The Sunday Salon ~ Reading Can Be Such a Challenge!

 The Sunday Salon.com

Okay, I’ve been sitting back this last week and evaluating my last year in reading and blogging.  I’ve come to the conclusion that my mama was right, I need more organization!  LOL…  Seriously, I think I need to do a monthly proposed reading list and see how close I get, as opposed to a yearly one.  The yearly one ended up with me in the sprints for the first half of the year, then almost nothing from June through November, then sprinting to the end for the last six weeks.  I did actually make it to 75 books, with one to spare, even, but was it quality reading that way?  Some of the books I’ve read I don’t even remember, except what’s in my blog posts.

Which is another thing…  I used to think I was blogging reviews of books for other people to read, but I think I’m the one who has benefited the most from them.  I can look back to a book I read in 2008 and get an accurate feel for how I liked the book.  Sometimes, I don’t really even remember reading the book at all.  So blogging is as much for my benefit, if not more.

So, 2009 was my first full year of reading and blogging (In the Shadow of Mt. TBR began in June of 2008) and I tried to join a few challenges, to varying degrees of success.  First off, I completed the 75 book LibraryThing challenge, and I’ve already joined it for 2010 (The Kool-Aid Mom cracks the whip!).  I’ve also joined LibraryThing’s Books Off the Shelf challenge, a challenge to read books you already own *what a concept!*.  I’ve started out with the conservative goal of 35, but I think I’ll hit higher than that.  You can find my thread here, The Kool-Aid Mom’s Wet Dream of 35.

My reasoning for believing this will be a low figure is because I intend to clear out my intimidating stack of ARCs that have sat and loomed over my right shoulder for almost a year (before that, they were a smaller stack of books on the desk to my left, but after we couldn’t find the phone anymore, I decided to move it).  It mocks me, points out my failures, and never lets me get a moment’s peace.  So, 2010 is the year I will slay this beast once and for all!

**?**?**?**?**?**?**?*    Was that over the top?    *?**?**?**?**?**?**?**

And it is in this spirit of conquest that I have decided to join Teddy Rose’s ARC Reading Challenge 2010 at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time.  I’ve recently updated my ARC-alance Pile page to reflect where I am right now, and It’s a list of 65, which leaves me only 10 extra in the 75 books to play with.  Also, if I do the Manga Challenge again, then I’ll either go over the 75 (which is a good thing)  or I’ll have to take the manga’s out of the 10.  AND, I’m in the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge, which I signed up for 2 books, and it ends in June.  So, I’ll probably go over…. oh, crap!  forgot a book… fixed.  66 ARCs to read… you do the math on the rest of all that, I have a brain ache.

So, other challenges…

I read about Beth Fish’s What’s in a Name? 3 Challenge on BermudaOnion’s 2010 Challenges post and thought it sounded cute.  Basically, it works like this:

1 book from each of the following categories:

  1.  
    1. A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    2. A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
    3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
    4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
    5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
    6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

Making a total of 6 books for this challenge.  I’m going to try to get as many of them to overlap with my ARC challenge, but I’ve only gotten 3 that I can for sure make work:  The Crying Tree will fill #4, The Mysterious Receding Seas will cover #2, and Strange But True, America:  Weird Tales from All 50 States takes care of # 5.  I’ve been debating where “Father” counts as a title, since that’s not the man’s name, in which case I can read My Father’s Paradise for #3.  And would Spiced count as “A book with a food in the title”?  If I can slip those two in, then I just have to find a music term… WAIT!  The Organ Grinder‘s Monkey takes care of #6 😀

So what’d’ya think?  “Father” and “Spiced” count?

The Sookie Stackhouse Challenge continues through June 30, 2010, and is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  As it stands I still have my original TWO (so pathetic!) books to read.

  • Dead Until Dark
  • Living Dead in Dallas
  • And I guess I’ll go ahead and go for the Manga Challenge.  Mags will demand I continue to read Fruits Basket with her, so I might as well fill a challenge with it.  LOL, too bad I don’t have ARC mangas 😀

    The goal is to read a minimum of 6 mangas. There will be the odd prize throughout the year and bonus points if you manage to watch at least one anime film or 3 episodes of a series.

