Saturday, January 31, 2009

January summary

As one of my New Year's Resolutions is to keep a complete list of all the books that arrive on my shelves this year, I will keep a monthly tally, and to have a better insight in what's going on on Mt. TBR, I will also add the number of reads and DNFs.

1) Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey and Other Works (for challenge)
2) Sheila Connolly: One Bad Apple (for group read)
3) Laura Childs: Eggs In Purgatory (for group read)
4) Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice (for challenge)
5) Charlotte Bronte: The Professor (for challenge)
6) Elizabeth Young: Asking For Trouble (for challenge)
7) Merline Lovelace: A Question of Intent
8) Marie Ferrarella: Protecting His Witness (for challenge)
9) Dani Sinclair: Secret Cinderella
10) Charlotte Douglas: Mystique
11) Libba Bray: A Great and Terrible Beauty (for challenge)
12) Jim Butcher: Storm Front
13) Rhys Bowen: Her Royal Spyness (for challenge)
14) Meg Cabot: Jinx (for challenge)
15) Kathryn Lilley: A Killer Workout (for challenge)
16) Alice Kimberly: The Ghost and Haunted Mansion (for challenge)
17) Jin Xing: Shanghai Tango (audio)
18) John Katzenbach: The Analyst (audio)
19) Nalini Singh: Slave to Sensation & Vision of Heat (for challenge)
20) Rhys Bowen: Evan's Gate
21) John Sandford: Rules of Prey (for challenge)
22) Natalie Anderson: Bought - One Night, One Marriage (for challenge)
23) Suzanne Brockman: Prince Joe (used book)
24) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 1 (gift card, for challenge)
25) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 2 (for challenge)
26) Tohko Mizuno: In A Distant Time 10 (for challenge)
27) Rutu Modan: Exit Wounds (for challenge)
28) Jill Shalvis: Instant Attraction (for challenge)
29) Rachel Gibson: Tangled Up In You (for challenge)
30) Cindy Gerard: Show No Mercy
31) Merline Lovelace: Devlin and the Deep Blue Sea (for challenge)
32) Marie Ferrarella: The Bride With No Name
33) Jill Shalvis & Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jame Sobrato: Heating up the Holidays (for challenge)

1) Oscar Wilde: A Woman of No Importance
2) Patricia Davids: Military Daddy
3) Linwood Barclay: No Time For Goodbye (audio)
4) Meg Cabot: Jinx
5) Vicki Myron: Dewey
6) Marie Ferrarella: Protecting His Witness
7) Natalie Anderson: Bought - One Night, One Marriage
8) Suzanne Brockmann: Prince Joe
9) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 1
10) Johann Maier: Judentum & Judentum - Reader

1) Sheila Connolly: One Bad Apple

It is quite obvious I bought more books than I read, way more! But I ordered a bunch of books for my challenges for 2009. 21 books are definitely for challenges, the two audio books are from I have a subscription, so I get two audio books each month, and two of the books (One Bad Apple and Eggs In Purgatory) are group reads for a reading group.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand?

At 5 Minutes For Books you can find another wonderful regular event: What's on your nightstand?

So, this is how it works:

* Write a post on your own blog (or leave us a comment here if you're blogless) and tell us a little about what is on your nightstand.
* You could give a mini-review of a book that you're currently reading or just recently finished.
* You can also use it as a goal-setting exercise. Which books do you plan to read this month.
* As always, if you want to share the hows and whys of what you're reading or how it came to be on your nightstand, feel free. We love details!
* Please link back to this page (or our main page) in your post so that your readers can find out more about the carnival.

My "nightstand" actually is the window sill, a small table on which I usually keep post-its, pencils and some technical gadgets along with all the things I need to prepare some tea, and a rocking chair...
I always have some sort of magazine on the rocking chair and on the window sill. Today, I believe, it's a Cosmopolitan on the rocking chair, nothing on the window sill.
Then I have Agatha Christie's They Do It With Mirrors on the table. Once I get to bed tonight, I will add a not yet determined book on the rocking chair. On the window sill, you can find two romance novels: Merline Lovelace's A Question of Intent and Charlotte Douglas's Mystique...
The romance novels got to me when I got four of them through ebay, I just love Agatha Christie's novels and every now and then I read the Cosmo...
I haven't started either of the romance novels yet, but I hope to read one of them next week and keep the other for the week after. That's why I prefer to keep them close. For later today, I have yet to make up my mind because I got a nice stack of books today - well, they all arrived during the week, but I usually don't get to open them before Friday... I might just pick one of those.
It doesn't sound like much, but I also have to read quite some books for the papers I have due in March (three, to be exact), so I'll be busy reading lots and lots for them!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday Fill-in # 109

1. I'd really like to be asleep right now.

2. Aua! Verdammter Mist, verdammter! is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe. (an approximate translation of the German part: Ouch! Damned sh**, dammit!)

3. Possession is a book I've had on Mt TBR for far too long.

4. You gotta love Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like books and my bookshelves - it's a natural combination.

6. I can read on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to get to my parents' to relax a bit, tomorrow my plans include reading a bit for fun and even more for my papers and Sunday, I want to pack my stuff on time, get home safe, and before doing all this, I want to have a fun time reading a bit more for fun and for the paper!

Marjane Satrapi: PERSEPOLIS 1

Marjane Satrapi
Ueberreuter (German publisher)
160 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8000-5401-5

Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir Persepolis brings us back to the late 1970 to early 1980s in Tehran, Iran, around the time of the cultural revolution. Back then, she was merely a child, not understanding what exactly was going on, but due to her upbringing, she was somewhat rebelious. Through her parents and her grandmother, she sees the demonstrations both against the Shah and against the religious leaders afterwards and even participates in some of them. When her parents realize that Marji's rebelious ways could get her in big trouble with the guards, they finally send her off to a friend in Austria.
While Marjane Satrapi's drawings are black and white only and remind the reader in children's book's illustrations - after all, Satrapi works as an illustrator for children's books when she's not writing her autobiographical graphic novels - they do show enough to make the reader see the Iran of the late 1970s from the eye of the child she was back then. While she certainly simplified some of the things that happened, to make them fit the graphic novel-style, she paints a good picture of Iran for outsiders who only know what they see in Western media. It's a wonderful, compelling and shocking story she tells, one that makes the reader long for more - which she gives them in the second installment...

