Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Horror Reading Challenge

Wrap-Up near end of post


2013 Horror Reading Challenge, hosted by Midnyte Reader.  Click the link or image above to sign up.

•This challenge will run from January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013.
•Books must be read and reviewed in 2013.
•You can choose fiction or non-fiction.
•Audio books are fine.
•Short stories are fine as long as you leave a thoughtful review.
•Books can cross with other challenges.
•You can join at anytime during the year. Any books you have read in 2013 can be added.
•Anyone can participate (not just book bloggers). If you don't have a blog: You can link to Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, etc. The easiest way may be to make a seperate shelf for this Challenge or a post. Links back to the Challenge are appreciated and will help others if they would like more information.
•If you are using Facebook for this challenge, please write a post (you can just use a few sentences) about the Challenge. Links back to the Challenge are appreciated and will help others if they would like more information. When you review a book or short story, please do not write a sentence or two. Please write a full review, even if it is just a few few paragraphs.
•Yes! Prizes will be given!

Horror is described on the Bing Dictionary site as:
"...Literature grotesque and terrifying: describes a genre of motion picture or literature intended to thrill viewers or readers by provoking fear or revulsion through the portrayal of grotesque, violent, or supernatural events."

Horror can be subjective. The events of one experience may be horrific to one person and not to another. But for the purposes of this Challenge let's be a little selective. Think terror, dread, and fear. I would really love this Challenge to be a meaningful exploration into the Horror genre. Just because a vampire could be scary does not mean that every book that includes one is right for this challenge. We don't necessarily have to go for the gore, but let's go for the throat and get our scare on!

If you are hard pressed to find some unique Horror books, check out Wag The FoxDarkeva's Dark Delights (I call them the Horror Gurus) and the Horror Writers Association for recommendations. You can also visit The Undead Rat. Although the blog has not been active for a while there is still a lot of information to be found. Also, check out this great list of YA Horror from Kelly at Stacked along with a few other Horror links.

If anyone has any suggestions for this challenge or would like to host a mini-challenge let me know!

•Write a post about this challenge with a link back to this post.
•If you want to make a list of books you wish to read you can, but it's not mandatory.
•Your list is not set in stone. You can change, add or subtract books
•Sign up on the designated Mr. Linky below.
•The page to link your reviews is HERE.

(All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site)

I love horror, in case anyone wasn't aware, so this one's a no-brainer.  My first horror book of the year will probably be The Shining, as I'm participating in a read-a-long in February.


1. The Shining, Stephen King
2. Joyland, Stephen King
3. Stoker's Manuscript, Royce Prouty
4. The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
5. The Stand, Stephen King

I did not review all of these so here's a link to my Goodreads "read in 2013" list


Monday, January 7, 2013

Dive Into Poetry Challenge 2013

Wrap-Up near end of post

Here is another one that you'd think I could read one book...just one book! I mean, I do love poetry so what's my problem?  And Serena has been so patient with me, as I've miserably failed her poetry challenges the past two years.  This is the year I succeed!

Dive Into Poetry Challenge, hosted by Savvy Verse & Wit.  Click the link or the image above to sign up.

1. Create a post on your blog stating your intention to read poetry in 2013 and sign up in Mr. Linky. If you don’t have a blog, simply leave a comment about reading poetry in 2013.

2. Choose one of the following options to complete the challenge:

  • Read and review up to 2 books of poetry throughout 2013 and leave the full link to each review in Mr. Linky.
  • Participate in at least 3 Virtual Poetry Circles throughout the year.
  • Sign up to feature poetry on your blog for April’s National Poetry Month as part of Savvy Verse & Wit’s Blog Tour.
  • Feature one poet per month on your own blog.
  • Or some combination of the above.
3. Complete your goals between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013.

(All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site)

I'm going to go for reading 2 books of poetry.

1. Magnolia and Lotus
2. Cats, Daffodils and Dragonflies, Laura Stamps

Goodreads "books read in 2013" list


Saturday, January 5, 2013

The 2013 Science Fiction Experience

I've been wanting to dip my toe further into the science fiction genre in books.  I haven't really read that much in my life, but I remember loving Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles and I'm a sucker for Sci-Fi films.  Total Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica....shall I go on...geek here!

The 2013 Science Fiction Experience is hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.  Click the link or image above to sign up.  Here are some details from Carl's blog:

A few years back I decided I would like to invite other readers to spend time together to:

a) Continue their love affair with science fiction
b) Return to science fiction after an absence, or
c) Experience for the first time just how exhilarating science fiction can be.

