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Readers Block

Have you ever had it? I don’t think it’s full blown drought because I have enjoyed reading a few bits here and there but I can’t seem to settle into reading anything at the moment. I have about 10 books that I have on the go at the moment, all of which *should* be books that I would enjoy but it’s the actual sitting down and getting in to it.

I’ve tried sitting on the sofa in front of the fire, reading before I fall asleep and / or when I wake up, when boredom strikes in the afternoon slump .. and nothing seems to be working. I start reading and then just get distracted or bored – not with the book but with the act of reading itself.

I know I need to get myself into a routine of sorts and ‘push’ through it asitwere, make myself read for 30 mins every day at a specific time and eventually it’ll come back .. I hope!

Have you ever suffered from this? Did it stop eventually? Any tips?!

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2018, Reading Challenge, Short Story

“Deal Me In!” Short Story Reading Challenge!

So as you know, I love setting myself challenges and I try to do this do extend myself into unchartered territory and to try new things (such as reading Les Mis)!

Another thing that I don’t have a huge amount of experience with is short stories.  I mean I have read many short stories, but not in any specific way and also not as part of a collection, so when I saw this challenge, I thought it would be a great way to experience more.

The details from the site:

What is the goal of the challenge?

To read 52 short stories in 2018 (that’s only one per week)

What is the purpose?

To have FUN and to be exposed to new authors and stories and maybe get in the habit of reading a short story a week.

What do I need?

1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories
2) A deck of cards
3) An average of perhaps as little as just thirty minutes of reading time each week

So, as previously stated, I don’t own many collections of short stories so may have to rely on some of the resources the challenge owner Jay kindly posted for us.

I think I will probably post monthly to update the stories that I have read and make it a ‘Last Saturday of the Month’ – Short Story Saturday thing .. but time will tell!

Either way, here is my list for 2018!

♦♦♦Diamonds♦♦♦

For Christmas, my brother got me “Uncommon Type” by Tom Hanks.  I have been wanting to read this for a long time and so look forward to being able to spread this out over time as I think I will love them!  There are 13 stories in the book with 3 additional pieces that are newspaper cuttings, which will not be included

♦A♦ – Three Exhausting Weeks

♦2♦ – Christmas Eve

♦3♦ – A Junket in the City of Light

♦4♦ – Welcome to Mars

♦5♦ – A Month on Greene Street

♦6♦ – Alan Bean Plus Four

♦7♦– Who’s Who?

♦8♦ – A Special Weekend

♦9♦ – These are the Meditations of my Heart

♦10♦ – The Past is Important To Us

♦J♦ – Stay With Us

♦Q♦ – Go See Costas

♦K♦ –  Steve Wong is Perfect

♠♠♠Spades♠♠♠

When I started reading Book Blogs and watching BookTube Videos, I quickly came across Jen Campbell who wrote “The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night“. There are only 12 stories in this book so I am leaving one as a ‘Wild Card’ which means that when I pick it, I can go in search of a story to read ‘off the cuff’ or one recommended by YOU!

♠A♠ – Animals

♠2♠ – Jacob

♠3♠ – Plum Pie, Zombie Tree, Yellow Bee, Purple Monster

♠4♠ – In the Dark

♠5♠ – Margaret and Mary and the End of the World

♠6♠ – Little Deaths

♠7♠ – The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

♠8♠ –  Pebbles

♠9♠ –  ** WILD CARD **

♠10♠ – Aunt Libby’s Coffin Hotel

♠J♠ –  Sea Devils

♠Q♠ – Human Satellites

♠K♠ – Bright White Hearts

♥♥♥Hearts♥♥♥

I love Jeffrey Archer’s writing and I have had “To Cut a Long Story Short” on my TBR shelf for some time so now is the time I can have a crack at it!  There are actually 15 stories in this collection so a couple will spill over into the ‘Clubs’ category .. which will be a mixture of all sorts of things!

