What's in a Name? 2016

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories:

A country:
An item of clothing:
An item of furniture:
A profession:
A month of the year:
A title with the word "tree" in it:

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Ultimate Reading Challenge 2016

I'm also going to participate in the Ultimate Reading Challenge.  It isn't a sign up challenge, just a personal challenge to complete, but I will list out the categories and keep track of them on this post!

A book based on a fairy tale:
A National Book Award winner:
A YA bestseller:
A book you haven't read since high school:
A book set in your home state:
A book translated to English:
A romance set in the future:
A book set in Europe:
A book that's under 150 pages:
A New York Times bestseller:
A book that's becoming a movie this year:
A book recommended by someone you just met:
A self-improvement book:
A book you can finish in a day:
A book written by a celebrity:
A political memoir:
A book at least 100 years older than you:
A book that's more than 600 pages:
A book from Oprah's Book Club:
A science-fiction novel:
A book recommended by a family member:
A graphic novel:
A book that is published in 2016:
A book with a protagonist who has your occupation:
A book that takes place during Summer:
A book and its prequel:
A murder mystery:
A book written by a comedian:
A dystopian novel:
A book with a blue cover:
A book of poetry:
The first book you see in a bookstore:
A classic from the 20th century:
A book from the library:
An autobiography:
A book about a road trip:
A book about a culture you're unfamiliar with:
A satirical book:
A book that takes place on an island:
A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy:

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Full House Reading Challenge 2016

Full House Reading Challenge 2016

By author you wish was better known:
Published in 2016:
Book from a series you love:
Debut novel:
Thought provoking book:
Had laugh out loud moment(s):
Book club worthy:
Color word in title:
Author's surname starts with same letter as yours:
You didn't want to put it down:
Way out of comfort zone:
Family relationship word in title:
Book you bought:
Setting begins with B:
Author outside own country:
Self challenge:
First in a series:
You'd like to change the cover:
A dominant color on cover:
New author to you:
Would make a good movie:
Library book:
Published in 2015:
Been on TBR "forever":

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2015 Review

I'm going to do something a little different this year and participate in a survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner that looks like a lot of fun!  I'm not doing much blog-wise, but maybe 2016 will be different?  So the beginning of this post will be my usual end of year review questions that aren't in the survey, and then I'll include the survey answers.

Challenges in which I participated:
Full House Reading Challenge
What's in a Name? (finished 6 of 6)
R.I.P. X  (finished 4 of 4)

# of books read: 
(down from 58 in 201460 in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & up from 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.)

Least favorite:
The Alphabet House  by: Jussi Adler-Olsen

# of non-fiction:

Repeated authors:
Stephen King (2)
Leigh Bardugo (4) (including The Grisha)
Sarah Addison Allen (2) (Waverly Family)

Number of books you read:  52
Number of re-reads:  1 (Cold Sassy Tree)
Genre you read the most:  Fantasy and Young Adult

1. Best book you read in 2015:  The Martian  by: Andy Weir
Followed by:
Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman
The Shining  by: Stephen King
Six of Crows  by: Leigh Bardugo

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't: The Little Paris Bookshop  by: Nina George
I was looking forward to reading it because of the title and cover (I know, I know) and also the description, but it wasn't nearly as great as I was hoping.  A second book that would fit in this category is Go Set a Watchman by: Harper Lee.

3. Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read: Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil
Surprised in a good way because I expected it to be a silly contemporary young adult novel and I ended up really enjoying the way it was written and the story line.

4. Book you "pushed" the most people to read (and they did): The Martian  by: Andy Weir
My husband and mother-in-law read it after I recommended it and I gave a copy to my brother for Christmas, so he will probably read it soon as well.

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best sequel of 2015? Best series ender of 2015?: Best series was Six of Crows...I think!  I only read the first book in the series, but I enjoyed it most of all the series I started this year.  The best sequel was Siege and Storm from The Grisha series by the same author (Leigh Bardugo).  A new character was introduced in this book and I just loved him.  The only series ender I read was Ruin and Rising from The Grisha and it was a good ending!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015: Leigh Bardugo

7. Best book from a genre you don't typically read/was out of your comfort zone: The Devil in the White City  by: Erik Larson
I typically don't read historical non-fiction/biography type books although I read two this year and enjoyed this title by Larson.  I had no idea that the first world's fair in Chicago influenced our current society so much.

8. Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year: Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman

9. Book in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year: The Shining  by: Stephen King is one that I would possibly re-read within a year.  It would be interesting to read it after knowing the entire story and how it ends.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015: Illusions of Fate  by: Kiersten White

11. Most memorable character of 2015: Mark in The Martian and Kaz in Six of Crows.

12. Most beautifully written book of 2015: The Buried Giant  by: Kazuo Ishiguro 

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015: House of Leaves  by: Mark Z. Danielewski

14. Book you can't believe you waited until 2015 to finally read: The Shining

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015: "For some reason, I've been thinking more and more about my mother and the way her life failed her, humiliated her with impulses beyond her command, broke her with year after year of the same." -House of Leaves  by: Mark Z. Danielewski

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2015: A Dance with Dragons  by: George R.R. Martin (1,125 pages) and The Little Prince  by: Antoine de Saint Exupery (98 pages)

17. Book that shocked you the most: I can't think of anything in particular, but probably something in A Dance with Dragons!

18. OTP (one true pairing) of the year: Hook & Stella in Alias Hook  by: Lisa Jensen or Nyx and Ignifex in Cruel Beauty  by: Rosamund Hodge (I know it said ONE, but oh well!)

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: Willow's relationships with all of her friends in Counting by 7s  by: Holly Goldberg Sloan

20. Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you've read previously: The Shining

21. Best book you read in 2015 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure: Bel Canto  by: Ann Patchett (recommended by my mom)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015: Nikolai from the second and third books in The Grisha.

23. Best 2015 debut novel you read: Serafina and the Black Cloak  by: Robert Beatty
This story took place in my home state of North Carolina in an amazing house I've visited a couple of times (The Biltmore) and I thought it was a fun book.  I'm not sure I'd recommend it for a child even though it's a children's book because it's a little scary.

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year: The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read: Someday, Someday, Maybe  by: Lauren Graham
This is written by the actress who played Lorelai in the TV series Gilmore Girls.  It was such a fun book and I found myself laughing out loud a few times.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015: The Buried Giant  by: Kazuo Ishiguro

27. Hidden gem of the year: Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil

28. Book that crushed your soul: If I Stay  by: Gayle Forman

29. Most unique book you read in 2015: Sand  by: Hugh Howey was very unique and I really wish he had developed the story more for this reason.

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it): Probably Go Set a Watchman  by: Haper Lee.  I was frustrated with both Atticus and Scout at different times throughout the book.  I wish it had been different, but I understood where they were both coming from and am not letting this book taint my view of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I honestly don't think that Watchman was meant to be published.

1. One book you didn't get to in 2015 but will be your number one priority in 2016: The Wrath and the Dawn  by: Renee Ahdieh

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2016 (non-debut): The Thorn of Emberlain  by: Scott Lynch (#4 in the Gentleman Bastard series)

3. 2016 debut you are most anticipating: I don't really keep up with debuting authors.

4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2016: The Thorn of Emberlain like I already mentioned and Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo (the second book in the Six of Crows series)

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2016: I hope I read more and blog more (I mean, even one review would be an improvement!)

6. A 2016 release you've already read and recommend to everyone: I haven't read any ARCs! 

R.I.P. X

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X

Without further ado, pick your poison, won’t you? September 1st is here, and we’re ready to begin!
Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.
As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:
1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.
There are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have too many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.
R.I.P. X officially runs from September 1st through October 31st

It's that time of year again!  I am hardly on my blog anymore, but you can always count on me to join R.I.P. every year.  I'm participating in Peril the First - read 4 books.  I will read short stories from Shadows and Monsters by Grace A. Dow.  And maybe this will be the year I actually watch a scary movie on Halloween like I always say I will!

