Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Calendar Girls - Jan 2018 - favourite book not set in North America - #CalendarGirlsBooks

Welcome back to Calendar Girls, which is hosted by bloggers, Flavia the Bibliophile and Melanie Noell Bernard – both have amazing blogs full of fun, bookish posts. Calendar Girls is  now in it's second year as a monthly blog event inspired by Neil Sedaka’s 1961 song Calendar Girl. Just like in the song, they've decided to use a specific theme for each month and choose a book based on these themes! The event is meant to incite discussions with other bloggers about books we’ve read and loved, is meant to help bloggers meet other bloggers, and also for bloggers and readers to find out about blogs which they normally may not have come across! Want to know more? Click on the links above! And it’s not too late to jump on the Calendar Girl train! Join now!

Favourite Book in a Non-North American Setting 

I'm adding my own caveat to this month's selection because otherwise I am just going to pick Harry Potter again and I already used an HP book for one of the 2017 categories, and I don't want to repeat myself haha. I like to share books that the other people participating may not have already heard of! That's one of my favourite parts of this activity, learning about new books from the other bloggers involved! So I'm choosing my favourite book that I read last year that wasn't set in North America. Well crap, I forgot I re-read 2 HP books in 2017 haha. Okay, no matter, I'm purposefully choosing not to choose a Harry Potter book even though they're my favourites. I'm sticking to my guns about not repeating myself.Turns out I read A LOT of books not set in North America last year. Even more, if I were counting fantasy settings, but I'm only taking real locations into account. So how many books did I read that were set outside North America in 2017? 44 apparently...which accounts for 24% of the books I read last year - INTERESTING! So what are my options then for my favourite book in a non-North American setting?

  1. Akira volumes 1-6 set in Japan
  2. The Penelopiad set in Greece
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire set in the United Kingdom
  4. Books 1,3, and 4 of The Steampunk Chronicles (excluding book 2 because it was set in the States) set in the United Kingdom
  5. Persepolis 1 and 2 set in Iran and Europe
  6. The Case of the Missing Moonstone set in the United Kingdom
  7. Shenzen: A Travelogue set in China
  8. Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City set in Israel
  9. The Darkest Torment set in several non-North America settings the Czech Republic among others
  10. Burma Chronicles set in Burma
  11. volumes 1-10 of Ranma 1/2 set in Japan and China
  12. Emma set in the United Kingdom
  13. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue set in several European cities
  14. From Russia with Love predominately set in Turkey
  15. Ruby in the Smoke set in the United Kingdom
  16. Maus set in several European cities AND also in North America so technically this one probably shouldn't count?
  17. Thursday Night Widows set in Argentina
  18. Midwinter Magic set in Bolivia
  19. Leviathan, Behemoth, & Goliath set in multiple non-North American locales - they did spend a little bit of time in the States in the 3rd book though
  20. Coldest Winter set in Germany
  21. Dracula set in multiple European countries
  22. Neverwhere set in the United Kingdom
  23. And Then There Were None set in the United Kingdom
  24. Casino Royale set in the United Kingdom and France
Books set in the United Kingdom seem to dominate my 2017 reads, but I had some interesting ones from other locations too!

Now which one ended up being my favourite non-North American setting? Let's see:

Monday, 1 January 2018

The 2018 TBR Shelf Reading Challenge #TBOBTBR2018


The 2018 TBR Shelf Reading Challenge

It should be no secret by now that I like reading challenges. It should also be no secret that I am competitive. Last summer when I was doing the BookBub Summer Reading 2017 challenge with my friend Sophia I told her we should do another challenge together. So she said we should try and read our entire TBR shelves by the time she graduates in 2019. It's worth noting that her TBR shelf only had about 60 books on it at the time and she read 180+ last year - at the time she made the challenge my TBR shelf was 250 books or so and it's only grown because, yes, I have a problem haha I love buying books. I decided that I would create my own challenge to help me structure tackling this massive TBR pile. And thus the 2018 TBR Shelf Reading Challenge was born. I love challenges that have broad categories - so I created this one by taking inspiration from my to be read shelves (my physical shelves of unread books, my unread ebook queues, and my Audible library.). Turns out that I read pretty diversely, so the categories are wide-ranging I think.

I would like to invite anyone to join me in this challenge. I'm hopeful that running this challenge will help me get to know more book bloggers/get more active in the book blogging community.


  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me you plan to participate.
  2. I'll be posting about my progress as the year goes on, and posting suggestions for potential reads. Feel free to comment on my posts and to share your progress too.
  3. You don't have to only use books that are on your TBR shelves. (although I plan to)
  4. All 52 challenges should be completed before 11:59:59 on December 31, 2018 in whatever time zone you're in.