(* = Based on a true story)

♥A♥– Death Speaks

♥2♥ – The Expert Witness*

♥3♥ – The Endgame

♥4♥ – The Letter

♥5♥ – Crime Pays*

♥6♥ – Chalk & Cheese

♥7♥ – A Change of Heart*

♥8♥ – Too Many Coincidences*

♥9♥ – Love at First Sight*

♥10♥ – Both Sides Against the Middle*

♥J♥ –  A Weekend to Remember*

♥Q♥ –  Something for Nothing*

♥K♥ – Other Blighters’ Efforts

♣♣♣Clubs♣♣♣

For me, this category is going to be a bit of a mixture; some from Jeffrey Archer (JA), some from “The Seven Deadly Sins: A Celebration of Virtue & Vice” by various authors (7DS) and some found on the internet.

(* = Based on a true story)

♣A♣ – The Reclining Woman* – JA

♣2♣ – The Grass is Always Greener – JA

♣3♣ – Sloth by Tod McEwan (7DS)

♣4♣ – Wrath by John Sutherland (7DS)

♣5♣ –  Envy by Ali Smith (7DS)

♣6♣ –  Gluttony by Martin Rowson (7DS)

♣7♣ – ** WILD CARD **

♣8♣ – Greed by Dylan Evans (7DS)

♣9♣ – Lust by David Flusfeder (7DS)

♣10♣ – Vanity by Nicola Barker (7DS)

♣J♣ – I’ll Be Waiting by Raymond Chandler (here)

♣Q♣ – I Go Adventuring by Helen Keller (here)

♣K♣ – Death in the SchoolRoom. by Walt Whitman (here)

 

So there you have it .. tune in throughout the year to see how I am getting on, and why not get involved yourself?!

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365 Commenting Challenge 2018

Writing blog posts is only half of the job of a blogger – another part of the ‘job’ is to support other bloggers by liking and commenting on their blogs.  Nori over at ReadWriteLove28 is running the 365 Commenting Challenge again this year and I thought it would be a great way to support other bloggers, meet new friends and generally be involved in the community a little more!

The twist is that the aim is not to comment 365 times, but comment on 365 different blogs!  This is a really great challenge and something I think that everyone should be involved with, particularly newish bloggers like me – what a fab way to get lots of comments and meet new friends!

Nori has made things a little easier but providing a great Spreadsheet for you to track your comments – at the moment here are only 226 blogs listed so I will have to find other blogs to comment on but with all the wonderful blogs out there, shouldn’t be an issue!

Do make a point of commenting on all of the blog posts you read?

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2018, Reading Challenge, TBR

2018 Beat the Backlist

OK, so I think we probably all have a bit of a TBR and I am no different!  I am really bad for buying bilks and never getting around to them.  There are several Book Challenges that take place throughout the year that help to cut your TBR’s down and I am taking part in a couple of them, including this one.

 

 

I thought I would use this one to cut down on the amount of ‘should have read this by now’ and ‘next in series’ books I have on my list.  I have initially selected 13 – one ‘new’ book for each month and a re-read.  I am not sure of the rules so will double check but may add more to this lust as the year goes on as I am pretty sure that I have forgotten some and also by reading these books, some will trigger another series book to add as well!

The books I have on my list at this time are:

  1. “Along Came a Spider” by James Patterson – this is a re-read as I try to catch up with the author!
  2. “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness – I started this a while ago – too long ago to remember it is will start it again. If I finish it, the third of the series will be added to this list!
  3. “Sepulchre” by Kate Moss – I read the first in the series when it first came out and LOVED it but never got around to reading the second – again I also have the third to add to this list!
  4. “Northern Lights” by Philip Pullman – I know this is the first in the series but I added this as it is abut time I read it!  I currently don’t have the other books in the series.
  5. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins – OK not a series but a books that I should have read by now, especially as it’s exactly the right kind of book for me!
  6. “Lifeblood” by Gena Showalter – I tried this series out on a whim and loved it and have been meaning to pick up the second, but just never got around to it!
  7. “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them: Screenplay” by J.K Rowling – I know .. I call myself a Harry Potter fan and I haven’t read this yet. Ugh.
  8. “The Slaughter Man” by Tony Parsons – Discovered this series last year and loved the first book so immediately bought the second … and did nothing with it!
  9. “Moon Over Soho” by Ben Aaronovitch – I read the first book a while ago now and the author has since released quite a few more. Can’t decide if I need to re-read the first ..
  10. “Angelopolis” by Danielle Trussoni – I ADORED the first in the series and bought the second immediately and never read it. I think I probably will read the first book again, mostly as I know I loved it and probably need to remind myself anyway!
  11. “Running Blind” by Lee Child – I have read quite a few Jack Reacher books but this is one that I never read so it’s about time I read it, especially as I am working my way through them all again!
  12. “Sins of the Father” by Jeffrey Archer – I’ve always liked him as an author but only discovered this series in 2017 when I heard the first one in Audible with the wonderful Roger Allam. Looking forward to reading this one!
  13. “Crocodile Tears” by Anthony Horowitz – I made real headway in the series in 2017 and so want to keep the momentum going and get towards the end of the series!

If you are reading this at some point int he future, you may want to take a look at my ‘Beat the Backlist’ Good Reads list to see how different it it ..!

Have you got a massive TBR list that need attention? What theme would you give it or would you just read the ones that have been on there the longest?

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The Alphabet Soup Challenge 2018

So this one is mostly quite easy in that for most of the letters, I can use the books I plan to read anyway in 2018 .. the challenge comes with those pesky Q, X and Z letters that will likely get left for last and then panicked about in December .. although I shall try hard not to let that happen!

There are some letters that I think I pretty much have sorted due to the fact that they are being used for other challenges that I am doing – it’s great we can use books for multiple challenges!

A – Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

B – (The) Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell

C – Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz

F – Fantastic Beasts and where to find them: Screenplay by J.K Rowling

G – (The) Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

L – Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

M – Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

N – Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

R – Running Blind by Lee Child

S – (The) Seven Deadly Sins: A Celebration of Virtue and Vice by Various Authors

U – Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

To see if I manage to read these and complete the rest of the alphabet, keep up to date here.

2018, Reading Challenge, TBR

Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-along

So one thing that you will quickly learn about me is that I love a challenge!  I cannot promise that I will complete them all in the time that I am meant to but as I mostly use them as a way to chose my next book, stretch my habits or just to read along with other people, I don’t think it matters too much!

I have never seen the Les Misérables show and got abut 40 mins into the most recent film before turning it off. Following that, I wondered if I could like the book and when I saw it on Radio 4 Extra as a Drama over a few hours, I gave it a go… and loved it!

So with that in mind, I wanted to give this challenge a go.  I found it whilst randomly looking for new and exciting reading challenges for 2018 and loved the idea of it – the chance to pace myself over the year as well as read it along with others seemed a great idea to me and so I immediately downloaded the reading schedule and bought the most recent translation of the book on my kindle .. and so am ready to get going!

I think that I will update my progress on a monthly basis – it may end up in my monthly roundup posts unless I decide something different!

I am really looking forward to seeing if I enjoy this and if it makes me want to give the film a second go .. and to see the stage show!

Have you ever read Les Misérables? What about reading a book a chapter a day for a whole year? Any tips?!

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2018, Reading Challenge

2018 Review Writing Challenge

One thing that I need to get better at is writing reviews.  I am terrible for being a perfectionist but really I haven’t had to write any for so long that it’s no wonder that I am out of practice!  I plan to get better at it and one way that I can help myself is to write more of them!

I found this challenge whilst stumbling around the net and thought it was perfect for me – I am not sure that I can commit to writing 100 reviews but would love to think I could .. I think I will start this one at 24 for this first year – 2 a month. I feel that is reasonable and means that I don’t have to write a review for every single book I read .. although I would love to think I will do lots more!

 

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