Rating: 4.5/5

Suzanne Brockmann: PRINCE JOE

Suzanne Brockmann
248 pages
ISBN: 0-373-07720-3

In Prince Joe, the first installment of the Tall, Dark & Dangerous books, Suzanne Brockmann introduced Lieutenant Joe Catalanotto. His task is to impersonate Prince Tedric of Ustanzia, when terrorists try to kill the prince, while he is in the Unites States. In order to teach this Navy SEAL the necessary things to excel, the government hires Veronica St. John, the prince’s media consultant. Little did she know, what a task she was taking on. Joe Catalanotto seemed everything but prince material and he mocks her all the time. But she is not only fighting his arrogant behavior – she also had to fight her attraction to him...
With Joe Catalanotto, Suzanne Brockmann created a wonderful character who sounds every bit as georgeous as he is supposed to be. Unfortunately, though, the book’s cover (the one I have right in front of me) is one of the ugliest I’ve seen. It is probably only topped by another of the covers for Brockmann’s Tall, Dark & Dangerous, the one for XXX (check the author’s site here for the picture!). But this shouldn’t distract the reader too much, because while reading the book, Brockmann gives a wonderful picture of Joe and Veronica.
The two main characters seem opposites in most parts. While she got the best education possible, he lived in the suburbs of New York and joined the Navy as soon as he turned 18. She is just getting her business started, while he is now a Navy SEAL and leads his own team of Navy SEALs, the Alpha Squad. While she is all business, he is enjoying his time and seems to worry about nothing. But once one catches a glimpse “behind the scenes”, they become much more similar. Joe is very intelligent, speaking eight languages, and actually knowing very well how much time to relax he can allow himself in order to do the best job. And Veronica might seem all business, but looking closer one sees that she also enjoys what she is doing. She laughs a lot, if only on the inside as it wouldn’t help her job in the least and she is also passionate.
Brockmann starts the serie off with a wonderful book that is not only intriguing and thrilling but also sweet. Yes, sweet! Watching the characters develop feelings for each other and their struggles with their different living situations along with all the misunderstandings.
Throughout the book, she also introduces some of the other members of Joe’s Navy SEAL team, whom the reader will meet again in the other books.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

MizB at Should Be Reading is hosting the Teaser Tuesday, which is actually an awesome weekly event, so I think I'm going to participate...

Grab your current read

Let the book fall open to a random page

Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

*** Do NOT post anything that could spoil the plot of the book!!! ***

If your sentences that fall between lines 7 and 12 on the page you turn to give too much away, choose a different page, or a different spot on the page… we don’t want to ruin any surprises for anyone!

"They were family spoons," said Mr Badcock sadly. "Georgian. Belongd to my mother's grandmother."
(Page 34 of Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side - yes, once again)

But Joe liked it that way. He liked never knowing what was behind the door - the lady or the tiger.
(Page 25 of Suzanne Brockmann's Prince Joe)

It's Tuesday, where are you?

This weekly event is hosted by raidergirl3, and the rules are simple:
Where is reading taking you today? Make a post, leave a comment, spread the word.

So, for some part of my day I'm somewhere in the United States trying to figure out how to make a Navy SEAL act like some prince from a European country. It's really difficult and he's not easy to work with, that I can tell you!
And then, I spend part of my day in St. Mary Mead where a film crew took our entire town hostage. And my job is it to find out who killed one of the local women...
As if this wasn't enough already, I'm spending some time in non-fiction country, where I'm learning more about Judaism.
Phew, I'm absolutely sure I'll need a holiday resort after I'm done!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Orbis Terrarum 2009

For the first time, I will try the Orbis Terrarum 2009 challenge.

The rules are simple:
- The Orbis Terrarum Challenge begins March 1, 2008( you are welcome to join later) Through December 20, 2008.
- For the challenge each reader is to choose 10 books (for the 10 months).
- Each book must be by an author from a different nation in our world.

So, sign ups are open now, and I'm definitely in. I haven't even thought about a list of books to read yet, but I guess I'll get there as I'm reading:
1) Agatha Christie: The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side - Great Britain
2) Robert Fate: Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues - USA
3) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 2 - Iran
4) Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 4 & Sweet & Sensitive 5 - South Korea
5) Tachibana Higuchi: Alice Academy Vol. 4-7 - Japan
6) Friedrich Duerrenmatt: Die Panne - Germany
7) Gene Luen Yang: American Born Chinese - China

On top of that, I decided to join in the Orbis Terrarum Bilingual Mini-Challenge.


-5 books in their original language, by 5 different authors over 10 months.

-10 short stories in their original language, 10 different authors, over 10 months.

-10 children's chapter books in original language, 10 different authors, over 10 months.

So, I will go with option 1, where I will have to read 5 books in their original language by 5 different authors. I can do this!
My language options will be German, English and French. I don't think my Italian OR my Chinese is good enough to understand a whole book yet.

I will list my books as I read:
1) Agatha Christie: The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side - English
2) Robert Fate: Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues - English
3) Jay Asher: 13 Reasons Why - English
4) Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt: Die Panne - German
5) Jill Shalvis: Storm Front - English

And, as if I hadn't joined far too many challenges already, I'm challenging myself to actually check out who the director of the movies I'm watching is for the Orbis Terrarum Film Mini-Challenge.

I know some of you enjoy subtitled films, or foreign films. I love spanish ones because I can understand them. Maybe you are bilingual and would love to sit and watch foreign films sometimes.
The OT film mini-challenge is that you watch 10 films, 10 different countries, by 10 different directors in the 10 months. (choose the movies, just like the nation of origin or residence of the director, not where it was filmed or what it was about)

My list will follow as I go:
1) Formula 1 - Taiwan - Chinese with English subtitles

Mailbox Monday, January 26

Marcia from The Printed Page is hosting the Mailbox Mondays, where participants reveal which books they had in their mailbox in the past week.

1) Nalini Singh: Slave to Sensation & Visions of Heat
2) Rhys Bowen: Evan's Gate
3) John Sandford: Rules of Prey
4) Natalie Anderson: Bought - One Night, One Marriage (for challenge)
5) Suzanne Brockman: Prince Joe (used book)
6) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 1 (gift card)
7) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 2
8) Tohko Mizuno: In A Distant Time 10

Interested in my bad bloggers?
Me buying Suzanne Blockman's Prince Joe can so be blamed on the girls at The Book Binge. Their blog has added a whole bunch of books to my Amazon wishlist and this was one of the few I ordered right away, to have my wishlist for random books (i.e. books that don't have a separate wishlist yet - I keep my wishlists separated by genre, after all) at 6 pages or less.

Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, I think, can be blamed on Andi. I heard about those graphic novels a few years back already, but never got around to buy them. Now today I figured I'd use the gift card I got a while back to get the first, but when I saw they had only one copy of the first left, I had to get both - I don't want to find that the two book-version is no longer available when I get to the second (happened with Maus, and now I'm still searching for a decent copy of tome 2...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Friday Fill-in

So, this is my first Friday Fill-in. It is hosted by Janet, and I've had a fin time reading everyone else's Friday Fill-ins, so I figured I'd give it a try...

1. Oh, I am so tired!

2. I sometime enjoy changes, big and little.

3. During class, I sometimes have a hard time staying awake.

4. Breaks and vacations; are you kidding me???

5. Right now I'd like to be somewhere I just can prop my feet up and not worry about having to walk around for the rest of the day, because they already hurt like h*** from yesterday's event.

6. My electric water boiler is my favorite gadget.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading for one of my papers, tomorrow my plans include more reading for the paper and writing the article about yesterday's event for another class and Sunday, I want to relax, but will have to read even more for the paper!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

MizB at Should Be Reading is hosting the Teaser Tuesday, which is actually an awesome weekly event, so I think I'm going to participate...

Grab your current read

Let the book fall open to a random page

Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

*** Do NOT post anything that could spoil the plot of the book!!! ***

If your sentences that fall between lines 7 and 12 on the page you turn to give too much away, choose a different page, or a different spot on the page… we don’t want to ruin any surprises for anyone!

"That's interesting," said Craddock. "Very interesting." He paused, adding: "Though I don't see quite why you -"
(Page 134 of Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mailbox Monday, January 19, 2009

Marcia from The Printed Page is hosting the Mailbox Mondays, where participants reveal which books they had in their mailbox in the past week. This is my first time participating, but it certainly won't be the last!

1) Charlotte Bronte: The Professor
2) Elizabeth Young: Asking For Trouble
3) Merline Lovelace: A Question of Intent
4) Marie Ferrarella: Protecting His Witness
5) Dani Sinclair: Secret Cinderella
6) Charlotte Douglas: Mystique
7) Libba Bray: A Great and Terrible Beauty
8) Jim Butcher: Storm Front
9) Rhys Bowen: Her Royal Spyness
10) Jin Xing: Shanghai Tango (audio)
11) John Katzenbach: The Analyst (audio)

Okay, this is getting insane! But to my defense, I have to say I ordered The Professor and Asking For Trouble earlier on for challenges. A Question of Intent, Protecting His Witness, Secret Cinderella, and Mystique cost me about 3 Euros as I got them from eBay. I got the two audiobooks through my subscription to Audible (I get two audio books each month). That leaves me with three books that I got "just because". Sounds better, I'd say.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blog Improvement Project 2009

I've been trying to steer clear of it, but I can't resist. I'd like to make my blog a better one, and I'd like to improve my blogging. So here I go with the Blog Improvement Project 2009!

The first weeks assignment is to set goals for the blog. This means I have to think about what I want to do with my blog, where I want to go with it, what do I want to accomplish with it in 2009?

Here is the first task for the Blog Improvement Project:

Read some of the articles on goal setting.

Set some goals for your blog. Think about where you would like to be a year from now, and try to set clear and specific objectives that you’ll be able to measure in some way once we get to the end of 2009.

Write a post about your goals. If you can think of any, also include ideas about projects or activities that you think could help you achieve those goals.

Come back and sign the Mr. Linky (image below, it will be a popup) with the specific post you’ve written your goals in.

Check back to answer questions (if you can), read and comment on other participants blogs, and to see a wrap up post next week of some of the most common goals other participants have set.

Now, I've read most of the articles mentioned on Kim's blog, and I've been thinking about it for a while as well.
This last year, my life has been so crazy I didn't even post much, I just had no time, but I want to do better on that this year.

I apparently didn't do well with posting at all in 2008, so for 2009 I will write at least one post per week, that is, really one post each week and not over 20 posts in December but hardly any posts throughout the summer months.
I will participate in one weekly event regulary and do two more whenever I feel up to it.
As I like getting comments on my blog, I will make an effort to comment on other blogs more regularly. I read all my blogs through a reader, so I have my thoughts about things, but hardly ever managed to write them down in a comment in the past.

For this year, I will use the tools they're teaching us at university to write better reviews. If you have any thoughts on the reviews in the past or the new ones, please let me know!
For exactly that, I am thinking about adding some trivia to the reviews. Whenever I find something funny, hilarious, weird or just interesting about a book or an author, I will add it.

On top of that I will play a little with my blog's design in the next months. I think it is a bit difficult to find all the info in the side columns, so I hope to find a template with three columns, maybe even one where I can add a photo I choose in the header.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meg Cabot: JINX

Meg Cabot
254 pages
ISBN: 978-0-330-44201-5

So, I originally figured it might be easier to take a few days until I write the review for a book I finished, but now that I've tried just that (and finished a few more books in the mean time), I'm desperately trying to remember all the facts and what I thought about the book in detail. Not good!

In this YA novel, Meg Cabot takes teenage country girl Jinx to New York City in order to escape a stalker. He parents figured it might be better if she stayed away from her hometown for a while and therefore arranged for Jinx to stay with her aunt and uncle in the Big Apple for the rest of the school year. While she is not exceptionally happy about this, Jinx still agrees, only to see that her bad luck, which got her the name, came with her. Only this time, she's not one of the popular girls, but has to deal with a cousin who is into witchcraft and tried to coerce Jinx into joining her coven. When Jinx refuses to do so, and on top of that starts spending quite some time with the neighbor's son, her cousin gets jealous and all of a sudden, even more trouble appear in Jinx' life.

Meg Cabot once again created a YA novel that will be a fun read for teenagers, but there are some aspects of the whole story that just didn't sit well with me. Besides a really gory and utterly horrible scene (and not only for a YA!) pretty much at the end, there were some scenes that introduced a world no teenager should know about or even made believe to be existing. After her arrival in New York City, Jinx first meets her cousin when she's out in the backyard with some friends actually consuming drugs and no one notices or cares about. Other than that, the characters were for the most part really likeable (gotta have one or two bad people, don't you?) and it was easy to imagine what they'd look like from Cabot's description. The story itself was well constructed and led the heroine through different turmoils that were created for the most part with hilarious side effects for the reader, before she got to accept herself for who she is. All in all I guess I would read a follow up, just to see what happened, but I don't think it would be necessary to write one.