    Well, the bonus will help A LOT, since we’ve been watching xxxHolic (I’m dying to get my manga for it, but it got lost in the mail… boo!), Oh! My Goddess season 2, and plan to watch Negima, as well as a few other anime serieses… serii? just series? SHOWS.  lol.  And they watch Fruits Basket anime constantly, so I’m good to go on the bonus 😉

    Planned books at the moment:

    1. Fruits Basket volume 5 by Natsuki Takaya
    2. Fruits Basket volume 6 by Natsuki Takaya
    3. Fruits Basket volume 7 by Natsuki Takaya
    4. Ranma 1/2 volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
    5. Ranma 1/2 volume 2 by Rumiko Takahashi
    6. Vampire Knight volume 1 by Matsuri Hino

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    Okay, so in an attempt to start out this year a bit more organized, here is my planned reading for January (Subject to change at a whim, though I’m going to try to be stronger than whimsy 😉 )

    1. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan – This was the Barnes & Nobles First Look book sometime last summer or so, and I’ve been “reading” it since then.  Okay, so I’m trying a little harder to actually read it now, but still… every time I crack the spine a gazillion interruptions fly in.  I feel like Elias being annoyed by the bees.  And when I’m left alone, and it’s nice and quiet, I get about 3 paragraphs read before falling asleep.  I swear, I’m shocked I don’t have a permanent crease mark running down my face like a vertical hold pattern!  It’s a really cool book, I just seem to keep slipping into unconsciousness with it.
    2. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland – I got this book back in FEBRUARY as a LibraryThing Early Reader book.  FEBRUARY.  10 months ago.  I feel like I’m going to go to LT Hell for this, and it gets worse…
    3. The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green by Terra Wellington – A BONUS book in the February (or March, not sure anymore) LT ER round.
    4. The Blue Notebook by James A Levine – Won in the March batch of LT ER program.  This book thoroughly fascinates me and I’ve been wanting to read it… but just not done so.  Did I mention I have reserved seats for LT Hell?
    5. Holy Roller by Julie Lyons – Snagged in the April ER batch.  I don’t even look at the ER list at this point, because I feel horribly guilty for taking books that have sat so long, and other people never even get a book.  Yeah, I’m at the right hand of the MC in LT Hell.

    These are the ones I plan to get through this month.  You can see why they’re so urgent, as well.  If I get through these 5, I plan to read The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy and Strange But True, America by John Hafnor, as I have copies of these to give away.

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    Oh yes!  and don’t let me forget about Bloggiesta! Last year, I didn’t officially participate, but I did do a lot of the activities.  So this year I’m gonna throw my sombrero in the ring and partic-a-icpate.  This year’s event will be from January 8th-10th.  Here’s a quick description from the Maw Books Blog announcement page:

    Some of you may be asking what is Bloggiesta?  In short, it’s a blogging marathon.  An opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing.  Break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two!

    I’m gonna grab some tortilla chips and medium-heat salsa to munch along for the event, just to keep in the spirit of things.  Maybe I’ll even make Saturday here Taco Night… mmm… better yet, make my own taco casserole 😀  * homer drool drool homer drool *  ‘K, now I’m hungry.

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    Edited to add:  I solved my trouble with which books to put in the What’s In a Name?3 Challenge’s food and title title.  Since I’m doing the Manga Challenge, I’ll be reading Fruits Basket books and Vampire Knight, so those will cover the WIaN3 needed titles.

    Also, I’ve added another challenge to my reading for 2010.  I’m hosting it, as well, and that is The Welsh Reading Challenge.  I’m planning to read 12 books for that.  I’ve realized that if I get ALL my challenges done this year, I’ll have nearly 100 books read by the end of the year.  I can do it, but it’ll mean sticking to it all year and not getting bored, or distracted, or sidetracked, like I am prone to do.  The REAL challenge for me in 2010 will be to stick to my schedule and stick with it.  I think it’ll be good for me. 🙂

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    Sookie Manga Undiscovered Skanks Strike at Random!

     grave

    Okay, so I’ve decided to give in and join Beth Fish Read’s The Sookie Stackhouse Challenge.  It would seem that I’m going to buy the books anyway… lol, even though I told myself I wanted to wait to see if I LIKED the first book first, I went ahead and bought the second book.  So I’ll “goat head” as my mom always said,  and join the challenge.  There doesn’t seem to be any specific number for this challenge other than to read the books, so for now, I’ll just start off with the two on Mt. TBR.