This event was not to be a challenge. It was not a dare nor was it a contest. It was meant to be anexperience, a word I did not choose at random. The very best connections with books are more than just a detached reading, they are an experience–an immersive, engaging interaction between the reader and the characters and events between the covers. It is that tangible joy I feel when reading science fiction that I wanted to share with like readers, while at the same time creating an open, embracing forum for those to participate who have either not read science fiction in the past or have had less than successful experiences with the genre.

And so the Sci-Fi Experience, (or Science Fiction Experience, if you are so inclined) was born.

I have never been able to ascertain a logical explanation for why the arrival of old man Winter causes me to go nearly mad with a desire to read science fiction, but as that is the case the logical time for me to host this non-challenge was the months of January and February. If you have been following along with my posts of late it is probably very obvious that I have been in a science fiction mood for some time now. The first hints of winter weather, though a fleeting tease until this past week, set that wheel in motion.

And so I officially welcome you to The 2013 Science Fiction Experience, which runs from January 1st, 2013 through February 28th, 2013.

What I'm considering to read:

Dune by Frank Herbert
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


The Four Month Challenge--Part 11

Okay...I've been blogging/online friends with Martina for several years and she's been hosting this challenge for a long time; this is the 11th edition! I can't believe this is my first time to participate, but here I am.  Let's see how I do.

The Four Month Challenge is hosted by Martina at Book Drunkard.  Click the link or image to sign up.  Challenge runs for all of January, February, March and April.

TFMC works on a point system as outlined below:

5 Point Challenges

Read a book with a famous painting on the cover

Read a book with a man and woman on the cover

COMPLETED - The Shining by Stephen King

Read a book by a new to you author

COMPLETED - A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock
Read a book that you’ve read before  

Read a book whose author name begins with J (First or last) 

COMPLETED - Persuasion by Jane Austen

10 Point Challenges

Read a book that’s a collection of short stories

Read a book about family

Read a book currently on the NYT Bestsellers list

COMPLETED - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Read the first book in a series

Read a book whose author name starts with F (first or last)

15 Point Challenges

Read a bio/auto bio/memoir

Read a book with a first and last name in the title

Read a historical mystery

Read a book by a female author  

COMPLETED - The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan

Read a book whose author name begins with M (first or last)

20 Point Challenges

Read a cult classic (Helpful link)

Read a book no longer under copyright

Read a fantasy/scifi/steampunk

Read a book you got for Christmas

Read a book whose author begins with A (first or last)

(All details are taken directly from the challenge host's site)


1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die - A Lifelong Challenge

I have been working on this list for a while and my Fill in the Gaps: 100 and The Classics Club lists are predominantly compiled from this massive list so it made sense for me to join this challenge.

A big thanks to Rachel at Resistance is Futile for hosting! You can sign up for this 1001 Books Lifelong Challenge HERE or by clicking the image above.


  1. If you want to participate, prepare an introductory post on your blog which either lists the books you've read or at least gives the highlights (your favorites) and the number you've read so far. Personally, I'm going to use mine as a Master Post, so I can include hyperlinks to my own reviews. Be sure to link your post back to this sign-up page so that the news can spread!
  2. Fill in the Mister Linky, providing the introductory post as your link. 
  3. At the beginning of each month, I will have a Team 1001 post. In the comments of that post, please include links to all the reviews that you want me post links to. ONLY reviews to 1001-listed books! You can give me reviews that you've written before joining the team. That way, everyone can see that month's new reviews. 
  4. Quarterly (March, June, September, December), I'll have an update meme in which we can all share what books we've read over the quarter, which were our favorites, etc. You can provide a link to your update in the comments section of my Team 1001 Quarterly Update.
  5. To see the comprehensive list of reviews, click on the 1001 Books tag in my blog. Any book with a hyperlink has at least one review. 
I'm going to take Rachel's lead and post my list of books completed here and add to them as I go.  A lot of these were read before I started blogging so those will not be linked to a review.  I've also linked to Rachel's team 1001 list, which lists a compilation of all four editions of the list, in the tab at the top of the blog.

Completed  (38) (39)


Life of Pi by Yann Martel


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (mini-review on "best of" post)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (DNF)
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez Reverte
The Reader by Bernard Schlink
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden


Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Bleak House by Charles Dickens (short review on "best of" list)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Middlemarch by George Eliot (mini-review post)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (mini-review post)
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Billy Budd, Foretopman by Herman Melville


Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

(All details/rules were taken directly from the challenge host's site)