1. The Vanishing  by: Wendy Webb
2. The Shining  by: Stephen King
3. Rooms  by: Lauren Oliver
4. The Bad Seed  by: William March

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Full House Reading Challenge 2015

Library book:  City of Savages  by: Lee Kelly
A top book of 2015 for you:  The Martian  by: Andy Weir
You heard about the book online:  Shadow and Bone  by: Leigh Bardugo
Set in the southern hemisphere:  Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil  (Australia)
Published in 2015:  Go Set a Watchman  by: Harper Lee
Novella:  The Little Prince  by: Antoine de Saint Exupery
Setting that you now want to visit:  Neverland in Alias Hook  by: Lisa Jensen
Award winning:  A Dance with Dragons  by: George R.R. Martin
First in a series:  The Rosie Project  by: Graeme Simsion  (Don Tillman series)
A keeper:  The Martian  by: Andy Weir
Author outside your own country:  J.K. Rowling (The Casual Vacancy)
Book by author you really like:  The Hypnotist's Love Story  by: Liane Moriarty
Published 2000-2013:  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand  by: Helen Simonson  (2010)
Outstanding hero/heroine:  Kaz in Six of Crows  by: Leigh Bardugo
Won or borrowed:  The Dead Zone  by: Stephen King
Book set in northern hemisphere:  Someday, Someday, Maybe  by: Lauren Graham  (USA)
Debut novel:  The Girl on the Train  by: Paula Hawkins
Published pre-2000:  The Dead Zone  by: Stephen King (1980)
Author new to you:  Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
Second book or more in a series:  First Frost  by: Sarah Addison Allen (#2 in Waverly Family series)
Been on your TBR list "forever":  The Shining  by: Stephen King
Published in 2014:  Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman
Type of book you rarely or never read: Non-fiction historical like The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse  by: Piu Marie Eatwell and The Devil in the White City  by: Erik Larson
You love the cover: Illusions of Fate  by: Kiersten White

Updated: 12/30/15

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What's in a Name? 2015

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories:
  • A word including ‘ing’ in it:  The Shining  by: Stephen King
  • A colour: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender  by: Leslye Walton
  • A familial relation:  The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse  by: Piu Marie Eatwell
  • A body of water:  The Lake House  by: Kate Morton
  • A city:  The Little Paris Bookshop  by: Nina George
  • An animal:  Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman

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2014 Review

Challenges in which I participated:
Where Are You Reading?  My Map
What's in a Name? (finished 1 of 5)
Dystopia Reading Challenge (finished 4 of 7)
R.I.P. IX (finished 3 of 4)

# of books read:
Down from 60 in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.

My favorites (in the order I read them):
Trim Healthy Mama  by: Serene C. Allison
The Fault in Our Stars  by: John Green
Room  by: Emma Donoghue
Big Little Lies  by: Liane Moriarty
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend  by: Matthew Dicks
All the Light We Cannot See  by: Anthony Doerr
Outlander  by: Diana Gabaldon

Most recommended:
Room  by: Emma Donoghue

Least favorite:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane  by: Neil Gaimon

# of non-fiction:

Repeated authors:
Cassandra Clare (6) (Mortal Instruments)
AnnaLisa Grant (3) (The Lake)
Maggie Steifvater (5) (including The Wolves of Mercy Falls)
Liane Moriarty (3)
Amanda Hocking (4) (Watersong)
Lauren Oliver (2)
Alice Hoffman (2)


I welcome you to join us.
September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.
Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.
That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.
As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:
1. Have fun reading (and watching).2. Share that fun with others.

I'm so excited about the R.I.P. Challenge this year!  I'm going to do Peril the First  - read 4 books. I may also watch a movie on Halloween, although I'm not usually into "scary" movies.  I will also read some short stories from the book Spooky South.

Here's my list:

1.  Nine Coaches Waiting  by: Mary Stewart
2.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane  by: Neil Gaimon
3.  The Vanishing  by: Wendy Webb
4.  'Salem's Lot  by: Stephen King

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I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
By: Dodie Smith
Published: 1948
# of pages: 343

Official description: 
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.
My opinion:  I loved the first half of this book, but not the second half.  And I really didn't like how it ended.  Cassandra is an enchanting narrator and it is neat to watch her growing up throughout the book, which is written as her journal.  Her honest musings made me laugh at times and gave me great respect for her at other times.  However, she just isn't as fun after she grows up and I found the love story in the book to be predictable.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Great main character, halfway unique story and halfway not.  Didn't like the ending.

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read reviews of books, find lists, see pictures, discover links, and learn about what reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

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