Rating: 3.5/5


Oscar Wilde
Penguin Classics
94 pages
ISBN: 978-0-140-62245-4

This was actually my first book for 2009, but what could I possibly say that hasn't been said about one of Oscar Wilde's works yet?
I've asked myself this question for the past week or two and I can't come up with an answer. Of course I could state how great his writing is, but that's no secret. I could also say how Wilde's thoughts are ahead of his time. But that's also not exactly new. So what is there to do other than give a brief summary? And this is exactly what I will do. Of course, if anyone has some more thoughts on A Woman of No Importance, go ahead and comment!

For a mere 94 pages and a time frame of only 24 hours, Wilde added a lot of action. When Gerard Arbuthnot meets Lord Illingworth at Hunstanton Chase, he is offered the position as Lord Illingworth's secretary. As he feels he is not educated enough, Gerard is overtly excited and thinks it might be a way to enter the sophisticated society. It is also a way for him to leave England and distance himself at least geographically from a young lady he finds interesting, as he thinks he is not good enough for her. When Gerard Arbuthnot's mother finds out about Lord Illingworth's offer, though, she objects and tries to persuade her son not to leave with him, as he is not what he seems to be.

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patricia Davids: MILITARY DADDY

Patricia Davids
Steeple Hill
217 pages
ISBN: 978-0-373-87478-1

Patricia Davids' Military Daddy might be found on book shelves that say "romance" or "Christian", and both would be true, but while some authors present these genres as overly cheesy, Ms. Davids created a Christian romance novel with characters who could be everone's neighbors. Normal people who make mistakes, who aren't flawless, but who try to do the right thing.
Annie, the recovering alcoholic (and yes, alcoholism can be found in all neighborhoods, if in varying degrees), first met Shane, a Corporal with the Army, in the night she relapsed. Not long after, she realizes she is pregnant and, after some pondering, decides he has a right to know, even though she doesn't want anything to do with him. She thinks having him in her life and her baby's would be a bad decision as she compares him with her many former boyfriends, from her drinking years. When Shane hears about his baby, he is at first shocked and surprised, but he soon realizes that he wants to be there for his son or daughter, to not have the child experience the solitude he had to endure as a child. But how can he persuade Annie that he is nothing like her former boyfriends and really wants to stay when he already knows he'll be transferred to Germany in a few weeks?
Davids' created characters that are in general likeable, but also show that life is not always easy and that both dedication and belief can help getting through difficult situations. When Shane hears about Annie's pregnancy, he is at first not happy about it, as he knows he'll be leaving, but once he made up his mind, he tries everything to be with her and to help her, even though she at first tries to keep him away. He is lucky he has Marge, Annie's friend, landlord and saviour, as well as Marge's daughter Olivia, on his side. They both help him understand Annie better and to be closer to her. Yet, that is not the only reason Marge and Olivia are this present. With Olivia, we see how Annie's life as an alcoholic might have started. And Marge is Annie's saviour, not only when she was in bad condition, but also when she tried to push away Shane. She helps Shane stay close to the house and therefore to Annie by inviting him for dinner and letting him help with some repairs on the house.
Davids clearly shows the problems and misunderstandings the main characters have to deal with at first, before they finally find a way to be together. While the slowly developing love story between Annie and Shane is the main focus on the book, the author also shows glimpses of how alcoholism effects those that suffer from it and their families, not only through Annie's story and Olivia, but also through an AA meeting.
This book was both entertaining and insightful with the characters showing both good and bad sides. I might not be a fan of the everlasting "hunk falling in love with the girl next door" (how realistic is that, anyway?), but unlike other authors that keep mentioning how good-looking the male character is, this was not the case with Military Daddy.
While I'm no particular fan of Christian fiction, I will pick up the next book, hoping it will be about Avery, as I am really curious to get to know him better...

Edit to add (from now on ETA):
Oops, I completely forgot my rating *blushes* Here we go:

Rating: 4/5

666 Horror/Paranormal Book Challenge

Hoping this is the last challenge for now, I'm adding the 666 Horror/Paranormal Book Challenge hosted by M. Romantic to my seemingly endless challenge list.

The 666 challenge is called so because the requirements are this:
1.) You must choose 6 of the categories below.
2.) For each category, you must read 6 books for each.
3.) You must read at least 6 different authors. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?

Do you have to read 36 books, though? No. Some books can certainly be put under multiple categories. For example, Twilight has both vampire and werewolves, so that can be put under both categories.

If you want to see what an example of your post page would look like, just view here.

Sound simple enough? If not, of course you can leave a comment and I would be more than happy to clear things up for you.

The horror categories are as follows, though not limited to. You must pick SIX different categories to read books about. If you have an idea for a suggested category, simply leave me a comment with it. Keep in mind it has to have something to do with horror, thriller, the supernatural and/or monsters.

1. Vampires
2. Werewolves
3. Witches/Warlocks
4. Psychics
5. Human’s with special powers (like telepathy, telekinesis, etc).
6. Creatures from other worlds
7. Horror creatures/Monsters
8. Ghosts/Poltergeists
9. Paranormal creatures/events
10. Killers/Stalkers
11. Demons

You are free to come up with your own categories (you can even suggest them in the comments). Above are just some of my suggestions.

Books can be in more than one category. They can also be fiction or nonfiction. Yes, a book about haunted places in the US will count as as a book about ghosts, for example.


1. You must read 6 books in 6 categories by at least 6 authors
2. Books must be horror, thriller, or supernatural.
3. You cannot include audiobooks, journals, comic books, or manga. You can include ebooks.
4. Keep a running book count/completed list.
5. If rereading a book, you have to have finished it at least a year ago.
6. Books can overlap categories.
7. You can use books for this challenge that you are reading for other challenges.
8. This challenge will run January 1, 2009-December 31, 2009.

My books read and the categories will follow here:

1) Vampires
2) Killers/Stalkers
3) Witches/Warlocks
4) Werewolfes

New rating system

So, I finally did it! I have a new rating system, that is - hopefully - a bit more organized and easier to understand than the grades I used in the past...
I hope you like the new system!

My ratings from now on will be like that:

5/5: If only I had written this book!

4/5: Great! where's more?

3/5: Worth my time, but no "have to read" material.

2/5: Duh, could have lived without knowing this one.

1/5: What a waste of precious reading time!

0/5: Couldn't get past the first 100 pages...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

all my children - ahm, challenges...

I figured with all the challenges I'm doing, it would be better if I had a post with *all* my challenges with links to my reading lists.


