book you loved….read it again | Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young and Frigid by J. Lynn (I read both books this year just because I felt like it. Ames was reading the Samantha Young book for the first time and enjoying the heck out of it so I thought, why not? I read it too. I loved it all over again and Frigid, I read on a whim. A whim that ended with me quite satisfied with Kyler and Sydney’s story yet again)
25) A Book that is more than 10 years old
26) A Book based on a true story

Hmmm, not nearly as bad as I thought. I thought that I wouldn’t have read anything but as you can see, I have. I’ve completed 17 of the challenges and only have 9 challenges to finish before I’m completely done. I still have 5 months to finish too.

Go me!

Are you participating in this challenge? How are things looking for you? Do you have a lot of work to do or are you on track..like me?

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