reading challenges 2018


1. Tell us how many miles you made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you’ve planted your flag on the peak, then tell us, take a selfie, and celebrate (and wave!). Even if you were especially athletic and have been sitting atop your mountain for months, please check back in and remind us how quickly you sprinted up that trail. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting book adventures you’ve had along the way.

I managed to reach my goal of Mount Blanc or 24 books near the end of December. While most of the books were two or three stars, I gave four stars (from five) to seven books:

Lee Killough: Deadly Silents
Set on an alien planet where the original inhabitants are telepathic.

Max Gladstone: Three Parts Dead
A new author and series for me. I will continue with it.

Kerri L. Hughs, ed.: Fiction River: Alchemy and Steam
Another wonderful short story collection. This one focuses on steampunk and magic.

Elizabeth Peters: The Serpent on the Crown
I love the Amelia Peabody historical mystery series and it was a treat to visit “old friends.”

Patrick Weekes: The Prophecy Con
Patrick Weekes: The The Paladin Caper
Books two and three in a fantasy trilogy which is essentially Ocean’s 11 in a fantasy world.

James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War
The second book in the excellent Expanse science fiction series.

And of course N. K. Jemisin: The Stone Sky which is an excellent ending to a great (if grim) series. I gave it full five stars.

Thanks very much for hosting, Bev! I’m joining the challenge again in 2019 because I still have lots of books on my shelves.

Oh my goodness! Where does the time go? Last I checked, September was just starting….and now it’s gone and it’s time to get the third quarterly checkpoint up and running. Let’s see how our challengers are doing after they’ve got 9 months under the ol’ mountain-climbing belt.

For those who would like to participate in this checkpoint post, I’d like you to do two things:

1. Tell us how many miles you’ve made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you’re really ambitious, you can do some intricate math and figure out how the number of books you’ve read correlates to actual miles up Pike’s Peak, Mt. Ararat, etc.

I’ve read 21 books so I’m actually one book ahead of my goal of Mount Blanc’s 24 books!

2. Complete ONE (or more if you like) of the following:
A. Who has been your favorite character so far? And tell us why, if you like.

It’s so hard to choose just one. 🙂 I’ve read so far two Elizabeth Peters books which have a cast of really great characters, including Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson. Also, I rather like the thieves in Patrick Weekes’ heist crew. And of course Batman is one of my favorite superheroes, although the book, Ultimate Evil, wasn’t my favorite.
But since I need to pick just one, I’m going with Dana Scully in the X-Files tie-in Ruins. For a long time she’s been one of my favorite characters because of her determination and loyalty.

B. Pair up two of your reads. But this time we’re going for opposites. One book with a male protagonist and one with a female protagonist. One book with “Good” in the title and one with “Evil.” Get creative and show off a couple of your books.

Kenneth Oppel: Airbornis written from the first-person point-of-view of Matt Cruise, a teenaged male. Penny Warner: Dead Body Language is written from the POV of Connor Westphal, an adult deaf woman.

Another pairing is Andrew Vachss: Batman: the Ultimate Evil and Patrick Weekes: The The Paladin Caper for evil and (supposed) holy warriors, the paladins.

It’s time for the second mountaineering check point for the Mount TBR challenge:

So….the beginning of July came and went in a Montana-vacation-blur and then my laptop died. Finally got it back today and now I realize that the year is half-way over….Wait! What? How did that happen so quickly? I must have lost track of time just concentrating on the mountain trail ahead of me. But–it’s that time again. Your mountaineering guide is calling for a second quarterly check-in post. Let us know how your climb has been so far. Seen any mountain goats? [I saw some in Montana!] Any particularly pretty wildflowers? How about the abominable snowman? For those who would like to participate in this checkpoint post, I’d like you to do two things:

1. Tell us how many miles you’ve made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you’re really ambitious, you can do some intricate math and figure out how the number of books you’ve read correlates to actual miles up Pike’s Peak, Mt. Ararat, etc. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting adventures you’ve had along the way.

I’m going for 24 books but I’ve only completed 12 and reading the 13th, so I’m still two books behind. But I’m determined to catch up before the next checkpoint. I just need to stay away from shiny new books…

2. Complete ONE (or more if you like) of the following:

A. Choose two titles from the books you’ve read so far that have a common link. You decide what the link is–both have strong female lead characters? Each focuses on a diabolical plot to take over the world? Blue covers? About weddings? Find your link and tell us what it is.

Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn and Russell Blake’s Fatal Exchange are both first in a series books from new-to-me authors. I also don’t intend to continue either series. I rather enjoyed Fatal Exchange which is a modern-day thriller set in New York, but I didn’t like the characters enough to continue. Airborn is set in a luxury airship and is steampunk. It also a YA book which I didn’t realize at the time I bought it.

