Showing posts with label reading challenges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading challenges. Show all posts

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Authors Challenge 2013

Disclaimer: Artwork used (with permission) for the button is Anglerfish by Vlad Gerasimov.

This was another awesome reading challenge. I thought I'd enter again, see what new authors I discover this year. The Challenge is hosted by Jackie from Literary Escapism

Here are the guidelines:

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.
  2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies.
  3. You can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors. It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be. If you reach your goal halfway through the year, don’t stop. Any new author you try can be added to Mr. Linky. We all want to know about your new experience.
  4. After reading your new author, write your review and then come back here and add your link to Mr. Linky. Make sure you include your name and the author, but adding the title is completely up to you.
  5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome. You don’t have to have a site to participate. You can link up via Facebook, GoodReads or even Amazon if you’d like.
Like last year, I'm going to try to read 25 new authors. If it happens that I read more, that's fine. 

For more details or to sign up, go to Jackie's post here.

I'll post the books below, as I read them.

  1. Chelsea M. Cameron - Deeper We Fall
  2. J.A. Redmerski - The Edge Of Never
  3. Rachel Van Dyken - Elite
  4. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares
  5. Dan Wells - Partials
  6. Kim Barnouin - Skinny Bitch In Love
  7. Jennifer L. Armentrout - Shadows
  8. Emma Grayson - Unbeautifully Loved
  9. Leila Howland - Nantucket Blue
  10. Jamie Mcguire - Beautiful Disaster
  11. Samaire Provost - Mad World Epidemic
  12. Debra Driza - Mila 2.0
  13. Tellulah Darling - My Ex From Hell
  14. Julie Smith - Death Turns A Trick
  15. A.E. Rought - Broken
  16. Mindee Arnett - The Nightmare Affair
  17. Stifyn Emrys - Identity Break
  18. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Creatures
  19. Veronica Roth - Divergent
  20. Cassandra Rose Clarke - The Assassin's Curse
  21. Kelly Keaton - Darkness Becomes Her

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I really loved doing this challenge last year. I manage to make my TBR mountain look less frightening. Of course, for every book I read, I added about 2 or 3 more, but let's not focus on that :P

So, like I said. I loved it and I decided to sign up again this year.

Like last year, this challenge is hosted by Evie from Bookish. Here are the guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013.
  2. Anyone can enter! You don't have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you've read! (On your blog, Amazon or Goodreads/Shelfari!)
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2012 and earlier! NO 2013 ARCs and 2013 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBR PILE Reading Challenge. (If you don't have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Tweet!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. On the 20th of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up! (i.e. the entire month)
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;) 
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - a box of books. 
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
 Levels: (how many books you're planning to read for this challenge in 2013)

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

I decided to go with A Sweet Kiss this year. Who knows, maybe that mountain of books will look like a pile again. 

Anyway, if you want to sign up, or check the details, or to read more about the awesome giveaways, read Evie's post here.

Have fun reading!

P.S: I'll be listing the books as I read them, y'all know I'm bad with respecting the lists I make for myself when it comes to reading. :P

  1. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Creatures
  2. Jamie Mcguire - Beautiful Disaster
  3. J.A. Redmerski - The Edge Of Never
  4. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares
  5. Jennifer L. Armentrout - Shadows
  6. Jennifer L. Armentrout - Obsidian
  7. Jennifer L. Armentrout - Onyx
  8. Jennifer L. Armentrout - Opal
  9. Dan Wells - Partials
  10. Veronica Roth - Divergent
  11. Sherrilyn Kenyon - Infamous
  12. Jaci Burton - Taking A Shot
  13. Jaci Burton - Play to Win
  14. Cassandra Rose Clarke - The Assassin's Curse
  15. Kelly Keaton - Darkness Becomes Her

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012

I remembered, I remembered! I'm actually proud of myself, since I had a very weird week and my internet connection wasn't working very well. Anyway, I really do want to be a good reader and manage to read all the books in my list. I know I said no more lists, but I was looking at my TBR pile last week and I thought that poor pile (ha! mountain is more like it) needs a little change. Fall Into Reading is hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. Before I share my list, here are the guidelines:

To participate, here’s what you need to do:
  • Create a list of books you’d like to read or finish this fall. This is the only real requirement for participating in the challenge.
  • Feel free to set some additional reading goals (such as reading to your kids two hours per week, getting through your pile of magazines, etc.). However, this is not required; setting additional goals is completely optional.
  • Write a blog post that includes the list of books you want to read (and any additional goals you’ve set), and get ready to post it on your blog on September 22nd.
  • Visit Callapidder Days on September 22nd to sign up for the challenge. I’ll have an official launch post up that morning, complete with an area for you to submit a link to your personal Fall Into Reading post, where it will be added to the master list of participants.
  • Read! Work on your goals throughout Fall 2012.
  • Report your results. Write another blog post in December to let everyone know how you did. (I’ll post an official wrap-up to the challenge on December 22nd, where you’ll be able to share your results.)
  • Have fun! Visit other participants to see what they’re reading. Write reviews if you’re so inclined. But most of all, enjoy your fall reading!

