Tag Archives: Reading Challenge

2020 Audio Book Challenge

I’m joining another reading challenge!

Sign up here.

Details of the challenge:

  • Runs January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. You can join at any time.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2020 than you did in 2018.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweet about the challenge.
  • Updates plus a giveaway will be posted twice during the year. The first update will be June 30, 2020, and the last update will take place on December 15, 2020.

Achievement Levels:

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multitasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+
  • The 100 Club (Audiobook Elite) 100+

I am trying to broaden my horizons this year so I found this challenge, and I thought why not? Thanks to Book Princess Reviews for alerting me to this challenge. See all the reviews Mandy is doing here.

I listen to audio books occasionally, and I listened a little more when I had Audible Escapes. I don’t warrant enough audio book listening to justify paying for it.

My plans are to use Libby and Hoopla, just like I have been. So, far I finished two audio books this month. That’s more than normal so I’m already out ahead.

I want to challenge myself to do more so I’m going to try out Binge Listener. That’s around two per month. I already have a few books on hold for the later time of the year. They are:

I’m looking forward to all of these books. So far, I’ve finished two. I’m going to reach the 30 book goal no matter what and am so excited for this.

Do you do audio books a lot? Any favorite books to share with me? I’d love to know if you’re going to sign up too!

#armedwithabingo 2020 Reading Challenge [Blogmas]

So I joined a group chat on Twitter… and ended up signing up for an awesome reading challenge. All information can be found here!

It’s hosted by Armed With A Book, and I think it’s going to be so much fun. If you’re interested, check out the link for all the needed information. I just glanced so I have an idea of what is going on, but I’m no expert. But I got some really cool graphics to share on here and Instagram.

This looks like a lot of fun, and it’s making me wish 2020 was here already. I don’t know if I’ll make a TBR fully for this just because it lasts the whole year. But I’ll have an idea soon of what I want to do anyway.

Are you doing any year long reading challenges next year? Or maybe joining me for this one?! Either way… it’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait for next year and all the new books there will be.

Reading Challenge Update [Blogtober]

I don’t know how to interpret this except to talk about my Goodreads Reading Challenge. My update for that is I’m currently at 173/200 books read this year. I’m actually pretty impressed with this since I also have Ever who keeps me busy.

I’m hoping to read these books soon to keep my challenge going though:

What does your Goodreads Challenge look like? Are you staying on track? Find me on Goodreads to talk books.

Until I rant about books again,

August Wrap Up.

I didn’t read a lot in August because we got Hulu so I’ve been watching way too much of that recently. I can’t really blame the baby because he’s pretty chill. I’m still getting used to having a blog, and I do enjoy when people like my posts. It can be a little discouraging as well, when I don’t get any views so I worry I’m doing something wrong. But this is so much fun, and I can’t wait to keep growing and writing more.

So here are the few books I’ve read last month and an update of what I’m reading for September Swoons along with the books from August I’m still reading.

We moved so I pulled out my trashy books. 4 stars. I will eventually complete the series. I don’t know why I like these books when they are the same again and again,with the same overused plots and incest.This was a Review book, I gave it 4 stars. It’s about witches and a town where witchcraft is illegal. I’m curious to see how the relationships will develop. This series definitely has potential. Goodreads review here. This book was from the Facebook group, Young Adult Book Stop.

I adored this book a lot. I’m looking forward to the other two. Academy books are a genre I didn’t even really know I loved til now. This was a solid 4 stars. Got this book from the author in the Facebook group, Young Adult Book Stop.4 stars. A NetGalley book that comes out next year. I’ll be taking about it more closer to the release date.

5 stars. I still don’t have words.

The rest of these are reviewed on Goodreads and my blog so I’ll just be leaving the rating and the links for the reviews to avoid repeating myself.4 stars. Review Here. Definitely a unique read. Procured from Young Adult Book Stop.4 Stars. Review Here. Read for Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge.4 Stars. Review Here. NetGalley from Avon Books UK.

