2016 Reading Challenges: July Recap

Welcome to my reading challenges recap for 2016!  This is a monthly post where I’ll be updating my progress throughout the year by challenge so you (and I) can see a breakdown of what I’ve read and which goals those books apply to.  I’m always open to suggestions in the comments as well!

GOODREADS

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Goal: 100

Read so far: 77 (This screenshot was taken late so ignore that number!)

FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

flights of fantasy

Goal: 30

Read so far: 31 (WOOHOO – COMPLETED!)

Books that Qualify:

January: Truthwitch (review), Red Queen (review), Clockwork Angel (review), Fablehaven

FebruaryGrave Mercy (review), Poison Study (review), The Storyspinner (review), The Assassin’s Blade (review), Reign of Shadows (review), Stars Above, Shadow and Bone

MarchThe Crown and the Arrow, A Fierce and Subtle Poison (review), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Skylighter (review), Clockwork Prince (review), Dark Triumph (review), Madly, The Shadow Queen

AprilThe Winner’s Kiss, The Rose and the Dagger, The Raven King

MayA Court of Mist and Fury (review), Clockwork Princess

JuneHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Shadow Hour

July: Vicious (review), Peter Pan, Captive Prince, A Monster Calls, An Ember in the Ashes

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE READING CHALLENGE

contemporary romance reading challenge

Goal: 21+

Read so far: 20

Books that Qualify:

January: Meant to Be (review), Pivot Point (review), Summer of Sloane, Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (review)

February: Firsts (review), Boomerang (review), The Love that Split the World

MarchSplit Second (review), Tiny Pretty Things (review), Catching Jordan

AprilWild Swans (review), The Distance Between Us (review), Summer of Supernovas (review)

MayKindred Spirits

JuneHeartless (Pretty Little Liars), Summer in the Invisible City (review), The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (review), Highly Illogical Behavior (review), The Unexpected Everything

July: The Lover’s Dictionary, It’s Not Summer Without You (review)

THE RE-READ CHALLENGE

re-read challenge

Goal: 10

Read so far: 5

Books that Qualify:

January: N/A

FebruarySuperboy: Smallville Attacks (review)

March: The Fellowship of the Ring

April: N/A

May: N/A

JuneFlashpointHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

July: Peter Pan

2016 TBR PILE READING CHALLENGE

TBR Pile Reading challenge

Goal: 50

Read so far: 33

Books that Qualify:

January: Meant to Be (review), Mitosis, Firefight (review), Pivot Point (review), Red Queen (review), Clockwork Angel (review), Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (review)

February: Grave Mercy (review), Boomerang (review), Poison Study (review), The Storyspinner (review), The Assassin’s Blade (review), Shadow and Bone 

MarchThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (review), Split Second (review), Clockwork Prince (review), Dark Triumph (review), Tiny Pretty Things (review), Madly, Komomo Confiserie Volume 1, Catching Jordan (review)

AprilThe Distance Between Us (review), Sword Art Online Girls Ops Vol 1

MayClockwork Princess

JuneHeartless (Pretty Little Liars), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

July: Vicious (review), The Lover’s Dictionary, Peter Pan, It’s Not Summer Without You (review), Captive Prince, A Monster Calls, Dangerous Girls, An Ember in the Ashes

2016 FINISHING THE SERIES CHALLENGE

finishing the series challenge

*This challenge will fluctuate throughout the year based on whether a new book in the series has been released. A star denotes that I am either finished or current with the series.

Goal: 3-6 series

Series completed so far: 6

Series current with so far: 13

Books that Qualify:

January: Mitosis, Firefight (review), Pivot Point (review), Truthwitch* (review), Red Queen (review), Clockwork Angel (review), Fablehaven

February: Grave Mercy (review), Boomerang (review), Into the Dim* (review), Poison Study (review), The Storyspinner (review), The Assassin’s Blade (review), Reign of Shadows* (review), Shadow and Bone, Ranma 1/2 volume 3

MarchThe Crown and the Arrow*, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (review), Split Second* (review), The Skylighter* (review), Clockwork Prince (review), Dark Triumph (review), Tiny Pretty Things* (review), Madly*, The Shadow Queen*, Catching Jordan

AprilThe Winner’s Kiss*, Archie Volume 1: The New Riverdale*, Map of Fates*, The Rose and the Dagger*, The Raven King*

MayA Court of Mist and Fury (review)*, Clockwork Princess*

JuneHeartless (Pretty Little Liars), The Shadow Hour*

July: Vicious (review)*, The Thousandth Floor*, It’s Not Summer Without You (review), Captive Prince, An Ember in the Ashes*

