2018 Classics Challenge!

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Hi everyone!  Today, I’ve got a super exciting post to share with you all.  For 2018, two of my blogging and reading goals were 1) read more classics, and 2) host my own event/reading challenge.  Well, I decided to combine the two, and came up with a 2018 Classics Challenge!  The goal for this challenge is to simply read more classic literature based off the prompts below.  There are eleven prompts, so that’s about 1 classic book a month.

I’m mostly a mood reader, so I’m not going to create a specific TBR.  Today, though, I’m going to explain the prompts a bit more, and give some suggestions for each category!

Please know, though, that I haven’t read all the examples I’m sharing with you all. For the most part, I’m simply going off of recommendations from people I know and Google.

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A Classic for your Country

For this prompt, I want you to read a book that is considered a classic for the country where you live, or where you are originally from.  For example, I’m from the US, so I would read a book that is considered an American classic such as…

  • The Great Gatsby
  • Little Women
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A Classic for a Country not your Own

For this challenge, read a book that’s considered a classic for a country not your own.  Some examples of this would be:

  • Anne of Green Gables is a Canadian classic
  • Great Expectations is a British classic
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian classic
  • Things Fall Apart is an African classic
  • Journey to the West is a Chinese classic

A Classic Written by an Author Whose Name Starts with the Same Letter as Your Name

It can be either your first or last name or the author’s first or last name, but for this challenge, read a book by an author whose name starts with the same letter as your name, or even better, if you can, share the same name as you!

So, for example, my name is Theresa, so I could read a book by T. S. Elliot, Thomas Hardy, or even JRR Tolkien or Leo Tolstoy.  I could also use my last name, which starts with an M. So I could read a book by Margaret Mitchell, A. A. Milne, or Mark Twain.

18th Century Classic

These next few prompts are pretty self-explanatory.  For this one, read a book from the 18th century.

Some examples:

  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Clarissa
  • The Vicar of Wakefield

19th Century Classic

Read a book from the 19th century, such as:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Frankenstein
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

20th Century Classic

Read a book from the 20th century:

  • 1984
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • The Bell Jar
  • The Hobbit
  • A Farewell to Arms

Modern Day Classic

For this challenge, you have a little more freedom deciding which book you would consider a modern day classic. To more clearly separate a 20th century classic with a modern day classic, I’ve decided anything from about 1980 and beyond is a modern day classic. You could even include a book that you think will be a classic in the future! Some examples:

  • ͏Li͏f͏e of Pi
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Color Purple
  • Harry Potter
  • A Monster Calls

A Classic Under 200 Pages

Read a classic book that’s 200 pages or less.

Some examples are:

  • The Outsiders
  • Animal Farm
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • Northanger Abbey
  • The Metamorphosis

A Classic Over 500 Pages

Read a classic book that’s 500 pages or more (I would recommend starting this particular challenge more than a week before the year ends. 😉).

Some examples would be:

  • Gone with the Wind
  • Les Misérables
  • East of Eden
  • Moby Dick
  • Great Expectations

A Children’s Classic

Read a book that is considered a children’s classic, such as:

  • Peter Pan
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Classic Freebie

For this last prompt, read any classic book you want. The choice is totally up to you and what you feel like reading!


I’d really love it if you all participated with me for this reading challenge! If you do decide to participate, let me know, and I’ll include a link to your blog in this post. For each classic I read, I’ll write a post and share which one I chose, and my thoughts about it.  Also, I’ll be using the hashtag #2018ClassicsChallenge. So, be sure to follow along and use the hashtag as well! 🎉


Thanks so much for reading! I’m looking forward to reading more classics, and I hope you are, too!


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Book Review | Gone with the Wind

18405Title: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Pages: 1037

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Classic

Published by: Macmillan Publishers (June 30, 1936)

Summary

Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea. A historical novel, the story is a Bildungsroman or coming-of-age story, with the title taken from a poem written by Ernest Dowson. 

Gone with the Wind was popular with American readers from the onset and was the top American fiction bestseller in the year it was published and in 1937. As of 2014, a Harris poll found it to be the second favorite book of American readers, just behind the Bible. More than 30 million copies have been printed worldwide.

Gone with the Wind

What I Thought

Gone with the Wind is a book that I have been wanting to read for some time. I know of so many people who adore this epic novel, and I wanted to see what my opinions would be. Let me just say that this book is so much more than just a romance novel! Honestly, this review isn’t going to be able to fully capture everything I have to say about it, because there’s just so much I could say that I don’t even know where to begin, but I’m going to try my best!

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The Unique Blogger Award!

The unique blogger

A while back I was nominated by Jade at Drink Coffee and Read Books to do the Unique Blogger Award tag!  Thank you so much for tagging me, Jade!!