Elizabeth Gaskell Mini-Challenge
January 1, 2009 - June 1, 2010

George Eliot Mini-Challenge
January 1, 2009 - June 1, 2010

Leo Tolstoy Mini-Challenge
January 1, 2009 - August 31, 2010


Banned Or Challenged Books Challenge

Book Around The States Challenge

To Be Continued Challenge


Winter Reading Challenge
December 21, 2008 - March 20, 2009

Jewish Literature Challenge
December 21, 2008 - April 27, 2009

Maree's Mini-Challenge
April 1, 2009 - April 30, 2009

20 Books In 2009 Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Harlequin/Silhouette Romance Reading Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Once Upon A Time III
March 21, 2009 - June 20, 2009

Chunkster Challenge
January 8, 2009 - November 15, 2009

Orbis Terrarum Bilingual 2009
March 1, 2009 - December 20, 2009

Military Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Manga Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

100+ Reading Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Book-A-Week Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Erotica Romance Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

New Authors Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Pages Read Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Paranormal Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Read Your Name Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Romance Reading Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Vampire Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Buy One Book And Read It Challenge
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An award? Me?

Okay, as you might see, I'm still shocked and sort of speechless. Wendy from Wendy's Minding Spot told me that she awarded me with the Premio Dardas Award. This is the first award ever for me.

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So I would like to nominate:
Chris from book-a-rama
Lesa from Lesa's Book Critiques
Wendy from Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Kris from not enough books
Wendy from Caribousmom
Teddy from So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Andi from Triping Toward Lucidity
Casee, Holly & Wena from The Book Binge
Marg from Reading Adventures
Meghan from Recreational Reading
Stephanie from Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic

16 Random Things About Me

Marlyn (a fellow DLer) from Stuff and Nonsense posted this meme and, although she didn't tag anyone, left it up to everyone seeing it, to do it and let her know. I've been reading Marlyn's blog for a while now and I've always enjoyed it!

So, 16 things you don't know about me...

1) I'm currently learning two more languages which will hopefully leave me at 5 languages some time in the future: German (my mothertongue), English, French, Italian, Chinese

2) I like football and (here's the one thanks to my ex) I know the basic rules

3) I have more allergies than some people have friends

4) I prefer to watch movies in the original - no translations for me, please, if possible

5) I've never been in love

6) I've never traveled outside of Europe

7) I like playing games, but for some reason, we only play them when my uncle and his family visit us

8) I enjoy martial arts, but I can't arrange my schedule so that I can continue training *sigh*

9) My room keeps looking messy because of all the books that don't fit on my shelves

10) I hate fish, but I love sushi (go figure!)

11) My passport clearly states I'm German

12) My grandma was the midwife when I was born (same goes for my brother's birth)

13) I'm my grandparents' only granddaughter, my Mom already was her parents' only daughter - I have one brother and two (male) cousins and my Mom has two brothers

14) I've never been a cat person until we found a bunch of kitten in our garden, abandoned by their mother - now Karlheinz and Sano Izumi are the best animals I could dream of!

15) I can't buy any book by Tess Gerritsen in English without my Mom being mad at me - we both love her books a lot! - so I have to wait for German translations

16) Three of Grandma's sisters and one niece moved to the USA for love

Phew, I made the 16, but it was hard, really, really hard!
And as I always have a hard time tagging people (I usually feel I forgot someone or tag someone who doesn't like it as much as I do): If you like the meme, feel tagged!

Erotica Challenge

I pondered, I really did, but in the end, there's no saying "No" to yet another of J. Kaye's challenges: The Erotica Challenge.

The rules:
* You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading to your books prior to 2009.

* Read 10 erotica in 2009.

* Overlaps with other challenges are fine.

* When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your reading list will be posted. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed.
If you’ll be posting your challenges on your sidebar, then please put the button up and link before signing up.
If you don’t have a blog, leave the URL blank.

* You do not have to list your books ahead of time. If you decide to, you can change them as you go.

* You must be 18 years or older to join.

My list will slowly develop here:
1) Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jamie Sobrato: Heating Up The Holidays
2) Lori Wilde: Lethal Exposure
3) Jill Shalvis: Flashpoint
4) Jennifer LaBrecque: Yule Be Mine
5) Cara Summers: Come Toy With Me
6) Leslie Kelly: Slow Hands
7) Jill Shalvis: Flashback
8) Jill Shalvis: Storm Front
9) Sarah Mayberry: She's Got It Bad
10) Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis & Rhonda Nelson: Better Naughty Than Nice

Friday, January 9, 2009

Book Buddy Blogger Challenge 2009

Well, since I almost always read recommended books whether it's for a challenge or not, I will try Wisteria's Book Buddy Blogger Challenge.

Rules: The challenge will run all of 2009. You will be required to read 5 books from a list of 10 that are recommended by a book blogger buddy. The books should be from their list of best books from 2008. It's that easy. Then let us know what you think of your friend's choices. Do you agree or disagree and why?

I'll chose my 5 books from the following list:
1) Secrets of A Former Fat Girl - Lisa Delaney (MizB)
2) Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Ann Fadiman (Meghan)
3) Hostage to Pleasure - Nalini Singh (Casee)
4) Tall Tales and Wedding Veils - Jane Graves (Holly)
5) Dark Desires After Dusk - Kresley Cole (Casee)
6) Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie (Casee)
7) Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon (Casee & Rowena)
8) Frsico's Kid - Suzanne Brockman (Rowena)
9) Memories of Us - Lisa Winfree (Holly)
10) one of the following (all by Lesa):
The Fault Tree by Louise Ure
Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Death Will Get You Sober by Elizabeth Zelvin
What Burns Within by Sandra Ruttan
The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein
Rubicon by Lawrence Alexander
Hell Hole by Chris Grabenstein
The Fourth Time is Murder by Steven F. Havill
The Anteater of Death by Betty Webb

Genre Challenge

Samantha at Bookworms and tea lovers is hosting the Genre Challenge - and I think it is a challenge that can work quite well with my usual reading and maybe even some challenge books.

The challenge already started November 1, 2008 and will end November 1, 2009<.

The goal is to read one book of the following genres:
* crime fiction
* detective fiction
* mystery fiction
* horror fiction
* thriller fiction
* romance fiction
* science fiction
* action/adventure fiction
* fantasy fiction
* realistic fiction
* historical fiction
* western fiction

There are three options:
A: Read 10 books, drop the genre you read the most and one of your own choosing
B: Read 11 books, drop the genre you read the most
C: Read 12 books

The rules are simple:
* Read one book per genre within the challenge period.
* Crossovers with other challenges are okay, but within the challenge, each genre should have a separate book.
* Audiobooks are okay, but no graphic novels.
* A list of books for the challenge is not required, but if you make one, you can change your picks any time.