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Kristin

5 Fandom Friday: Smart Phone Apps I Cannot Live Without

This week’s 5 Fandom Friday topic is near and dear to my heart because if there’s one device that monopolizes the majority of my time, it would be my trusty iPhone 5c.  We’re inseparable. The apps I chose are the ones where I spend the majority of my time and that I feel I absolutely could not survive without.  In a shocking twist, Twitter did not make my list (gasp!) but it would definitely be the first honorable mention.  While I haven’t been as active on Twitter lately as I have been in the past, I still manage to spend a good portion of some days reading what everyone is excited or complaining about.  Although, avoiding the complaining is part of the reason that I’ve been turning to other social media apps for entertainment as of late.
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Instagram – Instagram is my go to social media app.  I even wrote about how much I love it as part of the I Heart Instagram Tag.  I check it each time I have a free second and sometimes I’ll browse through hashtags and lose myself while I admire other users photos and discover new blogs and photography styles I like.
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Disney’s Tsum Tsum – This is officially the most addicting game I have ever played.  I cannot stop.  There’s a daily mission that I make sure to achieve before bed each night, and I’ve gotten so many of my friends to join that I always have tons of hearts to use when I start up my app.  I had to stop sneaking in games at work because I *may* have used 8 GB’s of data the first month I started playing.  By the way, if you also happen to be addicted, my username is SuperSpaceChick so if you leave yours below we can be friends and send each other hearts yay!
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ModCloth – ModCloth and BlackMilk are my two biggest clothing addictions and the ModCloth app helps me satisfy my fashion fiend-i-ness (yes, I’m inventing new words).  Since ModCloth updates their site every single day with new merchandise at 12pm my time (9am for you west coasters) I’ve had a longstanding date with my app and a cup of tea while I evaluate and determine what needs to be added to my wardrobe rotation.
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Goodreads – I think my affinity for Goodreads stems from a combination of my deep love of list-making and my passion for reading.  Goodreads lets you catalogue the books you’ve read or want to read on your digital bookshelves.  You can declare the book you’re reading and update your progress during your journey (I usually only update my progress if I’m reading something particularly lengthy and feel too impatient to wait to update until I’m done) and once you’ve completed reading, you move the title to the “read” shelf and give it your one-out-of-five-star rating.  You can see what all of your friends are reading by scrolling through your feed (I also receive a daily email with friend updates which I really look forward to), and it’s the best way to find out about new books.
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Feedly – I am obsessed with Feedly.  Feedly is a site that I use to keep track of all the new posts on my favorite blogs and websites.  I have everything separated into categories which makes browsing easier, but if I don’t check it several times during the day, I will end up with over 500 articles to sort through which can get pretty overwhelming.  But, it’s in my nature to not want to miss anything so I can’t help loving it even when it’s taking time away from other things.  I’ve recently started using Bloglovin more and I’m going to determine once and for all which one I like better.
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PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS

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November 14th: Smart Phone Apps I Cannot Live Without
November 21st: Characters I Would Invite To My Thanksgiving Feast
November 28th: Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For
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December 5th – My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer
December 12th – Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me
December 19th – My Must See List of Christmas Movies
December 26th – New Years Blogging Resolutions
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January 2nd – New Years Fandom Resolutions
January 9th – My Favorite Things About Winter
January 16th – Conventions I’ve Been To Or Wish To Attend
January 23rd – Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th – Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own
Bloglovin ♥ Twitter ♥ Instagram ♥ YouTube ♥ Goodreads ♥ Pinterest
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New Years Resolutions & Goals for 2013