So, here are a few of the books that I hope I'll read during this challenge:

  1. The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
  2. Hell On Wheels by Julie Ann Walker
  3. First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost
  4. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  5. The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  6. The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair
  7. The Clan of The Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
  8. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
  9. Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  10. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
That's my list. Now, before you think I'm going soft, I have to tell you that I do plan to read more. But I'm trying to keep my goals simple.

If you want to participate, click on the button at the start of this post and read the guidelines. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Women of the Otherworld Reading Challenge

I've heard so much about this series, I'm feeling like I might be one of the very few people on this planet who hasn't read them. So while I was doing my daily blog stalking I saw this Reading Challenge on Lucy's blog (Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf) and I thought it was the best opportunity for me to read them :D

The reading challenge is really easy. Here are the guidelines:

Each month beginning March 1st, 2012, challenge members will read or re-read the title for that month. In addition, challenge members will either post a review, their reading experience, character castings or anything else related to that title. You have freedom to have fun with your monthly post so be creative! Seeing as this series is 13 novels long, this challenge will last 13 months.

PLEASE NOTE: **You do not have to have a blog to enter this challenge. You must, however, have a Goodreads account if you don't, so that you can link to your posts there.**

**You do not have to participate each month if you don't want to. I want this to be a fun experience for everyone so, if there only a few books you want to read, please feel free to join!**

**If you did not find time to read the title of the month, feel free to write a post about it and indicate why. This will allow you to link up to qualify for monthly challenge giveaways as well!**

To read more about this challenge and to sign up, visit Lucy's post.

I do think it's easy, though I'll have to learn patience and not read ahead schedule. That might become difficult, but I'll behave. Or try.

Happy Reading!

  1. Bitten
  2. Stolen
  3. Dime Store Magic
  4. Industrial Magic
  5. Haunted
  6. No Humans Involved

Friday, December 30, 2011

Chick Lit Challenge 2012

I'm a fan of chick lit, so I had to sign up to this challenge. It's hosted by Samantha @ Chick Lit Plus. Here are the rules:

  1. Challengers will read 12 chick lit books throughout 2012. You can obviously read more books of other genres, but you need at least 12 chick lit to count for this challenge.
  2. Two of the twelve books need to be from debut authors. The debuts should be released in 2012. I have a feature on my blog that will highlight new releases and debuts, so you can find suggestions there.
If you want to read the original post or to sign up, check out Samantha's post here

I haven't decided what books I'll read, but I'll list them here as I read them.

  1. Death On Heels - Ellen Byerrum 
  2. I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella
  3. Breaking The Rules - Cat Lavoie
  4. Brownie Fix - Ellen Cardona
  5. Alison Wonderland - Helen Smith

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012

I really had fun this year trying to finish this reading challenge. The fact that I failed is unimportant :P But I did have fun, so I thought of giving it another try.

Book Chic City is hosting this reading challenge. Here are the guidelines:

  1. Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012
  2. Rules - Read 100 or more books in 2012
  3. All books can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  4. Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.
  5. You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.

For more information and to sign up, visit Book Chick City's blog.

I will be posting the books below as I read them. Like I said, I'm not going to plan ahead anymore :)