THE RULES

  1. Share the link to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions they gave you.
  3. Nominate 8-13 other bloggers and pay it forward.
  4. Ask them three questions.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

I don’t know if this would necessarily be a surprise or not, because I’m terrible when it comes to unhauling books, but I have a lot of children’s books on my book shelves.  I’ve always been a really avid reader, and I still have most of my books from elementary school.  So I have popular titles like Nancy Drew and the Ramona books, but I also have lesser known books that none of my friends read, like Robin Kane and The Littles.

 
2. Can you leave a book series unfinished or do you have to own all the books and read them all?

I definitely can leave a book series unfinished.  That’s actually a struggle of mine.  I’ll start a series, and then never finish it!  One of my reading goals for 2018 is to actually finish/make progress in some of the many series that I have started and then never got around to finishing.

 
3. How do you think you would be described if you were in a book?

Hmm…What an interesting question!  Honestly, I’d probably be described as rather bookish and sensitive and appearing on the outside, altogether average.

For my questions, I think I’m just going to reuse these, because I really love the questions Jade picked out!

I TAG:

Reading with Jessica

Darnellouis

Beacoupbooks

Stacey Reads

The Orangutan Librarian

Hot Chocolate Confessions

Paperback Dreamer

The Past Due Review

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Thanks for reading!


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Top Five Bookish Resolutions/Goals for 2018!

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish, but is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

BOOKISH RESOLUTIONS AND GOALS FOR 2018

So, I’ve already shared some of my bookish goals for 2018, because of that, I’ve decided to only list a top 5 today. Now that 2018 is actually here, I feel like I have a lot more clarity of what I want to do when it comes to books and blogging! Okay, here we go:

1. Focus more on quality instead of quanity.

I want to focus less on the number of books read, and more on the quality.  There are a lot of large books that I’ve put off reading just so I can read and finish shorter books quicker, and I need to stop that.  If I want to read a short book, I should read it.  If I want to read a H U G E book, I should read it – and without worrying about how many books I’m completing.

2. Host my own event.

I’m super excited to be hosting my own Classics Challenge (which look out for the announcement later this week)! I don’t know if anyone will actually participate with me, but that’s okay.  I think it’ll be a neat experience either way, and it will help me complete my next reading resolution which is…

3. Read more classics.

In middle school and high school, I really didn’t enjoy reading classics.  However, now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve really come to appreciate them!  They sometimes take a little longer to read, but I really do enjoy many classics, and would love to incorporate more of them in my reading life.

4. Finish some series.

I have a really bad habit of starting book series, and then never finishing them!  So, in 2018, I want to actually finish, or at least make progress, in some of the many book series that I have started reading, but haven’t finished yet.

5. Bookstagram more.

I love the Bookstagram community!  It’s so much fun to take book photos, as well as to see everyone’s creative photos and love of books.  This year, I want to post more on my bookstagram.  In the past few months, I haven’t posted as consistently as I would like, and so I’d really like to change that.  I already have a few creative ideas I’m working on, and I just want that to continue throughout the year!


Those are some of my bookish resolutions! Tell me about yours in the comments!


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Top Ten Books I Meant To Read in 2017 But Didn’t Get To

top ten tuesday

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

TOP TEN BOOKS I MEANT TO READ IN 2017 BUT DIDN’T GET TO

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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I totally mean to read Crooked Kingdom in the beginning of last year, but then I got distracted by other books, and kind of forgot what happened in Six of Crows, so I just kept putting it off.  Not this year!  I’ve started listing to the Six of Crows audiobook, so my memory is refreshed.  I’m reading Crooked Kingdom in 2018!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

wayfarer

This is another I mean to read in early 2017.  I won a signed copy Wayfarer (2 actually…what are the odds that I would win 2 different giveaways of the same books?!), and so I had every intention of reading it.  I really don’t know what happened! I loved Passenger, so I’m sure I’ll love this book, too.

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

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I know why I didn’t read this book.  I had originally planned on reading this during the summer.  However, around July, I got hit with a huge reading slump, and the idea of reading such a large book just didn’t seem like a good idea.  So, I just kept pushing it off again and again.  Hopefully I will actually get to it this year! Not hopefully…I will!!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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Honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t get around to reading The Help in 2017.  I had every intention of reading it, and I just never picked it up.  I really would love to read this book in 2018!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so even though I didn’t get a chance to read Illuminae in 2017, I really plan on changing that in 2018!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

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The Borrowers sounds like such a fun and easy book to read!  I loved the movie when I was little, and I’ve always wanted to read the book, but it’s one I just never got around to as a little kid.  I found a copy at the library book sale last year, and so even though I didn’t get to it last year, I’m definitely getting to it this year!

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Reached by Ally Condie

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Honestly, I’ve been meaning to read this book since probably 2012.  I’ll probably have to reread the entire series before I can read Reached, but I still really want to.  I loved the first two books when I first read them, and I would just really like to finish the series.

