Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Reading Life (46) - A new year...more #reading and a renewed focus on #writing

So, trying to stay optimistic for 2017, despite a feeling of impending doom. I have moved forward with my First Book of the year and my One Word for the year. My book is The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer and my word is IMAGINE. You can read all about it in my First Book/One Word post. As promised in that post, I have ordered a necklace to commemorate my word. I should have it next week. Here is what it is going to look like...

Check out Jacqueline's work at The Wicked Shop

Regarding my goals with reading and writing, I stated in my 2016 End of Year Book Survey my goal for reading in 2017...

I recently had a talk with myself (yes, I do that) and basically it involved my thinking that there is no reason I can't read more than I do. My goal is to read at least 100 pages each day. Let's face it. 100 pages is really not that much in the grand scheme of things, so I really don't see that as an unaccomplishable goal, and if I can read more than 100, it will really up the ante on my reading.

I would also like to start writing more reviews again on this blog (and my sister blog, Castle Macabre), even if it's just short write-ups on books not for review, and try to do more of these A Reading Life posts. It may not be every week, but that is the ultimate goal.

My all important goal for this year is to truly knuckle down on the prep work and writing of my novel. I've said this before, I know, but I'm not giving up. Once I start making progress, I'll post updates at my writing blog, Stories Inside, maybe with an occasional mention on this blog. 

Reading Challenge News

I mentioned back in September my new perpetual reading challenge, which I'm hosting on my community reading site, Gather Together and Read. The reading challenge is 13 Ways of Looking at The Lifetime Reading Plan. As I said, this is a perpetual reading challenge and I know some people shy away from perpetual challenges because they think these challenges do not hold them accountable with a time constraint. Well, I've solved that problem!

The 2017 13 Ways of Looking at The Lifetime Reading Plan Reading Challenge is open for sign ups! There will be a new challenge each year to help us stay accountable on the perpetual challenge, and to check those books off on the challenge book lists. Read all about it and sign up here (after first signing up for the perpetual challenge here). A big thanks to Aloi from Guiltless Reading (and Read the Nobels) for the challenge within a challenge idea.

This new challenge I'm hosting is a yearly challenge. You can find out all the details and sign up here.

Last, but not least, it's time to sign up for A Winter's Respite Readathon! In case you might have missed the news, I now host four seasonal and two special readathons each year at Seasons of Reading. All six readathons were previously one week long. However, now Winter's Respite (January), Spring into Horror (April) and High Summer (July) will all be two weeks long, and FrightFall will now run for the entire month of October! (SciFi Summer {June} and Christmas Spirit {November} will remain at one week for now) Looking forward to another great year of readathons!


I'm working on figuring out what reading challenges and/or reading events I want to sign up for. Plus, I'm going to start over on the Classics Club challenge. I'm currently keeping track of my reading challenges on my challenge blog, but I think I'm going to do it on here...create a page in the menu that goes to a page, instead of directing to my challenge blog, as it currently does. Having another blog means more posts to write. I just don't have time.

One reading event that I know I will be participating in this year is Adam's (Roof Beam Reader) Classic Book-a-Month Club. This list of books is impressive. I know I will be joining in on reading most of the ones I own. 
  • January: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • February: The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles
  • March: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • April: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • May: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • June: The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville
  • July: Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • August: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • September: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  • October: Angels in America by Tony Kushner 
  • November: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • December: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

This month, as you might have noticed, is Little Women. One of my top favorite books of all time!
My edition is the Doubleday Large Print Spellbinder's edition. It's a BIG book!
I've listed the schedule below. Adam has also set up a Goodreads group. The social media hashtag is #CBAM2017
  • January 1st: Begin reading Little Women.
  • January 15th: Check-in post with general thoughts, current questions, etc. goes live. 
  • January 27th: Discussion questions posted; conversation in the comments! 
  • January 31st: Post final thoughts on the book.

Books I received for Christmas

I was lucky enough to get books from my Bookish Secret Santa and my mom. 

Laura at Book Snob was my Secret Santa and she got me some wonderful goodies and THREE (!) books. California by Edan Lepucki, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Succulent Wild Woman: Dancing with your Wonder-Full Self by Sark. Thanks again, Laura!

My mom got me...

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer and Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice. 

That's all for now! Tell me what's going on in your Reading Life?


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  1. You are a busy woman! Lots of reading goals, challenges, and writing--best wishes! I like the idea of the Classic a Month club--good idea. There are some awesome selections that Adam has picked.

    Happy reading in 2017.

  2. I always enjoy your "A Reading Life" posts so much, Michelle! The other dimensions of life are just better when reading plays its part too. Thanks for sharing all the variety of yours, encouraging mine and others' with great challenges and events, and being there for the ongoing conversation. So glad that your writing is a high priority goal this year. I know I am not alone in looking forward to your book in the making.

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