  1. Power Play - Eliza Gayle
  2. Lothaire - Kresley Cole
  3. The Dragonslayer's Sword - Resa Nelson
  4. Midnight Playground - Eliza Gayle
  5. The Truth About Us - Dalene Flannigan
  6. Casual - Oksana Robski
  7. Lust On The Rocks - Dianne Venetta
  8. The Iron Maiden - Resa Nelson
  9. On Message - Joyce T. Strand
  10. Mistress Christmas - Lorelei James
  11. Ugly To Start With - John Michael Cummings
  12. Miss Firecracker - Lorelei James
  13. The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake - Mary Parker
  14. CurbChek - Zack Fortier
  15. Death On Heels - Ellen Byerrum
  16. An Untimely Love  - Tendai Huchu
  17. Behind Closed Doors - Sherri Hayes
  18. The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa
  19. The Binding - L. Filloon
  20. Socialpunk - Monica Leonelle
  21. Fighting the Devil - Jeannie Walker
  22. A Hint Of Frost - Hailey Edwards
  23. Lover Reborn - J.R. Ward
  24. Lowcountry Punch - Boo Walker
  25. Promises - Amber Garr
  26. Sweet Evil - Wendy Higgins
  27. Dancing Naked In Dixie - Lauren Clark
  28. The Car Thief - Theodore Weesner
  29. Dead End Deal - Allen Wyler
  30. Legacy of a Dreamer - Allie Jean
  31. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  32. Stolen - Kelley Armstrong
  33. Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  34. Industrial Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  35. I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella
  36. In Love With An Angel (original title: Innamorata Di Un Angelo) - Federica Bosco
  37. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
  38. Of Poseidon - Anna Banks
  39. Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
  40. The Stone of Darkness - Resa Nelson
  41. Evermine - Hailey Edwards
  42. Eversworn - Hailey Edwards
  43. Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
  44. Brownie Fix - Ellen Cardona
  45. Her Heart For The Asking - Lisa Mondello
  46. His Heart For The Trusting - Lisa Mondello
  47. The More I See - Lisa Mondello
  48. Breaking The Rules - Cat Lavoie
  49. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
  50. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
  51. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  52. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  53. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  54. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
  55. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
  56. The Golden Lilly - Richelle Mead
  57. Differential Equations - Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica
  58. Alison Wonderland - Helen Smith
  59. Slave - Sherri Hayes
  60. Need - Sherri Hayes
  61. Betrayal - Amber Garr
  62. Arise - Amber Garr
  63. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
  64. The Iron King's Daughter - Julie Kagawa
  65. The Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa
  66. Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep
  67. Blade Song - J. C. Daniels
  68. Ice Queen - Joey W. Hill
  69. Mirror Of My Soul - Joey W. Hill
  70. Branded Sanctuary - Joey W. Hill
  71. Club Mephisto - Annabel Joseph
  72. Molly's Lips: Club Mephisto Retold - Annabel Joseph
  73. Burn For You - Annabel Joseph
  74. My Liege of Dark Haven - Cherise Sinclair
  75. Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  76. Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  77. Ecstasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione
  78. Sin Undone - Larissa Ione
  79. Eternal Rider - Larissa Ione
  80. Immortal Rider - Larissa Ione
  81. Lethal Rider - Larissa Ione
  82. Rogue Rider - Larissa Ione
  83. Ironskin - Tina Connolly
  84. Web of Lies - Jennifer Estep
  85. Venom - Jennifer Estep
  86. Tangled Threads - Jennifer Estep
  87. Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Author Challenge 2012

This reading challenge is hosted by Literary Escapism.

New Author Challenge 2012

Here are the guidelines:

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
  2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies.
  3. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors. It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be.
  4. After reading your new author, write your review and then go back to Literary Escapism and add your link to Mr. Linky. Make sure you include your name and the author, but adding the title is completely up to you.
  5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome. You don’t have to have a site to participate. You can link up via Facebook, GoodReads or even Amazon if you’d like.

For the full, original post, go to here

I'm really excited about this reading challenge. This year I've found some very good, new authors and I know there are a lot more new authors that I need to try. Because I'm feeling very adventurous, I'm going with 25 new authors. I haven't decided what books I want to try yet, but I'll post them as I finish reading them.

  1. Eliza Gayle - Power Play
  2. Resa Nelson - The Dragonslayer's Sword
  3. Dalene Flannigan - The Truth About Us
  4. Diane Venetta - Lust On The Rocks
  5. Joyce T. Strand - On Message
  6. John Michael Cummings - Ugly To Start With
  7. Mary Parker - The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake
  8. Zack Fortier - CurbChek
  9. Ellen Byerrum - Death On Heels
  10. Sherri Hayes -  Behind Closed Doors
  11. Tendai Huchu - An Untimely Love
  12. Julie Kagawa - The Immortal Rules
  13. L. Filloon - The Binding
  14. Monica Leonelle - Socialpunk
  15. Jeannie Walker - Fighting The Devil
  16. Boo Walker - Lowcountry Punch
  17. Amber Garr - Promises 
  18. Wendy Higgins - Sweet Evil 
  19. Lauren Clark - Dancing Naked In Dixie
  20. Theodore Weesner - The Car Thief
  21. Allen Wyler - Dead End Deal
  22. Allie Jean - Legacy of a Dreamer
  23. Kelley Armstrong - Bitten
  24. Marissa Meyer - Cinder
  25. Anna Banks - Of Poseidon

I would love to get to 50 new authors read this year, but I'm not making that a goal. If it happens, it happens, if not, then all is good. I'll still continue to list here the new authors I get to read.
  1. Federica Bosco - In Love With An Angel (original title: Innamorata di un angelo)
  2. Ellen Cardona - Brownie Fix
  3. Lisa Mondello - Her Heart For The Asking
  4. Cat Lavoie - Breaking The Rules
  5. Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica - Differential Equations
  6. Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy
  7. Helen Smith - Alison Wonderland
  8. Jennifer Estep - Spider's Web
  9. J. C. Daniels - Blade's Song
  10. Michael Drakich - The Brotherhood of Piaxia
  11. Joey W. Hill - Ice Queen
  12. Annabel Joseph - Club Mephisto
  13. Karen Marie Moning - Darkfever
  14. Tina Connolly - Ironskin 

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I've decided to enter a few reading challenges this year too. The ones from this year were...well, fails to be honest. I'm really hoping next year I'll be a better reader that I was this year. I actually know I will be :D So I searched and searched and found some very good new reading challenges.