My list
So I will probably pick Option A, but I won't create a list. I'll just add my reads as I read through the year. (I hope upgrading is okay, in case I find so many books I don't have any problem at all ticking off all the genres on the list.)

1) Meg Cabot: Jinx -> fantasy fiction: Jinx is a witch
2) Linwood Barclay: No Time For Goodbye -> thriller fiction
3) Naomi Alderman: Disobedience -> realistic fiction
4) Agatha Christie: The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side -> mystery fiction

After reading Samantha's genre definitions, I decided to exclude romance fiction, because looking at my reading for the past 2 year from an objective POV, that's the genre that is my most-read. And the second genre I'll drop (for now) is the western fiction, as I don't have many of those on my shelves.

Series Challenge Season 3

So, I haven't blogged in months, I'm afraid. Sorry about that, but life kept me busy until about two weeks ago.

Anyways, I will be hosting the 3rd season of the Series Challenge. The past two challenges, I never managed to finish all the series I had planned to read, so I hope I'll have more luck this time around.

I still have many, many series to read, so it'll be a tough decision I won't make tonight.
This time around, the challenge will take an entire year to give everyone a better chance to finish up the series and to make it easier to keep track of when the challenge starts and ends.

The challenge starts December 1st, 2008 and goes until November 30th, 2009.

The rules are easy:

1) Pick a couple series you already started and now want to finish (meaning, you'll be all up to date with the series when it ends).

2) Read at least 4 books, more are also okay, of course!

3) Post your review of the books on your blog or in the comment section, no matter how long. If you post the review on your blog, please post a link to the review in the comment section so that everyone else can check out your review.

4) Have fun!

Please post a link to your reviews here and I'll add it to the link list!

As Mr. Linky has given up on me for some reason, here's the list of participants as far as I could reconstruct it. If you don't find your name on the list, please leave a comment and I'll add you!

The participants are:
1) Kathrin
2) kim in ohio-25
3) Ms. Bookish
4) Diane (bookinhand)
5) Kailana
6) Jenny
7) Sam
8) Laza
9) Lauren
10) Sue (Books, Books, magical)
11) Lindy
12) Violette
13) J. Kaye's Book Blog
14) Samantha"
15) Mytwoblessings
16) Kucki68
17) Christina (Babbling Book Reviews)
18) Kris (not enough books)
19) Kelly
20) Shonda
21) Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
22) Sherrie
23) emmegail
24) (Judy) Intergalactic Bookworm
25) Lissa
26) Yvonne (Socrates' Book Reviews)
27) Judy (Intergalactic Bookworm)
28) DeSeRt RoSe
29) phamie
30) drey
31) Kara
32) Nessa
33) Lisa L
34) Rakisha
35) alisonwonderland
36) bigorangemichael
37) Kisha
38) Audra
39) Jaye
49) rickandlena
50) Rasberrywrlgirl

vampires in books

With Twilight being the most popular series of vampire books, I figured a list would help show that vampires can be found infar more books, and throughout the genres.

MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series (mystery / romance)
Katie MacAlister's Dark Ones books (romance)
Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez books
Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles
Tanya Huff's Blood series (Victoria Nelson)
Tanya Huff's Smoke & Shadows series (follow up to the Blood series)
Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, vampire hunter series
Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series (aka Sookie Stackhouse series)
Christopher Pike's Last Vampire series
L.J. Smith's The Night World Series
Karen Marie Moning's Fever series
Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Series
LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries
Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires Series
P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast's House Of Night Series
Mari Mancusi's Blood Coven Series
Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses Series
Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires Series
Brian Lumley's Necroscope Series

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Kerrelyn Sparks' How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire (and a few more)
Stephen King's Salem's Lot
Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian (thanks to Elizabeth!)
Christopher Moore's You Suck: a Love Story
Christopher Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends

For many more, check out:
* The Vampire Library
* Vampire Romance Books
* Purely Vampiric - Vampire Romance Book Reviews
* Love Vampires
* Best Fantasy Stories - Best Vampire Books

This is by no means supposed to be a list of all vampire books ever, but if I missed any books or series with vampires you think just has to be on my list, please let me know by commenting to this post.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To Be Continued Challenge

How could I possibly miss out on a perpetual challenge to read series? So I will take part in the To Be Continued Challenge for the rest of my life.

As the posting could get out of hand, I will post the series themselves at my other blog, but the reviews will still be posted here.

Chunkster Challenge - Feelin' Chunky

I finally made it! I will sign up for Dana's Chunkster Challenge as soon as I posted this. I've been trying to do this for the last two years, IIRC, and always forgot about it. *sigh*

There have been a few changes to the rules so please read closely:

*A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction). Don't complain folks, I read all thousands of pages of the Twilight series and they were good, but not a challenge. A chunkster should be a challenge.
*If you read large type books your book will need to be 525 pages or more I asked around and the average LT book is 10-15% longer or more so I think that was a fair estimate.
*No Audio books in the chunkster. It just doesn't seem right. Words on paper for this one folks.
* You may start any time after signing up. You must complete your reads before or on Nov 15th.
*Short Stories and Essay collections will not be counted.
*Books may crossover with other challenges (see option 4 for a collaborative effort with TBR challenge)
*Only option 4 requires that you make a set list of books to complete the challenge

Those are the basics. Here are your options:

*The Chubby Chunkster - this option is for the reader who has a large tome or two to read, but really doesn't want to commit to more than that. 2 books is all you need to finish this challenge.

*Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? - this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to 3-5 Chunksters over the next ten months.

*Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to 6 or more chunksters OR three tomes of 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings.

And lastly, in an intriguing collaboration with the wildly popular Miz B of the TBR Challenge we have:

*Too Big To Ignore Anymore - this option is for those chunksters on your TBR list. You may select any number of books over 450 pages but you must LIST THEM to complete the challenge and they must be on your TBR list as well (honor code folk, I don't have time to be the challenge police)

I will go with The Chubby Chunkster for now.

I hope to read part one of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables in French, so that itself is already a big challenge. But if I realize I won't make it, I will pick some other books. After all, Mount TBR is high enough and should have a few books that fit the description of a chunkster!

I finished the following two books:
Donna Kauffman: The Cinderella Rules (461 pages)
Martin Millar: Lonely Werewolf Girl (751 pages)
Therefore I finished the challenge.

Be Inspired Challenge

Well, I could really need a challenge that helps me improve my life. Therefore, I decided to take on MizB's Be Inspired Challenge.

* choose ONE self-improvement-type book (be it for weight-loss, finances, clutter-control, spirituality, or whatever), and read it between January 1 and March 31st, 2009

* take one or more principles from the book that INSPIRED you to make a change, and actually APPLY it in your life bewteen April 1st and December 31st, 2009!