The second half of my New Years blog post is the obligatory resolution portion.  It’s always been a tradition of mine to write down a list of goals more so than resolutions for the upcoming year.  A lot of people feel as though resolutions are broken so easily that it’s pointless to waste time creating them but I disagree.  Even if you set goals that are too high or you’re only able to follow your plan for a short time I believe it is better than to have not spent any time trying at all.  Anything you accomplish in the short time you try is still more than if you hadn’t tried at all.  I think I did a pretty good job last year of accomplishing the goals I had set for myself with one major exception.  The one goal that I considered to be the most important and wanted to complete above all was the only goal that I wasn’t able to check off on my list.  But mark my words, it will happen in 2013.  I will have a completed first draft of an original work.  In 2012 I was only able to make the time to write half of a screenplay and 100 pages of an original novel.  Having written both towards the beginning of 2012, I was forced to put my own stories on the back burner as the year progressed.  But not this year.  I’ve outlined the rest of goals below.
Things to Accomplish or Change in 2013
  • Write a Complete First Draft of an Original Novel – A few years back I had been accepted to go back to school for screenwriting but due to a scheduling conflict with work I was unable to attend.  Since then I’ve been spending a lot of time writing for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, and while I would never in a million years give that up, I am going to make a conscious effort to spend time on more personal works as well.
  • Read More Books – A couple of my friends and I have decided to keep a collaborative spreadsheet of the books we read as a way to motivate ourselves to read more.  It is by no means a competition because reading is an enjoyable pastime, but rather a reminder that if others can find the time to read, so can we.  I had been worried that I didn’t read enough in 2012 until I tallied my list and realized that I had in fact surpassed 100 books/graphic novels.  I may post my list in the upcoming week.
  • Save More Money – As I’m sure everyone in the geek community can relate to, when new things are released whether it be books, movies, toys or whatnot, I can never resist supporting my favorite fandoms with my hard earned salary.  But sadly, I think it’s time for me to become more selective and attempt to be a fiscally responsible adult.
  • Move to NYC or Brooklyn – This is going to be the big motivator to force me into my last goal.  I lived in New York City during college and it was the greatest experience of my life.  Ever since I graduated and moved back home I’ve wanted nothing more than to move back to the place I feel most at home.  I spend a ridiculous amount of money commuting back and forth since I’m there 3-5 times a week every single week and train ticket prices are increasing yet again next year.  Luckily I do have plenty of friends that let me stay with them, but I would really like a little place to call my own.
  • Be Healthier – I am in no way stating that one of my goals is to lose weight because I’m quite happy with my body just the way it is.  I have been a vegetarian for almost 4 years now and in that time I have learned the types of foods I need to eat to get all of the nutrients my body requires.  I’ve read several books about the food industry and it’s a topic that I find fascinating.  Towards the end of 2012 I started eating more sweets than ever and even some unhealthier meals which I am not proud of.  I’ll be getting out all of my cravings today and starting the New Year by reverting back to my usual food choices.  I have always relied on walking around Manhattan (I walk at super speeds) to be sufficient exercise, but I am also considering giving yoga a try.
  • Take Some “Me” Time – This has always been something that I have struggled with.  I am ambitious and enthusiastic and when given the opportunity to do anything I leap at the chance.  I need to learn to not feel guilty about saying no and to remember that it’s important to take some time for myself as well.  It’s this time that will allow me to focus on my novel and on reading more books.  Both of which sound like the ideal way to spend extra time.
Things to Continue Doing in 2013
  • Making New Friends – I think it’s important to have a core group of people you can rely on and who can rely on you.  I very lengthily touched upon the friendships I have cultivated in 2012 in my previous post and I plan on continuing this trend for 2013.  I would definitely classify myself as a people person.  Everyone is the main character in the story of their own life and I find it fascinating to hear all about others experiences.  Fiction is absolutely wonderful but it is romanticized and I think it’s important to stay grounded in the real world instead of living solely in a deluded false reality.  Life is all about connecting with others and sharing in experiences together.
  • Maintaing a Positive Outlook – Yes, I’m an optimist.  No, I’m not planning on changing that, even after the chaotic previous year I had.  I had a conversation with my best friend Melissa (@mechamelissa) this past year that I stand by wholeheartedly.  After some of the experiences I had, I began to wonder if I should be more skeptical of people instead of being my usual trusting self.  But then I quickly realized that I am never going to change who I am and what I consider to be one of my better traits because of other people.  Things happen, not everyone is genuine,  and some people have bad intentions, but I’m going to continue to take everything in stride and never lose faith in my belief that people are generally good.  I am still going to behave in the same manner upon meeting new people and treat them with the same kindness, respect, and trust that I think everyone is entitled to until they may prove otherwise that they are undeserving.
  • Regularly Updating My Social Media Sites – The internet in all of its forms provides endless hours of entertainment.  I love my twitter, I love my tumblr, I love my blog and I love my instagram.  I update each of these on regular basis (twitter being the most up-to-date and linking with all of the aforementioned sites).  This blog was only launched in September but I have already written a number of posts, and I am going to continue to do so, at a more frequent interval throughout 2013.  I do however, tend to neglect my Facebook, Goodreads, GetGlue, and This is My Jam accounts, but I am going to make a strong effort to keep them more up to date as well.
  • Traveling – After a few years of taking a hiatus on vacation travels due to a terrible fear of flying, I overcame my fear and I traveled more in 2012 than I had in the past six years combined. I went to Florida twice, Atlanta, and Baltimore all within a span of 3 months.  It was a lot of fun feeling like a jet setter and now that some of my very best friends are scattered throughout the US between the East and West coasts I plan on continuing my traveling trend.  My top choices for travel destinations in 2013 include LA to visit Jen, Boston to visit Betty, Florida again to visit Kristin, her husband Patrick, and my cousin Rachel, and either Chicago for the Wizard World convention or San Diego (finally) for San Diego Comic Con which always occurs right around my birthday weekend.
And so, I wish all of you my dear friends, family, twitters and tumblr’s a very Happy New Year.  I’d love to hear the resolutions and goals for 2013 that you have set for yourself in addition to your progress and efforts to maintain them throughout the year.  As always, feel free to drop me a line anytime and I look forward to sharing in good fortune with you all for the entirety of 2013 ^_^
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