The first one is hosted by Evie from Bookish and it's a great opportunity for me (and for all other readers out there) to make my TBR pile smaller.

Here are part of the rules:

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  3. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  4. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
The Levels are:

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

I'm going with A Friendly Hug, though I'm hoping to read more than that. If you want to read all the rules, here's the link to Evie's post

I haven't decided what books to read yet, but I'll post them as I read them.

  1. Mistress Christmas - Lorelei James
  2. Miss Firecracker - Lorelei James
  3. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  4. Stolen - Kelley Armstrong
  5. Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  6. Industrial Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  7. Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
  8. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
  9. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
  10. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  11. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  12. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  13. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
  14. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
  15. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
  16. The Iron King's Daughter - Julie Kagawa
  17. The Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa
  18. Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep
  19. Ice Queen - Joey W. Hill
  20. Mirror Of My Soul - Joey W. Hill
Yay!! I finished it. *happy dance* This is my second challenge finished of this year. And the very first time I finished two reading challenges. Two milestones into one. I'm grinning like an idiot, yes I am. Anyway, I will still be adding books to this list if they're part of my TBR pile, but I won't count these books towards a bigger, bolder goal. I'm happy to just keep it simple. 
  1. Branded Sanctuary - Joey W. Hill
  2. Club Mephisto - Annabel Joseph
  3. Web of Lies - Jennifer Estep
  4. Venom - Jennifer Estep 
  5. Tangled Threads - Jennifer Estep 
  6. Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep
  7. Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning 
  8. Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning 
  9. Ecstasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione 
  10. Sin Undone - Larissa Ione 
  11. Eternal Rider - Larissa Ione 
  12. Immortal Rider - Larissa Ione 
  13. Lethal Rider - Larissa Ione 
  14. Molly's Lips: Club Mephisto Retold - Annabel Joseph 
  15. Burn For You - Annabel Joseph
  16. Broken - Kelley Armstrong
  17. No Humans Involved - Kelley Armstrong
  18. Personal Demon - Kelley Armstrong

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fall Into Reading: Wrap up

I'm very sorry I'm late with this post, but last week has been more than overwhelming. Besides the Christmas preparations, Mother Nature has been very mean with me. I'm one of those people, who are very sensitive to the weather changes (I have no idea what the term is in English, but it's safe to say I felt like cr@p last week, with all the changes). So that's the reason I haven't done this post earlier.

Anyway, back to the initial topic.

Fall Into Reading was a challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. You can read the guidelines for the challenge on her blog.

As you can imagine, I didn't get to read the books I planned on reading. I'm usually very bad at planning my reading lists. I never, ever manage to read the books I want in a certain order. I'm not talking about the books in a series. I'm talking a list of books I want to read and a list I make at some point. Here was my list:

  1. The Shakespeare Secret - Jennifer Lee Carrell 
  2. Dead In the Family - Charlaine Harris  .
  3. Heat Wave - Richard Castle 
  4. Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh 
  5. Tall, Dark & Dead - Tate Hallaway  
  6. Sorcery and the Single Girl - Mindy Klasky  
Out of all these books I managed to read only the first book, The Shakespeare Secret. I've read other books  this fall, but none that were on this list. 

Like I said, planning doesn't do much good to me. I plan on reading a few more books before the year is over. I hope next year there will be another Fall Into Reading challenge and that I'll do better at it :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#3)

I'm finally on time with this question *pats self*. Fall Into Reading is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. This week's question for the Fall Into Reading challenge is:

Where do you love to read? Do you have a favorite chair, a favorite room, a favorite place…somewhere that inspires you to put everything else aside and pick up a book?

There are few places that really get me into that reading mood. It doesn't have anything do to with noise or how many people are around me, it's mostly related to how comfy I feel.

Where I read: I love reading in my room, in bed, under a very warm blanket (if it's cold, otherwise no blanket for me :P). I love reading in bed because I can sit however I want for how long I want, especially since my bed in kinda huge.

I also love to read when I'm at the beach. The sound of the waves hitting the shore is the perfect soundtrack for almost any book. I also love reading when I'm on a bus or a train, even if I sometimes forget to check the station, see if I passed the one I was supposed to arrive to.

This might make me a bad student, but if the class is boring, I'll take out the book in my bag and start reading. I haven't gotten caught before, lucky me. But it's either be silent and read or leave the classroom and loose time doing nothing. I choose reading every time.