3 stars. Review Here. NetGalley from Avon Books UK.

4 stars. Review Here. Read for Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge.

4 stars. Review Here. Yet another book I got from Young Adult Book Stop. The author gave me the first two to read as well so the series makes sense.

I’m still reading

Frankenstein is slow going so I picked up the audio book from the library so I can finish it.

I loved the other two a lot, but I’m having issues finishing it. I think it’s a little boring.

I’m hoping to read more in September with my September Swoons so wish me luck. What have you read recently? Let me know.

September Swoons TBR and Current Reads

So the month of September is going to be a deep dive into the romance genre for me. It’s one I used to read as a teenager. Yeah, I read those Harlequin Romance books when I was a tween and young teen. Mostly the purple mystery ones. I was so addicted to those back in the day. I’m not sure why I got away from romance because it’s a great genre. The best part is I don’t even have to buy any books because I have a lot of romance books on my Kindle. I actually added 16 books to a collection for this month. I don’t know if I will get through that many, but here are 10 books I’ve planned out for September Swoons. I will also be reading some other books as well… but those will be talked about in my weekly wrap ups.

Some of these are eARCs. The rest are books I’ve had on my Kindle.

  • All I Want- Tamara Lush (eArc)
  • To Be Your Girl -Rae Kennedy (eArc)
  • We Met in December- Rosie Curtis (eArc)
  • Meant to Be- Melody Grace
  • A Girl Like Her- Talia Hubbard
  • From Scratch- Katrina Jackson
  • Cracked Kingdom- Erin Watt
  • The Perfect Game- J Sterling
  • Challenge-Amy Daws
  • Step Brother Dearest- Penelope Ward

And these are the books I’m currently reading:

Are there any romance books you think I should read? Have you read any of the books on my list? Join me for September Swoons if you wish. I’ll be using the hashtag #septemberswoonsreads on Twitter. My username on there is hybibliophiliac. Come find me and follow along or join me!

Next Year in Havana Spoiler Free Review

Title: Next Year in Havana

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Reason Read: Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge

Official synopsis: Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. 

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage. (Found on Penguin Randomhouse site)

My take on the plot:

Chanel Cleeton paints a very vivid picture of her characters and her story. She also uses words I had to look up which made me excited to expand my vocabulary while learning about the struggles the country of Cuba and its people face. The book follows Marisol in 2017 after the loss of her beloved grandmother and also looks back at her grandmother, Elisa, before she was forced to leave Cuba with her family in 1958. Marisol has snuck her grandmothers ashes into Cuba so they could be scattered in a special place. Marisol learns she may not have known her grandmother as well as she thought. Elisa had fallen in love with a man she shouldn’t have, and Marisol is on the same path. The book looks at the parallels of a grandmother and granddaughter during the moments they fall in love and how their choices will impact their lives forever. It’s definitely one of those generational stories, but I liked it a lot because I really don’t know anything about Cuba.

My take on the writing:

Cleeton writes so beautifully. I don’t say this often, but she uses language to create a world the reader gets so immersed in. I was able to envision The whole story very well. I know nothing about Cuba and the history so this was a different glimpse into a past many people lived but isn’t well known. Marisol has such fond memories of her grandmother, and this ties so well into the flashbacks of her grandmother to create a full spectrum of the young Elisa. I was so swept up in the past version of Cuba it made me sad when the family had to leave because of the political turmoil. The entire book is full of sadness but it is also beautiful and hopeful. I love how the story evokes so many emotions.

I understand why this book was picked for the book club. It’s just one so easy to get lost in and not be able to stop reading. This may be my favorite one I’ve read so far in The Reese Witherspoon book club choices. I was struggling with the book at times, but now I’ve had time to reflect, this book keeps growing on me.

Final thoughts:

Chanel Cleeton wrote a book definitely worth all of the hype. This was one I was dying to read, and it was worth every minute spent. I haven’t seen a lot of people talking about this online, but I know it’s popular because the long hold at the library and it says it’s a bestseller online. I hope they make this into a movie, and I can’t wait to read the next book related to this about Elisa’s sister, Beatriz. This is my sixth book complete for the Hello Sunshine Reading Challenge I’m doing.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Or even if you want to join me in reading all of the Hello Sunshine Book Club books, I would love that too.

