#TheReadingQuest Sign-Up Post & TBR

Hi there!  I’m not sure if you know, but Aentee from Read at Midnight does THE MOST epic readathons.  I was pretty bummed to miss out on the Harry Potter themed one earlier this year, and when I saw #TheReadingQuest, I just knew I HAD to sign up.

#TheReadingQuest runs from 13 August to 10 September, and this sign-up post sets out all of the rules.  Basically you choose a path, either Knight, Mage, Bard or Rogue, and read books for the challenges on that path before choosing a new path to proceed on.  The boxes in the middle are side quests, and can be read at any time.  As the quest goes on, you earn points for meeting various milestones.  This is a VERY simple explanation, and if you have any questions I highly recommend you direct them to Aentee via the sign-up post.  BTW, shout out to CW at Read Think Ponder for her AH-MAZING artwork, it’s so cool!

I’ve chosen to start out on the Knight path and I’m using this as an opportunity to read books I already own and get through some of my series.  While I’m going to be on holidays for the last two weeks of the readathon, I’ve set a TBR for pretty much all of the challenges and unsurprisingly it’s overly ambitious.  It’s not 100% set in concrete, and I might change what I read as the readathon goes on, but for the most part these are the books I hope to read:

KNIGHT PATH:

The first book in a series: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
A book with a verb in the title: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
A book with a weapon on the cover: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
A book with a red cover: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
A book that has a TV/movie adaptation: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

BARD PATH:

A book that has a TV/movie adaptation: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
A fairytale retelling: Hunted by Meagan Spooner
A book cover with striking typography: The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
A book translated from another language: Spring Awakening by Franz Wedekind
A banned book: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

ROGUE PATH:

A banned book: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
A book cover with a partially obscured face: By Your Side by Kasie West
A book with <500 ratings on Goodreads: My First Lesson: Stories Inspired by Laurinda by Alice Pung
A book published by a small press: Night Swimming by Steph Bowe
A book with a one word title: Laurinda by Alice Pung

MAGE PATH:

A book with a one word title: Laurinda by Alice Pung
A book that contains magic: The Royal Tour by Amy Alward
A book based on mythology: The Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan
A book set in a different world: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The first book in a series: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

SIDE QUESTS:

Potions: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
Multiplayer: TBD
Grind: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Time Warp: Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Open World: TBD
Respawn: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Expansion: TBD
Mini-Game: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Animal Companion: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

We’ll see how that goes!  I’ll be happy if I can at least get the Knight and Mage Paths done, along with some Side Quests.  If you’re participating, best of luck!

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Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge Monthly Topic ~ January: Ten Most Anticipated Romances for First Half of 2016

contemp-romance-challenge-button-2016-sm_zpszhqwfajv

You might remember that I’ve signed up for the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge for 2016.  The challenge is also hosting Monthly Topics, so we can share our love of contemporary romance with all of you 🙂 January’s topic is Ten Most Anticipated Romances for First Half of 2016.

Ten Most Anticipated Romances for First Half of 2016

The Unexpected EverythingSummer Days and Summer NightsWicked Sexy LiarWhen We CollidedThis Raging Light
Even if the sky fallsWanderlostIn Real LifeThe Love that Split the WorldThe Year We Fell Apart
  1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  2. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
  3. Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren
  4. When We Collided by Emery Lord
  5. This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
  6. Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
  7. Wanderlost by Jen Malone
  8. In Real Life by Jessica Love
  9. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
  10. The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

What about you, what are your ten most anticipated romances from the first half of 2016?

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2016 Reading Challenges ~ Sign Up Post!

2016 Reading Challenges

I can’t believe it’s already 2016, where does the time go?  With the new year comes new reading challenges, and I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.  I had a great time doing the reading challenges I signed up for last year, which I’ll recap sometime soon, and I wasn’t going to miss out this year!  If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of all the reading challenges for 2016, you can find a compilation on A Little Reading as complied by JLS Hall. Here are the challenges I’ve signed up for so far for 2016…

Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Bernadette (The Bumbling Bookworm) has
read 0 books toward her goal of 75 books.
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Every year I set a target on Goodreads of what I plan to read, and most years I freak out and don’t get anywhere near my target.  Well not last year!  Last year I smashed my target of 50 books, reading 83 books by the end of 2015.  The trick for me is not to set the bar too high, that way if I start to fall a bit behind I won’t freak out and fall WAAAAY behind, like I have in the past.  This year I’m aiming to read 75 books, which I think is doable 🙂

12 Month Classics Challenge 2016

The 12 Month Classics Challenge 2016 is hosted by Lois at You, Me and a Cup of Tea.  Each month has a theme, and hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have read at least 12 classics, one per month.  That’ll be 12 more than last year!  Hence why I’m doing this challenge – I used to love reading classics, and I think I just need a bit of motivation to prioritise them a bit.

2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I looked at a lot of TBR Pile reading challenges before settling on this one, hosted by the lovely ladies at Bookish Lifestyle.  This challenge has levels that you can aim for, and I’m going to aim to read 11-20 books (A friendly hug!) from my bookshelf purchased and released pre-2016.  This challenge also has a book club associated with it, running every second month, which I hope to join in on.  The book for January is Pivot Point by Kasie West for anyone interested!

Contemporary Romance 2016 Reading Challenge

Contemporary romance is my jam, my all time favourite!  That’s why I knew I just HAD to sign up for this challenge, hosted by Jess of Gone with the Words and Danielle of Love at First Page.  I’ve chosen 3rd base as the level I’m going to aim for, which equates to 11-15 books.  I actually wouldn’t be surprised if I smashed that out of the park, but I’ve learnt to to put too much pressure on myself with these challenges.