What inspires me to read: Well,  it depends. Like I said before, I love the sound of waves, so that's one source of inspiration. Also, the sound of rain makes me want to read. Old music makes a good soundtrack for books, mostly because some of them are slow and they don't distract me with catchy beats. I find it difficult to read when I'm feeling like I just got locked into an oven. If it's really hot outside, I can't exactly concentrate. I prefer either just warm or somewhat cold weather for reading. I know, I'm weird like that :P.

Where do you like to read?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#2)

Fall Into Reading is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. This week's question for the Fall Into Reading challenge is:

Is there a book that has had a tremendous impact on your life? One that made you look at life in a whole new way, or caused you to completely change something in your life?

There isn't a book that has changed the way I view world but there is a book that changed my life, so to speak. I was a very lucky kid and teenager. The reason for my luck was that my parents never bugged me about my reading - or lack of it. They never forced me to read, not even the books the teachers wanted us to read at school. If I was to read a book, it was because I felt the need to read. So they pretty much let me discover the world of books on my own. I won't say I'm very proud of my younger self and my "fear" of reading, because I'm not. But like I said earlier, I discovered it alone, without being forced into it.

I had already read Harry Potter, and a few other books before that, but they weren't enough to convince me to read. They never were. So a year after reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone a friend from school convinced me to try Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I had already seen the movie The Fellowship of the Ring and he swore to me the book was better than the movie. I finally decided to try it about three or four months after seeing the movie. The trilogy represented a lot of firsts for me at the time: the first book I've ever bought for me, from my savings, the first big book (or books) I've read until that point, the first book I read in about two weeks. And it also made me realize that the world of books was a fascinating one and a world that was worth exploring.

So that's my story. What book changed your life or your view on world?

There's also a bonus question this week:

How is your Fall Into Reading coming along? Are you on track? Ahead of schedule? Falling behind?

Well...*sheepish* I'm a little behind. I've read more than I had in min, that's not the bad part. The bad part is that out of the books I wanted to read, I only read one. I still have time, and I intend to use that time reading only the books I wanted to read. I'm also about 30 books behind my annual reading goal, so I have to get on track here. I can say that I honestly have no real reason for falling behind on the Fall Into Reading challenge.

How about you? How's the challenge going?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#1)

I'm a little late at the party, having completely forgotten about answering the questions. Alas, I will start answering with the latest question:

When it comes to fiction, are you more of a “plot person” or a “character person”? If you had to choose, which concept would win out when it comes to picking and loving a book: plot or character?

I'm a very picky reader. The first thing I notice in a book is the plot. I usually read the blurbs after ogling at the covers to figure out if the story feels interesting to me. If I decide that I might like the book, the two concepts are at the same level when it comes to their importance. I love a well-developed plot. It doesn't have to be suspense or mystery or anything. It just has to be there and it has to be good. Or it can be less than good, but without plot-holes, without those moments when you frown and realize there seem to be chunks of story missing. At the same time though, the characters need to be well developed too. 

Picture the best book you've ever read, in terms of plot. Now take out the characters you know and put some new, poorly developed characters in the story. It seems lacking to me. I need to like the characters to be fully able to enjoy the plot. I can do without one or the other, but for me a good book is the one that has both.

And this works in reverse too. I have to like the plot to enjoy the characters. You may have the best characters in the world, if you don't have a plot that does justice to those characters, the story lacks something.

What about you? What would you choose between plot and characters?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Into Reading

Fall Into Reading is a fun, no-pressure challenge hosted by Callapidder Days. Here are the guidelines:

Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like.

Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to this post using the Mr. Linky below.

Get reading! The challenge goes from today, September 23rd, through December 21st.

Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile, if you wish!

Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you. But remember: this is a low-pressure challenge that should be fun. As long as you do some reading this fall (and enjoy it!), that’s good enough for me.

I haven't decided on all the books I want to read this fall, but here's the list so far:

  1. The Shakespeare Secret - Jennifer Lee Carrell : a re-read, but I loved this book so much, I can't help myself!
  2. Dead In the Family - Charlaine Harris : I've postponed reading this book for far too long. Maybe it's not as good as the earlier Sookie Stackhouse books, but I'll try it again...
  3. Heat Wave - Richard Castle : I really love the TV show and this book has been sitting on my shelf for a few months now. I'm ready to see if the books are anything like the show.
  4. Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh : I've heard a lot of good stuff about these books, so my curiosity is finally getting the better of me. Again.
  5. Tall, Dark & Dead - Tate Hallaway : What can I say, I love the cover.
  6. Sorcery and the Single Girl - Mindy Klasky : I read the first book in the series about four years before and I loved it. I can't say I remember much, just that I laughed a lot while reading it. I'll read the entire series this autumn.

