Monday, 2 January 2017

Musing Mondays - What I'm reading & my 2017 reading challenges

Musing Monday January 2, 2017

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

 I’m currently reading…

I finished The Immortals on Saturday - that was the last thing I did before going to sleep on New Year's Eve because I wanted to count it for 2016! I'll talk more about that in my post about it for the Calendar Girls challenge on Wednesday.  Now though, now I am reading: 

Betrayals (Cainsville #4) by Kelley Armstrong

I wasn't going to start reading this right away. I want to finish the books that I started reading in 2016 but set aside for other things first. Namely: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (I started reading it like the night after I'd seen the movie and since the movie was so fresh in my mind I was easily side tracked - looking forward to reading it now though), Tao of Pooh (I was reading it on my lunch breaks when there was no one else around but that doesn't happen often anymore haha), and the Prisoner of Azkaban audiobook (I only have a few chapters left but I keep having to stop because listening to the parts about Sirius are making me even more emotional than just reading about them, or even watching them in the films.). But since I finished The Immortals on Saturday night before going to sleep - I didn't have another any of those upstairs with me on Sunday morning. I mean I could have listened to PoA but that would have disturbed everyone else in the house who was still sleeping. So I started Betrayals, and now I am up to chapter 14 and I am enjoying it as much as I did the first 3 books in the series so far. The end of Deceptions was an emotional roller coaster, it was trying to kill me with emotions and I said as much to Angie as I was finishing it on Saturday.

"The exciting fourth novel in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's "impossible-to-put-down" Cainsville series.

When Olivia's life exploded--after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers--she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents' crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn't enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.
     Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.
" -- via Goodreads

        THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you joined any challenges in reading for the new year? Do you have any general book goals or even not book related goals for 2017?

I am doing several challenges/have several goals (reading related and otherwise) for 2017. I'll talk about my goals first and then how each of the challenges I am doing works towards those goals. My baseline goal is to always read at least 1 book a week, to that end I always make my basic goal 52 books for the year, and then when I pass that, I get to challenge myself to see how high above 100% I can get on the Goodreads widget. 2016 was my best result since I started doing the Goodreads challenge in 2013. At 71/52 books my completion bar sat at 137%. Obviously I'd love to get past that in 2017, but I know myself and I know that life happens, so even though I am relatively certain that I will read way more than 52 books, I keep my baseline goal at 52 because I know I will read at LEAST 52.

2017 Reading Challenge

Lauren has read 0 books toward her goal of 52 books.

I have a few other reading related goals:

1. I want to read more graphic novels

I think a good goal is that for every 2 novels I read I will read 1 graphic novel. That means my baseline goal for graphic novel consumption for the year will be 26. Considering that I have 27 sitting in my TBR shelves right at the moment that seems doable!

2. I want to read as much of my TBR shelves as possible

Speaking of the aforementioned TBR shelves, I really would like to clear them as much as possible this year. There are books that have been sitting on there for like a decade. And I'm not even exaggerating I'm pretty sure there's at least 1 book on there that I bought on my first trip to visit Angie and that was in 2005. I know right now that I am not going to stop buying more books so I should read the ones I already have so that I don't feel guilty about it. To that end, this is the year that I tackle reading the shelves.

3. I want to listen to more audiobooks

First I need to finish listening to the last 4 Harry Potter novels. I need to get to Half-Blood Prince sooner rather than later because Angie and I do HP roleplay together and that's the year we're up to in our plot right now and I find myself fuzzy on some of the time line because it's been awhile since I re-read this particular one. But also - I have like 10 audiobooks that are NOT Harry Potter sitting on my Audible account and I would like to listen to them. I want to listen to Wil Wheaton read me a John Scalzi novel, I want to finally get around to the Darker Shade of Magic books, and I want to read Carry On! I also just got the first two books in the Dresden Files through Audible, so I am going to keep my subscription up long enough now to get the rest.

So those are my 3 specific reading goals and I've found 5 challenges that at least partially will help me achieve them:

Under a cut because holy image heaviness Batman! I will eventually make a separate post for each of these to keep better track of them.

1. POPSUGAR's 2017 Reading Challenge

I did this challenge last year, or rather attempted to. I only completed 23 of the 40 categories, the remaining 17 just not being anything I wanted to tackle at any point last year. But I'm going to try again this year! There are 40 challenges this year and then 12 "Advanced" challenges. At first glance I see 23 that I could complete easily, interesting since 23 is how many I finished in 2016.

I tweaked their original image so it would fit better on here.

2. Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge - 2017 

This is the other challenge I did last year and as with the POPSUGAR challenge, I didn't complete it. I only did 14 of the 24 categories. This is a hard challenge - but that's the point it's right there in the name. The whole point of this one is to try and broaden the reading horizons of its participants. For 2017 they've compiled a list of 24 challenges again with 6 being assigned by different authors. 11 of these challenges look like they will be a piece of cake for me with books that I already have on my shelves. I like when that happens.

3. The 2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

I found this through Purple Booker's (host of this meme :D) challenge list and it's right up my alley. I read a lot of paranormal novels a lot of which do feature witches or witchcraft. This challenge will definitely help me make a significant dent in my TBR shelves I think. I am going to aim for the highest level, Crone, because I'm pretty sure there are 16-20 witchy books that I plan on reading this year.

2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

4. The 2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge @ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Another challenge found thanks to the Purple Booker and another perfect fit with my reading goals for this year. The purpose of this challenge is to read a book with a title that starts with each letter of the alphabet. I went through my TBR shelves and identified my options. The only letters I don't already have books for are X and Y, and J and U are the only books where I only have 1 option. I definitely foresee myself completing this challenge and making a sizable dent in my TBR pile to do it. Especially if I read all of my options for a given letter!

5. The 2017 Mount TBR Challenge @ My Reader's Block

As with the previous 2 challenges, I also found this one thanks to the Purple Booker. This challenge is all about seeing how many of your TBR pile books you can get through. I decided to play it conservatively and only say I'll climb Mount Blanc which means I need to read 24 books from my TBR shelf - I CAN read more but I HAVE to read 24. The challenge creator says library books don't count - I'm going to interpret that as PUBLIC library books because I have term loan privileges from my academic library so some of the books on my TBR shelves are from work and I've had them out for about a year already and still haven't gotten to them.


  1. Good luck with all your reading challenges. I'm looking to make more time for things I enjoy as well. I've been time blocking my calendar--which is so tough for me. It's the only way for me to accomplish even half of what I want to this year. If you want to check out my goals you can visit me at

  2. Good Luck with all of your challenges. I'm thinking about joining the 2017 Mount TBR Challenge since I would definitely like to focus on reading some books I already own this year. My TBR Jar is only TBR books that I already own so this might be perfect!