2013 Challenges

So for 2012 I only had one bookish challenge in mind and that was my goal for total books read. My original goal was to read 100 books in 2012. Unfortunately, I didn't quite make that mark.  I've decided I'm going to do a couple challenges for 2013, but none officially. I'm just going to do them for myself.  I'll be updating this post as I go along so I will be all organized and such come 2013 wrap-up time.

Challenge #1:  Read 100 books in 2013
-I'm going to give this one another go. I hit quite a few reading slumps this past year, but I have so many books I'm stoked about reading now that I hope that doesn't become a problem again.  I'll be following this with the meter on Goodreads and I'll also post it to my blog. 

Challenge #2: Attack of the To Be Read Pile
-We all have one.  Whether they're all nicely stacked in one area or haphazardly thrown on several shelves or overtaking your floor, you know what books I'm talking about. Those ones you just had to buy because you had to read them and yet there they sit collecting dust bunnies because another book caught your eye and in turn you had to have that one too. While there are many books I'm anticipating being published in 2013 that I will def buy right away, I need to start dwindling down my already owned to be read pile. It's getting a bit out of control. SO. My goal for this challenge is to read 50 books I already own. That will be half of the total books I hope to read in 2013. I totally feel this is possible. I just need to stop getting distracted by shiny, pretty and new.
I'm going to start a list here to update as I go along:
Off the (previously owned before January 1st 2013) To Be Read Pile:


Challenge #3: Re-read Rewind
-The reason I buy books and keep them and collect them is because I want to reread them. If I had no intention of ever rereading my books then I would get them all from the library or primarily use my Kindle.
My goal is to reread 13 books for 2013. I went ahead and made a list, which of course, is subject to change. I picked these for different reasons, many of them are some of my all-time favorites. Others I need to reread in order to finish up the series. And still others I want to read again before the movie adaptation comes out.

1. Poison Study (Maria V. Snyder)
2. Magic Study (Maria V. Snyder)
3. Fire Study (Maria V. Snyder)
4. Graceling (Kristin Cashore)
5. Fire (Kristin Cashore)
6. Divergent (Veronica Roth)
7. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
8. Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)
9. Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi)
10. Firelight (Sophie Jordan)
11. Paranormalcy (Kiersten White)
12. Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl)
13. City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)

Challenge #4: It's a Classic
-How many classics have I voluntarily read? That would be a big fat whopping zero. My hatred of classics was developed in school when I was forced to read, pick apart and attempt to understand supposedly great, poignant books of a certain time, that quite frankly I found to be boring, confusing, difficult to get through and just plain uninteresting. I want to be one of those people who likes classics and sounds intelligent name dropping these particular books. I figured now that I'm older and wiser and smarter (the latter two being quite questionable) I needed to give these supposed gems another go. This time around, however, I would be picking the ones that actually interest me.
SO. My goal is to read 3-5 classics in 2013. I KNOW I KNOW, it's a hefty goal I'm setting for myself. Go big or go home they always say.

My list of Classic possibles:
1. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)- So this book has been mentioned in several other books I have read and loved and I want to read for myself about Heathcliff and Catherine's escapades.

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)-  I keep hearing about this dude named Mr. Darcy and this dude-ette named Elizabeth Bennett, and I'm like what are they all about? And what's so great about this gal named Jane Austen anyways?

3. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)-  I'm not ashamed to admit that most of the reason I want to read this one is because of my love for the cover. And it sounds pretty darn interesting. And at only 180 pages I think it's pretty doable. Best not to overwhelm myself.
The Great Gatsby
4. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - I tried to block out most of my schooling from about 6th grade to 12th, but I hesitatingly tentatively remember having to read this for English Lit. And possibly hating it the least of any of the others. I remember nothing else but that. Eh. I'll give it another go.
5. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) - SO I figure this being a Children's Classic and all I shouldn't have too difficult a time reading it. I LOVED the movie adaptation as a kid so it will be interesting to see how the book compares.
Challenge #5: Catch-Up If you Can-Series

-I know many people who are with me on this one. All those series that you started and for one reason or another didn't get around to finishing or reading up until the latest book. I have at LEAST 10 series that I'm behind on. At least. So for this challenge I'm hoping to play catch up/finish a few. So. The books I hope to read for this challenge are as follows:
1. Caster Chronicles (Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl)
    -Beautiful Darkness (#2)   already own
    -Beautiful Chaos (#3)
    -Beautiful Redemption (#4)
2. The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare)
    -City of Fallen Angels (#4)
    -City of Lost Souls (#5)
3. Firelight (Sophie Jordan)
    -Vanish (#2) already own
    -Hidden (#3)
4. Paranormalcy (Kiersen White)
    -Supernaturally (#2) already own
    -Endlessly (#3)
5. Graceling Realm (Kristin Cashore)
    -Bitterblue (#3) already own
6. Divergent (Veronica Roth)
    -Insurgent (#2)  already own
7. If I Stay (Gayle Forman)
   -Where She Went (#2)  already own
Well I think that's quite enough challenges. I think they're all totally do-able. But let's be real here. I'm not a follow-througherer. Througher?  So if I can achieve 2 of these all will be well with the world.  