This is my list for now. If I manage to read more, I'll list them as I finish them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

Author: Raymond Khoury
Blurb (from Goodreads):

In a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291, The Last Templar opens with a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escaping to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.
In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights emerge from Central Park and ride up the Fifth Avenue steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the blacktie opening of a Treasures of the Vatican exhibit. Storming through the crowds, the horsemen brutally attack anyone standing between them and their prize. Attending the gala, archaeologist Tess Chaykin watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen hones in on one piece in particular, a strange geared device. He utters a few cryptic Latin words as he takes hold of it with reverence before leading the horsemen out and disappearing into the night.
In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and Tess are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading Knights, plunging them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with ruthless killers as they race across three continents to recover the lost secret of the Templars
This book has been sitting on my shelf for about a year after I bought it before I finally got to read it. Being the history nerd that I am, I saw the title and I couldn't resist buying it. I kept putting it off because I was afraid this was going to be another hit and miss for me, like other books on this subject were.

I can't say I didn't like the book, because I'd be lying. There were some great parts that this book had, like the flashbacks from the past. I love it when an author manages to combine the present actions with past scenes and Raymond Khoury did that very well in my opinion. And the historical details were very well introduced in the book, though I feel that at times the history lesson was too much. The suspense, the not knowing what artifact is the one being searched was good. It wasn't about what it was, but more of to whom it belonged in the first place. Who was the first person who had that artifact, before the templars got hold of it.  I think that was an interesting question to answer.

The plot isn't new, it's not something you haven't yet read. It's very well told, but it's not new. The characters surprised me though, and not in a good way. It might be a stereotype, but aren't detectives supposed to be...well, detectives? I mean, Sean Rilley wasn't the detective he came across, he wasn't intuitive, he didn't manage to get inside the criminal's mind, he lacked that certain something that I believe detectives should have. Not to mention the fact that Tess manages to somehow become the boss in this little adventure. Tess would've been a perfect detective. And it's not because she has the historical knowledge to back her up, it's because she has the traits that Sean doesn't. Then there's the romance that develops between them that feels so premature to me and a bit unprofessional. I mean, they could feel attracted to each other and explore those feelings after the investigation is completed.

I think this is a book the readers of The da Vinci Code would enjoy.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Author: J. R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Rating: 4 stars
Blurb (from Amazon):

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them?

Finally, the waiting is over and I got my hands on this book. I can honestly say I devoured it.

Lover Unleashed is a bit different from the other books in the series. There are a lot of new characters, one of which I understand is from Ward’s Fallen Angels series – didn’t read it, but soon, very soon – characters that I can’t wait to learn more about. Unlike the previous books, we don’t get scenes from inside the Lessening Society and that makes me very curious about the whys behind this absence. Maybe we’ll find out in the next book.

I loved Payne. She’s so much like her brother, Vishous, and yet different in some ways. I think there are a few details that we have yet to find out, since we don’t know much about the time Payne spent in the human realm before she was imprisoned. I hope we’ll find out more in the future. But like I said, loved the character. She’s such a strong female, stubborn and proud. It’s actually a bit funny to see her and Vishous having an argument and see how he realizes that there is another creature on earth that’s just as stubborn as he is. I also think Payne has no idea yet what her powers are, but I’ll bet they’re totally different that her twin’s.

Manuel Manello is the hero in this book. If you’ve read the series, you might remember him from Lover Unbound. He was Jane’s boss. I’m happy we got to see him again. I liked his character then and I liked it even better now. He’s a great surgeon and he always tries to make things right, even the surgery might seem impossible to some. He’s also full of surprises. I’m very curious about how his character will develop in the series in the future.

Vishous broke my heart in this book. If I thought in his book I’ve learned everything about him, I was surprised. He and Butch went through a very difficult situation and you can see their friendship is the real deal. Some of V’s scenes were really heartbreaking, but I think he’s going to be a lot better from now on.

Another thing that I missed were the scenes from the past. I was really hoping to read something from Payne’s or Manuel’s past, but unfortunately, we get only one scene of that. Maybe in the next books we’ll learn more about their pasts.

If you don’t know who’s getting his/hers story told next, I’m not going to tell you. All I can say is I can’t wait for this next book and I know it will be a looooong waiting period, no matter when the book will come out. But I’m happy we’re finally getting this book and maybe we’ll get some answers to the questions brought out by Lover Unleashed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book review: Premier Jour by Marc Levy

Author: Marc Levy
Original Title: Premier Jour
Country: France
Rating: 5 cups

If you remember, in February I decided to have a little personal reading challenge to help me get out of the "I don't want to read" phase, Book Around the World. The first stop was in Italy, with Federico Moccia's Three meters above the sky.

This week's stop is France, with a very well known French author, Marc Levy. If his name doesn't ring any bell, you might have seen the movie Just like heaven, with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. This movie is based on Levy's first novel, If only it were true (original title Et si c'était vrai...), which I believe it was WAY better than the movie.