B. Tell us about a book on the list that was new to you in some way–new author, about a place you’ve never been, a genre you don’t usually read…etc.

I’ve got four new-to-me authors in this batch. But the most different one was Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda. It was first published in 1894 is an old-fashioned swashbuckling adventure. It’s been filmed several times, but I’ve haven’t seen any of them yet. It’s set in an imaginary country of Ruritania in Europe. I think this was one of the first time (if not the first) when a story is set in an imaginary European country and that trend is still going on today, for example in various superhero comics and movies (for example, Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron).

C. Which book (read so far) has been on your TBR mountain the longest? Was it worth the wait? Or is it possible you should have tackled it back when you first put it on the pile? Or tossed it off the edge without reading it all?

From my BookMooch records I can see that I mooched Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda in 2009 so out of these books that has probably been in my tbr the longest. I enjoyed it, so I probably should have read it sooner but I’m glad I’ve read it now.

This year I want to read more of the books I already own and to make me do that, I’m joining Mount TBR reading challenge by My Reader’s Block Blog.
Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

And the rules:
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you’re on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade. All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2018.

*You may sign up anytime from now until November 1st, 2018.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2018. No library books. If you’re looking for a library book challenge or one that counts books on your non-owned TBR list, then there may be challenges out there that do that. This one does not.

I’m choosing a light start with 24 books, Mount Blanc, but I’m hoping to increase the goal later this year. At first, I was only going to include print books, even though I have a lot of ebooks and ebook collections which have been waiting for… years in some case. However, I’m also going to include ebooks from Storybundle.com’s bundles because then it’s easy to remember when I bought them and how long they’ve been waiting.

Hopefully, some of my books in this challenge will cross-over with the action heroine challenge but we’ll see.

Happy reading, everyone!
Books read:
1, Andrew Vachss: Batman: the Ultimate Evil
2, Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey: Catwoman
3, Kerri L. Hughs, ed.: Fiction River: Alchemy and Steam
4, Robert Van Gulick, translator: Celebrated cases of Judge Dee
5, Kenneth Oppel: Airborn
6, Anthony Hope: The Prisoner of Zenda
7, Elizabeth Peters: The Serpent on the Crown
8, Russell Blake: Fatal Exchange
9, N. K. Jemisin: The Stone Sky
10, Vincent Zandri: Chase Baker and the Golden Condor
11, Kevin J. Anderson: X-Files: Ruins
12, Carolyn Keene: Vanishing Act (Nancy Drew files #34)
13, Lee Killough: Deadly Silents
14, Carole Nelson Douglas: Catnap
15, Kevin J. Anderson: Alternitech
16, Elizabeth Peters: Guardian of the Horizon
17, Penny Warner: Dead Body Language
18, Max Gladstone: Three Parts Dead
19, Patrick Weekes: The Prophecy Con
20, John Vornholt: Crossfire
21, Patrick Weekes: The The Paladin Caper
22, Nancy A. Collins: Right Hand Magic
23, Bob Mayer: The Rock
24, James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War

I’m going to join the 11th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga reading challenge for this year, too, with the goal of Bronze Age, 24 reviews. The challenge has moved to a Facebook page.

What counts: graphic novels, collected trade editions, manga, comic strip collections, comic books or combinations of text and bubbles all in the same book. In print or digital. Anything else you feel is suitable. My personal criteria are if it has either frames OR speech bubbles it counts. I also feel many picture books and zines fall under this criteria as well. I’m not going to be the comic police but if you are unsure, ask me in the comments any time.

You must write a review and link to it for it to count towards the challenge. Reviews may be posted on your blog or goodreads or similar places. Several reviews may be gathered and posted in one link on your blog, but each book must be linked here to count. Do not post your actual review here on the group.

Here is how the Challenge plays out: runs from Jan.1 – Dec. 31, 2018

Levels

Modern Age: read and review 12 books during the year (that’s only 1 book a month)

Bronze Age: read and review 24 books during the year (Can you handle 2 books a month.)

Silver Age: read and review 52 books during the year (Are you up to a book a week!)

Golden Age: read and review 104 books during the year (Are you addicted? 2 books a week!)

I have a stack of Birds of Prey albums and individual comics to start with. I think I’m going to continue with the Astro city albums but we’ll see.