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

Christy and Todd: The College Years by Robin Jones Gunn

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This is another book that I’ve really been meaning to read for years.  I really love the Christy Miller books, so I’m not sure why I haven’t read this one!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Every Day by David Levithan

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This is actually another book I’ve had since, probably, 2012.  I honestly forgot that I owned it for a while.  However, when people started talking about it becoming a movie last year, I was like, “oh hey! I have that book!”  So, talk about it really made me want to read it last year.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to it, but I’m definitely going to read it this year!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

the chronicles of narnia

I feel like The Chronicles of Narnia is such a classic, children’s series, but aside from watching the movies, it’s one I totally missed out on as a kid!  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a very winter-y feeling read, so I had every intention of reading it last winter, but I just didn’t get to it.  So, I’m trying again this winter!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 


There’s my Top Ten Tuesday!  After writing this, it’s very clear to me that I need to work on my TBR!  There shouldn’t be books that I bought from 2012 still on there. 🙈

Thanks for reading! Be sure to let me know which books you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to!


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December Wrap-Up!

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Hello! 2017 is over! Can you even believe that?!  We’re a week into January now, and I still have to keep reminding myself that.  I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas, or any other holiday, and just all-around great December.  I had a fun and festive month filled with family, celebrations, and lots and lots of Christmas movies!

When it comes to books and blogging, my December did pretty great!  While I would have liked to read a little more than I did, I still managed to finish 5 books, and I participated in Blogmas!

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BOOKS READ

– Journey Back to Christmas by Leigh Duncan (ebook) \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Skipping Christmas by John Grisham \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

STANDOUT BOOK OF THE MONTH

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This was a close tie with Gone with the Wind, but I chose The Afterlife of Holly Chase as the Standout Book of the Month, because I really did not expect this book to standout at all.  This book was so cute and festive and it had a lot of heart.  I ended up loving The Afterlife of Holly Chase way more than I intended.  I figured it would just be an okay read, but for me personally, I loved it and even listed it as one of my top 10 books of 2017!

BOOKS REVIEWED

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Journey Back to Christmas by Leigh Duncan \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

BOOK HAUL

First, I participated in The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa, and my Santa was the sweetest ever, and really spoiled me with all the goodies I received! If you want to know everything I got, check out my post here!  Just the books I got were: Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire!

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Then, for Christmas, I received 2 more books: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart and the Just One trilogy bind-up by Gayle Forman!

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MISCELLANEOUS

December was a really fun and active month for my blog! I participated in Blogmas, so I posted something every single day during the month of December (minus 2 days, that I just ran out of time).

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I continued my Countdown to Christmas series:

Blogmas Book Quotes

I shared some of my favorite holiday quotes:

And a few holiday recipes:

Blogmas Baking chocolate chip cookiesBlogmas Baking christmas bells

 

I also participated in 2 different readathons (even if I didn’t do too great)!

#ReadersCrossing | TBR & Wrap Up

The Holiday Adventure-A-Thon | TBR & Wrap Up

movie monday

The Movie Monday of the Month was Christmas with the Kranks!

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I also did a few TTT’s!

Some #AMonthofFaves

As well as some fun and festive book tags:

Also, I shared:

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My #TBTBSanta Unboxing

MSpecial Herbs

My Most Memorable Christmas Memories

top ten of 2017

My Top Ten Books of 2017

2018 goals

My 2018 Reading and Blogging Goals


That wraps up December!  It was such a great month for me, bookish and nonbookish.  I’m really looking forward to 2018, and seeing all that it has in store!

Thanks so much for reading!


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Book Review | The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

the life-changing magic.jpgTitle: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō, translated by Cathy Hirano

Pages: 224

Genres: Nonfiction, Self-Help

Published by: Ten Speed Press (Oct. 14, 2014)

Summary

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

What I Thought

I had seen people talk about this book for a while now, and I had always been intrigued, but I never picked it up, because I don’t typically read this type of book.  However, since Christmas, I’ve been in a cleaning mood, and, since I’ve been sick this week and haven’t been well enough to actually clean, I decided to check out the ebook from my library.  I’m really glad I did, too, because this book surprised me!

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What Cats Do Book Tag!

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Holly, over at Nut Free Nerd, did the What Cats Do book tag a while back, and it looked like so much fun!  For those of you that don’t know, I’m a huge animal lover, and actually own 4 cats.  So, I just had to do this tag!  I’ve included some pictures of my cats, too, because they’re too cute!


lucy.jpgPurr: As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

I’d have to go with Anne of Green Gables.  As many of you know by now, it’s one of my favorite books, and it just makes me so happy.  It’s a very character driven novel, and just such a relaxing book.