Just a quick check-in post. I had big plans for blogging in December. BIG big plans. Sadly, they did not come to fruition. I've been super busy with the holidays and work and visiting my NEW NEPHEW and such. Shall resume regular posting next week.  Christmas yesterday was actually pretty nice. I got a TON of books that I am so freaking stoked to read! Woop. I am going to attempt a vlog to do a Christmas book haul later this month. Attempt. Yeah.

Quick bookish update.

I'm currently reading both Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan) which is a reread  and also Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor and Oh. My . Geezus. Laini Taylor has done it again! SHE's amazing! I'm about half-way through Days of Blood & Starlight and it is JUST as incredible and emotional and brilliant as the first book. I've gotten to a part in the book that I'm really hoping will hopefully maybe possibly unbreak my heart just a little?? It could happen... IT COULD HAPPEN.. man.  I'm already calling it. Second favorite read of the year. First of course being Daughter of Smoke & Bone! EEEK.

On that note, I shall leave this post with some cuteness overload.

My new Christmas cherub nephew :)


Top Ten Tuesday: 2012 Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is....
Top Ten Reads of 2012
This year I read some INCREDIBLE books. I've limited my selection to 10 but there are def others that I would include under my favorite category for the year.
I'm not going to go into each book separately. They are all favorites because they are all amazing books.  Most importantly they all made me feel lots of feelings. They have it all. For each one,  I connected with the writing, the characters and the story. Each pulled me in and I didn't want to let go.
1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Laini Taylor)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

*** Days of Blood & Starlight *** (Laini Taylor)- This is an update, I finished this book after I posted this list. It is equal with the one up above. One of my favorite books in the history of forever (AFTER Harry Potter, of course)
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)
2. Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare)
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
3. Divergent (Veronica Roth)
Divergent (Divergent, #1)
4. The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson)
The Sky Is Everywhere
5. Slammed (Colleen Hoover)
Slammed (Slammed, #1)
6. Looking for Alaska (John Green)
Looking for Alaska
7. Summer series (Jenny Han)
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)
8. Under the Never Sky (Veronica Roth)
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
9. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
The Book Thief
10. Every Day (David Levithan)
Every Day

*EEEP! So while perusing other people's top 10 lists, I saw that I completely forgot about The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater!! This was DEF one of my favorite reads of 2012, so I'm adding it. I don't care if that makes 11, I do what I want!

11. The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater)
The Scorpio Races


In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

I bought a couple books, mostly because they're holiday- themed and I wanted some more books to read to get me in the Christmas mood.  I also FINALLY finished decorating my Christmas tree. It's been a two-week process due to lack of motivation. But now it's up and it's so purdy.

Links with take you to Goodreads.
Snowed In (Rachel Hawthorne)- This is a tiny book, I could easily get through it in an hour or two. I read about a third of it but I got a little annoyed with the writing so I've set it aside for now.
Decked With Holly (Marni Bates)- The cover for this one is super cute!
Let It Snow (Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle)- I'm halfway through this one and I LOVE it!  A PERFECT Christmas read!! Or if you're snowed in. 
My Christmas Tree:
I'm hoping to get lots of books for Christmas and to buy lots more books with money I get for Christmas so there will be a massive book haul after the holiday.


My Thoughts: Looking for Alaska (John Green)

Looking for Alaska

(Goodreads Summary)

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

My Thoughts:

John Green is a literary genius and this book a product of his exceptional mind. This is one of those books that hooked me in the first chapter. I absolutely LOVED it. This book is not to be passed up. It won an award for a reason (and I don't usually hold stock in those types of things).

This book is so funny! It contains so much laughter and humor, which is a big turn on for me when it comes to books. If you can make me laugh, you'll probably hook me in. I read this book at work on my breaks and actually had to stifle my laughter so the people near me wouldn't look at me like I was crazy.  There's one particular part involving a certain sexual act that had me CRACKING UP.

While there is a lot of humor, there's also some serious stuff in this book. Stuff that's real and raw and honest and dark.  The realism in the writing makes the story come to life.