     

     

    1. Dead Until Dark  
    2. Living Dead in Dallas

    I’ve also got True Bloodseason 1 in my Netflix queue, but I’m waiting to read the first book before getting them.  I may be a little late to this ball, but I wanted to be sure.  Funny, I’ve gone from scairt to join any challenges to being in five?  Does the CDC know how contagious reading challenges are?  What are they doing to help the victims?  😀

    manga challenge smallAnd, I found a Manga Challenge at Rhinoa’s Ramblings… Yay!  LOL.. Now, if you told me this time last year that, not only would Ibe reading manga, but that I’d be joining a whole challenge devoted to it, I would’ve quit reading altogether.  Funny how you can change in just a year. 

    The challenge is simple, just read 6 mangas in 2009.  I don’t know if graphic novels are included in that, but since it’s a manga challenge, I’ll just stick with them.  My list for the challenge is:

    1. Fruits Basket, volume 1by Natsuki Takaya ~ I’m almost done with it already, and I have volumes 2-5 coming in the mail.  I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and it seems the only book I can focus on right now,  so if I’m not careful, I’ll end up just reading them and ignoring all the rest of the books I’m suppose to read.
    2. Death Note, volume 1by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
    3. Psychic Academy, volume 1by Katsu Aki
    4. Naruto, volume 1by Masashi Kishimoto
    5. Vampire Hunter D, volume 1by Hideyuki Kikuchi and Yoshitaka Amano, which is still in the mail, but should be here today or tomorrow.
    6. Cowboy Bebop, volume 1by Yutaka Nanten, et al.  It’s not been mailed yet, and I’d actually requested it once before from PBS, but the person never sent it.  So we’ll see if it gets here this time. 

    I chuckled at the writing on the cover of Cowboy Bebop, “Done the Right (to left) Way!”  The one obstacle for Mags reading it on her own is the right-to-left, top-down, way you have to read it.  She’s making me read Fruits Baskets out loud to her.  AND I’ll be sooooooo glad to finally get through the mangas PAST the anime series.  Every other page she gripes how the show is better and the book’s inferior.  Bah!  I’ve been secretly reading ahead of her so I can enjoy it… shh, don’t tell!  I actually like the book better than the show, though, I admit, I read it with the voices from the show (and do the voices when reading it to her).

    Let’s see… what else….  Oh, I just got an email the publisher that I’ll be getting my copy of Undiscovered Gyrl, and I’m sooooo excited for that!  I’ll probably just drop everything and read it as soon as the packaging is ripped from it.  I don’t get this excited for specific books very often, the last one I read straight from the envelope was Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank!  Hopefully I’m not looking forward to it too much and the only way for it to go is down…

    And now, some random things from my digital camera:

    These are my gorgeous girls:  Gwen, 15, on the left, Maggie, 10, in the middle, and Sammi, 16, on the right
    These are my gorgeous girls: Gwen, 15, on the left, Maggie, 10, in the middle, and Sammi, 16, on the right

     

    Demure little Missy.  How could you ever say NO to that face :-)
    Demure little Missy. How could you ever say NO to that face 🙂

     and whether it’s the new computer, windows vista or IE 7, there are a few things that just aggravate the crap out of me.  For instance, those two pictures were a trial of patience to get them there.  It doesn’t want to let me SEE what I’m doing in HTML mode, it keeps flipping back to the top.  Some of the blogs won’t stay open for me to leave comments, usually the blogspot ones with the comment box embedded, so I’ve missed commenting on a couple, it seems to do it most to My Friend Amy‘s site.  And it seems to have an issue with doing the open IDs.  I keep having to re-enter “thekoolaidmom” in, until it finally decides publish.  Is this something IE7 related?  *growling sigh of frustration*