Where The Crawdads Sing Spoiler Free Review

Title: Where The Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Genre: Adult, Historical fiction, Mystery

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Reason Read: Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge

Official Synopsis:
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. (Found on Penguin Randomhouse site)

My take on the plot:

This book is a little bit of mystery along with coming of age. Both of those are popular tropes so that alone can make a book hyped. This book follows Kya Clark from childhood in the 1950s to her adult life in the 1970s. She is called the Marsh Girl and ostracized from her community. Slowly abandoned by her whole family, she has to learn to fend for herself at just ten years old. She learns to find solace in the marsh around here,becoming close with nature since it’s the only constant in her life. Kya wants to let people in, but she’s afraid of being left again. She becomes close with two boys and one of them is found dead. The story pivots back to when Kya was first abandoned to how Chase Andrews fits into the tapestry of Kya and her life in the marsh.

My take on the writing:

Alright, I know a lot of people love this book. I did enjoy it too. But there are some things with the book which make me a little crazy. I don’t mind the dialect at all. My only issue is explain to me how Kya is living in the marsh with her family and her father has an accent… so you would think Kya would. But no, once she learns how to read she speaks proper English. Literally the only people in the book that speak a little bit stereotypical are the black characters and it’s like the whole yes suh and kind of like Gone with the Wind so that was super annoying to me.

This book was sad. I felt terrible for the loss and hard times Kya has to face. I never cried though and didn’t ever really feel like this was the book which would affect my soul. I wanted to know the mystery and see how it fit together, but I also could piece together what was going to happen. Not bad writing… I liked the book but I don’t share in the hype everyone else seems to hold in this book.

Final thoughts:

I think I built this novel up too much in my mind. I saw it was a pick from Reese Witherspoon so I was like okay, yes. I also saw it mentioned a lot in a few book groups I’m involved with on Facebook. I think I may not be the right audience, but I still found it to be worth the read. Considering it’s going to be a movie, the buzz around this book will continue. I do look forward to see how this will translate onscreen because I thought while I reading how much I’d enjoy it as a movie. This marks my fifth book done for my Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge.

Have you read this book? Share your thoughts with me, I’d love to talk about it!

Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge

Perhaps you’ve heard Reese Witherspoon has a book club. Or maybe not. I’ve found some of these books kept coming across my radar so I decided I was going to read all of the books from the past selections and maybe eventually read the newer picks as they happen when I’m able to get them from the library. I don’t think I’ll be buying them as I have limited funds because books aren’t cheap, yo. But first I wanted to provide a link to the full list. And then discuss briefly each book I’ve read… minus one because that will be my review for the week!

Here is a link to all of the past selections along with the one for August 2019.

The books I’ve read from this list are:

  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware- Typical Ware. Some people dislike this author, but I didn’t mind this book too much. Actually I’m pretty sure I’m thinking of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins that I really liked. I believe this one is about a beach and a body is found? I’m not sure. Probably not the worst thriller I read, but I won’t be recommending it highly.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng- I liked Ng’s first book better, just because I thought the story was so beautiful. This one was pretty good. I’m not sure what to state… some people love it.
  • The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine- A thriller I loved. I tend to inhale thrillers and then really love them. This is one I don’t want to spoil. But I didn’t see a lot of the twists and turns in this book. Can’t recommend enough.
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Bali Kaur Jaswall- The first book I read because of Reese. A super interesting look into a different culture. This book has aspects many readers can enjoy romance, family, mystery… yeah I stole that from the website because I have no original thoughts.
  • Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens- Review coming this week! I’ll just say I see why people like it, but I’m not as obsessed.

Have you read any of these? If so, what are your thoughts? I’d love to have people to read with as well so let me know if you want to buddy read any of the books on the list.