* make sure you use common sense, and aren’t doing anything illegal! ;)

* overlaps with other challenges are okay

* e-Books and Audiobooks are allowed

I have yet to decide what I want to read for the challenge, but I'll update here.

Reading My Name Challenge

Okay, I found Callista's Reading My Name Challenge at A Novel Challenge (the Yahoo group), and I can't possibly say no!

The Rules
When: February 1, 2009 - June 30, 2009
*Slightly Different from Last Year*

Your challenge if you choose to accept it is to read at least two books by authors that share your name OR book titles with your name in them. They can share your first name, middle name or last name. They can share your nickname or online name or email name. They can share a form of your name. If you have a very rare name, just do your best to get as close as you can. (e.g. If your name is Raina, then Rain or Rayne would be okay.) The character can have the same name as you too.

For example, my real first name is Kathleen. I could also read books by a Kathy, Katherine or Katie as these all come from the same name. Even Cathy, Catherine and Catie. I could read a book by a Callista (online name) or someone who shares my middle or last name. Or any of those names in the title.

My name is Kathrin, so I will read:
1) Kathryn Lilley: A Killer Work Out

Series Challenge 3 - The reviews

So, here's the post with the (hopefully complete) list of reviews for the Series Challenge 3, that have been posted so far.

1) Kelly: Dicey's Sond
2) Jaye: Cart And Cwidder
3) Jaye: Drowned Ammet
4) Jaye: The Spellcoats
5) Jaye: The Crown Of Dalemark
6) Ms. Bookish: White Corridor
7) Kelly: Night World, volume 2
8) drey: Bloodfever
9) drey: Princep's Fury
10) Sherrie: Cape Refuge
11) Sherrie: Southern Storm
12) Lissa: Burglar In The Library
13) Kelly: Rumors
14) Kelly: Envy
15) Kailana: Bone Crossed
16) Lissa: Tough Cookie
17) Sherrie: Cape Refuge 2
18) Sherrie: Cape Refuge 3
19) Kelly: City Of Ashes
20) Sherrie: Breaker's Reef
21) Samantha: Kitty and the Midnight Hour
22) Samantha: Kitty Goes to Washington
23) Sherrie: Alanna & In The Hand Of The Goddess
24) Samantha: Kitty Takes A Holiday
25) Yvonne: 74 Seaside Avenue
26) emmegail: Shopaholic Ties The Knot
27) emmegail: Appaloosa
28) Kristi: Watcher In The Woods
29) Kristi: Gatekeepers
30) Kristi: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
31) Kathrin: The Mephisto Club
32) Sherrie: Lioness Rampant
33) Yvonne: Sandpiper Way
34) Lena: Sunset

Wrap-up posts
1) Sherrie
2) Diane
3) Yvonne
4) alisonwonderland

Monday, January 5, 2009

Book Around The States Challenge

So, another perpetual challenge for me: Bonnie's Book Around The States Challenge.

For this perpetual challenge, the goal is to read books obviously set in one of the 50 states plus Washington DC.

Alaska: Suzanne Brockmann: Prince Joe (several states actually, but one main plot point is set in Alaska)
California: Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jamie Sobrato: Heating Up The Holidays & Marie Ferrarella: The Bride With No Name
Iowa: Vicki Myron: Dewey
Kansas: Patricia Davids: Military Daddy
Minnesota: MaryJanice Davidson: Undead and Unappreciated
New York: Meg Cabot: Jinx

Medical Mystery Challenge

Once again, Twiga is hosting the Medical Mystery Challenge.

This challenge will run from February 1 through December 1.

The "Rules":
Books can overlap with other challenges. You can substitute if a book ends up not appealing to you.
WHAT: Pick anywhere from 5 or more medical mysteries/thrillers to read and discuss with fellow medical thriller fans.
WHEN: February 1 to December 1
WHO: Anyone
WHERE: Hosted by Twiga
WHY: Seeing others' lists would give us more ideas of other medical thrillers out there that we might not be aware of yet. Those that want to read the same books can do buddy reads if they'd like.
HOW: Post the list of medical thrillers that you plan to read on your blog and then sign up in the comments to this post.

My list is not yet complete, so I will post an incomplete list now and will add books as I am book buying.

My tentative list:
1) Tess Gerritsen: Harvest

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Banned or Challenged Books Challenge (Perpetual)

This is a perpetual challenge I just found when I discovered a fairly new blog, Lost In Books: the Banned Or Challenged Books Challenge. And the goal is to read 50 banned books.

So, I will keep a list here once I've found a page for reference:
1) Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
2) Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
3) George Orwell: 1984
4) George Orwell: Animal Farm
5) Dan Brown: The DaVinci Code
6) Stephen King: Carrie
7) Lois Lowry: The Giver
8) J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter
9) John Steinbeck: Of Mice And Men
10) Roald Dahl: The Witched

11) Alice Sebold: The Lovely Bones




42 Challenge

Okay some evil, evil person (just kidding, I'm grateful for every challenge) mentioned the 42 Challenge on their blog.

The challenge started January 1, 2009 and ends December 3, 2009.

Your mission--if you choose to accept it--is to read, watch, listen, and review 42 sci-fi related items. (Items isn't the best word, but how else would you define all that this challenge could involve). What's acceptable? Practically everything: short stories, poetry (???), novellas, novels, episodes of TV shows, episodes of radio shows, movies, comic books, graphic novels, audio books, essays or articles about science fiction or science fiction writers, biographies of science fiction authors. This isn't quite as intimidating as it sounds. This is much more than a reading challenge. It would be intimidating (in all likelihood) to try to read that many books. But when you make each short story, each TV show episode count as individual items, then it is much more manageable I hope! (This challenge could be as easy as watching Season 1 and Season 2 of Stargate SG-1, for example.)

I can do that! I really can :)

My list of 42 "items" will be posted here:
1) - 21) Stargate SG-1 Season 1
22) Nick Sagan: Idlewild

I couldn't finish this challenge simply because in my DVD box for the 2nd season of Stargate SG-1, the 2nd DVD was French, Italian & Spanish only. I'm not good enough at either of the languages to watch full episodes.

What kind of reader are you?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

The "I Suck At Challenges" Challenge

Well, Chris at Book-A-Rama is hosting the "I Suck At Challenges" Challenge - and how can I possibly resist that one? LOL

Chris has two categories for the challenge: The Slackers and The 12 Steppers.
As I (quite apparently) signed up for way more than 3 challenges, I'll take on the 12 Steppers.