Comics read:
1, Birds of Prey vol. 2
2, Birds of Prey vol. 3: The Hunt for Oracle
3, Birds of Prey vol. 3: Of Like Minds
4, Birds of Prey vol. 4: Sensei & Student
5, Birds of Prey vol. 5: Between Dark and Dawn
6,Birds of Prey vol. 7: Perfect Pitch
7, Black Widow vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most wanted
8, Star Wars: Shattered Empire
9, Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter
10, Birds of Prey 10: Club Kids
11, Star Wars: Princess Leia
12, World War Hulk
13, All-New X-Men vol. 1
14, All-New X-Men vol. 3: Out of their Depth
15, Spider-Island: Warzones
16, X-Men: Legacy: Salvage
17, Uncanny Avengers vol. 1: Counter-evolutionary
18, X-Men: Schism
19, All-New X-Men vol. 4: All-Different
20, Batgirl: Greatest stories ever told
21, Batgirl vol 1: the Darkest Reflection
22, Batgirl vol 2: Knightfall descends
23, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 1
24, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 2
25, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 3
26, The Flash by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar
27,

I’m going to join the Pick&Mix reading challenge for this year, too, with the goal of 20 books.

Since I’m also going to join Mount TBR challenge, for my print TBR books, I’m going to gather all the other books to Pick & Mix. Print books from library, or bought this year, audiobooks, and ebooks. Many, if not most of them, will be continuing series.

Books read:
1, Curtis Craddock: An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
2, Jennifer Foehner Wells: Fluency
3, R. E. Stearns: Barbary Station
4, Elizabeth Moon: Marque and Reprisal
5, Robert Jackson Bennett: City of Miracles
6, Steven Brust: Vallista
7, Mercedes Lackey: Beauty and the Werewolf
8, Madeline Miller: The Song of Achilles
9, Martha Wells: All Systems Red
10, Jordanna Max Brosky: Olympus Bound
11, Katharine Neville: The Eight
12, Juliet Marillier: Dreamer’s Pool
13, Lois McMaster Bujold: Mira’s Last Dance
14, Lois McMaster Bujold: The Prisoner of Limnos
15, Tanya Huff: Fire’s Stone
16, Elizabeth Moon: Engaging the Enemy
17, Tracy Townsend: The Nine
18, Andy Weir: Artemis
19, Elizabeth Moon: Command Decision
20, Hannu Rajaniemi: Invisible Planets: collected fiction
21, Elizabeth Moon: Victory Conditions
22, James S. A. Corey: Leviathan Wakes
23, Richard Ellis Preston Jr: Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders
24, Genevieve Cogman: The Lost Plot
25, Diane Duane: Intellivore
26, Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski: Dyson Sphere
27, Juliet Marillier: Tower of Thorns
28, Nancy A. Collins: Right Hand Magic
29, Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith: Flash: the Haunting of Barry Allen
30, Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith: Arrow: A Generation of Vipers
31, J. Tullos Hennig: Greenwode
32, J.Y. Yang: The Black Tides of Heaven
33, James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War
34, Juliet Marillier: Den of Wolves
35, S. P. Somtow: Do Comets Dream?
36, J.Y. Yang: Red Threads of Fortune
37, Seanan McGuire: Night and Silence
38, Anne Logston: Shadow
39, Greg Cox: Q-Space
40, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Searching for the Fleet

Here’s the post where I’m going to gather all the books, novellas and comics read next year.
Reading challenges:
Pick and Mix (40) 40 done!
Action heroine (35) 35 done!
Mount TBR (24) 24 done!
Sci-fi experience (1) 4
comics (24) 25 done!

January
1, Curtis Craddock: An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (p&m)
2, Cecily Gayford ed.: Murder under the Christmas tree
3, Jennifer Foehner Wells: Fluency (p&m, scifi)
4, David Baldacci: The Innocent
5, R. E. Stearns: Barbary Station (sci-fi, p&m)

Comics
1, Astro City: vol. 7: the Dark Age, Book two: Brothers in arms
2, Birds of Prey vol. 2
3, Birds of Prey vol. 3: The Hunt for Oracle

February
6, R. J. Theodore: Flotsam (sci-fi, p&m)
7, Robert Jackson Bennett: City of Miracles (p&m)
8, Dan Koboldt: The World Awakening
9, Andrew Vachss: Batman: the Ultimate Evil (mount TBR)
10, Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey: Catwoman (mount TBR)
11, Steven Brust: Vallista (&m)

Comics
4, Birds of Prey vol. 3: Of Like Minds (action heroine)
5, Birds of Prey vol. 4: Sensei & Student

March
12,D. N. Erikson: Bone Realm (action heroine)
13, Kerri L. Hughs, ed.: Fiction River: Alchemy and Steam (mount tbr)
14, Mercedes Lackey: Beauty and the Werewolf (p&m)
15, Madeline Miller: The Song of Achilles (p&m)
16, Justin W. M. Roberts: The Policewoman
17, Alison Morton: Perfiditas
18, Holly Evans: Seers Stone

Comics
6, Birds of Prey vol. 5: Between Dark and Dawn
7, Birds of Prey vol. 7: Perfect Pitch