There's no prize, but if it takes off and there's enough interest to do it again in 2019, that could change!

The Categories


There are 52 categories, and a total of 53 books since one of the categories requires 2 books. Here's a pasteable version of the list:

  1. A genre fiction book in translation - 
  2. A book by a Canadian author - 
  3. A book from a subscription box - 
  4. A book that’s been sitting unread on your shelf for 5+ years - 
  5. A book based on a folktale - 
  6. A book that you haven’t read yet by your favourite author - 
  7. Have a friend pull a book off the shelf and read that one next - 
  8. A book you bought on a trip - 
  9. A YA or adult adaptation of a children’s story - 
  10. A book recommended by your parent/a parental figure - 
  11. A Harlequin romance novel - 
  12. The 3rd book in a non-trilogy series - 
  13. A book written by 2 authors using a single pen-name - 
  14. A celebrity biography/autobiography - 
  15. A novel about a Marvel or DC character - 
  16. A book about the villain/from the villain’s POV - 
  17. A TV Show tie-in novel - 
  18. Re-read the 1st book in a series where you have only read the 1st book - 
  19. Read the 2nd book in that series - 
  20. A book with an LGBTQ main character - 
  21. A new book that uses a Public Domain character - 
  22. A sci-fi graphic novel - 
  23. A non-DC/Marvel Superhero comic - 
  24. A biographical graphic novel - 
  25. A book set during WWII - 
  26. A book that was originally written by a fictional character in a book/TV show/Movie - 
  27. A Shakespeare adaptation - 
  28. A book set in the Middle East - 
  29. A book that involves time travel - 
  30. A classic children’s novel that you haven’t read before - 
  31. A non-Harry Potter book where the kids go to magic school - 
  32. A book that inspired/has been adapted to Netflix - 
  33. The next book in a series where the previous book was released 5+ years before it - 
  34. A book borrowed from a friend - 
  35. A book published in a font colour other than black - 
  36. A duology (that’s a 2 book series) - 
  37. A book about Atlantis - 
  38. A book about Zombies - 
  39. A book that has been called “the next Harry Potter” or something similar - 
  40. A book based on a mythology you’re not familiar with - 
  41. A feminist book - 
  42. A 1000+ page book - 
  43. A book bought at an independent bookstore - 
  44. A graphic novel with a POC main character - 
  45. A dystopian novel - 
  46. A paranormal crime novel - 
  47. A book set in two worlds/two dimensions - 
  48. A book you only have because you got it for free - 
  49. An alternate history historical fiction novel - 
  50. A book of short stories - 
  51. A true crime book - 
  52. A book recommended by a friend that you bought but keep forgetting to read - 
I look forward to reading with anyone who decides to join me in this challenge :). And I'm also excited to make a significant dent in my TBR shelves.

MY YEAR IN BOOKS: Final 2017 Reading Challenges Update - August 1-December 31 2017

You might remember back to my mid-year update at the beginning of July that I said I was doing 5 reading challenges? Turns out I had forgotten about one, I was actually signed up for 6:

1. PopSugar's 2017 Reading Challenge
3. The 2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge over at Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
4. My Reader's Block's 2017 TBR Challenge
5. BookBub's Summer 2017 Reading Challenge
6. Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book's 2017 Alphabet Soup Challenge

Yellow Lego Trophy with Curved Handles & Top by David Luders
We looked at my Goodreads challenge numbers back in the early August update too, at that point I was at 167% of my pledged target. So 6 months later where did I end up? Well, you might remember back to my Musing Monday post from September 5 when I updated you on my completion of the Summer Reading Challenge, that thanks to that challenge I blew past 100 books in a year for the first time that I can ever remember. A feat I had been trying to pull off for a decade you guys! Now Fall is usually a crazy busy time for me at work and this year was no different, usually when I am crazy busy I come home too tired to read but that didn't happen this year! No it did not, I kept plugging away, albeit not at the break-neck pace I'd managed to pull off over the summer, or at least it felt like I was going slower. Anyway, my final number for the year, as of 5:07pm ET on December 31, 2017 is 158 books or 303% of my original pledged total!! That is just absolutely crazy to me!! I'm still having an adrenaline spike from excitement over that number.

According to my Goodreads "Your Year in Books" infographic, I read 43,816 pages! That's more than double the 22,249 I read according to 2016's infographic!

And that wasn't the only winning I did this year. For the first time in my history of signing up for reading challenges...I actually completed all of the challenges!!