Here are Chris' rules:
The 12 Steppers
(Aka "I can stop whenever I want.")

There's a challenge. You see it. Your palms start to sweat. Mr Linky mocks you. You try to stop yourself but it's too late. You've committed yourself to Books That Start With Q Challenge and you know you'll do it again when the next challenge comes along. The only thing is, how are you ever going to complete them all? Sound like you? Then you are a 12 Stepper. No program is going to help you though; you're addicted.

Join The 12 Steppers if you've signed up for more reading challenges than you can handle.


Sign up anytime between now and February 1, 2009. The challenge ends July 1, 2009.


Leave a comment on this post with a link to your challenge post. Tell me if you are a Slacker or a 12 Stepper and list your challenges.

Then what?

At the end of the month, starting in February, I'll put up a post calling for your progress. Leave a comment telling us if you've completed a challenge (link to your completed challenge post), if you're struggling with any and what ones, or if the challenge deadline came and went and you never finished.

At the first of every month I'll put up a post to record your progress. I'll encourage everyone to visit each other and cheer you on.

My current challenges can be found here or at the side bar.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

999 Challenge

For now the last challenge is the 999 Challenge over at Librarything or you can check out the blog.

1. Pick 9 categories

2. Read 9 books in each of those categories

3. Complete them in 2009.

4. To make it easier ---
The 888 challenge allowed an overlap of 8 books which would fit into more than one category. So for this challenge, you could overlap 9 books, but that's up to you. I didn't overlap any books.

5. To make it harder ---
Complete all your books by 9/9/09.

My categories so far are:
1) Nora Roberts
2) classics
3) new-to-me authors
4) Mom's bookshelf
5) romance
6) YA
7) graphic novels & mangas

1) Oscar Wilde: A Woman Of No Importance

new-to-me authors
1) Patricia Davids: Military Daddy
2) Marie Ferrarella: Protecting His Witness
3) Suzanne Brockmann: Prince Joe
4) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 1
5) Rutu Modan: Exit Wounds

1) Patricia Davids: Military Daddy
2) Marie Ferrarella: Protecting His Witness
3) Nathalie Anderson: Bought – One Night, One Marriage
4) Merline Lovelace: Devlin and the Deep Blue Sea
5) Marie Ferrarella: The Bride With No Name
6) Jill Shalvis/Jacquie D’Alessandro/Jamie Sobrato: Heating Up The Holidays

graphic novels & mangas)
1) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 1
2) Rutu Modan: Exit Wounds

9 Books For 2009

Isabel has created another great challenge, the 9 Books For 2009 Challenge.


* Open to anyone, whether you have a blog or not!
* No need to register or to announce what you are going to read.
* Start in any category that you wish.
* 3 books from this reading challenge can be used in other reading challenges.
* Just post in the comment section.
* The genre of the books can be ANYTHING (fiction or non-fiction), but it must be decent (because you have to write reviews about the books).
* Other reading materials (graphic novels, poetry, museum catalogs, art books, zines etc.) are OK.
* The book must already be in your bookcase or storage area.
* The Challenge starts 12/27/08 to 12/27/09. (I hate to begin anything on January 1st).
* You can post starting on 12/27/08.
* Format of work can be paper, audio, or electronic.

These are the NINE categories to celebrate 2009! See the above tabs for details. (I had to abbreviate some of the categories due to WordPress Code restrictions.)

To post, please click one of the tabs for the specific category and place your review JUST in that category, not on any of the 4 pages on the front of this blog.

1. Long
2. Free
3. Dusty
4. Used
5. Letter
6. Strange
7. Distance
8. Alive or Not
9. Cover

Long: Longer than my usual reads (so I'll use one with 400+ pages)
Free: A free book, be it a BC book, an ARC, a gift - you name it
Dusty: One that has been on the shelves for 3+ years
Used: A book with at least one or more previous owners
Letter: Has a letter in the title that I have in my name
Strange: Out of my comfort zone
Distance: The author’s birthplace or setting is more than 1000 miles (1609.344 kilometers) from my present location
Alive or Not: By an author nominated for a prize or a dead author
Cover: Prettiest or Ugliest cover

My books will probably be:
Long: Nora Roberts: Jewels Of The Sun
Free: Robert Fate: Baby Shark's Beaumont Tales
Used: Suzanne Brockmann: Prince Joe -> subject to change, unless I find an even uglier cover
Letter: Oscar Wilde: A Woman Of No Importance
Strange: Donita K. Paul: DragonKnight
Distance: Patricia Davids: Military Daddy
Alive Or Nor: Naomi Alderman: Disobedience (Booker Prize)
Cover: Suzanne Brockmann: Prince Joe

Really Old Classics Challenge

Considering that I'm by now a lot more comfortable with "regular" classics, why not Really Old Classics?

The Rules

1. Choose how many Really Old Classics you’d like to read by the end of July 2009, from 1 to 100.
2. Read that number of Really Old Classics by the end of July 2009. If you finish, pat yourself on the back.

So, I will try to read 2 of the following classics from the pre-1600s:
1) Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy
2) Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
3) The Niebelungenlied
4) ???
5) ???

Rescue Challenge

Katrina hit it dead on with her Rescue Challenge! I have so many unread books on my shelves that have been "living" there for years - or rather they have been vegetating there.

There would be two parts to the challenge, the first would be to get rid of any books you know deep down you will never read, so whether you bookmooch, bookcross, give them away to a charity shop these books will take up less of your space and have the opportunity to be read.
The second part of the challenge, will be to set up a pool of those unloved books and read between 3-6 of them between Nov 1st 2008 - Dec 31st 2009.

The books I have had for years are:
1) Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes 1
2) Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes 2
3) A.S. Byatt: Possession
4) Laurell K. Hamilton: The Laughing Corpse
5) Tess Gerritsen: Harvest
6) Nora Roberts: Red Lilies
7) Josef Haslinger: Opernball
8) Robert Ludlum: The Bourne Identity
9) Nora Roberts: Northern Lights
10) Nora Roberts: Immortal In Death
11) Sue Grafton: D Is For Deadbeat
12) Nora Roberts: Jewels Of The Sun
13) Nora Roberts: Tears Of The Moon
14) J.W. Goethe: Iphigenie auf Tauris
15) J.W. Goethe: Die Leiden des Jungen Werther
16) Agatha Christie: The Secret Of Chimneys
17) Chaim Potok: The Chosen
18) Madeleine E. Roberts: Point Of Honor
plus many, many more that are at my second "book storing place"