April
19, Robert Van Gulick, translator: Celebrated cases of Judge Dee (tbr)
20, Martha Wells: All Systems Red (p&m)
21, Kenneth Oppel: Airborn (mount tbr)
22, Jordanna Max Brosky: Olympus Bound (p&m)

Comics
8, Black Widow vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most wanted
9, Star Wars: Shattered Empire

May
23, Trish Heinrich: Serpent’s Sacrifice
24, Anthony Hope: The Prisoner of Zenda (tbr)
25, Trish Heinrich: Serpent’s Rise
26, Katharine Neville: The Eight (p&m)
27, Juliet Marillier: Dreamer’s Pool (p&m)
28, Lois McMaster Bujold: The Prisoner of Limnos
29, Trish Heinrich: Shadow Dreams

Comics
10, Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter
11, Birds of Prey 10: Club Kids
12, Star Wars: Princess Leia

June
30, Lois McMaster Bujold: Penric and the Fox
31, Elizabeth Peters: The Serpent on the Crown (mount tbr)
32, Patricia Loofbourrow: The Jacq of Spades
33, Elizabeth Moon: Marque and Reprisal (p&m)
34, Tanya Huff: Fire’s Stone (p&m)
35, Russell Blake: Fatal Exchange (tbr)

Comics
13, World War Hulk
14, All-New X-Men vol. 1
15, All-New X-Men vol. 3: Out of their Depth
16, Spider-Island: Warzones

July
36, N. K. Jemisin: The Stone Sky (tbr)
37, Vincent Zandri: Chase Baker and the Golden Condor (tbr)
38, Elizabeth Moon: Engaging the Enemy (p&m)
39, Kevin J. Anderson: X-Files: Ruins (tbr)
40, Carolyn Keene: Vanishing Act (Nancy Drew files #34) (tbr)
41, J. M. Bannon: The Untold Tales of Dolly Williamson
42, Tracy Townsend: The Nine (p&m)
43, C. T. Phipps: Games of Supervillainy

Comics
17, X-Men: Legacy: Salvage
18, Uncanny Avengers vol. 1: Counter-evolutionary
19, X-Men: Schism
20, All-New X-Men vol. 4: All-Different

August
44, Lee Killough: Deadly Silents (tbr)
45, Carole Nelson Douglas: Catnap (tbr)
46, Kevin J. Anderson: Alternitech (tbr)
47, C. T. Phipps: Secrets of Supervillainy
48, Elizabeth Peters: Guardian of the Horizon (p&m)
49, Andy Weir: Artemis (p&m)
50, Elizabeth Moon: Command Decision (p&m)

Comics
21, Batgirl: Greatest stories ever told
22, Batgirlvol 1: the Darkest Reflection

September
51, Penny Warner: Dead Body Language (tbr)
52, Hannu Rajaniemi: Invisible Planets: collected fiction (p&m)
53, Max Gladstone: Three Parts Dead (tbr)
54, Elizabeth Moon: Victory Conditions (p&m)
55, James S. A. Corey: Leviathan Wakes (p&m)
56, Kerry L. Hughes, ed.: Fiction River: Tavern Tales

Comics
23, Batgirl vol 2: Knightfall descends
24, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 1
25, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 2
26, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 3

October
57, Patrick Weekes: The Prophecy Con (tbr)
58, John Vornholt: Crossfire (tbr)
59, Richard Ellis Preston Jr: Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders (p&m)
60, Karen Wyle: Water to Water
61, Patrick Weekes: The The Paladin Caper (tbr)
62, Genevieve Cogman: The Lost Plot (p&m)
63, Juliet Marillier: Tower of Thorns (p&m)
64, Diane Duane: Intellivore (p&m)

November
65, Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski: Dyson Sphere (p&m)
66, Nancy A. Collins: Right Hand Magic (p&m, tbr)
67, Bob Mayer: The Rock (tbr)
68, Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith: Flash: the Haunting of Barry Allen (p&m)
69, Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith: Arrow: A Generation of Vipers (p&m)
70, J. Tullos Hennig: Greenwode (p&m)

Comics
27, The Flash by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar

December
71, J.Y. Yang: The Black Tides of Heaven (p%m)
72, James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War (p&m, tbr)
73, Juliet Marillier: Den of Wolves (p&m)
74, S. P. Somtow: Do Comets Dream? (p&m)
75, J.Y. Yang: Red Threads of Fortune (p&m)
76, Seanan McGuire: Night and Silence (p&m)
77, Anne Logston: Shadow (p&m) reread
78, Dan Abnett: Avengers: Everybody wants to rule the world
79, Greg Cox: Q-Space (p&m)
80, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Searching for the Fleet (p&m)

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