The novel Le Premier Jour (The First Day) was published in 2009 and it has a really interesting plot. An astrophysicist and an archaeologist team up and find a strange object inside a volcano, object that might change history as we know it.

Adrian, the astrophysicist, has one big dream: to find out where the dawn begins. He's just returned in England after a 3 year research project in Chile when he reconnects with an ex-girlfriend, Kira.  After they spend the night together, she leaves him, leaving behind a note and a necklace. After searching for her, he finds out she's in Ethiopia, conducting some archaeological research.

As an archaeologist, Kira wants to find out who the first human being was, how many years ago he/she lived and how different was he than what humans are nowadays. Kira is convinced that the answers to these questions can be found in Ethiopia.

When Adrian arrives in Kira's camp, he convinces her that the necklace she left him is very special and that they need to find out where it comes from and if there are other object similar to it. At the same time, a secret international organization that wants to make Adrian and Kira to give up their research and the people in that organization doesn't stop from anything, whether it's murder, bribe, lying or stealing. The people in this organization are convinced that humanity is not ready yet for the secrets that the fragments could uncover if they are brought together.

I think this book is a mystery of sorts, a romantic mystery, a genre that I think fits very well with Levy's writing style. What I love about Levy's novels is the fact that each of them has a lesson. For example, in another of his novels, My friends, my lovers (original title: Mes amis, mes amours), the lesson is that real friends are there for each other always.

The book is light, easy to read. The ending is kind of surprising, but that is because the book has a second part, The First Night (Le Premier Nuit) which I am currently reading.

I just hope someone will make it into a movie.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Review: Three meters above the sky by Federico Moccia

Author: Federico Moccia
Original Title: Tre metri sopra il cielo
Country: Italy
Rating: 5 stars


Last year in October, I saw a commercial on a Spanish television to an upcoming movie about two teenagers with different backgrounds and social statuses that fall in love with each other and the obstacles they come across. Now I've seen a lot of movies on this subject and it seemed like just another Romeo and Juliet story. Until I saw the guy's bike. When I saw that motorcycle I knew I had to find out more about the movie. And that's how I found out that it was actually made after an Italian book. I also found out that it had an Italian adaptation and a book and movie sequel. I decided to read the book after I saw the Italian movie on Monday.

My review:

The book's central characters are Babi and Step.

Roberta "Babi" Gervasi is a seventeen year old girl who's about to graduate high-school. Babi is the typical good girl from the upper middle class: she's always dressed properly, she has an acceptable boyfriend, she only hangs out with people with the same social status, she goes to a private school. The only wild spot in her life is her best friend, Pallina. Babi tries really hard to be the girl that her mother, Raffaella, wants her to be, even though part of her hates it.

When she meets Stefano "Step" Mancini, she sees him as the exact opposite of what proper means:  he doesn't come from a wealthy family, he's had troubles with the law, he doesn't have a degree, he doesn't have a job, he likes to party a lot, he's getting into fights whenever he feels like it, he likes illegal races.

At the same time though, Step is the one that makes Babi feel loved for who she really is, not for who she's supposed to be. He gives her the chance to be herself without judging her, even though she's not doing the same thing for him. She isn't able to accept the differences between them and she always tries to change him, make him "proper", acceptable.

The death of Step's best friend and Pallina's boyfriend, Pollo, changes everything. Pallina is suffering a lot and she finds it very difficult to be around Step, who reminds her too much of her lover. Babi and Pallina don't have much to say to each other anymore and that makes their friendship become weaker and weaker. Step suffers a lot because he considers himself guilty for the death of his friend.

Six months after the death Pollo, Babi tells Step that she's seeing another guy. Realizing that he lost her, Step decides to leave the country and go to the US to try and move on.

I thought the book was very good. And I liked the change it brought to the whole "first love" subject. Even though it might seem predictable, because you know that Babi will fall in love with Step and you also know that their love won't last because of their differences, it was still enjoyable.

I didn't like the fact that Pollo dies, because I think his love story was one that was meant to last a long time and because he was a fun character, a softer Step. Also, I  hoped that by the end of the book, Babi would become acting like a grown-up. But I guess that she thought that bad things happen when you're not acting properly and she got too close to tragedy and that scared her. And it made her fully embrace the lifestyle that was acceptable for her mother and for the people with the same social status as her.

I think it was a very good book, especially for a debut and I think I might try some of his other works.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book around the world Reading challenge

Last week, while I was at a bookshop near my house I realized I was into a "I don't know what to read" phase. I know what I have to read and what I want to read. But it's one of those phases when nothing appeals to you. So in order to escape this weird step I decided to try something new, something I've never did before: a world tour in books. I decided to read books written by authors that I've never tried before, from different countries/cultures.

So I started searching on the internet and I found this blog that holds a challenge like the one I had in mind. I may not be able to "visit" the whole world this year, but I think it's a start. It's sort of a "never-ending" challenge.