Re-Read Challenge 2016

I participated in this challenge last year, and while I did a great job re-reading, I didn’t do such a good job keeping up with the rest of the challenge’s requirements.  This year, I plan to do better!  Hosted by Belle of the Literati, I’ve set my target at 15 re-reads for 2016.

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2016

I branched out into a lot of fantasy last year, and I thought this challenge would be a nice way to continue that.  The challenge is hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly, and I’ve chosen to aim for 15 books.  There’s a lot of books coming out this year that would fit into this quite neatly, I can’t wait to read them!

The 2016 Bookish Bingo Challenge

2016bbchallengeheaderEdit 17/1 – I’ve now signed up for this challenge too!  It sounds like a lot of fun, reading different books to get a bingo and hopefully the whole card.  Standard bingo ruls apply and each square has a theme for a book to read.  Hosted by The Girly Geek Blog, I can’t wait to get started on this one.

A – Z Challenge 2016

This is the third year in a row where I’ve done this challenge, and I love it.  Hosted by the Young Adult Book Club group on Goodreads, this challenge runs all year and the premise is incredibly simple.  I simply have to read 26 books, one for each letter of the alphabet, and the letter can come from the first letter in the book’s title (omitting ‘the’ and ‘a’) or the first letter from the author’s first name or surname.  Q, X and Z can be found anywhere in the title or name and 50% of the books must be YA.  It’s great fun trying to make it all fit 🙂

Quarterly Challenge #20

Another challenge run by the Young Adult Book Club, however this challenge runs from December 1 to February 28.  To complete this challenge, I have to read 10 books with each book matching a specific theme.  So far I’ve already checked off 3 books!  I’ll probably sign up to do more of these quarterly challenges as the year goes on.

Australian YA Bloggers and Readers Book Club Challenge

Technically I haven’t signed up for this challenge yet, because it hasn’t started yet.  However, I’m mentioning it now because once sign-ups are available, I will definitely be signing up.  I had a blast doing this challenge last year, and my reading numbers drastically improved as a result.  I’m not quite sure what the format will be this year, but you can read all about last year’s challenge themes and rules if you want to find out more.

Edit 17/1 – This challenge is now open, read more about it here!

There you have it, those are my reading challenges thus far for 2016.  I’ve got a diary ready to go to track my progress and I’m pumped!  It’s all very exciting 🙂

Have you signed up for any challenges?  Any other challenges I should know about?

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#ReRead2015 February Recap

As you know, I’m doing The ReRead Challenge hosted by the wonderful Belle of the Literati and amazing So Obsessed With!  As the title suggests, this challenge is all about the reread and I’ve challenged myself to reread 20 books this year. Well, February is over and it’s time to recap what I reread last month!

1.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (review)
2.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (review)
3.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (review)
4.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
5.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Needless to say, I tore through these books.  I read Goblet of Fire through to Deathly Hallows in a week.  A WEEK.  That’s 2616 pages in the space of a week, when I still did all the normal things: I ate, slept, worked, watched TV, exercised, socialised, etc…  What can I say, I was hooked!

I also posted reviews for Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets.  Between January and February, I’ve now reread 7 books – that’s almost half of my challenge!

What about you, have you been rereading?

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#ReRead2015 Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

#ReRead2015 Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #5
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on June 21st 2003
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 766
Also by this author: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
Book Depository
Goodreads

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...

***This review will be spoilery, so I’d avoid it if you haven’t read Harry Potter before***

What I Thought…

WHEN I First Read

I read this the same day it was released, on 21 June 2003, and I had to wait until I finished work at 4pm to start it… I still remember the injustice of it all!

WHAT I Remember

This book has one of my favourite innocuous little scenes in it, I still remember cracking up at it.  It’s in the beginning, when Harry is listening to the news outside under the windowsill.  The Dursleys freaking out and questioning him, his comment that the news changes every day, I loved it!  I remember hating Umbridge with a PASSION, stupid cow, and my feelings towards Dumbledore weren’t all that friendly.  Much like Harry, I wasn’t too pleased that he was seemingly ignoring him.

This book certainly pleased me with all it’s Sirius goodness, but I remember bawling my eyes out at the end.  I had to read the bit with the veil several times over, much like Harry I couldn’t believe that he was gone.  So sad!

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

Much like the rest of the series, I hadn’t read it for a long time, at least eight years.  I think we can all agree that that’s just not good enough!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

Gosh, Harry’s an angry little bugger, isn’t he?!  I’d forgotten just how angst Harry was in this one, I was a bit surprised that it went on for so long.  My feelings after reading this were fairly similar to the first time around: I hated Umbridge, I loved Sirius, Dumbledore made me cranky and the Dursleys made me laugh 🙂

It amazes me that even though I know it’s coming, Sirius’ death still gets me every time!  Again, I reread that scene with the veil over and over, in the hopes it would somehow change!  Newsflash Bernadette, no matter how much you Sirius to survive, it ain’t gonna happen 😀

The prophecy also didn’t feel so abstract to me this time around; the first time around I knew it was a big deal, but I didn’t know just how BIG a deal it was.  Nor how selective Dumbledore was being with his information, that wily rascal!  I certainly paid a lot more attention to it, and carefully read that part a few times.

WOULD I Re-Read Again

Yes, Yes, Yes, 1000000000000 times Yes.

What did you think of this book?  Did you enjoy it?

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