The quirks and dialogue and relationships John gives his characters make them unique and interesting and easy to love. The writing is on-point and intelligent. The story itself was never dull. This book is amazing and one of my favorite reads of 2012.  Everyone should read it!

Favorite Quotes:
"....if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."

"It is worth it to leave behind my minor life for grander maybes."

Bottom Line: John Green lives up to they hype. As did this book. 5/5


Top Ten Tuesday: Newbie Love

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is:

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012
(These are in  no particular order)
1. Veronica Roth
Divergent (Divergent, #1)
2. Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
3. Markus Zusak 
The Book Thief
4. Colleen Hoover
Slammed (Slammed, #1)Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)
5. Jandy Nelson
The Sky Is Everywhere
6. Veronica Rossi
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
7. Jenny Han
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)
8. Morgan Matson
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
9. John Green
Looking for Alaska
10. David Levithan

Every Day
I'd love to check out your list, just leave your link in  my comments :)
Other Holiday posts:


Favorite Christmas Movies

Just like listening to Christmas music to get me in the holiday spirit, there are certain movies that invoke a special feeling in me around the holidays. Most of them I've been watching since I was a kid.  I love them all for different reasons and watch them every year around this time.

Without further ado..  here are my  Top 12 Favorite Christmas Movies:

1. Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- This movie is incredible, imaginative, emotional, brilliant and stunningly breathtaking. The setting, the characters, the story.  I wish I could play in Narnia's snow just for a day (without the threat of the White Witch of course) and have tea with Mr. Tumnus and visit Mr. and Mrs. Beaver...  and of course see Aslan and...   Yes. That would be quite a lovely Christmas present.

2. Harry Potter-  I'm not too sure why I associate Harry Potter with Christmas, but I do. These passages in the books and scenes in the movies have always stuck with me.  Christmas at Hogwarts? Yes please.

3. Home Alone- This movie has been a staple for both my brother and I. It's a tradition to watch it around Thanksgiving and again around Christmas. It's a classic in my book.  

(I can just hear that high-pitched girly scream right now...I mean I don't blame the guy. THERE'S A HUGE FREAKIN SPIDER ON HIS FACE!)
4. Bridget Jones' Diary- I watch this movie AT LEAST once a month, usually 5 times a month. It opens up during Christmas and it ends again with SNOW! It's a perfect movie to watch around the holiday's and it is sweet and veryveryvery funny and I love it so much.


5. Just Friends - Sure, I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy. So what? This one is also hilarious and cute and funny and awesome.
6. Love Actually - Now for a movie that makes me cry. This movie involves a lot of different stories around Christmas time that all intertwine and connect in someway. LOVE it. Here's one of my favorite parts that makes me sniffle:

7. The Family Stone- Oh man. Funny, heartwarming, heartbreaking. 
8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- This is my very favorite old Classic Christmas film. I've actually just watched this one last week. It's such a feel-good story.
9. The Santa Clause - Love Tim Allen. Love this movie.
(This movie is in color in case you didn't know)
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas- Sure. Some may argue that this is a Halloween movie. But I say NAY! First off it has Christmas in the title and it has Sandy Claws and Jack dresses up like Santa and takes toys to kids (albeit homicidal toys) but that matters not I say! Halloween or Christmas, this movie has something to enjoy for both holidays! Still don't believe me? What's This?
What's This??     
11. Eight Crazy Nights - An animated Adam Sandler film involving both Hanukkah and Christmas.It's rude, crude and very funny with lovely musical numbers. And potty humor. Who doesn't like potty humor?  NOW for Davey's song:

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Does this film really need an explanation? If you don't like this movie perhaps YOUR heart is three sizes too small.



Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Santa...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Check em out. They rock AND rule.

This week's topic is...                                       

Top Ten Books I Want Santa to Bring Me:
1. Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
2. Crewel (Gennifer Albin)
Crewel (Crewel World, #1)
3. Black City (Elizabeth Richards)
Black City (Black City, #1)
4. Grave Mercy (Robin LaFevers)
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
5. Twilight The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 (Stephenie Meyer, Young Kim)
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 (Twilight: The Graphic Novel, #1)
6. Lips Touch: Three Times (Laini Taylor)
Lips Touch: Three Times
7. Obsidian (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Obsidian (Lux, #1)
8. The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories (M.Stiefvater, T. Gratton, B. Yovanoff)
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories
9. Second Chance Summer (Morgan Matson)
Second Chance Summer
10. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Jennifer E. Smith)
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
AND that's just a very small portion of my list for Santa. Leave me a comment if you want and I'll check out your list :)