I'm going to post a list of the books I've read and their authors and countries of origin as I read them.

This week's stop was Italy. I had a lot of fun. I'll be posting the review later in the day.

What about you? What do you do when you enter a phase like this and what's your method to get out of it?

  1. Italy - Three meters above the sky - Federico Moccia
  2. France - Premier Jour - Marc Levy
  3. Russia - Casual - Oksana Robski

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4 cups

Blurb (from Abingdon Press):

When her comatose husband died in the ICU while on life support, the whispers about Dr. Elena Gardner began. Another death during her training puts her under suspicion. When the pattern is repeated in the hospital where she is attempting to start over, the whispers turn into a shout: “mercy killing.” What is the dark secret that keeps Allison’s lips sealed when she should be defending herself?

Despite her move to a new city, the midnight phone calls that started after her husband’s death follow Elena. Who is the woman who sobs out, “I know what you did?” What does she mean by “You’ll pay?” And what can Elena do to prevent it?

Two physicians, widowers themselves, offer support, telling Elena they know what she is going through after the death of her husband. But do they? And is it safe to trust either of them with her secret? 

 I just finished reading this book about half an hour ago and I must say I was impressed. Before I did the request for this book at NetGalley I asked myself a million questions about it. I was afraid this was some ER/House M.D. medical drama. I am really sorry I believed that. While it is a medical drama, it's also a mystery novel.

At the center of this novel is Elena Gardner. She is a few weeks before she completes her residency and will be able to start her own practice. Her husband, Mark, died a few months before due to a stroke, after being for two weeks in a coma. She's a very complex character. She's a very good doctor and she knows how to interact with both patients and their families. I also liked that she admitted her mistakes, when she made them. I think that in makes her look more...let's say human. Instead of the "I can never get it wrong" attitude that some doctors have, she realized she did a mistake and she accepted it. I liked that very much.

You can also tell that she really loved her husband and that his death was something that was really hard for her to deal with. She's almost scared to move on with her life, feeling that "her sense of security died with her husband".

Her "shoulder to cry on" is David. They met in the resident school and they've been very good friends ever since. He's the one that knows her better than anyone and the person she goes to when she needs an advice, a friendly face or just someone to eat dinner with. He also has very strong  feelings for her, but I think he waited for a sign that she was ready for his feelings. I think her decision to accept to move to Dainger was his sign and he finally tells her how he feels.

I really liked how the author managed to keep the mystery up until the last 30 pages or so of the book. I really didn't guess who the killer/stalker was. I liked that a lot and also the fact that it wasn't predictable to me.

What I didn't particularly like was the fact that the novel was a little slow at first. It didn't really bother me, I was just anxious I guess.

I liked the book and the author's writing style. And since I learned it's the third book in the series Prescription for Trouble I think I'll go hunting for the other books to read them.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: A Werewolf in Manhattan by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Author: Vicki Lewis Thompson
Blurb (Goodreads):

"Emma Gavin writes about werewolves, but that doesn't mean she believes in them-not until a pack of real-life New York weres decide to investigate the striking accuracy of her "fiction".

When Aidan Wallace, son and heir of the pack leader, tries to sniff out Emma's potential informant, he discovers something even more dangerous- an undeniable attraction to her."

My Opinion:

A werewolf in Manhattan is the first book of the series Wild About You by Vicki Lewis Thompson. I think it's pretty good for a start. Like with all the other series I've read, I was left with a lot of questions and way too few answers. I hope some of those questions will find their answers in the next book in the series.

I liked Emma. She's the girl next door. Maybe a little plain Jane. An ordinary girl with a talent at writing. But she's also witty, very curious, a loyal friend and daughter. I think her character was sort of fresh. Not the sex bomb I'd expected, which was really refreshing. I would've liked her to accept the whole "werewolves are real" part a little bit harder, but that's another story.

Aidan is... Well, he's a werewolf first. A very sexy one. A cursed werewolf, given his genetic little problem. He's the oldest son, which means that he has to take a werewolf female as a mate, not a human one, and become leader of the pack. I like that he stands up to his father in order to protect Emma. I really liked that.

One of the things that I didn't like was, as I said before, the quick acceptance of the werewolf concept. I wished Emma was a little bit skeptical. I know that she was forced to believe in this world, but I don't know. I was expecting something else.

The second thing that I didn't like was the quick ending. This isn't my first Vicki Lewis Thompson book, so I'm used to her writing style. But I felt this ending was a bit too rushed. I would've liked a scene with Emma and Aidan's father alone. See how they interact and how Emma convinced his dad she's trustworthy.

All in all, I liked the book. It could've been better though. I'm anxiously waiting for the second book in the series. Maybe we'll get to see more of Aidan's sexy brothers :P

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