Sleep: What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

It pains me to say it, because I loved the rest of the books in the series, but The Kill Order by James Dashner was just so meh.  I didn’t even know it was possible for a book that had so much action to be so boring.

IMG_2722.jpgTwitch while dreaming: Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

I know I’ve dreamt of several books that I’ve been reading, but I think I’ve dreamed the most about being in Nancy Drew mysteries.  When I was younger, I remember dreaming about them all the time!

Seems to play nice…until the claws are out!:  Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

A certain plot twist in Insurgent had me s h o o k.  I remember I was reading it while I was babysitting (It was nighttime and the kids were already asleep, lol, I promise I’m a responsible babysitter), and I was so surprised and had nobody to talk about it to that I had to tell their dog. 😂

Cuddles: Which book character would you give a hug to?

I think Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief could really use a hug. The Book Thief is another of my favorite books, and the things that Liesel goes through just makes me want to hug her, support her, and be there for her.

Catnip: What’s a book that made you have warm and fuzzy feels?

There’s several books I could have chosen for this, but I’m going to go with What Light by Jay Asher.  It’s just a really nice story, it’s very Christmas-y, and it’s very heartwarming!  It’s one of those books that, by the time you turn the last page, you’re smiling, and just feeling emotional and happy.

IMG_2724.JPGCat breeds: Your favorite book(s)?

Well, I’ve already listed 2: Anne of Green Gables and The Book Thief.  I also love Matilda by Roald Dahl, the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, just to name a few.

Getting the cat: How did you find your favorite book(s)?

Anne of Green Gables: I discovered Anne when one of my assigned reading books was Anne of Green Gables.  I really adored the book, and always planned on reading the rest of the series, but being 10 years old, I got distracted and kind of forgot.  I rediscovered Anne in 2012, after I got my first Nook.  They had 6 of the books in a bind-up for $0.99, and I thought that was amazing.  So, I reread Anne, and fell completely back in love with the book and characters, and it’s been that way ever since.

The Book Thief: This was a book that I had had on my TBR for quite some time.  My grandma finally gave it to me for Christmas, and so I read it, and it quickly became a favorite.

MatildaI have always loved the movie for Matilda for as long as I can remember.  So, when I was, I think 8 or 9, my grandparents gave me the book for my birthday, and it’s been a favorite ever since.

Christy Miller: The Christy Miller books were actually my sister’s.  I started reading them when I was the same age as Christy in the first book, 14, and I really loved them.  My older sister, who isn’t really a reader, knew how much I loved them, so she just let me take her books.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: I saw this book at the library, and the cover was so creepy and intriguing, that I decided to read it for Halloween one year.  The book was so different and mysterious, and I ended up really, really loving the story.

Being in places they shouldn’t: Least favorite cliché?

I’m going to have to go with love triangles.  At one time, I thought they were really exciting (i.e. when I read the Twilight Saga back in 2009 #TeamEdward), but now they’re just so over done, and most of them aren’t even done well.  The only way I don’t mind a love triangle, is if it is done extremely well, and that very, very rarely happens.

IMG_2726.jpgThe good old cardboard box: Most underrated book series?

I have to say the Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore.  I read this series last year, and it was so good!  There was action, mystery, ballet, and romance (and no love triangle!) – pretty much everything I love in a book.  So few people have read this series, and it’s one of those book series that I just want to tell everyone about!


I hope you enjoyed reading this tag, because I had so much fun doing it!  I’d love to hear your answers!


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#ReadersCrossing Wrap-Up!

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Hello!  Today I’m going to share with you all how I did for the #ReadersCrossing readathon hosted by Aentee from Read at Midnight!  This was a super cute readathon based off of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and it ran from December 10th – 31st.  Unfortunately, just like during the Holiday Adventureathon, I didn’t complete all the challenges, nor did I keep track of my points like I had originally planned on doing.  December was just a busy month for me, and I didn’t read a whole lot. I did enjoy all the books I read though, so I can’t complain!

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I was working on the Natural row.  I finally finished Gone with the Wind for the Classics challenge square.

Then, for the challenge to read a book set in my country, I read The Afterlife of Holly Chase.

I also finished one of the extra, bonus challenges! The one I completed was taking a picture of one of the animals in Pocket Camp, reading.


That about wraps up how I did on #ReadersCrossing!  I look forward to doing more readathons in the future – especially when I have more time to actually read.

If you participated, let me know how you did during #ReadersCrossing.

Thanks for reading!


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Waiting on Wednesday

Waitingonwednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature started by Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming releases! 

Today’s pick is:

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)

Releasing January 16th, 2018!

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Synopsis 

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

There has been so much hype about this book lately, and I am so excited to read it and see what I think!  I’ve followed Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings for years, and they are both such sweet people.  Zenith sounds like there is going to be so much action and adventure, and I can’t wait to pick this one up!


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